Family Tree DNA myOrigins Ethnicity Update – No April Foolin’

The long-anticipated myOrigins update at Family Tree DNA has happened today. Not only are the ethnicity percentages updated, sometimes significantly, but so are the clusters and the user interface.

Furthermore, because of the new clusters and reference populations, the entire data base has been rerun. In essence, this isn’t just an update, but an entirely new version of myOrigins.

New Population Clusters

The updated version of myOrigins includes 24 reference populations, an increase of 6 from the previous 18 clusters.

The new clusters are:

African

  • East Central Africa
  • West Africa
  • South Central Africa

Central/South Asian

  • South Central Asia
  • Oceania
  • Central Asia

East Asian

  • Northeast Asia
  • Southeast Asia
  • Siberia

Europe

  • West and Central Europe
  • East Europe
  • Iberia
  • Southeast Europe
  • British Isles
  • Finland
  • Scandinavia

Jewish Diaspora

  • Sephardic Diaspora
  • Ashkenazi Diaspora

Middle Eastern

  • East Middle East
  • West Middle East
  • Asia Minor
  • North Africa

New World

  • North and Central America
  • South and Central America

Note that this grouping divides Native American between North and South America and includes the long-awaited Sephardic cluster.

New User Experience

Your experience starts on your home page where you’ll click on myOrigins, like always. That part hasn’t changed.

The next page you’ll see is new.

This myOrigins page shows your major category results, with a down arrow to display your subgroups and trace results.

Now, for the great news! Family Tree DNA is now displaying trace results! Often interpreted to be noise, that’s not always the case. However, Family Tree DNA does provide an annotation for trace amounts of DNA, so everyone is warned about the potential hazard.

It’s now up to you, the genealogist, to make the determination whether your trace amounts are valid or not.

Trace DNA inclusion has been something I’ve wanted for a long time, so THANK YOU Family Tree DNA!

MyOrigins now identifies my North and Central American ancestry, which translates into Native American, proven by haplogroups in those particular family lines.

Clicking on the various subcategories shows the location of the cluster on the map, along with new educational material below the map.

Pressing the down arrow beside any category displays the subcategories.

Clicking on “Show All” displays all of the categories and your ethnicity percentages within those categories.

Clicking on “View myOrigins Map” shows you the entire world map and your cluster locations where your DNA is found in those reference populations.

The color intensity reflects the amount of your DNA found there. In other words, bright blue is my majority ethnicity at 48% in the British Isles.

In the information box in the lower left hand corner, you can now opt to view your shared origins with people you match and share the same major regions, or you can view the regional information.

Accuracy

I’ve already mentioned how pleased I am to find my Native American ancestry accurately reported, but I’m also equally as pleased to see my British Isles and Germanic/Dutch/French much more accurately reflected. My mother’s results are more succinct as well, reflecting her known heritage almost exactly.

The chart below shows my new myOrigins results compared to the older results. I prepared this chart originally as a part of the article, Concepts – Calculating Ethnicity Percentages. The new results are much more reflective of what I know about my genealogy.

Take a look at your new results on your home page at Family Tree DNA.

Summary

All ethnicity estimates, from all sources, are just that…estimates.  There will always be a newer version as reference populations continue to improve.  The new myOrigins version offers a significant improvement for me and the kits I administer.

Ethnicity estimates are more of a beginning than an end.  I hope that no one is taking any ethnicity estimate as hard and fast fact.  They aren’t.  Ethnicity estimates are one of the many tools available to genetic genealogists today.  They really aren’t a shortcut to, or in place of, traditional genealogy.  I hope what they are, for many people, is the enticement that encourages them to jump into the genealogy pool and go for a swim.

For people seeking to know “who they are” utilizing ethnicity testing, they need to understand that while ethnicity results are fun, they aren’t an answer.  Ethnicity results are more of a hint or a road sign, pointing the way to potential answers that may be reaped from traditional genealogical research.

If your results aren’t quite what you were expecting, or even if they are and you’d like to understand more about how ethnicity and DNA works, please read my article, Ethnicity Testing – A Conundrum.

172 thoughts on “Family Tree DNA myOrigins Ethnicity Update – No April Foolin’

  1. Any chance they still provide the earlier estimates as a reference so that you can evaluate how their methodology might have altered the analysis?

  2. I’m shocked with FTDNA new Origins. My Ashkinazi percentage on old report was 6% and on the new report it is <2% (trace). 23andMe list me as 3.5% and backs it up with chromosome segments. A much larger percentage of my matches, on both services and GEDMatch, are Jewish. This is an improvement? Greg

    • Jewish how? Surnames. Germanic surnames = Jewish ancestry? Thing is, as any authentic Jew can tell you, there are many “Jewish” surnames which are nothing more than German surnames. Some would be branched – Jewish & Germanic, some were only ever simply Jewish and some simply only ever German. So if surnames is your “Jewish” claim it isn’t enough.

      • No James, not just names. I’ve been working this issue since 2012 and have written dozens of my matches to discuss possible Jewish connections. I have had a remarkable return rate and most have claimed to be Jewish. I am in active communication with many. Also, the 23andme ancestry composition Chromosome charts appear to be very accurate for my Ashkenazi segments matching with known individuals. Greg

      • G.J. – problem with some of these sites is the reference for “Ashkenazi” is skewed and the reference for “Sephardi” is likewise skewed. I am willing to bet, as was commented on elsewhere about the “Ashkenazi” of 23&me, that most of the “Ashkenazi” references are 1/4 Ashkenazi or less. The nice thing is, is due to the genetic isolation of Ashkenazi even 1/4th Ashkenazi supplies likely enough reference to be taken as concrete.

        But I have seen individuals with no Sephardi ancestry, but Turkish or Lebanese, getting “Sephardi” on this update. I have also seen Southern Europeans/Italians getting erroneous Ashkenazi claims on this website and other websites due to the fact that Ashkenazi happen to share similar genes with these populations back in the day. There’s even one chap that was claimed 20% Ashkenazi by 23&me but when compared by a real genetic researcher against authentic Ashkenazi he didn’t have a leg to stand on.

        However, these relatives claiming Ashkenazi are they from actual Ashkenazi families or like yourself merely thinking Ashkenazi because a skewed website happens to say they are. I did, after all, find it sort of comical when a German Ashkenazi I know of old Ashkenazi lineage scored not nearly enough Ashkenazi on FTDNA and 23&me.

  3. I am very pleased. It is the first time my NA is shown. It also changed me to more Norh and Central Europe and less British Isles. Which makes more sense to me when comparing it to the lines that I seem to match at a higher rate. Before, it simply had me at 99% British Isles.

  4. Will order this, only $19. I see in my other results I have 1 or 2 % Native American! I do have at least,two female lines that are brick walls, so far and come from Virginia and Maryland. And I have Jamestown Virginia early on. And Dutch New York.
    What a great posting, Roberta!

  5. I lost everything from Scandinavia and gained Italy and Greece. ?? My British Isles are still there and a bit stronger than before. I have no idea what to do with Italy and Greece. I know I came from NE Germany but I sure don’t know how Italy and Greece got in there. My old report probably was closer to my paper tree than the new one. Maybe there’s a surprise waiting for me in a brick wall.

    • Yep, my mom is 1/8 German, and my Dad was 1/8 German. Neither my mom nor I show any Western European on our results. My dad was 1/2 Norwegian, my mom is 1/8 Danish. The old FTDNA results showed me at a mere 15% Scandinavian. The new test knocked me down to 6% Scandinavian. My mother’s results show no Scandinavian at all.

      Yet my mom shows 21% Southeast Europe, and I show 14% Southeast Europe. Neither my mom nor I have any documented ancestors from that region at all. It looks like our Southwest German is showing up as Southeastern European.

      These results are really, really skewed.

      • I had the same shift away from Western and Central Europe towards Southeast Europe for my dad. His paper trail pretty conclusively makes him 50% German. His Western and Central Europe is now 3%. British Isles is now 70% and he even received a Sephardic component of 6%. Even his thought to be fully 100% German aunt had a majority British Isles and very little Central European. These results are strange.

      • Yes, I agree that Ancestry’s results seem to be more accurate. I should be at around 31% Scandinavian based upon my known heritage, and Ancestry has me at 35%. I have a high percentage of English heritage besides, so that accounts for the extra amount of Scandinavian that Ancestry threw in there.

    • toni, a similar thing happened to the results of my husband! The Scandinavian part was more likely and now it’s all gone – has been added to the British Isles and the Eastern Europe part! We know that Romans might have settled in that area, but we also know that Vikings invaded that region 700 years later… He was stunned by his first results (thought he was 100% German 😀 – looking at his Dad, you can clearly see the Italian influence, the family just didn’t want to believe that) and now, having looked at the updated version, he can’t make head nor tail of it… Over 50% BI. Nonsense. Should have been added to Central Europe. Well, maybe history has to be rewritten soon! 😀

    • I believe there’s been some sort of major cock-up at myOrigins. So many people are puzzled by the new breakdowns, something has to be wrong. Are these breakdowns just based on the last 500 years?

      My matches on FTDNA – both for the autosomal test and the mtDNA test – show hundreds of matches in Norway and Sweden, also in the Shetland Isles. That’s fairly obvious Norse DNA – and is backed up by Norse Y-DNA tests for some of my male relatives from my Mum’s maternal family. My deep West Country UK roots centre on a very small area in North Wiltshire, an area where the Vikings battled and wintered. Some of the villages are right by the Fosse Way – the route the Vikings are supposed to have taken from Chippenham to Cirencester.

      So now I’m 0% Scandinavian. Great!

      I think I’ll ignore myOrigins and stick to Gedmatch.

      • I think they’ve given me your Scandinavian component, because I had none before, but now I have 33%. Would you like it back? I’ve lost my 5% Finland & Northern Siberia but gained 3% Sephardic Jewish. Are they sober when they draw up these figures?

        Harry

  6. Looks like there’s a stampede on the ethnicity calculation front by DNA companies, first Ancestry’s Genetic Communities, now this upgrade from FTDNA. I wonder what 23andMe will roll out shortly? And I wonder how long the interest in this will last in new testers at the DNA sites?

      • Roberta, yes, clearly that’s the case. I wonder if there’s a way to keep them interested in the subject, instead of just a quick hit-and-run with it? We all benefit from collaboration with people who can be cultivated to nurture this as an essential part of their being.

  7. They must not have it completely rolled out yet. While some of my kits have the new feature, my own kit is blank for my origins with no explanation, and one of my other kits says results are still pending.

  8. While I have generally ignored this stuff in the past, there are some curious changes for me in the new analysis. My paper tree going back into the 16th century has 1/4 Swabian/Alsatian (immigrated circa 1850) and the rest entirely English/Scottish (immigrated as early as 1620), although there is an anomaly in the Y-dna suggesting possible Scandinavian heritage. Previous dna matches on both FTDNA and Ancestry tend to support that analysis and the old Origins estimates, as well as those available on Gedmatch, fairly well captured those breakouts while suggesting some Iberian and Middle East in tiny amounts. The new version breaks it into four almost equal (that is, about 25% each) groups and introduces something entirely new – it puts a full 1/4 share into Eastern European which, as you show, is basically Prussia to the Urals, heavily centered on Poland and the Ukraine. Even with the ebb and flow of ethnic groups through Europe due to war and societal factors, that seems a real stretch. I have to question the accuracy of either the composition or the analysis of the reference population used here. It will be interesting to see if others have similar inexplicable results.

  9. My new results are European 89% and Asia-Minor 8% = 97%
    3% is lost.

    My old 47% west-central Europe went to zero % and is split between, British Isles 17%, Eastern Europe 12%, Scandinavia 7% and SE-Europe remainder

    It does state Beta results

  10. My results did not change at all and are still very different from my results in 23andme. FTDNA gave me a very high estimate Scandinavian and I have also 9% Iberian, this has not changed. In 23andme I have very little Scandinavian, but a lot of German/French and no Iberian. The 23andme results are in line with my known ancestry. Even more strange: I am Dutch and I live in the Netherlands. In the chart in this article I see ‘Dutch’ mentioned. I know that 23andme has no Dutch reference group (that is the German/French). If there is ‘Dutch’ in FTDNA, it should have shown up in my results. This update has done nothing for me and my results are still as incorrect as before.

    • I made the chart because my mother is 25% Dutch, so I wanted to see where her Dutch ethnicity fell. No, none of the testing companies have that category. I talked more about that in the article I referenced just above that chart.

  11. I am so glad that, for the first time, my ancestry from the British Isles is showing up in myOrigins!
    I’ve researched my Webb, Ainsworth, Watts, MacNeil, etc. ancestors for years (my mother’s maternal and paternal ancestors) and was quite befuddled as to why I wasn’t showing any ancestry from the British Isles on Family Tree DNA. My three sisters have always shown British Isles ancestry on FTDNA, but my Origins were coming up as mostly Scandinavian and Western European. So, to me, it seems like a huge step in the right direction.

    Kathy

  12. Thanks Roberta
    Not everyone is winning. Two companies, two sets of results, who is correct? I uploaded my result to FT-DNA and, after reading this, decided to pay to unlock. Very disappointing – 99% West European and a trace of South East Asian, that I know from 23andMe and GEDmatch are due to North American Native Ancestry (and a paper trail too). I am surprised FT-DNA did not pick up.

    Ok – maybe the transferred results are not as complete, but I have these twins tested. Now FT-DNA is giving 14% Jewish diaspora, and zero at 23andMe. Conclusion – can’t tell who is right.

    What is reality? I am 99.5% west European at 10 generations – from France with some Switzerland, Belgium and Scotland. Technically correct except they put me over Germany instead of France/Britain. Ancestry gives me 55% British – so they err West instead of East.

    I would suggest that DNA for ethnicity is not very brilliant yet for any vendor.

    The Ancestry recent approach of communities is much more rewarding for me at this point – if only they removed the copy/paste function from other trees, people would think twice before making an entry. I now look at trees with more than 5000 entries as suspicious.
    However, traditional genealogy I think is still the way to go if you want to know who you are. Genetics is just adding a confirmation – I see too many people taking their results as gospel.

    • I have a similar situation with your 14% Jewish with FTDNA and 0 at 23andMe, but a bit opposite. FTDNA now shows me at 52% British Isles. Ancestry gives me <1%. Quite a margin of error…

  13. Well it seems like an April Fool’s joke to me! All of my grandparents’ results changed and some are just making me scratch my head. Every previous ethnicity estimator at 2 labs and tools at GedMatch detected Iberian Peninsula markers for my maternal grandfather. AncestryDNA even distantly matched him with a woman whose grandparents were all 4 born in the Azores. Now suddenly he has NO Iberian DNA?? This is so confusing!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  14. Interesting changes. They moved me from 4 regions (British Isles, Eastern Europe, Finland, and Central/Western Europe) to 3 (cut out Western Europe), upping my British Isles % by a lot and decreasing my Finnish % by about 5%. Interesting, seeing as I am far more German/Western European than British Isles, though as you point out it doesn’t mean much concretely.

    Also, I went from 100% European to 97%, but didn’t gain any % in any other regions. Still trying to figure out if this is some kind of error. All my percentages add up to 97 (including trace).

  15. This made me smile today. 99% European and 2% Trace Western Middle East. BUT I have a big question I can’t figure out. My father’s mother was one generation from Bern, Switzerland. Both her parents came in the 1880’s. His father was 50% Pennsylvania Dutch whose ancestors came to America in the late 1600’s early 1700’s from Switzerland. That makes him about 3/4 Swiss and giving me a large portion also…but no Swiss in my DNA only 8% Italian and 28% Eastern European. I mean…he knew his mother’s mother and father and they were both from Bern.? Can someone smarter than me explain this to me?

  16. Say, maybe Jessica Biel can upload her Ancestry DNA results to FTDNA to see if any Native American shows up now with the myOrigins 2.0. Better yet, she could submit a new DNA sample to FTDNA, and have her mtDNA tested.

  17. Interesting indeed !!! Percentages changed quite abit for myself, son, husband and sister. The biggest change was my Scandinavian. My paternal great grandpa came to the US in the 1880’s from Copenhagen. Before I had 11% and now have absolutely 0%. My sister had 17% and is now at 9%. I would think I would still have a little Scandinavian show up. I know we all get different pieces of DNA from our folks, so I quess sis is much more like dad than me. Thanks so much for all the time and effort you put in explaining the DNA world for those of us who are still on a huge learning curve. You are very appreciated.

  18. I have been checking the result just last night, wondering when we’ll get the new results, just a few hours too soon it seems. ^^;

    Nice to see we have the list of population with 0% of, it gives a better idea of what to rule out, or at least what is very improbable.

    So first, my father. He should be 98% French, the rest is Flemish, English, Basque and Penobscot:
    Old: 96% Western and Central Europe; 4% Asia Minor
    New: British Isles 41%; West and Central Europe 33%; Southeast Europe 24%
    <2%: Asia Minor; West Middle East; Oceania

    I guess they should rename the cluster "British Isles and Channel South Shores". A lot of these French ancestors are from Brittany, Normandy and Picardy. For Southeast Europe, they should extend the cluster to Marseilles I guess.

    The trace Asia Minor and West Middle East are from the South East Europe background noise since Antiquity, if not Neolithic I guess. As for Oceania? Maybe it came from the Penobscot?

    Can you add the Anzick boy's new my origin results? Maybe he'll have Oceania too.

    My mother should be 96% French, the rest is Scot, Austrian, Portuguese, Ojibwe, Algunquin and West Abenaki.

    Old: Southern Europe 41%; British Isles 36%; Western and Central Europe 18%; Finland and Northern Siberia 4%; Native American 1%.

    New: British Isles 47%; Iberia 29%; Southeast Europe 11%; West and Central Europe 11%.
    <2%: Finland; South America; Central Asia.

    I guess Northeast North America is a bit of terra incognita genetically. My father with his odd Oceania, my mother with her South America… Finland is still there, with Central Asia… Again, Anzick boy's result, please?

    Mine, about 97% French, with traces of Scot, Flemish, English, Basque, Austrian, Portuguese, Penobscot, Ojibwe, Algunquin and West Abenaki.

    Old: Western and Central Europe 48%; Southern Europe 40%; Finland and Northern Siberia 7%, Scandinavia 3%; Central Asia 2%; Asia Minor 1%.

    New: British Isles 58%; South East Europe 40%.
    <2%: West Middle East; North and Central America; South Central Asia

    I lost all my Western and Central Europe… o.O
    Probably converted into British Isles along with my Scandinavia and some of my Finland and Siberia percentage.

    The balance of the later became North and Central America, more fitting with my papertrail. Don't pause to the fact that neither of my parents have it. I guess with Oceania on one side and South America on the other, they just settle for midway with North and Central America… almost logical, almost.

    My Central Asia became South Asia, never mind that none of my parents have that one… Probably my mother's Central Asia I guess

    • Thinking this Oceania DNA a little bit more, my father has a Flanders Dutch navigator from Antwarpen… Maybe he wasn’t the first navigator in his family and maybe some spend quite a bit of time in Asia… enough to bring kids from a local woman?

      I need to investigate this more, with gedmatch to see whether there really is Oceania DNA, and with history books to see where and how dutch navigators could fit in.

      • I had 2% Oceanian when I did Geno 2.0, which was rather puzzling for someone who should be 50% German, 50% British Isles. And it never did show up with any of the other tests I did at 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or the old version of FTDNA. But after the update at FTDNA, I now show a trace of Oceanian again. I assume it’s pretty ancient. Either that or one of my grandmas way back was hanging around the docks and got acquainted with one of the mixed race sailors. Pre WWI there was a German colony on New Guinea. But I could never find a plausible connection between my German relatives and the New Guinea colony. Plus, it just seemed too recent for the trace I show.

    • I did some comparison with gedmatch admixture tool, my father really has some trace Oceania/Papua/Ancient South India… always more than his trace of Native American DNA.

      Comparing him to the Anzick boy and Kennewick man, my father has more, but the two ancients also have traces of Oceania.

      A quick google search taught me that Abel Tasman was surveying the North Australia shore a century before my Flemish navigator was born, and many other trips to then “New Holland” occurred starting from 1604.

      So both scenario are still possible, but it’s too soon to buy my father a boomerang. The Penobscot scenario is still more probable for the moment.

  19. Well for me this made matters much worse—glad to see some folks like it. My ANCETSRY & 23andMe results are pretty close. The new FTDNA results are off in left field.
    My old results from FTDNA
    93% EUROPEAN
    53% European Coastal Isles (shows British Isles)
    40% European Northlands (shows Scandinavian)
    5% CENTRAL SOUTH ASIAN
    5% Eurasian Heartland (shows Afghanistan)
    2% MIDDLE EASTERN
    2% Anatolia & Caucasus (shows Turkey)
    New Results

    99% European
    75% British Isles
    11% So Europe (You’ve got to be kidding)
    7% Finland (NONE in my tree back to the 1600’s)
    6 % Scandinavian (YES but one of my grandparents was 100% Swedish and Norwegian)
    <2% Oceania

    Okay here's my speculative from 23andme which is makes sense with my tree

    European 99.4%
    Northwestern European 93.6%
    British & Irish 36.4%
    Scandinavian 23.6%
    French & German 6.9%
    Broadly Northwestern European 26.8%
    Southern European 4.5%
    Balkan 2.2%
    Iberian 0.7%
    Broadly Southern European 1.6%
    Broadly European 1.2%
    Sub-Saharan African 0.6%
    West African 0.6%
    East Asian & Native American < 0.1%

    NO winner with the New My Origins here.

  20. Pretty much the same as before: If the estimates agree with your preconceptions (however they are founded) you are happy. If they don’t agree, you are unhappy and/or skeptical. 😉

  21. Recognizing the volatility of this new science and evaluating my results from multiple iterations at the big 3 vendors plus Gedmatch (still waiting for Living DNA results) and 30 years of paper research, I had felt the overall picture to date I got of my ethnicity was quite plausible.

    But, this step doesn’t seem to be much of a refinement at all and makes me question their reference populations. No need to go into minute details, beyond mentioning that my consistently substantial Western Europe category disappeared from sight and got split between British and Eastern Europe.

  22. Great post, thank you! I just had a friend email me last night who feels puzzled by the differences in her ethnicity estimates between companies. I think this and your earlier post, Ethnicity Testing – A Conundrum, are just the answers she needs.

  23. Bit sceptical about the new MyOrigins. I appreciate it is made up from autosomal DNA data but the vast majority of my ancestors over the previous 400 odd years are of Dutch, German or French descent. The previous version of MYOrigins reflected this.
    I have a very good paper trial to the mid 1600s and in some cases even back to the mid 1500s. Very hard to then believe that the Autosomal matches now places me in the British Isles group with a bit of Southeast Asia tacked on. The previous cluster around Denmark/Germany (which made sense) has disappeared
    Especially when my Y DNA is certainly pointing towards the Danish/German region as well.

    I do have Indian and African Ancestors so that tiny part makes sense

  24. Interesting my results show 54% british and 46% cent west europe
    what time frame is this?
    my ancestors who all hit australian in the early 1800s were 58% Irish and the rest English.
    Im guessing the european mix occured in the previous 100-300 years

  25. Well…….
    My old percentages were:
    31% Scandinavian
    25% British Isles
    25% Central/Western Europe
    19% Southern Europe

    My new percentages are:
    85% British Isles
    12% Sephardic Jewish
    >2% Eastern European

    I’m not even sure where to begin…. So I go from 31% Scandinavian to zero…. I go from 25% Central/Western Europe to zero…… I go from British Isles 25% to 85%…..
    I’m not saying the initial results were very accurate, but these new ones are just whacked. Based on my genealogy, on my father’s side I am conservatively 50% German (going back approximately 7 to 10 generations in the US. My mother is about 60% Irish and about 40% German/Swiss. Our Ancestry DNA results appear to be much much more accurate.

    • Also I am confused and am losing confidence. Lost 21% Irish, 5% Iberian, -3% North African, 1-5% from Caucus and Anatolia. Gained 8% Sephardic, 14% Scandinavian, 10% East European and others. It does not make sense to Me.

    • Similar change i’m now 84 percent British Isles,which is accurate.Other than Acadian french and a about 2 percent consistent native American a on all tests.(three known Micmacs in 7th gen and one 5th gen Chowanoke. Six percent Sephardic? Must have swam for it on on the Armada to Ireland.4 percent Eastern European

  26. As I said in my comment on your Facebook post, mine has improved! Finally picking up close to 100% British Isles like the paper trail on all my kits. Weird that the trace regions are so different though. The biggest shocker with the trace regions is that they’ve added 6% Jewish Diaspora to my mum’s test, which I suppose could be possible since I haven’t had any cousin matches on her paternal line but still a massive shock since it hasn’t come up with any other testing companies and doesn’t reflect the known trail.

  27. I’m saddened, very much so. I feel as though I might have been better of staying with Ancestry’s lumped sum ethnicity and saved myself some grief and $$. I feel like I’ve lost all my ancient DNA. I was: 48% European, of which 31% was Euro Northlands,/ Scandinavian 31%/ No. Mediterranean Basin/Iberian/Spanish 10%, Jewish Diaspora 42%/ Middle Eastern 10%, of that, 5% Anatolian (Turkey) and lastly, 5% Eastern Afroasiatic (Egypt).

    Now I show me at: Middle Eastern 0% (with less than 2% Asia Minor). European at 44%, of which is British Isles 32% and East Europe 5% , South East Europe at 7% Finland (WT???) – 2% also not counted -2% Iberia. Jewish Diaspora 51% instead of their 42% on previous charts. And all Ashkenazi, no Sephardic, but not surprised since that’s never been said.

    On the Ancient tab, it’s misc. gobbly gook since It means little to nothing to me now. At least Ancestry breaks out our Irish!. I’m with Brett on this one. Puzzled. Confused. I hereby refuse to accept this. Glad I did screen captures of the previous changes. No one ever said I had Finish DNA, that is a new one and one I cannot find in my tree. How any of this helps my mtDNA, is now completely useless to me, along with my medical report that said I have the Ancient Viking Gene. Oh well. I’ve sent 25 pple to FTDNA in the last year, I’d better let them know that what I explained to them then, as it may likely be wrong.

  28. I cannot thank you enough for your newsletter/information/explanation! Without you I would be totally lost. Thank you again.

  29. It looks weighted to much British Isles. My mother (German ancestry on all sides going back 200 years) has 61% British. I am now 80% British, the correct amount is about 25%. Ancestry gives me only trace amounts British. even though I have all these British colonials on the family trees.

  30. Wow, was very surprised to see my husbands colonial roots came up 11% British Isles. 19% Iberia and Surprise it showed 14% Ashkenazi Jewish, that was new to us.

  31. Continued garbage. I have traced all my ancestry back to into the 18th century into Germany – Yes, 100%. FTDNA has me as 63% British and 0% Western European. This is not improvement, just reinforcement of what some of you already know or hoped for. This is not science by any stretch of the imagination.

  32. ‘Curiouser and curiouser!” Cried Alice.

    My paper tree shows about 25% Swedish (Swedish grandfather) , about 50% English and Irish (mostly Colonial New England) and the rest Swiss, German, and French.

    The 2014 MyOrigins showed
    European 100%
    European Coastal Plain 68%
    European Northlands 25%
    European Circumpolar 4%
    European Coastal Islands 3%

    97% European and 3% Trace Middle East
    British Isles 86%
    Finland 5%
    West and Central Europe 3%
    Scandinavia 3%

    Admixture should be taken with a giant grain of salt. IMHO

  33. Very disappointed with the new iteration of ancestry breakdown. My entire Scandinavian heritage has been wiped out! Previously it showed I think 18% Scandinavian (which I think was a little high; but then, wasn’t FTDNA criticized previously for being too high on that end?). Well, for me, it’s now gone to the other extreme. One of my grandparents was Danish, and I have many Danish and Norwegian genetic matches. My Scandinavian component has always been reasonably high on all of the platforms. I found it to be rather shocking. I know everything is only an estimate, but still! Makes me rather skeptical of the other breakdowns as well.

  34. Roberta, I’m glad the new my origins is working for you. Some of my family have gained British Isles and others have lost it, yet we are all British!

    Me:

    Was: 84% West and Central Europe, 10% British Isles, 6% Finland
    Now: 68% British Isles, 12% Scandinavia, 12% SE Europe, 5% E Europe, 3% Central Asia

    My mother:

    Was: 38% British Isles, 37% Scandinavia, 24% S Europe, 2% Middle East
    Now: 91% British Isles, 3% E Europe, 4% Sephardi Jewish, <2% S+Cent Asia, <2% SE Europe

    My father:

    Was: 78% British Isles, 10% E Europe, 7% S Europe, 2% Finland
    Now: 78% W+Central Europe, 10% Scandinavia, 7% E Europe, 4% British Isles, <2% Finland, <2% Cent Asia

    My paternal grandmother:

    Was: 75% British Isles, 10% Scandinavia, 7% E Europe, 8% Middle East
    Now: 47% British Isles, 21% SE Europe, 17% Scandinavia, 15% W+Central Europe

    The first 2 kits were tested at FTDNA and the second 2 were transfers.

  35. love the new results, ancestry dna has me at 87% British isles but my origins was 37% British isles, 27% scandinavian & 25% western and central europe also 4% iberian, now: 81% British isles, 9% iberia and 8% east europe. 23 & me has me at 60% British & Irish , 18% French & German & 19% unconfirmed : (broadly northwestern european) am also trying the new kid on the block: Living dna for more precise breakdown of English dna

  36. I’m assuming there can be false positives here too. Both of my brothers show trace regions that my parents don’t show. How closely should children’s results match with their parents’ results?

    My dad went from 51% British Isles to 99% which is more in line with his Ancestry estimate of 90%. He lost a lot of European diversity though we know his great-grandfather was Palatinate German.

    My mom gained British Isles (11%) and Southeast Europe (13%) and lost Asia Minor (7%). Her brother gained West/Central Europe (30%) which matches her current estimate of 30% (down from 41%). He also lost Asia Minor (4%).

    I recommend taking screen shots of results, dating them and saving them for comparisons to changes down the road.

  37. Not sure what to make of this new update. Some of it seems to make sense. Other parts…not so much. I had my mom tested back around Christmas through Ancestry and transferred results to FTDNA. Both sites, as well as Gedmatch, are all in agreement that she is not very ethnically diverse. She’s pretty solidly British Isles/Scandinavia/Western Europe, which jives fairly well with what is known from traditional genealogy. Family oral history says there is Native American and she does have some trace Asian elements, which I suppose could translate into Native.

    I am more admixed than my mom, so presumably that comes mostly from my dad’s side. Ancestry and Gedmatch show me to have Native Ancestry, in small percentages, but greater than my mom’s and identified specifically as Native American – not “Asian, open for interpretation”. The FTDNA update has identified the Native American, as well, and in similar amounts to the other sites. Ancestry shows me to have North African ancestry, but when I put my results into Gedmatch, all of their different applications indicated pretty consistently that I have sub-Saharan admixture. Again, the new FTDNA update agrees with this. Though the Native American and African categories only contain trace amounts for specific regions, together the two account for 5% of my DNA. Genealogically, this was all news to me, but most of the gaps in my tree are on my dad’s side, so they could contain anything, and all of these DNA analytics are in fairly close agreement.

    Where things get farther afield with the new myOrigins classifications is with the European ancestry categories. They say I’m 14% Southeast European, which seems hard to believe, considering that my ancestors have all been here since Colonial times and there is no evidence of any Greek, or Balkan, ancestors. Also, I’m now showing 3% Sephardic Jewish. Ancestry shows me with an abnormally high amount of Iberian and FTDNA shows no Iberian, so maybe there really is Sephardic. Since, FTDNA allegedly has the largest database of Jewish DNA, I’d like to think that there is some accuracy to at least the results related to Jewish ethnicity. On the other hand, skimming through these comments, it appears that a lot of people have suddenly developed Jewish ancestry with this update. Kind of reminds me of that silly book about Melungeons where the lady claimed that half of the American South was populated by conversos.

    The best I can determine is that I am more ethnically mixed, albeit in relatively small percentages, than I had previously known, but none of these DNA companies are capable of accurately deciphering it quite yet.

  38. One thing they have managed to do is to pick up the small amount of Native American ancestry of my five brothers and sisters and me, and my daughter. 23andMe shows percentages ranging from 1.7% to 2.0% for the sibling group, and 1.4% for my daughter, so the two companies are now — sort of — in agreement. (Of course, reporting all trace amounts as “<2%" ignores the fact that there really is a difference between 0.1% and 1.9%, especially when multiple people are involved, so I'd have much preferred actual numbers.)

    Previously, the only family member for which MyOrigins reported any Native American ancestry was my brother Curt, at 1%. They also reported "Northeastern Asia" at 2% for my brother Bernie and sister CJ, and at 1% for my sister Luci and me.

  39. I think others have said it, but I also believe they’re over-reporting “British Isles” at the expense of German ancestry (under whatever category they may appear). For example, my father is about half and half British and German, yet the updated MyOrigins reports him as 76% German.

    Of course, the “old” MyOrigins wasn’t particularly helpful where my father is concerned, either. It reported his ancestry as “100% Southern, Western & Central Europe”.

  40. Hi! Just got the autosomal results from MyHeritage.:Europa 96,5%,North and West Europe 52,9%,Finland,British and Irish 10,7%,East Europe 43,6%,South Asia 2,1%(Indo-Aryan,Dravidian,Sino-Tibetans.) East Africa 1,4% Somali.

  41. I was puzzled by my former My Origins results and am baffled by my new ones. Before, I was allegedly 100% European – despite being mtDNA J, which is Middle Eastern, no? – and it was made up of 63% British Isles, 32% Western & Central Europe and 5% Finland & Northern Siberia (I loved that bit!). Now, I am 96% European, made up of 52% British Isles, 33% Scandinavian, 11% Iberian, 3% Sephardic Jewish (?), with Trace Results West Middle East <2%. I can understand minor differences arising from changes in how geographical origins are defined, but to lose Finland & Northern Siberia and gain Sephardic Jewish is beyond my ken.

    Harry

  42. Very surprised. 2.0 now shows me at 81% British isles. My paper trail shows 40% English/Welsh/Scottish and 22% Irish. 23andme has me at 57% B.I. Really the kicker is 2.0 only shows my mother at 40% B.I. (25%English/31%Irish on paper) and my father at 17% B.I. (54%English/13%Irish on paper).

    May be good to throw out my father’s British isles went to Iberia, not west/central Europe. He is 30% German and 2% Swiss on paper and 2.0 has him as 32% west/central.

    So is it possible that I’m 80%+? Yes. But if so no other admix calculator has indicated that and 2.0 did not detect it in my parents.

  43. I call hogwash. A lot of bull hockey shows up on my family members. Where do they get my sister’s West Middle East? The other 4 close family member don’t show anything close to that. But big example is my husband. His paperwork shows mostly British with a hefty dose of Western and Central Europe. I guess his Dutch shows as European on dna tests. But the new Origins have 87% British, 10% East Europe, <2 Central Asia, and <2 West Middle East. Where is the French and German that used to be there and is definitely his genetics? And how far back in ancient times is that Central Asian and West Middle Eastern? Did they test ancient bones?
    The whole thing makes no sense.

    • Cyndye. My new myOrigins breakdown is also badly skewed. It’s as if it’s just based on the last 500 years. And the trace DNA is from when – 10,000 years ago?

      As you say – hogwash.

    • The GG sites offer predictions based upon statistical models and they are also presented for maximum entertainment value to impress and please their subscribers.They are competing for their latest presentation of “eye candy”, because it is attractive, and it sells. It’s mostly hogwash, presented as “eye candy”, usually cloaked in fancy colorful charts and graphs.
      When some accept it and agree with what they see, without questioning it, they applaud it as being “science”. It’s telling them what they want to believe, as they want to trust and believe in something that is being presented as fact. But even a broken clock can be correct twice daily, as is also a fact. When customers find that the predictions made are not accurate or are incorrect, from knowing their family history and through having done other research, they point out the deficiencies of the model, and realize that the Emperor’s New Clothes are not entirely real.

      But it’s very difficult to convince the masses who implicitly believe what they are being told by official GG websites, as they usually have no evidence to the contrary. It’s hard to convince them that the Emperor is often marching around naked, pretending to be clothed – or is often blowing smoke, and laughing all the way to the bank.

  44. Three Comments:
    1) My mom is well documented back 9 generations 50% Irish (paternal) and 50% Ukrainian (maternal). Her results reflect that roughly: 36%Eastern Europe+4%Southeastern Europe = 40%, and 51% British Isles. However, I have only 5% British Isles, and 50% Western/Central Europe. Therefore I think that FTDNA’s estimates cannot resolve very well between British and Western European DNA, and the two get confused together. Not surprising since geographically they are so close together.

    2) Some of the DNA they are measuring here can be thousands of years old, and not within the genealogical timeframe. No one of us can say with certainty where our ancestors were in the year 1000 AD. Thus you should not be terribly surprised if a significant percentage >10% of something surprising shows up in your estimate.

    3) These types of empirical comparisons are just notoriously dependent on the reference panel. And for most companies you can qualify to be on the reference panel if your grandparents were documented back to one region. Therefore, to expect that these kinds of tests will match our paper trails is expecting the impossible – they are not designed to do that. Take them as seriously as the designs in the foam on your morning cappuccino.

  45. This latest version of MyOrigins leaves me with a lot of doubt about the validity of the software/processing involved in the change over. Last fall I had my husband, two children, two grandchildren and 5 siblings tested and because of their interest in the ethnicity section (easiest part to understand of course — theoretically) I took screen shots of all of their MyOrigin results so that they had a hard copy of their own. After receiving your blog yesterday I took another set of screen shots of the new results to compare. The most eggregious example was for my 14yr old grandaughter.
    Previously, she was:
    Old % New%

    British Isles – 33% 0 %
    Scandinavia – 18% 0%
    Eastern Europe (Poland /Germ.) 18% 10%
    Ashkenazi Jewish 20% 15%
    Asia Minor (Turkey) 10% 0%

    Change added:
    West & Central Europe (Center-Switzerland, France, Ger., Netherlands) 73%
    Central Asia – (New Delhi, India) 0% 2%

    My Question: How can a grandchild of grandparents with 93% British (me) and 18% British + 26% Scandinavian (D) and a mother (our daughter) with 50% British and 24% Scandinavian not have even a trace amount of either British or Scandinavian DNA????

  46. Relating to my prior comment above, since you indicated the data used for this result was autosomal rather that Y or Mitochondrial DNA leads me to believe that we are talking about perhaps 7 generations back not the origin of thousands of years back that the Y & MtDNA results report. Consequently, many genealogists can provide the paper trail back that many generations to verify these statistical results or not, but those without such confirming data should be warned.

  47. What would you make of the following West and Central Europe percentage for the daughter (me), given the parental myOrigins percentages shown? Are the other European/British Isles markers mixing in such a way to look West European in my test? Is that possible to this degree. If not, there could be some problems with the algorithm. My brother’s percentages make sense with my parents’. (Middle East showing up, but he also shows the Sephardic trace, so that is not unreasonable.)

    Daughter: 57% British Isles
    12% East Europe
    <2% Scandinavia
    3% Southeast Europe
    27% West and Central Europe

    Father: 70% British Isles
    6% East Europe
    12% Scandinavia
    3% Southeast Europe
    9% Iberia

    Mother: 84% British Isles
    9% East Europe
    6% Southeast Europe
    <2% Sephardic

    Son: 86% British Isles
    8% East Europe
    3% Southeast Europe
    2% East Middle East
    <2% Sephardic

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