FamilyTreeDNA’s myOrigins Version 3 Rollout

As the fall leaves change colors and people are turning more to inside activities, FamilyTree DNA began rolling out MyOrigins version 3 today.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that everyone is trying to sign on at the same time, so the system is quite slow right now. Maybe that’s actually good news too because it means people are interested AND maybe they will take this opportunity to add trees and link matches if they have not already done so!

What’s Happening?

Yesterday, the following email was sent to group project administrators.

If you’d like to view the list of all populations reported, click here.

The Rollout

I really like the process of prioritizing people who have signed in most recently. They are clearly the most interested in their results.

If you’re wondering if your results have been updated, sign on to your account. Look at your messages to the left of your Autosomal DNA Results.

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If you don’t see this message, then you have the new MyOrigins 3 results, so simply click on MyOrigins.

More Results Coming

Not only are more people going to be receiving results soon, but additional features will be released over time:

  • Population-based chromosome painting, including trace amounts less than 1%. I expect this feature will be released after everyone has received updated results – but that’s my assumption – not from FTDNA.
  • Some people may receive additional population trace amounts not reported in this initial release to facilitate chromosome painting – so check back every couple weeks to see if your results have changed.

My Results

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I have multiple kits at Family Tree DNA – one tested there and one from Ancestry that I use when I write about twins and siblings. Ancestry uses a different chip when processing their DNA tests, and my results at FamilyTreeDNA are somewhat different for the two tests. Keep in mind that the two tests test some of the same locations, but not all.

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I have a 23andMe test I could upload as well. I may do that, simply to compare results, especially since 23andMe also shows my Native segments. Once Family Tree DNA releases their ethnicity chromosome painting, I’ll want to see if the tests report the same locations.

My Comparison

My British Isles are much more specific now. Much of my genealogy from the British Isles is somewhat ambiguous. I know positively that some lines are from there – just not exactly where.

Trace amounts do not contribute to the totals. I wasn’t sure quite how to handle this since we don’t know how much the trace amount actually is – and if it’s noise in some cases.

Here’s the comparison of the four major vendors and their current results, above and below.

I can’t discern the exact amount of Native, although it’s clearly small. I know it’s present and not noise because I’ve proven these segments to the ancestors whose Y and mitochondrial DNA prove their Native origins.

Furthermore, MyOrigins3 essentially matches my Native segments at 23andMe. I know this because I was fortunate enough to have had that sneak peek earlier this year when MyOrigins3 was in beta. You can take a look at Dr. Maier’s presentation about MyOrigins3, here.

Population-based chromosome painting is coming for everyone after the MyOrigins3 rollout is complete. No, I couldn’t pry a more specific date out of anyone😊

How Can Ethnicity Help Your Genealogy?

By clicking on the Shared Origins tab, you can see a list of your matches that have some of the same populations and locations. Of course, this doesn’t mean that your match is because of that population, or within that population, but it does provide you with a place to start – especially if the population is a minority population to you – like my Native American.

I can view the list of my Shared Origins matches, view our matching segments in the chromosome browser to see how we triangulate and share matches with others – hopefully identifying our common ancestor.

In my case, I’ve also painted my known matches at DNAPainter, so most of my segments map to an ancestral line. I compare segment with a specific match to my identified segments at DNAPainter and I’ll probably be able to determine if our matching segment could be assigned that ethnicity by identifying the ancestral line.


You all know the caveats I always preach, right?

  • Ethnicity is only an estimate!
  • Just because you don’t show a specific ethnicity doesn’t mean you don’t have that heritage.
  • You don’t inherit exactly half of the DNA of your ancestors. In fact, you may or may not inherit anything measurable from any specific ancestor(s) several generations back in time.
  • Small amounts of ethnicity can be noise.
  • You cannot have an ethnicity that neither of your parents have, although it may be named as something else from the same region. Chromosome painting will help unravel this immensely.
  • Did I mention that ethnicity is only an estimate?


Now for some much-needed levity

I had forgotten about this, but today, my friend mentioned that this is his favorite ad ever. Yes, an ad. It’s well worth the watch – only a minute or so and I guarantee, it will make you laugh out loud!!!

Go Thor!!!!!!



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33 thoughts on “FamilyTreeDNA’s myOrigins Version 3 Rollout

  1. FYI – I logged into one kit that I manage and “my origins” shows as “undefined”. All ethnicities show 0% when clicking on the actual “my origins” tab next to “shared origins”. I am hoping this kit is in the middle of roll out and it is not a bug. It is a kit that I log onto frequently.

    • I had the same problem 100% British Isles when I transferred – not accurate either

      It does not match known ancestry or what is reported on other sites

      Maybe that is what you get with a DNA transfer over a holiday weekend

      Do DNA transfers also get an update?

      Maybe things will look better if I get an update – don’t know

  2. Am I the only one who finds the inclusion of southern England, France, Germany, Denmark, southern Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, most of Czechia and western Poland in a “Central Europe” population cluster a bit difficult to understand? My results from myOrigins 3.0 don’t match well with what I know about my genealogy, but neither do my estimates from Ancestry, MyHeritage, 23andMe, yet alone what NatGeno 3.0+ gave me. I’m thinking my admixture is so complex that none of these tools does well at unraveling it. I am, however, looking forward to the population-based chromosome painting feature.

    • Earlier today I was able to access my myOrigins 3.0 results. Now I see the “Your myOrigins version 3 results will be available in 3-4 weeks” message and when I click on the myOrigins button it gives me a blank page. I log in to my account every day, so I should be among the first to get them. Luckily, I took a screenshot of the new results so it’s not a big deal, but I will be interested if anything changes between my “first look” and the “real thing,” whenever that comes.

  3. While I wait 🙂 – do you know from what public and private databases their “population clusters” are derived? When I access the list through your link, all I see are the locations, not the sources, eg.
    Americas contains the following Population Clusters:

    Amerindian – Amazon
    Amerindian – Andes & Caribbean
    Amerindian – Argentina & Chile
    Amerindian – Central & South Mexico
    Amerindian – Central America
    Amerindian – North America
    Amerindian – North Mexico
    Amerindian – Yucatan Peninsula

    (How one can connect the Andes with the Caribbean I have no clue)

    I hope they’re not still using the woefully outdated and much-criticized Human Genome Diversity Project that led me to think 16 years ago I was Orcadian. (HGDP used just 16 samples from the Orkneys to represent the entire British Isles)

    • my grandma’s amerindian in myorigins 2.0 was 43-45%(depending whether or not you count the 2% northeast asia in the total) but on my origins 3.0 she only has 35% central/south mexico, and they completely got rid of her west african %’s and upped her spanish by almost 20%

  4. I’m on vacation so I won’t be able to check my updated ethnicity until I’m back home.

    How many Jewish groups are in My Origins 3.0?

    The newly updated Central Europe group looks similar to Ancestry ‘s Germanic Europe group.

  5. I have 5 kits. To 3 the MyOrigin site remains empty and to 2 it says “undefined undefined” 😉 But I am sure soon the results will come. I have been super angry about how much better, with the same price, version 2.0 serves us with European ancestry than it did my husband and his mother with Indian ancestry. What a great shame to bundle one billion people into ethnic category “Northern South Asian”.

  6. Hi Roberta, what do yo mean with “incorrect”? that same happened to me. I was able to see my results for my entire family even with this message on. But when i checked again the “your results will..” message remains but the actual page is in blank. I know that you are not FTDNA but any help will be appreciated. (i think that everyone is very excited.. 🙂 ) Thanks in advanced.

    • I meant that I’m hearing reports that some people have that message but also have the updated results. I’m just saying to check the actual results page.

  7. I hate to sound negative on FTDNA, as I appreciate all they do with Y-DNA, STRs, projects, etc, but their My Origins has only gotten worse, at least as far as my own results, compared not just with other companies, but with their own versions going back to 2005. It’s so far from proven genealogy that I question how scientifically-based it can be.

    27% Scandinavian ? When not one ancestor hails from there and 23andMe shows less than 1%; only 8% from Great Britain (England plus Scotland) when a majority of my colonial American ancestry is from either England or Scots-Irish. They lump France into Central Europe, together with Germany and other countries, when most people, such as the commenter above, would truly wish to see these countries separately. And of course no Native American as they fail to test to that low threshold, while 23andMe can and does. FTDNA might as well go back to listing just continents and forget about country separation.

    Sorry, but I had to comment on my results. I’ll again reiterate my preference for 23andMe when it comes to ethnicity tests.

  8. I’m really confused about being 31% Magyar. I have three 3rd to distant DNA relatives on MyHeritage from Hungary with 0.1 to 0.2% shared DNA, they appear to be Jewish, and well, I do suspect trace Jewish ancestry, but 31% Magyar (which seems to be hunter-gatherers who settled in Hungary) seems high. My European grandparents were from Madeira, Portugal and Bogota, Colombia (and this one came from a long line of Spaniards). I don’t know which side the Hungarian matches are on though I think it may be through my Spanish grandmother because they do have a few matches with Spanish surnames. However, my best guess is instead of seeing me as 50% Iberian it has broken it up into various regions and this particular entry is coming from both sides, not one. I do think the 7% Basque and 9% Irish must be through my Spanish grandmother (she was part Galician), but apart from that I think a lot of Iberian just ended up being read as Magyar for me. And I still have 10% Iberian Peninsula showing up.

  9. My info updated. What a surprise! I have 14% Iberian Peninsula… That hasn’t come up in the other tests I have done. 85% Great Britain I can believe, but not Iberian Peninsula; doesn’t match what genealogy I have been able to research. Unless, it is coming from my maternal side. My maternal Great Grandmother is from SE Kentucky and was said to be full blooded “Native American”…not. What would “Melungeon” DNA look like??

      • I and my mom both have a small percentage of African showing up. Originally, 23 And Me had a small amount of Native American showing up also, but that has disappeared.

        • What does the new Shared Origins tab show? One of my two sisters shows up under Shared Origins. The sister who doesn’t show up under Shared Origins is my strongest match of all. I’m puzzled about why. Also, is there a way for me to look up the ethnicity mix of my matches, like I can with Ancestry and My Heritage?

          In My Origins 2, I had 1% East Central African and 99% Ashkenazi Jewish, but in My Origins 3, the trace African ancestry has disappeared. I have two Family Finder matches with roots in that region (Sudan and Ethiopia/Somalia). The Sudan match also has some Jewish ancestry.

          • She has to opt in to shared origins but going to that page. You’re only shown your common origins with that person. You can’t see the populations that aren’t shared.

  10. My first impression was…well this is interesting. I know a little about the different %s found around British Isles, so this doesn’t really change much. Depending on how you slice and dice the groups that have influenced the British Isles – or where the British have left their DNA, I still get roughly the same %s of what i expect can be associate with the British Isles. There was some minor gene flow to the British Isles from Southern Europe and some more from Iberia to England and Southern Ireland.

    Its not like the big change from V1 to V2. But at least the Finnish still shows up.

    I’ve added comments in parentheses.

    Western Europe
    Great Britain , 52% (No surprise)
    Ireland , 18% (What? Myheritage has me at 11% Irish, Scottish, welsh)
    Scandinavia, 15% (uh – they settled on northern England, south Scotland, and the east coast?)
    Southern Europe
    Sardinia , 4% (New details!)
    Malta & Italy, <2% (less?)
    Baltic – Baltic, 5% (No surprise)
    Finnish-Finland 3% (The Finnish just won’t go away)
    Mizrahi Jewish <1% (Somewhat surprised. I get ashkenazi 5% at my heritage )

    European,British Isles,69
    European,East Europe,10
    European,Southeast Europe,9
    Trace Results,Finland,2.071
    Trace Results,West Africa,<1
    Trace Results,Asia Minor,<2

    Central Europe – Switzerland 97%
    Finnish Siberian – 3%

  11. The result for my accounts came a few days ago, but now I have the time to check it in detail. First thing, all my accounts are French Canadian, and version 3 is much more accurate than version 2 was. More into the details:

    On paper, I’m 97% French, the rest is less than 1 % each: Scot, Flemish, English, Swiss, Portuguese, Austrian, Penobscot, Algonquin, Abenaki and Nipissing.
    Version1 was 48% Western and Central Europe, 40%Southern Europe, 7% Finland and North Siberia, 3% Scandinavia, 2% Central Asia and 1% Asia Minor.
    Version 2 was 58% British Islands, 40% South East Europe, with traces for North and Central America, South Central Asia and West Middle East.
    Version 3 is 94% Central Europe, 3% Sardinia, 2% Greece and Balkans, traces for Baltic and Central and South Mexico

    my father
    On paper, he’s 98% French, the rest is Flemish, English, Swiss and Penobscot.
    Version 1 was 96% Western and Central Europe and 4% Asia minor
    Version 2 was 41% British Islands, 33% West and Central Europe, 24% Southeast Europe, with traces for Asia Minor, West Middle East and Oceania.
    Version 3 is 94% Central Europe and 6% Scandinavia.

    my paternal grand-mother
    On paper, almost 100% French, with one English ancestor over 10 generation back
    version 1, she wasn’t tested yet
    version 2 was 70% British Islands, 18% Southeast Europe, 6% East Europe, 6% Sepharadic Jew and traces of Middle East
    version 3 is 71% Central Europe, 10% Great Britain, 7% Basque, 6% Italian Peninsula, 2% Malta and Sicily, 2% West Slavic, with traces of Scandinavia and Mizrahi Jew

    my mother
    On paper, she’s 96% French, with less than 1% each for Scot, Swiss, Portuguese, Austrian, Algonquin, Abenaki and Nipissing.
    version 1, she was 41% Southern Europe, 36% British Isles, 18% Western and Central Europe, 4% Finland and Northern Siberia, 1% Native American.
    version 2 was 47% British Isles, 29% Iberia, 11% Southeast Europe, 11% West and Central Europe, with traces of Finland, South America and Central Asia.
    version 3 is 67% Central Europe, 27% Ireland, 4% Sardinia, with traces of Finland and North Mexico.

    my maternal uncle
    Like his sister, on paper, he is 96% French, with less than 1% each for Scot, Swiss, Portuguese, Austrian, Algonquin, Abenaki and Nipissing.
    version 1, he was not tested yet
    version 2 was 86% West and Central Europe, 11% British Isles, with traces from East Europe and Finland.
    version 3 is 68% Central Europe, 18% Ireland, 13% Iberian Peninsula, then traces for Baltic, Amazon and North Mexico.

    As you see we have more Central Europe and less British Isles, which fit better for my accounts. My mother and uncle have a good amount of Ireland, I would guess it’s part Scot and part Brittany as they have many ancestors from there. The traces of Balkan and Finland could be Amerindian, as these seems still quite wild. Amazon and Mexico for ancestors I know were from the Northeast North America.. Although, with traces amount, it may be impossible to be more accurate. Scandinavia is probably North Eastern France, Normandy, Picardy and the like. Iberian Peninsula, Sardinia, Greece and Balkans, Mizrahi Jew are probably Southern France Neolithic background noise and population movement since Greek colonies to modern times.

    Overall, this version is more satisfying. Just one downer, my father’s trace of Ameridian DNA doesn’t show up, even though I can see segments when I compare him with the Anzick boy on gedmatch. He also had trace Oceania last time and I see it with the different calculator on gedmatch, I wonder in which region it went. I guess, with the new chromosome browser, trances of ancestry which did materialize into segment were melt into their surrounding ethncity.

  12. Hmm. Can’t say that I’m too impressed by the update. Of course, it’s difficult to know what ancestral ingredients I don’t know about, which is a significant part of the reason for doing these tests. That being said, this update has only drifted farther from what is known about my ancestry through traditional historical and genealogical information. I have autosomal ethnicity predictions from 6 different sources. Unsurprisingly, the all differ to varying degrees, but FTDNA and MyHeritage have done the poorest job of accuracy, relative to what is known of my ancestry. FTDNA, unfortunately, just got worse.

    I do appreciate the work they do with Y-DNA and mtDNA, but I have the impression that their autosomal data is not a high priority for them. It is my understanding that FTDNA has one of the world’s largest, if not the largest, database of Jewish DNA. Most of the opinions I have read over the years have cited FTDNA as the most accurate for Jewish genetics. I assumed this was true until the current update. My previously reported Sephardic ancestry disappeared completely and was not replaced by anything that seems particularly close. So, which was wrong, the old estimate, or the new? And if they are supposed to be the leading authority on Jewish DNA, shouldn’t this have been the one ethnicity of the bunch that I could have expected to be most accurate?

    I am anxiously awaiting my Big Y results and currently have the 111 marker results and full sequence mtDNA. If I had to do it over, though, I’m not sure I’d spend the money on an autosomal test with FTDNA.

  13. I seem to remain 100% Skandinavian according to FTDNA which fits since I am born and live in Sweden with almost only Swedish Ancestry . AncestryDNA and My Heritage DNA however differentiate my scandinavian DNA a bit more.

  14. Any specificity rolled away with this version. Version 3 stripped away all detail leaving me as white as white can be…Central European. Three competitors show my France, Iberian Peninsula, Native American, Arctic / or East Asian all of which are in the family tree I had uploaded. All earlier versions of FTDNA did show the Native American, at least.

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