The long-awaited myOrigins update from Family Tree DNA is finally here – and it’s a big improvement. FTDNA has clearly been working hard since their announcement of an upcoming update last year to bring a much improved product to users.
Ethnicity reports are one of the most popular features of DNA testing for genealogy because they provide users with a quick look at where their ancestors may have come from (in some cases within a relatively recent genealogical time frame). While these reports are far from 100% accurate – and should only be considered one tool among many when examining your past – they can provide valuable insights. Plus, they are just a lot of fun.
The myOrigins update released this week includes increased population clusters (24), allowing FTDNA to give you a more specific estimation of your genetic past. In addition, they have now included a section called Trace Results that shows percentages under 2% – something they avoided in the past. This means that smaller percentages that may have been missing from your report before will now be cautiously listed for your review.
I did notice that some percentages in my own results (that were previously included with the main percentage breakdown) have now been placed in the Trace category and labeled as less than 2%. This is good thing since smaller percentages can be misleading and require more care when examining. Below is a look at the new report from my own DNA test. I have included what my results looked like before the update at the end.
New myOrigins Report Landing Page
New myOrigins Ethnic Makeup Breakdown
View of New Results on the Map
My Previous myOrigins Results
As you can see, quite a bit of new information has been added and several clusters have been tweaked and changed. This information now matches much more closely with my genealogy research. After reviewing other test results on FTDNA I am seeing more accurate and specific results across the board.
Of course, there are bound to be some problems, as with any report of this sort, but this is definitely a big step up for Family Tree DNA.
Remember, you should never take ethnicity results from any company at face value. These estimates are created by comparing your DNA to the DNA from limited population clusters around the world and, therefore, can only provide a certain level of accuracy. Use results as one element of your ongoing family history research to gain the best understanding of your family’s past.
If you’ve tested with FTDNA or uploaded your results to their system from another company then you may want to head to the Family Tree DNA site now and see what your new results can tell you.
If you have not yet tested you can get a Family Finder test from FTDNA that includes these results right here. Please note that Family History Daily is an affiliate of FTDNA and may receive a portion of the cost of any tests you purchase through this link. However, I should say that I have been using FTDNA for nearly a decade and have always loved their services and the accountability they have shown their users.
You can compare all four main DNA testing providers in our recent comparison guide or learn more about DNA for genealogy in our course. We provide simple step-by-step lessons to help you get tested and make sense of your results.
We also encourage you to check out DNAeXplained by Roberta Estes to learn more about using DNA testing for genealogy. She has a fascinating site.
~ Melanie Mayo, Family History Daily Editor