06 May 2014

Family Tree DNA: myOrigins Replaces Population Finder

Family Tree DNA is launching its new version of Population Finder which provides percentages of your ancestral origins and is termed myOrigins.  It will be available to everyone who has taken the Family Finder test or who has transferred from other autosomal databases in a few days.  The feature will in beta testing for now.  As with any major change, beta testing is necessary in order to find all the hidden bugs, so have patience and report any problems you see using the e-mail provided (myorigins@familytree.com) until the support staff is ready for your questions until the official launch. 

GAPs can view now!
At the moment the project administrators can sign into their GAP pages and click on the link in the upper left to get familiar with the myOrigins functions.  GAPs will see a myOrigins column in their Members Reports page for those who have taken the Family Finder Test. Autosomal transfers will be able to view their myOrigins shortly.

Regions and Population Clusters
Thirty-six reference populations and 1,353 samples were used to establish the seven main regions which are divided into a total of 18 clusters. Everyone is assigned to a cluster and given your percentage breakdown.  A full-screen world map shows your particular clusters down to 1%.  The map can be dragged in the desired direction for viewing all portions.

Although you receive all your population clusters, your matches only see what is shared with you up to three clusters.  There is also a link to “opt-out” of sharing your myOrigins information, if you wish.

            European Coastal Islands
            European Coastal plains
            European Northlands
            North Circumpolar
            North Mediterranean Basin
            Trans-Ural Peneplain
Middle Eastern
            Anatolian Crossroads
            Eastern Afroasiatic
            North African Coastlands
Jewish Diaspora
            Easter African Pastoralists
            Kalahari Basin
            Niger-Congo Genesis
Central/South Asian
Eurasian Northeast
East Asian Coastal Islands
New World
            Bering Expansion

Exploring the myOrigins World Map
In the upper left of the world map is your percentages for each region.  By clicking on that region, either on the name of it or the small dot to the left of the bar graph, you can see the various clusters you match within that region. The smaller the percentage you have for a cluster, the lighter the shade of the given color.  If you are European and you click on the bar, you may see European Coastal Islands, North Mediterranean Basin and North Circumpolar.  You can only open one region at a time; however, the link Expand All below the bar graphs allows you to see all at the same time.  Clusters shown in gray are other regions that were not expanded in your chosen view. (All screen shots from FTDNA's webinar, 5 May 2014)

On this world map (see above), there is a chart in the lower left.  On this chart are two tabs: SHARED ORIGINS and MY ANCESTRAL HISTORY. 

SHARED ORIGINS lists the columns:  Names, Relation and up to three cluster areas shared by you and your match.  The chart has a filter which is the same on the Matches and Chromosome Browser pages for your autosomal test.  Speculative matches are not included, however. You can sort any column in chart by clicking on headings, and a search function is on the left of the box which defaults to ALL MATCHES.  The name of your matches and an icon to e-mail them is provided. Under Relation you will see the relationship range, but if there is a check mark just before that suggested range, you know you have determined the relationship all ready.

MY ANCESTRAL HISTORY provides an overview.  However, by clicking on one of the clusters, the Ancestral History section provides more detail about that cluster.  Although the graphic is where the concentration is, the written narrative for each cluster goes geographically farther.  For example, the European Coastal Islands cluster includes all the European Islands from the far north down to the Azores Islands, although you will not see it included in the graphic.  There was much mixing of European populations so populations for coastal islands are even found on the mainland. In another example, Jewish Diaspora is centered in one area and focuses on Ashkenazi Jews (a distinctive group) as it is not possible to point to all the places where the Jews fled. Other areas were a bit isolated, but most have loose boundaries in reality.

Remember, nothing is really, really pure; there was movement and mixing.  These are estimates and cannot be drawn perfectly. The graphics are the concentrated areas. For this reason, it is important that you read the narratives about each cluster to see what other geographic areas are included. Although from your webpage you can only see the information on the clusters that pertain to you, FTDNA will provide information on all the clusters in their Learning Center shortly.

At the bottom right are two map pins that appear as balloons which turn on or off the direct paternal or maternal lines of origin. Orange is paternal; blue-green is maternal.  By clicking on one of these you will see balloons throughout the map showing where the match has their most distant ancestor, much like the previous map at Family Tree DNA.  By clicking on the balloon you get the name of the match and their percentage of the clusters which you have in common with them (See example in the middle of this map).

Below these two balloon pins, there is a plus (+) and minus (-) sign to allow you to zoom in or out, changing the size of the map.

The link in the upper right, just under the word just under myOrigins, returns you to myFTDNA (your webpages).

As more high-quality data-sets are available regions may be broken down more.

White Paper 
In the near future, Family Tree DNA will post the White Paper which contains the methodology and reference populations used for myOrigins at their Learning Center.  Here you will find much more detail than these few bullet points. Visit the Learning Center and notice Recent Works at the bottom. 

Sources used for myOrigns
FTDNA customer database
Human Genome Diversity Project
International Hapmap Project
Estonian Biocentre

Reference Populations are listed with number of samples in the White Paper. 

For more information, visit
FTDNA Learning Center (once white paper is in the learning center)
FTDNA Forums
Various Bloggers

Have fun!


Robin Frisella said...

I just received my Origins results and I'm a little confused. I recently also do Ancestory.com to compare and was shown 80-82% native american, but on this I was shown 53% "new world", 17% east asia, are they counting these separately now, which would mean that combined it's still around 80% Native or is Ancestory.com completely off?

Robin Frisella said...

I just received my Origins results and I'm a little confused. I recently also do Ancestory.com to compare and was shown 80-82% Native American, but on this I was shown 53% "new world", 17% east asia, are they counting these separately now, which would mean that combined it's still around 80% Native or is Ancestory.com completely off? In other words, are indigenous people of the Amercia's going to show 100% "New World Bering Strait" or will it be broken down into East Asian and African as well?

Genealem said...

Yes, Robin, Family Tree DNA is separating Native American from East Asian when possible and if it applies. Each company has their own system for population origins. Over time any of these percentages could vary as more information is learned.

Robin Frisella said...

Thank you. I just received my info from my results of my HaploGroup A2-C64T. Extra mutations:
How do I figure out what these mutations mean? See anything of interest here. I am adopted from Nicaragua and no absolutely nothing about my past. Thanks!

Genealem said...

Robin, the haplogroup A2 indicates you are African American. The numbers in your series are the names of the markers. The letter before the number is the nucleotide (base) that is that of the reference sequence. The letter after the name of the marker is what you have in your DNA. You might well benefit from ordering my book from Amazon.com entitled Genetic Genealogy: The Basics and Beyond.

Anthony Parker said...

" haplogroup A2 indicates you are African American." is it y-DNA or mtDNA? For y-DNA, haplogroup A is African, for mtDNA, haplogroup A (or A2) would be Indigenous.

Anthony Parker said...

" haplogroup A2 indicates you are African American, is it y-DNA (paternal lineage) or mtDNA (maternal lineage)? For y-DNA, haplogroup A is African. For mtDNA, haplogroup A (or A2) is Indigenous.

Anthony Parker said...

Must be mtDNA because while there have been some males named "Robin", Robin is more a feminine name.

Anthony Parker said...

My maternal grandfather's Population Finder results were 83.58 African and 16.42% European, both with plus or minus 0.10%. 83.58%+ 16.42%=100%. The myOrigins result is 86% African, 14% European and 1% New World (Native American). 86+14+1=101. I am not sure if that 1% is significant,or why Population Finder assigned none. We like most other African Americans, have no proof of any ancestors intermingling with native Americans (As Dr. Henry Louis Gates,Jr. reminds us) and most African Americans who do have some proof of native American ancestry, such as five nations freedmen descendants and other AAs living in parts of Louisiana,Mississipi or Alabama, are generally assigned at least 2% Native American on these tests (I have a facebook friend from Louisiana with documented genealogy of a Native American ancestor, and he has done all three of the big companies and was given 2% on myOrigins and a higher percent on the other two companies). My grandfather was assigned 0.9% Native American on 23andme as well as 0.5% Southeast Asian. Most AAs are given these minute results, and there has never been an explanation why this is. I believe it is because there are not many reference populations for West Africans, which is not good for African Americans because they are blended with several ethnic groups throughout West Africa, and the algorithms can not read all the markers as West Africans so to the algorithms a very tiny piece of it resembles NA which is even more underrepresented (thanks in part to the refusal of United States Native Americans and Canadian First Nations to take part in DNA, and because the companies only have a small number of samples from a small like five Indigenous groups of South and Central America). 23andme also could add to their Southeast Asian groups. I came up with this theory because before 23andme came up with their update last November, they were assigning most African Americans 1% or less "East Asian" along with 1% or less "Native American", and after their update where they improved their East Asian database, the "East Asian" results disappeared and were replaced by "Southeast Asian". I might be digressing a bit, but just describing the my Origins result. I have been told by a couple of folks that the reason why the myOrigins results total 101% instead of 100% is because of rounding, though we are not sure what they tried to round, could it the "New World" result? Since it was 0.9 on 23andme, maybe myOrigins should have left it unreported. I read that FTDNA is using a different algorithm altogether, as opposed to the other two companies who kept theirs when they updated, so maybe that's why this "rounding" happened.

One would have thought that FTDNA would have added to their reference populations, not decrease them. What were they thinking? Population Finder had Yoruba and Mandinka for their West African, now they just have Yoruba. African Americans are blended with different West African ethnic groups, not all of it is going to fit with just one group. I have seen their reference populations list and noticed that some of the non-European references such as Yoruba have a larger number of samples. Yoruba has 136
samples, but again African Americans are blended with several different ethnic groups from western Africa, even if they had a 1000 samples of just one West African reference, it is still just one West African reference.
Whereas Population Finder had error margins, but myOrigins doesn't. Shouldnt they have included error margins?

I see that myOrigins has improved for those of predominantly to completely European descent (and let's be honest, those testers are going to get more from these companies than other testers),and even for Europeans it is still behind the other two big companies, but for other testers, I don't think these months of waiting was really worth it.

Genealem said...

Yes, Anthony, Robin tends to be a female name, but it can also be a nickname for Robert as well as a male given name. I have no idea of Robin's gender and you are right about A being different for males an females.

I have not published all your other comments, and I suggest you write Family Tree DNA for more information and clarification on your situation. Also read the White Paper (see my blog).

Best wishes...

Dospaises said...

Robin, everyone with Native American ancestry is being broken up into New World-Bering Expansion, East Asian-Asian Northeast, and European-North Circumpolar. That's in order from greatest to least. There are posts about it at http://forums.familytreedna.com/forumdisplay.php?f=218

HaploGroup A2-C64T is mtDNA and it is not African. It is Native American and East Asian. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_A_%28mtDNA%29

Genealem said...

Robin, each testing company does population comparisons based on the groups with whom they wish to use for comparison. Some evaluations are better than others, so there will be differences. REGARDLESS, please consider population comparisons NOT to be totally accurate. They will vary over time as this area of interpretation is refined as well as the comparison populations are improved.