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!