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Family Finder/MyOrigin Reference Panel

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  • Family Finder/MyOrigin Reference Panel

    When was the last time the reference panel for Family Finder/MyOrigin was updated? compared with other autosomal tests I've done with a few other companies, FTDNA's ancestry composition seems to be outdated.
    Last edited by Slam; 25 July 2019, 08:23 AM.

  • #2
    According to the "myOrigins 2.0 Update" article in the FTDNA Learning Center, which was written in April 2017, the last update occurred shortly before. A description of the "Population Clusters in myOrigins" is from August of 2017, and there is a myOrigins Whitepaper which was updated in September 2017. These dates indicate it's been about two years since myOrigins 2.0 was introduced.

    Those links may not answer your question sufficiently, but as customers we don't know when or if the next update to myOrigins will happen, and FTDNA has not made any announcements about it. Most of the top genetic genealogists will say that ethnicity estimates from any of the genealogical DNA testing companies are the least reliable aspect of DNA testing for genealogy. Ethnicity estimates are still most accurate at the broadest level, which is the continental level (thus, interestingly enough, FTDNA's more broad categories may be more accurate overall). The more detailed you get, the more possibility for error.

    Although a couple of the other companies have improved their reference populations and estimates within the last year or so, the old problem still rears its head: there are always folks who complain that an earlier version gave an estimate that was more accurate for their known ancestry (including those who objected to their new estimates in myOrigins 2.0 when it was introduced). Judy Russell updated her earlier posts about autosomal ethnicity predictions ("Admixture: not soup yet" and "Still not soup") in this January 2019 post: "And still not soup…" Bottom line: take ethnicity estimates with a large grain of salt, and don't fret over them. You are much better off checking your match list to see the ethnicities that your matches have (DNA matching for relationships is the most reliable aspect of testing for genealogy).


    • #3
      Thank you very much for your informative answer.

      I'm from the "Old World" as opposed to the "New World", where a lot of mixing occurs, gg parents, g parents and parents were all born within the same area, yet FTDNA scores me 63% for this region, where as My Heritage scores me 73% and the latest 23andme scores me 89%.

      I understand all the points you also raised.