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  • #16
    This is what FTDNA says:

    http://www.familytreedna.com/release.html
    ---
    Unless you are a Native American or of Native American Ancestry,your Country of Origin is not the USA. It should be the country where your ancestors came from.
    ---

    This ought to be pretty clear for most people. Anyone who objects to this classification can simply leave the line blank. However, FTDNA ought to make clear that anyone who does not know the answer to the question should also leave it blank (or mark it Unknown).

    There are people for whom this classification is not so clear--e.g.:

    1) Those whose ancestral country lies within the New World but who believe themselves to be ultimately of European origin. For example, a Mexican or Mexican-American who thinks he is pure-blood Spanish from 400 years ago might wonder whether to put down Mexico or Spain. I suspect that FTDNA wants him to put down Mexico, partly on the theory that Latin Americans cannot generally be certain of their blood-heritage (Spanish/Portuguese vs. Native American) due to extensive, centuries-old intermarriage.

    On the other hand, a Canadian or Canadian-American who has no reason to suspect Native American blood should probably put down England or France (or another Old World country), as appropriate, since Canada (at least after 1763) followed the same colonization model as the United States.

    For other formerly colonial countries such as Australia, I think the same rule should be followed: If extensive intermarriage occurred, simply put down the name of that colonial country; if intermarriage was rare, put down the ultimate country of origin.

    2) African-Americans often do not know the specific modern-name country from which their ancestors came, but know that it was in Africa. I think FTDNA should give a clear and general instruction such as:

    "If you know your ancestral continent but not the specific country, enter the name of that continent."

    Incidentally, this is also a good rule for mixed-ancestry European-Americans who cannot distinguish specific ancestral lines: Just put down Europe! That's better than Unknown, anyway.

    3) Since even European countries have often changed boundaries, some people wonder whether to enter the country in which their ancestral city is now located, or the country which possessed/occupied their ancestral city at the time of Atlantic crossing, or even the ethnic group to which their ancestors belonged regardless of sovereignty. In my humble opinion, the clearest convention is to enter the country that currently holds sovereignty over the customer's ancestral city or region. So for example:

    a) Those whose ancestral city is now within Polish boundaries should enter Poland, even if their Polish-speaking grandparents came to America on an Austrian or Russian passport, or even if their German-speaking parents were compelled to leave the part of eastern Germany that the Allies gave to Poland after World War II.

    b) Most Jewish people who say that their ancestors came from Russia should actually enter Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, or Poland, despite the fact that the Russian Empire was occupying these countries at the time of Atlantic crossing.

    c) On the other hand, those whose Polish-speaking ancestors come from Lviw (formerly Lwow) or Vilnius (formerly Wilno) should enter Ukraine or Lithuania, respectively.

    Unfortunately, this convention may require some simple knowledge of geography that Americans often do not have. Worse, some Americans may have justified or unjustified emotional reasons not to associate themselves with the country now sovereign over their ancestral city or region. Such people can either leave the line blank, or enter Europe.

    4) People who can trace, via solid genealogy, their patrilineal or matrilineal lines back across multiple migrations within the last few hundred years--e.g., from America to Ireland to Scotland--should probably enter the earliest well-documented country of residence (in this example, Scotland).

    The above is, again, my own opinion. I heartily encourage FTDNA to write up a formal set of guidelines covering these more difficult cases.
    Last edited by lgmayka; 24 May 2006, 05:02 PM.

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    • #17
      I have heard "swallow your pride" in this thread a few times...what makes anyone think pride is the issue with not filling in the information correctly? It could simply be that individuals are so excited about getting their DNA done...and are so excited about the whole deal, that they just didnt READ....Or they thought what they should put in was correct?

      Clearly it is an issue...but posting a thread that appears to be slapping down people who may have not known any better is not a nice way to handle it..

      A Newbie of Unk Origin....

      Comment


      • #18
        OK this might be a dumb Question.

        But what if both sides of your family are mixed? I mean really mixed Euro and Native American and First peoples Nation from Canada from 1599 to present.
        Every generation is mixed in my family.

        There is nothing there for something like that.

        Comment


        • #19
          I see two problems here:

          1) People who don't read the FTDNA instructions about "country of origin" and make errors based on ignorance; and

          2) People who do read the instructions but have difficulty in applying it to their own circumstances, either (a) because the boundaries of their countries have changed, or (b) because they are of mixed heritage, (c) they don't really know where their ancestor came from. Or for some other reason (d) that causes them to be uncertain as to what "country of origin" they had.

          The frequency of misreported information caused by problem (2) could be reduced by more detailed instructions. On the other hand, this might actually cause problem (1) to increase, assuming that people don't want to read and parse lengthy instructions about what you do if, e.g., your relevant ancestor was born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and was ethnically Hungarian but his home village now happens to be in Ukraine.

          It's regrettable, but I doubt we'll ever be able to get completely accurate self-reported information about "country of origin," partly because some people won't understand the question and partly because some people will interpret the question in different ways.

          Comment


          • #20
            I think People should list youself themselves under the country of their furthest known ancestor. Regardless of where it is. That is your starting point to the unknown.

            How will someone in Europe know if he has any genetic links in North America?

            What about people doing family dna studies within North America?

            I'd say the best thing to do is to join or start a specific race project.

            Comment


            • #21
              I don't really know where my y-dna immigrant ancestor came from. I could have written "Europe" - that would have been true, apparently - but I wrote "unknown."

              In YSearch, though, the earliest known paternal ancestor is listed, so mine says, "Wheeling, West Virginia, USA."

              That's where he was born . . . in 1804.

              I don't see that as a big problem for Amerindians, since most of them are not R1b1 anyway.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Jim Denning
                WELL THEY ARE PUTTING THE PLACE THEY KNOW THEIR PEOPLE WERE!!
                so you are a native american and by your standards you need to choose where your ancestors came to the us from siberia or europe by the north atlantic
                because supposedly no one came from the americas
                if you people know where you ancestors first walked why test. these people are looking at their trees and like me ardagh longford is in the block
                i believe they were in scotland and england but i dont know that and cant prove it. so i cant put it there .
                So you put "unknown" as it says in the instructions

                Comment


                • #23
                  There is an additional problem for those of Jewish ancestry. Listing one's origins in terms of religion could be seen as an invasion of privacy. For example, someone of Russian Jewish ancestry might just list Russia rather than Russia,Ashkenazim. This creates some confusion in checking out matches.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by josh w.
                    There is an additional problem for those of Jewish ancestry. Listing one's origins in terms of religion could be seen as an invasion of privacy. For example, someone of Russian Jewish ancestry might just list Russia rather than Russia,Ashkenazim. This creates some confusion in checking out matches.
                    I think that's just natural. I don't expect anyone from Finland to list as Finnish Lutheran or Finnish Greek Orthodox instead of plain Finland, so why would Jewish list their religion?

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Eki, not listing one's religion is quite appropriate and justified. Indeed it is my own preference except on Ftdna. My point was that Jewish individuals (most of whom are Ashkenazim) who have matches in eastern Europe can't tell if their matches were Jewish or not. If the matches were in fact of Jewish background it might suggest a closer family connection. This would be similar to having a common surname. For this reason many Jewish Ftdna members have listed their religious background. Of course, all matches are of great significance whether or not there is a common surname or religion. In my own case, finding matches among Uzbeks and Altais has just as much import as discovering matches who are Jewish.
                      Last edited by josh w.; 1 August 2006, 11:57 AM.

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                      • #26
                        Where in FtDNA can you list ethnic origin or religion within a country? My Maternal line is from Russia, but it is ethnic German (Volga German), so I put Germany as origin. It would be more correct if I put Russia - Ethnic German, but I couldn't find an option to list ethnic groups within countries.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          An ethnic option is possible for Jews (e.g. Ashkenazim, Levites etc.) in the sense that it was recorded if indicated by participants in the comment section after country of origin, e.g. Russia--comment-Ashkenazi. The same appears to be the case for ethnic groups in other areas. For example, I have matches which say Israel--comment -Samaritan, China--comment-Uygur, Iran--comment-Turk, and Syria--comment-Aleppo. It looks like Ftdna will record whatever is in the comment section.
                          Last edited by josh w.; 1 August 2006, 06:49 PM.

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                          • #28
                            The ethnicities seen on the Haplogroup page do not come from user-entered information in the myFTDNA page. I believe those comments are provided by FTDNA based on data collected through special projects.

                            On the Contact Information page of myFTDNA, there are only pull-down menus for Country of Origin, which is the topic of this thread. Ethnicity has no bearing on the Country of Origin.

                            I have specified Belarus as my family's Country of Origin since that is the present-day country that the town is located in. Depending on the year, it was also previously in Russia, Poland or Lithuania. If I entered any of those countries, it would give other people the wrong impression as to where the actual town of origin is located, based on today's boundaries.

                            In addition, I have chosen to include the specific town of origin and my ancestor's name in the Setup Preferences tab of the myFTDNA page. When someone sees my ancestor's data in a project, they should be able to very clearly see that it's a Jewish name, so I see no need to explicitely specify it.

                            In Ysearch and Mitosearch, since there's plenty of room for additional information, I do explicitely state that my family is Ashkenazi.

                            Elise
                            Last edited by efgen; 1 August 2006, 08:05 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by efgen
                              I have specified Belarus as my family's Country of Origin since that is the present-day country that the town is located in. Depending on the year, it was also previously in Russia, Poland or Lithuania. If I entered any of those countries, it would give other people the wrong impression as to where the actual town of origin is located, based on today's boundaries.

                              In addition, I have chosen to include the specific town of origin and my ancestor's name in the Setup Preferences tab of the myFTDNA page. When someone sees my ancestor's data in a project, they should be able to very clearly see that it's a Jewish name, so I see no need to explicitely specify it.

                              In Ysearch and Mitosearch, since there's plenty of room for additional information, I do explicitely state that my family is Ashkenazi.
                              I agree wholeheartedly with this approach. I would also point out that you can put any text you wish into the Most Distant Ancestor box of your Setup Preferences (within the length limit). So hypothetically, if the ancestor's ethnicity doesn't match his surname's appearance, one can put the ethnic group in parentheses--e.g.:

                              Edward Gertz (Polish), b. 1897, Illinois

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Eki
                                I don't expect anyone from Finland to list as Finnish Lutheran or Finnish Greek Orthodox instead of plain Finland, so why would Jewish list their religion?
                                I completely agree that religion should be kept of genetics, unless there are compelling reasons that its mention would somehow help unravel a DNA strand better.

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