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Family Finder/My Origins - Greek

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  • Family Finder/My Origins - Greek

    Does anyone know if it's worth testing Family Finder on someone with Greek ancestry. How much is this represented in FTDNA. Will the myOrigins tell me anything other than Greek or not even that.

  • #2
    Right now myOrigins, the ethnicity estimation part of the Family Finder test, lumps together southern Europe (Spain/Portugal, Italy and Greece/Balkans) under one category, Southern European. There was supposed to be an improvement in myOrigins back in March that would include creating a separate Balkan category, which I presume would include Greece. However, it's almost 6 months past March and that update hasn't taken place yet.

    So, at this point myOrigins will only give those with Greek ancestry a Southern European percentage, nothing more specific. Also, if you're interested in finding matches (cousins), you probably wouldn't get many. Greece is not well-represented in genetic genealogy databases. My ancestry is entirely Italian, also not well-represented, and I only have 98 matches in the database. My guess is that anyone with full Greek ancestry would get about the same or less.


    • #3
      Lassie, I have FF results for a maternal aunt (100 matches) and uncle (87 matches) who have a Greek father and Greek (but really Maltese ancestry, as it turns out) mother. I also have a maternal 1st cousin tested with FF (53 matches), with one parent of the above ancestry, the other from a Greek island.

      The aunt and uncle have gotten Greek (but perhaps a bit more Maltese) matches, some actually now living in those countries. The cousin gets more Greek matches, some even with ancestry from the island of her father. For myOrigins, there is no Greek category; they all show a large percentage (55-63%) for the Southern Europe category, with the remainder almost all of Asia Minor category. It makes sense to me.

      I have half the ancestry of my aunt and uncle, as my father was of Irish and Swiss/German descent. In myOrigins, two of my five siblings and I still get about ⅔ to 4/5ths as much of the percentage of Southern European, and about ¼ to ½ as much Asia Minor, as my relatives mentioned above.

      For comparison, I also have done 23andMe and Geno 2.0. The 23andMe Ancestry Composition was roughly similar. Geno 2.0 gave me two Reference Populations: German (of which the percentages didn't quite match mine, but they don't have an Irish population, either); and Tuscan (Italy), which is identical to their Greek Reference Population percentages. They classified me as overall Mediterranean.


      • #4

        Greeks are a mixed people. I have the results of a several Greek people and they all get different results. Some are from Peloponnese in southern Greece. Some get a mix of Southern Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor and Eastern Middle East.

        They also get different results at 23andme. They get a mix of Balkan, Italian, Broadly Southern European, a tiny amount of Ashkenazi, Middle Eastern, sub-Saharan African, and sometimes a tiny amount of Broadly East Asian and Native American. Anything that is Broadly is something that is found throughout a broad region and not a specific country or ethnic group.

        I think it would be great if you were to get that person tested with all three DNA companies and share the results and the region of Greece they are from.


        • #5
          Thank you all that was helpful. The Greek ancestor of this person is an NPE and we don't know anything about him. However the yDNA should come up with something so perhaps we'll do that. Maybe Geno 2.0 will be better.


          • #6
            A lot of people get the same results from Geno 2.0 NextGen as they do with Family Finder because they use the same categories and the same methodology. The reference populations are at https://genographic.nationalgeograph...ions-next-gen/

            The methodology for FTDNA is at

            There are problems with the Geno 2.0 NextGen Y-DNA results sometimes and it is a real hassle to figure out if the results are good or not and there is no matching with Geno 2.0 NextGen Y-DNA since they only test SNPs. For matching Y-DNA STRs have to be tested and only FTDNA and Yseq do STR testing but with Yseq you can't get matching because the results don't get put into the FTDNA database. See and


            • #7
              I will not be doing matching at this stage as the Greek person (grandfather) who is the non paternal is still alive and has his family. His own children don't even know they have a brother and nephew. We are just after some idea what the ethnicity is.


              • #8

                In Family finder I have a surname highlighted in bold letters , only one, from a matched person ancestors list. What does this mean?


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lassie View Post
                  I will not be doing matching at this stage as the Greek person (grandfather) who is the non paternal is still alive and has his family. His own children don't even know they have a brother and nephew. We are just after some idea what the ethnicity is.
                  Then you want an autosomal DNA test and Family Finder is a lot cheaper, especially since it is on sale right now, and should be a lot faster. Y-DNA and mtDNA can be more common in certain ethnic groups but it doesn't provide as much info as autosomal DNA for an individual person. If you were looking to test a large group of people and trying to figure out if they had the same Y-DNA or mtDNA as another group then it would make sense to try and also get those tests but you would want them to be as reliable as possible and Geno 2.0 NextGen isn't the test for that.


                  • #10
                    Thanks Amando it is a tricky situation as it's on the other side of the family and we cant ask questions. I will stock up on some kits though at the current low price.

                    Thanks again