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Ancestry vs ftnda

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  • Ancestry vs ftnda

    Hi, I was born in Iran and both sides are Persian (Iranian) as far back as we know, except my grandma is Azeri-ethnic Iranian rather than Persian Iranian.

    So I think the Ancestry one is more accurate. See the difference:

    73% Antolia (aka Turkey)
    18% Central Asia
    6% Eastern Europe
    0% Iran

    Ancestry Dna:
    90% Iran
    6% Turkey
    4% Middle East

    Last edited by iranian_civilzn; 20 December 2019, 05:14 PM.

  • #2
    Yes, the Ancestry estimate is more accurate. FTDNA's estimate for you, based on what you've described of your ancestry, does not seem very accurate. And yet, there are other people who will disagree with their ethnicity estimate at Ancestry, and who find their FTDNA estimate to be more accurate. It's still not an exact science; see The Legal Genealogist's posts about admixture (ethnicity/biogeographical estimates):FTDNA's myOrigins was last updated in 2017, and even with that update (myOrigins 2.0) it does not break down the regions into modern day countries. Ethnicity estimates are most accurate at the continental level, but that isn't too exciting for customers who are interested in their ethnicity estimates. People want to see the countries of their ancestors, even though borders change over time, and where an ancestor was born back over 100 or 200 years ago may now be within the borders of a different country. Not to mention movements of populations, intermarriages, and so on. FTDNA apparently was aiming for our deep ancestry in their myOrigins feature (see "myOrigins: Unraveling Ancestries")

    From the Population Clusters and Descriptions page in the FTDNA Learning Center (I do not see a cluster named "Anatolia"):
    • "The Asia Minor cluster encompasses present day Turkey and Armenia." (this cluster description mentions part of the ancient Persian empire)
    • "The Central Asia cluster consists of present day Pakistan, Kashmir, Northern India, and Western Nepal." (this cluster description mentions Persian invasions and conquests)
    • "The East Europe cluster consists of an area encompassing present-day Latvia, south to Ukraine, Romania, and the northern part of Bulgaria, west along the eastern edge of the Balkan states to Poland and the eastern half of Germany."
    The description for the latter East Europe cluster later says
    "The East Europe cluster sits on two prominent trade routes, which resulted in a history complete with invasion and migration. As a result, the genetic relatedness of populations within this cluster is shaped by the water trade routes from Scandinavia and from the Baltic to (the Black Sea) Constantinople via the Volga, Dnieper, Dniester and the Danube, connecting Eastern Europe with Scandinavia and Siberia; it also includes the Steppe region, connecting Eastern Europe to Russia, Asia Minor, and the Eastern Middle East. Genetic diversity in this region is high."
    None of the descriptions specifically mentions modern day Iran.

    I know that Ancestry has been getting more detailed with their categories, even to regions within modern borders. Ethnicity estimates at all the consumer testing companies are a continually changing process. Perhaps with the next upgrade to myOrigins, they may change and give more detail.

    You can also read the myOrigins Methodology Whitepaper, which shows a table of reference populations at the bottom of the page. These were used to develop the population clusters (there is no reference population shown for Iran).

    Lastly, the ethnicity estimate aspect of autosomal DNA testing is actually the least accurate part of such testing. Autosomal DNA is much more accurate at finding matches to relatives (from close relatives, to cousins of one degree or another).
    Last edited by KATM; 20 December 2019, 05:52 PM.


    • #3
      So does that mean that FTDNA's reference population for Asia Minor only includes Turkey and Armenia and not Georgia and Azerbaijan as well?


      • #4
        There is a list of the reference populations used for myOrigins 2.0 at the end of the myOrigins Methodology Whitepaper. It does not include Georgia or Azerbaijan. You are correct that FTDNA's description for the Asia Minor cluster states that "The Asia Minor cluster encompasses present day Turkey and Armenia." I would take that description as it is.

        FTDNA will be updating myOrigins to version 3.0 in the near future. It had been scheduled to appear some time in April, but the rollout has been delayed due to the current virus situation. Version 3.0 will use 90 populations (apparently population clusters), compared to the 24 populations of version 2.0, per the blog post by Roberta Estes linked in the first sentence of this paragraph. There is no way to know what the additional populations will be until the new version is released, but from the images it seems there may be some new groups in Asia Minor and regions nearby.
        Last edited by KATM; 23 May 2020, 07:44 PM.