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Got More Than 10% Magyar, What Does it Mean?

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  • Got More Than 10% Magyar, What Does it Mean?

    My family finder myorigins results came and it turned out that I have 11% Magyar DNA. My dad's from Bulgaria but we don't know anyone from Hungary in my ancestors. Could you please help me how should I interpret this result, does it really mean that I got a hungarian ancestor, recent enought to give me 11% DNA? Or does it just imply my bulgarian ancestors, nothing else?

    To find an answer, I looked for hungarian ftdna results, some got a little percentage of magyar dna. So what is this "magyar" on FTDNA, where does the magyar sample come from? I am confused.

    also suprisingly, I got more matches in both Hungary and Greece than in Bulgaria (in myheritage after uploading raw data) (I wasn't able tell who's from where in FTDNA matches)
    Last edited by Revolver; 7 August 2021, 04:44 PM.

  • #2
    The only thing I can guess as to why you get Magyar when you have Bulgarian ancestry, is that the Magyars probably had a wide spread for their DNA in the region. Here's one article on Magyar history, and another for History of the Proto-Bulgarians north and west of the Black Sea (although I can't vouch for either pages' accuracy).

    It may be a case of misattribution of a population group, due to a glitch in the algorithm FTDNA is using. For example, in the kits I manage, a father and his sister have some likely Slavic ancestry, but it would be several generations back and not confirmed yet. The father and his sister did not receive any percentage of Magyar in myOrigins 3.0, yet two of his children did: one got 8%, the other 20% (!). Two other children got <2% (trace) and two got no Magyar. Obviously the children who got Magyar percentages didn't get it from their father, but also their untested mother had ancestry that was very unlikely to have had Magyar in it. Thus, it appears that Magyar has been misattributed for some other population for the two children in this case.

    The ancestry of your matches actually are more accurate to reflect your ancestry than any admixture or origins estimate. Because a match may now live in another country, you need to check his/her tree (if available) for ancestors, or judge by any ancestral surnames and locations listed in their profiles.


    Magyar is a recent addition to FTDNA's population clusters, in myOrigins 3.0, listed in the "Continental Region" of Europe, and then under the "Overarching Population" for Eastern Europe. That page has a link to myOrigins 2.0 populations, but you can see actual descriptions for the earlier myOrigins 2.0 clusters using the Internet Archive. The latter page does not show the reference populations used.

    Unfortunately, FTDNA still has not given us actual descriptions for the myOrigins 3.0 population clusters, or issued a methodology white paper for myOrigins 3.0, as they did for earlier versions. In addition to describing the methodology, such papers can give details for population clusters, including descriptions and reference populations. See the Internet Archived versions for Methodology White Papers for:
    • myOrigins, 2014 (for the first myOrigins, i.e. myOrigins 1.0)
    • myOrigins, 2017 update (for myOrigins 2.0; although some of it is the same, this version figures how many references populations were used for each cluster, and then a long description for the population clusters)
    In the above archived methodology papers, you will see differences in the number of reference populations shown and their descriptions. Many of us are not-so-patiently awaiting the methodology paper and new cluster descriptions for myOrigins 3.0 to shed light on the changes it brought, since the population clusters increased from 24 populations in myOrigins 2.0 to 90 populations in myOrigins 3.0.

    Last edited by KATM; 7 August 2021, 08:35 PM.

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    • #3
      Thank you. I got many matches from Hungary. Its pity that there is still a chance that this magyar percentage might be an error. At least we can say that my 11% of DNA is matched with Hungarian people

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      • #4
        I seem to remember a scene from My Fair Lady where the experts declared that Eliza Doolittle was undoubtedly Hungarian, and of royal blood, too! Hopefully, the "ethnic origins" methodology is more accurate than that.

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        • #5
          myOrigins is a bad joke. I get 4% Magyar and I have zero Magyar ancestry. I don't get DNA matches with Hungarians.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jimbirk View Post
            myOrigins is a bad joke. I get 4% Magyar and I have zero Magyar ancestry. I don't get DNA matches with Hungarians.
            MyOrigins gave me the best results. Only FTDNA was able to tell me where my maternal and paternal sides actually from (they are from different countries). Other sites like GedMatch, MyHeritage etc. all confused my ancestor origins. Also about the magyar, I got many matches from Hungary, especially in MyHeritage. I think you may find one or two matches in MyHeritage if you upload here.

            I am very happy with FTDNA and MyOrigins

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