Published: April 7, 2017

Our Recent update of myOrigins 2.0 has added to and refined our Genetic Populations and Population Clusters based on new research and new reference populations that have been collected and published since the myOrigins feature was first released in 2014.

These new reference populations may have caused some of your Regional Ancestry clusters to change or your percentages to fluctuate. This is due to how your DNA matches with these newly defined clusters. We understand that these changes can seem big; however, please keep in mind that these Population Clusters are meant to reflect regions rather than, often changing, geopolitical borders. For example, Europe has had a high rate of migration and admixture throughout history, tightly connecting many of the seemingly distinct regions. Today, nationalities are commonly understood as distinct genetic groups; however, nationalities and your myOrigins results are not one in the same.

Seeing your results change does not mean that they were incorrect before, but rather, that with more research and the addition of more reference populations we are able to paint a clearer picture of your genetic tapestry. As our database grows, we are able to gain a better understanding of the unique genetic variation for each of our reference populations and even add new reference populations to our existing regions. We will also share these advances with you and continue to refine your results.

For example, customers who were reported as having percentages of our Ashkenazi cluster prior to the update may see it completely removed and replaced with our Sephardic cluster. This change is due to the fact that we have added samples with Sephardic ancestry to our database and are able to provide customers with Ashkenazi as well as Sephardic comparisons. Therefore, prior to the update, the only Jewish population we were able to report was Ashkenazi, and now we are able to distinguish between Ashkenazi and Sephardic ancestry. This holds true for all clusters since new reference populations were added in each continent.

Finally, we have been listening to your feedback since our initial release of myOrigins and have decided to include the much-requested feature of trace percentages. These results show Population Clusters that you have a very minor connection to and could be background noise, but we strive to provide you with as much information about your genetic ancestry as possible. We appreciate your willingness to change and grow with us as we continue to pave new frontiers in the world of Genetic Genealogy.