Wednesday, May 7, 2014

myOrigins - Mapping My Ethnicity

I posted previously about having my DNA tested and some of the results that I received from those tests. I tested with Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) and yesterday I received an email notification from FTDNA that they were launching a new tool called "myOrigins," a feature that maps my ethnicity based on my autosomal DNA test results. 

The mapping also shows, with dropped pins, the location of individuals who are close DNA matches. Close matches in this case appears to mean either 2nd-4th cousin or 3rd-5th cousin. As far as know, no one else in my known family circle has tested with FTDNA but presumably, if they had been tested, they would be mapped and seen based on their relationship to me.

Below is the map of my ethnicity. No real surprises. My ethnicity is 100% European - 67% UK and Ireland (dark blue colour), 30% European Coastal Plain (light blue colour on France, Germany, Belgium, etc.), and 3% European Northlands (pale green colour on Norway and the Scandinavian countries).




I am admittedly no DNA expert so I cannot expertly interpret these results but they do make some sense to me. I have a lot of evidence of my ancestors coming from Scotland and Ireland. The influence of the European mainland is not surprising as that represents typical migration patterns to the UK and Ireland. Similarly, from an historic perspective, Norwegians, a.k.a. Vikings, used the north-east of Scotland as a base from which to launch further forays into the world.

The dropped pins feature is something that I found interesting even though it is certainly not conclusive evidence because it is based on the locations of living persons (I think I'm safe stating that). What I found interesting is that the map allows me to pin the closest paternal side matches or the closest maternal side matches from the FTDNA database. In my case, the database generated 17 paternal matches and 16 maternal matches.

These matches can be seen in clusters on the map. Of the 33 potential cousin matches, 11 are located in Ireland, 6 are located in Scotland, and 9 matches are located in the United States. Matches in Scotland and Ireland do not come as a surprise but I'm curious about the matches in the United States as there is a cluster in the Carolinas and Tenessee. Who knows this may well be a good clue for further investigation on where ancestral family members may have migrated at some point in history.

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