Frequently asked questions

Why do my results show a different ethnicity estimation than other services or my known ancestry?

Our ethnicity estimates are based on a scientific approach that aims to identify the maximum genetic similarity with modern world populations. While our algorithm has been designed to be accurate, it is possible that our results may differ from those of other companies due to differences in our specific methodology for classifying ethnic groups.

Additionally, our algorithm may detect older or overlapping ancestry in some cases. This can occur when people from the same region share a common history, resulting in genetics that are so similar that it is difficult to accurately distinguish between them. For example, an estimate of British ethnicity may show up as French or Scandinavian, or vice versa.

How does it work?

Our advanced, proprietary algorithm is designed to perform a detailed analysis of your genetic ancestry by separating and examining the DNA inherited from both your mother and father individually. This process, known as phasing, involves dividing the DNA into short segments and comparing these segments to ancient samples in our database. The algorithm then classifies the segments and identifies the samples that are most closely related, providing a probability for each match. To further refine the results, we apply a smoothing algorithm that optimizes the classification and reduces the assignment of DNA to less likely samples. Through this careful and meticulous process, we are able to provide a comprehensive and accurate analysis of your genetic ancestry.

What is the reference panel used to analyze my ethnicity composition?

At our company, we have carefully defined 84 distinct world regions and divided them into a total of 498 genetic populations. These populations have been sourced from reputable and scientifically recognized biobanks, ensuring that our analysis is grounded in reliable and well-established data. By dividing the world into such granular and specific regions and populations, we are able to provide a highly detailed and accurate analysis of an individual's genetic ancestry.:

  • 1000Genomes
  • HGDP
  • Scientific papers publicly available (Cell, Nature, PubMed papers)

Reference Populations

  • African Hunter-Gatherer
  • Angolan & Congolese
  • Central African
  • East African
  • Egyptian
  • Ethiopian
  • Ghanaian, Liberian, Sierra Leonean
  • Nigerian
  • North African
  • Senegambian & Guinean
  • Somalian
  • South African
  • South East African
  • Sudanese
  • Somali
  • Inuit
  • North American
  • Central American
  • South American
  • Anatolian
  • Arabian
  • Bedouin
  • Bengali Northeast Indian
  • Brunei
  • Central Asian
  • Central Caucasus
  • Chinese
  • Chinese Dai
  • Chinese Hmong
  • Chinese Lahu
  • Chinese Naxi
  • Chinese North
  • Chinese South
  • Chinese Tibet
  • Chinese Xibo
  • Cypriot
  • Filipino Austronesian
  • Gujarati Patidar
  • Indian
  • Indonesian Khmer Thai Myanma
  • Iranian Mesopotamian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Levantine
  • Malayali Subgroup
  • Manchurian Mongol
  • North Caucasus
  • Northern Indian
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Siberian
  • South Caucasus
  • South Indian
  • Southern Indian and Sri Lankan
  • Vietnamese
  • Ashkenazi Jewish
  • Balkan
  • Baltic
  • Basque
  • England
  • Central Italian
  • East Iberian
  • East Slavic
  • Finnish
  • Northwestern European
  • Greek
  • Ireland
  • North Iberian
  • North Italian
  • Orcadian
  • Sardinian
  • Scandinavian
  • Scotland
  • South Iberian
  • South Italian
  • Welsh
  • West Iberian
  • West Slavic
  • Australian
  • Hawaiian
  • Melanesian
  • Oceanian
  • Papuan
What is the reference panel used to analyze my Shared Ancient Origins?

We have defined 37 world regions broken down into 200 genetic populations. The genetic populations have been retrieved from well-known and scientific biobanks:

  • 1000Genomes
  • HGDP
  • Scientific papers publicly available (Cell, Nature, PubMed papers)

Reference Populations

  • Central African
  • East African
  • Egyptian
  • Ethiopian
  • Nigerian
  • Senegambian
  • Southeast African
  • West African
  • Anatolian
  • Caucasian
  • Central Asian
  • Chinese (Han)
  • Cypriot
  • East Asian
  • Indian
  • Japanese
  • Levantine
  • Mesopotamian
  • Mongolian
  • North African
  • Pakistan
  • Peninsular Arab
  • Senegambian
  • Siberian
  • South Central Indian
  • Southeast Asian
  • Vietnamese
  • Balkan
  • British Isles (U.K. Á Rep. of Ireland)
  • Eastern European
  • Finnish
  • Iberian
  • Italian
  • Northwestern European
  • Sardinian
  • Scandinavian
  • Native American
  • Pacific Islanders
How often are the ancestry reports updated?

Our goal is to update the ancestry report twice a year. You will receive an email whenever the ancestry report is updated, and the report will display the date when it was updated.

What is the difference between the "Modern Shared Origins" and "Ancient Shared Origins" reports?

The "Modern Shared Origins" report estimates your genetic similarity with modern populations to find ancestors in the last 500 years.

The "Ancient Shared Origins" report estimates an ancient shared origin. Two ethnicities may have a shared origin way back in time (> 1.000 years ago) or some recent ancestry. So, you will score many percentages related to a shared origin, although it does not mean you descend from this population. However, there was a common population from which you shared a common ancient origin. For example, Native Americans share a common origin with Siberians, Mongolians, and East Asians, 15.000 years ago, the first settlers in America were Asians that migrated to those lands.

What percentage can be considered inherited from an actual ancestor from the specified region?

We are very confident in our algorithm, but we are honest. We strongly recommend carrying out genealogy research and building up a genealogy tree based on your ancestors' actual birth, marriage, and death records.

We want to mention that sometimes a heritage can be considered accurate when it shows up in a significant figure and the region is from a distinctive heritage. For instance, if your known ancestry is only European, and you score more than 5% Native American, then you can suspect that there was an ancestor from America not so far back in time.

Consider that people may score a minor percentage from regions other than those they know. This can be just an ancestral overlap among populations with a shared history, not just recent but ancient history.

What is a genetic similarity?

From a scientific point of view, your DNA may match DNA from different world populations. There is no specific DNA from a region, but similarities. We try to find the most similar genetic population that resembles your DNA.

Is the map an accurate representation of the regions?

The regions shown on the map are intended to be used as a visual aid to understand which region our test is primarily focused on. However, it is possible that some regions may not include all areas that are considered to be part of that region

Why do the countries listed in the regions section don't line up with my known ancestry?

Our test tries to find your genetic affinity/similarity with populations within the specified region. Sometimes, your genetics may "look" closer to the ordinary people from another region.

Please, refrain from using the country estimation to trace your heritage because we identify genetic similarities, not where your ancestors come from.

How can I extend my knowledge about my ancestry heritage?

We encourage everyone to learn about the modern population and recent history. This is the best way to understand your heritage and how modern populations arrived at the places where they live now.

There are no pure ethnic populations, but they are a big mix of historical events (wars, trading, human migrations…) that conform to their modern genetic structure.

Why do my phenotypes (hair, eyes, skin color mainly) not match my known ancestry?

People from the same populations share many of the same genotypes and, therefore, share some common traits and phenotypes. But a common trait does not mean other looks/traits are not related to the same ancestry, they do.

Humans love to classify people by how they look alike. This classification makes, for instance, the typical northwestern European phenotype classified as a human with fair skin color and fair brown to blonde hair color. But one also can find people with darker features that are more common in southern Europeans and people from southern Europe that look like northwestern Europeans.

So, if you do not "look" / share the same phenotype as the people from your region/country, it does not mean that you have a heritage from the other side of the World, but just you inherited an ancestral feature that is less common in your region.

Remember that Genotype (your "floor plan" design) and Phenotypes (the house already built) are two different things, but they are strongly related. Phenotypes are expressed since you are in your mother's womb and are affected by what you eat, where you live, and what you experience.

Why don't I get a MTDNA or YDNA haplogroups prediction?

Our service can predict your MTDNA and YDNA haplogroups based on the DNA markers (SNPs) in your DNA file. Some companies provide this information in their DNA file, but others offer partial or no information.

The companies that provide a good quality set of MTDNA and YDNA haplogroup DNA markers (SNPs) are:

  • 23andme
  • TellMeGen

The companies that provide a low-quality set of MTDNA and YDNA haplogroup DNA markers (SNPs) are:

  • Ancestry
  • MyHeritage (only YDNA)

The companies that do not provide any MTDNA or YDNA haplogroup DNA markers (SNPs) at all are:


If your DNA file does not contain any MTDNA or YDNA haplogroup DNA markers (SNPs), the report will show a message stating it.

The report contains a quality score along your haplogroups to indicate whether the prediction is accurate.

What can I do to get a better MTDNA or YDNA haplogroups prediction?

You have two options to get a better MTDNA or YDNA haplogroup prediction:

  1. Test on a company that provides a good quality set of haplogroup DNA marker:
    1. 23andme
    2. TellMeGen
  1. Test on a company that provides a deep haplogroup prediction, such as the following:
    1. FTDNA BigY (YDNA) or FMS (MTDNA)
    2. Dante Labs* (YDNA/MTDNA)
    3. Nebula* (YDNA/MTDNA)

*these companies offer full genome services

Does my DNA change over time, and may it affect the results?

No, your DNA does not change, so if you test today and 20 years later, your genetic file will be the same.

What is the best DNA file to upload to your service?

Although our service is designed to work and accept any DNA file from any company, our algorithm best performs in the latest genotyping platforms used by the main companies.

We recommend uploading a file from Illumina GSA genochip. This genochip is currently used by the following DNA companies (Sept. 2023):

  • 23andme V5 (since Sept. 2017)
  • FTDNA (since Feb. 2019)
  • MyHeritage V2 (since Feb. 2019)
  • LivingDNA *

* It is not Illumina GSA, but the DNA markers overlap with Illumina GSA's chip.

Can the number of neanderthal variants be different depending on the DNA file?

Yes, the number of DNA markers (SNPs) associated with the neanderthal genome depends on the DNA markers read and available in the DNA file.