Recent Ancestral Origins

Hello, forum!

Hi Friends!

I was studying the Recent Ancestral Origins  (RAO) page on FTDNA and was trying to make some mathematical sense out of it.  First of all, as I understand it, the numbers represent those who have had their DNA checked who match the genealogy of the countries listed.  There appears to be no statistical relationship as regards population of a country to percentage of matches. (?)  Thus, statistically, you could have far more relatives from a smaller country simply because there could be fewer tested.  Also, direct matches could have more bearing because one country is much smaller.  For example, if I tested 4 positive for Ireland and 6 positive for England, then because of the population difference, my statistical average would be hirer from Ireland.  Correct?

Re: Recent Ancestral Origins

Hi, Myron,

I just found your message on the Phillips Family forum, and I apologize for the slow response.  The Recent Ancestral Origins database at Family Tree DNA is not scientific, so it is impossible to make mathematical sense out of it.  The database is just based on where people claim their earliest known ancestor originated.  Most people really don't know where their ancestors originated, and so they base their response on family hearsay.  For example, many American Phillips families have oral traditions that their earliest known Phillips ancestor came from Wales.  However, historians say that Wales actually supplied very few immigrants to America, so most of these oral traditions are probably incorrect.  Once we have tested enough Phillips men who currently live in Wales and/or can trace their Phillips family in Wales with valid documentation, we should be able to determine which if any American Phillips families actually originated in Wales.

Nancy Kiser
Phillips Worldwide DNA Project