GPS Origins® Ancestry Test
Ancient Origins DNA
Pinpoint your ancestry—even to the town or city—with the highest- resolution DNA test available.
A special welcome to visitors from our corporate partner Ancient Origins. Learn more about the test below and then enter your exclusive promo code at checkout.
Pinpoint your DNA!
Using a DNA sample you provide through a simple cheek swab, our qualified laboratory tests more than 80,000 unique genetic markers. Cross-checking that information across dozens of gene pools and more than 1,000 reference populations, we use your DNA to create a detailed report about where your family’s DNA originated and how your own unique DNA signature migrated over time. This can help you answer questions about your family’s history, shed light on the origins of certain family traits, and help you better understand who you are.
This advanced autosomal test is so targeted, it may even indicate the town or village where groups of your ancestors from different cultures met—building a vibrant picture of the migration journeys that formed your deep genealogical heritage.
- New ancestral tracking technique pinpoints your genetic genealogy
- 80,000 autosomal genetic markers tested, 1,000+ reference populations and 41 gene pools analyzed
- Simple and painless cheek swab to collect your DNA sample
- Highly-accredited lab with privacy-protected service and expert staff; your DNA is not sent to a third-party lab
- Step-by-Step Instructions
- Cheek swabs for DNA collection
- Postage-paid envelope for returning samples to the lab (U.S. customers only)
- Within 6 weeks
Learning about your origins through DNA testing can reveal a lot you may not have known about your deepest roots. The story of your family is contained in your unique genetic code, just waiting for you to discover it. Although your family history may already contain a lot of information about your origins, some information can become lost over generations. With ancestry testing you can bridge the gaps in your family’s records and make connections you never knew were possible. Our advanced autosomal test is so targeted, it may even indicate the town or village where groups of your ancestors from different cultures met, building a vibrant picture of the migration journeys that formed your deep genealogical heritage.
Benefits of GPS Origins®:
- The first and best DNA test with bio-geographical targeting capability to the town or village level
- Identifies when and where your DNA formed by matching the populations that came together to create your genetic line
- Traces the migration route of both your maternal and paternal lineages, showing the last three (3) locations where your DNA signature underwent significant changes
- Provides detailed stories helping to explain DNA mixture events such as wars, famines, and migrations
- Developed by a leading population geneticist from the University of Sheffield in England
Test Results Include:
- Dynamic online experience featuring an interactive map, allowing you to zoom into your GPS pinpoints—revealing towns and cities
- Downloadable PDF report that can be shared with family and friends
- Your online and printable results feature:
- 1.) Maps of your top three ancestral origins (the gene pools or ancestral communities that contributed to significant portions of your genetic makeup) along with the percentages of DNA you inherited from each
- 2.) A comprehensive gene-pool profile with DNA percentages that goes well beyond basic ethnicity tests
- 3.)A detailed map illustrating your maternal and paternal migration journeys with descriptions on how your ancestors’ circumstances may have changed as they crossed territories and continents to find better lives
GPS Origins®is a revolutionary DNA test that enables you to trace your family history based on DNA-mixture events that began over 1,000 years ago. It provides maternal and paternal migration routes with precision targeting—sometimes down to the village or town. Current DNA tests used for genealogy locate where fragments of your DNA formed within countries or continents. Typically you find that some of your ancestors come from Western Europe, Africa, or South Asia, and you are given broad estimates of ethnicity. This type of DNA test generally cannot identify a radius of your origins to particular locations with longitude and latitude and it defines your ancestry using the modern-day population names. GPS Origins overcomes the limitations of these DNA tests by using a new ancestral tracking technique that leverages unique markers in your DNA to pinpoint specific places where your DNA was formed. These markers were carefully selected to inform us of the particular routes your ancestors took.
The Science Behind the Test
This DNA test is based on a new way of viewing human populations that considers everyone as mixed from different gene pools. This model is fundamentally different from existing ancestry testing which suggests that humans branched from a small number of populations that changed over time. Instead, GPS Origins relies upon the genetic uniqueness created by mixing 41 global gene pools in different proportions—more than twice the number being used by other methods. As such, it captures ancient events, like the migration of Indo-Iranian people into Europe around 2500 BC. The gene pools describe the geographical origins of your DNA molecule as passed along the generational lines.
The test utilizes autosomal DNA inherited from chromosomes 1-22, which are more sensitive to the genetic signature of your most recent common ancestors compared to the Y and mitochondria chromosomes. To trace the origin of your DNA, GPS Origins splits your gene pool’s unique signature into its two primary components, roughly corresponding to paternal and maternal, but not always. For example, people whose two parents are of English descent may find that GPS Origins traced their ancestries to Italy and Scandinavia, probably because the Romans and Vikings, who conquered England, contributed most to their ancestry. After determining the two head points, GPS Origins calculates the migration routes that your ancestors’ DNA took, using large circles to represent uncertainty and smaller circles for higher confidence in the geographical region. Circles represent the places where your ancestors’ DNA stayed and mixed with the local inhabitants of these lands.
The migration routes are not a literal travel itinerary of your DNA. If there was no gene exchange with the local population at a particular site, GPS Origins will not report this site, although your ancestors may have traveled there. Moreover, in cases of big migrations of population A into population B, if population A continues marrying within the group, GPS Origins would trace its geographical origins to the original A site, although population A has been physically living with population B for a very long time. Finally, GPS Origins uses specific mutations in your DNA to date the most recent migration events. It can then offer an explanation as to what may have incentivized your ancestors to move from point A to point B at this particular time period.
The Test Creator
The GPS Origins algorithm was developed at the University of Sheffield in 2016, led by the research team of Dr. Eran Elhaik. Dr. Elhaik, a population geneticist, was one of the collaborators on an early version of the technology in 2012 called Geno 2.0 on behalf of the National Geographic Society. Most recently, the journal Nature Communications published a peer-reviewed paper describing the science behind the algorithm on April 29th, 2014. The accuracy of the test was demonstrated by identifying the DNA signature of ancient Ashkenazic Jews and their formation approximately 1,500-2,000 years ago.
Once you receive your GPS Origins® kit collect your DNA samples by following the step-by-step instructions included in the kit. Once you have your samples, use the prepaid FedEx Express Envelope to mail them back to our fully-accredited lab, where we compare your DNA using more than 80,000 unique genetic markers across more than 1,000 reference populations and 41 gene pools. You’ll receive an email once your samples arrive at our lab. Within six weeks, you’ll receive another email with your detailed and personalized report.
- 1.) BUY KIT: Order your complete DNA test through our online store today
- 2.) KIT ARRIVES FAST: We will ship your kit via FedEx Express within 24 hours of purchase
- 3.) COLLECT DNA: Use the cheek swabs found in the kit to collect your DNA and mail the samples to our lab
- 4.) ANALYZE DNA: You will receive an email when your samples arrive at the lab and our scientific team will extract and process your DNA to analyze the genes
- 5.) RECEIVE REPORT: You will receive an email within 6 weeks that your personalized report
Read further about the legendary research and significant historical finds that lead to the creation of GPS Origins:
The Diversity of REcent and Ancient huMan (DREAM): A New Microarray for Genetic Anthropology and Genealogy, Forensics, and Personalized Medicine December 2017
DREAM can be used to study the genetic relationships between ancient humans, archaic hominins, and modern humans as well as to improve our understanding of human migratory history.
Conversations with Eran Elhaik: Tracking Ancient Migrations July 2017
Q&A with Dr. Elhaik, the creator of GPS Origins. By applying evolutionary genomics to populations, Dr. Elhaik is able to discern snapshots of people by tracing their geographic movements.
My Genealogy Results from Multiple DNA Tests May 2017
A comparison of Family Tree DNA, Ancestry DNA and GPS Origins.
DNA Uncovers Ancient Ashkenaz, Predicts Where Yiddish Originated April 2016
Localizing Ashkenazic Jews to primeval villages in the ancient Iranian lands of Ashkenaz.
Y-Chromosomal Adam Lived 208,300 Years Ago, Says New Study May 2014
The extremely ancient chromosome that still isn’t.
Yale Researchers Map 6,000 Years of Urban Settlements June 2014
Academic-generated database showing long-term trends of urban population densities from 2000 BC to +1000 AD.
Ground-breaking technique traces DNA direct to your ancestor’s home 1,000 years ago January 2014
Geographic Population structure analysis of worldwide human populations infers their bio-geographical origins.
The GPS Origins® DNA test for ancestry was launched in 2016 and provides the latest in next-generation genetic technology and methodology for determining family history. DNA Diagnostics Center commissioned Dr. Eran Elhaik at the University of Sheffield to build the most sophisticated algorithm based on proven techniques for understanding and tracking an individual’s biogeographical profile. GPS Origins is the result of his work.
Established in 1995, DNA Diagnostics Center (“DDC”) was founded on the belief that technological advancements in DNA testing should translate to services that are accessible and affordable to everyone. We have built an international reputation based on our commitment to reliability, innovation, and value by offering DNA testing services for paternity and other family relationships, forensics, animal breeders and veterinarians, and now wellness-inspired consumers. DDC’s laboratory in Fairfield, Ohio is nationally and internationally recognized through multiple accreditations.
As an industry leader in DNA testing, we offer:
- A fully-accredited laboratory with state-of-the-art technology and robotics to ensure accuracy
- A large team of expert PhDs to conduct results screening, testing, and research
- A secured facility with established screening protocols to guarantee privacy and security
For over 20 years, we have earned the trust of our customers by carefully handling more than 10 million DNA samples. Your sensitive DNA test results always remain confidential, and we will not sell your personal data to third parties. DDC is the DNA testing laboratory trusted around the world.
Customers trust us with their most sensitive genetic information—and we take that trust seriously. DNA results and personally-identifiable information are kept completely confidential and are not sold to or shared with a third party (except in connection with a merger/sale of our company), unless we are legally compelled to do so. We may use aggregate anonymous data (information that cannot be traced back to a specific individual) for research and marketing purposes and to improve our services. Respecting our customers’ privacy is at the heart of what we do.
Other DNA tests for ancestry provide a limited ethnic composition at a regional or country level. For example, they might indicate 33% East Asian, 40% sub-Saharan African and 27% European. GPS Origins goes beyond these broad ethnic classifications to identify your ancestral origins to a precise geographic location using an unprecedented number of gene pools and reference populations.
This is an Autosomal DNA test, also known as a SNP (pronounced ‘snip’) test. It extracts markers from your Y-Chromosome DNA, X-Chromosome DNA and Mitochondrial DNA.
There are four types of DNA:
Y-DNA, which only occurs on the Y-chromosome, is passed down from father to son through the generations, and is only inherited by males.
X-DNA, which only occurs on the X-chromosome, is inherited by women from both parents, and by men from the mother.
Mitochondrial DNA (also known as mitochondria or mtDNA) is passed down through the maternal line, and is inherited by sons and daughters, but only passed on by females. It is the least changeable type of DNA, found outside the cell nucleus, not on a chromosome.
Autosomal DNA can be inherited from hundreds of thousands of your ancestors through the ages. Autosomal DNA can be found in 22 chromosomes, and provides 90% of your DNA.
This test examines nearly 80,000 of your autosomal markers (SNPs) and compares them with the distinctive mutations in 41 gene pools across 1,000+ reference populations. This pinpoints the places and times where your DNA last changed.
The level of accuracy depends on your family history. If your parents are from the same place and share relatively homogeneous gene pools, the test can trace both their DNA signatures to their country of origin 81% of the time. GPS Origins correctly predicts at least one parent to the correct country of origin 96% of the time. If both your parents are unmixed, GPS Origins can predict migration pinpoints to the correct country 90% of the time.
In a study of people from across the world, the migration routes generated from the GPS Origins algorithm predicted continental origins with 98% accuracy, assigned 83% of the individuals to their country of origin, and, where applicable, 66% of them to their regional locations.
If your ancestors were from Western Europe and your parents came from the same region, not moving far from the place they came from, the test will place your DNA signature within 50 miles of its true origin, and often closer.
Your results show the origin as a pinpoint on a map. Any margin of error appears as a circle around the point. the smaller the circle, the more accurate the result. The accuracy also depends on the size of the reference population in a given area; the larger the reference group, the more accurate the results.
Note that the results do not necessarily predict your residential address, but rather, the broader origin of your DNA’s signature, showing the last three (3) places where the signature was significantly modified.
GPS Origins test allows you to trace your DNA back around 1,000 years, or more, to the place where your unique DNA signature began.
The test uses 41 global gene pools to calculate the genetic signature of your autosomal DNA. For example: Fennoscandia 19%, Southern France 14%, Orkney Islands 20%, and so on. Next, it compares your unique DNA signature to 1,000+ populations all over the world (who we know have lived in the same location for a substantial period) to locate where your personal DNA signature began. In some cases, GPS Origins traces your DNA to the village or town level. Finally, it calculates two genetic lineages by tracing the migration routes of your DNA, with pinpoints showing the last three places where your DNA underwent significant changes. The final pinpoint is time-stamped.
The test looks at the genetic composition of your DNA—your DNA signature—and compares it to a database of over 10,000 signatures from 1,000+ populations with known geographic locations to identify the place where it began about 1,000 years ago.
We have identified 41 gene pools around the world. Each human population is made up of a mixture of these gene pools. In the distant past, individual migrations were rare. Genetic mixing tended to occur when large groups of people moved from one area to another, through invasion or mass migration. As the incoming gene pool mixed with the local one, a new genetic signature was created across the whole population.
The GPS Origins test assumes that your DNA signature is unique to you but shares many characteristics with the populations or tribes from which it originated. By comparing your DNA to the signature mixes within different populations, GPS Origins can pinpoint the origin of your DNA.
The algorithm works out the differences, or genetic ‘distance’ between your DNA and the DNA population signatures in our database, and converts them to geographic distances. Then, like a car satellite navigation system, it uses the distances to calculate the coordinates of your DNA origin, which marks the spot where your DNA most recently changed at the population level. It occurs when two different populations came together and created your DNA signature.
Using a similar method, GPS Origins then works backward to find two more points and plots the journey to where your DNA was mixed. It repeats this calculation for each element of your parental DNA.
Your report presents mixture proportions from 41 possible gene pools that cover the whole world as well as the history of the primary gene pools. Your report also shows the geographical origins of your DNA, which could be a country or as close to the nearest town. Your DNA signature was created when two different population groups mixed and created a new genetic signature—the one that you ultimately inherited.
You also see two migration routes for your DNA—one for each side of your family—back to where it came from, which may originate up to 10,000 years ago. Finally, GPS Origins dates the age of your DNA signature corresponding to when it last underwent a substantial change at the population level.
GPS Origins is a great tool to help you research your family tree!
A Gene Pool, also referred to as Ancestral Origin, is the collective set of genetic information within a distinct region where populations had limited interactions with populations from outside the group for up to about 20,000 or 60,000 years. So far, 41 human gene pools around the world have been identified with each human population made up of a mixture of several such gene pools. In the distant past, genetic mixing tended to occur when large groups of people moved from one area to another, through invasion or mass migration. The GPS Origins test pinpoints the origin of your DNA by comparing it to the signature mixtures in different populations. Your personalized report shows the percentages of DNA you inherited and provides you with the history of the top three Gene Pools.
Also referred to as a Study Base, a reference population is a defined, representative sample of individuals during a specific time range used to establish norms for reference ranges. GPS Origins uses 1,000+ reference populations in its database when calculating your results. This large number of reference populations, obtained from publicly referenced datasets, along with the 41 gene pools helps deliver the accuracy in your GPS Origins results.
A Migration Pattern is the path your DNA traveled over the past 2,000-4,000 years. The GPS Origins test traces your migration route back to where it originated and dates the age of your DNA signature. The test provides this information for both your parental lineages, indicating where your DNA began. Your results are detailed in a report that reveals a vibrant picture of where and how your ancestors lived, and the conditions that led them to migrate. It also contains maps illustrating the two most important migration journeys and describes how your ancestors’ circumstances changed as they crossed continents to find better lives. Note: The GPS Origins test is an Autosomal (SNP) test that is not gender specific. Although both Migration Patterns represent your Maternal and Paternal DNA route, we cannot differentiate which route is specifically your parents’ individual route at this time.
GPS Origins ancestry test does not report the geographic origins of individual ancestors, but the geographical origin of your DNA. You can be certain that some of your ancestors came from these places within the period indicated.
Discovering your genetic origin will help you answer the question of where you are from beyond the written record of your family history. It can help you open up further avenues of research and you can learn more about the lives of your ancestors at the point in history when your DNA began.
Your ‘ancestral family’ is much larger than your immediate family and you may be able to find out much more about their lives and culture with GPS Origins.
Because this ancestry testing provides an accurate location, you can discover more about the place where your distant ancestors originated. This test helps you use historical and archaeological research to find out about the time and conditions in which your distant ancestors lived.
GPS Origins shows the origin of your DNA and those of users who choose to share it. These results are indicative of tribal DNA membership, but not necessarily direct familial relationships.
In the case that one of your parents is of mixed origins because your grandparents are from two different places (e.g., England and Greece), GPS Origins migration lines for that parent would be traced along the middle migration paths of your grandparents (e.g., Hungary). This could be revealed via a larger circle (greater radius) around a stopping point, reflecting higher uncertainty in this area. GPS Origins is the story of your DNA, not necessarily of people. Your (and their) DNA may indeed have come from a region that no one remembers existed.
We are constantly developing improved tools that will give you more accurate and informative questions about your past, so stay tuned.
GPS Origins reports the results for two lineages (your parents) which may indicate your parental origins that were inherited from your maternal and paternal grandparents, and so on down the maternal and paternal line.
If your grandparents and parents are of mixed ancestry, the test identifies the most dominant origins, which may differ between siblings because they inherited different genetic material from each parent.
For example, imagine that your parents have hazel and brown eyes. You and your sibling(s) may have blue, hazel, or brown eyes because each one of you inherited a different trait from each parent.
So which sibling’s GPS Origins results are the most correct? They all are correct because each tells a story of different ancestral traits from your family. Despite coming from the same parents, the genetic traits of you and your sibling(s) may show the different path your ancestors have chosen. Combining sibling results together would yield your complete family story. The only siblings with the same result would be identical twins because they have identical DNA.
What if my family history indicates we have been in one area for a very long time and my results show I am connected to a dramatically different area?
In the case that one of your parents is of mixed origins because your grandparents are from two different places (e.g., England and Greece), GPS Origins migration lines for that parent may be traced along the middle migration paths of your grandparents (e.g., Hungary). This could be revealed via a larger circle (greater radius) around a stopping point, reflecting higher uncertainty in this area. GPS Origins is the story of your DNA—not necessarily of people. Your (and their) DNA may indeed have come from a region that no one remembers existed.
We are constantly developing improved tools that will give you more accurate and informative questions about your past, so stay tuned.
GPS Origins always reports the results for two lineages, which should roughly correspond to the origin of your parents. The test works best for people with DNA from no more than two different places; that is to say, people whose parents are from different places but are not themselves mixed. For people with more mixing, say, four grandparents from various places across the globe, the test will report the midpoint between the four places.
The next generation of this DNA testing for ancestry will reveal the genetic origins for people with significantly mixed genetic backgrounds.
If a person with a great deal of Native American ancestry tested their DNA through GPS Origins, what would be reported?
If someone with a high percentage (+30%) of Native American ancestry is tested on GPS Origins, the report would reveal a high percentage of the North American gene pool and migration point(s). People with a more diverse genetic mixture may not show gene pools and migration points of origin in North America.
The test will tell you where your DNA is from and may help you get started on your search to find your birth family and to help you build a family tree.
An ‘ethnic group’ is considered a group with shared characteristics such as culture, language, religion and traditions, and sees itself or is perceived by others as a distinct community. It is not necessarily genetic and definitions of what is a distinct ethnic group may vary from place to place.
This DNA test for ancestry tells you where your DNA began. It is more accurate than your ethnicity, which refers to a much bigger group of people that may reside in multiple places. Genetic origin, therefore tells you much more about the smaller group of individuals who were your ancestors.
The algorithm was developed at the University of Sheffield by the research team of Dr. Eran Elhaik who also developed the original algorithm published in a peer-reviewed paper in the highly respected Nature communications journal (Elhaik et al. 2014. Nature communications). In that article, the authors showed that the algorithm traced individuals back to their country, island, and the village of origins. The accuracy of the test was demonstrated by the DNA signature of ancient Ashkenazic Jews, formed some 1,500-2,000 years ago (Das et al. 2016. Genome Biology and Evolution).
This test calculates positions according to your DNA, gene pools, and over 862 reference populations. Occasionally, your genetic location may reside over a pond or river, but don’t be alarmed, it doesn’t mean your DNA has originated in the water but rather that nowadays the river is running very close to the region where your DNA originated. Moreover, since our test establishes a location according to genetic proximity of your DNA and its similarities to various reference populations – you will also see a circle surrounding your data point, which represents a margin of error (or range) where your DNA may have formed.
The circle surrounding each data point represents a margin of error (or range). The smaller the circle, the smaller the percentage of error.
What is the difference between GPS Origins and HomeDNA Starter Ancestry Test, which is available in U.S. stores?
Our Starter Ancestry Test’s report states ” the breakdown is based on four percentage groups: indigenous American, European–South Asian, East Asian, and sub-Sahara African.” GPS Origins’ analysis comes with a manual explaining our process as well as human migration history.
If you are interested in learning more about your ancestry, please consider GPS Origins. We developed this test with our customers in mind as they requested more details of their past. GPS Origins is a revolutionary DNA test for ancestry that takes you deep into your family history. Traditionally, DNA tests for ancestry provide a breakdown of your ancestry and locate parts of your DNA in broad continental sweeps, but nothing specific, not even to the country level. The advanced ancestry test combines the latest genetic research with a new ancestral tracking technique to pinpoint more precisely where your DNA began using the latest technology and algorithms. GPS Origins can pinpoint the town or village where groups of your ancestors from different cultures met—building a vibrant picture of the migration journeys that formed your deep genealogical heritage.
Your test kit includes: step-by-step instructions, four (4) buccal (cheek) swabs, DNA sample envelope, Result Notification Form (to return with DNA samples)and a pre-paid/addressed FedEx Express Envelope to return everything to our lab.
Due to the interactive characteristics of the report, results are online only.
For your convenience, we’ve created a glossary with explanations of some of the most common terms you’re likely to come across during your DNA test for ancestry
How can I tell which migration route corresponds to my paternal line and which corresponds to my maternal line?
Because this test is autosomal, paternal and maternal lines cannot be distinguished by name. But you can be sure one is your maternal line and one is your paternal line. Most of our customers are able to deduce which is which based on knowledge of their own family histories.