More Genetic Communities at AncestryDNA

Finally, after asking AncestryDNA to split their Genetic Communities at least into 2 main regions (eastern Polynesia vs. western Polynesia, they come up with a major update, not just for Polynesians but for other places in the Pacific Islands, Asia, and America.

The former “Hawaii, Tonga & Samoa” genetic community has been broken into 4 different communities.

The maps that go with these genetic communities are not the best given how small these islands and atolls are on the map.  Not to mention how distant one island nation is to the next, especially when you see how AncestryDNA decides to group them together.

The Polynesian Islands genetic community is basically the same map that they had for the former Hawaii, Tonga & Samoa genetic community.

The Cook Island & French Polynesia genetic community covers a vast area.  But the area covered is nothing like comparing the distance between New Zealand & Hawaii.

The Hawaii & New Zealand genetic community basically just highlights the remaining extreme points of the Polynesian triangle (minus Easter Island), with Hawaiʻi to the north and New Zealand to the southwest.

The broader Hawaii, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji & New Zealand genetic community’s map does not even zoom in.  You will have to zoom in to see a better view of the islands within this genetic community.

And finally, the Tonga, Samoa & Fiji genetic community would also include other western Polynesian islands like Niue, Tokelau, and Tuvalu.  What is interesting, although it is no surprise, that they also included Fiji into this group.  Historically Fiji had some role with initial populating of Remote Oceania.  I have seen a few Fijian matches not just for me but also with my mother and cousins.

It would be nice if in the future they really can fine-tune these genetic communities a bit more.  While we know that eastern Polynesian people come from western Polynesia centuries ago, those of us from Hawaiʻi, Aotearoa (New Zealand) and Rapa Nui (Easter Island) know that we had ancestors coming from what is known as French Polynesia (Tahitian archipelago and the Marquesas) as recent as 800 years ago.

So while I did not get the French Polynesia (with Cook Islands) community, my mother did.  She does have more matches with western Polynesians (Samoans and Tongans) than I do.  She also has more matches with Fijians than I do, so I am not surprised she got the Tonga, Samoa & Fiji and also the Hawaii, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji & New Zealand genetic communities.

We will see as time goes by how my own genetic communities get updated.

2 thoughts on “More Genetic Communities at AncestryDNA

  1. Thanks for the update, it is really interesting. Though we all know that Polynesians were expert sea navigators the spread of the groups still seems to be very wide and all-encompassing. The four categories are, as you show, confusing because in the example given you fall into Hawaii in one group but not in another. It’s similar to what they have done categorising Irish/Scottish and Welsh/English/Western European. The Irish/Scottish group may also include Welsh and might be better named as Celtic.But it may be because it is difficult to categorise some of it into one homogenous group due to ancient ties and people’s movement.

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