23andMe Adds More Detail For Indigenous Mexican Ancestry

23andMe has added finer details for customers with roots that trace back to Indigenous American ancestors from 28 different regions in what is now Mexico.

The update is part of our continuing work to improve 23andMe’s Ancestry reports and features. This new update allows customers with Indigenous American ancestry from one of these Genetic Groups in Mexico to see their connections genetically as well as geographically. It also helps to convey the breadth of genetic and cultural diversity of Mexico, and the rich history of Mesoamerican civilizations there.

Indigenous populations of Mexico

Mexico, and Latin America generally, is among the world’s most ethnically diverse regions, according to UNESCO. The indigenous people within what is now Mexico have a deep history that predates European colonization by more than 15,000 years. Several major indigenous cultures flourished in this precolonial period, including Olmec, Maya, and Aztec civilizations.

These indigenous groups developed innovative farming techniques and built urban centers. The Maya were skilled astronomers and mathematicians, and developed the unique Mayan calendar. They left behind sophisticated art and architecture and massive stone pyramids. The Aztec of Tenochititlan, built on an island in Lake Texcoco, was at the center of a vast Aztec empire.

Another city, Teotihuacan founded 2,000 years ago, was the sixth largest urban center in the world at its zenith around the second century AD with a population of more than 120,000. The massive stone pyramids of Teoihuacan can still be seen today. Each of these cultures had their own unique art, music, and belief systems. They each had intricate trade and social hierarchies that buttressed their societies. 

Ancestry Composition Update

23andMe’s Ancestry Composition report is a living analysis that improves as we add new reference data. Underlying our Ancestry reports are powerful algorithms and analytical tools developed by 23andMe population geneticists and engineers to offer our customers more insights into their ancestral origins. 

Over the last few years, we’ve updated results for people with African Ancestry, Chinese Ancestry, Indigenous Caribbean Ancestry, Spanish and Portuguese Ancestry, Indigenous American ancestry, and British and Irish ancestry, for instance.

While 23andMe customers may already see evidence of recent ancestry within Mexico, this update and these Genetic Groups represent improvements in specificity. The Genetic Groups that are part of this update are also more reflective of the distinct regional populations and customer’s ancestry.

The Northern Indigenous Mexican Genetic Groups are divided into nine regions:

Northern Mexican Plateau

Mexican Volcanic Cordillera – East Central

Mexican Volcanic Cordillera – West

Plains of Northeastern Mexico

Sonoran Desert and Baja California

West Central Mexico

East Central Mexico

Upper Santiago River Basin

Mexican Volcanic Cordillera – West Central

The Southern Indigenous Mexican Genetic Groups are divided into 19 regions:

Yucatán Peninsula

Balsas River Basin – Central Guerrero

Valley of Oaxaca – Ejutla

Valley of Oaxaca – Tlacolula

Sierra Norte of Oaxaca

Chiapas Highlands

Isthmus of Tehuantepec – Oaxaca

Sierra Madre del Sur-Coast

Balsas River Basin – Huizuco

Mexican Volcanic Cordillera – South Central

Balsas River Basin – North Guerrero

Mexican Volcanic Cordillera – Citlaliépetl and Tehuacán

Balsas River Basin – Tierra Caliente

Mexican Volcanic Cordillera – West Puebla

La Mixteca

Mexican Volcanic Cordillera – Veracruz

Balsas River Basin – West Guerrero

La Mixteca – North

More than half a million 23andMe customers, who have tested on our latest genotyping chip, will receive a match to one or more of the Genetic Groups listed.

Among customers with four grandparents from Mexico, around 60 percent will receive a match to a Genetic Group in northern Mexico, while 30 percent will receive a match to a Genetic Group in southern Mexico.

Related Articles on FamilyTree.com:

FamilySearch Added New Records From Mexico

Ancestry Mexico Has Launched

23andMe Adds More Details For Indigenous Caribbean Ancestry

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