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June 18, 2011

mtDNA Test Results Arrived!

Written by Lorine McGinnis Schulze of (see FN1)

Readers may recall that on May 10 this year I mailed in my mtDNA Test Kit which I ordered from Family Tree DNA . Well, last week an email arrived saying my test results were posted!

I was pretty excited and immediately went to the Family Tree DNA website to read the results. I have to confess that I'm confused. I'm not sure what I've learned that will help me in discovering my maternal origins.

It seems my Haplogroup is J and I have 5 mutations from Cambridge Reference Sequence (CRS). But what does it all mean? I've got a lot of reading to do! One thing I spotted during a quick browse of various articles was reference to Haplogroup J being found more frequently in centenarians than in younger individuals. (Source: The women on my mom's side all live to be in their 90s so that's kind of interesting.

An intriguing but still puzzling result is my Recent Ancestral Origins section. Here FamilyTreeDNA displays a chart showing the countries of origin reported by the people I match. This intrigued me because my maternal lineage as far back as I know it (Mary Ansell born Kent 1771), is based solidly in England.

But my chart results show I match 80 people from England, 54 from Germany, 22 from Ireland, 13 from France, 11 from Sweden and several other countries where my matches are under 10. I'm going to have to do some reading to understand what these numbers mean because there are also percentages given showing what % of the total population tested within each country of origin match my test results.

England is low - yes it says I match 80 people who gave England as the country of origin of their most distant female ancestor. But it then shows that I only match 1.2% of the population tested. That seems low to me, especially since I also match at 1.2% the total who gave Austria, 1.2 % who said Denmark and 1% who gave Switzerland as their most distant country of origin. More research on my part is definitely required for me to understand these numbers.

I also gave in to temptation and upgraded from mtHVR1 to Mega. The sale price at Family Tree DNA was too good for me to resist!

An extra step you can take with your DNA test results is to submit them to mitosearch then you check for matches in their database. I did that and sent off emails to the people who most closely matched my 5 mutations. We'll see what develops from that!

It also seems to me that I need to join some DNA projects so I'm off to hunt for any that I think apply.

FN1: I've added my name and blog URL to the header of this post because two other blogs are copying  my DNA articles without permission and posting them on their blogs. No link back to my blog is given and my name is omitted as the author. Since I hope to make connections with other genealogists through my blog, I have added my name and blog URL. This may help ensure that some notation is kept that indicates to readers of these unscrupulous blogs that the articles are not written by the blog owners in question. These same blog owners have disabled their comment feature and removed email addresses so I cannot contact them.


Debbie Kennett said...

With an mtDNA test it's always a good idea to join the relevant haplogroup project. There is a haplogroup J project here:

Your readers might like to know that there is a full list of mtDNA haplogroup projects in the ISOGG Wiki:

The basic HVR1 mtDNA test is a very low resolution test, rather like the 12-marker Y-DNA test, and many people do have lots of matches. These are mostly very distant and you probably share a common ancestor several thousand years ago. The full sequence test (also known as the mega) will give you a much better idea of your geographical origins, and if you have any exact matches they are more likely to be of genealogical relevance.

Kathy Reed said...

I am so disappointed to hear that people are linking back to your blog and not giving you credit. I'm glad you came up with a good way to counteract the problem.

Caverly said...

I'm surprised it took so long for you to try DNA testing. Although mtDNA is not as useful as yDNA it is interesting to look at and see ones maternal history in time.
P. Caverly

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

P. Caverly - It didn't take me long to try DNA testing. I twisted my brother's arm several years ago to test his Y-DNA (which I paid for).

I had no interest in my mtDNA as I didn't think it had as much value, genealogy-wise, as Y-DNA. But th test cost went on sale.... and nNow I'm enjoying learning what it can show me :-)

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Debbie, thank you for your insight! I did join the J-mtDNA group and look forward to learning more

Your Genetic Genealogist said...

Please keep us updated on what you find. My Mega mtDNA results were interesting:

The New Genealogist said...

Very interesting! I'm still debating whether mtDNA testing would be worthwhile, so I look forward to hearing more about what you learn!

So sorry to hear about those other blogs copying your posts- talk about not cool. On the other hand, it speaks to the quality of your writing. Still, I wish there was a way to make people like that stop.