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May 9, 2011

Taking My MtDNA Test - Step One

Two years ago I had my brother's Y-DNA tested. I chose Family Tree DNA as they have the largest database for comparison purposes. I haven't written about my experiences with Y-DNA testing (all good!) but I will in a future blog post. Briefly, the 37 marker test allowed us to connect with others and eventually find our McGinnis ancestors place of origin in Northern Ireland. Only men can take the Y-DNA test which follows the paternal line unbroken from son to father.

A few weeks ago I decided to do three things - upgrade my brother's Y-DNA to a 67 marker test, order the Family FInder Test for Y-DNA and test my own MtDNA.

Both men and women can take a MtDNA test which follows the maternal lineage. I ordered my MtDNA test from Family Tree DNA and it arrived a few days ago.

When your kit arrives it has a Collection Number (your own unique ID), a welcoming letter from the head of the company, a page of easy-to-follow instructions, a return envelope and a plastic baggie with 3 collection sample tubes, 3 collection brushes and a permission slip.

Signing the permission slip is important as that allows  Family Tree DNA to compare your sample with others in their database and inform you of matches.

 I was excited to begin and read the DNA Collection Method. Basically it said I was to collect 3 samples several hours apart, by scraping the inside of my cheek for 60 seconds each time.

The only problem for me was that you have to wait a certain number of hours between scrapings as well as a certain number of hours after eating. Since I'm a "grazer" (I eat small amounts frequently throughout the day) it was difficult for me to figure out when I could get the samples.

Then it dawned on me that all I had to do was take Scraping #1 first thing in the morning, then Scraping #2 last thing at night and Scraping #3 first thing the next day.

 Scrapings done (easy!), permission slip signed and my test was back in the envelope ready for mailing. Now I wait. I don't know when I will hear from Family Tree DNA about my results but I'll post about it here on Olive Tree Genealogy blog when I do.


Amy Coffin, MLIS said...

Lorine, your timing approach was the same as mine in terms of swabbing. I'm currently waiting for my results.

Genealogy Blogger said...

Amy, I hope you're going to blog about it. I'm curious as to what the test will tell me!

My brother's Y-DNA was amazing, we learned a lot that was of genealogical significance and connected with matches. Fingers crossed that the MtDNA is as helpful and interesting

Kathy Reed said...

I talked my brother into giving a sample several years ago. Interesting, but nothing major. If I had money sitting around, I'd upgrade his test for more markers.

About a month ago I submitted my own DNA to 23andMe. Very interesting and detailed medical results. As far as genealogical results, nothing I didn't already know. One of the things that bothers me is that I have Irish ancestry in both my maternal and paternal lines. It doesn't "count." Going straight down my paternal line (father, grandather, g-grandfather, etc.) there is no Irish. Same for maternal line. I don't think enough people are aware of the limitations.