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  #1  
Old 25th August 2017, 08:55 AM
Sis65 Sis65 is online now
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Question mtdna & FF I'm confused

I did FF some time ago and I understand pretty much how it works; I believe it is fairly straight forward. Recently I threw an mtdna test into the mix to see if I could learn more and it has just confused me more.

Here is my confusion; I have 11 matches on my mtdna page. Two matches are a gd of 1 and the rest are 3. (I am not seeing how these matches are helping me, but that is not my confusion.) So I go to FF and I'm looking at my matches there and I find a 2nd-4th cousin match and when I check out her profile I see that she (like me) has done FMS and she is the same haplogroup as myself! (H7h)

Why then is she not one of my matches on the mtdna matches page? I know that mtdna is much more complex and confusing that FF. I have been listening to my husband talk about ydna for several years now and from what I understand mtdna is even more complex and difficult to understand than that.

As to my confusion, shouldn't I be a match on mtdna with the person mentioned above if she is the same haplogroup and we are a FF match? Maybe my understanding is all screwy and if so perhaps someone can explain it to me.

I beg forgiveness for so much ignorance on the subject.
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  #2  
Old 25th August 2017, 10:00 AM
Germanica Germanica is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sis65 View Post
I did FF some time ago and I understand pretty much how it works; I believe it is fairly straight forward. Recently I threw an mtdna test into the mix to see if I could learn more and it has just confused me more.

Here is my confusion; I have 11 matches on my mtdna page. Two matches are a gd of 1 and the rest are 3. (I am not seeing how these matches are helping me, but that is not my confusion.) So I go to FF and I'm looking at my matches there and I find a 2nd-4th cousin match and when I check out her profile I see that she (like me) has done FMS and she is the same haplogroup as myself! (H7h)

Why then is she not one of my matches on the mtdna matches page? I know that mtdna is much more complex and confusing that FF. I have been listening to my husband talk about ydna for several years now and from what I understand mtdna is even more complex and difficult to understand than that.

As to my confusion, shouldn't I be a match on mtdna with the person mentioned above if she is the same haplogroup and we are a FF match? Maybe my understanding is all screwy and if so perhaps someone can explain it to me.

I beg forgiveness for so much ignorance on the subject.
Sharing a haplogroup isn't the same thing as being a full sequence match. Basically, the matches don't go as far back as sharing a haplogroup does. Sharing a haplogroup means your most recent common ancestor could be from thousands and thousands of years ago. As an example, let's say 10,000 years ago. Now look at the chart I've attached - it shows how your matches only include a genetic distance up to 3 - and how many generations back that likely means your MRCA was. Note how at a genetic distance of 3, there's a 90% probability your MRCA was less than 44 generations ago. That's only approximately 1,000-2,000 years ago, depending on the length of each generation gap. So basically, your matches only represent people who share a most recent common ancestor with you from within the last approximately 2,000 years, whereas sharing a haplogroup with someone but not matching them means your MRCA is probably from much, much longer ago.

I know what you're next question is - if your MRCA with the person who you share a haplogroup with is from 10,000 years ago, then how are they also a FF match? Well, most probably you share more than one set of ancestors. Your shared haplogroup comes from an ancestor on your direct maternal line from 10,000 years ago (again, just using that number as an example, it may not be exact), but your shared autosomal DNA comes from a completely different, much more recent branch.

This is why haplogroups aren't particularly useful for recent genealogy. If you're looking to cross reference mtDNA and FF, you need to look for people who match you on both, not just share a haplogroup.
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File Type: png mtDNAfullseqchart.PNG (54.5 KB, 14 views)
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  #3  
Old 25th August 2017, 10:09 AM
georgian1950 georgian1950 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sis65 View Post
Maybe my understanding is all screwy and if so perhaps someone can explain it to me.
I'll catch flak over this, but in my opinion, the mtDNA experts are the ones that are all screwy. I have plenty of reason to believe that mutations and back mutations take place at a far greater rate than the experts believe. Move on to other areas and let this question sit for a while.

Jack
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  #4  
Old 25th August 2017, 10:18 AM
Sis65 Sis65 is online now
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Thanks Germanic,

The chart helps and I think I understand what you are saying.

My next question is -- and this is largely rhetorical really -- what is the point?
I mean (and I've seen this to an extent with my husband's ydna) if the likelihood of actually finding a match recent enough to provide valuable information is extremely slim, then what is this information good for.

With FF I have made several connections; I have found cousins I didn't know existed (some I kind of knew about, but had never met) and after comparing genealogical information we found how we were related and I have formed a friendship with several of these people. Happy about that

Now I've done the mtdna (not inexpensive) and I am questioning my sanity over the purchase. I don't see where I will get anything useful out of it at all. Maybe I am looking at this the wrong way and if so I am more than happy for someone to set me straight, but at present I just don't see it.

Thanks again for the chart though, it really is very helpful!

PS: Please don't take me for a complainer; I've seen some of the posts where people are saying the testing is completely useless and/or it has ruined their lives. I (don't believe) I am that person. I am very happy with my FF and perhaps with time may be happy with my mt as well. I just don't see the value in it at present.
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  #5  
Old 25th August 2017, 11:15 AM
Germanica Germanica is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sis65 View Post
Thanks Germanic,

The chart helps and I think I understand what you are saying.

My next question is -- and this is largely rhetorical really -- what is the point?
I mean (and I've seen this to an extent with my husband's ydna) if the likelihood of actually finding a match recent enough to provide valuable information is extremely slim, then what is this information good for.
Honestly, many people will say that it isn't very useful for genealogical purposes - and they are not exactly wrong. I took the mtDNA full sequence test because my direct maternal line was a brick wall and so far, it hasn't been of help but I hold out hope that it could if the right match comes in. I did get one full sequence match this year (I tested in 2014) at a genetic distance of 1 and interestingly, both our maternal lines go back to New York, so I'm hoping with some heavy research, I can connect them but it may go back too far for existing records.

Y-DNA tends to be a little more useful because it follows surnames. Surname projects with Y-DNA can be useful, and particularly if there's been a non-paternity event or adoption, Y-DNA can be useful for identifying the biological lineage.

But that's not the case with mtDNA. I hate to say you may have wasted your money, but I wouldn't give up on it yet - I'd just say it's a bit of a waiting game, lol.
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  #6  
Old 26th August 2017, 12:00 PM
KATM KATM is offline
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In addition to what Germanica posted, you may find some of the articles that Roberta Estes has written on her blog to be of some help with using your mtDNA results. Two good ones are:I know I often post links to Roberta Estes' blog posts, but she has an incredible amount of information on so many DNA topics, and explains things so clearly. I think that many folks could benefit by checking and searching her blog, as well as other genetic genealogy bloggers and websites.
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  #7  
Old 28th August 2017, 05:32 PM
mabrams mabrams is offline
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mtDNA doesn't help a lot. It is another tool in our toolbox. I have 4 GD =0 FMS matches. I am clueless on three of them but the fourth, the most recent was of some help.

This person turned out to be a 3rd cousin to my mother. They share the same gg gm, of whom we dont even have a name or dates. But at least we share the same mtDNA and 60 cM of autosomal DNA (but no X). So I know I am on the right track and that my tree so far can be trusted. Thus, not a discovery but at least a very welcome confirmation.

And it only took ten years to get it.... Maybe just 5 from FMS.

I will also say that mtDNA is less expensive than other testing. I know...$199 unless a sale. But you are very likely to buy one and only one. So one and done.

Family Finder is less expensive at $69 to $89 a test, but if you test a gaggle of relatives or would be relatives, the cumulative price can be rather high.

And if you do Y111 and a Big Y, well that's $900 without a sale, and you are quite likely to at least purchase a few Y37s on the side to test prospective cousins. And you can spend even more money if you want to concentrate on SNPs at other companies.


You might buy extra mtDNA kits but for most people its one-and-done.
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  #8  
Old 30th August 2017, 10:07 AM
Littlest bit Littlest bit is offline
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The full mitochondrial sequence test is more of a scientific curiosity for most people, sometimes helpful for narrowing down populations for a specific lineage, and rarely, helpful for recent genealogy. The mtDNA Plus test is a waste of money for customers, and pretty unhelpful for science, IMO, and should be discontinued. I have the FMS for myself, plus FF, FF only for several family members, and FF plus Y testing for other family members. My mitochondrial ancestress traces to German and Swiss Mennonites in Lancaster, PA and although none of my matches are traceable for genealogy, my matches are overwhelmingly German, Swiss, and from PA. So, it does back up my family history, which is nice, but that wasn't much in doubt, so now it's mainly a scientific curiosity for me. I'd love to see FTDNA drop the less informative mtdna test, get more serious about using the FMS for scientific study of mtdna in countries and populations (with better reports for customers,) and perhaps report on mtdna as it pertains to health and genetic fitness. Also, I'm not a fan of my branch group, which is not updated to the new group design like my guy's Y groups have been. The new design with the Activity feed allows robust, more informative discussion within the group and currently my branch group is still stranded on a Yahoo Tech group model.

The only genealogical mitochondrial matches I get show up at 23andme, where we show the same outdated mtdna assignment because 23andme hasn't updated them since build 7 from 2009; And, I get a mtdna match at Ancestry, but they don't give haplogroup assignments. I know they are mitochondrial matches because I can place them in my tree and know we share mitochondrial, as well as autosomal, common ancestors.
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  #9  
Old 30th August 2017, 11:01 AM
abuelita abuelita is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Littlest bit View Post
... I'd love to see FTDNA drop the less informative mtdna test ...
We have found those tests to be very useful as we just want evidence (if possible) of ancestry. Is the maternal line of xxxx Amerindian? (yes) Is the maternal line of yyy African? (yes) It's been a sort of identity-confirmation/affirmation exercise for us.

Matches might be nice, but we rarely have any (two of our four mtdna tests have no matches at any level), and the few autosomal ones generally don't respond to e-mail anyhow, so we've given up on that. But for ancestry on the continental level the various tests have been great.
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