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Recent migrations

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  • Recent migrations

    I am working on several mtdna lines. Is there a chance there will soon be better tests for more recent ancestors? An in-law that that is very white skinned and with blue eyes came from Ireland. Oops, her DNA says she should still be in west Africa. It ends there. All I can think is someone hopped into a canoe and headed up the coast Must have been the only one, though, because her test had NO matches! There's a story in there somewhere....
    The other one is mine and we have records of both grandparents being from Norway for many generations. The DNA map (T2) shows them somewhere in France at the end. OOPS! They must have paddled their canoe, too.
    I've noticed on the four lines I am working on at the moment, that the matches may have no relation to whether we were in an area. I know the instructions say that, but it makes it difficult. Of all the Norway relatives there, to look at the matches, you'd never know it. There were only two matches out of 75 HVR2.
    One thing I guess I am not clear on is how many of the genes tested have to match to be a close match as in HVR2. It does seem the map should have shown a more accurate lineage at the end.
    Comments on when tests for more recent ancestors will be coming?

  • #2
    Mtdna will never be able to establish recent common ancestry, even if you do the full sequence test. The reason is that mtdna is very short (about 16,000 bases) and mutations don't happen each generation. A HVR1 match could be 20,000 years away, and even an HVR1+2 match could be thousands of years. Even an FGS match could mean several hundred years, if not more. I don't know your case, but if, as you say, you match T2 people in Norway, this could even mean that the common ancestor was in prehistoric times.

    Tests of the whole DNA (not just the mtdna or the Y chromosome) such as 23andme can pick signs of recent relationship (such as a few generations) - in the sense that if you do match enough pieces of DNA with another person, you are most likely related within this timeframe. However, the databases are still small, because not so many people have tested yet.