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Frustrated with MTDNA for Genealogy

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  • Frustrated with MTDNA for Genealogy

    I confess I'm frustrated. This test has not been helpful for telling me about the route my grandmother's maternal line took or giving me clues about identities - in terms of the various surnames. Because frankly, unless you have the documentary evidence, MTDNA goes back thousands of years. My most distant know grandmother - direct line to my grandmother - was probably born between 1710-1720 in or near Isle of Wight, Virginia. I only have her given name. So - brickwall.

    Getting lost of matches of names from the British Isles and Scandinavia but the dates of those are more recent - after my most distant grandmother was born and they were not in the Virginia colony. I expect she had to be British if not actually born in the colony.

    So - I can't see any benefit to my research for testing MTDNA for family research. Perhaps if I wanted to know about more recent adoptions it would be useful, but that's not my purpose or my need. Frustrated.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Nanellen View Post
    I confess I'm frustrated. This test has not been helpful for telling me about the route my grandmother's maternal line took or giving me clues about identities - in terms of the various surnames. Because frankly, unless you have the documentary evidence, MTDNA goes back thousands of years. My most distant know grandmother - direct line to my grandmother - was probably born between 1710-1720 in or near Isle of Wight, Virginia. I only have her given name. So - brickwall.

    Getting lost of matches of names from the British Isles and Scandinavia but the dates of those are more recent - after my most distant grandmother was born and they were not in the Virginia colony. I expect she had to be British if not actually born in the colony.

    So - I can't see any benefit to my research for testing MTDNA for family research. Perhaps if I wanted to know about more recent adoptions it would be useful, but that's not my purpose or my need. Frustrated.
    I must confess that MtDNA is not too helpful for the reasons that you mentioned. I match another exactly, and we are even from the same area of Denmark mitochondrially, but cannot make the connection. Your best bet would be to focus on the autosomal DNA, you will encounter lots of cousins who may eventually lead you to remove the right brick in the wall.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by rmm0484 View Post
      I must confess that MtDNA is not too helpful for the reasons that you mentioned. I match another exactly, and we are even from the same area of Denmark mitochondrially, but cannot make the connection. Your best bet would be to focus on the autosomal DNA, you will encounter lots of cousins who may eventually lead you to remove the right brick in the wall.
      Can you tell us which haplogroup that you belong to?

      Thanks.

      Jack

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      • #4
        All you can hope for with mtDNA is that you get close in matches who have done the FF test who you also match. At least then you know that you have a closer genealogical link to them than if they have mtDNA that you share and no FF link.

        That's my finding with a FMS test done. I have 8 matches with 6 being 0 steps and one each for 1 step and 2 steps. All but one have FF tests as well, and we don't match on those, so they aren't close cousins. And for genealogy it doesn't help if they match from 500 years or 5 thousand years ago because I can only go back to my great-grandmother. Oh,well.

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