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  • mtDNA Test Results Questions

    My mom had the autosomal test done and later the mtDNA Plus test done. I also had some of her cousins (in the questions below) autosomal tested. I am just learning and want to get clarification/confirmation on what I think I understand so far. Simple answers are appreciated.

    1. On mom’s mtDNA Matches page, only 2 females are listed – this means they were definitely born to my mom’s mother or grandmother or great grandmother or great great … or to one of their female descendants, making them some level of cousin? The 2 females do not appear as a match on the Family Finder Matches page - does that means their MRCA is too far back?

    2. There are 33 matches (male and female) on mom’s Family Finder Matches page under the Maternal tab (they are also on the All tab with the red maternal symbol). This appeared after she had the mtDNA test. What does this mean and how was this information derived from the mtDNA test?

    3. On the Family Finder Matches page, should mom’s female 1st cousin on her father’s side (mom’s father and her father were brothers) have a red maternal symbol? She also has “x-match” under the X-Match column, should this be?

  • #2
    Originally posted by JCJL View Post
    My mom had the autosomal test done and later the mtDNA Plus test done. I also had some of her cousins (in the questions below) autosomal tested. I am just learning and want to get clarification/confirmation on what I think I understand so far. Simple answers are appreciated.

    1. On mom’s mtDNA Matches page, only 2 females are listed – this means they were definitely born to my mom’s mother or grandmother or great grandmother or great great … or to one of their female descendants, making them some level of cousin? The 2 females do not appear as a match on the Family Finder Matches page - does that means their MRCA is too far back?

    2. There are 33 matches (male and female) on mom’s Family Finder Matches page under the Maternal tab (they are also on the All tab with the red maternal symbol). This appeared after she had the mtDNA test. What does this mean and how was this information derived from the mtDNA test?

    3. On the Family Finder Matches page, should mom’s female 1st cousin on her father’s side (mom’s father and her father were brothers) have a red maternal symbol? She also has “x-match” under the X-Match column, should this be?
    I will attempt to answer your 3 questions above, given my understanding of autosomal and mtDNA.

    1. I believe the two females descend from a common ancestor, however you do not share enough autosomal DNA for either to show up in your Family Finder matches. This could be due to the MRCA being too far back or DNA inheritance (lack thereof) for autosomal.

    2. My understanding is mtDNA has nothing to do with Family Finder matches, which is based solely on autosomal DNA. Perhaps, those who just showed up, just got tested??

    3. Mom's cousin on her father's side is a Paternal known match to mom, but may match mom on her maternal side through another common ancestor of whom you are unaware. The X match can be through the common Maternal ancestor you aren't yet aware OR through mom's father's mother. Mom's father passed an X to her representing his mother's parents.

    I hope that doesn't confuse you further. Perhaps others will explain it more clearly.

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    • #3
      Thanks Renegade6008.
      1. Makes sense.

      2. The matches were always there, the red maternal symbol appeared after the mtDNA test. I understand the same, mt and autosomal are 2 different DNAs. That's why I'm curious what exactly it means and why the red symbol is there now.

      3. The paternal cousin shows with relationship range of 1st Cousin - 2nd Cousin to mom. Forgot to say earlier that 2 maternal cousins also match this cousin with relationship range of 1st-2nd Cousin.

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      • #4
        JCJL, have you uploaded a .ged file for your family tree, or created one within the tree page, so you have a family tree here at FTDNA? If so, have you linked the known maternal-side cousins on your match list to that tree? That is the way the phasing is supposed to work. I've never heard that mtDNA testing would affect the phasing.

        The paternal side cousin could be linked, also, to help further with phasing.

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        • #5
          KATM, yes I created trees on the tree page for everyone I had tested, I'm still working on linking. Phasing - that's a new term for me, I'll have to research that. Thank you.

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          • #6
            mtDNA shows up in FF list

            JCJL - your Q#2-This also happened to me when I took the mtDNA test. I took it to mean that those people would match thru the mtDNA females in my tree (that outermost line of females), but that proved untrue.

            I have what you have in Q#1 as well...mtDNA matches at level 1,2 and 3 that do not show up in my FF matches.

            I don't have the answer yet of why this happens, but what I've done is trace those FF matches that have trees to see where a common ancestor might be. So many of my FF matches don't have trees, but I do have 2 FF matches I've been able to trace to a common ancestor. 1 FF match is female, the other male. Coincidentally, for both, the X comes thru 2 males before the X mother is identified in the trees. Could be coincidence or could be a way to that answer. It's worth trying in your mom's tree to see what you might get and we can compare notes. Meanwhile, I'll try to find a 3rd on my end. I'm sure there must be some algorithm that figures this out, but I don't see it yet. Let's stay in touch on this...thanks for posting!

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            • #7
              The problem with trying to use mtDNA to develop current genealogy is that the most common ancestor you may share with an exact or 0 step match can be several hundred to thousands of years ago.

              I tested my mtDNA through to the FMS test and have 8 0 step matches, and 1 each for 1, 2, and 3 steps away. All but 1 of these matches has done the FF test and when I compared all of them using the Advance Matches comparison, none of them showed up as cousin matches on the FF test. The one match that hadn't tested with the FF test, I managed to contact and found that we had no current relationship either.

              I found out that my mtDNA is about 5,000 years old, and the mtDNA project on my haplogroup gave me to understand that I might never find a match in current geneaology.

              mtDNA is good for proving a relationship between suspected relatives down the strict maternal line. However, just doing it, as I did, in the hopes of finding information on a mother's mother's mother, will often give you no helpful information on your mother's line in current times. Back 5,000 years (for me) I know I had a common ancestress with my matches. And though that is interesting, it's not very useful in building a tree.

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