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Question about mtDNA "Sample size"...

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  • Question about mtDNA "Sample size"...

    I'm interested in learning more about my mother's side of the family, especially certain connections going back about 12 generations. I'm interested in the mtDNA Full Sequence and in knowing my haplogroup, too, but--as I understand it--this will reach back from my mother's mother, to her mother, etc., cutting a very thin swath through a couple thousand grandparents as it reaches back.

    So what is the value of a mtDNA eval, if the sample size is so small compared to all the people (even just females) on my mom's side of the family? And how can my haplogroup be my "genetic clan" if, again, it's based on a narrow sampling of women? Going back 12 generations, isn't this just 12 women out of 2,048 people/1,024 grandmothers? Perhaps I'm missing something...

    Thanks for any info...

  • #2
    You seem to be missing an understanding of what mtDNA is and where it comes from. mtDNA is passed from a woman to all of her children. The mother got her mtDNA from her mother and so on back. mtDNA comes from you maternal branch of your tree. Thus mtDNA can not provide information on that one branch of your tree.

    Your mtDNA Haplogroup is determined from your mtDNA results, therefore it can only provide information about the origin of your maternal branch.

    mtDNA is the only test you can use to reach back the number of generations you mentioned.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Jim Barrett View Post
      You seem to be missing an understanding of what mtDNA is and where it comes from. mtDNA is passed from a woman to all of her children. The mother got her mtDNA from her mother and so on back. mtDNA comes from you maternal branch of your tree. Thus mtDNA can not provide information on that one branch of your tree.

      Your mtDNA Haplogroup is determined from your mtDNA results, therefore it can only provide information about the origin of your maternal branch.

      mtDNA is the only test you can use to reach back the number of generations you mentioned.
      Thanks, Jim. I understand that it's carried in the mother's mitochondria, outside of the cell nucleus.

      In this simple diagram [ https://i1.wp.com/www.norwaydna.no/w...3/10/mtdna.png ], if I was the male at the bottom, my mtDNA test would link me to the 5 women on the far right, but would tell me nothing about the 26 other people on my mother's side in this image. That's my concern/question.

      Kevin

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      • #4
        mtDNA currently is probably best for confirming that two descendants are related. An example of this is shown in a YouTube video featuring William Hurst, admin of the K haplogroup project: DNA Stories: A Tale of Two Sisters featuring Bill Hurst "Genetic genealogist Bill Hurst strategically uses mtDNA testing to solve an ages-old history mystery involving a maternal branch of his family tree."

        Since autosomal testing (Family Finder) potentially covers more of your maternal side relatives, that is an option, although it is generally only good back through five or six generations. Even if further back, you still would need to depend on the paper research of you and your matches to determine the relationship. Personally, I have had a FF match where the relationship was initially connected through two sixth cousins who married (my 3rd g-grandparents, one of whom was a 1st cousin to the match's 3rd g-grandfather). Ultimately their family trees showed the common ancestral couple, who are 10th g-grandparents to me and my match's generation. Perhaps you could find an autosomal match with a tree going back twelve generations.

        Do you have any confirmed relatives tested, or who could take a Family Finder test? You would need to upload a gedcom, or create a family tree in your account, then link any tested known relatives to their position on that tree. Your FF results would then sort your matches into "maternal" and/or "paternal" tabs. Testing maternal-side relatives would be best in your case.
        Last edited by KATM; 19th March 2017, 11:38 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by KATM View Post
          mtDNA currently is probably best for confirming that two descendants are related. An example of this is shown in a YouTube video featuring William Hurst, admin of the K haplogroup project: DNA Stories: A Tale of Two Sisters featuring Bill Hurst "Genetic genealogist Bill Hurst strategically uses mtDNA testing to solve an ages-old history mystery involving a maternal branch of his family tree."

          Since autosomal testing (Family Finder) potentially covers more of your maternal side relatives, that is an option, although it is generally only good back through five or six generations. Even if further back, you still would need to depend on the paper research of you and your matches to determine the relationship. Personally, I have had a FF match where the relationship was initially connected through two sixth cousins who married (my 3rd g-grandparents, one of whom was a 1st cousin to the match's 3rd g-grandfather). Ultimately their family trees showed the common ancestral couple, who are 10th g-grandparents to me and my match's generation. Perhaps you could find an autosomal match with a tree going back twelve generations.

          Do you have any confirmed relatives tested, or who could take a Family Finder test? You would need to upload a gedcom, or create a family tree in your account, then link any tested known relatives to their position on that tree. Your FF results would then sort your matches into "maternal" and/or "paternal" tabs. Testing maternal-side relatives would be best in your case.
          Thanks. I have taken the autosomal test, but unfortunately, some of my closer matches don't have trees posted, or these only go back a few generations. I think I'll have to wait until more people share more DNA info, and stick to my paper inquiries in the meantime.

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