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Is It Worth Looking Into?

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  • Is It Worth Looking Into?

    My mother has passed on, but, I was wondering how the mtDNA would benefit me, her son. If I understand what I have read, it only looks for matches on my Mother's line? If so, it could get me a few more cousins, I suppose. Thanks for the help.

  • #2
    Originally posted by IowaRoss View Post
    My mother has passed on, but, I was wondering how the mtDNA would benefit me, her son. If I understand what I have read, it only looks for matches on my Mother's line? If so, it could get me a few more cousins, I suppose. Thanks for the help.
    Not worth it. Very unlikely to find anyone close. I have assume that you have taken an autosomal DNA test. You would be more likely to find cousins by taking autosomal tests at companies which you have not tested with.

    Jack

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    • #3
      The mtDNA test is good for confirming a possible link with someone you already think might be down your mother's line. However, for simply finding cousins out of the blue, it can be an expensive fishing expedition.

      I did a FMS on myself, looking to hopefully find someone down my mother's grandmother's line. My maternal great grandmother is a brick wall for me so far.

      My FMS turned up that I'm H10c1 and have 8 exact matches. All of them, but one, have done the FF test as well. And I don't match any of them on the FF test as a possible cousin. I've been in contact with the one FMS match that didn't test and through exchanging information, we aren't coming up with any shared family names or locations.

      And the other H10c1's I match at 1, 2, and 3 steps also don't show up as a match on the FF test either. It looks as if our common ancestor is much farther back in time than is useful in genealogy.

      So I'm agreeing with Jack, "Not worth it".

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      • #4
        Disclaimer: I have not tested mtDNA as of this moment, I am doing Big-Y

        It depends on what you want out of it. I often see people here that only see value in these tests if they can stuff some more people into their family tree. I personally am also very much interested in the distant ancestry, even if that doesn't result into me matching with others. What is my connection to Mitochondrial Eve or Y-chromosomal Adam?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by keigh View Post
          The mtDNA test is good for confirming a possible link with someone you already think might be down your mother's line. However, for simply finding cousins out of the blue, it can be an expensive fishing expedition.

          I did a FMS on myself, looking to hopefully find someone down my mother's grandmother's line. My maternal great grandmother is a brick wall for me so far.

          My FMS turned up that I'm H10c1 and have 8 exact matches. All of them, but one, have done the FF test as well. And I don't match any of them on the FF test as a possible cousin. I've been in contact with the one FMS match that didn't test and through exchanging information, we aren't coming up with any shared family names or locations.

          And the other H10c1's I match at 1, 2, and 3 steps also don't show up as a match on the FF test either. It looks as if our common ancestor is much farther back in time than is useful in genealogy.

          So I'm agreeing with Jack, "Not worth it".
          Thanks Keigh.

          My view is that mtDNA matching methodology has tried to emulate the successful Y-DNA matching methodology. However I believe that the mutations and back-mutations occur at a far higher rate than the experts believe, leading to a level of sophistry in interpreting the results. I think mtDNA does not necessarily find people who are closely related. It is nice to know your higher level haplogroup assignment, but I question if the full FMS test is really worth it under most circumstances.

          Jack Wyatt

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          • #6
            Originally posted by georgian1950 View Post
            Thanks Keigh.

            My view is that mtDNA matching methodology has tried to emulate the successful Y-DNA matching methodology. However I believe that the mutations and back-mutations occur at a far higher rate than the experts believe, leading to a level of sophistry in interpreting the results. I think mtDNA does not necessarily find people who are closely related. It is nice to know your higher level haplogroup assignment, but I question if the full FMS test is really worth it under most circumstances.

            Jack Wyatt
            I think it's just the opposite of what you say, isn't it? I've always heard that there are so few mutations with mtDNA compared to Y-DNA that makes mtDNA results so difficult to use for genealogy, that and the surname changes along the direct maternal line. Lack of mutations and resulting matches that can be fairly close or go back thousands of years with no discernible DNA difference seems to be the biggest hurdle in its use.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by georgian1950 View Post
              However I believe that the mutations and back-mutations occur at a far higher rate than the experts believe, leading to a level of sophistry in interpreting the results.
              Jack Wyatt
              I'm beginning to think so too. We've had 3 family members mtDNA tested here - well 4, but they never posted any results for the 4th - and all 3 have common, high-frequency, garden-weed haplogroups (from 3 different continents, we're really mixed). Two have no HVR1/2 matches. The other has maybe 15. Coding region? Two have one each.

              So do stray mutations accumulate much more frequently than commonly recognized? Okay, there is also the sample bias explanation, all this commercial testing is indeed very Eurocentric. But L2a without matches? It's very, very common. No matches? (Also did read that the mutation rate for L2a is aberrant, it can't be synced to an evolutionary clock. So something odd is going on with at least some mtDNA.)

              We really would like to know how many matches most people get. What is usual? What unusual? The "too many matches" "no matches" explanations from FT don't say anything about the frequencies of these outcomes. What are the expected values ?

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