Family Stories

To Test Or Not To Test Your Mitochondrial DNA


Within a time space of less than 24 hours I have just read The Seven Daughters of Eve by Bryan Sykes.  What can I say – fascinating, absolutely fascinating!  Although published in 2001 – 14 years and much DNA research since then – it gives an account of the progress since the beginning of the 1980’s of DNA discoveries – and what it means to the ordinary genealogist – especially from mitochondrial DNA testing.

Why would I be so interested?  I’ve shared with you the first attempt at DNA testing through, my fascination with it, and the desire to learn more.  One of my Christmas presents was mitochondrial DNA testing through Family Tree DNA – my family knows me well!  My cheeks have been swabbed and the specimens sent in!  Now I wait for the results.  This book came to me at the most opportune time!  My maternal line starts with my mother, Catherine Lyons Carrico, to her mother, Mary Alice Montgomery, Frances Barber Linton, Catherine Elizabeth Taylor, Susan Clark Edwards, Nancy Linton, Ann Nancy Mason, Elizabeth Berkley, and her mother, Elizabeth Hancock, born about 1694 in Stafford County, Virginia.  I hope to learn not only more in this line, but information about my far past ancestors – those who lived 20,000 to 40,000 years ago.  Is this possible?  I am not sure, but am anxious to know!

How many of you have taken the test?  Were you surprised, pleased, unhappy with your results?  Were they helpful in your research?  Since I am such a novice about DNA I hesitate to write much more than what I’ve found about my own tests and what I’ve read.  Believe me, there will be more to come later!

4 replies »

  1. Hi, I got my MtDNA done some few years ago with FTDNA and I am extremely pleased. I got the FGS, Full Genome Sequence, done and was then able to join the appropriate genome group. I belong to the H group and specifically H5a1-T152C! The FTDNA folks have such a large number of members that here is a huge pool of people who are potential matches. I have FGS matches in Germany, Norway, Sweden, England, Scotland and Ireland. These matches help you with the long term journey of your maternal ancestors and is a fascinating story. Looking at mine, you can just imagine the story of a group -( Vikings, Angles, Saxons, Jutes ?) coming to England, Scotland or Ireland. It also gives you a platform to go back beyond that time – I have one match in Greece. I have not found it particularly helpful for recent family relationships (unless at some time you find a long lost relative or are adopted etc.) but it is definitely worth it. My line is Me, Beatrice Watts, Gillie Huff, Emily Shackelford, Nancy Elder, Ann Davenport, and Comfort Fisher born abt 1750 in Accomack County VA. Later they were in NC and then Casey Co KY and Mercer Co KY near the Washington CO line.Good luck with your MtDNA.

  2. I think you will find many more with the FTDNA then on Ancestry DNA, atleast I have so far.I had mine initially tested for Autosomal through Ancestry, then transferred it to FTDNA and then to the free site Gedmatch.My mom is Julia Montgomery,then Dora Rogers,Ollie Washburn,James Dora Belle McGrew/Magrue,then Martha Wilson/Welson and lastly so far Nancy Sutherland my 4th great grandmother born abt 1797 in Kentucky.I am very happy and at the same time excited for you ! I will look forward to reading about your findings and new mothers from the past !

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