Understanding the Essentials of Mitochondrial DNA Testing

Mitochondrial DNA testing examines a type of DNA that women pass on to their children. Since a mother passes on her mtDNA to ALL her children, both males and females can take this test.

While men receive mitochondrial DNA from their mother, they do not pass it on to their children

This DNA test type can be used to trace the direct maternal line, i.e. your mother's mother's mother etc. back hundreds of years.

You may discover a lot of matches in a database of mtDNA test results. You should contact your matches to find out more about where your common ancestors may be from.

As the database continues to grow, you will automatically be compared against new results, and you will be notified by email of your new matches.

Just be aware that mitochondrial DNA mutates more slowly than Y-DNA. This means the common ancestor responsible for your match may not have been a recent one.

Where to Do Your Mitochondrial DNA Testing

The mtFullSequence test at Family Tree DNA  (FTDNA) is the only mtDNA test that covers 100% of your mitochondrial DNA. They also have the world's largest mtDNA database of other testers for comparison. There is no other company that makes sense for this type of DNA test.

If you tested earlier, when less comprehensive mtDNA tests were still offered, log into your account at FTDNA. You have the option to upgrade to the mtFullSequence test at a lower price.

This mtDNA test will also provide your maternal haplogroup. That will show where your direct maternal ancestors came from, their locations in historic times and how they migrated throughout the world.

That path will be illustrated in a fun, personalized video that you can share with other family members.

NOTE: Certain haplogroups will confirm Native American ancestry on your direct maternal line.

With your mtDNA results, you can easily join many of the free genealogical research projects based on haplogroups that are hosted by knowledgeable volunteers. Projects are designed to help individuals who may have similar ancestry connect with one another

One great use of mtDNA testing is to confirm whether or not two people share a specific common ancestor in their direct maternal lines. If they have different haplogroups, they cannot be in the same direct maternal line.

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