Recently I watched a presentation by Roberta Estes, (she’s a genetic genealogist guru), on analyzing mtDNA to help find the origin of your female line, genetically speaking. The presentation helped me to understand how important the matches map is at FamilyTreeDNA.
mtDNA is the DNA that is inherited through your mother’s line all the way back to the first. Only women can pass it down, although both males and females inherit mtDNA. Which means that my sister, brother and myself only inherited our mother’s mtDNA, not our father’s, and only my sister and I can pass it on to any children we might have. Below are the maps showing matches in the HVR-1 range, HVR-2 range and Full Sequence, which is the most important match map.
The matches we have at the full sequence range are 2-3 steps off, no exact matches. The ones of most interest are the closest matches, so those that are 2 steps off in this case. You can see on the map that they are clustered in the areas of Finland and Germany, (the yellow pins).
This is interesting. Our maternal line back on my mother’s side as far back as we can go, is Almyra Johnson’s mother Catherine, last name unknown. She is said to have married Samuel Johnson. (Johnson could very well be a Nordic last name.) This cluster information helps us to think about Almyra’s mother’s line being of possible German or Nordic origin. Which is actually helpful in further research, we have a hint of where her family might have come from, and her marrying a man of possible Nordic descent is of interest too.
This is more information than I have ever had about Almyra’s mother. Hopefully it will be of use in finding her family. I am also using this information on my maternal grandfather’s mtDNA, which goes back to Sarah Asher in Virginia or Maryland in the 1780s, she was likely English.
Interestingly, the exact, and one and two step-off matches with my father’s mother’s mtDNA are all in Sweden, not Norway as I would expect. The white pin is my dad.