Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2005-01 > 1106188424

Subject: Re: [DNA] Value of the mtDNA Test
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2005 21:33:44 EST

In a message dated 1/19/2005 11:52:20 AM Central Standard Time,

> Subj: [DNA] Value of the mtDNA Test
> Date: 1/19/2005 11:52:20 AM Central Standard Time
> From:
> Reply-to:
> To:
> Sent from the Internet
> I am trying to understand whether it's worth paying for the mtDNA test.
> <SNIP>
> I'm really not sure knowing which of seven means that much to me. Might
> someone make argument(s) for or against this extra cost?
> Martha

Dear Martha:

I would say that the value of mtDNA depends very much on what questions you
have about your genealogy, and how "big a picture" you want to look at.

I am collecting DNA (y and mtDNA) on as many of my ancestors as I possibly
can (thanks to my cousins and brother). While I have zero expectations of
finding anything other than European haplogroups -- no rumors of Native American or
African American heritage in any of my lines -- I find it fascinating to see
what the deep ancestry of my lineages is. Moreover, even if I end up with
mostly R1bc1 and H ancestors, it's interesting to see how close (or distant)
those ancestors are to one another.

Meanwhile, we are using mtDNA to verify a paper trail of two women being
sisters in order to document a line for the DNA. I have an exact match on this
DNA from a line that also goes back into NC in about the same area as my oldest
known female ancestress on this line was married in NC. With a few more
matches, might I discover her maiden name? Which brings me to my other point.

YOUR mtDNA might not tell you much, but it's contribution to genealogy may be
larger than your own lineage. Who might your mtDNA match, and could that
tell other people something they didn't know?

True, mtDNA changes more slowly than Y-DNA. A quick perusal of the Kerchner
mtDNA log however, shows that there are few high resolution matches. So
finding one that traces back to the same area and time may well help find those
lost women whose marriages were not recorded at all or only recorded as "married
a Mr. Webb."

Right now, I'm mulling over a problem in another line. There has been much
speculation over who the wife of one man was. Oral tradition holds to one
name, a document suggests another woman. MY personal suspicion is the man was
married to both women -- one marriage record being lost in courthouse fires --
but the oral tradition is due to the fact the first was the mother of most, if
not all of his children. The woman documented has a documented sister who
married what is suspected to be the man's brother. I'm musing that if we can get
the sister's mtDNA and then find a female line of descent for the man to test
--- we can find out whether the man was married to another woman -- because
the mtDNA should NOT match if he in fact had two wives, one of whom bore his

I have another line in which we aren't sure of the parents of a woman, but
the suspected couple has a documented daughter. Here again, I hope to locate a
descendant of the documented daughter and a descendant of our line and test
them and see if we get an mtDNA match.

So think about all your genealogical questions, and the possible contribution
to someone else's genealogy before you decide mtDNA "isn't worth it."

Administrator WEBB & MAYNOR DNA Projects
Co-Administrator HUDSON/HUTSON DNA
"If you want to rest in peace, donate your DNA now!"
-- R Hutchinson 3 January 2005

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