Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2006-04 > 1145486215

From: (John Chandler)
Subject: Re: [DNA] Come on, I1a Haplotypes
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2006 18:36:55 -0400 (EDT)
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Kathryn wrote:
> I, for one, am guilty of not testing my mtDNA. I've already tested
> 37 markers of my yDNA through my nephew...but honestly speaking, the
> reason I haven't done the mtDNA is because I know that my maternal
> line is completely Irish on all sides, so I figure.....why should I?

That depends on your goals, just as in the case of Y DNA. Sadly, the
options are not quite so wide-open for mtDNA, and so some goals may be
much harder to achieve. The problem is that the mutation rate is so
much lower for mtDNA SNPs than for STRs. The result is that you can't
build a chance-met mtDNA match into a reasonable suspicion of a close
relationship (a 37/37 Y match would give you 40-to-1 odds of a
connection within the last 20 generations, but a perfect match on
mtDNA HVR1+HVR2 gives you only 50-50 odds of a link within the last
400 generations or so). Therefore, if your goal is to find
documentable relatives you didn't know about already, mtDNA is not for
you. On the other hand, if you already have a tentative family tree
and want to confirm the weak links, mtDNA could be just what you need.
Also, if your goal is to track the wanderings of your immemorial
female-line ancestors via population genetics studies, mtDNA is your
vehicle of choice, just as Y SNPs would be for tracking male-line

John Chandler

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