Our Three Basic Tests

We offer three basic types of tests: Family Finder (autosomal DNA), Y-DNA, and mitochondrial DNA [...]

What is the geographic and historic origin of my mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroup?

The following descriptions provide brief overviews of each main mtDNA haplogroup’s origin and geographic [...]

How do I know which of my heteroplasmic values is ancestral (original) and which is derived (new)?

To find which version of a heteroplasmic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) result is original and [...]

From which “Daughter of Eve” do I descend?

The Daughters of Eve are named after some of the major haplogroups, but the [...]

How do I tell how closely I am related to a mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) match?

The closeness of a mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) match depends on the matching level. Matches [...]

How do I find the genealogical connection with my mtDNA match?

The only way to find a connection with your match is by comparing your [...]

Are there exceptions to the alphanumeric naming of mitochondrial haplogroups?

Yes. There are two exceptions to the alphanumeric naming of mitochondrial haplogroups. The first is [...]

Will my mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) results show me admixture percentages for ancestry from different lines?

No, because mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is inherited exclusively from your direct maternal line, it [...]

How common is mtDNA heteroplasmy?

All mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations go through a state of heteroplasmy. The frequency of [...]

How is mtDNA heteroplasmy inherited?

In each generation, it is possible for the child to inherit the heteroplasmic genome, [...]

How do mitochondrial mutations occur?

Every human cell contains hundreds of mitochondria. Each mitochondrion in a cell contains multiple [...]

Where can I share information with others who have mtDNA tested?

There is an mtDNA section in Family Tree DNA’s Forums.

How do I use mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) to help with my recent genealogy?

To find connections in recent times, it is necessary to find and test multiple [...]

Are all of a mother’s new mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations inherited by children?

No. Mothers only pass on those mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations they inherited from their [...]

Do all direct maternal (mitochondrial DNA) lineages trace to Africa?

Yes so far, all direct maternal (mitochondrial DNA) lineages of women alive today trace [...]

How does the formation of the human egg cell change the frequency of an mtDNA heteroplasmic mutation?

At one point during the process by which the egg cell is produced (oogenesis), [...]

How are mtDNA haplogroups named?

In general, scientists name mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups according to their major branch with [...]

As a genealogist, do I really need to understand all of this complex information about mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in order to use it for my research?

No. As a genealogist, you may focus on a few basic rules. These will [...]

How many generations back does mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) testing trace?

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) testing covers both recent and distant generations.

Matching on HVR1 means that [...]

How do I know if I have an mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) heteroplasmy? What is the nomenclature?

You will know that one of your mutations or differences from the RSRS is [...]