We learned about mitochondrial DNA the other day at the DNA Sig. 23andMe provides a data file that can be downloaded that contains most of your important mitochondrial SNPs (up to 19% of the total). That file can be uploaded to a site run by James Lick that will provide your maternal haplogroup. (Upload the text file from within the Zip file.) This service is quick and easy and free! Go to the site here: dna.jameslick.com/mthap/.
Once you have your haplogroup, then you can start tracing your longitudinal maternal tree from “Eve” forward in time to some thousand years before present. We were told about a site in the UK run by Ian Logan at www.ianlogan.co.uk/mtDNA.htm but I’ll be honest, I couldn’t figure out much from that site.
So I used Google to find a mtDNA tree located at www.phylotree.org/tree/index.htm.
I found my branch in this tree, and for me, er, that is my mother’s mother’s mother (etc), I found that we came from Denmark and Ireland. This is good news because I have a “brick wall” along my maternal lines that is located in Ireland. My 2nd great grandmother on my mother’s side, Margaret White, came from Ireland. Her husband, James Mitchell, died on the trip to the USA. Since the people in the UK moved around alot, and since I have not been able to confirm the Mitchells and Whites in Ireland, I have never been sure….
Now I figure that my DNA is telling me that yes, I am really partially Irish and that part came from Danish immigrants to Ireland.
My maternal haplogroup, from James Lick’s site, is H1e1a3. Coincidentally, the National Genographic Geno-2 test also gave me that same value. FTDNA only gave me H1e1a.
Of course, the ethnicity reports I have received from the big sites all show some Irish: 23andMe (41% Britain/Ireland), Ancestry (20% Ireland) and National Genographic (30% Britain/Ireland). But these reports are from all my DNA. The tricks we learned in the DNA Sig were from my maternally passed mitochondrial DNA. That is, they showed me a snapshot into the ancestry of my 2nd great grandma Margaret! This has been a good “mother’s day” for me!
If there are any H1e1a3 folks out there, give a shout. perhaps our DNA will match somewhere.
“I used to have a lot of free time… then I discovered genealogy.”