Family Tree DNA Holiday Coupons and Mitochondrial DNA, The Forgotten Test

Mitochondrial DNA is probably the most under-utilized type of DNA available to genetic genealogists. Mitochondrial DNA is a special line specific to your mother, and her mother, and her mother, on up that tree of mothers. It’s not mixed with any DNA from the fathers, so it’s a pure periscope line that extends back in time indefinitely – much like the Y DNA for the paternal line.

Just as an example, as an administrator looking at the Estes surname project, I can see an order summary. For clarification, the Estes project welcomes males and females alike, along with men who are not Estes surname males, but who are Estes descendants through other lines.

So, of the first 16 project participants, 2 are female.  The columns titled HVR1, HVR2 and FGS are the available mitochondrial DNA test levels.

estes-order-summary

Only one, me, has had ANY mitochondrial DNA testing done. The rest have not.

By comparison, 14 (all the males) have ordered some level of Y DNA testing and 7 participants, almost half, have taken the autosomal Family Finder test.

By any measure, mitochondrial is way WAY behind.

Mitochondrial gets forgotten about, often, because it’s not as “in your face” as a male surname is to a male and doesn’t have the “pride factor” associated with it. In fact, you might hear men say something like, “Yea, proud to be an Estes (fill in your surname here),” but when was the last time you heard someone say, “Yea, proud to be a H2a1a!”? It loses something someplace.

Because the matrilineal line’s mitochondrial DNA doesn’t follow any surname, it doesn’t invoke that surname loyalty factor, but it is a rich source of information that is often neglected.

What can we learn from mitochondrial DNA?

Pretty much everything we can tell about Y DNA – except of course we’re not looking to see if we match a particular surname. We’re looking to see if we match someone with a common ancestor. But that’s not it, there’s a lot more.

Haplogroup and Migration Path

Your mitochondrial DNA haplogroup tells you which continent your ancestor was from, meaning Europe, Africa, Asia or Native American, or an ethnicity like Jewish, and the path they took out of Africa to arrive on that continent. You may think you know, already, but do you really? There are surprises and you’ll never know if you don’t test.

estes-migration-path

Haplogroup Origins help to extend this information and tells you where your fully extended haplogroup is found in the world. Fully extended haplogroup means your full haplogroup, H2a1a, as opposed to simply haplogroup H. You have to take the full sequence mtDNA test to obtain your fully extended haplogroup.

Matches Map

Your Ancestral Matches and your Matches Map tell you where your matches most distant ancestors lived. This is most effective for full sequence matching because those are your closest matches. In fact, I only recommend full sequence matching today. You should obtain all of the ancestral information available and the only way to do that is to test the entire mitochondrial region.

Those who follow my blog know that I’m haplogroup J1c2f, and while that doesn’t make anyone gush at parties, it does provide me with information I not only didn’t have, but there is no way other than DNA testing to discover.

My most distant known ancestor is from Germany around 1800, but look at my matches map.

estes-match-map

There is obviously a historical, or maybe not so historical, Scandinavian story. You can read about this discovery here.

Your matches are sitting there, waiting for you, but first you have to test.  After that, the genealogy to find a common ancestor may take some work, unless you simply get lucky – and some do.

If more people were to test and provide their most distant ancestor information and pedigree charts, there would be more easy matches with known ancestors!!!  Just saying…

Matches Never Stop

The great news is that your mitochondrial DNA results are fishing for you 24X7. In July 2013, I had 3 full sequence matches, shown below.

my matches J1c2f

Today, I have 16, and the more full sequence matches, the more granular and detailed the story. It’s like watching your ancestral story hatch, one match at a time. These people all share an ancestor with you, sometime, someplace. The fun is in unraveling that story.  What does it mean to you?  What information does it provide about your ancestors and their journey?

Proving Your Point

You can also use mitochondrial DNA to prove, or disprove, a specific type of historic relationship. Suppose you suspect two women are sisters. If you can find descendants of both women through all females to the current generation (which can be males) you can either prove those two women have a common matrilineal ancestor or that they don’t. In cases like this, mitochondrial DNA in conjunction with autosomal matching can be a very powerful tool.  Comparing multiple kinds of DNA, together, is available under the advanced tools.

Building A MitoTree

If you’re after quick answers, building your own mitotree isn’t for you, but if you’re willing to invest some elbow grease, you can figure out the ancestral pedigree chart of how your matches descended from your common ancestor, based on their mutations.

I presumed, based on the matches map locations, that I was fairly closely related to my match in Poland, because at that time, it was the only full sequence match outside of Scandinavia. I was wrong. That person descended in a parallel line from a common Scandinavian ancestor. So no need looking in those Polish church records hoping to discover something about my direct line ancestors because they aren’t there!

You can read about how to build a mitochondrial tree here. If you like puzzles, this is for you.

Finding Your Ancestor’s Surname

I like to obtain the haplogroups of all of my ancestors and build a DNA Pedigree chart. My ancestor, Magdalena married Philip Jacob Miller, but we don’t know her surname. We do know they were Brethren, and Brethren married within their own religion. We know where they lived, and to some extent, we know the other Brethren families in that region.

After I wrote my 52 Ancestors story about Magdalena with hopes of finding a descendant who carries her mtDNA, someone contacted me to say a woman with a tree on Ancestry fits the bill. Indeed she did, and she agreed to have her mtDNA tested.

She immediately had an exact full sequence match, in the Brethren community, and the match does NOT descend from Magdalena herself. Unfortunately, the match does NOT have her genealogy back far enough to discover the family who might, just might, be Magdalena’s family as well. However, I can research genealogy to extend her tree, and I will, come spring when the roads clear.

The only path to Magdalena’s surname, short of a family Bible appearing someplace, is DNA, because I’ve exhausted all other available records.

Can mitochondrial DNA save the day and pin point Magdalena’s family so that I can prove the relationship through records? Maybe. I’ll let you know as this story unfolds.

Don’t’ Forget Mother

Genealogy without DNA is incomplete. It’s the holiday season. Give yourself the gift of your mother’s matrilineal history. DNA testing is the gift that keeps on giving, and you can have it even if your mother has passed over and is watching from the other side. Everyone carries their mother’s mitochondrial DNA, males and females alike.

What is your Mom’s story?

Coupons

Monday is coupon day and today’s discounts are valid through Christmas Day.

Click here to redeem this week’s discounts, below, or to check your own account for your holiday discount! Remember, if you don’t use your discount, you are welcome to share the code and what the discount is good for in the comments.

Coupon # Good for What
R21KJIRD1RHE $10 Off Family Finder
R21JRK2D90UD $10 Off MTDNA
R21LXPSPJWHV $10 Off MTDNA
R21Y1XRAXOUP $10 Off MTDNA
R2196977ZHMW $10 Off MTDNA
R21SE3R8R2XR $10 Off MTDNA
R21MWF0HLUZF $10 Off MTDNA
R21W7K0A1LPC $10 Off MTDNA
R21LC4TFPVHZ $10 Off MTDNA
R21B79RJWDTK $10 Off MTDNA
R213OAY3S5AO $10 Off MTDNA
R21US5CWPH3M $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R21RKK62EV41 $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R214HLMPS4OE $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R21YW9Y4RKIS $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R21YTUN7BD03 $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R21488RL6GSW $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R2125065BPXK $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R21MT47U4NLL $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R21W1QQAM79T $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R21OVQGO8STN $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R21WRSO7F3ZK $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R215AOTRDP90 $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R21DUVRGYTBV $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R21S2KCO1WZY $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R215P3vUUX4Q $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R21ES0OKOX56 $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R21TIPQVRL4A $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R21ONRH9DCHK $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R217AWUBTPI9 $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R21CH2C02NUF $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R21OEA4IRRMZ $15 Off MTDNA
R21GNE34D3G9 $15 Off MTDNA
R21K9NFN9X5X $15 Off MTDNA
R21IZSMW0CDX $15 Off MTDNA
R219VOCZBV3Q $15 Off MTDNA
R21A6R2P2GLT $20 Off Y37, 67 or Y111
R21J06GAS9LE $20 Off Y37, 67 or Y111
R21V8UMR0SK6 $20 Off Y37, 67 or Y111
R21B7U0MELXZ $20 Off Y37, 67 or Y111
R21EHU63FC6V $20 Off Y37, 67 or Y111
R217BHDCZ77G $20 Off Y37, 67 or Y111
R21RWOFKOAYD $20 Off Y37, 67 or Y111
R21E7WXUHLHY $20 Off Y37, 67 or Y111
R21C6CKY59HC $20 Off Y37, 67 or Y111
R210BNJFID7I $20 Off Y37, 67 or Y111
R21ILVD7JI5U $20 Off Y37, 67 or Y111
R21GBA78JSMH $30 Off Y-DNA 67
R217A7MC5NOU $30 Off Y-DNA 67
R21QKWCVAQ1 $30 Off Y-DNA 67
R21GBUHMWTDE $30 Off Y-DNA 67
R215QHR2265Q $30 Off Y-DNA 67
R21EINIT1HZQ $30 off Y-DNA 67
R21YD2SXSN6K $40 Off MTFULL
R2159NPBEXN2 $40 Off Y-DNA 111
R21UA8V0UL5Z $5 Off Family Finder
R21U8EWL156F $5 Off Family Finder
R215NOH7GOIX $5 Off Family Finder
R21N1DCZGK76 $5 Off Family Finder
R21UERLNDCK1 $5 Off Family Finder
R21RJ31S1DIM $5 Off Family Finder
R21FGUN8F5QZ $5 Off Family Finder
R21OV934OAYF $5 Off Family Finder
R21TBU2YISI9 $50 Off Big Y
R21AZC7JJP8P $50 Off Big Y
R21QMVEQ3F7G $50 Off Big Y
R21HW6R4LICY $50 Off Big Y
R21ULYZF8CQ $50 Off Big Y
R21YMTRR8A5I $60 Off Y-DNA 111
R215J89WRZYI $60 Off Y-DNA 111
R21EAHEWU4QC $75 Off Big Y

 

Family Tree DNA 2016 Holiday Sale

An annual event we all look forward to, the Family Tree DNA Holiday sale is here with a new version of weekly gifts for everyone.

ftdna-holiday-2016

First, almost all of Family Tree DNA’s tests are on sale.

Family Finder and Bundles Regular Price Sale Price
Family Finder (for males and females) $79 $59
Family Finder + Y37 (males) $268 $188
Family Finder + Y67 (males) $367 $278
Comprehensive Genome (males) – Family Finder + Y 67 + mtDNA full sequence $566 $451.50
Family Finder +mitochondrial full sequence (males and females) $298 $228
Paternal (Male Only) Tests  
Y37 $169 $139
Y67 $268 $229
Y111 $359 $319
Big Y (Upgrade Only from Y Tests) $575 $525
Matrilineal (Male and Female) Tests  
MtDNA+ (HVR1+HVR2) $79 $79
mtFull Sequence (complete test) $199 $179

Additional Holiday Reward Coupon Savings

Second, there are additional “Holiday Reward” coupon savings e-mailed to every customer sometime after midnight Sunday Central Standard Time (meaning sometime on Monday) that provide additional savings on specific products. You can use these coupons on top of the sale prices to receive additional discounts – beginning with an extra $10 off.

If you don’t receive the e-mail right away, you can sign on to your account to see your coupon, at the top of your personal page with the green background that says “Holiday Reward.”  Be sure to check other accounts you manage as well.

ftdna-holiday-coupon

If you’re not going to use your coupons, you can share them by listing the amount and what they can be applied towards in the comments to this blog or by directly sending to someone via e-mail from your account.

Here’s my coupon for this week, and the first person to use it is welcome to the savings!.

ftdna-11-22-coupon

Furthermore, it gets better yet, because if you share your holiday rewards coupon, you will receive another coupon that may be better than the first one, depending on what you want to purchase – according to the e-mail from Family Tree DNA, below.

ftdna-second-coupon

Your personal page provides a second way for you to share your coupons in order to receive a second coupon before the following Monday. However, you will receive a second coupon regardless of whether you share through your account or by just giving someone your code (like on the list below.)

ftdna-coupon-sharing

Please feel free to list any coupons you may want to share, and what they are for, in the comments to the blog, like we have done every year. I will be listing my coupon codes available for usage each week as well.  Feel free to use the ones below and beware the difference between zero (0) and the letter capital O, and the number one (1) and the letter capital I.

Click here to use the coupons below or to see what coupons await you!!!

Coupon # Good for What
R16IYQIC4FZD $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16IW5OVTB52 $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16MIX3DXOYJ $40 OFF Y67
R16LQMMYCZOD $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16RCMN3BJN6 20% OFF Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16I85RHI8QC 10% Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R163H7YVXHOK $50 Off Big Y
R16OS1AX7X8I 20% OFF Y37, Y67 or Y111
R165K78FBHMY 10% Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16UC39OU5F $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16MD7L3UG3Q 10% Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R163SVXYBR9A $20 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16ZX1JNQDTQ 10% Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R1685DXE53D9 10% Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16L9CDAN31Z $20 Oiff MTDNA
R16J7VI9OFWN $20 Off MtDNA
R16U55JS9S2D 10% Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16TPNKGFKHK $20 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R162B6TXJYMB $10 Off MTDNA
R16163G75WQ1 $40 OFF Y67
R16QAKWBYB0O 10% Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16JYOR77GEO $100 Off Big Y
R16A4A69Y5A5 10% Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16GOOWFAOON $10 Off MTDNA
R16W4JTXHOX6 $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R1643WY7WOQN $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16SZDSTDH9A $20 Off MtDNA
R16H1H6KOTP7 $20 Off MtDNA
R16LKDOQG3UF 10% Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16POHVJ97YB $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R168OCU8PR14 20% OFF Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16UNAZTG2ZE $75 Off Big Y
R16OFCKVHOWY $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16K9YZRTYA8 $10 Off MTDNA
R16TL78JDKMS $20 Off MtDNA
R16O9JV4OTN6 20% OFF Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16EW3O2ZHYC $10 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16MVKTAVKY8 $40 off MTFULL
R16O3HF22OQH $10 Off MTDNA
R161SAUW7VX3 10% Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16BTUFHPM1F $20 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16457PON7BE $20 Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R1667JIWJJRS $40 OFF Y67
R16DO4G9UF8L $50 Off Big Y
R165VL2OLBIZ $40 off MTFULL (used)
R162OJ2Y1CM6 10% Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R16R8O4M6F5U $50 Off Big Y
R164CHEXU2U9 $20 Off MtDNA
R167SSQG2SZK 10% Off Y37, Y67 or Y111
R1672CFZN7KB $20 Off MtDNA

Happy Holidays and thank you, Family Tree DNA!