Recommendations on mtDNA tests

Genetic genealogy is the application of genetics to traditional genealogy. Genetic genealogy involves the use of genealogical DNA testing to determine the level and type of the genetic relationship between individuals.
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MarcuccioV
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Recommendations on mtDNA tests

Post by MarcuccioV »

So in my ongoing effort to try to unravel my maternal (Italian) genes, I am considering an mtDNA test. Any recommendations or advantages/disadvantages..? I’ve looked into two so far, HomeDNA at about $69, and FTDNA at $159. I assume both would be uploadable to the other common sites.

I know 23&me includes it with their autosomal (I already have autosomal results), but from what I’ve read it only gives you the haplogroup.

What others are out there..? I want to get the most bang for my buck if at all possible. Any suggestions or information appreciated…
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afecad
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Re: Recommendations on mtDNA tests

Post by afecad »

23andme has Basic Y-DNA, mtDNA and autosomal.

FTDNA has a basic test and upgrades (you pay for in addition) to dig deeper.

mtDNA

Plus or Full Sequence

Family Finder

Autosomal

Y-DNA

Y-12 up to Big Y

While 23andme did denote my mtDNA haplogroup the same as FTDNA, FTDNA goes much farther into mtDNA with the Full Sequence upgrade, for me I also opted for Big Y which opened lot's of doors on my Paternal side as well.

You can read more about the differences here:

https://isogg.org/wiki/MtDNA_testing_comparison_chart

https://isogg.org/wiki/Y-DNA_STR_testin ... ison_chart

So far I have done:

23andme
Ancestry
FTDNA (Big Y-700 + Family Finder + mtDNA Full Sequence)

I'm not familiar with HomeDNA at all.

I would highly recommend 23andme, but if you really want to unlock lot's of clues FTDNA is the way to go as they have many groups you can join to compare your data to. FTDNA Big-Y700 confirmed by Paternal Haplogroup the specific subclade, where as 23andme did not.

Just take note FTDNA is more complex to navigate and is full of data rich information that even I have not yet even fully learned. You will see "Matches" likely, just might be quite far back, like hundreds of years you likely shared an ancestor to a percentile.

Issue for me is many do no know their family tree and FTDNA allows you to upload it as far back as you know, this allows you to connect the dots, much like Ancestry and thru-lines but not automatic. Also Ancestry does match you with people but it's only Autosomal.

Be prepared to see much variation in "origins" DNA to DNA company and only going off of factual family records going back 200 years, 23andme appears to be very accurate, FTDNA's and Ancestry are close but not totally accurate on my Paternal side, but it all goes on datasets they have.
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MarcuccioV
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Re: Recommendations on mtDNA tests

Post by MarcuccioV »

afecad wrote: 08 Mar 2021, 04:52 23andme has Basic Y-DNA, mtDNA and autosomal.

FTDNA has a basic test and upgrades (you pay for in addition) to dig deeper.

mtDNA

Plus or Full Sequence

Family Finder

Autosomal

Y-DNA

Y-12 up to Big Y

While 23andme did denote my mtDNA haplogroup the same as FTDNA, FTDNA goes much farther into mtDNA with the Full Sequence upgrade, for me I also opted for Big Y which opened lot's of doors on my Paternal side as well.

You can read more about the differences here:

https://isogg.org/wiki/MtDNA_testing_comparison_chart

https://isogg.org/wiki/Y-DNA_STR_testin ... ison_chart

So far I have done:

23andme
Ancestry
FTDNA (Big Y-700 + Family Finder + mtDNA Full Sequence)

I'm not familiar with HomeDNA at all.

I would highly recommend 23andme, but if you really want to unlock lot's of clues FTDNA is the way to go as they have many groups you can join to compare your data to. FTDNA Big-Y700 confirmed by Paternal Haplogroup the specific subclade, where as 23andme did not.

Just take note FTDNA is more complex to navigate and is full of data rich information that even I have not yet even fully learned. You will see "Matches" likely, just might be quite far back, like hundreds of years you likely shared an ancestor to a percentile.

Issue for me is many do no know their family tree and FTDNA allows you to upload it as far back as you know, this allows you to connect the dots, much like Ancestry and thru-lines but not automatic. Also Ancestry does match you with people but it's only Autosomal.

Be prepared to see much variation in "origins" DNA to DNA company and only going off of factual family records going back 200 years, 23andme appears to be very accurate, FTDNA's and Ancestry are close but not totally accurate on my Paternal side, but it all goes on datasets they have.
So far I did the autosomal through Ancestry, and uploaded it to FTDNA, GEDmatch, HomeDNA, MyHeritage and LivingDNA. My paternal side does NOT have any Italian, but 95% of my matches are on his side, so I don't need anything on the Y. Plus I have extensive documentation on that side while I have very little on the Italian side.

Based on your comments, even though it's pricey, it appears the FTDNA mtDNA may be my best choice for unlocking at least SOME of my Italian genes... Thank you for your input.
Mark

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afecad
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Re: Recommendations on mtDNA tests

Post by afecad »

I would highly suggest 23andme first, you will get more accurate results on your maternal side and also closer regional estimates. It was spot on to my Italian side, showing Calabria as dark blue meaning strongest evidence of recent ancestry which is 100% accurate, it also showed the other regions and strength was less.
Italia.PNG
So if you see other estimated heritage on your Maternal side, it's likely the case, for me my Maternal side results are extremely accurate based on family records and my research.

Also avoid "Family Finder" on FTNDA, it's not worth it currently and needs improvement and it's only autosomal.

If and when you decide to go with mtDNA Full Sequence, I would read up on how to understand the results.

https://www.yourdnaguide.com/ydgblog/20 ... -scenarios
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Re: Recommendations on mtDNA tests

Post by MarcuccioV »

Thank you for the input. My autosomal results for the Italian side show considerable amounts of Sicilian, Greek and West Asian, with traces of Caucasus, Balkan and North Africa on some sites. In general, they agree for the most part, which is odd, as all maternal relatives back to at least 1871 trace back to the same location near Rome.

Part of my curiosity stems from this, but that would be limited on mt as it would include my maternal grandfather ONLY. For my grandmother, I suspect some more distant North Italy/Swiss/French, so I'm curious if that comes up.

I'm still on the fence as to whether it's going to be worth the expense...
Mark

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Re: Recommendations on mtDNA tests

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I only know on my Italian side what I was able to trace back with Birth and Marriage Records I found so far in Italy, based on this and 23andme data, I can say it's the most accurate, but I cannot explain the other regions or connections, but it must go beyond what the paper trail tells me.

I was able to trace back to both of my 3rd GGF in Italy, one was born in the same Comune my family came from in 1831, the other I was unable to yet locate place of birth but he died in an adjacent Comune to the north. I do have names of my 4th GGF but no dates as of yet. My Paternal side is well documented and has been easy to trace back to 1600's.

23andme goes on sale, usually around the holidays, I got mine a while ago for $69, but I would have paid full price regardless with what it told me.
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Re: Recommendations on mtDNA tests

Post by MarcuccioV »

afecad wrote: 08 Mar 2021, 18:01 I only know on my Italian side what I was able to trace back with Birth and Marriage Records I found so far in Italy, based on this and 23andme data, I can say it's the most accurate, but I cannot explain the other regions or connections, but it must go beyond what the paper trail tells me.

I was able to trace back to both of my 3rd GGF in Italy, one was born in the same Comune my family came from in 1831, the other I was unable to yet locate place of birth but he died in an adjacent Comune to the north. I do have names of my 4th GGF but no dates as of yet. My Paternal side is well documented and has been easy to trace back to 1600's.

23andme goes on sale, usually around the holidays, I got mine a while ago for $69, but I would have paid full price regardless with what it told me.
I am assuming much of what you have stated. My tracings (paper trails from Italian civil records) back to 3GG (in some cases further from notary archives) all lead to Valmontone near Rome, the birthplace of both my maternal grandparents. Birthplaces beyond that are for the most part unknown. I pulled the trigger on the 23&me test, I'm hoping it opens up SOME avenues that are currently dead-ends...
Mark

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Re: Recommendations on mtDNA tests

Post by afecad »

MarcuccioV wrote: 08 Mar 2021, 18:31

I am assuming much of what you have stated. My tracings (paper trails from Italian civil records) back to 3GG (in some cases further from notary archives) all lead to Valmontone near Rome, the birthplace of both my maternal grandparents. Birthplaces beyond that are for the most part unknown. I pulled the trigger on the 23&me test, I'm hoping it opens up SOME avenues that are currently dead-ends...
I hope 23andme answers some questions you have on your family.

Having more surviving family members test, like maternal uncles would be key. My Mom did 23and me in the past year and still checks her updates and it was helpful to me, but her brother (only male sibling) will never do DNA testing or if he did keeps the results private. Having his data would unlock more clues to my Grandfather's paternal line in Italy, but that is something I'll likely never know.
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Re: Recommendations on mtDNA tests

Post by MarcuccioV »

afecad wrote: 08 Mar 2021, 19:14
MarcuccioV wrote: 08 Mar 2021, 18:31

I am assuming much of what you have stated. My tracings (paper trails from Italian civil records) back to 3GG (in some cases further from notary archives) all lead to Valmontone near Rome, the birthplace of both my maternal grandparents. Birthplaces beyond that are for the most part unknown. I pulled the trigger on the 23&me test, I'm hoping it opens up SOME avenues that are currently dead-ends...
I hope 23andme answers some questions you have on your family.

Having more surviving family members test, like maternal uncles would be key. My Mom did 23and me in the past year and still checks her updates and it was helpful to me, but her brother (only male sibling) will never do DNA testing or if he did keeps the results private. Having his data would unlock more clues to my Grandfather's paternal line in Italy, but that is something I'll likely never know.
Sadly I have no one aside from first & second cousins on the Italian side. None of them have shown up thus far. I'll be curious as to the 23&me results.

Asking any of them to test (especially for MY benefit) would be like a declaration of war. The collateral damage would be worse than any benefits received... :roll:
Mark

If you ignore your foundation, your house will eventually collapse...
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