View Full Version : Questions about DNA tests

22-07-06, 09:50
I've just started looking into this whole DNA genealogy thing, so forgive my naivety... :)

I've been looking at the Family Tree DNA website and I'm wondering if it would be beneficial to me to do an mtDNA test.

My mother's mother's parents were both born in Finland, though I am running into a dead end on the paper trail in trying to find out WHERE in Finland either of them came from.

Maybe it's just late at night but I got confused when looking at the site, are the tests just to show relationships between people? I don't even have any plausible long lost relatives to compare genetic profiles with. Would just finding out my own profile tell me anything useful about where my great-grandmother came from in Finland? :confused:

26-07-06, 15:56

mtDNA (the female line) may not tell you where your relatives--in modern times--come from, but if you match with people, you may find a common geographical location. This would at least give you a place to begin further research.

I am assuming that you have already tried to use the LDS database or other good sources both online and off.

If both sides of your family come from Finland, and if you have any close male relative who would agree to be tested, using those results you might also find leads to pursue for your mother's family. Given that so many people tended to marry with people from the same or nearby communities, this could be a means to solve your puzzles.

As you may already know from the FT DNA site, Y line DNA requires a male for testing; mtDNA (mitochondrial) can be taken from either a male or female. However, as I understand it, women pass their mtDNA to their sons, but their sons do not pass it along...only their daughters pass along detectable mtDNA. Males pass along their Y line, but inherit both Y and mtDNA.

I have taken both tests at FT DNA. And, in my case, both were 37 marker tests. They were very helpfful. If you call FT DNA, they are usually very good about answering questions, and helping to determine if the tests will help you with your research.

If you are tested by FT DNA, be sure to visit your web page (they assign this to you) when they alert you that your results are in, to see your results and initial matches. Also, when you are at your page, it is a very good idea to click the button that posts your FT DNA results to the larger Mitosearch database.

After you post your resuilts to Mitosearch, go there often from the button link on your page, and clck the 'search' button to see matches of your DNA with that of (potentially) thousands of other people.

When you have matches, Mitosearch will also indicate roughly where the people who match with you are living, this might also be a lead for you. (And, frankly, it is exciting to see the results...at least I think so!)

When FT DNA finds matches for you, they send an e-mail with a link in it that will return you to your page. If you click that link it will take you to the part of your page with a match.

Matches only show if they have given their permission, and their e-mail address. So far, each of the people I have corresponded with have been willing to share information...each of us is looking for a connection.

Also, FT DNA's database matches against other DNA databases, via Mitosearch. So this becomes a really large group of people from whcih you may find matches.

Good luck with your search. I hope it becomes fruitful...

Come back and ask more questions. We are all beginners--even the scientists--when it comes to DNA. And genetic genealogy is in its infancy. There is more news every day. Literally. If you particiapte in DNA testing, you will be one of the many pioneers!