DNA – Maternal Lineage Test Results

A few years ago, I had my maternal line DNA testing done through GeneTree. Then I joined Ancestry.com and entered by mtDNA results in their data base. From both data bases, I got dozens of matches from all over the world – mostly from Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Scotland and the United States, basically where people had immigrated from the British Isle. I contacted some of the matches in the United States and was not able to identify any close relatives from those matches.

Maternal DNA is passed from the mother to her off-spring, both male and female. Maternal DNA does not mutate very often, so mtDNA results will be consistent along the maternal line. With a perfect mtDNA match and no more information, we can’t decide if we are first cousins or if we share a common ancestor from 5000 years ago.

The test is basically used to rule out possible relations through the maternal line. So my brother and sisters will all have all the same mtDNA, as will all Edith Holder’s children, as will all Zula McIntire’s children, as will all Almeda Todd’s children, as will all Margaret Elliott’s children and on back, back and back. If I find a person that looks like a paper match in my direct maternal line but with different mtDNA results, we are definitely not related.

U Haplogroup Migration Map

Where it all started. . .

Around 100,000 years ago, a single group of humans began dividing and migrating to form genetically isolated populations throughout the world. Over generations, the new populations’ genes became slightly different from the original group and from each other. The differences appear in the mtDNA sequence and allow scientists to create different haplogroups.

My Results – Haplogroup U5a

I belong to the Travelers, haplogroup U, which emerged around 60,000 years ago, not long after the first modern humans left Africa. Because the Travelers are so old, they’ve had a broad geographic distributions from Europe, North Africa, India and Central Asia as descendants migrated to new areas and formed subgroups. Frequencies of haplogroup U range from 10-30% in these populations.

Nine main subgroups of haplogroup U have been identified. U5 is thought to have lived in southwest Asia. There was a change in climate conditions about 43,000 years ago as the glaciers receded. U5 took part in the first settlement of Europe by modern humans.

Famous U5a Members

In 1903, the skeletal remains of a 9,000 year-old male were found in a cave in Cheddar, England. The “Cheddar Man” was about 23 years old when he died, killed by a blow to the face. Recently scientists were able to extract and analyze his DNA material. They identified the “Cheddar Man” as a U5a. In surveying local people, a match was found with a nearby schoolteacher, Adrian Targett.


  • Genetree mtDNA results report.
  • Ancestry.com results report.

Copyrighted, 2012 by Andrea Musgrove Perisho.

About Andrea Musgrove Perisho

Genealogy research on my own ancestors is a new focus. Posts will include information about those ancestors including the social and economic issues, along with techniques for research.
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