A mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) test looks at your female-inherited mitochondrial DNA. Historic records are often inadequate for women’s history. Maternal DNA testing offers you the opportunity to at least partially overcome that barrier, and by testing your mtDNA you will learn about your maternal heritage in both recent and ancient times.

Mitochondrial DNA Inheritance
1 2 3
Father’s Father
Father
Father’s Mother
You
Mother’s Father
Mother
Mother’s Mother

Family Tree DNA offers three levels of mtDNA tests.

mtDNA (HVR1): The HVR1 test will show you your basic maternal ancestry reaching back hundreds of thousands of years. It includes testing to determine your basic mitochondrial DNA haplogroup placement.

For genealogy, the basic mtDNA test is best used to rule out a shared maternal ancestor between two people.

mtDNAPlus (HVR1&2): The HVR1&2 test will show you your basic maternal ancestry reaching back hundreds of thousands of years. By including the second hypervariable region (HVR2) this test is also able to provide more refined geographic origins data for your maternal line in the last 2,000 years.

Like the basic mtDNA test the mtDNAPlus test is best used to rule out a shared maternal ancestor between two people. The higher resolution offers greater ability to distinguish between lines.

mtDNA Full Genomic Sequence: The mtDNA Full Sequence test is the preferred test for understanding the genealogy, historic, and ancient ancestry of your direct maternal line. By testing the full mitochondrial genome, you will be placed in one of hundreds of mtDNA haplogroup subclades according to current published peer reviewed literature. Each subclade has a unique migration history that traces from ancient times through more recent historic events.

For genealogical research, you are assured of ruling out lineage mismatches for paper trail comparisons. You will also achieve the highest level of confidence possible that your mtDNA full sequence matches are related to you within the genealogical time frame.

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) Test Options
HVR1 (mtDNA) HVR1&2 (mtDNAPlus) Mitochondrial DNA Full Genomic Sequence
Nucleotide 16001 to 16569 X X X
Nucleotide 00001 to 00574 X X
Nucleotide 00575 to 16000 X
Backbone Haplogroup X X
Haplogroup & Subclade

X

Genetic Genealogy Level In most cases, rule out (disprove) genealogical connections. Confidently, rule out possible genealogical connections. Confidently, rule out possible genealogical connections and confirm relationships.
Anthrogenealogy Level Show ancient migration paths. Show ancient migration paths. Show both ancient and historic migration paths.