The mtDNA – Ancestral Origins page allows you to view the ancestry information for your matches from one of our mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) tests.

  • Country – This is the maternal country of origin as reported by the individual customer.
  • Your Matches – This is the number of matches for a specific country.
  • Match Total – This is the total number of matches who have reported their origin for a specific country.
  • Country Total – This is the total number of people with mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) results from the country of origin in the Family Tree DNA database.
  • Percentage – This is the percentage from the country of origin compared to the total number from that country in the database, i.e., the Match Total column divided by the Country Total column.
  • Comment – This is additional information such as a social, religious, or ethnic group. Where more than one match from a country has provided the same comment, the number of matches is shown beside the comment. For example, someone with matches in Germany might have Baden-Württemberg (2) and Schleswig-Holstein (7).

Note: Family Tree DNA uses the International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 3166 for country names.

mtDNA – Ancestral Origins Page Questions

On the mtDNA - Ancestral Origins page, are only exact matches shown?

On the mtDNA – Ancestral Origins page, in addition to exact mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) matches from both our customer and our academic databases, this includes matching to those academic samples that have only tested part of HVR1.

For matches to other Family Tree DNA customers, there are two sets of rules.

  • For those who have tested HVR1 (mtDNA) or HVR1 and HVR2 (mtDNAPlus), only exact matches are shown. SmartMatching is also used to prevent a match between different haplogroups.
  • For those who have tested the mtDNA Full Sequence (mtFullSequence), four differences are allowed. These differences include cases of heteroplasmy. Two high frequency insertion/deletion locations are completely excluded from difference counts. These are mutations at positions 309 and 315.
On the mtDNA - Ancestral Origins page, what does Unknown Origin mean?

The mtDNA – Ancestral Origins page lists the countries of origin reported to us by the people that you match. If these individuals did not tell us a country of origin, either because they do not know or because they did not want to share it, we entered them as “Unknown Origin.”

On the mtDNA - Ancestral Origins page, why do some of my matches show United States?

The mtDNA – Ancestral Origins page lists the country of origin reported to us by the people that you match. This country of origin is meant to be the country their maternal ancestor came from before any migrations to the Americas. We have recently added a United States (Native American) choice to help users tell the difference between a true Native American ancestry and a colonial American ancestry. You should treat the United States entries as “Unknown Origin” unless the mtDNA test results indicate Native American ancestry on your maternal line.