Alsace/Elsass and Moselle mtDNA Project- Background



This project centers on the mtDNA of our maternal ancestors.  Both men and women are invited to participate if their direct maternal line (mother's mother's mother... etc.) is documented as coming from Alsace, or is believed to be from Alsace, or from the Moselle region of Lorraine.  You are also welcome to join if you have a FamilyFinder test and known Alsace/Moselle ancestry.

Alsace (German Elsass or Elsaß) is located in the uppermost NE corner of France, along the west bank of the Rhine River and borders both Germany and Switzerland.  The area has had a colorful past, being ruled, as well as ruling itself, but with a strong German language tradition.  The Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, marked the start of the territory being claimed by both France and Germany.   Because many residents spoke German, but France controlled the region much of the time, some official civil records have been kept in French, and some in German.  Many early Catholic parish records are in Latin.   The historical language of Alsace was Alsatian, a German dialect.   Surname and given name spellings changed with the language used - records may be indexed in French or Latin, but the record and signatures may show German spellings, causing difficulties in tracing through the records.

Additionally, due to its location, settlers came from Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Lorraine, Savoy and other areas after 1648 until the mid 1700s.  Anabaptist refugees from Switzerland came in the late 17th and early 18thcentury when Strasbourg (Straßburg) became a main center of the early Anabaptist movement.   There were also well established Catholic and Protestant populations throughout the region, as well as Jewish residents, especially in/near the larger towns.  Some early 19th century census records tracked religious affiliation.  After the French revolution, Alsace was split between Haut- and Bas-Rhin regions.  It is presently divided into 13 Arrondissements and 75 Cantons.

For access to historical records on-line:  for Bas-Rhin, please go to and for Haut-Rhin, please go to  If you need assistance navigating these sites, please contact me directly.

We are also including the Moselle department of Lorraine (German Lothringen) due to its historical similarites, especially in its relationship with the German states.  While the Department of Moselle is not as far along with its on-line resources as the departments of Alsace, you can access those archives at

General Fund

Current balance: $0.00

Project Stats

Statistic Type Count
Big Y 2
Combined GEDCOMs Uploaded 19
DISTINCT mtDNA Haplogroups 27
DISTINCT Y-DNA Confirmed Haplogroups 6
DISTINCT Y-DNA Predicted Haplogroups 4
Family Finder 28
Genographic 2.0 Transfers 8
Maternal Ancestor Information 40
mtDNA 39
mtDNA Full Sequence 22
mtDNA Plus 33
mtDNA Subgroups 12
Paternal Ancestor Information 40
Predicted Y-DNA Haplogroups 9
Total Members 48
Unpredicted Y-DNA Haplogroups 1
Unreturned Kits 2
Y-DNA Deep Clade (After 2008) 5
Y-DNA Subgroups 0
Y-DNA111 7
Y-DNA12 16
Y-DNA25 14
Y-DNA37 14
Y-DNA67 10