Is having just 2 matches at full coding region normal?

+3 votes
191 views
Hi group,

I am new here and I hope everybody is well and safe! My mtDNA haplogroup is H8c. I did my test in March 2019 and I still have just 2 matches at the full coding region, GD3. I wonder why is that and how far back those matches go? Thank you for your insights!
in Genealogy Help by Maria Todorof G2G Crew (360 points)
retagged by Ellen Smith

4 Answers

+4 votes
I am U5a2e, my maternal line at earliest known level is in Slovakia. I have 12 matches at the full coding region level, none at zero steps.

A friend of mine is H5s, and has 141 matches, with the first page being zero steps (exact matches). Her maternal line is apparently from the British Isles or Western Europe.
by Lincoln Lowery G2G6 Mach 2 (27.6k points)
Thank you very much! My only 2 matches are from Germany. It seems that H8c is a very rare group.
+5 votes
I'd guess that just two matches @ GD 3 is definitely on the low side. According to FTDNA an exact match (GD 0) has a 95% confidence interval of sharing a CA within 22 generations, or about 550 years. You can be quite confident that your CA with your GD 3 matches are well beyond any genealogical records, most likely thousands of years. I'm H5, with 13 matches @ GD 1, 40 @ GD 2, and 73 @ GD 3. Not surprising as it's a quite common group.
by Paul Chisarik G2G6 Mach 2 (20.2k points)

Thank you Paul but the information, which I got from FTdna is a bit more encouraging. They say the following:

<!--[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]-->

<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE <![endif]-->

<!--[if gte mso 9]> <![endif]-->

"Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) testing covers both recent and distant generations.

    Matching on HVR1 means that you have a 50% chance of sharing a common maternal ancestor within the last fifty-two generations. That is about 1,300 years.

    Matching on HVR1 and HVR2 means that you have a 50% chance of sharing a common maternal ancestor within the last twenty-eight generations. That is about 700 years.

    Matching on the Mitochondrial DNA Full Genomic Sequence test brings your matches into times that are more recent. It means that you have a 50% chance of sharing a common maternal ancestor within the last 5 generations. That is about 125 years. "https://learn.familytreedna.com/mtdna-testing/generations-traced/

 Regards,

Maria

<!--[if gte mso 10]>

/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:8.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:107%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} <![endif]-->

Thank you Paul but the information, which I got from FTdna is a bit more encouraging. They say the following:

"Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) testing covers both recent and distant generations.

    Matching on HVR1 means that you have a 50% chance of sharing a common maternal ancestor within the last fifty-two generations. That is about 1,300 years.

    Matching on HVR1 and HVR2 means that you have a 50% chance of sharing a common maternal ancestor within the last twenty-eight generations. That is about 700 years.

    Matching on the Mitochondrial DNA Full Genomic Sequence test brings your matches into times that are more recent. It means that you have a 50% chance of sharing a common maternal ancestor within the last 5 generations. That is about 125 years. "https://learn.familytreedna.com/mtdna-testing/generations-traced/

 Best regards,

Maria

<!--[if gte mso 10]>

<![endif]-->

Yes, that's definitely the "glass half full" view of the answer. The difference is that's the 50% confidence interval number where what I used is the 95% confidence interval which would mean you'd be pretty certain to share a CA within 22 generations. I think it's good to understand the significant variation between the two numbers since it gives some insight into the uncertainty of the data. It's also important to realize that these numbers are for exact matches, GD=0. Estimates of mutation rates are kind of all over the map and they depend on some pretty subtle differences in definition, but you can be pretty confident that to get to a GD of 3 almost certainly took over 1,000 years, likely considerably more.

https://learn.familytreedna.com/dna-basics/mtdna/

"Matching for Genealogy"

Yes, I understand that I am being overly optimistic. What I thought was that maybe if it is a rare group, a G3 would be closer than expected. I read that there are real case situations where there was one mutation between a mother and her son. This was the point of my questions - whether people have encountered something similar. What is people's real life experience of this. For my self I think that I was able to cross reference a couple from the tree of my mtDNA match with an ancestor of an autosomal match at around 1799. I started my search for my mother (I am an adoptee) based on this but of course, I am aware that I might be on shaky grounds here.

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my question, I appreciate it!
Unfortunately, FTDNA's numbers are themselves too optimistic, even for a perfect match.They use the same mutation rate for the coding region (low variability) as the hypervariable region (by definition, a section where mutations can occur without any adverse effects).

I am a big fan of mtDNA testing -- I even write custom reports for people who have received their complete sequence. But it's best used for supporting / refuting a hypothesis, as opposed to hoping for a random match.
Thank you, this makes sense!
Though I'm not quite as big a fan of mtDNA testing as Ann, I definitely agree that they can be a very useful tool in specific circumstances. They are also the only game in town when it comes to understanding our deep matrlineal ancestry, which I personally do find very interesting. That said, I think their value is often overestimated when it comes to general genealogical use and this can sometimes have the negative side effect of leading people to bark up the wrong trees (bad pun shamelessly intended). For instance, I think the most you can derive from your test is that your very distant (1,000's of years) matrilineal ancestors were of European origin, anything more than that would be highly speculative and potentially misleading.

In most cases, and almost certainly yours, people are far better off focusing their efforts and resources on auDNA test results. Particularly when searching for close relatives, such as parents or grandparents, few tools can match the value of an Ancestry DNA test, the results of which can then be uploaded to FTDNA, MyHeritage and GEDmatch, all of which can provide much better tools for analyzing your matches for a nominal fee. Another great resource are the Adoption Angels here on Wikitree. And if you'd like any help with your auDNA just send me a PM and I'd be happy to do what I can.
I agree with you. mtDNA is a long shot. I guess I am desperate for something. I have been looking into my ancestors for the last 4 years and I have done all possible tests - Ancestry, 23andme, FTdna, MH. I have uploaded all my data on Gedmatch and also on DNA Land and Living DNA. I have a tree which I constructed recently, where  I am almost 100% confident I was able to place my bio father (and alongside this a bunch of DNA cousins) but since my bio father died many years ago, I am unable to test him. So I was focusing on my mother's side hence the question here. Thank you for offering to help - I will send you a PM - any advice would be much appreciated as maybe I am doing something wrong if I have not been successful for so long.
+7 votes

It's analogous to surnames -- some are very common and some are very rare. Your line probably has some "private" mutations (ones not used to define a haplogroup) that prevent matches. 

FTDNA maintains a public database based on 170,000 sequences. There are just 103 H8c records (not including subclades).Look at the country report for this data:

https://www.familytreedna.com/public/mt-dna-haplotree/H;name=H8c

by Ann Turner G2G6 Mach 1 (10.6k points)
Thank you so much, this link is very helpful.
+4 votes
Maria, you have found more matches that I have!

I tested my mother and her mtDNA apparently goes back to Scandanavia. A small number of people from the Scandanavian countries responded to Catherine the Great's offer of land and freedom in the 1750s, most were from the areas known today as Germany, thus this unique group of people are called the Volga Germans. All of my mother's mother's line are Volga Germans.

Unfortunately, she has no matches at zero distance for the full coding regions. She does have a handful at one, but that is so far back, it's not useful for matching.

Even zero could be too far back to find a common ancestor, but I'd love to try! :)
by Allison Mackler G2G6 Mach 5 (51.4k points)
Allison, thank you for sharing this. I think that my mtDNA line was somehow connected to Germans migrating eastbound too.

Related questions

+6 votes
18 answers
930 views asked Mar 13, 2019 in Genealogy Help by AL Wellman G2G6 Mach 1 (10.9k points)
+2 votes
2 answers
+8 votes
2 answers
+4 votes
1 answer
+4 votes
2 answers
+4 votes
2 answers
257 views asked Jan 24, 2018 in The Tree House by Barry Smith G2G6 Pilot (219k points)
+7 votes
2 answers

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright

...