Is your direct maternal line over 9 generations?

+25 votes
Can you trace your direct maternal line (your mother's, mother's, mother's, etc., mother) back ten generations or more?

If so, would you consider taking a mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) test?  There are only about 12 people in WikiTree who have mtDNA tested and can go back over 9 generations on their direct maternal line. See:
in The Tree House by Peter Roberts G2G6 Pilot (575k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith
I have ten starting with my mother, thanks to WikiTree collaboration. I know nothing about being tested for mitochondrial dna, but I do find the idea intriguing.
Hello Susan,

You have tested with 23andMe which revealed your mtDNA haplogroup.  On your DNA Tests page select that you took an "Other mtDNA" and in the haplogroup field enter your mtDNA haplogroup as reported by 23andMe.  Is your haplogroup any more precise than just H (e.g. H1a2b etc.?) In the Note field enter that you tested with 23andMe and the approximate date you tested.  Then within 24 hours your mtDNA haplogroup will automatically be associated with your direct maternal line (in your case back 10 generations and on the daughters of the daughters of the daughters as far as they come done to the present).

Sincerely, Peter
(... and on any sons of those daughters or direct maternal line ancestors).
Thank you Peter and Rick. Everything went smoothly until the end when I received an error message telling me to "share this url for your compact family tree with your dna test matches:" (a link to my compact tree)

There are no instructions on how to do this and no link. I've tried everything I can think of. The information is already on my compact tree.

Any further help will be appreciated.
Hello Susan,

Within 24 hours WikiTree will automatically associate your mtDNA information with everyone in your direct maternal line.  

23andMe only tested some of your mtDNA (which was only enough to determine you belong to haplogroup H).  Unfortunately in your case you belong to the most common mtDNA haplogroup found in Europe.  If you take a full sequence mtDNA test from FTDNA then you may discover you belong to subclade (branch of descent) which is less common.  Then you would want to share (with your full sequence mtDNA matches) your direct maternal line back to your earliest known direct maternal line ancestor.

Your direct maternal line can be found at

Sharing your “Compact Ancestral Tree” should be reserved for your autosomal DNA matches.  If you share all branches of your ancestry with your mtDNA matches then some of them may be confused that your shared mtDNA match is due to shared ancestry which is not your direct maternal line.
Sadly my maternal line only goes back 6 generations.

But then again, it does not include myself or my son so maybe it's 8 generations...

My mother is private because she is still living.....

My son is not on wikitree because he is still a teenager.
You might help someone else (like me) who had one of those ancestors whose mother died and we can't find her name in a paper trail.  She was then adopted.
Everything seems to have worked out the way it should, with notification on the profile of each of the grandmothers, going back to Elizabeth Isabell Freeman Wooley, 1628- 1720. Pretty cool, huh? Thanks everyone for guidance and help. I'm now thinking about the full sequence testing.
My maternal line goes back 14 generations. I haven't personally tested my mtDNA, but my mom's maternal cousin did the mtDNA test through FTDNA, so my result should be the same. I don't know if that should count or not, so I haven't entered it into wikitree. The cousin's mtDNA result is V16; my 23AndMe result is V, which seems to corroborate the V16. I just added some maternal grandparents to wikitree to fill out my 14 generations.

Hello Jodi,

Congratulations! Exceedingly few people know 14 generations of their direct maternal line.  Is your cousin willing to join WikiTree and add their mtDNA information? 

On your DNA Tests page select that you took an "Other mtDNA" and in the haplogroup field enter your mtDNA haplogroup as reported by 23andMe. If your cousin is not willing to join WikiTree then in the Note field enter that you tested with 23andMe and the approximate date you tested. You may add that your direct maternal line cousin mtDNA is reported V16.   

44 Answers

+16 votes

My mother's maternal line goes back to Mary Clark born Abt 1590 Hingham, Norfolk, England   52.5791° N, 0.9828° E

If Mary is generation 1, I am generation 12. 

mtDNA is H with three variations from standard 

16215G, 16362C, 16482G


I was told that this mtDNA was in England for a very long time. 
by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.3m points)
Frank, nobody else can see your line on WikiTree, because your profile is Red Private. If you were to change it to Private with Public Family Tree, then Peter and others could see what you are talking about.

But "wow" about your maternal line!
OK, I'll see about changing it to Private with Public Family Tree later today.
Hello Frank,

If you need remain private (but have a Public Family Tree) then I recommend changing your first name to F or Anonymous.  Then change your privacy level from Red Private to "Private with Public Biography and Family Tree."

Thanks and sincerely, Peter
Hello Frank,

At 15 generations your mtDNA tested direct maternal line is currently the 5th most extensive known to exist in WikiTree (-:

I've added it to WikiTree Tops.
Peter, That's interesting. My earliest known Gill Y-DNA R1b ancestor died in Tivetshall St. Margaret, Norfolk, England. His birth year was about 1650. If he, Daniell or Daniel Gill, was generation 1, then I am the 10th.

It also seems interesting that the earliest paternal ancestor lived in the same county in England as the earliest known maternal ancestor, but at different times and different locations in Norfolk, England.

Maybe some day I will be able to grasp and understand using my two dna tests Ancestry and Family Tree to help confirm people in my tree!

I can always dream!

But seriously Frank, I have not looked at your family line but congrats on getting back so far!


I have a piddling 5. myself. Irish line. Seems like I have a bunch of autosomal matches for that corner of the ancestry, so maybe that could help figure that out, if the right others tested too.

Frank Stanley, Ditto buddy. Mine disappears at Mary Maloney (1803-dec) of Bandon, Cork.
+9 votes
Yikes - I need to learn to read the question properly!  Nothing to see here folks, move right along! :)
by Brenda Butler G2G6 Mach 4 (42.5k points)
edited by Brenda Butler
+8 votes
I suspect more people with long matrilineal lines could be found if Privacy was not an issue.

My own mitochondrial DNA (HV7) goes back Eight Generations, starting either from me or from my female first cousin as shown in the link below:

That same line goes back Ten Generations starting from the young child of my female cousin's daughter, whose profile is not visible on Wikitree.

FYI, I was tested in 2010 and as of today have a total of nine matches by HVR1 and HVR2. I have identified a common ancestor with only one of these matches. The cost of mitochondrial DNA testing remains high in part because there is no effective competition for testing. IMHO the cost needs to come down to encourage more mtDNA testing.
by Bill Vincent G2G6 Pilot (146k points)
edited by Bill Vincent
Another line I've tested (Haplogroup U5) goes back more than ten generations from numerous descendants. (I have recorded over 37,000 of her descendants in my personal database.) Two examples of that matrilineal line are shown below: (mtDNA tested) (nine generations)
Thanks Bill,

I've added your mtDNA tested direct maternal line to WikiTree Tops.
What does it mean when you say HRV1, etc. What is that and where do I learn about it?? Thanks!
+14 votes
My maternal line goes back 9 generations into Germany, let me know when the test is on sale:
by Doug Lockwood G2G Astronaut (2.4m points)
+8 votes
My husband has a female cousin whose maternal line I have traced back 8 generations. I'm solidly into the good French Canadian period when a lot of research has been done, and I've scanned enough sources and names to know its only a matter of getting back to this line and a bit of time researching. I'll put it on my to do list and see if she is willing to be tested.  She is very interested in family history so will likely be willing to do it.
+7 votes
Only one line of my mum' goes back 9 generations.  I am stuck at 9 for now.  Would that work?.
by Anonymous Roach G2G6 Pilot (185k points)
+8 votes
My daughter's  (White-10484) maternal line goes back 9 generations.  I have done a mtDNA test but not her.  She and I have done the auDNA test.
by Meg McGowan G2G5 (5.7k points)
reshown by Peter Roberts
+9 votes

Hi, yes, my mother Wickboldt-1 has done mtDNA test and has direct maternal line back 10 generations to Ingrid Ivarsdatter Ivarsdatter-52 in Oppland, Norway. 

by Susannah Zemke G2G4 (4.8k points)
Many thanks!  I've added your mother's direct maternal line to WikiTree Tops.
+8 votes
I have mine back to 10 generations. All are in Cornwall England and validated through associated baptismal and marriage certificates.


I am K1a1b1f. I welcome any contact from people who may have a similar profile. Post an answer here and I will confirm contact details.
Hello Roger,

Thank you for your information. Please let me know your WikiTree ID.

Sincerely, Peter
Please what do those number mean and how do I learn about that??
Peter. I am Moore- 26129


Peter.  I am Moore- 26129
Thanks Roger,

I look forward to when you have added that ancestry to WikiTree.

Sincerely, Peter
+7 votes
I wish I could go back that far. :( Mine's at a standstill after 5 gens.
by Charlotte Shockey G2G6 Pilot (946k points)
+5 votes

Through my maternal grandmother:  

1. through Gov. William Leete of Colonial Connecticut: (13 generations, to Lambert-2266).

Coleberry is the 13th great grandmother of Janine:

2.  through Hannah Miller Gould (Miller-17196)

This makes Hannah the ninth great grandmother of Janine.

3.  Through my paternal grandmother, I am also a Griswold; 13 generaltions from Griswold-469.  But I think you don't want that info, right?

This makes Roger the 13th great grandfather of Janine.

Let me know when the tests go on sale!

by Janine Barber G2G6 Pilot (185k points)
edited by Janine Barber
Hello Janine,  You have the mtDNA of Sarah Jackman Your relationship to Sarah is about five generations.
Thanks for responding; I've learned something more for my research.  

Game on!  I'm now researching Sarah's mom, who is most likely Nancy Carroll Jackman.  

But I'm taking this cautiously; the evidence is a bit sketchy. There were Jackmans in Croyden, New Hampshire, as well as Boscowan.

Thanks to the wonderful help from Wiki -- I've sourced a few more generations out.  Does Abigail's family go back to the Great Migration? Could be.

Introducing Abigail (Perkins) Prince, Perkins-8996, Born 14 Oct 1736 in Sutton, Worcester, Massachusetts Bay, British Colonial Americamap

This makes Abigail the sixth great grandmother of Janine.  

Thanks Janine,

Are you willing to test your mtDNA?  If so, please order an mtDNA+ test at

On the left hover over DNA Tests, then click on All Tests, then scroll down to mtDNA+.  Cost is $79 and shipping and handling is $12.

Sincerely, Peter
+3 votes

I added my mom to the linked report as she is tested with mtDNA and has 9 generations back (4 of which are DNA confirmed).

Given that I am DNA confirmed to my mom through auDNA, perhaps we can call it 10 generations?

by William Foster G2G6 Pilot (109k points)
edited by William Foster

Thanks.  A couple of sections down is one titled "

Direct maternal line with the most number of generations confirmed by matching mtDNA of distant cousins"


    +6 votes

    I make 8 generations. My daughter would make nine. My sister and her, daughter and granddaughters could make it 10 since we would share MtDNA.

    I checked at FTDNA and the current price is $199.00.

    by Margaret Meredith G2G6 Mach 2 (28.1k points)
    mtDNAPlus is only $79 (plus $12 postage). You can phone Family Tree DNA and say you don't want/need the full sequence test. If you want, later you can upgrade to full sequence using your DNA in storage.
    My results are back and don't  appear to be that useful nor likely to answer my research question of what is the maiden name of my Barbara who died about 1825 in Shenandoah County, Virginia.

    I will keep studying my mtDNA and the YDNA results that are also resulting for my family members. Honestly, at this point, the money would have been better spent on additional autosomal tests for family members.

     As more people test and I work with my mtDNA and autosomal results, hopefully, the answers to my research opportunities will become obvious to me.
    Please watch for how to use mtDNA to possibly find a sister and ancestry of your Barbara of Shenandoah County.
    Thank you. Excellent video.
    +5 votes

    Sure. What are the steps? I'm currently waiting for Ancestry DNA results, but I honestly do not know if mitochondrial is part of their test.

    by Jason Maxham G2G3 (3.1k points)
    Ancestry is autosomal Jason, not Mitochondrial. Family Tree DNA does the MtDNA tests - there may be a sale on somewhere.
    +4 votes
    Yes, in some lines and no in others, some of my lines go way back to 330BC but not always with the women, many are missing or surname unknown have not done mTDNA yet but hope to soon have done autosomal tho.

    Carolyn Olsen GiaMarco   Olsen-3053
    by Carolyn GiaMarco G2G2 (2.3k points)
    Hello Carolyn,

    You only have one direct maternal line and the mtDNA of that line is found in you.

    Sincerely, Peter
    I was obviously speaking of all my lines, my direct maternal line only goes to my 4x great grandmother currently tho I found potential evidence her mother came from Germany its not verifiable yet, so she has become a block. I would love to do MtDNA just finding extra funds for that hasn't happened yet
    +4 votes
    I can go back to my 6th great grandmother. My mtDNA (not yet registered on wikitree) is fairly unusual and has been waiting for the next level of classification since 2011. It is U5a1b1*.
    by Lynda Crackett G2G6 Pilot (631k points)
    Hello Lynda, I sincerely hope you will add your mtDNA information to your DNA Tests page in WikiTree.  Why not?

    I'm U5a2 on the 23 and me test Lynda, I've noticed that you are on a gedmatch list of someone related to either me or my husband (can't remember now), we both have ancestry in the NE of England.
    Peter, the only reason I had not added my mtDNA when I wrote this answer was that I had been a member of Wikitree for a day at the time and was still learning my way around.
    Anon Anderson, I have run a gedmatch one-to-one and we do not have an autosomal match. I cannot see from your profile who your husband is, so I could not check against him. If you send me a message with more information about who you saw me matching on gedmatch I can take a closer look.
    Both being U5's we are both daughters of Ursula but how far back who knows. If you lower the parameters we have two small matches a 6.4 with 412 SNP's and a 5.1 with 382 SNP's maybe just by chance. If you do a people who match both kits we have 15 people in common and you have 4 with my husband (M322406). I find who matches with whom on the DNA fascinating and believe there are lots of people matching by chance because we all have similar DNA in the North of England and the Scottish borders. I haven't found a common ancestor with anyone on gedmatch apart from the top person on my list who is a third cousin.
    The split between U5a2 and U5a1b1 would have been many thousands of years ago, so we are unlikely to have an mtDNA link within the genealogical timeframe. Moving on to autosomal and gedmatch, lowering the parameters  below the recommended default raises the probability that what you are seeing is identical by chance, so I don´t usually do that unless I am reasonably comfortable with a paper trail match and just want to check if any smaller common DNA segments may have been passed down that can tie in with longer segments for other relatives. I will take a closer look at my ICW with both you and your husband and get back to you if I see anything that triggers any new research thoughts.
    +3 votes
    It would be if the line could be agreed or acted upon on here. Merges pending for 2 years. Mothers 1 year older than child. Names just seemingly made up or combined on a whim. I just got my mtDNA back with FTDNA and I would love for it to be correctly reflected.
    by Anonymous Lykins G2G6 Mach 1 (12.0k points)
    +4 votes
    Oh, boy, do I wish!! :)

    My direct maternal line only goes back 6 generations and the oldest of those I wouldn't call confirmed as sources are very hard to come by (Volga Germans).

    However, I just had my mother do an mtDNA test, previously only had auDNA on her. I also just ordered auDNA tests for two of her sisters (of three still living). When I can afford it, I will try to get mtDNA tests for them as well. And the list of cousins is VERY large, I just don't make enough money!! LOL!
    by Allison Mackler G2G6 Mach 5 (53.4k points)
    Would you need to get the mtDNA for your mothers sisters? Unless they have different mothers it will be the same as your moms. I think.
    Hello Allison, An mtDNA test of your mother will save you from testing all other close mtDNA relatives (on your direct maternal line).  The one mtDNA test can serve as a proxy for the others.  Please see:
    Jen & Peter,

    Thanks for the followup! It was my (ignorant) understanding that no matter the DNA test, auDNA, mtDNA, yDNA, that in order to prove relationships, you need two people to test for all three tests (as appropriate).

    So what you are sharing with me indicates that this triangulation only applies to auDNA? Is that correct?

    If that is the case, then it's the auDNA that proves the relationship and testing the auDNA really is required to prove the relationships through triangulation.

    So where I get lost is besides having the mtDNA and yDNA, this doesn't prove anything?

    Hello Allison,

    One DNA test alone is like the sound of one hand clapping.

    You can also use mtDNA (or Y-DNA) to confirm relationships.  You do need to compare your mtDNA with a distant direct maternal line cousin for mtDNA testing to be most useful.  If you both sufficiently match, then each mother / daughter* relationship back to the shared matriarch is Confirmed with DNA.  Having a close direct maternal line relative take a mtDNA test limits how far back (in generations) you can confirm mother / daughter relationships in a direct maternal line.

    * Mother's child can be a son if he is the mtDNA tester.

    Similar for Y-DNA and direct paternal lines. Note that triangulation has a different meaning when used for Y-DNA.

    If two autosomal DNA matches are third cousins or closer (and they share the expected amount of DNA for their relationship) then you don't need to use triangulation. This assumes the matches don't share more than one ancestral couple within about five generations.  If an autosomal match is between persons who are more distantly related than third cousins then triangulation is necessary.

    Ok, so if the mtDNA test taker for my maternal line is my mother then I would want to find cousins whose maternal line results in the same MRCA but isn't in the same direct line as my mother is that correct?

    EDIT: The other take away, if I have this correct, is that if I test two people, regardless of type of DNA test, and they have matching shared segments (with greater than the minimum # of segments and over 7 centimorgans), then that proves the relationship and a third (or more) tests are not needed. And the reason for testing the world with auDNA, is that unlike mtDNA and yDNA, we have inherited a mixed bag from multiple ancestors and even siblings will have different mixed bags.
    You want to mtDNA test your (i.e. your mother's) most distant direct maternal line cousin you can find and see if both match.

    Oranges are not apples but they are both fruit.  Autosomal DNA is not mtDNA and each is not Y-DNA or X-DNA but they are all DNA.  So there are four different types of DNA useful for genealogy.  Each have a different rules of inheritance.  We can use those different types of DNA to confirm certain parent child relationships in WikiTree.

    The use of shared segments applies to autosomal DNA and X-DNA.  We only have some segments of autosomal DNA from certain ancestors.  We all inherit our mother's entire mtDNA virtually unchanged. Sons inherit their father's Y-DNA virtually unchanged.

    Two people who are third cousins or closer need to share the expected amount of cMs of their autosomal DNA for their relationship.  Beyond third cousins is when triangulation is necessary.

    Autosomal segments less than 7 cM are likely not real.  Autosomal segments between 7 and 15 cM might not be real.  The reason for using auDNA to test people world wide is because people who share ancestry may share autosomal segments.  People who are more closely related to each other will usually share more auDNA segments and longer auDNA segments.  It is also helpful to use mtDNA to test people world wide and Y-DNA to test males world wide.
    Okay, I guess I still do not understand. :(
    Hello Allison,  To better understand, Please watch the video at
    +6 votes

    My direct maternal line goes back 12 generations.  I have had a full mt test.

    After seeing the question I went back and looked and realized I could add the earlier 4 generations, they were added as a result of looking at your question.
    by Philip Smith G2G6 Pilot (291k points)
    +4 votes

    DNA Kits through Family Tree DNA are on sale today. The mtFull Sequence, regular $199.00 was $149.00 and the Y-DNA67 is $209.00 today.

    Here is the link:​.




    by Margaret Meredith G2G6 Mach 2 (28.1k points)

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