What additional steps can I follow to confirm my mtDNA ancestor?

+6 votes
269 views
  • I am a zero genetic distance match with seven people in FTDNA.
    • Two of those people trace back to the same ancestor born in 1620 in America.  
    • One traces back to an ancestor in England in 1811.  
    • The remaining haven't provided enough information to track and do not respond to emails.  
  • I have built a descendant tree that should intersect my most distant maternal ancestor in 1763 America.  
  • My 1763 Ancestor's father is a possibility of two brothers who married wives with the same first name.  
    • One brother is a stronger possibility, but I can't discount the other.  
  • From the descendant tree I have only one possibility with the name specified in historical records.  
in Genealogy Help by Anonymous Bump G2G1 (1.7k points)

2 Answers

+5 votes

Hi Richard!  Welcome to WikiTree.com, the one world family tree!

Impressive that you have participated in all three tests, yDNA, mtDNA and auDNA.  I hope you will join our WikiTree DNA Project on FamilyTreeDNA.com. Click the little Join button on the banner and then log in to your FamilyTreeDNA account to join.

Your DNA Ancestors page will help you identify your yDNA, mtDNA and XDNA ancestors.  Your list of surnames will help with your auDNA/FamilyFinder cousin matches. 

Our WikiTree DNA Project here in our WikiTree pages has a wealth of information to help your research and learning curve.

Hope this helps!  Thanks for joining us!  Kitty 

by Kitty Smith G2G6 Pilot (540k points)
+5 votes
Hi, Richard. And welcome!

You've taken the most extensive mtDNA test currently available, so you've done all you can on that front. Do any of the three zero genetic distance mtDNA matches (bankable, by the way) include your 1763 ancestor? That wasn't entirely clear to me.

Since we're talking DNA--and make no mistake: I consider DNA to be evidence, just like any other form of evidence, and place a premium on the genealogical proof standard--you've taken advantage of all three types of DNA testing available. Would that all genealogists do the same. That 1763 date pushes boundaries and will require a deep dive into segment mapping and triangulation, but autosomal DNA is still a viable option to help work your way backward to a confirmation. If those mtDNA matches that posted family trees have also taken autosomal tests, that could be golden. If they haven't taken an atDNA test, maybe you can gently encourage them.  :-)

We tend to think of yDNA testing only with regard to our own paternal line...and, unfortunately, a number of female genealogists--because they can't take a test themselves, and might not have a known male direct-line descendant who can--don't think of it at all. But it's still a resource to be exploited.

FTDNA currently has 7,141 yDNA surname projects running. The detail you can glean from those projects depends a great deal on the person administering the project, but if nothing else most include the test taker's kit number and his estimate of his oldest known ancestor. If that information seems to align with information along a family tree--like Richard's two brothers back in 1763, for example--I wouldn't hesitate to attempt contact and see what I might learn.

Lastly, an (unfortunate?) fact of marketing and advertising is that AncestryDNA currently has the lion's share of autosomal DNA participants. I put the "unfortunately" in parenthesis because they offer no detail at all into the chromosomal data: they tell you how you match others, and that's that. You can download raw atDNA data from Ancestry and upload it to other sites like FTDNA and GEDmatch (thank goodness), but you can't upload data from a different testing provider into Ancestry. If money isn't an issue, I recommend everyone also test with Ancestry for that reason...market share and the proprietary nature of their results.
by Edison Williams G2G6 Pilot (254k points)
None of the zero distance genetic matches included Nancy (Healey) Parker, b. 1763 in Chester, New Hampshire.  The only reference that I have found on Healey is in the History of Salisbury, New Hampshire.  No parents were mentioned.  Following the descendants of the William Browne (1615-1706) and Elizabeth Murford (1620-abt 1693) tree during the appropriate period.  I found only three potential women.  Sarah Goodwin, b. 1726, Abigail Goodwin, b. 1728, and Elizabeth Goodwin, b. 1733.  The latter’s husband died shortly after marriage.  Researching Chester New Hampshire during the period there were two brothers, Samuel Healey, b. 1720 and Paul Healey, b. 1728.  Their step brother Nathaniel appeared unlikely and did not live in Chester during the period.  Samuel actually lived in Raymond, N. H. but frequented the garrison in Chester during the Indian uprisings which occurred frequently during the period.  Both had wives named Abigail.  Both Samuel and Nathaniel’s family documentation is fair.  Paul’s family documentation was poor, at best.  Events between 1784, Nancy’s marriage, 1785 and 1786, Paul and Paul, Jr. departure from Chester, the poor documentation lead me to believe Paul is the most likely candidate, but I can’t rule out Samuel since only 15 of his 16 children can be found in documentation.  Even if the father was Samuel or Nathaniel, in the end the most distant ancestor would be the same.

 With respect to the zero distance matches, only three had trees.  One was complete back to William Browne and Elizabeth Murford.  One I worked back to William and Elizabeth.  The final tree I traced back to an English Immigrant, b. 1811, to Canada.  I informed both people of the results but they haven’t responded.

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