Advanced DNA Confirmations - Mitochondrial DNA -- suggestion

+2 votes
The current mtDNA confirmation example falls short of being useful when one of the matches is private or anonymous.

It would be more useful if the MRCA were included in the confirmation, in any case.
WikiTree profile: Frances Miner
in WikiTree Tech by John Kingman G2G6 Mach 1 (15.9k points)

2 Answers

+2 votes
The private person is still living.  I will include the relationship.
by Dianne Dearring G2G Rookie (260 points)
+2 votes

Hey, John. Is the confirmation example you're referencing at The DNA Project pages are a bit labyrinthine, so I can't be certain. But if that is the example you're looking at, I recommended changing or substituting it for a different one over a year ago. For more reasons than the citing of a private match. The example I'm referring to reads:

* Maternal relationship is confirmed by an exact HVR1 and HVR2 match between [ this Family Tree DNA mtDNA test] for [[Weatherford-199|Priscilla Weatherford]] and [ this Family Tree DNA mtDNA test] of her maternal line cousin [[Zimmerman-1613|Clair Zimmerman]].

First, I don't believe we should try to standardize that WikiTreers include what might be called "advanced links" in the confirmation statement. The links to the individual test information on a profile seem superfluous: other than (rare) optional notes the test-taker might have entered, it really reveals no more information than we see under the "DNA Tested" or "DNA Connections" columns on profiles.

Second, the family from which this matrilineal line derives is a somewhat endogamous Bahamania population. Using the Relationship Finder link to compare the two test-takers shows four common ancestors currently documented in WikiTree. None of the four--including the one to the CA, Malone-715--clearly show the matrilineal descent. I've brought this up in the past, as well. The Relationship Finder seems to always default to the male in an ancestral couple, with no option to display both of the couple's names or to filter for the matrilineal or patrilineal lines only. As a consequence, the Relationship Finder comparison using Malone-715 as the MRCA shows two males in Weatherford-199's line of descent. I believe this is likely to be confusing for the casual WikiTreer.

The options to follow those matrilineal lines and see the mtDNA connection are, A) Step back manually, mother by mother, from each contemporary profile back to the MRCA Malone-715, born 1770. B) From each of the test-taker's profiles, go to Family Tree & Genealogy Tools; go to Genealogy Research; go to DNA Ancestors; go to "mitochondrial DNA." C) Already know--because they aren't directly linked from the main profile page, the DNA Connections panel, or the Relationship Finder--one of these two treewidget links: or The former displays only nine generations prior to the profile designated; the latter includes a link to load additional generations. 

Third, all the profiles involved in that Weatherford/Zimmerman matrilineal chain use the "MtDNA Match" template, which is not mentioned anywhere, that I've seen, in the DNA Project's Help pages for DNA confirmation. The template has been around a few years, but unless it's documented alongside the mtDNA confirmation wording, I believe presenting profiles that use it as being examples of standardized confirmation citation inevitably will be confusing.

by Edison Williams G2G6 Pilot (195k points)
Yes, that's the help page. Thanks for the additional info and I agree that changes are needed.

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