My mtDNA Results Are In!

NOTE: This post is also being shared on Elizabeth O’Neal’s December Genealogy Blog Party. Be sure to drop by the party and check out all the posts.

My Christmas present arrived quite early this year! Seriously, all I had on my wish list was an mtDNA test – well, not one, but two. One for my husband and one for myself.

I had it in my mind that, for me, the mtDNA test would actually be more interesting than the autosomal test. We both did the autosomal test at the beginning of summer this year, but it was more out of idle curiosity and a great sale price that made me jump in.

I’ve yet to have any matches on Family Tree DNA or GEDmatch closer than 2nd-4th cousins and my brick walls are way further back than that. The results aligned nicely with my actual genealogical research, but no new doors have opened.

Dave had one very close DNA match on Family Finder, who turned out to be the great grandson of one of Dave’s aunts. This person had not kept in touch with extended family, so it was fun to get him connected with some close cousins.

I figured that Family Tree DNA would begin running some sales on test kits in November. Sure enough, not only was there a sale, but the very first week brought an additional coupon good on mtDNA tests. I placed the orders and an expected results date came up – sometime between 27 December 2017 and 10 January 2018.

Therefore, I was way more than pleasantly surprised to find a message in my email last night saying results for both of us were available!

We learned our mtDNA haplogroups – Dave is T2ala and mine is H1e1a8. I was also really pleased to discover that, although Dave doesn’t have any close mtDNA matches – one was a genetic distance of 1 and all the rest 2s and 3s – I have one match with a genetic distance of 0!!! Time for a genealogy happy dance! 🙂

I have my maternal line back into the 1700s in Denmark and probably can add one, or possibly two, more generations, which will have to wait until I get to Salt Lake for help reading the old records:

Linda Anne Sabo – Me
Doris Priscilla Adams (1923-2008)
Hazel Ethel Coleman (1902-1995)
Anna Elisabeth Jensen (1872-1916) – born Copenhagen, Denmark
Margrethe Bruun (1843-1890) – born Flade, Hjorring, Denmark
Ane Amalie Christensdatter Moller (born 1823, Flade; died after 1871)
Marie Katrine Jensdatter (born 1799, Flade; died after 1855)
Ane Christensdatter (born 1758, Flade, died after 1834)
Giertrud Nielsdatter (born 1737, Flade)

Giertrud’s entry is right where the page is torn at the bottom and the script is quite hard to read.

Now, back to the mtDNA. I read that a genetic distance of 0 for an mtDNA match means there is about a 50% chance of finding a common ancestor within five generations.

Unfortunately, I’m not in that 50%. However, the mother of my exact match young lady has 100% Norwegian ancestry. I did a bit of online searching and her earliest known ancestor is Marie Jonsdatter, born in 1828 near Stavanger, Norway. Marie died in 1881 in Manitowac, Wisconsin, per the Find a Grave memorial:

I found a baptismal record for Marie Jonsdatter on 31 March 1818 in Varhaug, Rogaland, Norway, which is close to Stavanger. As with the Danish records, I will need to wait for Salt Lake to get help with the Norwegian records. On the positive side, the church records in Rogaland go back to 1688!

Next, I checked the map to figure out how far Varhaug was from Flade, Denmark:

It’s not exactly swimming distance, but Varhaug couldn’t be much further south in Norway and Flade couldn’t be much further north in Denmark. As my ancestors in that area were fishermen and sea captains, it is certainly possible that our common ancestor either left Norway for Denmark, or the reverse, by boat, married and left descendants.

Since both sets of church records (in Denmark and Norway) extend back into the 1600s and my exact match cousin only has her line back to 1828, I am hoping that we might discover our common ancestor.

I have to admit, this has been much more exciting for me than the autosomal test. I will post an update after the Norwegian church registers have been searched. 🙂



8 thoughts on “My mtDNA Results Are In!”

  1. How exciting to have received an exact match, Linda! You may find that connection as amazing as I have with mine–a match that took us back more than three hundred years to find our most recent common ancestor. I am in awe of what can be found through genetic genealogy.

  2. Nice to have something concrete from the mtDNA results rather than just sharing a random ‘daughter of Eve’. Though that idea was fairly cool in its day. What a treat for the imagination to have blue water separating two apparent long-ago sisters.

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