atDNA Compare Tests Haplogroups
Taiwan Austronesia DNA Markers

mtDNA Mitochondrial Line Workpaper

Findings to date

Reports from mitochondrial full sequence analysis reveal my ancestral roots and genetic ancestors.

1. My mother-line roots begin in mainland Asia 43,000 years ago.
2. At one point, possibly 16,000 years ago, my mother-line ancestors arrived in the Americas and ultimately reached Mexico.
3. Other testers match my mother-line. Theyd list the Philippines and Mexico as their countries of origin.


We receive mitochondria from our mothers. Although fathers inherit their mother’s mitochondrial DNA, they do not pass it on to their children. Only mothers do. Only egg cells provide mitochondria to the following generation. Because of this independent origin, mitochondria have their own DNA. So, my mitochondrial full sequence analysis reveals only mother-line ancestry. It traces the entire mitochondria to form a unique ancestral tree.

The mtDNA depicted in Figure 8 follows only the direct line, it is matrilineal, meaning it traces only DNA inherited by my mother from my mother's mother, and so on ad infinitum. For example, my grandmother received DNA from her father and mother, but only the DNA my grandmother received from her mother is traced. This process is repeated back through the matrilineal line of her haplogroup.

Figure 8
My mtDNA Haplogroup Migration

To quote Genetic genealogist Roberta Estes "mtDNA can be very, very specific and yield definitive answers about individual ancestors, reaching far beyond the 5th or 6th generation." Moreover, mitochondrial DNA tests have been effective for tracing maternal lineage up to 52 generations ago according to an article by science writer, Ellen Hinkley. If I went back six generations in my own family tree, I would see my nuclear DNA is inherited from 32 men and 32 women. However, my mtDNA would come from only one of those 32 women.

Mitochondrial DNA usefulness for reconstructing prehistory reveals my mtDNA begins with the B4 branch of the haplogroup B tree. It is the origin of my mother line haplogroup and evolves with the passage of time to the present day through a series of genetic mutations. A mutation comes about about when a descendant has a genetic trait that her ancestor (mother) does not have. This new trait is known as a mutation. It derives a new branch of the mitochondrial haplogroup and can be linked to a period in time and a general geographic location.

My Mitochondrial full sequence analysis (MFSA) from Family Tree DNA is the highest level test of the mother-line mitochondria available. Table 8 presents my mother-line mutation discoveries to reflect matrilineal ancestral descent from Asia into the Americas.

The full timeframe in Table 8 is yet to be completed. But, thus far, Table 8 confirms my mother-line begins with the B4 mutation and provides a date of 43,000 years ago in Asia. Thereafter Table 8 reports the next mutation to haplogroup B4b 34,000 years ago. Both of these dates happened in the Ice Age when lowered sea level allowed for crossing the Beringia landbridge connecting Asia to the Americas. Yet, not enough information exists to determine whether my archaic ancestor took advantage of the landbridge or stayed in Asia. The B4 and B4b1 haplogroups remain today as common among populations native to Southeast Asia and among speakers of the Austronesian family of languages. The Austronesian cluster includes the present day populations from Southeast China, Myanmar (Burma), Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos on the mainland to the islands of Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Sumatra, and the Malaysian Peninsula.

Figure 9
Austronesian Expansion

Austronesia Map

As for my subsequent mutation to haplogroup B4b1, Table 8 gives no geographical location for it. But, B4b1 today is found mainly in populations of southern China and Southeast Asia, especially among Filipinos and the other Austronesian speakers of eastern Indonesia and the indigenous people of Taiwan and Hainan. That said, genetic affinities between indigenous Taiwanese and populations from Southeast Asia have been explored through analyses of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in connection with the peopling of the islands of Southeast Asia emenating from Taiwan.

Yet, at some point, a subsequent mother-line ancestral mutation occured with a haplogroup B2 an ancestor who likely was born in the northeastern reaches of Siberia. From there her clan could have migrated into the Americas during the the Ice Age by way of the Beringia land bridge. She would be one of the founding mother-lines of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Whatever the case, my B2 ancestor gave rise to the B2c descendent who ultimately reached the southern tropical lowlands of Mexico where my haplogroup B2c1 mother was born in the coastal gulf state of Tabasco. Interestingly, the Olec's represent the earliest known civilization Mexico, which existed around 2600 years ago in the Tabasco tropical lowlands.

Figure 10 depicts his extension of the backbone of Haplogroup B through mutations. Moreover, while Table 8 does not show when migration into the Americas ocurred, it likely began some time near to the date of the B2c mutation 16,000 years ago or as late as ~10,000 years ago or even more recently.

Figure 10
My Genetic Haplogroup B Migration

Additionally, the haplogroup pattern in Table 8 is shared in part by other testers in the Family Tree DNA database as evidenced in Figure 11. It reveals I share the Philippines as a country of origin along with other testers in our haplogroups B4'5 and B2c1. To paraphrase Elise Friedman in her webinar discussion of the mtDNA Haplogroup Origins depicted in Figure 11, she explains if I match someone genealogically it means that we share a common ancestor on my direct maternal line somewhere in time. I cannot have a haplogroup that is different than someone whom I match genealogically.

Moreover, the genetic distances shown confirm we are indeed a match. The less the genetic distance, the closer we are related. Genetic distance as an indicator of genetic relationship is measured in units of centimorgans.

Figure 11
Haplogroups of Other Testers Matching My Maternal Haplogroup Origin
by Family Tree DNA Mitochondrial Full Sequence Analysis

Two countries, Mexico and the Philippines, are shown to have testers in the mtDNA haplogroup B2c1 in the web display by Family Tree DNA of the countries of origin for each branch of the mtDNA Haplotree using the world’s largest mtDNA database containing 170,000 mtFull Sequences from over 180 different countries.

As to Mexico as the specific destination reached by my maternal ancestors migration into the Americas, the mitochondrial full sequence analysis concurs with the consensus of autosomal companies. The geographic coordinates in Figure 12 are the WeGene test company's reference population that pinpoint my maternal lineage in the Americas.

Figure 12
My Maternal Reference Populations
WeGene company

The map in Figure 13 depicts, my mother’s birthplace falls within the map coordinates of the reference population chosen to depict my maternal ancestral descent. Documentation, such as birth certificates, census reports, and publications exists of generations of my mother's ancestors living in the geographical area since the 1700s.

Figure 13
My Maternal Geographical Reference Population
WeGene company


A good video on the mtDNA Full Sequence panel from FTDNA by Elise Friedman.


CLICK to email me at: holeman1@gmail.com