Looking into your ancestry is something that interests most people. However, researching your family history is time-consuming and can be tricky when it comes to getting the full picture. Following the female lines can be a particular challenge because of name changes after marriage. Some church records, cemetery archives and death certificates will contain maiden names, but many simply state ‘unknown’ for the mother’s name or her surname. And sometimes the information is incorrect and cannot be relied upon.
Thankfully, we now have a new genealogical tool at our disposal that can help illuminate the maternal lineage. It is called mitochondrial DNA.
AlphaBiolabs’ maternal lineage DNA testing checks for tiny mitochondrial strands inside every cell. Both males and females inherit these mitochondria from their maternal line. Mitochondrial DNA doesn’t change very quickly and, therefore, any research can be extended much further back in time. It can give very precise details about your ancestors and distant cousins, but only if they lie on your maternal line. As such, it is good for proving you come from a particular region, ethnicity or family group. In fact, not only can mitochondrial DNA reveal your ancient maternal heritage, its exclusive maternal contribution means that your maternal line can traced as far back as a clan’s maternal founder.
The specificity of your mitochondrial DNA can even place you in a haplogroup. Haplogroups pertain to a single line of descent, usually dating back thousands of years. As humans migrated to populate the world, they settled in various geographic areas and their DNA took on distinct markers. These markers define the haplogroup you belong to and create a genetic record of your ancestors’ journey throughout the ancient world. People rarely moved between continents until around 500 years ago. As such, your maternal lineage test report shows where people with your particular haplogroup lived for thousands of years. Your report will also include a personalised map depicting your ancestors’ journey and where they initially settled in the ancient world.