Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My mtDNA Results are in..

Dear Cousins,

I had never planned on being mtDNA tested because I was able to research my direct maternal line to France and in fact in August of 2007 I went to Paris and visited the parish where they were born, baptized, married and buried. Yes, it is still an active Dominican parish after all these hundreds of years.

A couple of months ago, a good friend who is very involved in a Y-DNA and mtDNA project really wanted me to be tested - even if just for the sake of being tested. I told him I knew my haplgroup would be H which is European but he said "now what if you are mistaken and it comes back A, B or C which is Native. He even insisted on paying for the test since I had not even been planning to be tested.

Finally I agreed. He sent for the mtDNAPlus kit for me and it arrived a few days later. After ready all of the instructions, I waited until next day to do the swabs. By the end of the day, I had done the two sets of swabs (you simply swab the inside of your cheeks) and the following morning the kit was returned to the Family Tree DNA test lab.

The results were schedule for the beginning of April but lo and behold they arrived yesterday! I must be honest: the closer the date the results were scheduled to arrive, I was getting excited and at the same time exceedingly curious to see if I was correct about it all.

Truth be told my haplogroup is indeed H and when I went to my account to look at the matches to my results, there were 6,749 low resolution matches to mine but "only" 468 high resolution matches (smile).

By now you are likely wondering what all of this means. Here is the best way to describe it:

Matches to just the HVR1 and HVR2 can be more distantly related.

A low resolution match (HVR1 only) has about a 50% chance of being related within the last 52 generations.

A high resolution match (both HVR1 and HVR2) has about a 50% chance of being related within the last 28 generations.

Now when people do the FGS test the results are narrowed down considerably. Here is how Family Tree DNA explains it:

"An exact match on the FULL SEQUENCE (FGS TEST), based on what is currently known about the mutation rates of mtDNA, is likely related within 2 to 4 centuries. Please note that only limited studies have been performed on mutation rates of mtDNA, so the estimated range in which a common ancestor lived may decrease or increase as the results of more intensive mutation rate studies become available."

Of course the past 400 years is what we are looking at whether it be for Quebec or for Acadia. So FGS testing will become very important to us.

My direct maternal line is on my mother's side of the family and she was a Lévesque whose family came to the U.S. from the Kamouraska region on my grandfather's side and from Ste-Anastasie de Lyster on my grandmother's Dumais side. This is my direct maternal line:

Lucie LeBlanc Consentino
Rosanna Lévesque
Arthémise Dumais
Sara Demers
Anastasie Sévigny dit Lafleur
Marie Fréchette
Marie-Josephte Fortier
Marie-Anne Gingras
Marie-Anne Demers
Anne-Angélique Hamel
Angélique Levasseur
Marguerite Richard - Paris, France
Jeanne Bonnet - Paris, France
Unknown Spouse of François Bonnet - Paris, France

So as you see your direct maternal line begins with you then goes to your mother. It goes from your mother to her mother and so on in a straight maternal line as far back as you can take your line.

For someone who had not intended to be mtDNA tested it has proven to be a great experience and I really anticipated receiving those results!

For anyone who might be interested in being mtDNA tested I am the administrator for the Mothers of Acadia mtDNA Project. you can check out the project website to see the results we've received thus far.

If your maternal line is totally French-Canadian rather than Acadian I suggest you be tested through the French Heritage DNA Project site.


Your cousin Lucie

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