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Debbie Parker Wayne
Debbie Parker Wayne
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Maternal Lines: Using Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)

This lecture covers the basics of mitochondrial DNA testing. An introduction to analysis of the DNA test results is given.

Sample genealogical research problems are used to explain how mtDNA can be used by genealogists.

Your genealogical goal will determine which DNA test you need and which person in your family should take the test. In general:
  • mitochondrial or mtDNA tests trace the lineage from mother to child; mtDNA tests can be performed on a male or female subject, but only a woman passes mtDNA to the next generation; the test can be performed on a person of any generation of the lineage without significantly affecting the test results

This chart demonstrates mtDNA inheritance. Squares represent men. Circles represent women. Red represents those with mtDNA inherited from the women at the top of the chart.
mtDNA chart

This chart shows how mtDNA testing can be used to determine whether a decendant was born to a first or second wife. (Squares represent males, circles represent females.)
mtDNA inheritance

See Debbie's GATA GACC! DNA and Genetic Genealogy presentation for basic DNA information.

See Debbie's Paternal Lines: Using Y-DNA presentation for Y-DNA information.

See Debbie's Going Nuclear: DNA Discoveries to Trace All Lines of Descent presentation for Autosomal DNA (atDNA) information.

See Debbie's List of DNA Reference Works for a selected bibliography of genetic genealogy references online and in print.

About Us

Debbie is experienced using DNA analysis, as well as more traditional techniques, for genealogical research.
Certified Genealogist® Certificate No. 1004, renewed, expires 13 September 2025.
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Debbie Parker Wayne
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Certified Genealogist®
Credentialing Organization: http://bcgcertification.org/


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