Y and Mitochondrial DNA – Periscope Through Time – Roberta Estes

March 8th, 2019 by National Genealogical Society Blog Editor

Y and Mitochondrial DNA – Periscope Through Time

SESSION: F322, DATE & TIME: Friday, May 10th – 11 a.m.

Roberta Estes

Have you ever wished that you could time travel back in time to visit with your ancestors? Now you can, thanks to two special types of DNA gifted to you by your ancestors!

Different kinds of DNA have different characteristics. While autosomal is wide, meaning cousin matching stretches all across your tree for a depth of generally 10 generations or less, Y and mitochondrial DNA is deep, peering many generations into the past, but just on two ancestral lines.

To insure genealogical accuracy, we need to use both kinds of DNA when possible. Y DNA will match many generations after autosomal DNA has “washed out” and can tell us that two men share a common patrilineal ancestor, but not when.

Autosomal DNA can’t tell us if a man is directly, or if two men are closely, related.

These two tools are kind of like peanut butter and chocolate. The combination of tools surpasses either one individually. Participants will learn how to use Y and mitochondrial DNA effectively to prove, and disprove, potential relationships.

Y DNA (in men) shoots a straight laser beam sight down the direct patrilineal line, which is traditionally the surname line. Mitochondrial DNA does the same thing for both males and females on the direct matrilineal line.

If you want to learn more about where your father’s father’s father’s line or your mother’s mother’s mother’s line and their relatives were anyplace from 100 to 10,000 or 20,000 years ago, please join us as we learn how to use and interpret various tools. You’ll learn about genealogical uses of Y and mitochondrial DNA and how to pierce the veil reaching back before the advent of surnames, which autosomal DNA can’t do.

Where did your ancestors come from and what can that tell you about them, especially after you hit that brick wall?

BIO: Roberta Estes, author of the popular blog www.DNA-eXplained.com is a scientist, National Geographic Genographic affiliate researcher, and founding pioneer in the genetic genealogy field. She speaks and writes widely about DNA and genealogy, including the Native Heritage Project at www.nativeheritageproject.com.