It took me years to overcome certain reservations, but I finally sent my DNA to FamilyTreeDNA, and have never had regrets. As I type this, their labs are analyzing new submissions. Who knows? When I next check my email, I may finally find the cousin who knows the family history back farther than I do??
There's more about all of that, and about my other relatives, at my general family history hunt webpage, so I won't repeat it here.
Most of this page is about my maternal line. If you think you might share this line, you have only to submit your DNA to FamilyTreeDNA, sign their document allowing them to pass your eddress to others with your DNA and we will soon know... and can share the complement of the intersection of what we know about our ancestors!
Hunting for maternal anscestors, even with mtDNA information, is impeded by the fact that for many readers of this, their female ancestors changed their surname when they married.
It is early days yet, but I have created a website to help researchers with mtDNA results and the name of at least your mother's mother. While it will be some time before the site grows large enough to be a major resource, I hope you will be willing to make a slight effort, and help the site grow. Who knows... you might be lucky, and get one of the first matches achieved by the site!
My mtDNA haplogroup is H4a1a1. Out of 2097 people in the who have elected to participate in the relevant FamilyTreeDNA database, 23 have H4a1 mitochondrial DNA.
My full mitochondrial DNA sequence is unique in the database.... so far. So I hope some McKenney female descendants will get their DNA tests done soon... we'll not have to wade through dozens of others who go back to our common ancient ancestor!
The H (and HV, V and R0) haplogroups are most common in Iberia/ southern Europe/ Balkans/ north side of Black Sea, having arisen about 30,000 years ago, coming out of the Caucasuses.
Through the marvel of DNA sequencing, combined with the fact that our mitochondrial DNA always and exclusively comes from our mother, who got her's from her mother, who got her's from.... etc, we can trace our family tree not only back to father's father's fathers, but also along our maternal lines. Sadly, DNA can only tell us if we share two of our 16 great-great grandparents with other people available today... but that's pretty good, don't you think? (We can match ourselves up with other descendants of one of our great-great grandfathers, one of our great-great grandmothers... the one we go "straight" back to, i.e. either through ONLY mothers, or through ONLY fathers.) (We can, of course, match to more than one of our ancestral generations.)
Ah, the things you can learn by availing yourself of FamilyTreeDNA's services!
So... without help from my DNA, I can tell you the following about my maternal line. I have another page with my paternal line.
My mother's mother was a Bradley, of Worcester Massachusetts, USA
Her mother was Emma Dingley, born September 1859, in Maine, USA.
Her mother was Maria McKenney, about whom I know little. Her husband was James Bates Dingley, born August 1834, in Bowdoinham, Maine. He was a successful businessman, and mayor of Gardiner, ME from 1875-1878.
Not long before, there was a Nelson Dingley, Jr, February 15, 1832 - January 13, 1899, who became important Congressman and later Governor of Maine (1874). I have not been able to connect him with "my" James Bates Dingley, but it would be quite a coincidence if two Dingleys were both Maine politicians, yet unrelated, don't you think? Any help with connecting them would be welcome, although they are not blood relatives of mine, and I'd be even more interested in things you might be able to tell me about Maria McKenney.
So! I hope that you have information linking your researches to one or another of those, and that you will get in touch. Alternatively, if you thought you were related to one of the above, as daughter of daughter of daughter... and have done DNA with FamilyTreeDNA, and signed the release, I have to tell you that one of us is wrong in our research, and that we should "talk"!!
See my main page for offers to help you defray the cost of DNA testing.
My main page can be accessed via http://tinyurl.com/boydhist, if you want a shorthand way to cite it.
Concerned about "issues" surrounding the submission of DNA samples? So was I. But eventually, I came to believe that FamilyTreeDNA handles those issues well. I worried about three things... Civil liberties issues- FamilyTree, last time I checked, said they'd not yet been forced to hand over an data. Getting medical insurance issues- With more and more insurers requiring a pre-insurance medical, including blood draw, we've "lost" this one already. Being "pestered" by other FamilyTree participants- I've been a member, in the "contact me if we have similar DNA" system for years. No problems yet... the system protects your email address.
I have signed the "FTDNA Release Form" that you will find mentioned in the Family Tree literature. (As should you!) So- as soon as you submit your release form, if we are a perfect match, we will both get emails.
N.B.: The search engine just looks through the web site for the words you enter. It cannot answer "Which program is fastest?". Nor does it search my SheepdogSoftware or SheepdogGuides sites.
Page tested for compliance with INDUSTRY (not MS-only) standards, using the free, publicly accessible validator at validator.w3.org