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mtDNA Migration Maps Guide

The mtDNA Migration Maps help you visualize your direct maternal ancestors’ historic and anthropological migrations. It shows general migration paths for the major haplogroups. Please note that the lines and arrows on this map are not specific to any exact locations; rather, they are meant to provide a general migration direction.

Accessing mtDNA Migration Maps

You can access mtDNA Migration Maps from your dashboard or from your navigation bar.

To access from your dashboard:

  1. Sign in to your kit.
  2. On your dashboard, locate the mtDNA Results & Tools widget.
  3. On the mtDNA Results & Tools widget, click the Migration Maps button.

To access from your navigation bar:

  1. Sign in to your kit.
  2. On the navigation bar at the top of the page, go to Results & Tools > mtDNA > Migration Maps.

Quick Overview

 

For the mtDNA Migration Maps, there are two main map features:

  • Your Migration Map - Displays the general migration route of your haplogroup. 
  • All Migrations Map - Displays the general migration routes of all the major mtDNA haplogroups.

mtDNA Your Migration Map

The mtDNA Your Migration Map helps you to visualize your direct paternal ancestors’ historic and anthropological migrations. This stretches all the way back to “Mitochondrial Eve” in Africa into historic times. “Mitochondrial Eve” is a reconstruction of the earliest mtDNA for Homo sapiens.

At the bottom of Your Migration Map, you can read a brief description of your haplogroup.

mtDNA All Migrations Map

The mtDNA All Migrations Map displays all of the migration routes out of Africa from the descendants of Mitochondrial Eve. Many of these routes will not be the ones taken by your own direct maternal ancestors.

Viewing All mtDNA Haplogroup Migrations

To view haplogroup descriptions and migration paths of all major mtDNA haplogroups: 

  1. In the upper-left corner of the mtDNA Migrations map, click on the All Migration Maps tab.
  2. Click through the haplogroup alphabet located at the bottom of the map to see a brief description of that haplogroup and to view that haplogroup’s route on the map.

At the bottom of the All Migration Maps page, you can click on any of the major haplogroups to read brief descriptions of them

Please note that the lines and arrows on the All Migrations Map show the general direction of migration paths for the major mtDNA haplogroups and are not specific to any exact locations.

Do all direct maternal (mitochondrial DNA) lineages trace to Africa?

Yes so far, all direct maternal (mitochondrial DNA) lineages of women alive today trace back to a common ancestor who lived in Africa 100,000 to 180,000 years ago. Further back, the mitochondrial lines of Homo sapiens connect with other hominin groups, such as Neanderthals. These early groups left Africa long ago. We have not found their mtDNA in modern populations, but we know their mtDNA lineages from gravesite remains.

About 60,000 years ago, some groups of Homo sapiens migrated out of Africa, while others remained. Our direct maternal lineages trace these migrations.

The path that our ancestors took tells a story about human history. Testing one’s own and relatives’ DNA can help you understand both the diversity and commonalities of your part of the human story.

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