Newfoundland and Labrador mtDNA Project
First, to say a few words about mitochondrial DNA ("mtDNA" for short), note that everybody (both men and women) have mtDNA as part of their overall DNA. However, only women pass on their mtDNA to their children. Hence the mtDNA in each us was inherited from our mother, who received it from her mother, etc., back through the direct maternal line of ancestry.
The focus of the Newfoundland and Labrador mtDNA Project is on maternal ancestral lines in Newfoundland and Labrador. Anybody with a direct maternal ancestor who lived in Newfoundland and/or Labrador is encouraged to join the project.
The primary goal of the project is to take advantage of mtDNA analysis to assist with traditional genealogy in Newfoundland and Labrador. For instance, by comparing people's mtDNA genetic signatures (which are signatures for their direct maternal lineages), it may be possible to make connections with previously unknown relatives who are discovered as a result of a shared genetic signature. Various genealogical questions that cannot be otherwise answered might now be possible to consider: for instance, if two women are suspected of being sisters, then by comparing the mtDNA signatures of their maternal descendants, it may possible to gain some insight into the situation (in particular, differing signatures would mean that the women were not sisters, whereas matching signatures would confirm that they share a common maternal ancestor).
If you are considering DNA testing but have questions, feel free to contact the volunteer administrators of the Newfoundland and Labrador mtDNA Project: David Pike and Sara-Lee Beller . There are also several online resources that will help you to understand what genetic genealogy entails:
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