DNA Maternal Ancestry Test

Trace your maternal lineage with mitochondrial DNA. With a simple DNA sample, you can trace your maternal linage back thousands of years. With this DNA test you will be able to

  • Trace your direct maternal lineage
  • Access our extensive databases to match your DNA to populations around the world, find long-lost relatives, discover ancient origins & compare against famous people
  • This test can be taken by both women and men



Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is passed down from a mother to her children. As mitochondrial DNA does not recombine with the DNA from the father, the mtDNA of a person is almost identical to that of their mother, grandmother, great grandmother and so on. This makes mtDNA a powerful tool for tracing maternal ancestry.

There are three regions of the mtDNA used to trace maternal ancestry: the hypervariable regions (HVR), HVR1 and HVR2 and the coding region. Testing the HVR1 and HVR2 regions will allow you to make use of all of the search and analysis features of the database. Testing all three regions of the mtDNA is required to confirm your mtDNA haplogroup and subclade.

Both men and women have mitochondrial DNA, which means the Maternal Ancestry Test can be taken by both men and women. However, only women pass on their mitochondrial DNA to their children. As such, mitochondrial DNA can only be used to trace maternal lineages.

Test options

We offer the following testing option for sequencing your mitochondrial DNA:

  • Standard Test: HVR1 sequence. This is often all that is required to achieve an adequate resolution.
  • Advanced Test: HVR1 + HVR2 sequence
  • Premium Test: The full mtDNA genome sequence (HVR1 + HVR2 + Coding Region). This provides the highest resolution.

Upgrade options are available!
If you are unsure, you can start by taking the Standard test. If the resolution is not sufficient, you can choose to upgrade to either the Advanced Test or the Premium Test.

Mitochondrial DNA sequencing

The mitochondrial genome has three regions, two small hypervariable (HVR) regions and a large coding region. It is possible to just sequence each of the HVR regions, both HVR regions or the complete genome, which includes the HVR regions and the coding region.

The hypervariable regions have most of the variation found in mtDNA. So, if two people are perfectly matched after sequencing just the HVR1 and HVR2 regions, adding in the coding region will allow a more detailed comparison between the two individuals. A perfect match between the entire mitochondrial genome will suggest the two individuals descended from the same maternal line.

What’s included with the test?

You will receive the entire DNA sequence used for the analysis with your report. The report with have a comparison between your mtDNA sequence tot eh reference Cambridge Reference Sequence called the “rCRS.” All of the position withing your mtDNA, which differs from the rCRS will be listed in your report.

Since mtDNA is passed down from mother to child along the direct maternal lineage, people who have descended from the same maternal lineage are expected to have exactly the same or very similar mtDNA profiles. If two people have different mtDNA profiles, it conclusively confirms that they did not descend from the same maternal lineage.


Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about this test.

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