Last week, I received this question from a reader, we’ll call him Jim:
“I match Susie on the HVR1 and HVR2 regions of our mitochondrial DNA….but I was just wondering….are we related?’
Well, the answer is yes…and maybe.
You see, the answer hinges on the definition of the word “related.”
If Jim means related at any point in time, the answer is yes. If Jim and Susie share the same haplogroup, at any level, then they did indeed share an ancestor at some point in the past. The question is – how long ago? And that part of the answer isn’t easy.
Now, if what Jim means is related in the sense of “in a genealogically meaningful timeframe,” which is generally anytime from the present back in time roughly 500 or maybe as long as 800 years….the answer is a resounding maybe.
And of course, the answer differs a bit, depending on whether you’re…
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