View Full Version : Mayflower passenger, Elizabeth (Tilley) Howland mtDNA H1a1

Wing Genealogist
10-25-2016, 11:54 AM
Multiple "umbilical"/mtDNA descendants of Elizabeth (Tilley) Howland (through at least two of her daughters) have done the Full mtDNA test, and have come back with a Haplogroup of H1a1.

Unfortunately, they have no extra mutations (besides the flippy 315.1 mutation), so mtDNA testing cannot be used to conclusively prove an individual is a mtDNA descendant of Elizabeth.

More information about Elizabeth (Tilley) Howland and her mtDNA result can be found online at: https://mayflowerdna.org/wiki/index.php?title=Elizabeth_Tilley_(mtDNA)

C J Wyatt III
10-25-2016, 01:42 PM
Thanks for posting.

I am getting the impression from looking at other cases of mtDNA comparisons that maybe mtDNA mutates and back-mutates faster than what the experts say. This is one area which I thinks deserves more scrutiny and research.


Wing Genealogist
10-25-2016, 08:12 PM
I don't believe mutations & back-mutations are an issue with mtDNA testing. The major issue is the difference in size between the mtDNA and even the smallest of nuclear DNA (the Y Chromosome).

mtDNA is comprised of 16,569 base pairs (bp) total. The Y-Chromosome has over 59 million bp, but scientists have only been able to map a little less than half of it (about 26 million bp). In any case, the mtDNA is less than 0.1% of the size of the currently mapable Y-DNA.

How often we see a Y-DNA mutation depends on the type of Next Generation Sequence (NGS) test taken (ie Big Y, Y-Elite, or various Full DNA tests). For a Big Y test, we see on average one SNP roughly every 3-4 generations. For 30x reads, we tend to find a DNA mutation roughly every 2 generations.

Even though mtDNA mutates much quicker than autosomal DNA (especially the Hyper-Variable Regions HVR), we should not expect to see a mutation, on average, for many generations.

H1a1 (the mtDNA of Elizabeth TILLEY Howland) has been dated to be roughly 4,500 years old (ie roughly 2500 BC). Even with it being that old, many folk still have no additional mtDNA mutations from H1a1. Currently, FTDNA is listing well over 150 individuals who have taken a Full mtDNA test and are exact matches to H1a1 (with the exception flippy SNPs such as 315.1C). While some of them may have had mutations & later back-mutations, it is likely the majority simply have had no mutations since the creation of mtDNA H1a1.

10-25-2016, 11:16 PM
Thank you for this info! She is an ancestor of mine (not on the maternal line). I've tried to figure out where my direct maternal ancestor came from but have hit a wall in Hull, MA 1666 (Mercy/Marcy Collier) <-- married name. Hopefully we will see more mtDNA results from this page and maybe one will eventually match.

10-25-2016, 11:29 PM
My dad's walking around with Sarah Warren's (daughter of one Mayflower passenger, wife of another) mtDNA, but since she followed her father on the Anne, along with her mother and siblings, it doesn't have the same cachet.;)

Edit: H1j, in case you were wondering. :)