The Encyclopedia of mtDNA Origins – Resources & Citizen Science

I am continuing my work on the Encyclopedia of mtDNA Origins from last time… Today, I am working on the last requirement in the project to create mtDNA pages for all named branches of our shared maternal tree. It is a list of additional resources to help the user understand and enjoy their results.

From the first post, we have a user story — what the user wants. As a user with mtDNA results, additional resources for understanding my results and taking part in new discovery.


This can be split into two groups. First are resources that are freely available. Second are for pay resources.

Free Resources

Ian Logan’s mtDNA Pages
Dr. Ian Logan was one of the earliest citizen scientists in the genetic genealogy community to focus on mtDNA. His mtDNA pages include details of published sequences and tools to check the variant lists for sequences against GenBank. The sequence checker tools are the most timely source for GenBank submissions.

Ian Logan’s Instructions for mtGenome GenBank Donation
If you have taken a test for your full mtDNA genome (The mtFull test at FamilyTreeDNA), then you can donate it and your demographic information to science by submitting it to GenBank. Ian kindly gives his time to the community in helping with this.

James Lick’s mtDNA Utility
James Lick is another member of the community who helps others understand their mtDNA results. His mtDNA Utility will take results from any of the major vendors and tell you your variants compared to either the rCRS or RSRS. It also gives you a list of the most likely haplogroup assignment using Phylotree Build 17. This is useful because all the major vendors are behind by at least one build.

Wikipedia mtDNA Haplogroup articles
Wikipedia has articles for each major branch of the mtDNA tree. While they are not detailed for all branches, they are available in many languages.

FamilyTreeDNA mtDNA Haplogroup projects
FamilyTreeDNA has mtDNA Haplogroup projects for most of the major haplogroup branches. This is a good place to learn about leading science and to take part in citizen science. Project administrators are specialists for their branch, and they give their time freely to helping others.

Paid Resources

In my ideal world, everyone would be able to order a DNA test and enjoy the results without needing to pay for additional interpretation. However, there are times when the help of an expert is useful and even vital. Therefore, I am including a list of community members who offer paid consulting for mtDNA results. I am not endorsing any of them, but I know that they know the subject and are credible.

Robert Sliwinski
I have known Robert for many years. He is a volunteer project administrator at FamilyTreeDNA and most kind. He has the DNA Explorers page on Facebook and offers some consulting.

Ugo Perego
Ugo is a well-known scholar of Mormon genealogy and Native American population genetics. He has the Genetic Genealogy Consultant website.

Diahan Southard
Diahan has experience both as a genealogist and a genetic genealogist. She has the Your DNA Guide website.

The Additional Resources Field

To store information, I added a WYSIWYG (Visual Editor) to the mtDNA Story post type named Additional Resources.


I then added html formated sets of links to the database.

Adding Additional Resources to the mtDNA Story Template

This time, adding the new section to the mtDNA Story Template was only a couple of lines of code.


Checking Results

And it is time to check the page.


To be continued…

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