DNA, Maternal Kin

My mtDNA: haplotype L2d1a.

Mitochondrial (mt) DNA is passed down in a matrilineal line from mother to offspring of both sexes. Unlike Y-DNA (passed on the Y chromosome from father to son only), it mutates very rarely. MtDNA is classified into haplogroups. The L haplogroup is the oldest of all mtDNA haplogroups and originated in Africa. My haplotype is L2d1a, which is part of the L haplogroup. I inherited this from my mother’s mother’s mother’s mother and on back to an African maternal ancestor who lived many thousands of years ago.

Though each of us carries mtDNA, only a small group of my mother’s extended family shares my L2d1a haplotype. Of all of Martha Miller McNeely‘s daughters, only Carrie McNeely Colvert, Emma McNeely Houser and Janie McNeely Taylor passed L2d1a to female children. However, only Carrie’s daughters Louise, Margaret and Launie Mae passed it further. (Emma’s daughter Wardenur died childless, as did Janie’s daughters.) All of Louise, Margaret and Launie Mae’s children are L2d1a, but only six of their collective daughters passed it further. In my grandmother Margaret’s 2nd and 3rd generations, only I, my sister, my neice, and two first cousins carry it.

McNEELY -- Martha McNeely Three Quarter


McNEELY -- Carrie M Colvert 3:4 profile




Beverly Ann


IMG_9656[By the way: Harriet Nicholson Hart’s mtDNA line ended when her only daughter died childless.  Also, there are no known carriers of Walker Colvert’s or Henry W. McNeely’s Y-DNA. ]


8 thoughts on “My mtDNA: haplotype L2d1a.

  1. Toni Brown says:

    I just found out that my mtDNA is L2d1a. My mother, my sister and I, and my sister’s daughter are the only ones in our family left that I know of, although my maternal grandmother had several sisters that I never met. I saw your picture and was struck at how similar some of our features are.

    • Actually, I look very much like my father. 🙂 Where is your mother’s family from? Our L2d1a line is traceable to Margaret McConnaughey, who was born in Rowan County NC. Did you test with 23andme? — Lisa H.

  2. Toni Brown says:

    No, I participated in the Genographic Project run by National Geographic, and they have their testing done through Family Tree. My mother’s people come from Danville, VA, which is just north of Caswell County, NC.

  3. Pingback: My family haplogroups. | Scuffalong: Genealogy.

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  5. Kendra Thomas says:

    I received my 23andMe DNA report and found out that I also am a part of Haplogroup l2d1a. My family has roots from Louisiana and California (mainly). I am very interested in learning more about my heritage and this haplogroup.

    • Welcome to the (relatively small) club! Other than that it is a subclade of one of the oldest mitochondrial haplogroups, I have not found much info about it. Its antiquity means it is of limited usefulness for shedding light on ancestry. It predates modern ethnic groups and, to the best of my knowledge, is not closely associated with one particular modern geographical area.

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