At Family Tree DNA, I did the mtFull Sequence test. I have 1,000 matches that include 284 exact matches at GD 0 for my haplogroup K1a1b1a which is a common haplogroup for Ashkenazi.

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My Uncle (on my Dad's side) surprises me with 0 matches with his haplogroup H3w. Haplogroup H3w is also common for Ashkenazi.

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Can anyone explain this discrepancy?

The only thing I know that may be different is that I initially did the mtFull sequence test. My uncle initially did the mtDNA Plus test and then upgraded to the mtFull sequence test. This shouldn't be the cause of this, should it?

2 Answers 2


I had some comments on this on the ISOGG Facebook group. Ann Turner, James Lick and Rebekah Canada set me straight:

My uncle has 4 mutations from mt haplogroup H3w and no matches that share one or more of those mutations without being different on others to give a Genetic Distance of 3 or less, which is what Family Tree DNA will display.

Whereas, I have 2 mutations from mt haplogroup K1a1b1a but there are a lot of people having the same 2 mutations without having any other, giving a Genetic Distance of 0.

So my uncle is connected to H3w but is on his own. Whereas I am connected to K1a1b1a with hundreds of other.

What this means is that additional branches can and should be added to the mtDNA PhyloTree under K1a1b1a.

Rebekah Canada suggests that I encourage my matches to do the free donation of their mtDNA results to GenBank through Ian Logan's website, so that the tree can be correctly expanded.


His mother might have had a heteroplasmy mutation. (That's why I'll never have any matches.)

Or... it just might be bad luck that no one else with his specific subvariant of H3w has tested at FTDNA. (For example, my mt haplogroup is 7 characters long, and my Y haplogroup is 13 characters long.)

  • How common is that?
    – lkessler
    Nov 25, 2017 at 23:43
  • 1
    For reference, I'm linking to your question: genealogy.stackexchange.com/questions/13638/…
    – lkessler
    Nov 25, 2017 at 23:46
  • I gave two possibilities. Which are you referring to?
    – RonJohn
    Nov 25, 2017 at 23:46
  • How common is the heteroplasmy?
    – lkessler
    Nov 25, 2017 at 23:47
  • Out of 274 people in the mtDNA project I belong to at FTDNA, about 20 people have heteroplasmy mutations. Mine specifically is a back-mutation, and there are 5 of those.
    – RonJohn
    Nov 26, 2017 at 0:00

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