Haplogroups are a wonderful way to learn about all the whos that make up who you are. I try to say, “Do not think about any haplogroup(s) as associated with a specific place or time.” Weeellll — there are generalities. But learn them, and then run from putting your haplogroups in places, because ancient peoples got around and we’re still on the go. The world is a real melting pot of humanity.
I am waiting with bated breath for all the ancient skeletons to be sequenced. I want all the haplogroups noted and organized into a master tree. Then our DNA results will automatically pop us and our ancestors into our respective slots in that tree. We can go to spend Memorial Day with Granny H10 and Grandpa G2a – wherever they are found in the world. (And if you consider pedigree collapse – which must be done at some point — then everybody has everybody anyway – sort of ).
I will add at the bottom a nice link to the ‘scientific’ and correct definition for Haplogroup. All folks know that I love many DNA-for-genealogy writers who will send you links to their scholarly works. There are some who I no longer send folks to: The authors have become snarky and arrogant; this is the 21st century and DNA-for-genealogy teachers are in abundance. There are lots of good ones so we do not have to be insulted by…
Haplogroups, yes, are sort of loosely placed around the world. Y-DNA haplogroup D is all Asia. The R patriarch is Eastern Europe and Europe and thereabouts in the most ancient times. MAYBE that’s where they were what I call pond scum.
Haplogroups are ancestors. Start there on this journey of reading and learning about yourself. Run from the science; this is not hard, it’s just weird names for your ancestors.
H10a1 or H3k1a for a couple of wonderful mothers – very ancient mothers!
mt-DNA H10 and H3 are both daughters of mother H and if you loosely think of it like H10 is a daughter of H, and H10a is a daughter of H10, then embrace your Haplogroup(s) like they are long lost family. They are you – your ancestors – your who-you-ares.
Same for the y-DNA. Men have their y-DNA that made them men, and that is the signature of their male line: the father’s father’s father’s father’s father’s father’s father’s father’s etc etc etc etc etc
Only men have that genetic signature of the y-DNA. This can be so amazing for matching families, because it follows the paternal line for eons with only small and very slow changes. It also follows the line of the family surname. So this can be and is used to identify families for hundreds of years, and the ancestral haplogroups for eons.
All people – men and women – have the maternal DNA, the signature of their mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s etc etc etc etc etc. Genealogy is harder to harvest from the mt-DNA because the surnames change with every marriage, but do not fail to learn it: I tell folks if you have the money and time, learn your mt-DNA first. With this, you will learn about eons of your anthropological ancestry and not go running off too quickly with some more recent ancestor, never to be seen again searching for a 17th century link. I got lost in the Ice-Age and am still begging for a matching root haplogroup there to go visit – I found some for Dai – none for me yet.
This chart is my ancestry. The only haplogroup I can test for in my own body is in my mt-DNA – my mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother. My H10a1. This genetic DNA name goes back for eons.
When we learn the ancestries of our haplogroups we get away from the present and reach back into the past. We learn about all haplogroups because we all are made up of many ancestors that carried many different haplogroups into our genetic makeup. Thanks to Ancestry.com for their many charts; always make these kinds of research trees private and unsearchable so as not to allow mistakes or outdated information to get into the public.
Both men and women have mt-DNA, the mother signature – but it is only the men that have the y-DNA.
Dai has in his own body his father’s father’s father’s etc haplogroup and his mother’s mother’s mother’s that can also be tested. But for the rest of these haplogroups, we have to use autosomal testing and match ourselves to our cousins and second cousins on our different ancestral lines. When we find a cousin who carries the y-dna or mt-dna of our respective ancestors, then we can all learn from each other’s research!
Put simply – we get 50% of Mom and 50% of Dad. After that, all bets are off. You might get exactly 25% of one of your four grandparents and 35 % from another and 18% from another and 22% from the other. And the percentages you get will shrink and change with every generation.
……………….. The chart is not meant to be scientific. The yellow dots do not represent genetic ancestors, they represent the idea that autosomal DNA is from many different random ancestors from both your paternal side and maternal side. The yellow dots cannot represent specific genetic ancestors because everyone is different. Even siblings share differing amounts of their grandparents and great grandparents and so on. I add to this note to make sure to explain the concept of the chart. The dots represent the idea of random inheritance. In addition this illustrates that autosomal DNA testing comes from across a large swath of your ancestry – but it is random, past your parents. Compared to y-DNA testing or mt-DNA testing which are limited to a specific narrow chromosomal line the autosomal testing, although limited in generations gives an expanded look at one’s genetic ancestry. None of the printed “charts” (and there are many representations) showing random inheritance can portray each individual’s inheritance – it varies from person to person and also does for sibling to sibling. All the charts give you the idea that you will not inherit from every ancestor – you miss many of them from the past and more the farther back you go in time until there is none to be read in the current testing that can currently be used for relative matching. We are all 50% of our parents but from the grandparents back, it is all bets off and you will randomly inherit from random ancestors. Two siblings can also inherit differently from their ancestors. This is why in chromosome painting you can use three siblings (the best number is three) and make a “picture” of the chromosomes of your ancestors.
But what can be worked out is this: Now we can know almost exactly how much DNA two people share, and based on the number of centiMorgans (don’t ask, its a measurement) we can narrow down the possible relationships. The amount of overlap might suggest they are second cousins, or half siblings, or auntuncle/niecenephews.
To fill in your own pedigree chart with as many haplogroups as you can, you usually need more than one test. One of the most important steps is to expand your list of DNA matches. Let’s say you tested (autosomal) at AncestryDNA. If you upload to Family Tree DNA (their autosomal is Family Finder) you might find a match to some male cousins who carry the y-DNA of your ancestral lines. If they have done a y-DNA test, then you will already have your ancestors’ haplogroup to fill in on your chart.
The only company left at this point that tests y-DNA and mt-DNA and gives you the values of the markers etc – is Family Tree DNA. If you have tested your autosomal DNA at another (compatible data) company, you can download your raw data and then upload it to ftDNA. You can also upload to other sites for more possible matches, and more and different tools for genealogy. You will not lose any data from the original testing company; it stays there happy as clams. But you will give yourself a chance to find matches with people who didn’t test in the same place as you.
So now for our much beloved y-DNA haplogroup R1b. Father, dad, husband, brother. He is patriarch of maybeish 40% of the males of western Europe, I have read from the best. Go to this site for haplogroups and stuff and it is free!
I love this site and he is updating all along –
He writes: “R1b is the most common haplogroup in Western Europe, reaching over 80% of the population in Ireland, the Scottish Highlands, western Wales, the Atlantic fringe of France, the Basque country and Catalonia. It is also common in Anatolia and around the Caucasus, in parts of Russia and in Central and South Asia. Besides the Atlantic and North Sea coast of Europe, hotspots include the Po valley in north-central Italy (over 70%), Armenia (35%), the Bashkirs of the Urals region of Russia (50%), Turkmenistan (over 35%), the Hazara people of Afghanistan (35%), the Uyghurs of North-West China (20%) and the Newars of Nepal (11%). R1b-V88, a subclade specific to sub-Saharan Africa, is found in 60 to 95% of men in northern Cameroon.”
This is important in two ways. You can’t identify them with any one place, but you can say they are in every place.
If you have European ancestry, then if you trace your ancestors’ haplogroups back in time, you can almost say for certain (well, actually, you can rarely say anything is certain in DNA or any other kind of genealogy) that you have a male ancestor who was haplogroup R1b.
Now we have to let our heads explode, because it does get specific. Why is my haplogroup R1b, but my brother is R-M269? Why oh why are there other variations? Well it is just a matter of how refined the tests are; your brother has narrowed down his haplogroup more precisely than you have by testing for more recent mutations.
Our David Lewis of Hanover and Albemarle fame is R-M269. That is one of the countless named mutations of the R1b lineage. More testing gleans more descendant markers and they get new names. More are discovered all the time, so this takes constant learning.
It is as if you are standing here today and your ancestor from 10,000 years ago left clues of himself in your DNA. More and more, the testing can identify more recent mutations, bringing what we can know about our ancestors forward in time.
My cousin, who is also R1b, has done extensive y-DNA testing to get his last known mutation as close as he can to today. (These mutations are called SNPs, pronounced snips. The most recent known SNP is the “terminal SNP.”) He is R-FGC12307. Another R1b cousin whose y-DNA follows one of my ancestral lines has also refined; he is R-DF85. Another R1b cousin is part of a large family branch and is R-Z326. I have an in-law who is R-Z8 and a cousin whose husband is R-L21. Another handful of relatives are listed together at the root R-M269 because they have not tested beyond that to find their terminal SNPs. (Remember each SNP is a new mutation, which then is passed down through the generations.)
When multiple family members have tested, we can learn from each other’s results. Say you have a family with all the males tested and their relationships confirmed. When another male wants to confirm he is a cousin, he might need to test only a small number of y-DNA markers. If he is paying for it himself and it turns out to not be a match, he has not lost a lot of money and he can go looking for someone else to test with. If he does get a confirmed family relationship, even a low-cost, single SNP test might match him to a cousin’s known terminal SNP.
Of course he will also need to test for that wonderful autosomal match with his new cousin to make sure they are as closely related as they think they are. And we are back at the suggestion that if you test at one company, consider uploading the data in multiple places (But be sure to consider all the ramifications of sharing DNA data anywhere – even at the place where you initially tested. Read the fine print).
From this chart: The only haplogroup I carry and was able to test directly is in the mt-DNA from Josephine and Mary (bottom of the chart) – my maternal direct line. For all the other haplogroups I have listed here, I have a cousin (at least one – often more than one) who has tested their DNA and who matches me in autosomal DNA as he/she should. That is, we share the expected number of centiMorgans of DNA for our on-paper relationships. This confirms our family trees. Then, through further testing, we learned their y-DNA and/or mt-DNA and got their haplogroups. We also used the X-DNA of a few to help learn about our shared ancestors. There are a couple of ways besides just ftDNA to do this, but those will have to be added for more explanation in other blogs. I’ll just say 23andme does offer some haplogroup information. They do not take uploads but their data can move to other places.
Here’s how I got the above haplogroups: The Knight McKnight y-DNA (this is my father’s father’s line) came from a paternal half 2nd cousin once removed. His grandfather was my great grandfather’s half paternal brother. The R1b for Lewis comes from multiple layers of autosomal cousins matching. Plus, other descendents of our male-line Lewis ancestors have had the Lewis surname DNA project since 2004. This was one of my first introductions to DNA, and I tested myself by the next year. Ancestor David Lewis died in 1779 and had known children. Male line descendants of two sons of David Sr. tested and matched. That was 15 years ago and no one has looked back. We might not know the parents of Grandpa David yet – but we know his y-DNA signature. You can’t call it ‘proved;’ to be correct, just call it ‘confirmed.’ But you can call him for dinner!
The mt-DNA of Sarah Anne came from a cousin – this cousin’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother is Sarah Anne. And here’s why this mt-DNA is very special: It is also the mt-DNA of the man who reared me as his own – my paternal grandfather Harry. His wife, Pearl also reared me and through their daughter, my father’s sister, I have learned this mt-DNA line also.
The mt-DNA haplogroups are like the men’s; some were more prolific than others. All of these can be looked up at Eupedia and Haplogroup.org. The mt-DNA haplogroup H is one of the most prolific, mostly found in Europe and all around and beyond. Some of the daughters of mother H have fewer descendants than others, and I can’t guess why that is.
I have written wonderful speculations about the whys and the how manys of the haplogroups from the beginning of time. I have some Sarmation artifacts, with provenance, which I bought because the best information a decade ago said my husband’s G2a haplogroup came to Wales (where his grandfather was born) with Sarmation soldiers in the Roman army.
Now the latest findings suggest that G2a had their homeland in their Arabian region 20,000 years ago and flourished throughout the Middle East. They spread from Anatolia through Sardinia very early on. They were often the men who spread farming across Europe and all the way to to Wales. Some of them got there a very long time ago, toward the end of the last Ice-Age. My husband’s male relatives in Wales have confirmed their G2a in tests and the autosomal DNA all matches beautifully.
The next match I have is with a 3rd cousin on 23andme. And since the company give an estimate of his haplogroup, I can know the haplogroup of my paternal grandmother’s father!
Margaret Alexander’s mt-DNA haplogroup was provided by my paternal aunt. We also have autosomal matches with a male Alexander cousin; since he already took a y-test, that leads us to the Alexander y-DNA of Margaret’s father — another R1b.
I think this shows that if you search through your matches at the various DNA testing and uploading companies, you might find there are lots of pieces of information about your haplogroups to enjoy. You can read about how and where your haplogroups lived back to the time we humans walked out of Africa.
And since you are going to be learning about many haplogroups, you might as well start with one that we all are likely have some of, or be related to through marriage, if we are even a little bit European: R1b.
visit Eupedia and Haplogroup
This has lots of great charts and will make it easy to stand back and see – this haplogroup stuff is like a ton of ancestors and descendants!
“…DNA studies have permitted to categorise all humans on Earth in genealogical groups sharing one common ancestor at one given point in prehistory. They are called haplogroups. There are two kinds of haplogroups: the paternally inherited Y-chromosome DNA (Y-DNA) haplogroups, and the maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups. They respectively indicate the agnatic (or patrilineal) and cognatic (or matrilineal) ancestry…”