Monday, February 15, 2010

For the Record

Because I have posted my paternal DNA results, I thought that I might as well add something about my maternal lineage; as on the paternal side, these results are also rather limited. My haplogroup (a set of people with a common ancestor as determined by certain DNA markers) is J and has been dubbed The European Travellers.

Maternal haplogroups are different than paternal groups, and, according to Bryan Sykes in The Seven Daughters of Eve, there are seven European maternal groupings. He has given each of the seven maternal ancestors a name, and chose Jasmine for mine.

I haven't read the book but preliminary searching tells me that we came from the Near East, which is surprising to me, and that 12% of J's still reside there with 11% in Europe with other concentrations in the Causasus and North Africa. I am guessing that I am from the more prevalent J1 group, but there is a smaller J2 group based around the Mediterranean in places such as Greece, Italy/Sardinia and Spain. There are also subdivisions within each group, but this test only tells me that I am a J.

The map shows from where haplogroup J was thought to emerge about 50 000 years BP. As you can see, some of the descendants of Jasmine migrated east, and today, "The European Travelers are found at a rate of about 10% among the Kalash, an ethnic group living in Pakistan."

Following is exactly what my testing site had to report.

"You belong to the European Travelers, haplogroup J, which emerged around 50,000 years ago in the Near East, not long after the first modern humans left Africa. About 10% of today’s European population belongs to the European Travelers, although they did not arrive in Europe until the end of the last major ice age, about 10,000 years ago.

"This timing associates the European Travelers with the Neolithic or late Stone Age peoples, whose emergence is characterized by the rise of advanced farming and herding techniques. Irrigation, pottery and other technologies and cultural hallmarks of advancement came about as a result of this farming lifestyle. Lives were instantly transformed when humans could manage their own food sources and did not have to move with the changing seasons or evolving climate just to survive. Crops were eventually produced in surplus, which led to trade. Your ancient
ancestors were probably key players in the realization and implementation of this critical progress"

Wikipedia also credits group J "with the spread of farming and herding in Europe during the Neolithic Era (8,000-10,000 yrs ago). All other West Eurasian-origin groups were previously given to hunting and gathering."

Maternal DNA testing can only be used to eliminate matches with others who have been tested: "We can’t determine whether you are related more recently than 5,000 years ago, but if you have even one difference, you can be certain you are not related." The site does not provide a map of people who have no differences from me, but I have been provided with a list of names whom I can contact if I so wish. However, with a possible 5 000 year variation, I don't think I would be likely to do that. I would be interested in reading Sykes', The Seven Daughters of Eve, however.


jinksy said...

If I hadn't had so many blood tests for other reasons lately, after reading this I might have been persuaded to find out more about my DNA ! Intriguing subject.

Ginnie said...

Well, I'm completely confused. I guess it's fascinating but I wonder how accurate it is. I can barely keep up with my own "known" history, much less speculating on where I came from. Thanks for all the info though, with this post and your last one.

Bernie said...

I am like jinksy I find this subject intriguing.
When I visited Ireland in 2008 I spent a lot of time in Sligo (my fathers people came to Canada from there after the potato famine) even visited cemetaries and I so enjoyed it. Just thinking of those who came before me that eventually led to my birth....I found I had a feeling of belonging.....:-) Hugs

Lorna said...

I would be happy to be known as a European Traveller

Anonymous said...

It is fascinating for sure.

Mara said...


Kila said...

Very interesting, really :)

I knew you were a traveler ;)

Pearl said...

neat how much they can work out. I've thought of sending some of mine off but never got around to it.