This is my personal “Out of Africa story”, my ancestral migration 200.000 thousand years ago from North East Africa to Western Europe and finally sending my name to Mars on the NASA Perseverance Rover, 18-02-2021.
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“Our own genomes carry the story of evolution, written in DNA, the language of molecular genetics and the narrative is unmistakable.

– Kenneth R. Miller –

Evolution

Homo sapiens

A diorama at the Nairobi National Museum portrays early hominids processing game with tools.

A diorama at the Nairobi National Museum portrays early hominids processing game with tools.

The species that you and all other living human beings on this planet belong to is Homo sapiens. During a time of dramatic climate change 300,000 years ago, Homo sapiens evolved in Africa. Like other early humans that were living at this time, they gathered and hunted food, and evolved behaviors that helped them respond to the challenges of survival in unstable environments.

Humans (Homo sapiens) are the most abundant and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality and large complex brains enabling the development of advanced tools, culture and language. Humans evolved from other hominins in Africa several million years ago.

In his book The history of the human brain, Bret Stetka writes: “By human, I don’t just mean Homo Sapiens, the species we belong to, but any other member of the genus Homo. We have gotten used to being the only human species on Earth, but in our not-so-distant past – probably a few hundred thousand years ago – there were at least nine of us running around. There was Homo habilis, or “the handy man” and Homo erectus, the first “pitcher”.

The Denisovans roamed Asia, while the more well-known Neanderthalers spread through Europe. But with the exception of Homo sapiens, they are all gone.”

Homo sapiens emerged around 300,000 years ago, evolving from Homo erectus and migrating out of Africa, gradually replacing local populations of archaic humans.

Early humans were hunter-gatherers, before settling in the Fertile Crescent and other parts of the Old World. Access to food surpluses led to the formation of permanent human settlements and the domestication of animals.

From Homo Sapiens to me (Haplogroup I-FGC15105)

From Homo Sapiens to me (haplogroup A-PR2921 –> I-FGC15105)

Out of Africa

The spreading of Homo sapiens Out of Africa

The spreading of Homo sapiens Out of Africa

In paleoanthropology, the recent African origin of modern humans, also called the “Out of Africa” theory (OOA), recent single-origin hypothesis (RSOH), replacement hypothesis, or recent African origin model (RAO), is the dominant model of the geographic origin and early migration of anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens). It follows the early expansions of hominins out of Africa, accomplished by Homo erectus and then Homo neanderthalensis.

The model proposes a “single origin” of Homo sapiens in the taxonomic sense, precluding parallel evolution of traits considered anatomically modern in other regions, but not precluding multiple admixture between H. sapiens and archaic humans in Europe and Asia. H. sapiens most likely developed in the Horn of Africa between 300,000 and 200,000 years ago. The “recent African origin” model proposes that all modern non-African populations are substantially descended from populations of H. sapiens that left Africa after that time.

There were at least several “out-of-Africa” dispersals of modern humans, possibly beginning as early as 270,000 years ago, including 215,000 years ago to at least Greece,and certainly via northern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula about 130,000 to 115,000 years ago. These early waves appear to have mostly died out or retreated by 80,000 years ago.

The most significant “recent” wave out of Africa took place about 70,000–50,000 years ago, via the so-called “Southern Route”, spreading rapidly along the coast of Asia and reaching Australia by around 65,000–50,000 years ago, while Europe was populated by an early offshoot which settled the Near East and Europe less than 55,000 years ago.

In the 2010s, studies in population genetics uncovered evidence of interbreeding that occurred between H. sapiens and archaic humans in Eurasia, Oceania and Africa indicating that modern population groups, while mostly derived from early H. sapiens, are to a lesser extent also descended from regional variants of archaic humans.

Artist view of early man with Mammuth and Mesolithic monument

Artist view of early man with Mammuth and Mesolithic monument

Lascaux, Depiction of aurochs, horses and deer

Lascaux caves, 15.000 – 17.000 years old.

There are three types of DNA

  • Y-DNA

Y-DNABecause Y-chromosomes are passed from father to son virtually unchanged, males can trace their patrilineal (male-line) ancestry by testing their Y-chromosome.

Since women don’t have Y-chromosomes, they can’t take Y-DNA tests (though their brother, father, paternal uncle, or paternal grandfather could). Y-chromosome testing uncovers a male’s Y-chromosome haplogroup, the ancient group of people from whom one’s patrilineage descends. Because only one’s male-line direct ancestors are traced by Y-DNA testing, no females (nor their male ancestors) from whom a male descends are encapsulated in the result.

  • Autosomal DNA

Autosomal DNAAutosomal DNA tests trace a person’s autosomal chromosomes, which contain the segments of DNA the person shares with everyone to whom they’re related (maternally and paternally, both directly and indirectly.

The autosomal chromosomes gives you information that is most useful in looking back a couple of centuries.

Because everyone has autosomal chromosomes, people of all genders can take autosomal DNA tests, and the test is equally effective for people of any gender. With an autosomal test, your results won’t include information about haplogroups

  • mtDNA

Mitochondrial DNAMitochondrial DNA tests trace people’s matrilineal (mother-line) ancestry through their mitochondria, which are passed from mothers to their children.

Mitochondrial DNA testing uncovers a one’s mtDNA haplogroup, the ancient group of people from whom one’s matrilineage descends.

Because mitochondria are passed on only by women, no men (nor their ancestors) from whom one descends are encapsulated in the results.

Since everyone has mitochondria, people of all genders can take mtDNA tests.

What and where did I test and an explanation of some important used DNA concepts

My confirmed Y-DNA and mtDNA Haplogroups

My confirmed Y-DNA and mtDNA Haplogroups

I chose FamilyTreeDNA from Houston, Texas, USA, because they are considered the best option for dedicated mtDNA and Y-DNA testing. They’re the only company to offer dedicated mtDNA and Y-DNA testing. Established in 2000, they have a longer history of offering the service than most, and are highly regarded among the genealogy community. FamilyTreeDNA takes your privacy very seriously and will never share your test results with any other company. In fact, one of the reasons they are so popular is because they have a great track record of keeping your information safe, and of never sharing it

But remember, they are not cheap if you decide to go for the full package, as I did, but I think well worth the money.

Their Y-DNA testing has four levels based on how many markers you want to analyze: 37, 67, 111, and the BIG-Y with 700. You can easily upgrade without taking a new test. I started with the 37 marker test, but upgraded to the BIG-Y 700 text. FamilyTreeDNA has 2 different mtDNA tests; plus and full sequence. I decided to take the full sequence test.

So these are my tests:
* Family Ancestry – Autosomal DNA
* Paternal Ancestry – Y-DNA and
* Extended Paternal Ancestry – BIG Y-DNA
* Maternal Ancestry – full sequence mtDNA

And out of curiosity:
* CCR5 Test, the Black Death, Plague mutation
* D9S919 Test, Native American Ancestry

The result for the customer who takes the Big Y test is that the haplogroup predicted through STR testing is confirmed and generally several more branches and leaves are added to your own personal haplogroup tree.

Family Tree DNA very accurately predicts your branch haplogroup when you take an STR test, but it’s a major branch, near the tree, not a small branch and certainly not a leaf. Smaller branches can’t be accurately predicted nor larger branches confirmed without SNP testing. The most effective way to SNP test for already discovered haplogroups – plus new ones never before found – perhaps unique to your line – is to take the Big Y.

The Big Y:

  • Confirms estimated haplogroups.
  • Provides you with your haplogroup closest in time – meaning puts twigs and leaves on your branches.
  • Helps to build the Y DNA tree, meaning you can contribute to science while learning about your own ancestors.
  • Confirms that men who do match on the same STR markers really ARE in the same haplogroup.
  • Shows matches further back in time than STRs can show.
  • Maps the migration of the person’s Y line ancestors.
Attachment of HIV to a CD4+ T-helper cell: 1) the gp120 viral protein attaches to CD4. 2) gp120 variable loop attaches to a coreceptor, either CCR5 or CXCR4. 3) HIV enters the cell.

Attachment of HIV to a CD4+ T-helper cell: 1) the gp120 viral protein attaches to CD4. 2) gp120 variable loop attaches to a coreceptor, either CCR5 or CXCR4. 3) HIV enters the cell.

My CCR5 test results

  • My FamilyTreeDNA CCR5 test showed that my delta 32 value was NORMAL, so there was no 32 base deletion.

CCR5 is a gene on chromosome 3, the CCR5 test is for a 32 base deletion (delta 32) that has been speculatively linked to survival during the Black Death and the Small Pox Plagues that decimated the population of Europe during the Middle Ages.

The mutation in CCR5 known as Delta 32 causes a change in the protein that makes it non-functional. Carrying two copies of the mutation protects most carriers from HIV. The delta 32 mutation is found in between 5% and 14% of Europeans and is rare in Asians and Africans. Because the CCR5-delta32 variant is found in such a clear geographical pattern, researchers believe that its prevalence has been shaped by the survival advantage it provided at one time. This mutation has not been found in people from African, East Asians descent thus far.

When confronted with a deadly disease, for example, a particular gene variant might give a survival advantage to those in the population that happen to have it. If most of those who do not have the variant die, a higher proportion of individuals in the next generation will have the gene variant.

  • But since the CCR5-delta32 variant doesn’t adversely affect one’s health, why are researchers studying it?

Because the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) uses the CCR5 protein to infect immune cells. To put in in simple terms, it is a portal of entry for HIV virus to enter into the immune cells of the human body. Think of CCR5 as a door. The HIV virus uses it to enter into immune cells in the human body. Because of the mutation, it causes the “door” to be “locked” thus preventing HIV virus from entering the immune cell.

Generally, if you have a double mutation of the gene for CCR5, you have high resistance to HIV infection but it may not be absolute as there have been cases of persons with both mutated genes and yet became HIV infection.

The Black Death

Spread of the Black Death in Europe and the Near East (1346–1353)

Spread of the Black Death in Europe and the Near East (1346–1353)
Map made by O.J. Benedictow

Recent research has suggested plague first infected humans in Europe and Asia in the Late Neolithic-Early Bronze Age.Research in 2018 found evidence of Yersinia pestis in an ancient Swedish tomb, which may have been associated with the “Neolithic decline” around 3000 BCE, in which European populations fell significantly. This Y. pestis may have been different from more modern types, with bubonic plague transmissible by fleas first known from Bronze Age remains near Samara.

The Black Death (also known as the Pestilence, the Great Mortality or the Plague) was a bubonic plague pandemic occurring in Afro-Eurasia from 1346 to 1353. It is the most fatal pandemic recorded in human history, causing the death of 75–200 million people in Eurasia and North Africa, peaking in Europe from 1347 to 1351. Bubonic plague is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, but it may also cause septicaemic or pneumonic plagues.

The Black Death was the beginning of the second plague pandemic. The plague created religious, social and economic upheavals, with profound effects on the course of European history.

The origin of the Black Death is disputed. The pandemic originated either in Central Asia or East Asia but its first definitive appearance was in Crimea in 1347.[6] From Crimea, it was most likely carried by fleas living on the black rats that travelled on Genoese slave ships, spreading through the Mediterranean Basin and reaching Africa, Western Asia and the rest of Europe via Constantinople, Sicily and the Italian Peninsula. There is evidence that once it came ashore, the Black Death was in large part spread by fleas – which cause pneumonic plague – and the person-to-person contact via aerosols which pneumonic plague enables, thus explaining the very fast inland spread of the epidemic, which was faster than would be expected if the primary vector was rat fleas causing bubonic plague.

The Black Death was the second great natural disaster to strike Europe during the Late Middle Ages (the first one being the Great Famine of 1315–1317) and is estimated to have killed 30 percent to 60 percent of the European population. The plague might have reduced the world population from c.  475 million to 350–375 million in the 14th century. There were further outbreaks throughout the Late Middle Ages and, with other contributing factors (the Crisis of the Late Middle Ages), the European population did not regain its level in 1300 until 1500. Outbreaks of the plague recurred around the world until the early 19th century.

This map shows the approximate location of the ice-free corridor and specific Paleoindian sites. Credit: Roblespepe, CC BY-SA 3.0

This map shows the approximate location of the ice-free corridor and specific Paleoindian sites. Credit: Roblespepe, CC BY-SA 3.0 Wikipidea Commons

FamilyTree DNA also offers the D9S919 test, it is a test that gives you an indication if you have Native American ancestry. Of course in my case that is highly improbable, but just out of curiosity I decided to test it also.

D9S919 is a STR marker located on chromosome 9. It was previously known as D9S1120 and under this name it was reported that an allele value of 9 was only found in the Americas and far eastern Asia.

Three independent lines of genetic evidence support the claim (Shields et al. 1993) of an ancient gene pool that included the ancestors of the modern inhabitants of Western Beringia and the Americas. The presence of an allele value of 9 is therefore a strong indication of native American ancestry somewhere within a person’s pedigree.

  • My allele value with the D9S919 test came out as 16-17, so what does that mean?

Well D9S919 is present in only around 30% of the Native Americans. So about 70% do not have it. However, since only about 30% of Native Americans have that count, the fact that you don’t have 9 for that marker means it’s inconclusive from that result whether you have Native American ancestry. You either don’t have Native American ancestry or you are part of the 70% of people with Native American ancestry who don’t have 9 for D9S919.

  • Or as in my case, because I am 100 % European, I have no Native American ancestry

Y-DNA haplotype

A Y-DNA haplotype is a persons Y-STR profile. This includes the number of repeats at specific Y-STR markers. Y-DNA haplotypes are useful for tracing recent paternal lineages and connections. Haplotype is actually short for “haploid genotype” and refers to the combination of genetic markers in multiple locations in a single chromosome. If two people match exactly on all of the markers they have had tested, they share the same haplotype and are related.

World Map of Y-Chromosome Haplogroups - Dominant Haplogroups in Pre-Colonial Populations with Possible Migrations Route

World Map of Y-Chromosome Haplogroups – Dominant Haplogroups in Pre-Colonial Populations with Possible Migrations Route. Credit: Chakazul, Wikimedia Commons

What are Haplogroups
Y-DNA haplogroups are determined by testing Y-SNPs. Your Y-DNA haplogroup represents “deep ancestry” or ancient family group. A haplogroup is a series of mutations present in a chromosome. It is therefore detectable in an individual’s DNA and may vary from one population to another, or even from one person to another.

Every person belongs to a certain haplotype and therefore to a certain haplogroup, so it can be traced back to where a person’s origin lies on the basis of genography.

There is a male and a female haplogroup classification. The Y chromosome (Y DNA) is used to distinguish the male haplogroups (Y chromosome haplogroup) and the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) to distinguish the female haplogroups (mitochondrial haplogroup). The X chromosome is not usable because the X chromosome is not recombining, but it is difficult to trace over several generations.

Haplogroup shorthand

SNP’s
SNP’s (pronounced “snips”) is an abbreviation of single nucleotide polymorphisms, they are the most common type of genetic variation among people. Each SNP represents a difference in a single DNA building block, called a nucleotide. SNP’s occur normally throughout a person’s DNA. They occur almost once in every 1,000 nucleotides on average, which means there are roughly 4 to 5 million SNPs in a person’s genome. These variations may be unique or occur in many individuals; scientists have found more than 100 million SNP’s in populations around the world.

Once a SNP mutation occurs, it will typically be passed through subsequent generations and is unlikely to revert back to the default value. As such, SNP testing can be used to understand a genetic family tree (called a haplotree.) SNP tests, such as the BIG Y-700 test from FamilyTreeDNA (my yDNA test), provide details on haplotree branching, as well as much better estimates of time to most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) than STR tests do.

  • SNPs are mutations that occur along the Y – Chromosome
  • SNPs are the basis for Branches on the Haplotree
  • Each Male Line has its own Unique set of SNPs
  • SNPs occur on Average of once every 144 years
  • Until a SNP is “named”, it is referred to as an “Unnamed Variant”
  • After a BIG Y-700 is completed, Unnamed Variants are your most recent SNP
  • Mutations – and will form new Branches below your “Terminal” SNP once theyare named

BIG Y – 700 is identifying more SNPs/Variants than previous BIG-Y Tests. All of these SNPs/Variants are not among your most recent mutations, but may be inserted anywhere along the Haplotree. Some SNPs/Variants may come from portions of the Y – Chromosome that are not used for Dating, and some (few) may be bad reads.

TMRCA
TMRCA (the most recent common ancestor) is the amount of time or number of generations since individuals have shared a common ancestor. Since mutations occur at random, the estimate of the TMRCA is not an exact number (i.e., seven generations) but rather a probability distribution. As more information is compared, the TMRCA estimate becomes more refined.

Terminal SNP
Y-DNA haplogroups are defined by the presence of a series of SNP markers on the Y chromosome. Subclades a term used to describe a subgroup of a subgenus or haplogroup) defined by a terminal SNP, the SNP furthest down in the Y chromosome phylogenetic tree.

Your “Terminal” SNP does not always represent your MRCA

  • The term “Terminal” SNP is used to represent the most current SNP placed on your portion of the Haplotree.
  • If you have Unnamed Variants, or a Block of Equivalents associated with your Bottom Step, your portion of the Haplotree is incomplete, and it does not represent your actual “Terminal SNP”.
  • The Convergence Date of your Bottom Step is NOT always the Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor.

The Gregorian calendar is the global standard for the measurement of dates. Despite originating in the Western Christian tradition, its use has spread throughout the world and now transcends religious, cultural and linguistic boundaries.

As most people are aware, the Gregorian calendar is based on the supposed birth date of Jesus Christ. Subsequent years count up from this event and are accompanied by either AD or CE, while preceding years count down from it and are accompanied by either BC or BCE.

  • BC and AD
    The idea to count years from the birth of Jesus Christ was first proposed in the year 525 by Dionysius Exiguus, a Christian monk. Standardized under the Julian and Gregorian calendars, the system spread throughout Europe and the Christian world during the centuries that followed. AD stands for Anno Domini, Latin for “in the year of the Lord”, while BC stands for “before Christ”.
  • BCE and CE
    CE stands for “common (or current) era”, while BCE stands for “before the common (or current) era”. These abbreviations have a shorter history than BC and AD, although they still date from at least the early 1700s. They have been in frequent use by Jewish academics for more than 100 years, but became more widespread in the later part of the 20th century, replacing BC/AD in a number of fields, notably science and academia.
  • YBP and BP
    This is a year designation alternative to the widely-used but Christian-oriented BC and AD and their secular equivalents BCE and CE. Before Present (BP) years, or “years before present” is a time scale used mainly in archaeology, geology, and other scientific disciplines to specify when events occurred before the origin of practical radiocarbon dating in the 1950s. Because the “present” time changes, standard practice is to use 1 January 1950 as the commencement date (epoch) of the age scale.

Current Status and Recommendations
Most style guides do not express a preference for one system, although BC/AD still prevails in most journalistic contexts. Conversely, academic and scientific texts tend to use BCE/CE. Since there are compelling arguments for each system and both are in regular use, we do not recommend one over the other. Given the choice, writers are free to apply their own preference or that of their audience, although they should use their chosen system consistently, meaning BC and CE should not be used together, or vice versa. There are also some typographical conventions to consider:

  • BC should appear after the numerical year, while AD should appear before it.
    1100 BC, AD 1066
  • BCE and CE should both appear after the numerical year.
    1100 BCE, 1066 CE
  • As is the case with most initialisms, periods may be used after each letter.
    1100 B.C., A.D. 1066, 1100 B.C.E., 1066 C.E.
  • Some style guides recommend writing BC, AD, BCE and CE in small caps.
    AD 2017
  • YBP and BP should both appear after the numerical year.
    Formed 1400 YBP, TMRCA 325 YBP

Of course, writers often don’t need to make the choice at all. The BCE/CE (or BC/AD) distinction is usually unnecessary outside of historical contexts, and it is generally understood that when unspecified, the year in question is CE (or AD). As a result, dates that occurred within the last few centuries are rarely marked with CE (or AD).

My Autosomal DNA

The result of my Autosomal DNA analysis shows that my origins are 100% Western Europe.
England, Wales, and Scotland 56%
Central Europe 23%
Scandinavia 21%
My early ancestors
The most up-to-date research into ancient migrations on the European Continent suggests that there were three major groups of people that have had a lasting effect on present day peoples of European descent: Metal Age Invader 13% – Farmer 39% – Hunter-Gatherer 48% – non-European 0%.
If you look at the map, my Autosomal results indicate that my very early ancestors lived in geographic lands later occupied by Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Frisians, Danes, Vikings, Scandinavians and Normans. If you read on you will see that my Y-DNA and mtDNA haplogroups probably reconfirm these findings. My paternal cousins (people you can trace to with only this male line) were probably among the first (re)settlers of Britain, Ireland, and Scandinavia as the ice sheets receded.

Anglo-Saxons
This is the collective name for the various Germanic tribes that settled in England after the departure of the Romans in 407, in the course of the 5th century and later. The later invading tribes came from northwestern Germany and the Netherlands (the Angles and the Saxons and also the Frisians) and from Denmark (the Jutes).

The Saxons settled in the south of the country, the Jutes in the southeast (Kent), the Angles occupied the largest area: the center and north. Around 840 the invasions of the Danes (also called Vikings or Normans) started and at the time of King Alfred the Great they controlled a large part of the country.

The attacks of the Normans ceased and the populations intermingled. At the end of the 10th century, the Danes resumed their attacks. Later Norman influence increased, culminating in the Norman conquest of England by William the Conqueror in 1066.


Low Countries and Vikings
The most important haplogroup that may be a strong predictor of Viking genetic background is I1. It is critical to understand that not all Vikings were I1 and not all I1 were Vikings. I1 was a modification of I that emerged about 27,000 years ago. Vikings weren’t just Scandinavians in their genetic ancestry. Many Vikings have a high degree of non-Scandinavian ancestry, both within and outside Scandinavia, indicating an ongoing gene flow across Europe.

The Netherlands has the closest DNA profile to Germanic groups. Notably, a significant admixture event with a major Danish source was inferred between 759 and 1290 CE in the Dutch northern seaboard provinces. This period spans a historical period of recorded Danish Viking contact and rule in northern Dutch territories. The demographic legacy of more than a century of Danish Viking raids and settlement in the Netherlands has been the subject of some debate, but it appears that the modern Dutch genome has indeed been partially shaped by historical Viking admixture. This Danish Viking contact is contemporaneous with a critical period in the establishment of the modern Dutch genome from other outside sources (1004–1111 CE).

Areas subject to settlement and raids by Vikings and Normans (Max Naylor, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Areas subject to settlement and raids by Vikings and Normans (Max Naylor, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Before the Netherlands was the Netherlands or even Holland, it was known as Frisia. According to historians, Vikings came to Friesland in the 9th century. They established control over all of Friesland.

During the last years of Charlemagne’s reign (768-814) the emperor took measures against the danger of Viking raids. He stationed fleets in the major rivers and organized coastal defenses. After 820, the defense system in the northern part of the Carolingian state collapsed. Between 834 and 837 the city of Dorestad (near present-day Wijk bij Duurstede, about 70 km from where I live, Dordrecht) was destroyed four times. Without much opposition, Walcheren in Zeeland (where the Kloosterman Family originated) was taken in 837.

Already before 840 the Danish Vikings Harald and Rorik became vassals of Lothar (grandson of Charlemagne) and received Walcheren and Dorestad as fiefs. This tactical move did not bring peace.

Map of Magna Frisia in Latin with the capital Dorestad (Richard Prins, Wikimedia Commons)

Map of Magna Frisia in Latin with the capital Dorestate (Dorestad)

Until 873 there are regular reports of Viking attacks and in 863 Dorestad was again destroyed. This time the city was not rebuilt, also because the river became sandy. Bishop Hunger of Utrecht fled in 858 to Roermond and later to Deventer. In 873, the Normans in Oostergoo, Friesland (Friesland) were defeated by an army led by an immigrant Viking.

In Flanders, the Vikings regularly sailed up the Scheldt from 851 to 864 and attacked the cities of Ghent and the districts of Mempiscus and Terwaan. countries from Denmark) turned their attention to England.

The impact of the raids on everyday life must have been great, but perhaps not as great as ecclesiastical sources suggest. Churches and monasteries were almost always visited, for the simple reason that they had valuable property. Of course, the clergy described the Vikings as fierce pagans who turned the coastal areas into ruins. Politically, the Vikings stimulated the further disintegration of the Carolingian Empire. Because they encountered little resistance, they preferred robbers to traders. As vassals they played a role in the conflicts between Lotharius and Charles the Bald (ca. 840) and later (ca. 870) between Charles the Bold and Louis the German.

After the victory of Alfred the Great of Wessex (878) the Vikings returned to the lowlands. This time they also fought as land soldiers and were equipped with horses. Flanders was particularly hard hit (Ghent, Terwaan, Atrecht, Kamerijk). Louis III defeated the Vikings in 881 at Saucourt on the River Somme.

This battle was described in Ludwig’s Lied (Ludwigslied). According to the Fulda Annals, Louis’ army killed 9,000 Danes. As a result, the Vikings returned to Flanders and Dutch Limburg. From Asselt (north of Roermond) they attacked cities in Germany (Cologne, Bonn) and Limburg (Liège, Tongeren). In their attack on Trier they were opposed by the bishops Wala and Bertulf of Trier and by Count Adelhard of Metz. Following the example of Trier, other cities began to defend themselves effectively.

The new emperor Charles the Fat sent an army to Asselt. The two Viking leaders, Godfried and Siegfried, were forced to negotiate. Godfrey chose to stay. He became a vassal of the emperor and, after being baptized, married Gisela, daughter of Lothair II, the first king of Lorraine. Siegfried was paid off with 2,000 pounds of silver and gold and set out for the north with 200 ships. Emperor Charles felt threatened by Godfried and his (Godfried’s) brother-in-law Hugo (Gisela’s brother).

In June 885 Godfried was invited for talks in Spijk, near Lobith. This turned out to be a conspiracy and Godfrey was murdered. Hugo was blinded and transferred to the monastery of Prüm for the rest of his life. Here the monk Regino wrote the story of his downfall. In September 891 the Vikings lost a battle at the river Dyle, near Leuven against King Arnulf of Carinthia.

The Fulda Annals tell us that the bodies of dead Vikings blocked the flow of the river. The poor harvest of 892 and the threat of famine caused the Vikings to move north again. After 892 their role in the low countries was limited to occasional raids (particularly in Nijmegen, Groningen, Stavoren, Tiel and Utrecht). After 1010 the raids came to an end.

Vikings disease (hand)
Dupuytren’s contracture (also called Dupuytren’s disease, Morbus Dupuytren, Viking hand and Celtic hand) is a condition in which one or more fingers become permanently bent in a flexed position. Dupuytren’s disease is currently called a Viking disease on the assumption that the disease was spread to Europe and the British Isles during the Viking Age of the 9th to the 13th centuries. From a literature search, it is proposed that Dupuytren’s disease existed in Europe earlier than the Viking Age and originated much earlier in prehistory.

There is a strong genetic component, certain HLA haplotypes also appear to be associated with the disease. It is strongly associated with northern European ancestry, and could have arisen from a genetic mutation in the Viking population originally.

  • Well I have Dupuytren’s contracture and my father and grandfather, so this genetic mutation certainly runs in my family.

So were some of my early ancestors Pre-Viking?
The ubiquity of the term “Viking” masks a wide variety of constructions of Vikingism: the old northmen are merchant adventurers, mercenary soldiers, pioneering colonists, pitiless raiders, self-sufficient farmers, cutting-edge naval technologists, primitive democrats, psychopathic berserks, ardent lovers and complicated poets.

  • Wow … that sounds just like me, so do I have some Viking in my DNA?
    Well, considering that 56 % of my Autosomal DNA origins are from England, Wales and Scotland, 23 % from Scandinavia and that my main Y-DNA I-FGC151505 haplogroup is most commonly found in England and Denmark makes it an interesting idea and certainly not a far-fetched possibility.

Doggerland during the Anglian glaciation
Until the middle Pleistocene Great Britain was a peninsula of Europe, connected by the massive chalk Weald–Artois Anticline across the Straits of Dover. During the Anglian glaciation, about 450,000 years ago, an ice sheet filled much of the North Sea, with a large proglacial lake in the southern part fed by the Rhine, the Scheldt and the Thames.

Doggerland was an area of land, now submerged beneath the southern North Sea, that connected Great Britain to continental Europe. It was flooded by rising sea levels around 6500–6200 BCE. Geological surveys have suggested that it stretched from what is now the east coast of Great Britain to what are now the Netherlands, the western coast of Germany and the peninsula of Jutland. It was probably a rich habitat with human habitation in the Mesolithic period.

Around 7000 BC the Ice Age had ended and Mesolithic European hunter-gatherers had migrated from their refuges to recolonize the continent, including Doggerland which later submerged beneath the rising North Sea.

When scientists from Imperial College released a simulation of a tsunami, triggered by a vast undersea landslide at Storrega off the coast of Norway around 6000 BC, it probably came as a surprise to many in north-west Europe that their reassuringly safe part of the world had been subject to such a cataclysmic event.

The researchers suggest that this succession of destructive waves up to 14 metres high may have depopulated an area that is now in the middle of the North Sea, known as Doggerland. However, melting ice at the end of the last ice age around 18,000 years ago led to rising sea levels that inundated vast areas of continental shelves around the world. These landscapes, which had been home to populations of hunter gatherers for thousands of years were gradually overwhelmed by millions of tonnes of meltwater swelling the ocean. Doggerland, essentially an entire prehistoric European country, disappeared beneath the North Sea, its physical remains preserved beneath the marine silts but lost to memory.

The majority of western European males belonged to Y-haplogroup I and northeast Europeans to haplogroup R1a. Other minor male lineages such as R1b, G, J, T and E would also have been present in Europe, having migrated from the Asian Steppe, the Middle East and North Africa.

My Autosomal origin shows that my very early ancestors lived in geographical areas that were later occupied by Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Frisians, Danes, Vikings, Scandinavians and Normans.

My Autosomal origin shows that my very early ancestors lived in geographical areas that were later occupied by Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Frisians, Danes, Vikings, Scandinavians and Normans.

Anglosaxon migration, map based on the Jones and Mattingly's Atlas of Roman Britain

Anglosaxon migration, map based on the Jones and Mattingly’s Atlas of Roman Britain, credit: Wikipedia Commons

My Viking? hand

My Viking? hand

Viking longboats were fast ships that had the strength to survive ocean crossings while having a draft of as little as 50cm (20 inches), allowing navigation in very shallow water.

Viking longboats were fast ships that had the strength to survive ocean crossings while having a draft of as little as 50cm (20 inches), allowing navigation in very shallow water.

Land bridge between the mainland and Britain - Doggerland and Dogger Bank. Comparison of the geographical situation in 2000 to the late years of the Vistula-Würm Glaciation. Map made by: <a href=

Land bridge between the mainland and Britain – Doggerland and Dogger Bank. Comparison of the geographical situation in 2000 to the late years of the Vistula-Würm Glaciation. Map made by: Francis Lima

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Historical and geographic information about my Autosomal DNA

My Autosomal DNA origins

My Autosomal DNA origins

From about 44,000 years ago, humans intermittently lived in the northwestern region of Europe between periods of glaciation due to the Ice Age. Around 13,000 BCE, they returned to the northwestern region of Europe including the British Isles via a land bridge connecting them.

Towards the end of the 4th millennium BCE, Hunter-Gatherers cultivated crops, domesticated animals, and made tools such as hand axes and pottery. The construction of large stone monuments, such as those found at Stonehenge, began by 3000 BCE. It is speculated that Celtic languages arrived in Britain with the influx of the Bell Beaker culture from Central Europe, which was defined by bell-shaped vessels.

Within the last 2,000 years, Britain has been subject to many migrations. In the 1st century CE, the Romans invaded and established settlements across what is now modern-day England and Wales. The Romans were besieged by attacks from local tribes, such as the Scots, Picts, and Iceni.

Other invading groups such as the Anglo-Saxons, who arrived on the east coast of Britain around the time of the fall of the Roman Empire, were also met with resistance from the many local tribes. However, over the next 200 years, Anglo-Saxon warrior lords divided the region into large Germanic kingdoms, assimilating or displacing Briton and Pictish inhabitants, and eradicated Roman culture.

By the 7th century CE, Christian monasteries were established, and a unified English language was formed. In the 8th and 9th centuries, Vikings from Scandinavia raided parts of the British coast and established colonies throughout modern-day Scotland and England.
In 843 CE, Kenneth MacAlpin united the Picts and Scots to form the nation of Alba, which is the Gaelic name for Scotland, although many Scottish islands remained under Scandinavian control until the 1400s. Welsh leaders in the 9th century united the kingdoms of Gwynedd, Morgannwg, and Powys and fought off Irish occupation of the region, although further attempts to unite the region were unsuccessful.

The first English kingdom was formed at the end of the 9th century when Alfred the Great defeated the Vikings in modern-day England. Within 200 years, the newly established English kingdom was lost to the invading French-Normans led by William the Conqueror. William’s soldiers were rewarded with land, titles, and power, and French-Norman rule and culture were imposed across England and Wales.

Since the French-Norman Conquest, the English peoples fought for several centuries to regain their lost rights. Despite numerous rebellions against French-Norman rulers and their descendants, all of Wales fell under the control of the English monarchy by the 13th century CE and remains part of Great Britain today. Scottish kings waged war with the French-Normans in England and continued to fight off English occupation for many years until Stewart King James VI of Scotland inherited the English throne and united the two nations in the 16th century CE. While the foundation for conquests in the Americas was laid with his predecessor Queen Elizabeth I, King James I established the first successful British colonies in the Americas during the 17th century CE. The British Empire continued their conquest and expanded their rule and culture around the globe, colonizing large regions of North and South America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania.

My Autosomal DNA origins

My Autosomal DNA origins

Around 40,000 years ago, much of Central Europe was occupied by Hunter-Gatherers of the Aurignacian culture who produced distinct stone blades, projectile points, and other tools made of bone. Beginning around 7,000 years ago, groups from the Middle East introduced farming and the practice of large-scale collective burials along with stonework architecture, such as the Carnac stones in Brittany, France.

In the late 4th millennium BCE, settlers from the Pontic steppe arrived in Central Europe. They brought a new social and economic order centered around horsemanship. This interaction influenced the formation of the Corded Ware culture throughout Europe, whose presence is marked by pottery with rope-like designs. The arrival of these Indo-European speakers from the Pontic steppe introduced language families like Germanic and Celtic to areas of modern-day Germany and France.

Beginning in 58 BCE, the Celtic and Germanic tribes of Gaul, which is now modern-day France, engaged in warfare with an invading Roman Empire. By 50 BCE, Rome was triumphant and integrated Gaul into their empire. As Roman power declined, the Germanic Goth and Vandal tribes from the unconquered Magna Germania, now modern-day Germany, invaded the lands Romans abandoned. When Roman power was effectively gone in the region, Gaul disbursed into many small states from which emerged the single powerful state of the Franks.

The Franks were a Germanic peoples who, as they spread across Gaul, integrated Gallo-Roman peoples into their young empire. The Franks embraced aspects of Gallo-Roman culture such as their Latin-based language and Christianity. The Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne became a pivotal figure in the history of Western and Central Europe. His ever-growing empire which annexed territories throughout Europe led him to be named Holy Roman Emperor. As Holy Roman Emperor, he strove to revive the grandeur of the western Roman Empire in the 8th century. However, after the death of Charlemagne’s son Louis I a generation later, the Holy Roman Empire was divided into three kingdoms: the West Frankish, East Frankish, and Middle Kingdom. The East Frankish and Middle kingdoms eventually formed part of a reborn Holy Roman Empire centered in what is modern-day Germany.

By the 18th century CE, the Germanic states of Austria and Prussia emerged as dominant forces after the second Holy Roman Empire’s dissolution. By the 19th century, the Germanic states had formed a confederation that attempted economic and cultural integration, a precursor to the modern German state. In its western divisions, the fall of the Holy Roman Empire led to the formation of West Francia, the precursor to the kingdom of France.

Centralization of a French state was the main trend, but by the 1500s, a period of expansion began. In the 16th century, the kingdom of France conquered large portions of North and South America. Post-revolutionary France expanded further once again into Central Europe under Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in the first part of the 19th century. After his defeat, France turned its attention to conquering regions of West Africa and Southeast Asia. While Germany, after national unification in the 1870s, embraced imperialism, and within a few short years, conquered enough territory in Africa to become the third-largest empire of the day. Today, France is a multi-ethnic nation with many of its residents having come from former colonies. In Germany, the national psyche and economy have rebuilt themselves since World War II and the Cold War. Today, Germany plays a key role in the European Union. The history of colonialism and the many divisions and unifications in Central Europe sparks the everlasting question of what it means to be French and German.

My Autosomal DNA origins

My Autosomal DNA origins

As the ice sheets retreated toward the end of the last Ice Age in Europe, Hunter-Gatherers entered the southern region of Scandinavia around 11,7000 years ago. Scandinavia was one of the last places to be re-settled in Europe. Hunter-Gatherer groups arriving from continental Europe formed a culture known for their pitted earthenware.

About 6,000 years ago, Neolithic Farmers from Southern Europe established settlements throughout Scandinavia. Neolithic Farmers co-existed with Hunter-Gatherers for many hundreds of years; however, Farming groups eventually dominated the region. From 3000 BCE, Central Europe’s Corded Ware culture spread to southern Scandinavia, bringing their Indo-European languages with them. The Indo-European language branched into many languages, such as Proto-Germanic, which spread throughout this area.

Roman historians make few references to the peoples of Scandinavia as the Roman Empire, at its height in 117 CE, reached just south of Scandinavia. However, archaeological sites show that the Scandinavian region was composed of organized state-like groups with extensive trade networks into Central Europe.

The earliest preserved proto-Norse writings in the form of runestones appear around the 4th century. The most notable expansion of Scandinavian peoples occurred between the 9th and 11th centuries CE, which took place during the Viking era when ancient Norse peoples came to settle or raid parts of northern Western Europe and Eastern Europe. Notably, islands in the North Atlantic, like Iceland, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands, were discovered by ancient Norse settlers. Icelandic explorer Leif Erikson also found and established a short-lived settlement in Newfoundland.

Various kingdoms have established unions with one another throughout Scandinavia. The three Scandinavian kingdoms of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden were joined in 1387 as a result of the Kalmar Union under Queen Margaret I of Denmark. After the secession of Sweden from the Kalmar Union in 1397, the Scandinavian countries waged multiple wars against each other throughout the centuries. Control over the various nations changed hands many times and Sweden rose and fell as a Northern European power. Sweden had ruled Finland since the Second Swedish Crusade in the 13th century, and in 1809, they were forced to surrender the area to Russia after the Finnish War. After the Napoleonic Wars, Denmark and Norway’s union split, and Norway and Sweden formed a union until 1905. After World War II, Scandinavian countries along with Finland developed the Nordic model, which aims to combine an emphasis on public welfare with free-market capitalism.

Percentages of autosomal DNA that I still carry with me

The most up-to-date research into these ancient migrations on the European Continent suggests that there were three major groups of people that have had a lasting effect on present day peoples of European descent: Hunter-Gatherers, Early Farmers, and Metal Age Invaders.

Hunter-Gatherers, Early Farmers, and Metal Age Invaders.

The climate during the Pleistocene Epoch (2.6 mill – 11,700 YA) fluctuated between episodes of glaciation (or ice ages) and episodes of warming, during which glaciers would retreat. It is within this epoch that modern humans migrated into the European continent at around 45,000 years ago.

These Anatomically Modern Humans (AMH) were organized into bands whose subsistence strategy relied on gathering local resources as well as hunting large herd animals as they travelled along their migration routes. Thus these ancient peoples are referred to as Hunter-Gatherers. The timing of the AMH migration into Europe happens to correspond with a warming trend on the European continent, a time when glaciers retreated and large herd animals expanded into newly available grasslands.

Evidence of hunter-gatherer habitation has been found throughout the European continent from Spain at the La Brana cave to Loschbour, Luxembourg and Motala, Sweden. The individuals found at the Loschbour and Motala sites have mitochondrial U5 or U2 haplogroups, which is typical of Hunter-Gatherers in Europe and Y-chromosome haplogroup I. These findings suggest that these maternally and paternally inherited haplogroups, respectively, were present in the population before farming populations gained dominance in the area.

Based on the DNA evidence gathered from these three sites, scientists are able to identify surviving genetic similarities between current day Northern European populations and the first AMH Hunter-Gatherers in Europe. The signal of genetic sharing between present-day populations and early Hunter-Gatherers, however, begins to become fainter as one moves further south in Europe. The hunter-gatherer subsistence strategy dominated the landscape of the European continent for thousands of years until populations that relied on farming and animal husbandry migrated into the area during the middle to late Neolithic Era around 8,000–7,000 years ago.

The most up-to-date research into these ancient migrations on the European Continent suggests that there were three major groups of people that have had a lasting effect on present day peoples of European descent: Hunter-Gatherers, Early Farmers, and Metal Age Invaders.

Hunter-Gatherers, Early Farmers, and Metal Age Invaders.

Roughly 8,000–7,000 years ago, after the last glaciation period (Ice Age), modern human farming populations began migrating into the European continent from the Near East. This migration marked the beginning of the Neolithic Era in Europe. The Neolithic Era, or New Stone Age, is aptly named as it followed the Paleolithic Era, or Old Stone Age.

Tool makers during the Neolithic Era had improved on the rudimentary “standard” of tools found during the Paleolithic Era and were now creating specialized stone tools that even show evidence of having been polished and reworked. The Neolithic Era is unique in that it is the first era in which modern humans practiced a more sedentary lifestyle as their subsistence strategies relied more on stationary farming and pastoralism, further allowing for the emergence of artisan practices such as pottery making.

Farming communities are believed to have migrated into the European continent via routes along Anatolia, thereby following the temperate weather patterns of the Mediterranean. These farming groups are known to have populated areas that span from modern day Hungary, Germany, and west into Spain.
Remains of the unique pottery styles and burial practices from these farming communities are found within these regions and can be attributed, in part, to artisans from the Funnel Beaker and Linear Pottery cultures. Ötzi (the Tyrolean Iceman), the well-preserved natural mummy that was found in the Alps on the Italian/Austrian border and who lived around 3,300 BCE, is even thought to have belonged to a farming culture similar to these. However, there was not enough evidence found with him to accurately suggest to which culture he may have belonged.

Although farming populations were dispersed across the European continent, they all show clear evidence of close genetic relatedness. Evidence suggests that these farming peoples did not yet carry a tolerance for lactose in high frequencies (as the Yamnaya peoples of the later Bronze Age did); however, they did carry a salivary amylase gene, which may have allowed them to break down starches more efficiently than their hunter-gatherer forebears.
Further DNA analysis has found that the Y-chromosome haplogroup G2a and mitochondrial haplogroup N1a were frequently found within the European continent during the early Neolithic Era.

The most up-to-date research into these ancient migrations on the European Continent suggests that there were three major groups of people that have had a lasting effect on present day peoples of European descent: Hunter-Gatherers, Early Farmers, and Metal Age Invaders.

Hunter-Gatherers, Early Farmers, and Metal Age Invaders.

Following the Neolithic Era (New Stone Age), the Bronze Age (3,000–1,000 BCE) is defined by a further iteration in tool making technology. Improving on the stone tools from the Paleolithic and Neolithic Eras, tool makers of the early Bronze Age relied heavily on the use of copper tools, incorporating other metals such as bronze and tin later in the era. The third major wave of migration into the European continent is comprised of peoples from this Bronze Age; specifically, Nomadic herding cultures from the Eurasian steppes found north of the Black Sea. These migrants were closely related to the people of the Black Sea region known as the Yamnaya.

This migration of Bronze Age nomads into the temperate regions further west changed culture and life on the European continent in a multitude of ways. Not only did the people of the Yamnaya culture bring their domesticated horses, wheeled vehicles, and metal tools; they are also credited for delivering changes to the social and genetic makeup of the region. By 2,800 BCE, evidence of new Bronze Age cultures, such as the Bell Beaker and Corded Ware, were emerging throughout much of Western and Central Europe. In the East around the Urals, a group referred to as the Sintashta emerged, expanding east of the Caspian Sea bringing with them chariots and trained horses around 4,000 years ago.

These new cultures formed through admixture between the local European farming cultures and the newly arrived Yamnaya peoples. Research into the influence the Yamnaya culture had on the European continent has also challenged previously held linguistic theories of the origins of Indo-European language. Previous paradigms argued that the Indo-European languages originated from populations from Anatolia; however, present research into the Yamnaya cultures has caused a paradigm shift and linguists now claim the Indo-European languages are rooted with the Yamnaya peoples.

By the Bronze Age, the Y-chromosome haplogroup R1b was quickly gaining dominance in Western Europe (as we see today) with high frequencies of individuals belonging to the M269 subclade. Ancient DNA evidence supports the hypothesis that the R1b was introduced into mainland Europe by the Bronze Age invaders coming from the Black Sea region. Further DNA evidence suggests that a lactose tolerance originated from the Yamnaya or another closely tied steppe group. Current day populations in Northern Europe typically show a higher frequency of relatedness to Yamnaya populations, as well as earlier populations of Western European Hunter-Gatherer societies.

My Y-DNA

Out of Africa migration of my Haplogroup I-FGC15105

Out of Africa migration of my Haplogroup I-FGC15105

This is where my direct paternal haplogroup I-FGC151505 is most commonly found today.

This is where my direct paternal haplogroup I-FGC151505 is most commonly found today.

Y-DNA – Haplogroup Origins

The Y-DNA chromosome is passed on from father to son, remaining mostly unaltered from generation to generation, except for small trackable changes from time to time. By comparing these small differences in high-coverage test results, we can reconstruct a large Family Tree of Mankind where all Y chromosomes go back to a single common ancestor who lived hundreds of thousands of years ago.

  • My Y-DNA Terminal SNP is I-FGC15105, subgroup of I-FGC15109, which is a subgroup of haplogroup I-M223, which in itself is a subgroup of I-M170.

  • Age of I-FGC15105: ± 2800 years BCE.
    Region: Sardinia and Balkans; one of the first haplogroups in Europe along with haplogroup G.

Haplogroup I-FGC15105 represents a man who is estimated to have been born around 2.800 years ago, plus or minus 500 years. That corresponds to about 750 BCE with a 95% probability he was born between 1257 and 296 BCE.

I-FGC15105’s paternal lineage branched off from I-FGC15109 and the rest of mankind about 2.900 years ago, plus or minus 500 years. I-FGC15109 is the most recent common ancestor of at least 4 lineages known as I-BY18, I-BY3802 and I-FGC15105.

There are 116 DNA test-confirmed descendants, and they have specified that their direct paternal origins are from England, Ireland, Denmark, the United States, and 11 other countries.

Notable DNA connections

  • The notable DNA haplogroup connections are based on direct DNA testing or deduced from testing of relatives and should be considered as fun facts.
    Yes, Yes fun …, but remember DNA does not lie, DNA never lies, so they are real facts!

Francis Cooke (I-FGC57464) and me (I-FGC15105) share a common paternal line ancestor (I-FGC15105) who lived around 750 BCE (2.800 years ago).

Francis Cooke was born about 1583. His origins have not been discovered, but it is probable he was born in England, perhaps from the Canterbury or Norwich areas. He married Hester le Mahieu on 20 July 1603 in Leiden, Holland; she was a French Walloon whose parents had initially fled to Canterbury, England; she left for Leiden sometime before 1603. Francis Cooke and Hester le Mahieu’s marriage occurred in Leiden, Holland six years before the Pilgrim church made its move there, so he was living there long before their arrival and must have met up with and joined them afterwards.

What brought Francis to Holland in the first place is unknown: religious persecution of Protestants in England did not really begin until after King James took power in 1604. In 1606, the Cookes left Leiden and went to Norwich, co. Norfolk, for a time (for what reason is not known), but returned to have their first son, John, baptized at the French church in Leiden, sometime between January and March, 1607. In Holland, Cooke took up the profession of wool-comber.

Francis, and his oldest son John, came on the Mayflower to Plymouth in 1620. He left behind his wife Hester and his other children Jane, Jacob, Elizabeth and Hester. After the Colony was founded and better established, he sent for his wife and children, and they came to Plymouth in 1623 onboard the ship Anne.

Francis lived out his life in Plymouth. Although he kept a fairly low profile, he was on a number of minor committees such as the committee to lay out the highways, and received some minor appointments by the Court to survey land. He was a juror on a number of occasions, and was on the coroner’s jury that examined the body of Martha Bishop, the 4-year old daughter who was murdered by her mother Alice. He received some modest land grants at various times throughout his life.

According to Bradford, who wrote in 1651, “Francis Cooke is still living, a very old man, and hath seen his children’s children have children; after his wife came over, (with other of his children,) he hath 3 still living by her, all married, and have 5 children; so their increase is 8. And his son John, which came over with him, is married, and hath 4 children living.”

Cook died in 1663 and is buried on Burial Hill in Plymouth. His estate inventory contained sheep, sheep shears, and wool. His wife Hester survived him by at least three years and perhaps longer.

  • Information sourced from the Mayflower Project, WikiTree, and Wikipedia.

Bill Gates (I-BY189611) and me (I-FGC15105) share a common paternal line ancestor (I-FGC15071) who lived around 7700 BCE (9.700 years ago).

William Henry Gates III (born October 28, 1955) is an American business magnate, software developer, investor, author, and philanthropist. He is a co-founder of Microsoft, along with his late childhood friend Paul Allen.[ During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of chairman, chief executive officer (CEO), president and chief software architect, while also being the largest individual shareholder until May 2014. He was a major entrepreneur of the microcomputer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s.

Gates was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. In 1975, he and Allen founded Microsoft in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It became the world’s largest personal computer software company.Gates led the company as chairman and CEO until stepping down as CEO in January 2000, succeeded by Steve Ballmer, but he remained chairman of the board of directors and became chief software architect. During the late 1990s, he was criticized for his business tactics, which have been considered anti-competitive. This opinion has been upheld by numerous court rulings.

In June 2008, Gates transitioned to a part-time role at Microsoft and full-time work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the private charitable foundation he and his then-wife, Melinda Gates, established in 2000. He stepped down as chairman of the board of Microsoft in February 2014 and assumed a new post as technology adviser to support the newly appointed CEO Satya Nadella. In March 2020, Gates left his board positions at Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway to focus on his philanthropic efforts on climate change, global health and development, and education.

His detailed haplogroup was determined by Big Y testing of relatives in the Gates Surname Project.

  • Biographical information sourced from Wikipedia and genealogical information from WikiTree.

Maarten (Martin) Luther (I-FT80992) and me (I-FGC15105) share a common paternal line ancestor (I-L460) who lived around 19.000 BCE (21.000 years ago).

Reverend Martin Luther was born in Eisleben, Country of Mansfeld in the Holy Roman Empire. As a notable German theologian, priest, author, and hymn writer, Martin Luther was one of the most influential and important religious figures of his time.His contributions as a writer and teacher drove the separation of Western Christianity into Protestants and Catholics. One of his most famous works, The Ninety-five Theses (1517), argues against the “selling of indulgences” or the practice of paying the church in exchange for forgiveness of sins from God. This radical document lit the initial spark that lead to the Protestant Reformation.

With the invention of the printing press, Luther’s work become widely available and reached distant audiences. Luther was a major proponent of translating the Bible into the common vernacular of the time, as typically only priests could read the Latin written Bible. He worked on translating the Bible from Latin to German and published the New Testament translation in 1522 and the complete Luther Bible in 1534.

The founding of the Lutheran Church came to fruition with Luther’s break from Rome, which was produced under his sanction by Philipp Melanchthon in 1530.Luther continued as a teacher, preacher, and author as well as disputing religious and political authorities until his death in 1546.

  • Sourced from Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Britannica, WikiTree, Geni, and the Luther DNA Project.

Henry Samson (I-FTB708) and me (I-FGC15105) share a common paternal line ancestor (I-CTS616) who lived around 8200 BCE (10.000 years ago).

Henry Samson (1603-1685) was baptized in Henlow, Bedford, England in January 1604. Henry was probably a Separatist. He was found living in Leiden, Holland with his uncle, Edward Tilley, a weaver. Henry may have been an apprentice. He wasn’t an orphan, given that he was mentioned in his father’s 1638 will in England.

In Leiden in 1620, Henry boarded the Speedwell. Today, a statue marks the exact location on a canal.

The Speedwell was to meet the Mayflower in Southampton, England where both ships were supposed to continue on across the Atlantic. However, the Speedwell developed leaks, and all of the Pilgrims sailed on the cramped Mayflower.

Henry traveled as a member of the Edward Tilley family, but both Tilley and his wife died during the first winter. Samson, still in his teens, lived at one time in the households of both Edward Winslow and William Brewster, respectively.

As an adult, Henry became a surveyor and served as constable in Duxbury where he died in December of 1684.

  • Information sourced from WikiTree, Wikipedia, and the Mayflower DNA Project. Leiden photo courtesy of Roberta Estes.

Oliver Winchester (I-BY186305) and me (I-FGC15105) share a common paternal line ancestor (I-L460) who lived around 19.000 BCE (21.000 years ago).

Oliver Winchester was the Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut and the founder of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company.

In 1855, Winchester acquired a financially failing division of Smith & Wesson.

Winchester and a brilliant engineer were able to re-engineer the troubled firearm so that it could be used for his freshly re-designed cartridges. This improvement to the rifle plus new cartridges allowed Winchester’s company to come into prominence. The first Winchester rifle was dubbed the “Yellow Boy’ and was the Model 1866 rifle. Increasing popularity lead the rifle to gain the reputation as “the gun that won the West.”

Oliver Winchester also pursued politics and served as Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut from 1866 to 1867. After gus death in 1880, his son William Wirt Winchester inherited the rifle company and died shortly thereafter.

William’s widow was Sarah Winchester of the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (I-BY27818) and me (I-FGC15105) share a common paternal line ancestor (I-CTS616) who lived around 8200 BCE (10.000 years ago).

Ralph Waldo Emerson, poet, lecturer, philosopher, abolitionist, and prolific essayist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He was the son of Ruth Haskins and Rev. William Emerson, a Unitarian minister. Emerson, a Harvard Divinity School graduate, was an avid philosopher and immersed himself in topics surrounding individualism, nature, divinity, and culture. He held strong opinions on many concerns of the 19th century including the evils of slavery and widely shared his views in lectures and journals.

Emerson led the transcendentalist movement in the mid-19th century, considered radical at the time, whose core tenet was the goodness of people and nature. He believed that all things are connected to God, and therefore, all things are divine. Ralph’s ideas around self-reliance, stream of thought, and transparency are still very much in the spotlight today. Emerson is credited with the phrase, “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.”

Emerson died in 1882 and is buried in Concord, Massachusetts. The Legacy of Ralph Waldo Emerson lives on today. He is widely considered the most influential contributor of the 19th century, and a professorship is named in his honor at Harvard Divinity School, along with a building. Additionally, the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize is awarded annually to high school students for essays on historical topics.

  • Information sourced from WikiTree and Wikipedia

Myles Standish (I-FT276480) and me (I-FGC15105) share a common paternal line ancestor (I-P214) who lived around 15.000 BCE (17.000 years ago).

Myles Standish (c. 1584-1656) was an English military officer who was hired by the Separatists as a military adviser for the Plymouth Colony.

The Standish family lived in Chorley, Lancashire where the Standish Pew still stands in the St. Laurence Church. However, Myles was living with his wife in Leiden in 1620 where he may have been associated with the English dissenters who would become the Pilgrims.

Myles sailed on the Mayflower with the Pilgrims and took the first party ashore to find a suitable settlement location. He was installed as the Plymouth Colony militia commander shortly after arrival, a position he retained for life. Standish, with a fiery temper, was known for his preemptive military strikes, leading at least two brutal attacks against the Native Americans.

However, in 1621, Standish saved the colony from massacre with Native ally, Hobbamock who warned the colonists of an impending raid. Standish and Hobbamock instead led a strike against the Nemasket. In 1635, following a military blunder, he remained in an advisory capacity but was no longer an active commander.

In later years, Standish lived on a farm in Duxbury where he died in 1656. He was buried in the Duxbury Old Burying Ground, now known as the Myles Standish Cemetery.

  • Information sourced from WikiTree, Wikipedia, and the Mayflower DNA Project. Standish pew photo courtesy of Roberta Estes.

Davy Crockett (I-Y32632) and me (I-FGC15105) share a common paternal line ancestor (I-CTS616) who lived around 8200 BCE (10.000 years ago).

David “Davy” Crockett was an American folk hero, frontiersman, soldier, and politician. He is commonly called the “King of the Wild Frontier.” He represented Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives and served in the Texas Revolution.

After narrowly losing an election in 1835, he departed to Texas. In early 1836, he signed an oath to the Provisional Government of Texas for six months and volunteered to join the Texas Revolution. His first and last battle was the Battle of the Alamo.

He is quoted as having said, “I told the people of my district that I would serve them as faithfully as I had done; but if not, they might go to hell, and I would go to Texas.”

His haplogroup was discovered through Big Y testing of relatives in the Crockett Group Project.

  • Biographical information sourced from Wikipedia.

George Armstrong Custer (I-FTA17261) and me (I-FGC15105) share a common paternal line ancestor (I-CTS616) who lived around 8200 BCE (10.000 years ago).

George Armstrong Custer (December 5, 1839 – June 25, 1876) was a United States Army officer and cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the American Indian Wars.

Custer graduated from West Point in 1861 at the bottom of his class, but as the Civil War was just starting, trained officers were in immediate demand. He worked closely with General George B. McClellan and the future General Alfred Pleasonton, both of whom recognized his qualities as a cavalry leader, and he was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers at age 23. Only a few days after his promotion, he fought at the Battle of Gettysburg, where he commanded the Michigan Cavalry Brigade and despite being outnumbered, defeated J. E. B. Stuart’s attack at what is now known as the East Cavalry Field.

In 1864, he served in the Overland Campaign and in Philip Sheridan’s army in the Shenandoah Valley, defeating Jubal Early at Cedar Creek. His division blocked the Army of Northern Virginia’s final retreat and received the first flag of truce from the Confederates. He was present at Robert E. Lee’s surrender to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia.

After the war, he was commissioned as a lieutenant colonel in the Regular Army and was sent west to fight in the Indian Wars. On June 25, 1876, while leading the 7th Cavalry Regiment at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in Montana Territory against a coalition of Native American tribes, he was killed along with every soldier of the five companies he led after splitting the regiment into three battalions. This action became romanticized as “Custer’s Last Stand”.

His dramatic end was as controversial as the rest of his career, and reaction to his life and career remains deeply divided. His legend was partly of his own fabrication through his extensive journalism, and perhaps more through the energetic lobbying of his wife Elizabeth Bacon “Libbie” Custer throughout her long widowhood. Thomas Jefferson of dying on the anniversary of U.S independence. Historians have generally ranked him as an above-average president

  • Information sourced from Wikipedia, HistoryNet, Smithsonian Magazine, and Wikitree.

Chuck Norris (I-FGC17814) and me (I-FGC15105) share a common paternal line ancestor (I-CTS616) who lived around 8200 BCE (10.000 years ago).

Born in 1940, Carlos Ray “Chuck” Norris is an American martial artist and actor. He is a black belt in Tang Soo Do, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and judo. After serving in the United States Air Force, Norris began participating in martial arts competitions where he won several titles before creating his own martial art discipline, Chun Kuk Do.

Chuck started in Hollywood by training celebrities in martial arts and quickly found himself in a variety of movies and television series. He may be best known for his lead role in the CBS series Walker, Texas Ranger.

 

James Monroe (I-FT339764) and me (I-FGC15105) share a common paternal line ancestor (I-L460) who lived around 19.000 BCE (21.000 years ago).

James Monroe (April 28, 1758 – July 4, 1831) was an American statesman, lawyer, diplomat and Founding Father who served as the fifth president of the United States from 1817 to 1825. A member of the Democratic-Republican Party, Monroe was the last president of the Virginia dynasty and the Republican Generation; his presidency coincided with the Era of Good Feelings, concluding the First Party System era of American politics. He is perhaps best known for issuing the Monroe Doctrine, a policy of opposing European colonialism in the Americas while effectively asserting U.S. dominance, empire, and hegemony in the hemisphere. He also served as governor of Virginia, a member of the United States Senate, U.S. ambassador to France and Britain, the seventh Secretary of State, and the eighth Secretary of War.

Born into a slave-owning planter family in Westmoreland County, Virginia, Monroe served in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. After studying law under Thomas Jefferson from 1780 to 1783, he served as a delegate in the Continental Congress. As a delegate to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, Monroe opposed the ratification of the United States Constitution. In 1790, he won election to the Senate, where he became a leader of the Democratic-Republican Party. He left the Senate in 1794 to serve as President George Washington’s ambassador to France but was recalled by Washington in 1796. Monroe won the election as Governor of Virginia in 1799 and strongly supported Jefferson’s candidacy in the 1800 presidential election.

James Monroe went on to hold several positions including Governor of Virginia, Senator from Virginia, Secretary of State, Secretary of War, and US ambassador to the UK and France. In 1817, Monroe became the 5th US President.

  • Biographical information sourced from WikiTree and Wikipedia..

Clan Munro (I-Y12073) and me (I-FGC15105) share a common paternal line ancestor (I-L460) who lived around 19.000 BCE (21.000 years ago).

Clan Munro oral tradition says that clan founder Donald Munro came from the northern part of Ireland to the Highlands of Scotland. The first recorded Munro was Robert who died in 1369. This line was seated at Foulis Castle which was built in the 1100s.

The Munro DNA Project confirms various Munro lineages including that of Foulis Castle, seat of the Munro Clan, and also James Monroe, the 5th US President.

  • Information sourced from the Clan Munro Association and Wikipedia.

Print of Munro clansman by Robert Ronald McIan (1803-1856). – The Clans of the Scottish Highlands., Public Domain

Clan Lindsay (I-FT11343) and me (I-FGC15105) share a common paternal line ancestor (I-L460) who lived around 19.000 BCE (21.000 years ago).

The Clan Lindsay, a Lowland Scottish clan, descends from Walter Lindsay of Lincoln who accompanied David of Huntingdon from England to Scotland before 1116 according to the Lindsay One-Name Study.

The Lindsays were found in both England and Scotland with Sir Baldric de Lindsay of Hemingby recorded as holding estates in Lindsey in the Domesday Book in 1086.

Clan Lindsay descendants are scattered around the world today and can be viewed in the Lindsay DNA Project.

  • Information sourced from the Lindsay One-Name Study coordinated by Lindsay International and Wikipedia.

Albert Perry (A-L1100) and me (I-FGC15105) share a common paternal line ancestor (A-PR2921) who lived around 232.000 BCE (234.000 years ago).

Albert Perry was born into slavery in South Carolina sometime around 1820. In 2012, one of his great-grandsons took a Y-DNA test, which led to the discovery of the most divergent Y-DNA lineage known today, haplogroup A00. This lineage would later be traced to Cameroon.

On the “Paternal Ancestor” you can see a photo of Albert’s son, Clyde Perry, born in 1867, grandfather of the first A00 test.

The Perry family in the USA and the distant cousins in Cameroon all descend from a single ancestor who lived just over 1,000 years ago, but they are the most distant paternal line relatives of almost everyone in the world today.

Ancient DNA connections

  • Here are some very ancient relatives with an age from around 3.500 BCE, who share a common paternal ancestor with me some 7.700 years BC.
    They were found in the regions now known as Argyll and Bute, Scotland – Soroba, Scotland – Poulnabrone, Clare, Ireland – Primrose Grange, Ireland – Cardiff, Wales, England – Annagh, Limerick, Ireland – Tipperary, Ireland.
    These connections are based on DNA testing of archaeological remains from all around the world.
Gen Scot 26Poulnabrone 4Primrose10Tinkinswood 5359Raschoille 1Annagh 2Ashleypark 1Raschoille 3134Primrose16

My upstream I-M223 SNP (subgroup of I-M170)

  • Age: 17.400 BCE
    Region: Western Asia to Western Europe; very low frequency in the Middle East. Along with G one of the first haplogroups in Europe.
  • Note: On the 29th June 2018, the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) updated the Haplogroup I Tree to accommodate new branches and I-M223 has been given a new longhand classification of I2a1b1. Previous names were I2a2a, I2b1 and I1c, so please be careful as earlier reference material may refer to I-M223 or sub-clades under one of these previous longhand classifications. I-P222 is a sub-branch of I-M223 and is the parent branch of all sub-branches and clades in this Project. The I-P222 branch node has a further 55 SNPs. Sequencing ancient Y-DNA found at least two ancient male remains that were I-M223 but of a different sub-branch named I-FT355000. This is why I-M223 branch was split into the two sub-branches.

I-M223 is the shorthand form of the Y-DNA Haplogroup I branch and can also be shown as I2-M223. The M223 refers to the SNP at Hg38 location 19555421 on the Y-Chromosome with mutation G to A.

This mutation occurred in a man, approximately 17,400 years ago and M223 is one of 23 SNPs found derived (+) at the I-M223 node. We do not know which of the 23 SNPs mutated first and which was last. All men that are derived for M223 share a common ancestor that lived at least 13,200 to 10,800 years ago. It has now been confirmed by ancient DNA test that the first Homo sapiens to colonize Europe during the Aurignacian period (45,000 to 28,000 years ago), belonged to haplogroups CT, C1a, C1b, F and haplogroup I (to which my M223 belongs).

Haplogroup Y-M223 (formerly I2a2a) has a peak in Germany and another in the northeast of Sweden, but also appears in Romania/Moldova, Russia, Greece, Italy and around the Black Sea. Haplogroup I-M223 has been found in over 4% of the population only in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Scotland, and England (excluding Cornwall) – also the southern tips of Sweden and Norway in Northwest Europe; the provinces of Normandy, Maine, Anjou, and Perche in northwestern France; the province of Provence in southeastern France; the regions of Tuscany, Umbria, and Latium in Italy; Moldavia and the area around Russia’s Ryazan Oblast and Mordovia in Eastern Europe. Of historical note, both haplogroups I-M253 and I-M223 appear at a low frequency in the historical regions of Bithynia and Galatia in Turkey. Haplogroup I-M223 also occurs among approximately 1% of Sardinians.

Haplogroup I-M223 variants:
M223, CTS10093, CTS10125, CTS10262, CTS11545, CTS12861, CTS2312, CTS5015, CTS7032, CTS7172, CTS7865, CTS9266, FGC3540, GC3554,FGC3563, L34, L36, P219, P223, S2363, S2472, Z26370, Z77.

There was a first man to be M223.
He lived in Europe—probably. He lived 14,000 to 18,000 years ago—probably. We will never really know, because the only people we can test are his sons’ sons’ sons’ … sons’ sons who are alive today, including you. His father was not I-M223. Neither were his brothers. They were I-M170. One of his father’s sperm had a Y-chromosome that had mutated, creating a slightly different order of base pairs. That sperm fertilized his mother’s egg at his conception and the I-M223 “family” was created in that moment.

The only reason this “type” (I-M223) shows up among the noise of history is because his male line survived. The first I-M223 had sons. If they had been named Rubble and kept his surname, they all would have been Rubbles. All of their sons were I-M223, and would have been Rubbles. My paternal cousins (people you can trace to with only this male line) were probably among the first (re)settlers of Britain, Ireland, and Scandinavia as the ice sheets receded. The “surname” stayed with them. Sometimes it grew in population in a particular area when a man had a lot of sons; sometimes it died out in a particular area when all the men with the “surname” had no sons.

Locations of “Rubble” - people with haplogroup I-M223 in their DNA

Locations of “Rubble” – people with haplogroup I-M223 in their DNA

My upstream I-M170 SNP

  • Age: 25,000 BCE
  • Region: Middle East and/or Europe

Y-DNA Haplogroup I-M170 is a component of the European Y-chromosome gene pool, accounting, on average, for 18% of the total paternal lineages. Its virtual absence elsewhere, including the Near East, suggests that it arose in Europe, likely before the Last Glacial Maximum. Haplogroup I-M170 is predominantly a European haplogroup and it is considered as the only native European Haplogroup. It can be found in the majority of present-day European populations with peaks in Northern and South-Eastern Europe.

Available evidence suggests that I-M170 was preceded into areas in which it would later become dominant by haplogroups K2a (K-M2308) and C1 (Haplogroup C-F3393). K2a and C1 have been found in the oldest sequenced male remains from Western Eurasia (dating from circa 45,000 to 35,000 years BP), such as: Ust’-Ishim man (modern west Siberia) K2a*, Oase 1 (Romania) K2a*, Kostenki 14 (south west Russia) C1b, and Goyet Q116-1 (Belgium) C1a. The oldest I-M170 found is that of an individual known as Krems WA3 (lower Austria), dating from circa 33,000-24,000 BP. At the same site, two twin boys were also found, both were assigned to haplogroup I*.

Haplogroup IJ was in the Middle East and/or Europe about 40,000 years ago.The TMRCA (time to most recent common ancestor) for I-M170 was estimated to be 22,200 years ago, with a confidence interval between 15,300–30,000 years ago. This would make the founding event of I-M170 approximately contemporaneous with the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), which lasted from 26,500 years ago until approximately 19,500 years ago. TMRCA is an estimate of the time of subclade divergence.

My downstream SNP’s

  • Downstream SNP’s from I-FGC15105
    I-BY18, I-BY3802
    Downstream SNP’s from I-BY18
    I-Y4725, I-YB4761, I-YB4760
    Downstream SNP’s from I-Y4725
    I-BZ2610, I-FT225874
    I-Y4715, I-Y4714, I-BY65093

“Downstream SNP” i.e. approaching the modern era, say within the last 500-1500 years. There is a good chance that I follow this line of descent and end up on the same downstream branch.

The age of my Y-DNA haplogroup I-FGC15105 and its upstream SNP's, according to Y-Full NextGen Sequence Interpretation.

The age of my Y-DNA haplogroup I-FGC15105 and its upstream SNP’s, according to Y-Full NextGen Sequence Interpretation.

SNP tracker view of my Y DNA path to I-FGC15105

  1. Specific Y-DNA indicators are the short tandem repeats (STR) marker which are useful to find genealogical matches within the past 500 years or so, depending on mutations. The more precise indicators are called single-nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs, which may reach much further back in time. Rob Spencer, though his Scaled Innovations website, has created a “SNP Tracker” which indicates the migration paths of the people carrying specific SNPs.
SNP tracker, World view, with my Y DNA path to I-FGC15105. Map locations are intended to show where a given SNP mutation occurred, not where a haplogroup may be most prevalent today

SNP tracker, World view, with my Y DNA path to I-FGC15105.

SNP tracker, enlarged European view, with my Y DNA path to I-FGC15105. Map locations are intended to show where a given SNP mutation occurred, not where a haplogroup may be most prevalent today

SNP tracker, enlarged European view, with my Y DNA path to I-FGC15105.

SNP tracker, enlarged European view, with my Y DNA path to I-FGC15105 an its Downstream SNP's.

SNP tracker, enlarged European view, with my Y DNA path to I-FGC15105 an its Downstream SNP’s.

I-FGC15105 interesting data

I-FGC15105 Westward migration, SNP Tracker Data.

I-FGC15105 Westward migration, SNP Tracker Data.

Like North America, the population of Western Europe has been shaped by migration from the east — but multiple times and thousands of years earlier. This chart shows longitude vs time to help visualize these migrations. The meaning of the colors and thick solid/dashed lines are shown in the inset, and the thin horizontal dotted lines show south-to-north lines at notable longitudes.

Note that haplogroup I precedes nearly all of the others; it can be found in the west during the Paleolithic, staying south of the glaciers of the last Ice Age

 I-FGC15105 Speed of Migration, SNP Tracker Data.

I-FGC15105 Speed of Migration, SNP Tracker Data.

Since we have dates and locations for the SNP dots on the map, we can calculate the average speed of migrations. All of the usual caveats about accuracy apply, especially for anything in the last 2000 years, but the older speeds should be reasonably accurate. Note the log time scale so that you can see the whole path.

Most paths are boring: Haplogroup Q for example trudges from Africa and back to Sweden or Pakistan at a leisurely average of about 0.2 kilometers per year. Haplogroup I moves west across Europe, south of the glaciers, at the same pace. Of course no one should think of constant migration: groups probably settled down for centuries and only moved on when hunting, grazing, competition, or other forces made them move.

It is interesting to see that the migration speed of nomadic cultures with horses and carts shows up to be much faster. Look at any R1b subclade (= Halogroup subgroup) and note the speed between SNPs R-L23 to R-P312, averaging about 2 km/year up the Danube valley — ten times faster than the pace of Paleolithic tribes on foot.

I-FGC15105 Ancient DNA Samples, SNP Tracker Data.

I-FGC15105 Ancient DNA Samples, SNP Tracker Data.

This diagram shows all of the samples with ancient DNA in this lineage. Each ancient sample is represented by two dots connected by a line: the upper dot shows the formation date of the SNP, and the lower dot shows the date (usually radiocarbon date) of a skeleton with that SNP. If the person lived at the time when the SNP first appeared, the line will be vertical and the site may be close to where the SNP arose. But highly tilted lines indicate sites where the people lived far after the SNP arose — these can be thousands of years and thousands of kilometers from the SNP origin.

In many cases of European ancestry, the only era with ancient sites near to SNP origins is the late Neolithic to early Bronze Age, shown by a high density of near-vertical lines.

I-FGC15105 SNP Path and its downstream SNP's, ages and relations to Countries

I-FGC15105 SNP Path and its downstream SNP’s, ages and relations to Countries, SNP Tracker Data.

For SNPs in a path:

  • The number of descendants counts men who have done Y DNA testing with FTDNA.
  • The skull symbol indicates ancient DNA samples with this last known SNP.
  • The anchor symbol indicates a SNP with location established by the archeaology literature, not dependent on user-reported ancestry. SNPs between anchor points are interpolated assuming a constant rate of travel.
  • The six most prevalent countries are shown in each row for SNPs after the last anchored SNP. A weighted average of these countries determines the SNP dot location on the map.

The legend right of the main table identifies country icons, and its bar graph shows contribution to locations, weighted by time (most recent with greatest weight). All dates are shown to only two significant figures; the statistical uncertainty of SNP counting does not merit any greater precision.

The Y chromosome, like the patrilineal surname, passes down virtually unchanged from father to son. Every now and then occasional mistakes in the copying process occur, and these mutations can be used to estimate the time frame in which the two individuals share a most recent common ancestor or MRCA. STR or Short Tandem Repeat testing is useful for comparing the relationships between individuals in a genealogically relevant timeframe.

STR give you a Genetic Distance, which is the number of differences, or mutations, between two sets of results. A genetic distance of zero means there are no differences in the results being compared against one another, i.e., an exact match. This is the meaning when comparing Y-chromosome DNA or mitochondrial DNA.

Y-DNA I-FGC15105 matches

Y-DNA I-FGC15105 matches

Y-DNA lineage of I-FGC15105

Y-DNA lineage of I-FGC15105

To qualify as a SNP, the variant must be present in at least 1% of the population.

SNP variants of I-FGC15105

SNP variants of I-FGC15105

  • Big Y Block Tree

The Big Y Block Tree is a vertical-block diagram of the Y-DNA Haplotree showing the relationships between me and other Big Y testers. This tool helps to visualize how my paternal lineages adm my matches are related to each other. You will also be able to see your matches’ branches and discover which and Paternal Countries of Origin have been reported for your branch and others.

Please note that Big Y test is an exploratory test that is constantly discovering previously unknown SNPs. As new SNPs are discovered and added to the Y-DNA haplotree, this will alter the structure of the branches, and potentially move your branch further downstream. In addition, as more people test, it can help to refine SNPs currently thought to be equivalent to build an ever-increasingly accurate SNP lineage.

At the bottom of the above screen it shows that I am sharing branch Y-FGC15105 with one person from Germany.

On the Big Y Block Tree, you will see blocks labeled Private Variants. Private Variants are one of the following;

  • mutations that are not named nor are shared between any branch members.
  • mutations that have not yet been validated and placed on the Haplotree.

It is important to note that Private Variants are filtered to only include SNP calls from regions of the Y chromosome that can be reliably mapped with NGS technology.

You will notice in my branch on the right of the Block Tree (green part) that it says there is an average of 34 private variants between the two men in that branch. They are considered to be a match because matches at FTDNA only include people who have no more than 30 total SNP differences which include private variants and named SNPs

  • Calculating SNP Dates and TMRC

Using the Bottoms Up Approach; I have 34 Private Variants. Each Private variant has an average age of 144 years, that makes 34 x 144 = 4896 years CE.

This means that my Haplogroup Y-FGC151095 formed around 4896 years ago, 2896 years BCE.

Calculating SNP Dates and TMRC

Calculating SNP Dates and TMRC

How much of this is random?

Well, areas populated predominantly with this lineage do seem to be associated with Germanic languages—not because the first I-M223 man spoke a Germanic language (he most definitely did not), but because by about 1000 BCE many proto-Germanic groups had large numbers of I-M223 men—like the areas in northern Sweden and the centre of Germany that are dark blue in the modern map. The regional concentrations may be due to particular “branches of the Rubble family” that became dominant patrilineal clans in various Germanic tribes.

It is, in one way, very much like a surname—just a name. BUT a name with a lot more history.

My mtDNA

Out of Africa, my maternal mtDNA H1c1 migration route

My maternal mtDNA H1C1 migration route

mtDNA – Haplogroups Origins

  • My mtDNA is H1c1 which is a subgroup of haplogroup H.
  • YFull modified the subclade to H1c1k because of the mutation C7468T in the uploaded FASTA file.

YFull is a DNA analysis service that allows customers to analyze raw data files (BAM, FASTA and CRAM) obtained from next-generation sequencing (NGS). It aims to study the origin in the direct paternal line (Y DNA or Y chromosome) and the direct maternal line (Mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA).

Mitochondrial haplogroup H is a predominantly European haplogroup that originated outside of Europe before the last glacial maximum (LGM). It first expanded in the northern Near East and the southern Caucasus between 33,000 and 26,000 years ago, and later migrations from Iberia suggest it reached Europe before the LGM. It has also spread to Siberia and Inner Asia. Today, about 40% of all mitochondrial lineages in Europe are classified as haplogroup H.

Variants of H1C1: A9150G, T16263C

  • Haplogroup group H1
    H1 encompasses an important fraction of Western European mtDNA lineages, reaching its local peak among contemporary Basques (27.8%). The clade also occurs at high frequencies elsewhere in the Iberian Peninsula, as well as in the Maghreb(Tamazgha). The haplogroup frequency is above 10% in many other parts of Europe (France, Sardinia, parts of the British Isles, Alps, large portions of Eastern Europe), and surpasses 5% in nearly all of the continent. Its H1b subclade is most common in eastern Europe and NW Siberia.
    Geographic distribution of haplogroup H1
    Haplogroup H is the most common and most diverse maternal lineage in Europe, in most of the Near East and in the Caucasus region. The Saami of Lapland are the only ethnic group in Europe who have low percentages of haplogroup H, varying from 0% to 7%. The frequency of haplogroup H in Europe usually ranges between 40% and 50%. The lowest frequencies are observed in Cyprus (31%), Finland (36%), Iceland (38%) as well as Belarus, Ukraine, Romania and Hungary (all 39%). The only region where H exceeds 50% of the population are Asturias (54%) and Galicia (58%) in northern Spain, and Wales (60%).
  • Haplogroup H1c1
    The woman who founded this line lived between 1.900 and 5.100 years ago. The branch was born in Northern Europe. Over time, groups containing women from this line have spread across Europe and are present in much of it at low frequencies of around 1% or less. Today this line is most common in Norway, where it is about 2% of material lineage
  • Haplogroup H1c1k
    Formed 1400 YBP and TMRCA is 800 YBP.
    The majority of my mtDNA matches (H1c1 and H1c1k) are from England / Ireland (including emigrants to America), Denmark and Southern Scandinavia.

H1c1 extra mutations

H1c1 extra mutations

H1c1k formed 1400 YBP, TMRCA 800 YBP

H1c1k formed 1400 YBP, TMRCA 800 YBP

Haplogroup H and its subgroups, H1 arose around 22,500 years ago.

Haplogroup H and its subgroups, H1 arose around 22,500 years ago.

The age of my mtDNA haplogroup H1C1k and its upstream SNP's, according to Y-Full NextGen Sequence Interpretation.

The age of my mtDNA haplogroup H1C1k and its upstream SNP’s, according to Y-Full NextGen Sequence Interpretation.

mt-DNA H1c1 and its SNP Path, ages and relations to Countries, SNP Tracker Data

mt-DNA H1c1 and its SNP Path, ages and relations to Countries, SNP Tracker Data

For SNPs in a path:

  • The number of descendants counts women who have done mt-DNA testing with FTDNA.
  • The skull symbol indicates ancient DNA samples with this last known SNP.
  • The anchor symbol indicates a SNP with location established by the archeaology literature, not dependent on user-reported ancestry. SNPs between anchor points are interpolated assuming a constant rate of travel.
  • The six most prevalent countries are shown in each row for SNPs after the last anchored SNP. A weighted average of these countries determines the SNP dot location on the map.

The legend right of the main table identifies country icons, and its bar graph shows contribution to locations, weighted by time (most recent with greatest weight). All dates are shown to only two significant figures; the statistical uncertainty of SNP counting does not merit any greater precision.

SNP tracker, my maternal mtDNA pathway to H1c1

  1. Specific Y-DNA indicators are the short tandem repeats (STR) marker which are useful to find genealogical matches within the past 500 years or so, depending on mutations. The more precise indicators are called single-nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs, which may reach much further back in time. Rob Spencer, though his Scaled Innovations website, has created a “SNP Tracker” which indicates the migration paths of the people carrying specific SNPs.
SNP tracker, my maternal mtDNA pathway to H1c1. Map locations are intended to show where a particular SNP mutation occurred, not where a haplogroup is most prevalent today.

Map locations are intended to show where a particular SNP mutation occurred, not where a haplogroup is most prevalent today.

Hypervariable Region (HVR)

A hypervariable region (HVR) is a location within nuclear DNA or the D-loop of mitochondrial DNA in which base pairs of nucleotides repeat (in the case of nuclear DNA) or have substitutions (in the case of mitochondrial DNA).

There are two mitochondrial hypervariable regions used in testing human mitochondrial genealogical DNA.

  1. HVR1 is considered a “low resolution” region.
  2. HVR2 is considered a “high resolution” region.

Obtaining HVR1 and HVR2 DNA tests can help determine a person’s haplogroup. In the revised Cambridge Reference Sequence of the human mitogenome, the most variable sites of HVR1 are numbered 16024 – 16383 (this subsequence is termed HVR-I), and the most variable sites of HVR2 are numbered 57-372 (ie, HVR-II). ) and 438-574 (i.e. HVR-III).

* HVR Differences:
HVR1 = A16129G,T16187C,C16189T,T16223C,G16230A,T16263C,T16278C,C16311T
HVR2 = G73A,C146T,C152T,C195T,A247G,315.1C,T477C,522.1A,522.2C

* Additional mutations:
315.1C,522.1A,522.2C,C7468T

* Differences in encoding regions:
A769G, A825t, A1018G, G2706A, A2758G, C2885T, G3010A, T3594C, G4104A, T4312C, T7028C, G7146A, T7256C, C7468T, A7521G, T8468C, T8655C, G8701A, C9510889150G, C9510889150G117 , G13105A, G13276A, T13506C, T13650C, T14766C

 The closeness of a mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) match depends on the matching level. Matches at higher levels are more likely to be recent. The map shows the expected time to a common ancestor with my exact matches.

The closeness of a mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) match depends on the matching level. Matches at higher levels are more likely to be recent. The map shows the expected time to a common ancestor with my exact matches.

MARS

My DNA “Out of Africa” migration story ends here, with the landing of the Perseverance on Mars.

Perseverance, nicknamed Percy, is a car-sized Mars rover designed to explore the Jezero crater on Mars as part of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission. It was manufactured by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and launched on 30 July 2020, at 11:50 UTC.

The rover’s goals include identifying ancient Martian environments capable of supporting life, seeking out evidence of former microbial life existing in those environments, collecting rock and soil samples to store on the Martian surface, and testing oxygen production from the Martian atmosphere to prepare for future crewed missions.

In 2019 Nasa announced that it was accepting applications for wannabe space explorers who wish to fire their names to the Red Planet. More than 1.2 million names were submitted on the NASA web site over a one year period!

Some 20,000 visitors to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida, wrote their names on pages that were scanned and reproduced at microscopic scale onto two chips the size of a dime.

Engineers etched the names onto a silicon wafer or microchip. They used an electron beam “E-beam” machine at JPL that specializes in etching very tiny features (less than 1 micron, or less than the width of a human hair!).

On February 18 (12.55pm PT/3.55pm ET/8.55pm GMT) 2021
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover landed on the red planet’s Jezero Crater,
carrying a tiny silicon chip engraved with 11 million names, including MY NAME!

The 'Send Your Name' placard attached to Perseverance, which touched down on Mars on February 18. Three silicon chips (upper left corner) were stencilled with 10,932,295 names.

The ‘Send Your Name’ placard attached to Perseverance, which touched down on Mars on February 18. Three silicon chips (upper left corner) were stencilled with 10,932,295 names.

My NASA ticket to Mars

My NASA ticket to Mars

NASA's Mars Perseverance Rover, the Mars Helicopter Ingenuity, my Mars ticket and me.

NASA’s Mars Perseverance Rover, the Mars Helicopter Ingenuity, my Mars ticket and me.

The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood,
the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars.
We are made of starstuff.

– Carl Sagan –