MG’s Paper Researching Distant Ancestors in the Line of Paternal Descendancy

The following paper was prepared by a distant cousin (MG) who corresponds with me on y-DNA studies and is printed with his permission. The paper summarizes the current findings of DNA research as they relate to our branch of the human “family tree”. I will make reference to this paper in further posts on this website on this subject.

Ancestral DNA project

 I am participating in a DNA Ancestry project to trace & search my genetic genealogy with three Labs, one Canadian, a British and a US Lab for deep SNP testing, which specializes in DNA testing.

I have originally purchased kits for testing: one for paternal & the other for maternal origin testing. My ancestral DNA CDN provider was offering DNA general services including ancestral DNA. However, they do not offer any analysis/reports of your results. The same issue exist for other Labs. No analysis. They are all interested in doing the tests and, I suspect, it is to make a profit.

The British Lab did provide a narrative but it was so generic in nature, covering 4 UK countries only that it was totally useless for me has my roots are from Normandy. Some Labs go as far as, not posting the results at the public website, to prevent you from comparing your results to the database. This is done, I surmise, in order to entice you in ordering more tests. Now I concentrate on Y-DNA only with my latest request.

There are 3 DNA inheritance patterns:

1-Autosomal (autosome)

2-Y-DNA (male) and

3- mtDNA (female).

Not all DNA providers test for these or if they do, they charge separately. Some offer combinations. The testing for # of markers varies from Lab to Lab and so do the prices.

Using the original literature from my CDN DNA provider, it states that Y-DNA (58 Million pairs) is inherited along the paternal line (from father to son). Ancestral markers (mutation) can be found throughout the entire Y-DNA.

There are two types of ancestral markers:

1- Short Tandem Repeat (STR) and

2- Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) (pronounced snip).

STR markers have rapid mutation rate (changes occur every few generations) compared to SNPs, which have a much slower mutation rate (changes occur every few hundred years or more).

These two types of markers allow scientists to trace recent ancestry (from a few generations ago) by testing STRs, and to trace deep ancestry (from thousands of years ago) by testing SNPs.

The paternal side STR DNA markers are concentrated in the Y chromosome (inherited from father to son) contains 58 million pair bits of info, each of which is encoded by a base pair.

Geneticists have identified specific chromosome locations that can be used for testing and comparison. These unique locations are called markers and when they occur on the Y chromosome they are given the names starting with DYS.

At some Y chromosome locations, there are segments of base pairs that are repeated in the DNA. Markers with these types of repetitions are called STR markers and are subject to rapid mutation. Example at the DYS391 location markers, TCTA (DNA chemicals A,T,C,G) is repeated 10 times. The # of repeats is the value that is shown on the Y-DNA test reports for the markers. Some markers are duplicate markers since they have two values Ex: DYS385a and DSY385b.  Others have more DYD464 has 5.

The next set is the SNP markers which has a much lower mutation rate (changes occur every few 100 yrs). The SNP markers are single changes in precise points of the DNA. Once a mutation occurs, it acts as an ancestral time date marker and all further generations will always carry that marker. Each SNP mutation that we carry allows us to trace our ancestry to a specific time and place in history.

The mtDNA markers are inherited along the maternal line (mother to child but it is retained and past along if it is daughter). From mother >daughter>daughter and so on. The mtDNA is divided into 3 regions. They are the coding region (00577-16023) and two hyper-variable regions HVR1 (16204-16569) and HVR2 (00001-00576).The entire mtDNA is 16,659 pairs (nucleotides) in length (1 to 16,569 base pairs). The mtDNA SNPs total approximately 3,000.

If you decide to request testing kits, request the highest # of paternal markers at the same time and the SNP tests. For the maternal tests, do the mtDNA (HVR-1 and HVR-2) first because that would be different to mine (different mothers). You then could consider later the SNP mtDNA test later.

My personal ancestral DNA

A Haplogroup (HP) defines where you fit in the Human genome tree. Letters and numbers are use to differentiate people. It also helps with understanding the population movement (migration) throughout the various regions of the world taken by our ancestors. It is a different route for males and females. If you test positive at specific SNP markers, you are in Y-HP I* or mtDNA-H*.

My original predicted Y-DNA Haplogroup was the Y-HP-“I1a” using my DYS455=8. The Haplogroup “I” is a branch which descended from Haplogroup “F” ancestors. Individuals belonging to the Haplogroup “I” carry the M89+ and the M213+ SNP markers of Haplogroup “F” and are further characterized by additional markers in the Y-DNA called M170+, M168+, M258+, M253+. The presence of the M170+ marker is unique to all individuals who descended from this line HP “I”. Now, with more SNPs testing done in 2015, I am no longer “I1a” but rather I-M253+,I-M253* and I-Z132+.

The founder of Haplogroup “I” lived approx. 15,000-20,000 years ago possibly in the Balkans (ancient Greece) during the last Glacial Maximum. He is a direct descendent of Haplogroup “F” ancestors who journeyed from the Middle East into the Balkans.

Today, the highest frequencies of Haplogroup “I” is found in the Balkans near the Dinaric Mountain chain in Croatia. Haplogroup “I” is strongly associated with Croat population namely Slavic people living in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and other nearby countries.

As the ice sheets retreated at the end of the Ice Age, these ancestors continued their journey northward Europe, in particular Scandinavia (a region in Northern Europe named after Scandinavian Peninsula). Today, a large portion of Scandinavian populations in the Adriatic regions, including Denmark, mainland Norway, Sweden and Finland trace their ancestry to this line. The Vikings are likely descendents from this line. The detection of low frequencies of this Haplogroup on the British Isles, France and some Celtic populations may be the results of more recent Vikings raids in these regions.

The association between Haplogroup “I” and Celtic culture is consistent with the parallels seen between the observed spread oh Haplogroup “I” in Western Europe and the corresponding Celtic expansion that occurred in the mid-first millennium BC. HP “I1” is estimated (in 2013) to be 4,000 to 5,000 years old. Now in 2015, it could be 8,000 to 10,000 years old.

Sub-types/clades of Haplogroup “I” include:

  • I 1 a – found at highest frequencies in Scandinavia, Iceland, and northwest Europe.
  • I 1 b – highly concentrated in Greece and other areas of Southern Europe.
  • I 1 c
  • I 2

Despite its apparent designation as “I “, subgroup”I”1a – with its “I”1b, 1c neighbours – have been shown to be of non-Scandinavian origin. Its roots have been traced to as recently as the past 1,000 years, and are thought to be linked to Anglo-Saxon migrations from southern into northern Europe. The group’s modern-day seat is in central Europe. See

“I”1a: The Haplogroup “I”1a lineage likely has its roots in northern France. Today it is found most frequently within Viking / Scandinavian populations in northwest Europe and has since spread down into Central and Eastern Europe, where it is found at low frequencies. See

I tested my personal Y-DNA markers at various sites including my DNA service provider and found no real comparison. Maybe there is no comparison available in North America as my ancestor originated, in 1643, from Dieppe, Normandie, France.

Those markers confirmed that my ancestors were part of the Haplogroup “I” (HG I) which was founded possibly in the Balkans (ancient Greece) 15,000-20,000 years ago during the last Glacial Maximum.

My paternal main Haplogroup is Y“I-M253+.

The HP I-M253+ had two branches until recently. The SNP markers represented by DF29+ (HP I1a) >Z58+ (HP I1a2), Z131+ (HP I1b) and S438+ (HP I2). With my results, there is a new separate branch I-Z132+. The branch Z132+ is estimated to be 8,000 to 10,000 years old.

The geographic location may be Northern France in the caves (some 36,000 years old) near Dieppe, Normandy, unless deep SNP ancestry tests reveals an older location, the ethnic group has not been determined yet.

The mtDNA is inherited along the maternal line (mother to child) and hold the key to the mysteries of our maternal ancestry. If the mtDNA is passed on to a son, it will end there. If it is passed on to a daughter, then the daughter-daughter will transfer it to the next generation.

My mtDNA SNP results states that my ancestral maternal ancestors were part of HG “mtDNA H”. However, the HG “H” has 90 subgroups many in EU. The British Lab labelled mine as mtDNA-Pioneer H86 based on one additional SNP marker they found T1809C. No explanation given for Pioneer. The CDN Lab prediction is incorrect at mtDNA H26.

In my research, I found an article that associated the migration of Y I-M253+ with the migration of mtDNA H. In other words, the wives traveled with their men on their voyage.

Therefore, all male “G” should share the same STR and SNP Y-DNA markers unless there is a substitution, an insertion or mutation.

With respect to the mtDNA markers, the outcome is totally different for all of you. My own mtDNA would be that of my mother’s, my maternal grand-mother and g-grand-mother.

Your mtDNA would be that of your mother, maternal grand-mother and so on.

My autosomal results indicate that my ancestry is 83% EU & West Eurasian, 7% South-West Asia, 4% South Asia, 3% North Asia and 1% Native American. Ancestry components below 1-3% are potentially not informative

For further information, MG suggests the websites http://www.dnalc.org/view/16091-Mitochondrial-genome.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-nucleotide_polymorphism . Another approach would is to suggest that people enter in Google the various terms used: DNA chemicals A T C G, DNA acronyms, Human Mitochondrial Genome and Single-nucleotide Polymorphism. See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA . If you have some DYS and SNPs results, you could search for Y-I-M253, DYS455=8, or for mtDNA 16519. Insertion, substitution, mutation.


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