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How Rare Am I? Genographic Project Results Demonstrate Our Extended Family Tree

Most participants of National Geographic’s Genographic Project can recite their haplogroup as readily as their mother’s maiden name. Yet outside consumer genetics, the word haplogroup is still unknown. Your haplogroup, or genetic branch of the human family tree, tells you about your deep ancestry—often thousands of years ago—and shows you the possible paths of migration taken by these ancient ancestors.  Your haplogroup also places you within a community of relatives, some distant, with whom you unmistakably share an ancestor way back when.

DNA Molecule
DNA Molecule

Haplogroup H1, Genographic’s most common lineage.

Let’s focus here on mitochondrial DNA haplogroup is H1, as it is the Genographic Project’s most common maternal lineage result. You inherited your mitochondrial DNA purely from your mother, who inherited it from her mother, and her mother, and so on. Yet, unlike often is the case with a mother’s maiden name, her maternal haplogroup is passed down through generations. Today, all members of haplogroup H1 are direct descendants from the first H1 woman that lived thousands of years ago. Most H1 members may know their haplogroup as H1a or H1b2 or H1c1a, etc, yet as a single genetic branch, H1 accounts for 15% of Genographic participants. What’s more, in the past few years, anthropologists have discovered and named an astonishing 200 new branches within haplogroup H1; and that number continues to grow.

Haplogroup H
Haplogroup H3, sister branch to H1

The origin of haplogroup H1 continues to be a debate as well. Most researchers suggest it was born in the Middle East between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago, and spread from there to Europe and North Africa. However, ancient DNA studies show that its ancestral haplogroup H first appears in Central Europe just 8,000 year ago. Its vast diversity and high concentration in Spain and Portugal, suggests H1 may have existed there during the last Ice Age, and spread north after glaciers melted. Yet others postulate that its young age and high frequency indicate it spread as agriculture took shape in Europe.

Any of the scenarios is possible. As technology improves, more DNA is extracted and sequenced from ancient bones, and more people contribute their DNA to the Genographic Project, we will keep learning about H1, and all other haplogroups.  It is because of participants contributing their DNA, their stories, and their hypotheses to science that we can carry forward this exciting work uncovering our deep genetic connections.

 

Happy Haplogroups!

Comments

  1. Conchi
    España
    September 21, 8:45 am

    Las V del norte de África son HV0d euroasiáticas, más próximas a las asiáticas que a las europeas.
    Solo en el caso de que se encontrara en el norte de África alguna más próxima a las europeas. Y al no encontrarse la HV0d afroasiática en España. Quedaría demostrado que las V en Europa son anteriores al ultimo pico glacial 10.000AC, refugiándose durante el optimo climático del Sahara 10.000AC. Estas podrían ser HV0b o HV0f.
    De hecho parece ya casi demostrado que HV0a1 es española. Anterior al último pico glaciar, encontrándose también en el norte de África e Italia. Siendo próxima HV0a2 posterior al último pico glacial.

  2. Conchi Garcia
    España
    September 17, 8:20 am

    Prior to glaciation in Europe almost certain.

    The U5 began in Greece.
    The U8, (less K1a that are later). And further east, other (U1811 *) as U4.
    The J1c and J2a1.
    With R0 I dare not.
    I think the U6 may have been born in Spain and have been completely extinguished during the glacial peak.
    There was some L3 and N, although most now there are later.

  3. Daniel R. Stone
    Norwalk, CA United States
    August 19, 12:03 pm

    I belong to Hapalong group 12 A. I just received an update kit which I suppose will tell me more about my ancient ancestors. I already know they came from Africa about 50,000+ years ago. What bothers me is being told I came from a group of about 10,000 non-black men with no explanation of how they had become white in a black origin zone.. I wonder do they now know how this occurred ?

  4. Anita Wray-White
    Phoenix,Arizona
    August 3, 5:45 am

    My grandmother always said we were Dutch. My mtdna is H65. I haven’t found much on that one. Genographic nat geo said I could be from Denmark, Finland, Russia,Germany,or the UK. Does anyone know much about H65. I’ve only one each in Chekoslovakia Germany Sweden Spain Finland and one in Switzerland. Any info appreciated.

  5. Jan J
    Louisiana
    July 14, 8:12 pm

    I would like to know more about mtDNA B2.

  6. TR
    Texas
    May 17, 6:37 am

    Would like to know how common is A2e?

  7. Joanne Kearney
    USA
    April 21, 7:52 pm

    My maternal line is U6a1. I have traced my maternal line back to Tongeren in Belgium back in the late 1600s. My guess is that my maternal ancestor came to Belgium up perhaps from Spain when the area was part of the Spanish Netherlands or perhaps earlier with the Romans since Tongeren is an old Roman town. I wish that the Genome project would look for a U6a1 trail in Europe. I have found only one other U6a1 in Belgium and another in Sweden.

  8. Shelley Skrepnek
    Canada
    April 9, 2:50 pm

    Where do I find the listing of alleles from my test?

  9. Steve Hunt
    Nebraska
    April 6, 9:56 pm

    My haplogroup is E1, SNP V13. My paternal ancestors come from England, but I understand this haplogroup is from Africa/the Middle East. I’m waiting for my results with Genographic Project, but am interested to find out more about how they wound up in England. Thanks.

  10. Elmina
    Texas, USA
    April 3, 4:47 pm

    I am female with MTDNA of U5a2b. I want to know more about my haplotype. Also, anybody out there with U5a2b?

  11. S. Sowers
    Texas, USA
    April 3, 12:52 am

    Dear Penot, I am close; Je suis proche. U5a1a1d.
    I am from Texas, USA

  12. sg
    USA
    March 22, 11:18 pm

    I would like to learn more about I1C if possible! There is very little info available!

    Thank you!

  13. Miguel Vilar
    March 21, 3:59 pm

    Thank you everyone for your comments and questions. Which haplogroup would you like to hear about next?

    The Genographic test provides detailed information and migration stories about mitochondrial (maternal) and Y-Chromosome (paternal) haplogroups. But it also provides geographical information about your ancestors, which we infer from the rest of your DNA (autosomal DNA). Autosomal DNA is found in all men and women, but unlike mitochondrial and Y-Chromosome, this DNA is inherited equally from both your mother and father. This part of your results is found in the “Who am I?” section. In this section, you can also learn about your Neanderthal and Denisovan ancestry. Did you know that most of us carry DNA from these extinct human cousins?

  14. Sandra Bordin
    Seattle
    March 21, 1:56 pm

    Until you find a way to determine the paternal ancestry of female participants i will discourage any woman to buy your kit. It is very disappointing to get to know only half of one self, and It made me feel uncompleted, such as a second class citizen! Many women , like me do not have living brothers and/or fathers. Therefore I do not consider your results scientifically credible since they reflect only half of the world population

  15. Catarina Lund
    Sweden
    March 21, 11:40 am

    I have haplogroup H1e1 from my mother and N-LLY22g from my faher. It will be nice to get more information about H1e1.

  16. Sherril Stewart
    Orange County, CA
    March 20, 11:06 pm

    I am maternal haplogroup B2, very rare, and comes from documented North American Indian (Winnebago/Ho-Chunk Nation). Paternal haplogroup is very common, R-L21/L1065, still trying to find out where they immigrated from.

  17. PENOT
    France
    March 13, 9:50 am

    Bonjour,
    Je suis U5a1b. Y a-t-il des personne avec cet Haplogroupe
    en ligne. Merci.

  18. Bobfari
    Ireland
    March 12, 4:55 pm

    My Haplogroup Is J1c3e1…. I’m From Ireland And No One Seems To Be In This Group….. If You Are From This Group Please Reply Back To This Comment And Here Are A Few Questions As Well……
    Q1: Where Is Haplogroup J1 In Mitochondrial DNA From (i.e. What Country Does It Originate From?)
    Q2: Is There A High Percentage Of J1c3e1 In Ireland (Where I’m From?)
    Q3: What Country Has The Highest Percentage Of This Haplogroup?
    Q4: Is This Haplogroup Common Or Rare In The World?

    Thank You So Much For Answering All These Questions For Me!!!! :D

    Bobfari

  19. Marietta S. van den Berg
    La Crescenta, CA, USA
    March 6, 4:57 am

    Born in the Netherlands. Have only been able to do DNA test for maternal line. Anyone in group K1a1b1a? It seems to be a very small percentage of the whole.

  20. Jason Stacy
    United States
    March 2, 9:44 pm

    My mother has almost half the markers that my father does and yet her line starts 180,000 years ago and my father’s line starts 140,000 years ago. Is there any significance to this observation or is it just the “way it is”.

  21. Lynette Seelmeyer
    Colorado, United States
    March 1, 11:57 pm

    …I forgot to add in my previous comment that I think it’s really fantastic that I have this Q1’2 marker. I just wish I had some clue as to how I got it or knew more about it in general other than “it’s Melanesian and not associated with any major migration.”

  22. Lynette Seelmeyer
    United States
    March 1, 7:34 pm

    @Miguel Vilar: If you would do something on Q, particularly Q1’2 in Melanesia and aboriginal Australians, I would love that because evidently, I have a Q1’2 maternal marker even though my mother is English and her known ancestry is English/Irish/French. Her mother’s family lived in India as part of British colonial rule for 100 years or so and we do have French ancestors who owned a plantation in the Seychelles, so…? I know there are Melanesian markers in Madagascar and the Seychelles are of course just north of that. But beyond that, I and my mother can’t think of anything that would tie us to Melanesia. I would have been less shocked with a maternal marker typical of India given our family history there. I know fewer than 20 people with Q markers have taken this test as voluntary participants. I also think I may be the only Q1’2 volunteer.

  23. Tobie
    Maine
    February 25, 7:30 am

    When I received dna results from Natgeo, I was stunned. My mtdna is D2 from northeast Siberia and Alaska. My mother’s ancestors came from Austria and Ukraine before that. How does D2 mtdna reach those areas? My ydna did not surprise me at all. Paternal lineage is accurate.

  24. Kay Williams
    NSW Australia
    February 25, 6:32 am

    My MIT DNA is H27. My genealogy back 6 generations is from Cornwall. Can anyone tell he more about H27 and its origins.

  25. Jeanne
    February 22, 4:25 pm

    Both my husband and I did this test and just received our results. Although we are both 50% German on our father’s sides, he’s unaware of his mom’s background (she was a closed adoption). Needless to say, our profiles were quite different, and the Jewish connection I was hoping to confirm in my haplogroup was simply not there, but it was in his! At any rate, we have very substantial data on both sides of my family tree dating to around 1700. On the maternal side we are ‘double’ Scotch Irish (Ashers, Littles, Hawkinses, Moores, Melvilles, O’Connells, Harknesses) and on the paternal, 100% German (Hoover/Hubers, Schoppeys, Feuersteins) until my dad’s generation began marrying outside the ‘clan’ after WWII. My mother’s ancestors were from Dumfries communities and later Glasgow, Scotland as well as Counties Kildare, Wicklow and West Meath in Ireland. My dad’s people were originally from several communities around Baden, Germany with his maternal lineage being from Bavaria. As this was an mtDNA test, I was surprised to find my first reference group under Northern European to be German and not British – a real eye-opener, but may lend credence to origins of the name ‘Asher’ as being German. Can’t wait to see how the data and haplogroups develop once more individuals join.

  26. Al Covell
    Tucson, AZ
    February 21, 12:09 am

    I’ve been researching both my ancestral line as well as that of my wife. Currently I have about 22.500 total individuals in my database with my ancestral line going back to the 1500’s for both paternal and maternal ancestors in England and to the 1700’s in Finland for my wife’s family. I have some indications my line was in France about 1050 A.D. but have not been able to prove this as yet. The results of my Geno testing will prove to be most interesting when comparisons are available for my ancestral line.

    There is a debate in our household as to how we should proceed todiscover my wife’s ancestral line however. Would testing of my wife’s DNA be the option of choice or should DNA of or son or daughter be the avenue of choice?

  27. Janis Cathcart
    Ontario, Canada
    February 20, 9:47 pm

    My mtDNA haplogroup is H6a1b2. This seems to be more in depth and there is nothing I have read that explains this. Can you offer anything to read, please to explain further.

  28. David Harden, PhD
    San Diego, CA
    February 20, 8:22 am

    Do you have to have the Y-chromosome test if your parents are cousins? – Yes, the Y-chromosome test shows the paternal inheritance. The Mitochondrial-chromosome line shows maternal inheritance.

    As to the questions on other lines – go to http://www.genographic.com and you will find full information on every genetic line, male and female.

  29. Sherry
    Cave Creek, AZ
    February 19, 8:26 pm

    What if your mother and father are related….4th or 5th cousins? Do you still have to have male Y test to determine the lineage?

  30. alberto villasmil raven
    United States
    February 19, 11:29 am

    when you say “America” what do you mean? South America, North America, Central America are all America.

  31. Linda Lopez
    Los Angeles, CA
    February 8, 9:56 pm

    Thanks for featuring a Haplogroup and discussing the history of H1. Participants are interested not only in their Haplogroup but other Haplogroups as well. During your “sale price” a few of my friends joined and are curious about theirs. I look forward to your next featured Haplogroup with more interaction.
    T2b

  32. Miguel Vilar
    The Genographic Project
    February 5, 9:47 am

    Thank you to everyone for their comments.

    MtDNA haplogroup H1 is the most common one among Genographic participants, but we do have representation from nearly all mtDNA and Y-chromosome haplogroups found across the world. If you have any specific questions about H1 or any other haplogroup, feel free to contact me at mvilar@ngs.org.

    Thanks again!

  33. Fire Haired
    February 4, 7:30 pm

    This is a great article Miguel, do you have mtDNA H3h(Spainish?)? The fact 15% of Genographic participants have this haplogroup means almost all are European. H1 is around 15% in much of Europe. This is disappointing because the goal of this project is to learn about all people. The reason almost all participants are European is probably because the vast majority of the people in the western world are European. Even outside of Europe like in America. So I don’t really see what the geographic project can learn about worldwide human genetics if practically all the people who are buying the kits are European. There are plenty of people outside of Geno 2.0 who are dedicating their lives to learning about world wide human genetics.

    I very much doubt H1 or H3(most popular forms of H in Europe today) existed in European hunter gatherers unless they had near eastern admixture like the ones in south-east Europe probably did. There is one reported H1b in Mesolithic Portugal(along with other H’s) but there is controversy over it and it is defiantly not constant with all other Mesolithic European mtDNA. What is amazing to me is many typical modern European mtDNA haplogroups are non existent in the Mesolithic but then appear constantly in the farmers immigrants from the near east. It is pretty close to prove that those “European” lineages were spread with farming from the near east.

    Most of them are close to non existent in modern near easterns which lead many(before the ancient mtDNA) to assume they originated in Mesolithic or upper Palaeolithic Europe. J2b1a and T2b are close to non existent in the near east just like H1 and H3. Just because H1 and H3 are centered in south-west Europe and most diverse in Europe does not mean they could not have been brought to Europe from the near east with farming.

    For whatever reasons the near easterns that spread farming to Europe had related but very different mtDNA gene pools from modern near easterns and most of their lineages had been separated for over 10,000 years from modern near eastern ones.

    Laz 2013 discovered many things about the origins of modern Euros(Hunter+farmer). The spread of farming totally changed the genetics of Europe. Today all southern Europeans have vast majority farmer or another form of near eastern ancestry. For central Europeans and British-Irish farmer ancestry gets close to 50% or is above 50%. For north-east Europeans though hunter gatherer ancestry is close to 50% overall hunter ancestry is close to 70% and farmer ancestry is under 40%.

    It seems that the all of north Eurasia during the Upper Palaeolithic was inhabited by one large group of people. The samples we have now from Europe are the western extreme the MA-1 boy is the eastern extreme of this large group of people. So ANE(based on genome MA1- boy who is a 24,000 year old Siberian) is from these ancient north Eurasians like WHG. The mtDNA haplogroups that are descended from WHG are U5, U4, U2e(probably also U2d), most or all U*, and most or all U8a. I don’t know about ANE but I assume they had some of the same lineages. mtDNA RO and debatable H’s have been found in upper Palaeolithic Europe so their mtDNA gene pool was probably more complicated.

  34. Charles Robinson Sr.
    Roswell,Ga.
    January 29, 4:55 pm

    Ancestors ,fathers side came toU.S. mid 1700 fought in reveloution and and so up to present conflicts.
    Mothers side from EnglandI / Ireland
    working on ancestry at present time.

  35. Miguel Vilar
    The Genographic Project
    December 30, 2013, 12:05 pm

    Thank you for the comments. To get a kit please visit http://www.genographic.com. You will find lots more information right there. We will be covering other haplogroups in the months to come. Keep visiting and commenting.
    Happy New Year!

  36. Dwayne LaGrou
    Lapeer, MI
    December 28, 2013, 12:44 am

    Thank You for the info. I will let you know what I find out, But I do know that my ancestors came from Belgium.

  37. Petra Luna
    Los Angeles
    December 26, 2013, 3:30 pm

    Dwayne: You can go to http://www.23andme.com. They’ll send you a kit (they just need saliva.) I am haplogroup K2A.

  38. Dwayne LaGrou
    Lapeer, MI
    December 25, 2013, 9:43 pm

    Where or how do you submit a DNA sample and how long does it take to get the results back? Also is there a cost or is it done completely with grants?

  39. Christer Rosenbahr
    Umeå
    December 25, 2013, 12:41 pm

    Where did haplogroup H5 originally?

  40. David Turco
    December 25, 2013, 10:30 am

    The Irish Celts contend that they migrated south to Iberia and waited out the last ice age then migrated BACK to Ireland which has a high concentration of H1. Seems to fit with the folklore.