Genetics

Genetics

World Clans

From Oxford Ancestors I received this certificate from Oxford Ancestors in October 2007. It shows descent from “Mitochondrial Eve” (bottom left) and the relationship among the major world haplogroups (“clan”). I belong to Haplogroup V, shown top left as “Velda.

Genetics

Famous Studies

There have been many studies using yDNA analysis to answer historical questions. Here are a three of the most famous. Sykes Study Dr. Bryan Sykes, a geneticist at Oxford University tested men all over England who have the surname Sykes and variants. Genealogists had theorized that the surname Sykes was used by dozens of unrelated…

Genetics

Haplogroup R

Haplogroup R1a This lineage is believed to have originated in the Eurasian steppes north of the Black and Caspian Seas, perhaps in a population of the Kurgan culture. The Kurgans were known for the domestication of the horse (approximately 3000 BCE). They are believed to have been the first speakers of an Indo-European language. This…

Genetics

Genetics

“Genetics explains why you look like your father, and if you don’t, why you should.”– Anonymous You might have heard about genetic projects, such as mapping the human genome or tracing the origins of Kennewick Man, Cheddar Man, Ice Man or Ice Maiden. In addition to these famous projects, genealogists are beginning to use genetic testing…

Genetics

Frame mtDNA

Limits of Paper Genealogy From doing paper genealogy, I know that my female line (mother to daughter) goes back to Margaret, wife of John Frame. Margaret’s maiden name is unknown. She was probably born about 1725, but there is no record of her until 1742, when she and her husband were living in Augusta County,…

Genetics

mtDNA

Each cell of the human body contains organelles called mitochondria. Mitochondria were probably originally parasitic bacteria. Through evolution they became symbiotic with human cells, and finally an integral part of the cell. They help cells use oxygen. The DNA in mitochondria is separate from the DNA in the nucleus of the cell. The DNA in the…

Genetics

Haplogroup V

Modern humans as well as extinct Neanderthals share a common ancestor who lived about 500 thousand years ago (~25 thousand generations). Mitochondrial Eve All humans living today descend in the female line from a woman nicknamed “Mitochondrial Eve.” This unknown woman probably lived in Africa, perhaps in Kenya, Tanzania or Ethiopia, probably about 150 thousand…

Genetics

mtDNA Haplogroups

Each of us has inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), along with the mutations that have accumulated in our individual family lines. Geneticists can test for these accumulated mutations. Individual test results are called a haplotype or mitotype. People with the same cluster of mutations belong to the same haplogroup, and are descended from the same female…

Genetics

mtDNA Testing

Mitochondrial DNA is long, circular strand of DNA. (Bacterial DNA is also circular.) It is composed of 16,569 smaller units, called base pairs. Each base pair is composed of two nucleotides. There are only four possible nucleotides — adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C) and guanine (G). Each nucleotide has a complementary nucleotide. So, along…