Monday, July 26, 2010

Me, a Native American?

It turns out my father belongs to Haplogroup B. What the heck is that, you say? It means that he has a specific set of DNA markers. Those markers show that his maternal ancestors were part of that crazy group of people that left Africa approximately 50 000 years ago, and arrived in South America some 30 000 years later. It also means that my maternal ancestors on my fathers side were Native Americans. And this, I can't deny, I find very fascinating and quite cool.

If you're wondering how I found out about my ancestry you might not have heard of National Geographic's Genographic Project. The best way to understand what it is, is to see this Youtube video. The short short version is that they have mapped the DNA of thousands of people around the world, and found specific genes that changed during the migration of people from Africa to the rest of the world. Thus being able to tell people like you and me what group they belong to.

So far we have done three DNA tests in my family. My father checked his maternal ancestors. I checked my paternal ancestors. Meaning the direct line of fathers and sons that I'm part of. That test shows that I belong to Haplogroup I2b1, which tells me my paternal ancestors were Europeans. Most probably a Spanish conquistador that traveled to South America at some point in time. This is not all that surprising since my father is Chilean. My sister tested her maternal ancestors. Those showed that our maternal ancestors, i.e. the direct line of mothers and daughters that she is part of, are part of Haplogroup I. The group that traveled furthest north in Europe as ice melted after the last ice age. Most people in the Nordic countries belong to this group. This also makes sense, seeing that my mother is Norwegian. Here you can see a map that shows the results of the three tests together. I've also created an illustration to show which lines of ancestors I and my family have been able to test.

You might think that DNA information is sensitive stuff, and not something to be shared lightly on the Internet. But you have to remember that these results only show things that happened tens of thousands of years ago. It doesn't really say anything about my immediate family history. Below are the three full reports from National Geographic.

My father's maternal Ancestors - Haplogroup B: One of five mitochondrial lineages found in aboriginal Americans, and is found in both North and South America.

My parternal ancestors - Haplogroup I2b1: Tribes of ancient European hunters that pressed northward with the retreating ice, pursuing herds. By "following the food," these descendants went on to populate much of northern Europe.

My maternal ancestors - Haplogroup I: A group of individuals whom live in high frequencies in northern Europe and northern Eurasia. Likely moved north across the Caucasus during the middle Upper Paleolithic.


May 06, 2011 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hei Ramon, jeg leser bloggen din ;)

-Per K.

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Personal photogallery

My personal photogallery generated using my own tool, Atacama. Pictures of events and travels from the last 10 years or so.

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