My mtDNA Lineage

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My mtDNA Results
Haplogroup: U5b
HVR1: 16093C, 16189C, 16270T
HVR2: 73G, 150T, 263G, 315.1C
Results from Family Tree DNA

If you don't understand what mtDNA is, here is a brief explanation. The mt means "mitochondrial" and is inherited only from the mother. Because of the way mtDNA is passed down it is essentially the study of the human female genetic lines with the mothers mtDNA passed to all children, male and female, but only the female children can pass their mtDNA on to their children. In other words, males will carry their mothers mtDNA but will not pass it on to their children, however, a female will pass her mtDNA to all her children and the female children will pass it on to their children.

Haplogroup U is estimated to have originated in the Near East or Southwest Asia around 50,000 years ago, about 15,000 years after modern humans expanded out of Africa. Haplogroup U appears to have lived during a period of rapid population growth and expansion because it has nine major surviving daughter groups, U1 through U9, which are now found among people who have ancestral origins throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Haplogroup U5 is estimated to be about 30,000 years old, and it is primarily found today in people with European ancestry. Both the current geographic distribution of U5 and testing of ancient human remains indicate that the ancestor of U5 expanded into Europe before 31,000 years ago. A 2013 study by Fu et al. found two U5 individuals at the Dolni Vestonice burial site in the Czech Republic that has been dated to 31,155 years ago. A third person from the same burial was identified as haplogroup U8. The Dolni Vestonice samples have only two of the five mutations ( C16192T and C16270T) that are found in the present day U5 population. This indicates that the U5-(C16192T and C16270T) mtDNA sequence is ancestral to the present day U5 population that includes the additional three mutations T3197C, G9477A and T13617C.

Because there are five additional mutations (T3197C, G9477A, T13617C, C16192T and C16270T) that distinguish present day U5 from U, we can conclude that U5 experienced a long period of very slow population growth or a population bottleneck in Europe. The earliest branching of U5 is its two subclades U5a and U5b that have been dated to about 27,000 years ago by Soares et al., while Behar et al. have a younger estimate of about 22,000 years. U5a is defined by two additional mutations A14793G and C16256T, while U5b is defined by three additional mutations C150T, A7768G and T14182C.

Beginning about 25,000 years ago, the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) forced U5a and U5b into ice age refugia in southern Europe and perhaps Ukraine and the Near East. U5a has only two known subclades, U5a1 and U5a2, both estimated to be about 20,000 years old. U5b has only three known subclades, U5b1, U5b2 and U5b3, also estimated to be about 20,000 years old. However, age estimates for these subclades from Behar and from Soares vary over a range of 16,000 to 24,000 years. While there is uncertainty in the age estimates of these subclades, it seems likely that a population decline during the LGM is the cause of the lack of ancient diversity or branching in haplogroup U5. It also seems likely that U5a1, U5a2, U5b1, U5b2 and U5b3 were each present in ice age refugia in southern Europe.

As the ice began to retreat about 15,000 years ago, haplogroup U5 was among the first people to repopulate central and northern Europe. We know this because U5 is the dominant haplogroup in ancient remains of early hunter-gatherer populations in Europe, with U5 and its sister group U4 representing about 90% of the earliest Mesolithic hunter-gatherers. The 2013 Fu et al. study found haplogroup U5 in both pre-ice age Paleolithic remains and post-ice age Mesolithic remains, and they conclude: "Because the majority of late Paleolithic and Mesolithic mtDNAs analyzed to date fall on one of the branches of U5, our data provide some support for maternal genetic continuity between the pre- and post-ice age European hunter-gatherers from the time of first settlement to the onset of the Neolithic."

Also beginning around 15,000 years ago we begin to see increasing expansion and diversity in the daughters of U5a1, U5a2, U5b1, U5b2 and U5b3. Each of these has eight or more surviving subclades, and this increase in diversity is consistent with a growing population as U5 expanded from ice age refugia into central and northern Europe. However, U5 was largely replaced by early farmers and other Neolithic immigrants to Europe, and currently U5 represents only about 9% of European mtDNA. Some of the very old subclades of U5 are extremely rare today, perhaps because they represent the remnants of hunter-gatherers who were mostly replaced by Neolithic immigrants.

On the other hand, some U5 subclades are much more common in present populations than others. While we know that U5 was the dominant mtDNA group among early Mesolithic Europeans, it is possible that some U5 subclades might also have been present in early farming or herding populations in the Near East and West Asia, so the present day population of U5 could include a mix of early hunter-gatherers and more recent U5 Neolithic farmer/herder immigrants. Alternatively, certain U5 subclades in southeastern Europe could have adopted farming or been incorporated into farming and herding communities at an early date, perhaps at the beginning of the Neolithic when farmers from the Near East began their expansion into Europe. If certain U5 subclades adopted farming and animal husbandry at an earlier date, their population size could have expanded more rapidly and this could explain their larger distribution today. Testing of ancient remains also shows that U5 was present in the Pontic-Caspian Steppe region, which may have been the home land of Indo-European speakers (for example, see the Kurgan hypothesis). It seems likely that certain subclades of U5 expanded from the Steppe into both Europe and south Asia during the Bronze age migrations that brought Indo-European languages to these regions. One of the challenges, and the goal of this project, is to discover the age and specific migration history of each individual subclade of U5.

Below is a chart on what I believe to be my mtDNA line. If you find mistakes or can add to this line, please let me know.

My mtDNA Ancestors
Born Died Daughter Of
Edith Robinson 27 Sep 1917
Waverly AL
4 Mar 1976
Kansas City MO
Jesse B Robinson III
Myrtie M Patrick
Myrtie M Patrick 25 Jul 1883
Waverly AL
D: 29 Jan 1978
Waverly AL
Benj P Patrick
Harriett L Hughes
Harriett L Hughes 1847
Shelby Co AL
15 Jan 1932
Tallapoosa Co AL
Abner A Hughes
Elizabeth Kidd
Elizabeth Kidd 4 Oct 1810
?Elbert Co GA
19 Dec 1883
Tallapoosa Co AL
Martin Kidd
Martha Barrett
Martha "Patsy"
1784 ?GA 14 Oct 1823
St Clair Co AL
Ninian Barrett
Mary James
Mary James ?1752 MD 1824
Morgan Co GA