Thursday, March 01, 2012

From Clan Ursula in Budapest, Hungary & Talas Valley, Kyrgystan

ח׳ באדר תשע"ב
Keowulf 10
Ash 13

Well, I am definitely surprised by the preliminary results I received today from my motherline mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genetic haplogroup analysis. The final results with more detail and explanations will be sent to me within the next few days or so according to the email, after results are checked by hand by the researchers.

It seems that, while my comprehensive ancestry (compiled through autosomal STR analysis of genetic markers I inherited from both my mother and father) is Northwestern European (Wales, England, Scotland, Sweden, Ireland, Norway, Germany, Belgium, Italy) and Asian-Middle Eastern (Armenia, Budapest Hungary Ashkenazic Jewry, Turkey and Israeli Jewry), my motherline is not primarily centered in Northwestern Europe (although my mtDNA haplogroup has strong Swedish and Norwegian roots). Generally, my mtDNA motherline (from the data so far, at least) coalesces in Eastern Europe (Austro-Hungarian) and Turkish-related areas (Talas Valley Kyrgystan).

First, the top 3 mtDNA genetic matches (all with an individual score of 1) for me in the world are as follows:

I'd never heard of Kyrgyzstan before today. It seems to have been part of Russia until it achieved independence in 1991. It is primarily Turkish - a Turkish genetic connection is congruent with the earlier autosomal DNA tribe results (DNA Results label) I received from another independent lab (DNA Tribes in the USA) not associated with the lab through whom I received these mtDNA results (Roots for Real in Europe).

Austro-Hungarian Ashkenazi Jew is self explanatory. The Budapest, Hungarian result fits with the more specific Austro-Hungarian Ashkenazi Jew in a more general sense. Both of these results are also congruent with the DNA Tribes results received earlier.

Second, My mtDNA haplogroup branch is U5b. Although U5b is strongly found in Sweden and Norway (also congruent with earlier DNA Tribe results), it looks like my motherline branch of it is more Eastern Europe (Hungary area) and Asian (Turkish area). In fact, none of the dots on my motherline map (see below) are placed in Northwestern Europe.

On mtDNA haplogroup U5b, called the Saami, this research found that:
The Saami are regarded as extreme genetic outliers among European populations ... It (the research) was shown that the “Saami motif” variant of mtDNA haplogroup U5b is present in a large area outside Scandinavia ... It (the research) suggests that the large genetic separation of the Saami from other Europeans is best explained by assuming that the Saami are descendants of a narrow, distinctive subset of Europeans.

The European Clan Mother broadly associated with haplogroup U5 is Ursula. To drill down into the possibilities, my specific branch of U5b locates primarily to Hungary and Kyrgyzstan:

Research has shown that "Turkish Jews are mostly H and X haplogroups."

Research has also shown that "As to MtDNA U5b among Jews, this haplogroup is rare among both Sephardic and Western Ashkenazi populations, but is found among Eastern European Ashkenazim, supporting the theory of some admixture among the Eastern European Jews."

Research has also shown that "Haplogroup U5 and its subclades U5a and U5b (mine) form the highest population concentrations in the far north, in Samii, Finns, and Estonians, but it is spread widely at lower levels throughout Europe. This distribution, and the age of the haplogroup (up to 60,500 years old), indicate individuals from this haplogroup were part of the initial expansion tracking the retreat of ice sheets from Europe ~10kya. Haplogroup U5 is found also in small frequencies and at much lower diversity in the Near East and parts of northern Africa (areas with sizable U6 concentrations), suggesting back-migration of people from Europe to the south."

At any rate, U5b is a European haplogroup with strong Scandinavian and Celtic links, but it looks like my particular cluster of genetic mtDNA markers (not disclosed publicly here, although they are on my results) closely align around Hungary (specifically, Budapest) and a Turkish-related area (specifically, Talas Valley North Kyrgyzstan) - far away from Scandinavia and Celtic lands. Taking all this together with my DNA Tribe results, it is very likely that my mtDNA motherline may suggest a population of "Scandinavian-Celtic" Ashkenazic Jews originally from Northwestern Europe, whose later descendents migrated from there and settled primarily in Hungary and Kyrgyzstan (although I am speculating).

Hopefully, the final mtDNA results will add some insightful additional information.

My mtDNA matches map (I only have information on the first 3 matches - circled in purple - with the preliminary results):

Wow, the top Talas Valley Kyrgyzstan result is definitely an outlier and far away from my previously known ancestral history in Northwestern Europe. Very far away from Northwestern Europe, and far away from Hungary too. Turkish and primarily Islamic today, this result is a mystery to me. I would have never guessed my motherline traveled through this area of the world. This area of the world has definitely left its mark on me, though I don't understand it at the moment. It's all new. I need to do some research on the migrations of mtDNA haplogroup U5b now ...

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