Beginnings – My Dad’s Side

I need to add some pictures. Perhaps I should visit some of these places.

OK, on the male side of the DNA equation we have the Y-chromosone. The one that makes the difference between us and females. Geneticists can easily track the “markers” on these chromosomes that indicate changes in our genetic make up. Like Eve, our male “Adam” acquired his modern genetic nature around 200,000 years ago in Africa. The first branch called A00 is only found in African populations. My later branch off the original is called rather mundanely, P305. It emerged about 100,000 years ago. It is the oldest marker not shared by all men alive today. There is .1% of paternal linages without the P305. I am not one of these rare individuals.

80,000 M42 would be the group to eventually leave Africa and populate most of the world including the Americas. Some remained in Africa and are represented by today’s Blaka Pygmies amongst others. Around 70,000 years ago the haplogroup known as M168 arrived. They originated in Ethiopia and Kenya and were the first paternal group to leave Africa. All non-Africans are descendants of this group. They took advantage of changes in climate that put more food on the campfire. Evenings around the campfire must have helped with the development of language.

The first marker to emerge outside of Africa is known as P143. Many of its group headed to Australia and became the ancestor’s of the Aborigines. It appears that my ancestors lacked the adventuresome nature and continued to hang out in the Middle East hunting gazelles and whatever they could catch on the Saharan savanna. Some avoided the lions and tigers. Getting bored with the desert scene, M89 appeared around 55,000 years ago followed the buffalo north through Iran to the steppes north of the Caucasus. 90 to 95% of non-Africans have this marker. Reaching the steppes of central Asia, they could go east to Korea or west to France. Some stayed in the Middle East while others headed for the Balkans and Turkish mountains. My M578 off shoot continued to reside in Southwest Asia and by 40,000 years ago found that returning to Africa was not an option as the Saharan “corridor” had closed due to climate change.

Around 45,000 one of my ancestors developed what is known as the P128 marker. He was living in south Central Asia and is the ancestor of more than half of all non-Africans alive today. His descendants who headed southeast and northeast picked up the O marker, the most common linage in east Asia. Mine were the R group of most European and Central Asian males while some of his folks became the Q group to populate the Americas. Geneticists call the M45 group who descended from Mr. P 128, the Central Asian Clan. Between 45,000 and 15,000 years ago, the “Clan” will populate much of the planet. I am not alone.

Mr. M 207 was born about 30,000 years ago. His later branch, the R-M342 will settle in Europe around 25,000 years ago and will survive the Ice Age. Another ancestor from this time period continued live a nomadic lifestyle on the steppes. Somewhere along the way I have an ancestor who has many descendants in Azerbaijan and Malta but less  than one percent in western Europe. This linage is also the root of the Jewish Ashkenazi-Levite group. The groups responsible for the spread of the Indo-European languages were known as the M 17 who were found on the Central Asian steppes 12,000 to 19,000 years ago. 25% of the Icelandic population carries this marker as do 18 percent of males in Bangladesh. The last marker that I carry is called M458 that is restricted to Central and Eastern Europe. It originated between 2,700 and 13,100 years ago. I believe those were the Celts or at least my Guiness loving relatives would like to think so.

So what does all this mean? The sum of my parts yields a genetic composition that is 45% Northern European.  The highest frequency for this combination is to be found in people from the UK, Denmark, Finland, Russia and Germany. These folks were probably the earliest hunters in ice bound Europe and were the last to transition to agriculture. My 33% Mediterranean markers result from the Neolithic population who brought their farming skills to Europe around 8,000 BC. The markers are most common in people from the Middle East and Southern Europe like Italy and Greece. My 19% Southwest Asian derives from the time spent on the central Asian steppes. The reference population that I am closest to is British. The British  share similar markers to mine. This all comes as no surprise.

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