Sunday, June 10, 2012

The mtDNA results are in and my clan mother is . . .

My mtDNA test results are in and I was a bit surprised at my results. My haplogroup U5, clan mother Ursula.

From my DNA page at Ancestry:

"Your ancient ancestral haplogroup is U5. This result means you're a subgroup of U, and we've provided you with that ancestral story. Because U was a predecessor to your group, the majority of this story applies to you as well.

"The Travelers, haplogroup U, emerged around 60,000 years ago, not long after the first modern humans left Africa. Because the Travelers are so old, they've had many descendants who migrated to new areas and formed subgroups. One group of the Travelers, U2, originated in the Near East about 45,000 years ago. Today's highest rates of U2 are concentrated in southern and southwestern Asia, except for one (U2e) which expanded into Europe with some of the first humans to migrate in that direction and can still be found there."

Origins: Haplogroup U descends from a woman in the Haplogroup R (mtDNA) branch of the phylogenetic tree, who lived around 55,000 years ago. Her descendants gave birth to several different subgroups, some of which exhibit specific geographic homelands.

Distribution: Haplogroup U is subdivided into Haplogroups U1-U8. Haplogroup K is a subclade of U8.[2] The old age has led to a wide distribution of the descendant subgroups that harbor specific European, Berber, Indian, African, Arab, northern Caucasus Mountains,U* found in Svan population from Svaneti region (Georgia,Caucasus) 25% and the Near East clades.

Subclades - Haplogroup U5: Branch U5 of U is extremely old, and among the oldest mtDNA haplogroups found in European remains of Homo sapiens is U5. For example, Cheddar Man, the oldest remains of anatomically modern humans in Britain, was in Haplogroup U5. The age of U5 is estimated at 30-50,000 years but could be as old as 60,500 years. Approximately 11% of total Europeans and 10% of European-Americans are in haplogroup U5.

The presence of haplogroup U5 in Europe predates the end of the Ice Ages as well as the expansion of agriculture in Europe. Bryan Sykes' popular book The Seven Daughters of Eve calculated that it arose 45,000-50,000 years ago in the area of Delphi, Greece and named the originator of haplogroup U5 Ursula. However the details related to location and age are speculative. Barbujani and Bertorelle estimate the age of haplogroup U5 as about 52,000 years ago, being the oldest subclade of haplogroup U. Thus, the name 'Ursula' could be applied to the entirety of haplogroup U, as well as U5.

U5 has been found in human remains dating from the Mesolithic in England, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Sweden, and France.

Haplogroup U5 and its subclades U5a and U5b form the highest population concentrations in the far north, in Sami, Finns, and Estonians, but it is spread widely at lower levels throughout Europe. This distribution, and the age of the haplogroup, 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.

So here is the bottom of my family tree that the mtDNA tested.

1. (Me) William Larry Van Horn
2. Gloria Ann Schmidt
3. Hattie Grohman (1885-1962)
4. Sarah Frances Smith (1866-1960)
5. Elizabeth A Carr (1825-1924)
6. Elizabeth Faulk (1807-?)
7. Sarah ? (wife of James Faulk)

You can see more on my public family tree at at

Now let the matches begin.