Wells Family DNA Project
Haplogroup Definitions - J

DNA Haplgoups are an indication of "Deep Ancestry". That is an attempt to identify the very early ancestral group from which one is descended 12,000 to 70,000 years ago. This can give one an indication of where his/her ancestors originated. Using the y-chromosome STR (Short Tandem Repeat) marker analysis from the y-chromosome to predict the haplotype is not totally accurate. For those who want to be certain, they need to take SNP (Single nucleotide polymorphism) marker testing at one of the testing labs.

Haplogroup J

Haplogroup J traditionally was defined by a deletion of part of the Y-chromosome at a marker named 12f2. However, a more reliable SNP marker M304 has been used. The age of this haplogroup is approx. 20,000 years old and can be split into two main clades, J1 and J2 which are thought to have origins in the southern and northern parts of the Fertile Crescent respectively.

Haplogroup J1

J1 developed in the Southern Levant and is likely "Semitic" in origin. It has remained situated primarily in Middle Eastern populations and in Northern African Arab populations. Rare in Europeans, with the exception of Jewish Europeans, who have it at a frequency of 14-18%.

Haplogroup J2

Haplogroup J2 originated in the northern portion of the Fertile Crescent particularly in Anatolia where it later spread into Europe during the Neolithic period (~5,000 years ago)and throughout central Asia, the Mediterranean, and south into India which saw the spread of soil cultivation, crop production and the raising of livestock. This culture of farming and agriculture has since spread much further than the people who developed it although J2 (along with Haplogroup E3b) were likely founders taking a Levantine/Anatolian dispersal route to southeastern Europe.

Haplogroup J2 now has a wide distribution and often high frequency across Iberia, Italy, Turkey, Albania, Greece, Arabic countries and across into India.

J2 has been well studied and can be split into several clades but whose mode of individual distribution is not well understood. Many influences such as Greek and Roman would have played a part.

20% of Askenazi Jews are J2. The Cohen Modal Haplotype (CMH), an STR pattern indicative of the Cohanim (Jewish populations), can be found within haplogroup J2 as with other populations with Mediterranean ancestry. However, because the CMH and both haplogroups J1 and J2 are found outside of Jewish populations, it is not possible to deduce Jewish ancestry from inclusion.

Credit: Definitions for haplogroups is borrowed from both

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