Wells Family DNA Project
Haplogroup Definitions - R


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 R

Haplotype R1a

Haplogroup R1a is believed to have originated in the Eurasian Steppes north of the Black and Caspian Seas. This lineage is believed to have originated in a population of the Kurgan culture, known for the domestication of the horse (approximately 3000 B.C.E.). These people were also believed to be the first speakers of the Indo-European language group. This lineage is currently found in central and western Asia, India, and in Slavic populations of Eastern Europe.

Haplogroup R1a, defined by the SNP marker SRY10831b, is part of the ancestral R1-M173 of which ancestors first arrived in Europe from West Asia during the Upper Paleolithic period (35,000-40,000 years ago). R1a is also widespread across South and Central Asia and up into Siberia. Haplogroup R1a1, defined by M17 is a major component within Haplogroup R1a. There is some suggestion that R1a and R1a1 split within Southern and Western Asia. Several possibilities for the spread of R1a and R1a1 exist, which include recent Slavic migration from the 5th century AD, movement of Kurgan people associated with the domestication of the horse and/or the re-colonization of Europe following the end of the last ice-age.

As the last ice-age began, it became necessary to move down to below the tree-line to hunt game. At its peak, the ice shelf within Europe extended down as far as southern Ireland, the middle of England and across northern Germany. Scandinavia was entirely covered. The sea-ice pack extended as far as northern Spain and tundra covered much of continental Europe. The tree-line at the height of the ice-age was as far south as Southern France, Northern Italy, north of the Balkans and across the Black Sea.

People with Haplogroup R1a Y-chromosomes retreated to below these regions where they established themselves, primarily within the region between the Black and Caspian Seas. As the ice-age ended and the fauna and flora were able to move northward again, people in R1a also migrated north and eastward. Of interest, more that 50% of Ashkenazi Levites are R1a1 whereas it is very low in other Jewish communities.

Haplotype R1b

Haplogroup R1b is the most common haplogroup in European populations. It is believed to have expanded throughout Europe as humans re-colonized after the last glacial maximum 10-12 thousand years ago. This lineage is also the haplogroup containing the Atlantic modal haplotype (HG1).

Haplogroup R1b, defined by the SNP marker M343, is part of the ancestral R1-M173 of which ancestors first arrived first arrived in Europe from West Asia during the Upper Paleolithic period (35,000-40,000 years ago) at the beginning of the Aurignacian culture. This culture is one of the first within Europe to leave cave-art and their stone tools were more refined than previous periods. The Périgordian culture is also considered by some to have existed at this time. As the last ice-age began, it became necessary to move down to below the tree-line to hunt game. At its peak, the ice shelf within Europe extended down as far as southern Ireland, the middle of England and across northern Germany. Scandinavia was entirely covered. The sea-ice pack extended as far as northern Spain and tundra covered much of continental Europe. The tree-line at the height of the ice-age was as far south as Southern France, Northern Italy, north of the Balkans and across the Black Sea.

People with Haplogroup R1 Y-chromosomes retreated to below these regions where they established themselves. During this period, the mutation which defines R1b (M343) likely developed within the Iberian Peninsula. As the ice-age ended and the fauna and flora were able to move northward again, people in R1b also migrated north. Haplogroup R1 appears in about 50% of the total European whereas R1b remains by far the most common haplogroup in Western Europe (Spain, Portugal, France, UK and Ireland).

R1b3, one of the most successful clades, has it's origins about 11,800 years ago. Within the British Isles, a genetic pattern called the Atlantic Modal Haplotype (AMH) features greatly among the Irish and Welsh. Some researchers consider this haplotype to be representative of the early Celtic migrations. Haplogroup R1b is prevalent within South America given the influx of Iberian Y-chromosomes to the continent over the last 500 years.

Credit: Definitions for haplogroups is borrowed from both

Relative Genetics

and

Family Tree DNA


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