U2: Out of Africa

My geno-journey is complete. Not a big surprise, but I come from the haplogroup U2. Here’s what is known:

Family Tree DNA’s haplogroup description of U2:
The mitochondrial super-haplogroup U encompasses haplogroups U1-U7 and haplogroup K. Haplogroup U2 is found distributed in the Near East and Europe, though it is maintained a rather low frequency throughout. This sparse, yet widespread, dissemination, when combined with the presence of an allied haplogroup found in India, suggests that haplogroup U2 is very old, and was likely an early lineage of the super-haplogroup U, which arose greater than 50,000 years ago.

I scanned in the map that I got from National Geographic, showing the route my ancestors (and likely, yours) took out of Africa—some 80,000+ years ago. Here are the major routes out:


And here is the route my ancestors took to Europe at least 40,000 years ago:haplogroupeuro.jpg

I sent my mtDNA results to FamilyTree.com. They collect results in the US that enable individuals to find others with similar DNA and then share info about recent ancestors. Most of the matches close to my mitochondrial DNA say that their ancestors are from Germany (that was a surprise as I don’t have any recent ancestors–at least not since the 1500s–from Germany, although I do have many Dutch), Ireland, England and Wales.

The other day, I heard from a distant cousin who found the family tree I started on ancestry.com. We are both great-great granddaughters of a woman who lived in Saugerties in the early to mid 1800s. I have a tapestry on my wall from this shared ancestor. A yellowed note in the corner of its rustic frame says: Susan Snyder Post, 1848, age 10. It’s a quaint picture of a mill in the country—no doubt what Susan’s world looked like in 1848.

This immeasurably long coil of DNA stretches between us, over centuries, millennia, across continents and oceans. And yet it is a small, small world.

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