This is the mitochrondial DNA passed down from Moms mother, to Mom, and then on to the Val and Susie. Susie's daughter has this, as well as Kelli's daughter. Randy and I also have this DNA
Branch indicates the changes in the DNA at time goes on. Mom, Val and Sue are branch J, with the deeper branch being J2b1h. This branch or haplogroup has been in existance for about 9,281 years, the parent group J has been in existance for 35,000 years. The reason it is called a branch, is that all female DNA comes from one woman and her daughters. Picture her as the base of the DNA tree, and all women that have lived since are located somewhere on branches from that tree.
Age: 67,000 Years Ago
Location of Origin: East Africa
This woman’s descendants would eventually account for both out-of-Africa maternal lineages, significant population migrations in Africa, and even take part in the Atlantic Slave Trade related dispersals from Africa.
The common direct maternal ancestor to all women alive today was born in East Africa around 180,000 years ago. Dubbed “Mitochondrial Eve” by the popular press, she represents the root of the human family tree. Eve gave rise to two descendant lineages known as L0 and L1’2’3’4’5’6, characterized by a different set of genetic mutations their members carry.
Current genetic data indicates that indigenous people belonging to these groups are found exclusively in Africa. This means that, because all humans have a common female ancestor, and because the genetic data shows that Africans are the oldest groups on the planet, we know our species originated there.
Eventually, L1’2’3’4’5’6 gave rise to L3 in East Africa. It is a similar story: an individual underwent a mutation to her mitochondrial DNA, which was passed onto her children. The children were successful, and their descendants ultimately broke away from L1’2’3’4’5’6, eventually separating into a new group called L3.
While L3 individuals are found all over Africa, L3 is important for its movements north. Your L3 ancestors were significant because they are the first modern humans to have left Africa, representing the deepest branches of the tree found outside of that continent.
From there, members of this group went in a few different directions. Many stayed on in Africa, dispersing to the west and south. Some L3 lineages are predominant in many Bantu-speaking groups who originated in west-central Africa, later dispersing throughout the continent and spreading this L3 lineage from Mali to South Africa. Today, L3 is also found in many African-Americans.
Other L3 individuals, your ancestors, kept moving northward, eventually leaving the African continent completely. These people gave rise to two important macro-haplogroups (M and N) that went on to populate the rest of the world.
Why would humans have first ventured out of the familiar African hunting grounds and into unexplored lands? It is likely that a fluctuation in climate may have provided the impetus for your ancestors’ exodus out of Africa.
The African Ice Age was characterized by drought rather than by cold. Around 50,000 years ago the ice sheets of northern Europe began to melt, introducing a period of warmer temperatures and moister climate in Africa. Parts of the inhospitable Sahara briefly became habitable. As the drought-ridden desert changed to savanna, the animals your ancestors hunted expanded their range and began moving through the newly emerging green corridor of grasslands. Your nomadic ancestors followed the good weather and plentiful game northward across this Saharan Gateway, although the exact route they followed remains to be determined.
Point of Interest
The L branch is shared by all women alive today, both in Africa and around the world. The L3 branch is the major maternal branch from which all mitochondrial DNA lineages outside of Africa arose.
60,000 Years Ago
Location of Origin: East Africa Or Asia
Your next ancestor is the woman whose descendants formed haplogroup N. Haplogroup N comprises one of two groups that were created by the descendants of L3.
One of these two groups of individuals moved north rather than east and left the African continent across the Sinai Peninsula, in present-day Egypt. Also faced with the harsh desert conditions of the Sahara, these people likely followed the Nile basin, which would have proved a reliable water and food supply in spite of the surrounding desert and its frequent sandstorms.
Descendants of these migrants eventually formed haplogroup N. Early members of this group lived in the eastern Mediterranean region and western Asia, where they likely coexisted for a time with other hominids such as Neanderthals. Excavations in Israel’s Kebara Cave (Mount Carmel) have unearthed Neanderthal skeletons as recent as 60,000 years old, indicating that there was both geographic and temporal overlap of these two hominids. This likely accounts for the presence of Neanderthal DNA in people living outside of Africa.
Some members bearing mutations specific to haplogroup N formed many groups of their own which went on to populate much of the rest of the globe. These descendants are found throughout Asia, Europe, India, and the Americas. However, because almost all of the mitochondrial lineages found in the Near East and Europe descend from N, it is considered a western Eurasian haplogroup.
After several thousand years in the Near East, members of your group began moving into unexplored nearby territories, following large herds of migrating game across vast plains. These groups broke into several directions and made their way into territories surrounding the Near East.
Today, haplogroup N individuals who headed west are prevalent in Turkey and the eastern Mediterranean, they are found further east in parts of Central Asia and the Indus Valley of Pakistan and India. And members of your haplogroup who headed north out of the Levant across the Caucasus Mountains have remained in southeastern Europe and the Balkans. Importantly, descendants of these people eventually went on to populate the rest of Europe, and today comprise the most frequent mitochondrial lineages found there.
Point of Interest
This line and its sister lineage are the only two founding lineages to expand out of Africa.
About 55,000 Years Ago
Location of Origin: West Asia
After several thousand years in the Near East, individuals belonging to a new group called haplogroup R began to move out and explore the surrounding areas. Some moved south, migrating back into northern Africa. Others went west across Anatolia (present-day Turkey) and north across the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia and southern Russia. Still others headed east into the Middle East, and on to Central Asia. All of these individuals had one thing in common: they shared a female ancestor from the N clan, a recent descendant of the migration out of Africa.
The story of haplogroup R is complicated, however, because these individuals can be found almost everywhere, and because their origin is quite ancient. In fact, the ancestor of haplogroup R lived relatively soon after humans moved out of Africa during the second wave, and her descendants undertook many of the same migrations as her own group, N.
Because the two groups lived side by side for thousands of years, it is likely that the migrations radiating out from the Near East comprised individuals from both of these groups. They simply moved together, bringing their N and R lineages to the same places around the same times. The tapestry of genetic lines became quickly entangled, and geneticists are currently working to unravel the different stories of haplogroups N and R, since they are found in many of the same far-reaching places.
Point of Interest
Descendants of this line dominate the European maternal landscape, making up 75 to 95 percent of the lineages there.
35,000 Years Ago
Location of Origin: West Asia
Haplogroup J has a very wide distribution, and is present as far east as the Indus Valley bordering India and Pakistan, and as far south as the Arabian Peninsula. It is also common in eastern and northern Europe. Although your haplogroup was present during the early and middle Upper Paleolithic, J is largely considered one of the main genetic signatures of the Neolithic expansions.
While groups of hunter-gatherers and subsistence fishermen had been occupying much of Eurasia for tens of thousands of years, around ten thousand years ago a group of modern humans living in the Fertile Crescent—present-day eastern Turkey and northern Syria—began domesticating the plants, nuts, and seeds they had been collecting. What resulted were the world’s first agriculturalists, and this new cultural era is typically referred to as the Neolithic.
Groups of individuals able to support larger populations with this reliable food source began migrating out of the Middle East, bringing their new technology with them. By then, humans had already settled much of the surrounding areas, but this new agricultural technology proved too successful to ignore, and the surrounding groups quickly copied these new immigrants. Interestingly, DNA data indicate that while these new agriculturalists were incredibly successful at planting their technology among the surrounding groups, they were far less successful at planting their own genetic seed. Agriculture was quickly and widely adopted, but the lineages carried by these Neolithic expansions are found today at low frequencies.
Your haplogroup has greater diversity in the Near East than in Europe, indicating a homeland for J’s most recent common ancestor around the Levant, a coastal region in what is now Lebanon. It reaches its highest frequency in Arabia, comprising around 25% of the Bedouin and Yemeni. But genetic evidence indicates that these populations have either experienced low population sizes or undergone a founder event, indicating that the higher frequency is more reflective of these bottleneck events rather than this region actually constituting the geographic origin of haplogroup J.1
Point of Interest
This line reaches its highest frequency in Arabia, comprising 25 percent of Bedouin and Yemeni lineages.
Francesco Petrarca, the father of Humanism, and Richard III, King of England, were members of this lineage.