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From: Bonnie Schrack <>
Subject: [DNA] MtDNA news & thoughts (also Nancy's questions)
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 14:17:23 -0500


Hi all,

I haven't had time to follow the list discussions for a while, but I
have a couple of things to mention today.

First: with great dismay I've noted the disappearance of the
Mitochondrial DNA Concordance. This may have been mentioned on the list
during the time I haven't been reading it. Does anyone know what's up?
I have written an email about this to the webmaster of the Cambridge
Biological Anthropology Dept., asking what happened and to whom we may
appeal for its reappearance. If I find out that there's someone to
appeal to, it might help if many list members wrote emails explaining
how important it is to us.

For example, I was going to look up Nancy DeVore Williams' husband's
haplogroup T mutations, which are interesting, but couldn't...

Oh, on Nancy's questions:

> Is his haplotype difficult to establish because it is Polish (and
> therefore not as common to DNA researchers as it would be if from,
> say, the British Isles) or is it truly rare?

-- I think FTDNA's database is pretty good for Eastern Europe, actually,
as they have a strong interest in Jewish genealogy, for which that's an
important region. I think his haplotype is fairly rare. Although --
as we're often reminded -- most people have rare haplotypes!

> Should I get an additional mtdna test run for him and if so should it
> be mtDNA refine or mtDNA plus?

Wait for them to see whether they can place your husband in a
haplogroup. They may be doing an mtDNA SNP test, that is, a test of
some Coding Region sites, which is the ultimate way of knowing someone's
haplogroup. If they do that, the mtDNA refine test would not be at all
necessary. Do ask them if they are doing a test of the mtDNA Coding
Region to determine his haplogroup. If so, when they get the results,
get them to tell you which specific Coding Region mutations he has.
That is really nice to know, even though all of this may be confusing
and way beyond you at the moment. Someday, when you have had time to
read up on it, it will make much more sense. (The Coding Region is the
'business' portion of the mtDNA molecule, the much larger part, while
the HVR portion is a little tiny segment that doesn't do any known work.)

And please let the list know what you find out!

By the way, his mutations come closest to those found in some of the
more Eastern populations in the Supplementary Data to the Founders
article -- now found at
http://www.stats.gla.ac.uk/~vincent/founder2000/
<http://www.stats.gla.ac.uk/%7Evincent/founder2000/>;
-- particularly Palestinians. The 16209 mutation was found only in one
Palestinian, in haplogroup T*, who also had the 16256. The 16256 was
also found in another T* Palestinian, and in one Azerbaijani and a
person from the nearby Caucasus, who were both in T4. These are good
clues, I think, for Nancy to consider. The T* haplogroup is supposed
to have arrived in Europe in the Late Upper Paleolithic, during the
warming trend after the Last Glacial Maximum (this was when many of
Europe's founders came). But Nancy's husband's family could have come
from the Near East later on, of course.

Now, with the blue eyes and Polish background, this may not be what they
would have been thinking! But recall the excellent message from Grant
South. If a person marries into an ethnic group, the great majority of
their DNA will eventually come from that group, but only one little
fraction will show up on the mtDNA or Y-DNA test. In this case, they
could have had a maternal ancestor from a perhaps Jewish, Middle Eastern
family, who came to Poland or Prussia like many others, and married
those blue-eyed Northern folk. Just a thought... or it could have been
a T4 woman from a tribe of the Caucasus, who migrated northwestwards,
who knows. But the pattern of mutations was closer with the T*
Palestinian samples.

All of this is extremely speculative -- what's needed is much more data.
What were the matches on his Haplogroup page at FTDNA?

OK -- the other thing I wanted to mention is that my Haplogroup I page
has been getting some attention recently -- several people have asked to
be added, and it has been done. You may see the new chart here:
http://www.ancientrootsresearch.com/Hap-I/Members.html#table
The beginning of that page needs work, which I haven't had time for, but
the table and individual member pages have been updated.

Anyone whose mutations put them in mitochondrial Haplogroup I is welcome
and invited to get in touch so that you can be added.

Further good news: from the UK I've learned that my website has found
its way onto the OA message boards, allowing more folks to find out
about it -- but even better, some of the big scientific names in the
field are aware of the site and have directed one of their grad students
to me. She's in our haplogroup, and is writing a very interesting
dissertation on DNA, archaeology and identity, and we're corresponding.
I hope this will be a fruitful interchange, that will enrich the site
content in the future!

Bonnie Schrack
Ancient Roots Research
http://www.ancientrootsresearch.com
















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