I am Dan Hancock. My genes and traits were determined by those of my ancestors. To further research my ancestors, I had DNA tests done that examined my DNA and compared it to the DNAs to historic populations.
In human genetics, a haplogroup is a group of individuals with a unique chromosome that is traced back to a single mutation at a specific geographic place and time thousands of years ago. Each haplogroup is assigned a capital letter from A through T. Each subsequent mutation (called subclades) is assigned an added numeric digit or letter. For example, Haplogroup R1b1b2a1a2d3 identifies 11 sucessive subclades that have occurred to the original and ancient Haplogroup R, where "3" identifies the most recent mutation.
The Y-chromosome (Y-DNA) haplogroup and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroup are used to define genetic populations. Y-DNA is passed solely along the paternal line, from father to son, while mtDNA is passed down the maternal line, from mother to offspring of both sexes. Y-DNA and mtDNA change only by chance mutation at a generation with no intermixture between parents' genetic material. The following are my Y-DNA and mtDNA haplogroups:
Haplogroup R1b1b2 is the most common haplogroup in western Europe, where it is found in more than 50% of men. Ancient representatives of the haplogroup were among the first people to repopulate the western part of Europe after the Ice Age ended about 12,000 years ago. In the process the haplogroup evolved into more distinct subclades including the following:
Haplogroup K spread from the Near East into Europe about 15,000 to 12,000 years ago, as the Ice Age was ending and temperate forests spread over the previously frigid continent. It is still found at low levels in most European populations, where many subclades of the haplogroup match identical ones from the Near East. More recent migrations also may have carried Haplogroup K from the Near East to Europe, perhaps coupled with the spread of agriculture about 8,000 years ago.
A few branches of Haplogroup K, such as subclades K1a9, K2a2a, and K1a1b1a, are specific to Jewish populations and especially to Ashkenazi Jews, whose roots lie in central and eastern Europe. These branches of Haplogroup K are found at levels of 30% among Ashkenazi. But they are also found at lower levels in Jewish populations in the Near East and Africa, and among Sephardic Jews who trace their roots to medieval Spain. That indicates an origin of those K subclades in the Near East before 70 AD, when the Roman destruction of Jerusalem scattered the Jewish people around the Mediterranean and beyond.
Haplogroup K1a1b1a occurs today in about 1.7 million Ashkenazi, or about 20% of the population. The diversity of that haplogroup among Ashkenazi suggests that it arose in the Near East between 2,000 and 3,000 years ago, and that everyone who shares K1a1b1a today may have a common ancestor as recently as 700 years ago. A similar pattern in two other K branches that are common among the Ashkenazi, K1a9 and K2a2, as well as Haplogroup N1b, has led researchers to conclude that 40% of the Ashkenazi living today, about 3.4 million people, could descend from as few as four women who lived within the last 2,000 years. Historical information supports that conclusion. The Ashkenazi tradition traces back to a small number of people who migrated from northern Italy to the Rhine Valley of Germany around 700 AD, then grew over the next 1,300 years to a population of more than 5 million.
My haplogroups were determined by 23andMe, Inc., using a contracted CLIA-certified laboratory. Upon receiving my saliva sample, laboratory personnel extracted DNA from cells in my saliva. My DNA was then processed on an Illumina® HumanOmniExpress array with significant customization by 23andMe, which analyzed more than one million SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) and thus processed nearly one million specific points on my genome.
For an overview of the more recent Hancock family members and their migrations, click on About the Hancock Family.
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