Friday, September 19, 2008

Haplogroup T

I knew my results would come last night. The lab received my sample the day after my dad's, so I had a feeling I would get my results the day after he got his. Hoped, anyway.

Reconfirmed that I am, indeed, part of mtDNA haplogroup T. Second-most popular group to belong to among people of European descent (I think the number is between 10-20 percent). So, while I might have more fun looking for possible ancestral paths for my dad's group, K, I will probably have more luck finding people who are an exact match for me.

Of note: mtDNA mutations change so slowly that if you're not an exact match to someone, you're not related. That doesn't mean you are closely related to someone who is an exact match, but you definitely are not if there are any differences. Not through that branch, anyway. So, so far there are about 20 people on Ancestry who match up to me exactly. And my dad so far is SOL, thanks to his one extra mutation that nobody else in K seems to have. What a mutant! Ha ha...no, seriously. My next line of thought for this genetics journey when it comes to T is to find people who are tracing an Irish T line, since that's where my T comes from (Limerick, to be exact, as far back as I can tell, which isn't that far - 1820s, maybe). You have to start somewhere, so I figure you go from one thing being in common (haplogroup T) to something else you might have in common (Irish ancestors).

Another note: about belonging to haplogroups, which is kind of hard to wrap your head around. My dad asked me last night if I'm a K since he's a K. Genetically speaking, no. Genetically, my mutations make me a T. But genealogically, yes. Genealogically, I am a T. I am a K. I am a y-DNA haplogroup R1b. I am whatever my Raynor line turns out to be. I carry the genetic markers of a specific haplogroup, but I am here and who I am because of all the people I am descended from who belong to all these different haplogroups. Humans seem to have a need to define and categorize and organize things. And by "humans," I mean "me." Life is messy. Genealogy is messy. Haplogroups help trace the human journey - literally. The human migration. Genetically, I am a T. But genetically, I am also related to my dad. So I would like to think that if the Ks all got together and threw an awesome party, that I would get an invitation because even though I'm not one of them, I am of one of them.

Yeah, trying to wrap my head around this is starting to hurt...

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