Ballard Genealogy and Heraldry

Deep Ancestral Roots

A brief look at my genetic genealogy with mtDNA and yDNA.

Y-DNA Haplogroup: R-M207   Subgroup: R1b1b2*- M269

Haplogroup R is defined by the M207 DNA marker and everyone who carries this marker today descends from a common paternal ancestor who lived about 30,000 years ago in west Asia. Over thirty subclades of haplogroup R have so far been identified and R1b1b2-M269 is most characteristic of Western Europeans. 

All people living today can trace their earliest paternal ancestors to populations that lived approximately 100,000 years ago in eastern Africa. These early humans became spread throughout the African continent, and beginning about 50,000 years ago, a series of complex migrations moved them out of Africa into regions of Asia and beyond to eventually populate every major area of the world. Approximately 26 to 30,000 years ago haplogroup R emerged in west Asia descending from a widespread Asian haplogroup known as K-M9. Representatives of haplogroup R expanded to the west and south migrating throughout central and southwest Asia into India, the Middle East, and Europe. Haplogroup subclade R1b1b2-M269, became well established in Europe during the Upper Paleolithic Period (Late Stone Age) contributing to the spread of Aurignacian or Gravettian culture, characterized by advanced artistic and technological achievements. During this period, populations were ranging across Europe and subsisted mostly by hunting and gathering. An impending Ice Age, reaching its maximum beginning  between 18 and 20,000 years ago and lasting several thousands of years, subsequently covered most of Europe with massive glaciers forcing populations to retreat to geographically isolated refuge areas where they were able to persist. Individuals of R1b1b2-M269 became most concentrated in the Iberian refuge. As the Ice Age began to abate about 13,000 years ago and living conditions slowly improved across Europe, localised populations migrated from refuge areas to repopulate Europe and areas of Asia. Representatives of  R1b1b2-M269 moved primarily throughout western Europe, and it is found at very high frequencies (50-80%) throughout western Europe particularly in Ireland, Wales, Scotland, England, Portugal, France, Germany, and northern Italy, with diminishing frequencies towards the east although representation stretches as far as central Asia and India. Once the Ice Age ended haplogroup R would continue to play significant roles in subsequent phases of European history, including the adoption and spread of farming and agriculture, Greek and Roman influences, and the Middle Ages. 

A Y-DNA haplotype consists of a series of STR (Short Tandem Repeat) markers located along the Y-chromosome. Each STR marker has a very high mutation rate and therefore changes rather quickly through time. Because of their high variability STR haplotypes can identify recent relationships within a haplogroup. One well known example is the 6-marker Atlantic Modal Haplotype (AMH), which is shared at high frequencies by members of haplogroup R1b1b2-M269 living in the European Atlantic facade, and a 17-marker haplotype known as the Irish Modal Haplotype (IMH) which accounts for 17% of haplogroup R1b1b2-M269 members in northwest Ireland. I have neither of these.

* A haplogroup designation followed by a "*" signifies the presence of a haplogroup defining marker but the absence of any other known subclade markers. For example, R1*-M173 is a member of haplogroup R1 but not a member of its subgroup R1a-SRY1532.2. 

mtDNA Haplogroup: H   Subgroup: H11

Haplogroup H is the most common mitochondrial DNA lineage in western Eurasian populations, particularly in southwestern Europe. Overall more than 40% of the total European population carries this mitochondrial variation. It can also be found in the Caucasus and Central Asian regions, though frequencies are considerably lower than that of Europe.

Haplogroup H most likely originated about 30,000 years ago probably in an area between the northern part of the Near East and the Caucasus mountain range, a natural border separating Europe and Asia. Populations carrying this variation subsequently expanded into Europe in association with the second Paleolithic expansion, around the time man began using fine blades to create projectile points and to shape stone tools.

Haplogroup H was also strongly involved in the late-glacial expansions from Ice Age refuges in Iberia (Spain, Portugal) until temperatures progressively increased and the last Ice Age came to an end.

More than twenty subclades of haplogroup H have been identified with several showing regional distributions. H11 is one of those  haplogroups which occur at low frequencies and cannot yet be definitively matched with any geographical patterns.

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