A mt-DNA test on the HVR1 region, taken with Family Tree DNA, shows that my haplogroup is W and that so far there are no low resolution matches in their database. Because of this I have not yet upgraded to the HVR2 or full sequence test.
My results show HVR1 haplogroup W (probably W5) and the differences from the Cambridge Reference Standard (CRS) are:
16129A - 16223T - 16287T - 162929T - 16362C - 16519C.
FTDNA say that Haplogroup W is derived from the N superhaplogroup, which dates to approximately 65,000 years ago. The origin of haplogroup W dates to approximately 25,000 years ago, and it is mainly found distributed in west Eurasia (or Europe). It is likely that individuals bearing this lineage participated in the expansion into the bulk of Europe following the Last Glacial Maximum. Future work, including obtaining more samples from central Asia, will further refine the historical distribution of this haplogroup and better determine the role it played in the peopling of Europe.
The commoner European haplogroups, H, U, X V, T, K and J, are dubbed by Prof Bryan Sykes as the Seven Daughters of Eve; Helena, Ursula, Xenia, Velda, Tara, Katrine and Jasmin. The W haplogroup is considerably older than any of these and clan W affectionately refer to the common maternal ancestor as Wilma (Flintstone) and the most informative website is Peter Wade's W Haplogroup Home Page.
Peter Wade's research suggests that Wilma's descendants separated from the N1 clan between 49,000 and 26,800 years ago in what is now known as the Punjab region of north west India and northern Pakistan. Some of her descendents moved east towards Asia and others migrated west into Europe.
By the onset of the last ice age around 18,000 years ago the European Wilmas, together with people of haplogroups U7 and R2 were confined to the ice-age refuge in what is now Turkey. When global temparatures rose again around 14,000 years ago these Wilmas continued to migrate west and haplogroup W is now found in low numbers right across Europe as far west as Ireland. The W4 group moved north through Eastern Europe and then west through modern Germany and thence to England.
This fits with what little I know of my maternal paper-trail family history. They were Church of Ireland Protestants in Co Sligo and the few surnames associated with that maternal line (COOK, SLATER, BELL, HIGGINSON) all sound English rather than Irish, so quite possibly descend from 16th or 17th century Protestant Planters who were given land in Ireland by the Crown in the attempt to suppress Roman Catholicism in Ireland.
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