Monument to the Soviet Army in Borisova Gradina, Sofia, Bulgaria
We recently went to Bulgaria to complete my husband’s immigration journey. I am happy to report he is now a lawful permanent resident. Going to Bulgaria to complete the process also gave him the opportunity to see family he hadn’t seen in 22 years. Both of his grandmothers are still alive so we went to see them but unfortunately his paternal grandfather passed away last year. The other grandfather passed away some time ago. It was a bittersweet experience, mostly sweet. We are happy to be home and feel a burden has been lifted from us.
We spent our 5th anniversary in a cabin in the woods. No running water, no electricity, no wifi. It was actually really nice to go off-grid and we had a lot of fun! As many of you know, Family Tree DNA has been having some wonderful Holiday sales and coupons so I ordered an SNP test (E-V13) for DH and and mtDNA test for him. We already know his mitochondrial haplogroup is V1 according to 23andMe. I only ordered HVRs 1 & 2, not the entire mitochondrial genome, so he will be listed as haplogroup V at Family Tree DNA’s Haplogroup V Project. I don’t know of any other married couple who are both participants in the project so I’m pretty excited about that.
Haplogroup V first appeared in Iberia toward the end of the Ice Age, about 16,000 years ago, when Europe’s human population was mostly restricted to a few temperate enclaves in the southern part of the continent. Aside from a branch that established itself in Sardinia during the period, haplogroup V was mostly confined to the Iberian peninsula until the Ice Age had ended.
The haplogroup began expanding once consistently warmer conditions arrived about 11,500 years ago. One migration carried it northward along the Atlantic to a low-lying coastal plain rich in game and marine food sources such as seals and sea birds. Known as Doggerland, that region lies under the North Sea today – because so much water was locked up in the polar ice sheets during and immediately after the Ice Age, sea level was lower in the past than it is today.
Doggerland slipped beneath the waves about 9,000 years ago, but haplogroup V remains at levels of about 5% in countries that border the Atlantic and especially the North Sea. It is most abundant today in Scotland and northern Germany.
A separate post-Ice Age migration carried haplogroup V through central Europe to western Russia and the Scandinavian Arctic.
Haplogroup V tends to be most common today in isolated populations on Europe’s fringes, from the Finns and Saami in the north to the Sardinians and Basques in the south.
V reaches levels of 12% among the Basque. But its complete absence in ancient DNA samples from their homeland suggests that wherever the haplogroup originated in the Iberian peninsula, it wasn’t in the Basque country.
The Saami, also known as the Lapps or Laplanders, are an indigenous ethnic group of northern Scandinavia and Russia’s Kola peninsula. Because their language belongs to the Finno-Ugric linguistic group, which appears to have originated in Russia, they were previously thought to have come from northern Asia or the Urals. But genetic analysis, including the detection of haplogroup V among the Saami, indicates that they probably migrated to their homeland from southern Europe after the Ice Age.
Haplogroup V appears at levels of about 40% in the Saami, and like the other two common haplogroups in the population, H1 and U5b1b1, it clearly originated in Europe. The haplogroup appears to have expanded from Iberia through central Europe after the Ice Age. It is found today at levels of about 10% percent in the Maris, an ethnic group living along the Volga in Russia, which suggests the Saami may have approached their Arctic homeland by traveling up that river and its tributaries toward the Baltic.
The high frequency of V in the Saami is due to the population shrinking to a small size several thousand years ago, then subsequently expanding. It is not known why this occurred. However, when this happens, some lineages randomly become more frequent while others disappear. Because of this V is more common in the Saami than other Europeans, including their Scandinavian neighbors.
A distinctive archaeological site – a cemetery on an island in a lake near St. Petersburg – suggests that ancestors of the Saami may have reached the Baltic region as much as 8,500 years ago. Saami groups in far northwestern Russia buried their dead on lake islands until the mid-19th century.
E arose in the eastern part of Africa about 30,000 to 40,000 years ago. Since then, migrants have carried it throughout that continent and into neighboring regions of Europe and the Near East.
Within Africa haplogroup E is extremely common and widespread, reaching levels of 75% or more among Arabs and Berbers in Morocco, Senegalese in western Africa and Bantu-speaking groups in South Africa and Kenya.
E1b1b1a originated in a population that moved from eastern Africa into northeastern Africa about 14,000 years ago, during the final days of the Ice Age. From northeastern Africa, E1b1b1a men expanded across northern Africa between the Sahara and the Mediterranean coastline, and out of Africa into Near Eastern populations, where their descendants still live today.
Haplogroup E1b1b1a is also common in southern Europe, including the Balkans, Iberia, and Italy. It is particularly common among Greeks, Bulgarians and Albanians, reaching levels of 15 to 30% in those populations. The majority of men bearing E1b1b1a descend from a quick expansion of people out of the Near East via Turkey about 4,500 years ago. This expansion of E1b1b1a is linked to the Bronze Age, a culture that arose from the smelting of tin and copper to create beautiful and complex bronze items, such as jewelry and weapons. These Bronze Age men carrying E1b1b1a and other haplogroups journeyed along river waterways in the Balkans and spread into east-central Europe. Today, men from Ukraine, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia all carry E1b1b1a at levels of nearly 10%.
While the majority of E1b1b1a European males trace their recent ancestry to Turkey and the Near East, some men carrying E1b1b1a from Spain, Italy and Greece trace their ancestry directly from North African populations, probably within the last 4,000 years. The ancestors of these men must have sailed across the Mediterranean Sea and settled in communities along the European coast.
But not all branches of E1b1b1a are linked to the Mediterranean. Haplogroup E1b1b1a2 arose in the Balkan region of southeast Europe about 9,000 years ago, just as agriculture was beginning to make its way into the region. Men bearing this haplogroup had been hunter-gatherers, but likely took up farming soon after the arrival of agriculturalists from the Near East.
Today, E1b1b1a2 is still found in the Balkans, with about 20% of Greeks and 24% of Albanians carrying this haplogroup. E1b1b1a2 is present at lower levels in the surrounding Balkan Peninsula and in Anatolia (present-day Turkey).
Yet another branch of E1b1b1a, E1b1b1a3, originated in northeastern Africa about 10,000 years ago. Today it is found in about 20% of Egyptian men.
In the 23andMe blog…
Haplogroup E1b1b1a is also linked to the spread of agriculture in southeastern Europe. Learn more at the 23andMe blog.
About 8,000 years ago men from the E1b1b1a1b branch of E1b1b1a migrated from Egypt southward into eastern Africa, perhaps in search of new pastures for their recently domesticated goats, sheep and cattle. Most men in Somalia and parts of Ethiopia and Kenya who carry the E1b1b1a mutation today are descendants of these migrants.”
Interestingly, I noticed DH has a null 425 Y-STR marker and had him join the Null 425 project at FTDNA in November of 2012. I noticed the administrator listed DH as E-V13 and asked about it. The administrator said:
So your husband has typical STR (marker) values for this E-V13 subgroup, which is very common in the Balkans. It is considered to be the marker of ancient Illyrians and Thracians, and every 5th Bulgarian man belongs to this. It is the most common in Albania, but also frequent in Romania, Serbia and Greece. You may test V13 as an individual SNP from FTDNA if you like, to be sure, but I say 99.9% you would test positive. Also, all of the closest matches in the Null 425 project belong to this subgroup.
I asked Dr. McDonald about that spot of Americas green on chromosome 9 which he said was not actually Native American (which would not make any sense because DH and his family are from Bulgaria and have been for generations), he said it is actually Siberian. This is what he said:
“Americas is very close to being East Asian and therefore likely some sort of Siberian something. Looks like Bulgaria or Former Yugoslavia or some combo of those with Greek, or maybe Greek-Turkish or actual Cypriot-something. VERY clearly it is not Ashkenazi Jewish. Top bet is Bulgaria, but not great odds. What is it supposed to be?”
It’s March 4th and I still don’t have DH’s 23andMe results. I got him the kit for Christmas and got it to the lab by the 31st. Not sure why, but the first one turned out to be a bad sample. The lab received the last kit on February 5. I am predicting his mitochondrial haplogroup will be U.
23andMe received my mother’s kit on February 15th, so the wait on that one will be longer. I will be thoroughly surprised if she is not a V6 or V7.
You all get to laugh at me if I’m wrong. I get to drink a whole bottle of Moscato if I’m right.
We received DH’s results on the day Portabella passed, we haven’t really been motivated to do the background research on his haplogroup since then. Things will eventually get back to normal and hopefully this will help.
DH’s Y-DNA haplogroup has been identified as E1b1b1 (M35.1 shorthand) which is thought to have branched from E1b1b (M215) with its expansion into the Mediterranean/Southeastern Europe from the Middle East (to the Middle East from the Horn of Africa).
DH had a ton of exact matches on Family Tree DNA but since he was tested only to the 12 marker that’s not surprising. These matches are very “low resolution” because of the depth of the test, so his refine to 67 test should tell us more. These results are expected around October 1. This is all interesting because DH’s family is said to be very Turkish which is not well received in present-day Bulgaria. According to Eupedia’s Y-DNA information, the E1b1b haplogroup accounts for 22% of Bulgarians and 11% of Turks. It occurs in the second highest frequency in Bulgaria, just slightly behind haplogroup I2 (22.5%). The most frequent haplogroup in Turkey is J2 at 24% followed by R1b at 16% (combined = 40%). I’m assuming my father-in-law’s family is not as Turkish as people believe, at least not on his father’s side. However, we don’t have any genetic information on my father-in-law’s mother.
This is what the Genographic Project says about E1b1b1:
Place of Origin: Middle East
The final common ancestor in your haplogroup, the man who gave rise to marker M35.1, was born around 20,000 years ago in the Middle East. His descendants were among the first farmers and helped spread agriculture from the Middle East into the Mediterranean region. At the end of the last ice age around 10,000 years ago, the climate changed once again and became more conducive to plant production. This probably helped spur the Neolithic Revolution, the point at which the human way of living changed from nomadic hunter-gatherers to settled agriculturists.
The early farming successes in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East beginning around 8,000 years ago spawned population booms and encouraged migration throughout much of the Mediterranean world. Control over their food supply marks a major turning point for the human species. Rather than small clans of 30 to 50 people who were highly mobile and informally organized, agriculture brought the first trappings of civilization. Occupying a single territory required more complex social organization, moving from the kinship ties of a small tribe to the more elaborate relations of a larger community. It spurred trade, writing, calendars, and pioneered the rise of modern sedentary communities and cities.
These ancient farmers, your ancestors, helped bring the Neolithic Revolution into the Mediterranean. This is where your genetic trail, as we know it today, ends. However, be sure to revisit these pages. As additional data are collected and analyzed, more will be learned about your place in the history of the men and women who first populated the Earth. We will be updating these stories throughout the life of the project.
Ok, so I didn’t know what I was talking about when I first wrote this! We upgraded DH’s test to the 67th marker and it isn’t complete yet, but enough information is in to know that yes indeed, DH’s paternal line is Turkish/Ottoman like whoa. The first clue was when the Bulgarian DNA Project listed him under “Bulgarian Turks”. There is a Turks of Bulgaria project too, so I signed him up for that. We should do his mitochondrial DNA for fun since DH’s mom is Bulgarian Bulgarian (not Turkish Bulgarian).
At the 12-marker test, DH had a ton of exact matches: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, England, Ethiopia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kosovo, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Prussia, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, and Wales.
At the next step, 25-marker, he only had 1 match and it was not exact (2 step match). The guy’s ancestor was from Portugal which makes sense because of the Moors.
Here is the new information from Geno 2.0 . We haven’t considered paying for the upgrade and I went to see the webpage on a whim. I’m glad I did because DH’s Y-DNA information was updated. He appears to be moved to M215 which is listed as a rare or non-existent clade.