All living men have inherited their y chromosome from Genetic Adam, along with the mutations that have accumulated in their individual family lines. Geneticists can test for these accumulated mutations. By analyzing the mutations present in modern men, geneticists can group them. Individual test results show a man’s haplotype. Men with the same haplotype are likely to belong to the same family.
A haplogroup consists of all the male-line descendants of an ancestor who had a particular SNP mutation in his y chromosome. These haplogroup founders typically lived before the adoption of surnames, and passed on the mutation to all their descendants in the male line. Men in the same haplogroup share a common ancestor, usually thousands, or tens of thousands, years ago.
Geneticists currently recognize 20 haplogroups, each designated with a capital letter between A and T. Subgroups within each haplogroup are represented by numbers and further subgroups by lower case letters. For example, five men in haplogroup G might belong to five different subgroups: G*, G1, G2, G2a and G2b. The G* man belongs to haplogroup G, but not to any known subgroup. G1 and G2 are subgroups of G. G2a and G2b are subgroups of G2.
New mutations are being discovered so rapidly, and the haplogroup tree has changed so often, some sources prefer to use a shorthand that combines the Haplogroup with the SNP code. For example, G-P303 indicates a member of Haplogroup G who carries the P303 mutation, the mutation that defines G2a3b1 in the current (2012) ISOGG tree.
Haplogroups are useful for tracing population movements because, unlike mtDNA, yDNA haplogroup dispersal is “highly non-random”. That is, yDNA haplogroups are concentrated in certain geographic areas, even though there is no area where the entire population belongs to the same haplogroup. Therefore, geneticists can use modern haplogroup dispersal to trace population movements in pre-historic times.
The nine most common haplogroups in Europe are E1b1b, G, I1 (M253), I2a (P37.2), I2b1 (M223), J2, N3, R1a, and R1b. The old European haplogroups (R1a, R1b and I) account for 80 percent of the present European population. Incoming haplogroups from the Middle East (E1b1b, G, J2 and N) account for the other 20 percent.
As a general rule of thumb: R1b = Western Europe, R1a = Eastern Europe, I = Nordic, G = Middle Eastern, J2 & E1b1 = Semitic, and Q3 = Native American.
Members of the Hauri yDNA project belong to the following haplogroups:
- Haplogroup E1b1b1* (E-M35) – a Semitic group
- Haplogroup G2a3b (G-P303) – an non-Semitic, Middle Eastern group
- Haplogroup I2a (I-P37.2) – a Nordic group
- Haplogroup R1b1b2 (R-M269) – a Western European group
- Haplogroup R1b1b2a1a4 (R-L48) – a Western European group
From these results we see that not all Hauris belong to the same male lineage. In fact, it is virtually certain that eventually we will find members in many other haplogroups.
- Wikipedia, Human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroups
- Wikipedia, List of Haplogroups of Historical and Famous Figures
- Wikipedia, Y-DNA Haplogroups by Ethnic Group