Grandmother was a "Helena"

My father received the results of the analysis of his mitochondrial DNA, representing his matrilineal heritage.

The results classify his mtDNA in haplogroup H11, a branch of haplogroup H represented by “Helena” in The Seven Daughters of Eve by Bryan Sykes.

Approximately 40% of European mtDNA are members of haplogroup H. Haplogroup H11 is an uncommon branch of haplogroup H and is one of the oldest branches of H. H11 can be found in the Near East as well as Europe.

Some recent journal articles discussing haplogroup H include:

Achilli A., Rengo C., Magri C., Battaglia V., Olivieri A., Scozzari R., Cruciani F., Zeviani M., Briem E., Carelli V., Moral P., Dugoujon J., Roostalu U., Loogväli E., Kivisild T., Bandelt H., Richards M., Villems R., Santachiara-Benerecetti A., Semino O., Torroni A.  The molecular dissection of mtDNA haplogroup H confirms that the Franco-Cantabrian glacial refuge was a major source for the European gene pool.  Am J Hum Gen 2004 75:910-918.

Pereira L., Richards M., Goios A., Alonso A., Albarrán C., Garcia O., Behar D., Gölge M., Hatina J., Al-Gazali L.,  Bradley D., Macaulay V., Amorim A.  High-resolution mtDNA evidence for the late-glacial resettlement of Europe from an Iberian refugium.  Genome Res. 2005 15:19-24.

Roostalu U, Kutuev I, Loogväli EL, Metspalu E, Tambets K, Reidla M, Khusnutdinova EK, Usanga E, Kivisild T, Villems R. Origin and expansion of haplogroup H, the dominant human mitochondrial DNA lineage in West Eurasia: the Near Eastern and Caucasian perspective.  Mol Biol Evol. 2007 24:436-48.

With these results, I now have the mitochondrial DNA haplogroups for both of my grandmothers and the Y-DNA haplogroups for both of my grandfathers:

  • Paternal grandfather’s Y-DNA: Haplogroup R1b1b2a1a (tracks with the Dańko surname)
  • Maternal grandfather’s Y-DNA: Haplogroup R1a1 (tracks with the Niedziałkowski surname)
  • Paternal grandmother’s mtDNA: Haplogroup H11 (Bryan Sykes’ “Helena”)
  • Maternal grandmother’s mtDNA: Haplogroup W1 (a sister of Bryan Sykes’ “Xenia”)

The sources of the DNA for these results were not my grandparents, all of whom passed on long ago. I supplied the DNA sample that represents my paternal grandfather’s Y-DNA and my maternal grandmother’s mtDNA. My Niedzialkowski cousins supplied the samples that represents my maternal grandfather’s Y-DNA, and my father supplied the sample that represents my paternal grandmother’s mtDNA.

Copyright © 2008 by Stephen J. Danko

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One Response to Grandmother was a "Helena"

  1. Jasia says:

    Finally, our connection is found! I guess we were separated before birth ;-)

    I’m H11 too :-)

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