Well, still looking for the “Pitt connection” mentioned in the last post; meanwhile, I’ve discovered that genetically, my maternal line is haploid group ‘V’, a subgroup of ‘R0‘. Coincidentally, Benjamin Franklin and Bono are also “Vs”.
According to information provided by http://www.23andme.com, the company through which I had my DNA test, this group “originated in Iberia during the Ice Age. After a last burst of cold conditions roughly 12,000 years ago, migrations carried the haplogroup northward along the Atlantic coast and through central Europe to Scandinavia. Today it is found in a wide variety of populations from the Basques of Spain to the Saami of Finland”.
While I’d always known of my predominantly English, Irish, Dutch, and to a lesser extent German and French ancestry, I could never have imagined that I could have ancestry from Spain or be genetically linked to the Saami.
The amount of information you receive from 23andme on your ancestry is actually quite overwhelming, especially when it comes to deciphering the “lingo” and digesting the list of those genetically related to you. However, none of the 750+ people listed are closer than 3rd-6th cousins. I’m hesitant to start sharing information with people until I have a full grasp of what I am sharing. Hopefully, some day, some closer connections will present themselves. And, by then, I hope I will understand all this a bit better!
I might add that the health information–both the positive and the negative–is also definitely worth having. Definitely take advantage of the $99 offer if you are even mildly interested. You really do find out an extraordinary amount of information. You may even have, as I did, some “a-ha” moments. While reading through some of my genetic traits, I could not help but react with a few “a-ha”s like having a high tolerance of caffeine.
Apparently the V group is relatively rare, found in just about 4% of Europeans, with the biggest concentration in Scandinavia with the Saami (59%).
One other thing that kind of blows my mind as someone who spent a lot of time studying, working, and living in Russia: about 10% of the Mari people of the Volga-Ural region are group V. I actually almost ended up in the vicinity of the Mari who are to the north of the city of Kazan. In the early 1990s, when buying a train ticket to visit friends in Ryazan (3 hours to the southeast of Moscow), the ticket seller thought I said “Kazan” (some 11 hrs to the east). I did not scrutinize my ticket until just before I was leaving. Nor did I scrutinize the price since back then travel was extremely inexpensive by world standards; thankfully I realized the mistake before I boarded the train—an 11 hour train ride would have been quite a rude awakening to say the least. Now, 20+ years later, I’d actually quite like to go east to visit the home of the Mari. It’s a funny old world, isn’t it?