26 February 2017

Jim’s Y-DNA Basics

Last year I took a Y-DNA test through Family Tree DNA. Y-DNA tests a man’s father’s paternal line. Fathers only pass on their Y-DNA to their sons. The test can only be done by males. It shows only your direct paternal line and haplogroup. A human haplogroup is a group of people, in this case males, who share a common ancestor, usually back some distance in time. The results will be the same as my father William Summers, grandfather James Peter Summers, great great grandfather Peter Joseph Summers, 3x great grandfather Daniel Summers and brother Dennis Summers. My sons, Steven, Bennett, Anthony and grandson Solomon have inherited my Y-DNA.

My Y-DNA test results told me my haplogroup. Mine is R1b and traces back sixty thousand years to Africa and one of the “sons of Adam”. It also shows me that approximately forty-five thousand years ago my Homo Sapiens ancestor picked up stone tools and headed northwest out of Africa into western Europe.  His travels led him through Spain to meet some more advanced folks, the Neanderthals, very cool dudes.

The Neanderthal were larger in frame and had a head with a brain twice my ancestor’s size. The leader made my ancestor work with the females so he would not get hurt.  The Neanderthals taught him how to hunt mammoths and herd animals. The women taught me so much about the differences in our two cultures.  Whoa, big differences! Within a few thousand years my Y-DNA mutated to a subclave of R1b, M269. This shows my Y-DNA includes one percent Neanderthal DNA! Neanderthal DNA is present in most Europeans but not found on the African continent unless the person descended from European ancestors. 

Map of Neanderthal Habitats
For further reading: 

Smithsonian Institutes "Ancient DNA and Neanderthals"

European Haplogroup R1b Y-DNA