Monday, March 25, 2013

DNA Monday: Haplogroup H3, My Deep Peeps

Is anyone out there in haplogroup H3? Anyone at all? Think I'm the only one! Can't be.

Still here stumbling around under the Nut Tree looking at my DNA results from 23and Me. It strikes me that while other blogs are written by experts and offer answers, here I am wandering round watching the questions multiply before my eyes. Why anyone would want to read this mess is beyond me, but thank you so much for stopping by. And if my misery from time to time makes you feel less miserable, then something has been accomplished.

Before I got my DNA test results back I tried to get up to speed on some aspects of the test, and one of them is haplogroup. I found out that haplogroup is a way to think about the great tree of man, or Homo Sapiens. Because I'm female my haplogroup comes down from a very distant woman living about 190,000 to 200,000 years ago now called Mitochondrial Eve. As the great family of woman grew and migrated, the ladies haplogroups grew and migrated. You can see that it's helpful to change the letters at each junction where the tree branches out.

My group, H, can only be given to female descendants because it's contained in the mitochondria of female DNA known by it's abbreviation, mtDNA. Guy haplogroup determination has a whole other set of letters and because there's so much written about yDNA and surname tests, let's let them fend for themselves. H, L2, and A haplogroups belong to us gals.

Science likes to get as specific as possible so the letters break down into sub groups and numbers are added. The haplogroups are also called clads, and the numbers are called subclads. These can be further broken down and if they are then lower case letters are added. While I'm H3 I've seen other people's results that are E1a. And science isn't resting on its laurels. No, researchers are working and these subclads are, even as I write and you read, now breaking down subclads even further in an effort to be as specific as possible. That's great because each addition of a letter or number means deeper specificity, and don't we want that so we can know as much about our deep peeps as possible?

I've had a good time finding out about my H3 haplogroup. We're quite an interesting band of travelers and here's our story. Haplogroup H originated in Southwest Asia about 20,000 to 25,000 years ago on that great big tree of man, er I mean, of women, when H came out of haplogroup HV. You can Google up a haplogroup migration tree if you get a spare moment and are interested.

Evolutionary tree of human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups
Mitochondrial Eve (L)
(Table courtesy Wikipedia.)
My H3 deep peeps, after a stint in Southwest Asia, moved on down the line as part of the migration during the last ice age, and landed in the Franco-Catabrian Glacial Refuge. Interestingly for me, this is where all of the cave art also comes from. So can you picture them huddling in caves and what not, enduring the last ice age? If I was there I'd have said, "Hey, let's put some art on those cave walls!" This group was also responsible for repopulating much of Europe after the ice melted.
Laxcaux. (Wikipedia commons.)
Well, I could go on here because this is the kind of stuff I just love knowing. But you'll have your own haplogroup to work on and the fun of finding out about your own deep peeps!


  1. Here I am !!!
    I have had my deep mtdna done and belong to H3 ... you are not alone !
    I don't understand much of this either but I absolutely love knowing this much.
    It's simply thrilling !
    I live in Canada and am of Irish (mostly) and Scottish descent.
    Loved your post !

    1. Hey! Look at us: H3! It is a kick to know it, somehow, isn't it? Thanks for commenting:)

  2. Men have mitochondrial DNA too, passed on from our mothers. I too am a member of your group.

  3. Roll call for H3? Checking in! My maternal descent is all Eastern European and I live in Western PA.

  4. Hi all! I'm H3 too. My family came from England and Ireland and were early American colonizers. I grew up in SC and now live in NY.

  5. Hi, I am checking in, I'm an H3 too! My family came from Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales and France. They were also early colonizers of America. Grew up in CA, now live in TN

  6. H3 and RH Negative. Are any other H3ers RH Negative as well?

    1. I'm an H3 O negative. My mother came from eastern France. Possibly Jewish.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Yes, I'm Negative. H3G1 idea what it means. I know nothing of my mother's' family.

  7. Hi, I am H3 and thank you for your post, it helped explain this group better.

  8. Just found out Maternal line is H3 Kootz , Noll line

    I'm a guy


  9. Hi Folks-
    Just to clarify something not clear in this post, females are the ones who give us mitochondrial DNA but guys have it too... and as I understand it, they keep it while we ladies pass it on:) But as I say above, I'm no expert! Thanks to the guy commenters above for underlining my lack of clarity:) Much appreciated.
    Cheers, Diane

  10. I have haplogroup H3 on my mother's side. Her family comes from central Italy. Jon

  11. H3 sister here . . . my family lived in Eastern Europe (Krakow region of Poland) for at least 200 years prior to migration to Chicago in the early 1900's. Glad to meet y'all!

  12. I'm H3 also! From what I can tell, my mom's side comes from Scotland, Germany, and England.

  13. Hi, I am also H3, but it is a known fact that my great great grandmother was Lenni-Lenape/Delaware Indian (I have a photo of her and others who knew her whom I have spoken to). Perhaps not all Native Americans are in mitochondrial groups A, B, C, D, & X? Or, somewhere in her line some generations before her there must have been a female from an H3 region like Portugal, France, Basque, etc.?

    1. this is worth looking into. this territory goes back 15-1600s, even Scandinavians around 1000, or Irish well before that. I'll be curious to hear your full story as it develops. I'm looking for anyone to match H3g1

  14. Just found out I'm H3. Adoptee born in Tulsa OK 1967. Don't quite get all the technical info but loved learning my ethnicity was European/British/Irish. Now to figure out what to do with all this raw DNA

  15. Hi all, H3 too. I am russian, parents are russian, everyone I know from my family is russian, so I wonder how that happened, haha
    Well anyway nice to meet ya all