I'm a member of the mtDNA haplogroup J1a* club!

So, probably a couple months ago now, I worked up the proper amount of spit to FedEx to the folks at www.23andMe.com so they could tell me what kind of mutt I am. I got an e-mail the other day that my results were in.

It's a fascinating test really - it tells you a certain amount of the migratory history of your ancestors (only mitochondrial DNA in my case since I'm lacking that pesky Y chromosome), but it also includes this entire section of what your genetic propensity is for certain diseases. To my utter shock (and great joy), I am, apparently, no more likely to get Parkinson's Disease, Colon, Breast, or Ovarian Cancer, Type 2 Diabetes, or have a heart attack than the average bear (despite the fact that all these things claimed the life of, or are currently suffered by, close relatives of mine). I do have higher chances of some other things ... but at least I'm not doomed in the ways I thought I was, LOL ;)

Yeah, I know nothing is perfect - and this is certainly not capable of predicting the future - but I do enjoy seeing that I'm not at any higher risk than anyone else for things I thought for sure I would get someday.

My dad has ordered a kit for himself, and my mom is thinking of ordering one for her brother - in which case we will have ALL the bases covered (and possibly finally find out if there actually is any truth to certain family stories which have yet to be supported by genealogy).

But for now, what I know is:

Haplogroup J originated about 45,000 years ago on the Arabian Peninsula not long after modern humans expanded out of Africa and onto the Eurasian continent. About 7,000 years ago the expansion of farming carried daughter lineages of J, including J1 (J1 originated in the Near East about 38,000 years ago. Its history is closely associated with the development of agriculture in the Fertile Crescent and its expansion north and west into Europe.), into Europe. Today the haplogroup extends as far west as Britain and as far east as Central Asia. Haplogroup J1 arrived in Britain around the time Stonehenge was built. The Vikings also carried J1 from Britain back to Norway and Iceland, creating a pocket of Scandinavian J1. J is now the second most common European haplogroup, behind H.

Since my earliest known mtDNA ancestor would be my g-g-g-great grandmother Margaret Collins (born somewhere in Ireland in abt. 1818), this all makes perfect sense :)

Can hardly wait to see what my dad gets!

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