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HRV1 Ancestral Origins "comment" Question

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  • HRV1 Ancestral Origins "comment" Question

    My mtDNA haplogroup is H16a, and I have HRV1 matches from 89 countries, so I guess the H haplogroup is quite a large one? Anyway, I noticed that while my HRV1 matches most often list a geographical area in the "comments" column (such as Poland, Romania, Ukraine) all mentions of ethnic origin are limited to just three groups: Ashkenazi (78 comments), Sephardic (48 comments), and Mizrachi (7 comments). Am I correct in thinking that hundreds of years ago, perhaps a thousand plus years ago, I had a Jewish connection? Any and all insight welcome.


  • #2
    You're looking at the Ancestral Origins page for mtDNA, which shows a "Comments" column. This column is explained on the FTDNA Learning Center's page for Ancestral Origins as:
    This is additional information such as a social, religious, or ethnic group. Where more than one match from a country has provided the same comment, the number of matches is shown beside the comment. For example, someone with matches in Germany might have Baden-W├╝rttemberg (2) and Schleswig-Holstein (7).
    The Comment section information is provided by the person who tested (or whoever manages the kit), and not by FTDNA, so it is likely that their knowledge of the origin for their matrilineal MDKA (Most Distant Known Ancestor, also called Earliest Known Ancestor) is within a genealogical timeframe* (you can specify such details for your Earliest Known Ancestors in your Account Settings). Therefore, that indicates that the ethnic origins for your HVR1 region matches is NOT from many hundreds or thousand of years ago, but more recently. I hope that answers your question.

    You are correct about the H haplogroup being a large one. mtDNA Haplogroup H is the most common haplogroup in Europe, so at the HVR1 level you can have a lot of matches from a variety of places. Many will not be H16a, if they test to the Full Sequence level. Your Full Sequence matches (HVR1, HVR2, Coding Region) with genetic distance** 0 or 1 will be the most closely related to you, generally within a genealogical timeframe*, but can be further back. Some of these may match you at the other two levels (HRV1 or HRV1, HRV2).

    There is a chart in the Learning Center page, "How do I tell how closely I am related to a mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) match?" which shows that the Generations to Common Ancestor for HVR1 matches has a 50% confidence interval of going back 52 generations, or about 1,300 years. It also shows Full Sequence matches as being within 5 to 22 generations (150 to 550 years), depending upon the confidence interval (50% or 95%). But many think that this chart is overly optimistic.

    The FTDNA Learning Center's Glossary defines:
    *Genealogical Timeframe as:
    The genealogical time frame is the most recent one to fifteen generations. Recent genealogical times are the last one to five generations.
    **Genetic Distance as:
    1. Genetic Distance is the number of differences, or mutations, between two sets of results. A genetic distance of zero means there are no differences in the results being compared against one another, i.e., an exact match. This is the meaning when comparing Y-chromosome DNA or mitochondrial DNA.
    Note that an "exact match" of 0 Genetic Difference does not necessarily mean that you and the match can determine your common ancestor.
    Last edited by KATM; 16 December 2020, 03:01 PM.


    • #3
      KATM, Thanks for the comprehensive reply, and I shall start looking closely at the people with full sequence matches. I still have one question: If all 130 plus HVR1 "comments" refer to Ashkenazi, Sephardic, and Mizrachi as being their knowledge of their MDKA ethnicity, am I wrong to assume I likely have the same connection?


      • #4
        My first thought is, if any of your HVR1 matches (showing Jewish in the comments) would go on to do the Full Sequence test, and continue to match you at that level, there might be a connection. Since they haven't done so yet, I do not think you should assume that you have the same connection, because it is quite likely that they are in different subclades of the H haplogroup than yours.

        Next, I tried searches to see if any H haplogroup subclades are recognized as any of the known Jewish lines. My best find was the Wikipedia page for Haplogroup H (mtDNA). It states that Ashkenazi Jews are common in the H6a1a1a subclade. The paper that was the source for that statement, "A substantial prehistoric European ancestry amongst Ashkenazi maternal lineages," mentions several other H subclades in the Supplementary Material, if you download "Supplementary Tables, Figures, Notes and References." I looked through it, but did not find any mention of H16 or its subclades. Supplementary Table S8 gives age estimates for Haplogroup H and its subclades, and says that "Subclades carried by Ashkenazim are shown in pale blue." The subclades are in alphanumerical order, and the list skips from H15b to H26 and H40. No H16a appeared.

        Since you have done the full sequence test, and H16a is your subclade, and since H16 and its subclades does not seem to be connected to any Jewish mitochondrial lineages (although I'm only basing it on the above information), I would not make the connection for your mtDNA ancestry to the comments shown for your HVR1 matches. Perhaps if those HVR1 matches eventually do a Full Sequence test, they may end up with one of the H subclades that are associated with Ashkenazi, Sephardic, or Mizrachi Jews.


        • #5
          Thanks again for your assistance. You have given me a couple places to do a bit of looking, and I appreciate it.