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Haplogroups Track Ancestral Migrations and Timeframes

Findings to date

My maternal haplogroup is B and my paternal haplogroup is O.

1. The path of my maternal haplogroup extends from a woman in Asia 43,000 years ago to present day Mexico.
2. My maternal ancestral migration was possible because of the lowered sea levels of the Ice Age allowed migrating from Asia to the Americas via the Beringia Landbridge
3. My paternal haplogroup stems from a man ~30,000 years ago in China who remains in Southeast Asia.
4. The existence of the continent of Sudaland before its descent below sea level prompted extended migratory routes from the present day mainland.
4. My genetic ancestors interacted with other ancient hominids, such as Neaderthals and Denisovans and I share traces of their DNA.


A haplogroup depicts the geographic origin of ancestors and their world migrations over the ages. It forms an ancestral tree from this information. For this purpose, 23andMe samples mitochondrial and Y-DNA to provide haplogroups for locating the ancient geographic origins of my direct maternal and paternal lines.

In essence, haplogroups are like clans, such as the Vikings and Mongols and can be placed geographically. This video explains haplogroups.

Companies that provide DNA test results organized into haplogroups include 23andMe, Family Tree, WeGene, and XCode.Life.

These haplogroups offer a convenient way to view maternal and paternal ancestry through time and geographical location. The alphabetic letters naming the maternal and paternal haplogroups have no relation to each other. The oldest of these haplogroups reach far back in time to the maternal Eve and the paternal Adam, which means as far back in time the DNA of their groups was traced to human origins. Many thousands of other humans existed as well during those times, but DNA from the genetic Adam and Eve has survived to present times.

Figure 4 depicts the maternal haplogroups. The oldest of which haplogroup reaches back in time 120,000 years.

Figure 4
Mitochondrial Haplogroups


Figure 5 Paternal haplogroups.

Figure 5
Human Migrations and Paternal Haplogroups


My roots thus established by haplogroups includes branches that have split off in the form of genetic mutations occurring over time to form my ancestral tree, as shown in Figure 6. A mutation comes about when a descendant has a genetic trait that his ancestor does not have. These mutations form new branches of my haplogroup tree linked to a genetic ancestor in time and place.

As Steve Olson put it in his book Mapping Human History, Mutations in humans living today reveal where our ancestors lived, with whom they mated, and how individuals and groups are related. Mutations are the words in which the story of our genetic history is written

My genetic history then is in the branches of my tree trace lines of descent that stem from the ancestral haplogroups at the base of the tree's roots. My lines of descent stem from the haplogroup B maternally and the haplogroup O paternally. Within a haplogroup, each branch represents a genetic sub-haplogroup population that shares a common ancestor. It is the concept that "All people alive today belong to distinct haplogroups of people belonging to the same haplogroup and can trace their descent to a common ancestor and even a specific place where that ancestor may have lived". Both haplogroup B and haplogroup O originated in the geographical area of present-day East Asia.

Because of in-depth Mitochondrial Full Sequence Analysis in the following pages, my maternal ancestry stems from the woman who gave rise to the haplogroup B4b branch of my maternal haplogroup tree in mainland Asia 34,000 years ago. Her descendants then carried the B4b1 branch into Southeast Asia. It exists mainly in populations of southern China and Southeast Asia and gave rise to my present maternal B2 branch, which migrated to the Americas.

Also revealed in the following pages, Y-Chromosome Next Generation Sequencing shows my paternal genetic ancestry stems from the man in Southeast Asia ~30,000 years ago who gave rise to the haplogroup O2 branch of my haplogroup tree in present-day China. For thousands of generations, his descendants remained to become the majority of the Han Chinese. That said, he and his offspring have migrated to Southeast Asia and stayed in Asia.

Both my maternal and paternal ancestral haplogroup origins date back to the Ice Age. To have a feel for the environment in which they lived during the Stone Age, it was a period of glaciers. They had to contend with thick year-round ice sheets, frigid climate, and dwindling hunting and foraging spaces. Wrapped in animal skin to keep warm in the cold environment, they sought shelter in the warmth of caves and stayed near the mouth of the cave where it would be lighter for better vision. Where no caves existed, they built temporary shelters from branches, leaves, and animal skins. As hunters and gatherers, they made crude tools and weapons from stone and bone, stone axes, and carved wooden spears for hunting and fishing, which they cooked over a fire. They also gathered edible plants, fruit, and collected eggs from bird nests. A single kill of a woolly mammoth would provide a clan with food for months.

As my genetic ancestors migrated southeast ever, the glacial maximum accounted for lower sea levels that opened up land corridors opened from the mainland of East Asia to the areas that are now Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and the Indonesia islands. The lowered sea level gave rise to the landmass known as the continent of Sundaland in Southeast Asia into which migrated early humans via these land bridges.

Figure 7
Continent of Sundaland


The cultural milieu

No doubt, my Stone Age genetic ancestors lived among the first people in Asia to leave behind works of art. They used combinations of minerals, ochres, burned bone meal, and charcoal mixed into water, blood, animal fats, and tree saps to fetch humans, animals, and signs. They also carved small figurines from stones, clay, bones, and antlers

Interestingly, in the Neolithic Period of the Stone Age, 18,000 years ago, the matriarchal clan society existed in China. It was a social system in which the mother was head of the family and descent traced through the mother's side of the family.

However, around 5,000 years ago, the Chinese culture entered the patriarchal society stage with the establishment of villages and even the early formation of cities. In the Yangtze Delta, ~5000 years ago, Liangzhu Culture ruins were discovered of a large city rivaling the oldest Egyptian dynasties of that time. Pottery fragments from the daily living of its inhabitants determined they lived in an agricultural society, mostly rice growing. But, for the most part, the Yangtze River culture developed in the center of China between 3400 and 2250 years ago.

Watch a video of China's beginning (2070 - 1600 BC) here.

Watch a video of Chinese civilization in begining of the Bronze Age here.

The Hominid family in Asia

The world of my early ancestors included living among other types of human beings relevant to my genome. At some point, my genetic ancestors encountered these other archaic humans and not unexpectedly interacted with them. Both Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA markers are present in modern Asian populations, including mine. My genome includes 1.4% Neanderthal and 1.8% Denisovan.

Figure 8

Neandertal-Denisovan image

Early on, biologist, Colin Groves proposed different species of humans lived in cohabitation. And, the fact is, Neanderthals and other humanids, such as the Denisovans had long interbred with Asians as noted in this video. Deniovans wandered Asia for hundreds of thousands of years and remained in existence as recently as the time of my ancestors. Their genes remain in modern East Asian populations and the Oceanic islands. Records show Denisovans interbred with early modern humans in Southeast Asia, particularly among the contemporary residents of the Philippines. Mike Luoma points out, "As a result of ancient interbreeding, people living today on islands of Southeast Asia and Oceania have genomes with up to 6 percent Denisovan DNA."

Writing about the first large-scale study of whole genomes from people in Indonesia, Clare Wilson reports, "Our species may have been interbreeding with Denisovans as recently as 15,000 years ago." Moreover, genetic analysis uncovered a direct descendant of two different groups of early humans with the now proven existance of humans with a Neanderthal mother and a Denisovan father. This video depicts other hominids living along side Neanderthals and Denisovans in southeast Asia

A research team led by David Reich discovered at least three significant waves of human migration into the South Asia over the past 50,000 years. During that time the anatomically modern hunter-gatherers in Southeast Asia interacted with the ancient human Homo erectus, Homo floresiensis, and Denisovan " populations.

Besides Homo floresiensis in Flores in indonesia, other hominids lived in the area as well, such as in present day Luzon in the Philippines with (Homo luzonensis). Evidence reveals Hoabinhian hunter-gatherers occupied southeast Asia until about 4000 years ago. Both Hoabinhian hunter-gatherers and East Asian farmers contributed to current Southeast Asian diversity.

The National Geographicreport of a study, which concludes Denisovans co-existed and mixed with modern humans in Southeast Asia as recently as 15,000 years ago—a date. The study's co-author Murray Cox, in referring to the Philippines, Malaysia,etc. "Suddenly it’s kind of crystalized that the center of diversity for archaic populations is in Islands Southeast Asia."

Figure 9
Homo luzonensis


CLICK to email me at: herbert@herbertholeman.com