Results are in for the latest SNP test on Akerfelds DNA. We tested positive for the SNP Y3118. This places us in a nice little subclade filled with men from Southwestern Russia and Ukraine. Every SNP we test narrows down the options for “terminal SNP” and gives us a more and more specific group to relate to.
I haven’t posted too much about this concept, so I think a picture might suffice… Here’s a snippet from FamilyTreeDNA’s website – called a haplotree.
The term “MRCA” that is tossed around when talking about these clades refers to “Most Recent Common Ancestor” – and in this case, for the men of the Y3118 group, it’s about 2200 years ago. Which, unfortunately… is pretty far back. Like, Ancient Egypt, Rome, etc. Definitely too far back to ever trace. But still, it is amazing to believe that one man living at that point in history, probably somewhere in South Eastern Europe, lent his DNA to so many different lines, across Europe.
Next steps? Well, I can either keep picking away at individual SNP’s to see what known groupings we belong to. Another option is the oh-so-pricey Big Y – a complete sequencing of the Akerfelds Y chromosome. Individual SNP’s are definitely more my style. In the snippet below, you can see our next options, in blue. Some of these groups have a closer MRCA – 1300 years ago is the closest I’ve noted. That’s still too far to trace genealogically, however… Being that we seem to be the most northern member of this grouping of mostly Ukrainian/Southwestern Russian men, I think our opportunities for pinpointing a time in the past; an event, that brought this ancestor to serfdom in rural Latvia could be optimistic. A cossack soldier? A foreign noble, given land? A prisoner of war? A trader along the amber road?
As I’ve said before, this is still a new area of study. We are learning more and more every day about DNA, and each individual SNP and subclade and clade and how they correspond with different human migrations through history. Because research in this area is forever ongoing, for me DNA is a great investment, a gift that just keeps on giving!