Workpapers Links

Click on workpapers Links (three bars) top right corner, to toggle links.

Ancestral Origin and Haplogroups

A Work In Progress by Herbert Holeman, PhD.

Draft Workpaper Posted.

For discussion purposes, my DNA tests and findings are used as examples.

• My maternal haplogroup is B, which extends from a woman in present-day China 43,000 years ago to population subclades in present-day Latin America and Mexico.

• My paternal haplogroup is O, which stems from a man in present-day China~30,000 years ago in China to population subclades remaining in Southeast Asia.


Steve Olson explains the process of ancestral origin 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."

This concept is based on the findings of scientists in the DNA Geographic Project 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."

That said, my genetic history begins in a Stone Age communal society in the time and place of two concluding ancestral haplogroups that existed during the migration of modern humans into Eastern Asia in the Last Ice Age. Both my haplogroup B and haplogroup O originated in Southeast Asia where hominid fossil remains date from ~1,500,000 years ago and where modern humans lived as early as 73,000 years ago.


Haplogroup B

My maternal ancestry, stems from the woman who gave rise to the haplogroup B, more specifically, a B4b ancestor branch in present-day China 34,000 years ago. Living as foragers, her descendants carried the line to a B4b1 mutation in Southeast Asia found mainly in the present populations of southern China and Southeast Asia. This is the haplogroup subclade that is phylogenetically closest to the American B2 haplogroup branch.

Haplogroup O

My paternal genetic ancestry, stems from the man who gave rise to the haplogroup O2 ancestor in present-day China ~30,000 years ago. For thousands of generations, his descendants remained to become the majority of the Han Chinese. Moreover, the O haplogroup expanded into the Philippines, from Taiwan and with the Austronesian expansion into Island Southeast Asia (ISEA). By definition, ISEA extends from Taiwan in the north and continues southward through the Philippines, Island Malaysia (including Sarawak and Sabah of Eastern Malaysia, plus Brunei), Indonesia, and East Timor.

Figure 1
Islands of Southeast Asia

Depicting a haplogroup as shown in Figures 2 and 3 is a convenient way to view maternal and paternal ancestry through time and geographical location. Figure 2 depicts the maternal (mtDNA) haplogroups, and Figure 3 illustrates paternal (Y-DNA) haplogroups. These haplogroups reveal the origin of my families.

My mtDNA haplogroup is B, and my Y-DNA paternal haplogroup is O Clicking on the images enlarges the maps for a better view.

Figure 2
mtDNA Mitochondrial Haplogroups

Figure 3
Y-DNA Paternal Haplogroups

Dienekes Anthropology Blog

As shown in figures 2 and 3, haplogroups are geographically specific to continents, such as Africa, Europe, and Asia. And, within each haplogroup is a unique genetic mutation pattern of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms called SNPs (pronounced "snips"). SNPs are in a peeople's DNA. SNPs are the pillars of modern genetics and reflect small changes in the DNA, which occur naturally over time. When a SNP occurs, it passes a unique lineage marker to future generations.

People who have descended from the same ancient family clan will share the same pattern of SNPs. By looking at this pattern in present-day populations, geneticists trace backward in both time and space. They reconstruct genetic and migration lineage and map ancestral migration routes, such as that of my ancestors. (This video explains haplogroups in greater detail.)

Copyright © 2018 Herbert P. Holeman, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved.