Friday, August 2, 2013

My Sub Saharan African MtDNA

Moroccan box purchased in Morocco by my Uncle Cecil Forgey

I finally got my MtDNA results back yesterday! I was so surprised that my Haplogroup was the Sub Saharan African L2a, instead of Native Central American. My grandmother Graciela Del Castillo's line is my straight maternal line. In a way I was expecting the unexpected because of all the ethnic mixing in Nicaragua.
My first thought after getting the results was I might be descended from a Nicaraguan slave? This may be the case? However, after reviewing my results and reading more about L2a it sounds like it's also found in low levels in Spain, the native country of most of my Nicaraguan ancestors. How L2a got to Spain is a matter of some debate. We know Spain was involved in the slave trade so some of the L Haplo DNA arrived that way. Probably a majority of the L Haplo comes via nearby Morocco which is only 9 miles away at it's closest point to Spain. Another route for the Sub Saharan DNA is through the Arabic Moorish invasion of Spain in the 700's AD.
African Haplo
I did have some Family Finder Autosomal results pointing to some Moroccan roots. I had tested positive for several rare Moroccan SNP alleles, and Doug McDonald also found possible Moroccan in my autosomal DNA. I thought that Middle Eastern lineage was most likely from my father's Jewish line? I am now testing my mother to see if some of the Middle Eastern comes from her side?
Gedmatch admixtures and Doug McDonald did predict I had some African ancestry. Both of these sources seem to peg it at about 2%. It's really hard to say when it came into to our family? If I upgrade my MtDNA test sometime it may confirm the Moroccan theory or disprove it?
Rare Moroccan SNP in my DNA
If you don't believe racism is still prevalent in the US just read some comments regarding African Haplogroups on some of  the DNA forums. Some blond blued people have the Sub Saharan L2a Haplogroup. As one person wrote some non African European Americans "panic" when they see their result. Actually L2a does exist in Europe in small frequencies, and it's believed to have arrived in Europe thousands of years ago.
Some of my Doug McDonald autosomal anaylsis
So I've come away with the impression that L2a definitely is Native Sub Saharan African,but has spread to Northern Africa and to Southern Europe.

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