In a previous post I talked about my autosomal DNA results from Family Tree DNA. At the end of that post I mentioned that I will write a future post about my Y-DNA (paternal) and mtDNA (maternal) test results. I actually got into DNA testing because I wanted to find out to which haplogroups I belong.
In this post I want to cover my Y-DNA test results. Y-chromosome DNA haplogroups are important because they are passed from father to son relatively unchanged (remember that females don’t a Y-chromosome). Mutation do appear, this is why we have many haplogroups and many subclades within each haplogroup. Nonetheless, your Y-DNA haplogroup can tell you about the origins of your direct male line beyond what you can deduce from your autosomal DNA results or genealogic research. All haplogroups were already formed many thousand years before the existence of writing or the more advanced ancient civilizations (e.g. Sumeria, Egypt, Harappan etc).
People that are not familiar with the topic of Y-DNA haplogroups should read the Wikipedia page on the topic. The page explains the concept of haplogroup, subclade and other relevant info.
Subclade J-Y191359 or J-CTS3292
My specific subclade is J-Y191359 on YFull, while Family tree DNA named by subclade J-CTS3292. I don’t know why the naming convention is different on the 2 websites. The parent subclades of J-Y191359 are J2b2a1>L283>Z600>Z615>Z597>Z2507>Z1296>Z1297>Z1295>Z8421>Z631>Z1043>Z8425>Z8424>Z8429. You can get more details on this YFull page.
As you can see, my subclade is a subclade of a subclade of a subclade and so on. Overall, I belong to haplogroup J2 or J-M172, and the clade J2b-M102.
You can learn more about haplogroup J2 on this Eupedia page. The page also has a picture of the phylogenetic tree of 2 that shows how various subclades relate to each other. The page also has some map images that show the frequency of J2 and J2b in Europe, North Africa and Middle East.
A probable path for my subclade
My haplogroup is a bit lucky because we have genetic researchers like Hunter Provyn, who belongs to this haplogroup. You can learn a lot about haplogroup J2 if you read his website at https://phylogeographer.com/ . Besides the website, Provyn also has a podcast, a Youtube channel, a Patreon account and a few research funds on PayPal.
One of the most useful tools on phylogeographer is the migrations by SNP tool. To find the most probable path for my subclade I have to put “J-Y191359” in the search engine (I believe that the search engine is case sensitive). The computed path for my subclade can be seen here.
The computed path should improve as more ancient remains are discovered and more people take DNA tests. Nonetheless, it seems that subclade J-Y191359 came down towards the Balkans from central Europe. Currently, I and 2 Albanians belong to the subclade J-Y191359 (as you can see on the YFull page). The parent subclades J-Z8229, J-Z8224 and J-Z1043 seem to be centered in Germany. Many of the subclades can be skewed towards NW Europe because more NW Europeans took DNA tests. Nonetheless, there is a Viking age sample from Sweden that belongs to J-Z8424 and a medieval German sample that belongs to J-Z1043. You can see a few J2b ancient samples on this map from the haplotree website.
The most ancient sample related to my line belongs to a person that lived almost 4000 years ago in Northern Serbia. This was a high status person that belongs to the subclade J-Z615 (classified as J2b in this table from a paper). The ancient remains were found in a necropolis near Mokrin, Serbia. The ancient remains were associated with the Maros or Mureș culture (from the river Mures). There is a high chance that this person is the ancestor of many persons that belong to a child subclade of J-Z615.
I was born in Arad (Western Romania), not far from Mokrin. The river Mureș passes trough Arad. I am not sure if the geographic extent of the Maros culture reached the area of the city of Arad, but it probably reached some parts of the county of Arad (it covered parts of Serbia, Hungary and Romania). It’s interesting to see that one of my probable ancient ancestors already lived in my native area almost 4000 years ago.
As a side note, I want to point out that somebody already used my subclade (and the subclades of other Romanians) to point out that the Romanians come from a region near Albania or the Balkans and that they settled in the region of Romania less than 1000 years ago (I see this on a forum discussion and this Albanian website). The problem is that we already have this Mokrin sample from 4000 years ago that was already in the Pannonian region before the existence of Albanians, Romanians, Hungarians, Serbians and what not. Not to mention, that the other parent subclades seem to be centered in Central Europe. On YFull, my other related distant matches are usually from Central Europe and the Baltic Region.
Yes, the genetics of Romanians are connected to the Balkans, but I don’t believe that you can use my subclade to make a strong case for the supposed Romanian migration north of the Danube around 900-800 years ago. Somewhat relevant to this topic, is an article written by Hunter Provyn called “J2b-L283 in Hungary and the Pannonian Roman Keszthely Culture“. The main point is that J2b-L283 has a longer history in Romania and Hungary before the existence of the 2 nations.
Genealogical Research and Other Stuff
In the future I hope to complement my DNA test results with a genealogic research. I started school again (Civil Engineering), so I don’t want to spend money to hire a professional genealogist right now. I was not really interested in genealogical research when I did the DNA testing, but I started to think more about genealogy. My parents don’t care about genealogy. Genealogy doesn’t seem to be important for Romanians (or even DNA testing). Romania is one of the poorest EU countries, so Romanians may not have the money to hire a professional genealogist. Even accounting for the money, I still feel that Romanians don’t care that much about genealogy. I feel that your genealogy is your personal anchor to the past or your roots to the past (a genealogy is also called a family tree after all). An interest in genealogy creates a stronger tie your blood and your native land. Maybe there is a reason why so many Romanians leave the native country and seem to be more rootless compared to other nations. Maybe we suffer from some type of “wandering Vlach shepherd” psychological complex.
While genealogical research is out of the question right now, I still tried to donate a few dollars to Hunter Provyn’s research funds. Recently I cancelled my Adobe subscription, so I may decide to subscribe to Provyn’s Patreon. I will try my best to help the current haplogroup research, since haplogroups are one of the most important clues to our past.