Sunday, October 22, 2017

Guide to Building Your Family Haplotree


I've been working on a pet project to supplement my genealogical research, and in this deep dive I'm going to share it with you as follows:

I. Intro to Family HaploTree Building
II. Constructing Your Family HaploTree
III. Proving Family Anecdote with HaploTree Building
IV.  Mitochondrial-DNA & Y-DNA Testing Options

As a genetic genealogist I'm keen to know if there are haplogroups in my pedigree that are rare, newly discovered or only found in specific populations and biogeographical regions. I'm also looking to use haplogroups for ancient ancestral research, to help me trace family surnames that have disappeared in the bowels of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade as well as the migration paths of my immigrant forebears from their homelands to the Americas. 

Since learning about my own Maternal (or mitochondrial DNA) and Paternal (or Y-chromosome DNA) Haplogroups, I'm naturally inquisitive about the ones that I DIDN'T inherit from my parents and other direct pedigree relatives (grandparents, great-grandparents, 2nd-great-grandparents, 3rd-great-grandparents, etc).

Based on the unique inheritance patterns of human Mitochondrial DNA (Mt-DNA) and Y-chromosome DNA (Y-DNA), a child only inherits their mother's mt-DNA haplogroup through a direct matrilineal line (ie from his/her mother, her mother, her mother, etc), and if male his father's Y-DNA haplogroup through a direct patrilineal line (ie from his father, his father, his father, etc). 

This means a child (me) never inherits their father's maternal haplogroup nor from their mother's father. Going to the next generation [my 4 grandparents] this leaves four more haplogroups (3 mt-DNA and 1 Y-DNA) that I wouldn't inherit. And even more in the next generation [from my 8 great-grandparents]. 

Yet these are my direct forebears and even though I didn't inherit their haplogroups directly it means that by extension I biologically descend from an ancestor bearing the haplogroup. So it becomes genetically and genealogically relevant for me. [Be sure to read Section III  to learn about an intriguing haplogroup discovery in my family pedigree.]

Ultimately I want to identify, document and trace all of my other direct fore-parents' haplogroups back to their root populations to reveal what stories they tell. ... But how do I find out about these other haplogroups if my forebears are unavailable for DNA testing?