I Haplogroup mtDNA

The mtDNA Haplogroup I Project
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mtDNA Haplogroup I

Descendants of 'Iris'

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Hello!  We welcome everyone whose mtDNA test results indicate that they belong to Haplogroup I.

Haplogroup I is a West Eurasian haplogroup. It is relatively rare and one of the older mtDNA haplogroups in Europe. It is typically found at a frequency range of 2% to 4%. There are some locations with higher rates, including a small set of isolated populations that exceed 10%. These highest frequencies occur among: (a) the Lemkos in the Carpathian Mountains at 11.3%,1 (b) the inhabitants of Krk Island in the Adriatic Sea at 11.3%,1 and (c) two Cushitic tribes: the Rendilles and Elmolos at 15-20%, currently inhabiting an area of northern Kenya.2 (See references below.) Haplogroup I is a branch of the older macro-haplogroup N.

Research indicates that, in ancient times, haplogroup I was found at higher-than-usual levels among certain populations of Vikings and Danes who belonged to haplogroup I at an average frequency of 13% from the Iron Age to Medieval times.  3,4 (See references below.)

Haplogroup I is undergoing rapid development with many new subclades being discovered. Participation of our project members has contributed significantly to this research. Furthermore, we hope this project will be useful to the study of the history, migrations, and connections of the various branches.  *Links to research articles can be found near the end of this page.

Be assured that your mtDNA coding region results (which comprise the majority of the mtDNA sequence) are NEVER made public by joining this or any other FTDNA project.

Making the Most of Your Full-Sequence Results: In many cases, our project will be able to assign you to an updated subclade that is not yet included in FTDNA's haplogroup system. When you join this project -- and periodically, thereafter, as the structure of the haplogroup grows -- we will place you in the most refined subclade that we can. To do this, it is necessary to see your full-sequence coding region variants. However, default settings in your account block project administrators from seeing them. In order to evaluate your results (for subclade assignment - for finding potential new subclades - and to communicate with you privately about the results), it would be great if you would adjust the settings on your FTDNA page to allow project administrators to privately view them.

To change this setting:

(1)  Log onto your My FTDNA page.

(2)  On the left side of the page, in the "Your Account" section, click on "Manage Personal Information," which is in orange letters.

(3)  On the new page, click on the far right tab called "Privacy & Sharing." (Note: On smaller computer screens, this tab may be on the far left, below the main row of tabs.) 

(4)  Look under "My DNA Results" and locate the question "Who can view my mtDNA Coding Region Mutations?" To the right, click on the current setting (such as, "Only You" or "Some Project Administrators").  This will display names of the projects to which you belong.

(5) Check the box for  "I Haplogroup mtDNA" to "Show my mtDNA Coding Region Mutations to administrators of these projects."

(6)  Save your new setting.

If you have knowledge of your maternal line, we would appreciate it if you would fill in data for your earliest known direct maternal ancestor on your FTDNA page. To do so:

(1) On the left side of your myFTDNA page, in the "Your Account" section, click on "Manage Personal Information," which is in orange text.

(2) Click on "Genealogy."

(3) Next, click on a smaller link for "Most Distant Ancestors."

(4) Enter information for your earliest known direct maternal ancestor. This ancestor will be female and represents the line of your mother's mother's mother's mother... as far back as you have documentation. This data that you enter -- preferably name, birth year, and earliest known origin -- will automatically appear in your entry in the "DNA Results" section of our project. If known, please also select the country of origin of your mtDNA line, which is valuable for the study of your branch. If there is room, it's helpful to see that same country added to the line about your direct maternal ancestor.)

(5) On the right side of the data-entry screen, for the Mapping feature of the project, please add the earliest known country (including the town or village, if known) of your direct maternal ancestry.  To clarify: This location is intended to reflect the earliest known origin of your mtDNA line.  As an example, if this female ancestor was born in the United States, but her maternal line is known to have come from England, then you would enter England.

(6) Save your information.

The tree shown in the banner at the top of the page represents the global mtDNA tree with its many branches of direct maternal lines. The smaller inset photo is an iris flower, representing the common ancestor of our branch, commonly referred to as "Iris," the clan mother of Haplogroup I.

In addition to information in the "About" section of the project ("Overview," "Background," "Results," "Goals," and "News"), the project features a "DNA Results" section with: 
(1) A summary of members' results -- displaying ancestor data and HVR1/HVR2 results. On this page, each person is grouped according to his or her most refined subclade (whenever possible) or by another relevant category.
(2) Map of our mtDNA lines. The mapping tool allows you to view the earliest known origins of these direct maternal lines on a world map. You can select options to view "All" or any subgroup for display on the map. This feature gives indications of the known historical locations for each of the subclades. As our Project grows, this feature will become increasingly meaningful.

Prices have come way down for the mtFULL-SEQUENCE test. This test is also known as the FMS (full mitochondrial sequence), which -- as the name indicates -- includes the entire mtDNA genome. Taking the full-sequence test is the only way to determine your most refined subclade and where you fit on the mtDNA tree. For all who have already tested both HVR1 and HVR2, it will cost only $139 to upgrade to the mtFull-Sequence test. For those who have only had HVR1 testing, it will cost $159. (And for those who are just now considering mtDNA testing, it will cost $199 to go straight to the the full-sequence test.) Over the years, the price for this test has gradually dropped from the heights, and it is now much more affordable. This is a great chance to learn more about your particular ancestral mtDNA line.

Please note: There are now two different reference sequences used for comparing and reporting mutational differences. These are the rCRS and the RSRS. If you find that your results do not exactly match a list of your subgroup mutations, it may be due to the presentation of rCRS vs. RSRS mutations. FTDNA has an option to show either one, but defaults to RSRS. If you go to the top of the page and choose the option for rCRS values to be displayed, that should clear up any confusion. If not, let us know.

At the top of this page, you will find links to additional information. The "Results" page is especially informative.
No Access

Reference Links and Quotations:

1 Nikitin, A.; Kochkin, I.; June, C.; Willis, C.; McBain, I.; Yideiko, M.;  Mitochondrial DNA Sequence Variation in the Boyko, Hutsul, and Lemko Populations of the Carpathian Highlands. Human Biology: The International Journal of Population Genetics and Anthropology, 81 (1), pp. 43-58. BioOne. http://faculty.gvsu.edu/nikitin/HumBiol_09.pdf. (August 14, 2014)

p. 43: "Genetic studies of the distribution of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups in human populations residing within the Carpathian Mountain range have been scarce. We present an analysis of mtDNA haplogroup composition of the Boykos, Hutsuls, and Lemkos, three population groups of the Carpathian highlands...." p. 49:  "The Lemko sample also contained the highest frequency of haplogroup I (11.3%) in Europe, identical to that of the population of Krk Island (Croatia) in the Adriatic Sea (Pericic et al. 2005)."


2 National Geographic, "Your Deep Ancestry" - "Maternal Line" - "Branch: I," database, Dr. Spencer Wells, The Genographic Project (https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com ) accessed August 14, 2014), mtDNA Haplogroup I. (August 14, 2014 / Account needed to view data.)

"Today, this lineage occurs in low frequency in populations throughout western Asia and Europe: Pakistan (8.7 percent), Iran (5 percent), Denmark (6 percent), and Scotland (4 percent). In Europe, recurrent migratory events likely reduced its numbers through competition, yet it is found in most European countries, often a[t] frequencies between 1 and 4 percent. In Africa, this haplogroup has been recently identified in small populations from northern Kenya (Rendille and Elmolo) in frequencies between 15 and 20%."

3 Melchior, L.; Kivisild, T.; Lynnerup, N.; Dissing,J. (May 28, 2008). Evidence of Authentic DNA from Danish Viking Age Skeletons Untouched by Humans for 1,000 Years. PLoS ONE 3 (5): e2214. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2386972/ (May 6, 2013)

"Among present day Scandinavians Hg I constitutes <2% [55], [56], however, we have previously observed a markedly higher frequency (10–20%) of Hg I in Danish Iron Age and Viking Age population samples (TableS3) [16], [21]. With the observation of Hg I for subject G6 this trend is also seen for the Viking population sample from Galgedil. Interestingly, Hg I shows a low frequency (1 out of 114 subjects) among other ancient populations in Italy, Spain, Great Britain, and early central European farmers [11], [12], [43], [57]." (Melchior 2008)

4  Hofreiter, L.; Lynnerup, N.; Siegismund, H.; Kivisild, T.; Dissing, J. (July 30, 2010). Genetic Diversity among Ancient Nordic Populations. PLoSONE 5 (7): e11898. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2912848/ (May 6, 2013)

"The overall occurrence of haplogroups did not deviate from extant Scandinavians, however, haplogroup I was significantly more frequent among the ancient Danes (average 13%) than among extant Danes and Scandinavians (~2.5%)..."

"We have previously observed a high frequency of Hg I's among Iron Age villagers (Bøgebjerggård) and individuals from the early Christian cemetery, Kongemarken [16], [17]. Thistrend was also found for the additional sites reported here, Simonsborg, Galgedil and Riisby. The overall frequency of Hg I among the individuals from the Iron Age to the Medieval Age is 13% (7/53) compared to 2.5% for modern Danes [35]. The higher frequencies of Hg I can not be ascribed to maternal kinship, since only two individuals share the same common motif (K2and K7 at Kongemarken). Except for Skovgaarde (no Hg I's observed) frequencies range between 9% and 29% and there seems to be no trend in relation to time." (Hofreiter 2010)


* Below are links to additional research articles about the ancient history of our haplogroup:

Mitogenomes From Two Uncommon Haplogroups Mark Late Glacial/Postglacial Expansions From the Near East and Neolithic Dispersals Within Europe

The Arabian Cradle: Mitochondrial Relicts of the First Steps Along the Southern Route Out of Africa

* Here is data about an Egyptian mummy (who qualifies to join our project!):
MitoSearch Account Page of an Egyptian Mummy (born 402 B.C.) who belongs to mtDNA Haplogroup I2


Martha Jane (Schliesser) Hicks 2013/2014/2015
Creative Commons License
mtDNA Haplogroup I Project: Background by Martha Jane (Schliesser) Hicks is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.