I Haplogroup mtDNA

The mtDNA Haplogroup I Project
  • 1413 members

About us

site stats

mtDNA Haplogroup I

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Descendants of 'Iris'

Hello! We welcome everyone with mtDNA testing by Family Tree DNA, confirming assignment 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 a branch of the older macro-haplogroup N, subclade N1a1b.

In areas where it occurs, Haplogroup I 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.)

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

Haplogroup I is undergoing vast development with many new subclades being discovered. Participation of our project members has contributed significantly to this research. We hope that this project will be useful in 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. Also please don't miss out on our project page entitled "Results" (see link at the top of the page).

Your Privacy
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.  Our project also NEVER shares your name, email address, account profile, shared surnames, or family tree with anyone.


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 for administrators to see your Coding Region variants (see Privacy & Sharing settings). It would also help if you would give project administrators Limited Access to the account (see Project Preference setting), so that we can see your matches. Default settings in your account block project administrators from seeing this information. 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 the information. (The data is only viewable to us on password-protected administrative pages.)

To change these two settings:

(1)  Log onto your My FTDNA page.

(2)  Hover your cursor over your name in the upper right of the page. A list of options will drop down. Click on Account Settings.

(3)  On the Account Settings page, click on the tab for
Privacy & Sharing.

(4)  On the Privacy & Sharing page, go to the last option on the page, which is for mtDNA
Coding Region Sharing.

(5)  If you check the box to Opt in to Sharing, it enables project administrators to see the list of Coding Region variants on password-protected administrative pages. The data is never shared with anyone else, and you can opt back out at any time.

(6)  Save your new setting.
(7)  Next, click on the
Project Preferences tab near the top of the page.

(8)  For the
I Haplogroup mtDNA Project, Edit the setting and choose Limited Access.

(9)  The system will ask you to confirm your choice.

You're done!


Your Matrilineal Ancestor

f you have knowledge of your maternal ancestry, we would appreciate it if you would fill in data for your earliest known direct maternal ancestor on your FTDNA page. 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. To enter this data:

(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. The data that you enter -- preferably name, birth year, and earliest known origin -- will automatically appear in your entry on our members' Results page. 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 listed on 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.  For 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.


Our Project Website Banner
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 shared ancestor of our branch, commonly known as "Iris," the clan mother of Haplogroup I.


Description of Project Website
In addition to information
in the "About" section of the project (which contains "Overview," "Background (this page)," "Results," "Goals," and "News"), the project features a "DNA Results" section with a: 
(1) Summary of Members' Results -- displaying ancestor data and HVR1/HVR2 results. On this page, members with mtDNA results are grouped according to their most refined subclade, in accordance with the current version of the official mtDNA tree, known as the PhyloTree.
(2) Map of Our mtDNA Lines. The mapping tool allows you to view the earliest known origins of these 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.


Population Si
ze Estimates for Each Subclade!
Dr. Ian Logan has analyzed the population size of each subclade. Below are links to his pages pertaining to Haplogroup I. On each page, you will find Dr. Logan's population estimates underneath a list of sequences submitted to GenBank, so look in the lower section of the page corresponding to the group you wish to see.

Haplogroup I Overview
Subclade I1   /   Subclade I1a   /   Subclade I1b-I1e   /   Subclade I2   /  
Subclade I3
Subclade I4   /   Subclade I5   /     Subclade I6   /   Subclade I7


As of 2012, there are two different reference sequences used for comparing and reporting mutational differences. These are the rCRS (revised Cambridge Reference Sequence) and the RSRS (Reconstructed Sapiens Reference Sequence). If you find that your results do not exactly match a list of your subclade's defining mutations, it may be due to the presentation of rCRS vs. RSRS mutations. FTDNA provides the option to see either one, but defaults to RSRS, on your personal mtDNA Results page, as well as on our members' Results page. If you choose the option for rCRS values to be displayed, that should clear up any confusion. If not let us know.
Here is an article by Roberta Estes explaining the two reference sequences:
CRS and the RSRS


Additional Project Pages: 
You will find links to additional project pages at the top of this page. Please don't miss the Results page of the project, which 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. (Published 2009 / Article accessed: 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 ( ) 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. (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. (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)


Additional Research Articles that Discuss 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


mtDNA Data of 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.