MtDNA Haplogroup I Project- Background



mtDNA Haplogroup I

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

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

Haplogroup I is a West Eurasian haplogroup that 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 unusually high 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.)

We hope this project will aid research on the history, locations, and connections of Haplogroup I and its various branches.  *Links to research articles on these subjects can be found at the very end of this page.

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 location -- will automatically appear on our project members' Results page. If you know the country of origin for your mtDNA line, that is valuable for the study of your branch. Please include the information both on the line of data that will be displayed on the Results page as well as on the entry form for the Mapping feature (see below).
(5) On the right side, for the Mapping feature of the project, please add the earliest known location (such as country of origin and town, if possible) of your mtDNA line. This will be added to the valuable summary of earliest known origins of our direct maternal ancestors.
(6) Save your information.

As mentioned above, the Project features (1) a summary of members' Results (displaying ancestor data and HVR1/HVR2 results) and (2) a Mapping tool. On the Results page, members are grouped according to their most refined subclade (whenever possible) or by another relevant category. This page includes names and other information about our members' earliest known direct maternal ancestors. 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 where various subclades have migrated and settled in the past. As our Project grows, this feature will become increasingly meaningful. 

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: Many subclades are defined by variants in the coding region of the mtDNA sequence. 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 help 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, the 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.

Prices have come way down for the mtFULL-SEQUENCE mtDNA Test. This test is also known as the FMS, which 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 of you who have already tested both HVR1 and HVR2, it will cost only $139 to upgrade to the mtFull Sequence test. For those who have had just HVRI testing, it will cost $159. (And for those who are just now looking at an mtDNA test, it will cost $199 to go straight to the full-sequence test.) After years of seeing the price gradually drop from the heights, it is finally becoming really affordable. This is a great chance to learn more about your particular ancestral mtDNA line. With this, we will be able to make much more accurate assessments of who is related, and which exact subclade you belong to.

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 notice that your results do not appear to match your subgroup label as shown on the members' Results page or elsewhere, this is because RSRS values are the default presentation. Go to the top of the page and choose the option for rCRS values to be displayed. This should clear up the confusion. If not, let us know.


In the upper left of this web page, you can use the drop-down menu for "About This Group," to access additional pages ("Goals," "News," & "Results") with more information about Haplogroup I and the Project. Or, for your convenience, here are direct links to these pages:

* Results
* Goals
* News


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. (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)


* Below are links to some interesting 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

MitoSearch Account Page of an Egyptian Mummy (born 402 B.C.) who belongs to mtDNA Haplogroup I2


Martha Jane (Schliesser) Hicks 2013/2014/2015

General Fund