Y-DNA Test

Because every Male Y chromosome tells a tale, I decided to do a user match search that compared my Y chromosome with hundreds of thousands of other Y chromosome.   Through research completed by both FamilyTreeDNA and GeneBase if have found some links in my heritage.  My test results were compared with thousands of others in online databases.  Contrary to what I would have expected, I only matched with a few Hays.  Most of the other “Hayes” DNA was not even close to a match to mine.  Many of these would be decedents of Clan Hay in Scotland whom I thought originally we may be decedents of.

Understanding Haplogroups

In order to understand where my ancestors came from I learned that DNA mutations tell a very good story.  One way to think about haplogroups is as major branches on the family tree of Homo Sapiens. These haplogroup branches characterize the early migrations of population groups. As a result, haplogroups are usually associated with a geographic region. If haplogroups are the branches of the tree then the haplotypes represent the leaves of the tree. All of the haplotypes that belong to a particular haplogroup are leaves on the same branch.  A Y-DNA haplogroup is defined as all of the male descendants of the single person who first showed a particular SNP mutation. A SNP mutation identifies a group who share a common ancestor far back in time, since SNPs rarely mutate. Each member of a particular haplogroup has the same SNP mutation.

Time: Approx 100,000 years ago – Y-Chromosomal Adam

Place: Africa

Y-Chromosomal Adam is the most recent common patrilineal ancestor (MRCA) of all humans living today. His Y-DNA was passed down from father to sons over the past 100,000 years and all males living today can trace their Y-DNA back to the common Y-DNA type of the Y-Chromosomal Adam. He lived approximately 100,000 years ago in what is now Ethiopia.

Today, the Y-DNA of Africans fall into one of several major Haplogroups: A and B. Each haplogroup is associated with a different ancestral lineage.

Our Y-DNA, which is passed down from a father to son, shows that all people living today shared a common male ancestor who lived in Africa over 100,000 years ago. He is often termed the “Y-Chromosomal Adam”.

The Y-DNA phylogenetic tree has approximately 19 main branches “Y-DNA haplogroups” classified by the letters “A to R”. Each Y-DNA haplogroup has many further sub-branches (subclades), classified by numbers and letters, i.e. R1b1a, R1b1b, R1b1c, etc. All people living today have descended from one of the main branches of the human Y-DNA phylogenetic tree.

R1a1a (old R1a1) makes up the vast majority of all R1a over its entire geographic range. It is defined by SNP mutations M17 or M198, which have always appeared together in the same men so far.  In Europe, R1a, again almost entirely in the R1a1a sub-clade, is found at highest levels among peoples of Eastern European descent (Sorbs, Poles, Russians and Ukrainians; 50 to 65%).  In the Baltic countries R1a frequencies decrease from Lithuania (45%) to Estonia (around 30%).Levels in Hungarians have been noted between 20 and 60%.

R1A1* Y-DNA Nicholas Hays Haplogroup

There is a significant presence in peoples of Scandinavian descent, with highest levels in Norway and Iceland, where between 20 and 30% of men are in R1a1a.  Vikings and Normans may have also carried the R1a1a lineage westward; accounting for at least part of the small presence in the British Isles.

The R1a1* paragroup is apparently less rare than R1* but still relatively unusual, though it has been tested in more than one survey. Underhill et al. for example report 1/51 in Norway, 3/305 in Sweden, 1/57 Greek Macedonians, 1/150 Iranians, 2/734 Ethnic Armenians, and 1/141 Kabardians.

One specific Gene Mutation tells our tale – DYS388=10

I found research done by Harvard Professor Anatole Klyosov.  Anatole has done some of the most extensive R Haplogroup research of anyone to date.  I sent Anatole my DNA results, he concludes in an email written back to me.

“You can see your 67-marker haplotype in the lower-right-hand side of the tree (picture seen on page 4). As you see, it sits rather lonely, albeit adjacent to the branch which I described in detail in my paper which I sent to you last night. The branch is rather “young”, with a common ancestor who lived 1275+/-180 years before present, that is around the 8th century AD. It is a so-called “young branch of the Tenths”, with a common ancestor 1425+/-180 years before present, and which was consiederd in detail from viewpoints of geography and history in my publication (in Russian) in the same journal, but No. 6, 2009. It will be translated to English and published. The paper is more than 100 pages long, and describes all known branches (nearly 20) of R1a1.

There are two principal hypothesis regarding the origin of these haplotypes in the Isles. (1) Norvegian settlers in Northern parts of Ireland and Scotland, and (2) Norman invaders lead by Wilhelm the Concueror in 1066. There were many Viking descendants among his troops, who settled in Normandy and the Low Countries by that time.

However, there are more details in your personal haplotype. It differs from the “Young Tenths” base (ancestral) haplotype by 14 mutations in 67 markers, which translates to 2700 years cumulative difference between the common ancestor of the “Young Tenths” and yourself. It is clearly more than 1425+/-180 years separated him from our times. In other words, a common ancestor of HIM (Wilhelm the Concueror) and yourself lived (2700 + 1275)/2 = 2000 years bp, or (2475+1425)/2 = 1950 ybp, which is the same thing. In other words, the beginning of the Common Era.

I do not think there were Scotts or Irish in your roots that time. They were Scandinavians or even members of those tribes who came from the East. You can call them Scythians, or Sarmatians, or protoSlavs, or protoRus, or whoever.”


Curtis Hays

Curtis Hays

Curtis Hays is the 6th great grandson to Nicholas Hays. He's continuing to research his surname's origins.
Curtis Hays

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