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The seven European maternal clans

The maternal line of carriers of very similar or matching genetic profiles, or “haplotypes”, can be placed into a “haplogroup”. A haplotype’s applicability to a haplogroup is depends on a characteristic marker: a mutation that defines the particular haplogroup.

The origin of each haplogroup, as has been discussed, is the genetic maternal ancestor. Presently the following mitochondrial haplogroups are distinguished: A, B, C, CZ, D, E, F, G, H, pre-HV, HV, I, J, JT, K, L0, L1, L2, L3, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y a Z.

Most of the European population can deduce their maternal line origin from the seven genetic maternal clans, mostly they can be found within the following seven haplogroups.

HelenaHaplogroup H – is the most expansive of the European mitochondrial haplogroups. 30 – 40 % of European maternal lines presently belong to this haplogroup. The age of the entire haplogroup is estimated at 20 thousand years, when its expansion within the European population began. The occurrence of the haplogroup is geographically placed in the area of southwestern France, where its carriers settled all of Europe relatively evenly. Today the highest occurrence of this haplogroup is in southern France and northern Spain. In popular science literature the maternal ancestor of this haplogroup has the name Helena.

Jasmine Haplogroup J – is the second most expansive European mitochondrial haplogroup. Today we can find genetic markers characteristic of this group in almost 12% of the European population. The origin of this haplogroup lies in the Middle East, where it expanded into Europe 5-8.5 thousand years ago together with the first farmers. The maternal ancestor of this haplogroup also has its name, which is Jasmine.

Ursula Haplogroup U5 – is the oldest European haplogroup and is the subgroup of the haplogroup U. Its age is estimated to be 45 – 50 thousand years and the roots of this haplogroup can also be found in the Middle East. Today it includes around 11% of the European poplulation. Carriers of this haplogroup can be found especially in western Britian and in Scandinavia. The maternal ancestor of this haplogroup was given the name Ursula.

Tara Haplogroup T – is mid-size of European haplogroups. Presently, almost 10% of European maternal lines belong to this haplogroup. Carriers of this line are prevalent especially in southern and western Europe. Next frequently they are found in Ireland and western Britian. The haplogroup age estimates at 17 thousand years and its roots situate in present-day northwestern Italy. The name of the maternal ancestor of this haplogroup is Tara.

Katrine Haplogroup K – this haplogroup is also a subgroup of the larger haplogroup U. About 10% of Europeans are found in this group of maternal lineage. The origins of this haplogroup lie in northeastern Italy, near the Adriatic Sea, and the southern tip of the Alps. Around 15,000 years ago, carriers of this maternal genetic line expanded into the rest of Europe, especially into the central and northern regions. A large portion of this profile type still remains in the region of their origin. The maternal ancestor of this group is a female named Katrine.

Xenia Haplogroup X – is the second oldest haplogroup in Europe. Its age is estimated at 25,000 thousand years. Today, 7% of the European population hold the genetic marker that is characteristic of haplogroup X. Three sublines are distinguished within this haplogroup. One of these sublines persists in a relatively high number in eastern Europe, while two of the remaining sublines are found mostly in central and western Europe, and reach as far as France and the British Islands. The maternal lines found in this haplogroup are derived from the maternal ancestor named Xenia.

Velda Haplogroup V – the smallest of the seven European maternal clans in terms of numeric representation. It occurs in 4% of the present European population. The origin of this haplogroup is placed in the era 17 thousand years ago in the region of Cantabria in northwest Spain. The descendants of this haplogroup are most frequently found, however, in western and northern Europe, as well as between Laponia in Finland and northern Norway. The maternal ancestor of the haplogroup is considered a female named Velda.