I have decided to join the genealogy groove and form The Lapensee DNA Group. A big thanks to my brother for providing the first sample to this pilot project. Let us get right to the nuts and bolts of this concept. What is DNA and genealogy? All humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes, including a pair of sex chromosomes, known as X and Y. Males have both an X- and a Y-chromosome (with the Y-chromosome inherited from the father) while females have two X-chromosomes (one X-chromosome inherited from each parent.) Genetic Genealogy is interested in heritage markers or the area of the chromosome which reveals family relatedness.¹
Because the Y-chromosome is passed essentially unchanged from father-to-son, it provides genetic genealogists with a powerful tool for tracing a paternal lineage. Specific portions of the Y-chromosome are analyzed and compared against other participants' Y results to determine the relatedness between the two participants.²
A daughter inherits two X-chromosomes, one from her mother and the other is from her father's mother (paternal grandmother). Boys (XY) always receive their single X chromosome from their mother while girls (XX) receive an X from their mother and an X from their father. As far as X chromosomes go, what separates boys from girls is not only that girls have two X chromosomes but that only girls have an X chromosome from their father (a paternal X).
Since both parents contribute X-chromosomes to their daughters, a different source of DNA must be used to trace the maternal line. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is inherited by both male and female children exclusively from their mothers and provides insight into one's maternal lineage.³
Membership is free, but the DNA kit is not.
Anyone in the family can join the group for discussions, even without a test.
Men can take both the paternal and maternal DNA test.
Women can only take a maternal DNA test.
A woman can ask her brother, father, grandfather, uncle, or cousin (son of a paternal uncle) to take the paternal DNA test. These results will allow her to fully trace her paternal lineage.
Should you choose the maternal or the paternal test?
Click here to join the Lapensee DNA group.
Our family belongs to haplogroup R1b, The Artisans, who first arrived in Europe from west Asia about 35,000- 40,000 years ago at the dawning of the Aurignacian culture. This cultural was remarkable for its subtle yet significant technological progress, like the shift from random flint collection to the use of a single stone core to shape flint tools as needed. Aurignacian decorative beads and jewelry could also be the first sign we have of the uniquely human quality of self-awareness and adornment. Additionally, some anthropologists believe that the Aurignacian culture was the first to paint. Either way, the people of this time period left behind fascinating cave paintings in France, Spain and Portugal.
Other experts believe that the Perigordian culture was prevalent at the time when the Artisans first arrived in Europe. This culture distinguished itself with different technological advances, such as denticulate tools with saw-tooth notches for cutting meat or wood and for smoothing and polishing.
There are several known subgroups of R1b. We're not yet able to tell you which (if any) of these subpopulations you match to, so we'll tell you a little about a few of them. Population genetics is a rapidly advancing field, and new data may allow us to match your DNA to a specific subgroup in the future. We'll notify you by email if more advanced results become available. One subgroup of the Artisans, R1b3 (sometimes called R1b1c) is associated with the Cro-Magnons. Based on archaeological excavations, particularly in France, it's believed that the Cro-Magnons wove clothes, built huts and painted.
The Ice Age may have played a role in the dispersion of the Artisans. At the peak of the Ice Age a European ice shelf extended as far as southern Ireland, mid England and northern Germany, completely covering Scandinavia. Most of continental Europe was tundra and the land only supported trees as far south as southern France, northern Italy and areas north of the Balkans and across the Black Sea. Thus, the Artisans most likely moved south of the tree line for their resources, making permanent homes where their descendants remained even when the ice shelf receded. Others returned north once resources were again available.
This map shows the likely migration pathways of our ancient ancestors, The Artisans (haplogroup R1b). Your ancestors may have been responsible for the first cave paintings, and probably lived in present-day England, France, Spain or Portugal. To use your test results to build your family tree, visit dna.ancestry.com and learn about other participants with genetic profiles similar to your own.
About 70% of individuals currently residing in southern England are members of the Artisans. Other members can be found at high rates in the modern day populations of Spain, Portugal, France, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Based on this observation and other archaeological and historical information, it is likely that your ancient ancestors also populated these areas. The Artisans include a genetic group known as the Atlantic Modal Haplotype (AMH), which features greatly among the Irish and Welsh populations.
Some researchers believe that the genes associated with the AMH moved with the early Celtic migrations. Although ancient ancestral Celts were a diverse group and varied in many ways, certain mythologies are consistent throughout most Celtic traditions, despite geographic or tribal boundaries. More than 300 Celtic deities have been described, many of which are reflected in classic Roman counterparts. The god Lugh (or Lugus) may have played an important role among those deities. Folklore and storytelling has infused Lugh's character with magic and fantasy, given him credit for thunder and lightening, and placed his stage in the sky.
The widespread acceptance of Lugh in Celtic culture is supported by the use of his name as the root of city names. Lyon, the present day city in south-eastern France was called Lugdunum in Roman times. The city of Leiden in south Holland may also have its roots in the name of the god.
R1b1c4 and R1b1c6 are very specific Artisan subsections found primarily in Basque populations, but also in Catalan, Spanish, French, British and German populations.
A unique modern day population, the Basque people self-identify as a discrete ethnic group in north-central Spain and south-western France. Early Basque culture was basically democratic and their pre-Christian religion was formed around a superior female goddess, Mari. A rich mythology of Basque creatures and characters includes imps, giants, dragons, soothsayers and other nature-based deities. Traditional Basque cuisine was dictated by the mountains and sea surrounding Basque country. Lamb, fish and beans are typical ingredients of a Basque meal. The language associated with the Basque people is euskara, which linguists believe exists in a family by itself, and is not related to English or other western European languages. Members of the Artisans can be found at high rates in South America. Populations geneticists ascribe this finding to the movement of peoples from Iberia to South America over the last 500 years.³