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From: (David Faux)
Subject: Re: [DNA] Spencer Wells about Jefferson's Haplogroup
Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2005 22:21:29 +0000


Dr. Spencer:

Thank you for clarifying the muddied waters of the paternal ancestry of Thomas Jefferson. It will end the months of futile speculation - all this accomplished by a simple SNP test (which I intended to do had you not completed this work).

It appears, however, that you have linked Jefferson with the Phonecians - which is an inferential leap that I don't believe can be justified. K (we will test to see if our samples are K2) is found in the areas of Viking settlements. In my Shetland study we have a man with an aboriginal (Norse) Shetland surname (Jamieson) who is haplogroup K. Jorgensen, in his recent paper, detected two individuals from the Faroe Islands who are also K. K is also found at low levels in Norway - where the ancestors of these men doubtless originated. If my migration theory is correct, in the pre - Viking era (circa 420 AD) there was a migration of Hun peoples with haplogroups Q, K and R1a1 from Central Asia to Scandinavia. Curiously our K fellow has exact matches only in Azerbaijan (two separate databases). Thus in sum, I disagree with your hypothesis about a Phonecian ancestor for Jefferson, and instead propose that the most parsimonious interpretation for the paternal line is a Norse i!
nvader to Britain.

David F.



-------------- Original message --------------

> List,
>
> Spencer Wells asked me to bring to you his following remarks related to
> Jefferson's Haplogroup:
>
>
> "As part of our genetic analyses for the film SEARCH FOR ADAM, we analyzed
> additional markers on Jefferson's Y-chromosome in an effort to determine
> why it is so unusual. If you recall the original Hemmings paper in Nature
> by Foster et al., the haplotype was 'rare', which is what enabled them to
> implicate Jefferson as the source rather than another European. At the
> time there were no matches among the 607 European men (Jefferson's father
> claimed Welsh ancestry) who had been genotyped for the same 11
> microsatellites. Recent searches of more comprehensive databases have
> turned up related haplotypes belonging to haplogroups O, K and Q. We
> investigated the 12 microsatellites routinely typed by FTDNA, which did not
> add to the haplogroup resolution. SNP testing, however, revealed that
> Jefferson's Y is positive for M70, which places him in haplogroup K2. K2
> is rare in northern Europe (only one K was found among 1772 British men
> surveyed by Capelli et al., but it wasn't typed for M70) but quite common
> in the Middle East and northeast Africa, where it reaches frequencies of
> 10% or more. Interestingly, another person typed in the film, the
> Ethiopian prince, is also K2, but many mutational steps removed from
> Jefferson. We are currently looking at potential source populations for
> Jefferson's K2 as part of a broader survey of Y-chromosome variation in the
> Middle East and North Africa, and expect to submit a publication by the end
> of the year. I'm sure that all of you will appreciate the amount of effort
> that has gone into launching The Genographic Project, and hope that you
> will understand that our publication schedule has been somewhat delayed as
> a result.
>
> Spencer Wells
> Mission Programs
> National Geographic Society"


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