DNA and me - part one

My mitochondrial haplogroup is V

A professor of Human Genetics at Oxford's Institute of Molecular Medicine by the name of Bryan Sykes proposed in his book "The Seven Daughters of Eve" that every person alive in Europe today is related by an unbroken maternal link to one of only seven original female settlers who once populated the great plains of ice-age Europe. These seven European woman each carried their own individual mitochondrial DNA, passed from mother to child, generation to generation to generation. We all have mitochondrial DNA but only the mother can pass it on. If this makes your eyes glaze over you are not alone, but I and many many others find this concept, and Bryan Sykes book, totally intriguing. The book is a great read and will no doubt be on your local library's shelf.

A couple of  friends actually got together and bought me a Genographic Project test kit some years back. The result?

This was soo cool! Type V, or mother Velda as Bryan Sykes named her, is one of the smaller groups in Europe and is found only in Europe. About 5% of the European population is V with 2 exceptions. A small population group in Spain (where it is believed V originated during the last ice age) and the Saami or people of the Laplands of Northern Scandinavia. Close to half of the Saami are haplogroup V.

My Norwegian maternal grandmother Dagmar had told me long ago that one of our ancestors had been a Saami. I could never with my paper genealogy prove a Saami link (it is close to impossible for many reasons) but perhaps here was my "proof". Or I would like to think so.

Knowing I was directly descended from Velda gave me again this almost spiritual connection to my mother, my grandmother, my great grandmother and on up.  A connection that continues through me to my daughter and my daughter's daughter.

I have always been a lover of books. The classic "How Green Was My Valley" by Richard Llewellyn came to mind. This quote is from that book. It says it all.


“I saw behind me those who had gone, and before me, those who are to come. I looked back and saw my father, and his father, and all our fathers, and in front, to see my son, and his son, and the sons upon sons beyond.

And their eyes were my eyes.

As I felt, so they had felt, and were to feel, as then, so now, as tomorrow and forever. Then I was not afraid, for I was in a long line that had no beginning, and no end, and the hand of his father grasped my father's hand, and his hand was in mine, and my unborn son took my right hand, and all, up and down the line stretched from Time That Was, to Time That Is, and is not yet, raised their hands to show the link, and we found that we were one, born of Woman, Son of Man, made in the Image, fashioned in the Womb by the Will of God, the eternal Father.

I was one of them, they were of me, and in me, and I in all of them.” 

                                                                 ― Richard Llewellyn, "How Green Was My Valley"


This is why I love genealogy. Can you tell?


click for more about → THE SEVEN DAUGHTERS OF EVE - Wikipedia

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