|Mitochondria are small bacteria - like cell inclusions that function as little energy packets for the cell. Mitochondria have their own DNA,
separate from the nuclear DNA where the chromosomes are located. Mitochondria are passed from females to their children, but it is only
females who can pass this form of DNA on to the next generation. Therefore this DNA provides an indication of the deep maternal ancestry in
As with the male Y chromosome, over the generations, and in each geographic location certain sites of "junk DNA" have mutated and these are
the markers which are measured and serve to differentiate families and wider groups (e.g., Native American and African). Therefore you
should have the same pattern of mitochondrial mutations as your ancestors say 2000 years ago. Mutations could happen at any time, but they
would be rare within the period since surnames were adopted. Unfortunately it is often difficult to obtain a clear documentary record of female
ancestors since their names (among Europeans) change with each marriage. The usefulness of mitochondrial DNA studies to genealogy is
debatable - although it can serve to rule out candidates if their mitochondrial DNA does not match.
Here follows the profile of scores inherited from the earliest known maternal ancestor, Mary Brash who at the time of her marriage in 1800 was
residing in Kirkintilloch, Dunbarton, Scotland.
HVR1 & 2 (Hypervariable Regions 1 & 2) Haplogroup = K1b2 (Clan Katrine according to Sykes).
HVR1 Mutations: 16224C 16311C 16320T 16519C
HVR2 Mutations: 73G; 146C; 195C; 263G; 309.1C; 315.1C; 524.1C; 524.2A
A full genome sequence of the entire mtDNA has been completed and confirms the K1b2 placement.
The exact classification above is based on someone who has had full molecule testing and who is identical to me on the HVR-2 mutationsl.
This pattern is somwhat rare and there is as yet no clear geographical association. The 16320 mutation is a heteroplasmy (found in some cells
but not others) - but it is entirely unknown when that variation occurred. The lineage goes from Mary Brash to Elizabeth Muir to Mary Bain to
Annie McCormack to Eva Fern Dawson to Violet May Williamson to David K. Faux. An individual who descends in the direct maternal line
from Elizabeth Bain (sister of Mary Bain) has been located and has agreed to complete the DNA testing to verify the lineage (seldom necessary
in a maternal direct line).
It is interesting to note that according to Sykes, the K haplotype originated about 40,000 years ago on the slopes of the Tyrolean Alps in what
is today Italy. Furthermore the "Ice Mummy" affectionately known as "Oetsi", found high in the Tyrolean Alps, and dated to 5300 years before
present, also had the K haplotype - but without the 320T mutation . It appears that while individuals with this haplogroup are still found in the
proposed area of origin, many migrated north to Northern Europe. The most current research shows that the above motif with 16320 is not
seen in Austria, France, Spain or Italy, but is found at the highest concentration in Iceland with 2.46% of the population being K1. The next
highest percentage is seen in Orkney (1.32%), and then the Western Isles / Isle of Skye (.81%). It is not clear why the figures should be
highest in the former Norse (Viking) colonies. It seems likely that the Icelandic individuals with the above profile were those whose maternal
ancestors came from Scotland. However the percentage of K1 for Scotland is only .79. One problem is that there are two entirely different
16320 motifs. A recent study of Ireland along with data from the Haplogroup K Study suggests that a majority of 16320 came from Ireland,
but all of these have an entirely different HVR2 pattern. Further work needs to be done before we are able to conclude that my specific motif
came from native Scots (e.g., Pictish or Scotti) or via Angles or the Norse Vikings.
|Anna (McCormack) Dawson (1871-1942) on R
Eva Fern (Dawson) Williamson (1896 - 1974) on L
Maternal Grandmother of David K. Faux
from whom he inherited his mitochondrial DNA.
|mtDNA:Maternal DNA Ancestry
|Mary (Bain) McCormack (1838 - 1912)
died Ancaster Twp, Wentworth County, Ontario,
Maternal Great - Great Grandmother of David K. Faux