Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Marie Antoinette: DNA Family History


   When we use DNA to research our family history, we have the potential to uncover quite a bit of information.  We could find living cousins, lost connections and deep ancestral origins.  There is also geographic information associated with your DNA.  When you start comparing your DNA to your Clan and your Tribe, you can map your recent old world origins and your migrations.

   You are not limited to your own DNA as you are researching.  As we work on our traditional genealogy, we may find famous ancestors, a Mayflower passenger here or a President there.  If you are descended from them then you can bet that hundreds of other people are also.  Many times one of those hundreds has had their DNA tested to confirm their relationship to that famous ancestor.  You can use that published data to add to your family history.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

   Let’s look at Marie Antoinette, while she has no living descendants, she makes a great example.  Tests from a lock of her hair and from her son’s preserved heart show her mitochondrial DNA to be haplogroup H, the most common group in Europe.

   Marie Antoinette’s results - HVR1 - 16519C and HVR2 - 152C, 194T, 263G, 315.1C

   Marie Antoinette’s maternal line has been documented back 25 generations to the 1100s.  You could still be related to her through this Germanic line of women.  There are twelve exact HVR1/HVR2 matches for Marie Antoinette on Mitosearch.org.  Even with an exact match, that common ancestor lived over 625 years ago, in the 1300s or earlier.

   On paper, Marie Antoinette’s ancestry goes back to the 1100s in the Holy Roman Empire (modern day Germany).  DNA can take us further.  One theory shows a correlation between HVR2 marker 152C and the Goth barbarian tribes.  The Goths were in no way a homogenous genetic group as they grew through mergers and acquisitions.  To say that one DNA marker defines a mixed group like the Goths may be hard to prove.


   If we look at the geographic data associated with Marie Antoinette’s maternal tribe, a pattern starts to emerge.  Take all the DNA records available, matches and close matches.  With each close mismatch, we can step backwards in time in roughly 625-year increments.   TribeMapper® analysis shows a genetic flow of ancestors from Scandinavia down through the Germanic heartland.  The timing of this flow, from 2200 to 1300 years ago suggests a connection to the Goth migrations.  While this is still not definitive proof, it is an additional element that could be used to build a case that Marie Antoinette was a Goth descendant.

   This is an example of the geographic data that can be harnessed from mitochondrial DNA.  The results with mtDNA tend to be more macro as there is less variability, which leads to less timeline resolution.  Y DNA has more variability and will produce maps in greater detail.  Our unique Tribal DNA will tell its own migration story and help tie us to history.

© Michael R. Maglio and OriginsDNA

11 comments:

  1. If, through family lore, there is a chance of having a famous ancestor, how does one go about finding out if that (dead) famous person's DNA is recorded?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most of the time the actual DNA of the famous person has not been collected or recorded. Marie Antoinette's DNA is a rare case. Occasionally they will exhume someone to prove a case - like Jesse James. They also believe that there may be a viable blood sample on Abraham Lincoln's clothing from the day he was shot.

      Most famous DNA comes from 2 or more samples of living descendants with strong paper genealogies.

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  2. My HVR1 is 16243C, and 16519C. My HRV2 is 263G, and 315.1C. Therefore I seem to match Marie Antoinette, but in what way, and at what range? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, you do share some of the same markers as Marie Antoinette. You have one additional HVR1 and she has two additional HVR2. Those 3 differences put your common ancestor between 3,000 and 6,000 years ago. Even if you matched exactly, your common ancestor would be 600 to 1,200 years ago.

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  3. Hello my HVR1 is 16311C, and 16519C. My HRV2 is 263G and 315.1C.
    How close a match to Marie Antoinette am I.

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, like the previous post, you have 3 differences that gives you a common ancestor with Marie Antoinette about 3,000 to 6,000 years ago. You have more in common with the previous poster, only 2 differences or 2,000 to 4,000 years ago.

      Delete
  4. Thanks Michael
    At 3,000 to 6,000 years ago would the TMCRA have lived in Scandinavia?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 3,000 years ago would most likely be Scandinavia. 6,000 years ago we might be talking about the Iberian peninsula.

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  5. Is there something wrong with the OriginsDNA website? Compared to 23andme.com and others, it doesn't look very promising... or do I need to contact someone to pursue it?

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  6. My HVR1 and HVR2 results are shown below. As you can see the results are exact on HVR1 and similar on HVR2 to Marie.
    My question is how closely related are we?
    HVR1 DIFFERENCES FROM RSRS
    A16129G T16187C C16189T T16223C G16230A T16278C C16311T
    HVR2 DIFFERENCES FROM RSRS
    G73A C146T C150T C152T A247G 309.1C 315.1C
    To learn more about RSRS click here.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hello, my results simplified below

    HVR1 REFERENCE SEQUENCE
    Show All Positions
    Position CRS Your Result
    16519 T C
    HVR2 REFERENCE SEQUENCE
    Show All Positions
    Position CRS Your Result
    150 C T
    195 T C
    263 A G
    309.1 C
    315.1 C
    522 C -
    523 A -

    ReplyDelete