Friday, February 02, 2007

I am of the tribe of Velda


My earliest known ancestor is yours too. Her name is Mitochondrial Eve.. She lived in East Africa between 150,000 to 170,000 years ago. She was not the first woman, but she was the first woman from whom we can all trace our lineage. Her DNA lives in all women alive today.

Approximately 100,000 years ago, one of her descendants had a slight mutation in her DNA. She was different from all of her sisters. You couldn’t see this mutation, but it was there deep within her anyway. This woman had migrated southwest of her original tribe. She would pass on that same maternal line for another 20,000 years, until yet another daughter had this slight change.


80,000 years ago the tribe began to move north. With them was one incredible, unremarkable woman, unremarkable save for the fact that there was another tiny change in the DNA sequence singing inside her. She would have daughters, and they would pass down this other tiny hiccup in our matrix through today. This was the group that left Africa.


We’re not sure when the next mutation happened in my maternal line. The earliest guess is 60,000 years ago, but more research needs to be done. She lived in the eastern Mediterranean region, until there was yet another split in the DNA, creating group R.


R’s group migrated north and then west, settling across Anatolia, which is today known as Turkey.


Then again, 40,000 years ago, another of my ancestors had a slight change in her DNA. This was group pre-HV. They migrated west across Asia and began their way towards Europe, where another mutation in my ancestral DNA, group HV, the last until the appearance of my ancestor, Velda.


I am of the tribe of Velda. She lived approximately 12,000-17,000 years ago today in northwestern Spain. I don’t know of her life, but do I know this one fact:


She is 100% without a doubt related to me. She is my ancestor. I am descended of her.


My participation in The Genographic Project was one of the best things I’ve ever done. It gave me something I’ve been searching many years for. It gave me a relative. It gave me a sense of belonging, of history, of family.


I worship precious Velda, unassuming girl child born with my genes, holding within her the daughters of countless future generations, holding within her….. me.

6 complaints from ingrates:

Julie February 2, 2007 at 4:26 PM  

WOW, Theresa.... what a phenomenal story and beautiful post.

Thank you so much for participating in the project and for sharing it with us.

Rebecca February 3, 2007 at 2:56 PM  

Absolutely fascinating! We all know we came from somewhere, but you know that you were descended from Velda. Jealous. Very cool.

Anonymous,  February 3, 2007 at 6:30 PM  

And Velda had nothing on being as cool as you.
Uncool Potential Administrator Husband Type..

Who is REALLY glad Velda existed.

Ungrateful Little Bastard February 5, 2007 at 2:50 AM  

Julie & Rebecca - Thanks. I got involved the Project after a long period of un-searching after hitting yet another brick wall. It gave me the push I needed to start searching again.

And thanks, cool husband, posting anonymously on my blog ;)

~T

momseekingpeace February 6, 2007 at 4:13 AM  

Wow, that is amazing. That would be facinating to do.
MSP

Ungrateful Little Bastard February 6, 2007 at 7:00 PM  

Yeah MSP, it really was. There's a second DNA matching part of it that I'm writing about now that's cooler still. Also I am the world's biggest history nerd and armchair archeologist, so the OLDNESS of it is fun.

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