The Druze

DNA analysis suggests motherline ancestors in the Near East or Middle East and a possible connection with the Druze.

A motherline identified in this genealogy project is the K1a haplogroup1,2. Today, the K1a motherline is distributed diversely across Europe and Asia; the highest frequency is found in the Druze, an Arabic-speaking minority who live throughout the Middle East mainly in Lebanon, Syria, Israel and Jordan3,4. It is likely that the ancestors of the K1a motherline lived in the Near East many thousands of years ago1,4.

Approximately 32% of people with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry are in haplogroup K3.

Explanation

A person's direct maternal lineage is the line that follows the mother's maternal ancestry. This maternal lineage can be traced using DNA analysis.

Everyone, men and women, have mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). A person gets their mtDNA from their mother, who inherited it from her mother, who received it from her mother and so on. Fathers do not pass on their mtDNA to their children.

Analysis of a person's mtDNA can trace his/her mother, the mother's mother, the mother's mother's mother, and so on.

A haplogroup is a group of people who share a common ancestor on the fatherline or, in this case, the motherline3. Haplogroups are assigned letters of the alphabet e.g. L, H or K. All members of a haplogroup trace their ancestry back to a single individual. Analysis of mtDNA allows us to trace a person's maternal line ancestry for thousands of years and determine ancient migration patterns3.

Haplogroup K1a motherline
Haplogroup K1a motherline (click image to enlarge) (view PDF version)

Sources

1. Haplogroup K1a (mtDNA) Information from livingdna.com
2. Haplogroup K1a motherline (click image to enlarge)
3. Haplogroup K (mtDNA) Information from Wikipedia
4. K1a haplogroup origins from livingdna.com