Haplogroup I

Haplogroup I is almost entirely confined to Europe, where it accounts for 20 percent of the population. The mutation that defines it is believed to have occurred 22.2 thousand years ago somewhere in Europe. Semino et al. (2000) believe that Haplogroup I stems from the Gravettian culture, which arrived in Europe from the Middle East about 20 to 25 thousand years ago. The Gravettian culture was “known for its Venus figurines, shell jewelry, and for using mammoth bones to build homes.”

Brian Sykes used the name Woden to represent the founder of Haplogroup I (Saxons, Vikings, and Celts, 2006). Woden (Odin) is the chief god of the German and Norse pantheon. Stephen Oppenheimer used the name Ivan (The Origins of the British, 2006).

Haplogroup I1

The mutation that defines this group appeared 15 to 20 thousand years ago. Because it originated immediately after the last ice age, it is not clear whether the founder lived in the Iberian peninsula, the Balkans or the Ukraine. Humans retreated to all three areas during the ice age, and later spread out through Europe. All living members of this haplogroup share a common ancestor who lived in northern Europe 4 to 6 thousand years ago.

Haplgroup I1 reaches Its highest frequency is in Scandinavia — 40 percent of Finns, and 35 percent of Danes, Swedes and Norwegians. It has been called the Viking gene because smaller concentrations along the coasts of northwestern Europe probably reflect Viking raids and settlements in the 8th and 9th centuries. Even in its areas of greatest concentration, I1 is overshadowed by haplogroups I1a and I1b.

Alexander Hamilton was a member of this group.

Haplogroup I2

This haplogroup appears to have originated in the Balkans, perhaps from a refugium there during the last ice age. It is very common in Croatia and Bosnia and decreases in frequency across eastern Europe. I2a1 is found in every geographic region with megaliths, including the Canary Islands, the Balearic Isles, Corsica, Ireland, and Sweden. It is the most common lineage in Sardinia, but it is also found at low frequencies in France and Spain. Subgroup I2b1a is found almost exclusively in the British Isles, suggesting it is very ancient there.

A Howery family of unknown origin belongs to I2a* (I-P37.2). Further testing would refine this result.

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