In my post DNA Results Part 1: My Y DNA has been on quite a journey https://genealogyadventures.wordpress.com/2013/02/05/dna-results-part-1-my-y-DNA-has-been-on-quite-a-journey/ there were two possible routes my 3 x great-grandfather Jacob Sheffey’s ancient ancestors took from Egypt to West Africa some 50,000+ years ago. One route was across the Sahara. The second route was across North Africa.
Further DNA analysis has solved the question of which migration route these ancestors took.
A little thing called Subclade E1b1a1f clinched it.
Looking at the image above, haplogroups and subclades are like different branches in a common ancestral family tree. These genetic family tree branches show how different human populations are related to one another…and how far back each branch began to share common ancestral populations.
The more branches you uncover through DNA testing finely tunes which populations you share DNA with and how close, in terms of time, you’re related to the other branches in the overall human tree…and the routes taken as these branches and sub-branches were created. It all has to do with DNA mutations and the populations which carry these mutations. It’s what makes an E1 person an E1 and not an E2. While E1 and E2 are different, they share a common ‘ancestor’ subclade, which would be E.
So what’s so special about Subclade E1b1a1f? It’s primarily found in modern North African populations. It arrived into North-western and Central Northern Africa tens of thousands of years ago.
So based on the latest DNA results, Jacob Sheffey’s ancient paternal African ancestors didn’t traverse the Sahara to arrive in present day Mali and Burkina Faso. His ancestors left present day Egypt along the North African coast, part of a population of ancient peoples who would form the present day Berber speaking peoples. The map below shows the distribution of these peoples, which is a perfect correlation to the refined DNA results:
Science can be an incredible thing.