Haplogroup H, H1 + H3

Maternal Haplogroup H (mtDNA)


Based on our Haplogroup, H1a + H3g.

Haplogroup H is the most common and most diverse maternal lineage in Europe, in most of the Near East and in the Caucasus region. The Saami of Lapland are the only ethnic group in Europe who have low percentages of haplogroup H, varying from 0% to 7%. The frequency of haplogroup H in Europe usually ranges between 40% and 50%. The lowest frequencies are observed in Cyprus (31%), Finland (36%), Iceland (38%) as well as Belarus, Ukraine, Romania and Hungary (all 39%). The only region where H exceeds 50% of the population are Asturias (54%) and Galicia (58%) in northern Spain, and Wales (60%).

Haplogroup H possesses approximately 90 basal subclades identified to date, most of which further subdivided in other subclades. The most common subclades are H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6, H7, H10, H11, H13, H14 and H20. The Cambridge Reference Sequence (CRS), the human mitochondrial sequence to which all other sequences are compared, belongs to haplogroup H2a2a.

H1 & H3

Haplogroup H1 is by far the most common subclade in Europe, representing approximately than half of the H lineages in Western Europe. Roostalu et al. (2006) estimate that H1 arose around 22,500 years ago. H1 is divided in 65 basal subclades. The largest, H1c, has over 20 more basal subclades of its own, most with deeper ramifications. H1 is found throughout Europe, North Africa, the Levant, Anatolia, the Caucasus, and as far as Central Asia and Siberia. The highest frequencies of H1 are observed in the Iberian peninsula, south-west France and Sardinia. H3 has a very similar distribution to H1, but more confined to Europe and the Maghreb, and is generally two to three times less common than H1.

Various matrilineal descendants of Empress Maria Theresa were tested and confirmed to belong to the same haplogroup (H with the mutations 152C, 194T and 263G, which most probably corresponds to the H3s subclade). This lineage's most recent common matrilineal ancestor is Princess Christine Louise of Oettingen-Oettingen (1671-1747), whose matrilineal descendants include Emperor Joseph II, Emperor Leopold II, Emperor Ferdinand I, Frederick William II of Prussia, Tsar Peter II of Russia, Queen Marie-Antoinette, William I of the Netherlands, Victor Emmanuel II of Italy, and Leopold II of Belgium.

Gill et al. (1994) tested the presumptive mitochondrial DNA of Tsaritsa Alexandra Fyodorovna of Russia and compared it to that of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Both being matrilineal descendants of Queen Victoria, they shared the same haplogroup H. The mutations reported were 263G, 16111T and 16357C (an unknown subclade of H). However, King et al. (2004) compared that mtDNA to the relic of Grand Duchess Elisabeth, sister of Empress Alexandra, and found that the sequences did not match and that the HVRI mutations were actually 16129A and 16327T, which would also correspond to haplogroup H, but a different subclade, which cannot be determined without a full sequence test. Whichever is correct, the lineage of Queen Victoria can be said to belong to mt-haplogroup H. Their lineage can be traced back to Anne of Bohemia and Hungary (1503-1546), whose maternal-line descendants include a great many European aristocrats, including (chronologically) Emperor Maximilian II, Marie de' Medici, Emperor Ferdinand II, Władysław IV Vasa, Louis XIII of France, Philip IV of Spain, Charles II of England, James II of England, Emperor Leopold I, William III of England, Louis XV of France, Ferdinand VI of Spain, Leopold I of Belgium, Pedro V of Portugal, Luís I of Portugal, Kaiser Wilhelm II, Ferdinand I of Romania, George II of Greece, Alexander of Greece, Paul of Greece, and Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.