The Genographic Project

A couple of months ago I read an article on the IBM Intranet about the National Geographic Genographic Project , which, at the time, I had never heard of. This project, supported by IBM, has the goal to „understand the human journey „” where we came from and how we got to where we live today“ as the website tells it. The data collected „will map world migratory patterns dating back some 150,000 years and will fill in the huge gaps in our knowledge of humankind’s migratory history.“

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Face of the past. Myself 90.000 years ago 😉

I remember myself sitting at Hyde Park, London sometime in Summer 1999 when I had just bought Jared Diamond’s „Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies“. I immersed myself deeply in his book and I am to this day completely fascinated by anything related to ancestry research and the genetic journey of humankind.

The participation kit is only $100 and it’s money well spent if you ask me, especially when you take into account, that the Greenback is not what it used to be and sourcing in the states is really cheap at the moment. 🙂

A few weeks ago I got the results and would now like to share my „ancestral journey“ with you, that might encourage one or the other reader to take part in this fascinating and important project.


My Y-chromosome results identify me as a member of haplogroup E3b.

The genetic markers that define my ancestral history reach back roughly 60,000 years to the first common marker of all non-African men, M168, and follow my lineage to present day, ending with M35, the defining marker of haplogroup E3b.

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If we Look at the map highlighting my ancestors‘ route, you will see that members of haplogroup E3b carry the following Y chromosome

M168 > YAP > M96 > M35

Today, the E3b line of descent is most heavily represented in Mediterranean populations. Approximately 10 percent of the men in Spain belong to this haplogroup, as do 12 percent of the men in northern Italy, and 13 percent of the men in central and southern Italy. Roughly 20 percent of the men in Sicily belong to this group. In the Balkans and Greece, between 20 to 30 percent of the men belong to E3b, as do nearly 75 percent of the men in North Africa. The haplogroup is rarely found in India  or East Asia. Around 10 percent of all European men trace their descent to this Line. For example, in Ireland, 3 to 4 percent of the men belong; in England, 4 to 5 percent; Hungary, 7 percent, and Poland, 8 to 9 percent. Nearly 25 percent of Jewish men belong to this haplogroup.

To be clear these tests are not conventional genealogy. Test results will not provide names for one’s personal family tree or tell you where your great grandparents lived. Rather, they will indicate the maternal or paternal genetic markers your deep ancestors passed on to you and the story that goes with those markers. For the purpose of conventional genealogy I’ve set up a family tree with that incorporates all the information Gerald Schuch (* Saginaw, MI, USA; “  Bath, Somerset, UK) collected about the Schuchs from Weickartshain, Hesse during many years of research and some additional data I’ve been able to put together.

This is very exciting stuff and if you would like to contact me about this story, please don’t hesitate to do so.

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