Wednesday, January 25, 2017


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For the first time I have added Finland to my mtDNA database. My first collection of Finnish mtDNA is 287 mitogenomes. In this post I’ll give an intro to Finnish mtDNA.

Here are links to my analysis of Finnish mtDNA.
Finland: mHG frequencies, Founder Effects
mtDNA matches: A lists unique and rare haplogroups found in Finland and where in the world I’ve found those haplogroups also exist.

Summary: 50% of Finns belong to founder effect mHGs unique to the region Finland is in. Only 1% of Finns have Siberian mtDNA. Finland's mtDNA is super European. Finland's mHG frequencies are similar to their neighbors in NorthEastern Europe. Finnish H1/H3 is similar to Danish and White American H1/H3 but not similar to Basque H1/H3. A modern Finnish U5a1* shares a mutation with a Mesolithic Swedish U5a1*.

Dominated by Founder Effects

As you can see in the Finland spreadsheet about 50% of Finns belong to founder effect mHGs. I listed all of the founder effect haplogroups and the mutations which make them unique in the spreadsheet. All of these founder effect mHGs are unique to Finland and its neighbors. They are either nonexistent or very rare outside of Finland and its neighbors.

These are the most common Founder Effects in Finland.
U5b1b1a(5.20%), H3h1(3.1%), H1a[10](2.8%), H1f1(2.8%), K1c1c(2.2%), H1n4(2.1%), U5b1b2(2.1%).

Because of the high frequency of Finnish-specific mtDNA in Finland I can confirm you have a Finnish maternal lineage if you email me your mtDNA at

Close Affinity to Karelia

When comparing Finnish mtDNA to other populations I discovered Finland shares several unique mHGs with its neighbor Karelia. Many of the founder effect mHGs in Finland I just discussed are also found in Karelia. Here’s a list of mHGs unique to Finland and Karelia and probably nearby peoples.

H1a(10), H1a(11), H1f1, H2a1(o), H3h1, V7a, U5a2a1a, U5b1b1a, U1b, D5a3a1a.

The H1 mHGs above and H3h1 take up 10% or more of Finnish and Karelian mtDNA. That’s a sizable fraction.

Archetypal European mtDNA

Only 1% of Finnish mtDNA is Siberian. The rest is West Eurasian. 99%(or whatever the actual percentage is) of it belongs to archetypal European mHGs. Finland’s mHG frequencies are pretty similar to its neighbors in NorthEastern Europe; see European mHG frequencies here.

European-specific mHGs found in Finland. They take up 65% of Finnish mtDNA. The number is certainly higher because not all European mHGs have been discovered.
H1 H3 H11a V HV0(xV) HV6-17 T1a1 T2b T2a1b1a J1c J2a1a J2b1a K1a4a, K1a1b K1c1 U5 U4 U2e U8a1a I

Some of the above European-specific mHGs are too vague; J1c, H1, H3, U5, and so on. I thoroughly compared Finland's J1c, H1, etc. subclades to other Europeans. In most of those mHGs Finland belongs to subclades either typical for all Europeans or only to ones geographically close to Finland.

Here’s the primary subclade of some of those European mHGs in Finland.
H1: H1a, H1b, H1c, H1f, H1n
H3: H3h, H3b.
V: V7a, V1a, V(29)
J1c: J1c2, J1c3
U5: U5b1b, U5a1b1.
U4: U4a2a, U4d1
I: I5a, I1a1

My collection posses an abundance of mitogenomes from only a few West Eurasian population whom I can compare to Finland; Iran, Denmark, Druze, Caucasus, Basque, White Americans.

Finland’s H1 and H3 is closely related to White American and Danish H1/H3. However it is pretty unrelated to Basque H1/H3. Also you can see in the mtDNA Matches document that Finland matches most often with Danish and White Americans. *****I must warn you to not misinterpret the matching because almost half of my mitogenomes are from White Americans and Danish.

Siberian mtDNA: D5a3a1a, G3a1

Three of the Finnish mito genomes belonged East Asian mHGs; two Ds and one G. More specifically the Ds were D5a3a1a and the G was G3a1. In my database these mHGs only exist in non Slavic Russians, Karelians, and Siberians. Therefore it’s safe to assume they travelled from Siberia to Finland at some point.

U5b1b1a, U5b1b2, U5b1e1, U5a1*

I think it's pretty likely that these U5 lineages unique to Finland and its neighbors; U5b1b1a, U5b1b2, U5b1e1, and U5a1* are descended from ancient NorthEastern Europea Hunter Gatherers. Finns have extra European hunter gatherer ancestry which can't be explained by Corded Ware or Funnel Beaker, see here.

The single U5a1* Finnish sample I'm referring to has already found a match with a NorthEastern European Hunter Gatherer.

Modern Finn:
U5a1*. Extra mutations: 195C 5237A 5460A 6267A 13651G
Mesolithic Swede(Motala3).
U5a1*. Extra mutations: G5460A, G8860A, A9389G, C16519T


  1. Thanks for your research on Finland! I'm researching my COMPLETE mtDNA. I see you have a handful of mtDNA H6a1a. This line came into Southern Finland with Corded Ware Culture( CWC were 79% descended from Yamnaya Culture. And mtDNA H6a1 fits this pattern. I have a lot of research on H6a1b & H6a1a BUT I'm having a hard time with the last 3 mutations. I'm H6a1a2b1. I've looked online & H6a1a2b has many matches in Sweden.So I wonder if perhaps this represents a Founder Effect. Could Sweden be location of H6a12b?? I match countries in the BALKANS in approx 700 AD. I wonder if this is because of Germanic tribes descending on Roman-Era Southeastern Europe? Then, I keep thinking of the Scythian, Sarmatian migrations from the Steppes. Was my line part of this Western migration? If so, I wouldn't see so may H6a1a2b's in Sweden. The 5 generation exact match is Germany first, genetic distance 1-Germany again tops, genetic distance-Germany again.(not surprised as I know my ggg Grandmother left Northern Bavaria) I hope someday to find out WHERE the "2b1" potion of my mtDNA came from.jv

    1. Email me your raw mtDNA data and I'll see if you have any matches in my database.

      My email.

    2. Thank you! My mtDNA seems to be both in IE & Uralic populations. mtDNA H6 is the most diverse and the most common in Central Asia today. Of course this reflects Eurasian line! jv

    3. I added you to my poster database...

      Poster's mtDNA