Welcome at Freerk Boekelo's genealogical website - online from July 27, 1998

Genetic Genealogy: From Adam To Boekeloo

Note: This page is not an exact translation of the more extensive Dutch page, but contains more or less the same information.

After the Dutch publication of the History and Genealogy of the Boekeloo Family (Schoorl, 1995) - click here for a short summary - additional and new information has been published at the internet (only available in Dutch). In the mean time I have concluded that further research on archives in The Netherlands most probably will not lead to a final answer on the question why my paternal ancestors decided to choose the familyname 'Boekeloo' when Napoleon ordered the Dutch to accept such a name. According to the 'History and Genealogy of the Boekeloo Family' the main hypothesis on the origin of the Boekeloo family still is that they originate from the village of Boekelo near Enschede in the area of Twente, The Netherlands. Just at the time I thought of closing my genealogical research on this subject, I discovered the potential possibilities of genetic genealogy: DNA-research as direct source for genealogical research. My research to the origin of my paternal family would get a boost, if I could find other people in The Netherlands or Northwest-Germany with the same results on a specific y-DNA test for genealogical purposes. Unfortunately I still haven't found people in public DNA-databases on the internet with the same haplotype. The results of my y-DNA test were even more confusing when I found out that the DNA-profile of my paternal lineage is quite uncommon in The Netherlands. Only 3,7% of the Dutch males do belong to the same haplogroup as I do. Most West-European males belong to the main paleolithic haplogroup R1b or the neolithic haplogroup I. Instead of a clear West-European origin my haplotype undoubtly points to a pre-historic paleolithic Eurasian origin and possibly also to a medieval Viking or West-Slavic origin.
This page contains the text of the report that has been received from the Genographic Project on the results of research on my y-DNA. Genetically spoken this is the story 'From Adam to Boekeloo'. At the end of this page a short comment has been added about my most probable paternal heritage according to these results. That comment is a short edition of the Dutch page content on this subject.

Journey of Man - A Genetic Odyssey

Early 2006 someone called my attention to the Genographic Project of The Waitt Family Foundation, National Geographic and IBM. This is a worldwide research project to the migration of our ancestors, from the very beginning of mankind till now. National Geographic and Dr. Spencer Wells from the Genographic Project made a film, called Journey of Man - A Genetic Odyssey, which can still be watched on You Tube . By clicking the next links you may watch the successive episodes of this film: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13

The Genographic Project

For five years human DNA-samples will be gathered from people all over the world. Although all people have 99,9% of their DNA in common, there is still a difference of 0,1% between all individuals. From this difference scientists can select individual DNA-profiles. This 0,1% contains also the DNA that is important for the Genographic Project. That pieces of DNA will transfer unchanged from father to son (Y-chromosome or y-DNA) and from mother to children (Mitochondrical DNA, mtDNA).
Only a few times little mutations take place in these pieces of our DNA (in the mtDNA more often than in the y-DNA). Because of these very few mutations it is possible to find out how mankind did spread over the world. These mutations are called markers. All markers are indicated with specific names, both y-DNA markers (like M168, M89) and mtDNA markers (like L2, M1). Neigbouring mutations belong to one group, a so called haplogroup (like R1a en R1b). Variaties within a haplogroup are called haplotypes.
After reading about the Genographic Project I decided to buy a DNA-kit (USD 126) and took part in the project. Apparantly it wasn't easy to determine my haplogroup, because I was informed that additional research was neccesary. In the end - at June 16, 2006 - I received the results: I do belong to sub-haplogroup R1a1, with its specific M17-marker. But what does all this mean?
Next story is the original text of the report that I have received from the Genographic Project after their research on my y-DNA. At the end of this page I have added some personal comments.

My Personal Genographic Project Report

Your Y-chromosome results identify you as a member of sub-haplogroup R1a1.

The genetic markers that define your ancestral history reach back roughly 60,000 years to the first common marker of all non-African men, M168, and follow your lineage to present day, ending with M17, the defining marker of haplogroup R1a1.

If you look at the map highlighting your ancestors' route, you will see that members of sub-haplogroup R1a1 carry the following Y-chromosome markers:

M168 > M89 > M9 > M45 > M207 > M173 > M17

Today a large concentration—around 40 percent—of the men living in the Czech Republic across the steppes to Siberia, and south throughout Central Asia are members of haplogroup R1a1. In India, around 35 percent of the men in Hindi-speaking populations belong to this group. The M17 marker is found in only five to ten percent of Middle Eastern men. The marker is also found in relatively high frequency—around 35 percent—among men living on the eastern side of present-day Iran.

What's a haplogroup, and why do geneticists concentrate on the Y-chromosome in their search for markers? For that matter, what's a marker?

Each of us carries DNA that is a combination of genes passed from both our mother and father, giving us traits that range from eye color and height to athleticism and disease susceptibility. One exception is the Y-chromosome, which is passed directly from father to son, unchanged, from generation to generation.

Unchanged, that is unless a mutation—a random, naturally occurring, usually harmless change—occurs. The mutation, known as a marker, acts as a beacon; it can be mapped through generations because it will be passed down from the man in whom it occurred to his sons, their sons, and every male in his family for thousands of years.

In some instances there may be more than one mutational event that defines a particular branch on the tree. What this means is that any of these markers can be used to determine your particular haplogroup, since every individual who has one of these markers also has the others.

When geneticists identify such a marker, they try to figure out when it first occurred, and in which geographic region of the world. Each marker is essentially the beginning of a new lineage on the family tree of the human race. Tracking the lineages provides a picture of how small tribes of modern humans in Africa tens of thousands of years ago diversified and spread to populate the world.

A haplogroup is defined by a series of markers that are shared by other men who carry the same random mutations. The markers trace the path your ancestors took as they moved out of Africa. It's difficult to know how many men worldwide belong to any particular haplogroup, or even how many haplogroups there are, because scientists simply don't have enough data yet.

One of the goals of the five-year Genographic Project is to build a large enough database of anthropological genetic data to answer some of these questions. To achieve this, project team members are traveling to all corners of the world to collect more than 100,000 DNA samples from indigenous populations. In addition, we encourage you to contribute your anonymous results to the project database, helping our geneticists reveal more of the answers to our ancient past.

Keep checking these pages; as more information is received, more may be learned about your own genetic history.

Your Ancestral Journey: What We Know Now

M168: Your Earliest Ancestor

Fast Facts:
Time of Emergence: Roughly 50,000 years ago
Place of Origin: Africa
Climate: Temporary retreat of Ice Age; Africa moves from drought to warmer temperatures and moister conditions
Estimated Number of Homo sapiens: Approximately 10,000
Tools and Skills: Stone tools; earliest evidence of art and advanced conceptual skills

Skeletal and archaeological evidence suggest that anatomically modern humans evolved in Africa around 200,000 years ago, and began moving out of Africa to colonize the rest of the world around 60,000 years ago.

The man who gave rise to the first genetic marker in your lineage probably lived in northeast Africa in the region of the Rift Valley, perhaps in present-day Ethiopia , Kenya, or Tanzania, some 31,000 to 79,000 years ago. Scientists put the most likely date for when he lived at around 50,000 years ago. His descendants became the only lineage to survive outside of Africa, making him the common ancestor of every non-African man living today.

But why would man have first ventured out of the familiar African hunting grounds and into unexplored lands? It is likely that a fluctuation in climate may have provided the impetus for your ancestors' exodus out of Africa.

The African ice age was characterized by drought rather than by cold. It was around 50,000 years ago that the ice sheets of northern Europe began to melt, introducing a period of warmer temperatures and moister climate in Africa. Parts of the inhospitable Sahara briefly became habitable. As the drought-ridden desert changed to a savanna, the animals hunted by your ancestors expanded their range and began moving through the newly emerging green corridor of grasslands. Your nomadic ancestors followed the good weather and the animals they hunted, although the exact route they followed remains to be determined.

In addition to a favorable change in climate, around this same time there was a great leap forward in modern humans' intellectual capacity. Many scientists believe that the emergence of language gave us a huge advantage over other early human species. Improved tools and weapons, the ability to plan ahead and cooperate with one another, and an increased capacity to exploit resources in ways we hadn't been able to earlier, all allowed modern humans to rapidly migrate to new territories, exploit new resources, and replace other hominids.

M89: Moving Through the Middle East

Fast Facts:
Time of Emergence: 45,000 years ago
Place: Northern Africa or the Middle East
Climate: Middle East: Semi-arid grass plains
Estimated Number of Homo sapiens: Tens of thousands
Tools and Skills: Stone, ivory, wood tools

The next male ancestor in your ancestral lineage is the man who gave rise to M89, a marker found in 90 to 95 percent of all non-Africans. This man was born around 45,000 years ago in northern Africa or the Middle East.

The first people to leave Africa likely followed a coastal route that eventually ended in Australia. Your ancestors followed the expanding grasslands and plentiful game to the Middle East and beyond, and were part of the second great wave of migration out of Africa.

Beginning about 40,000 years ago, the climate shifted once again and became colder and more arid. Drought hit Africa and the grasslands reverted to desert, and for the next 20,000 years, the Saharan Gateway was effectively closed. With the desert impassable, your ancestors had two options: remain in the Middle East, or move on. Retreat back to the home continent was not an option.

While many of the descendants of M89 remained in the Middle East, others continued to follow the great herds of buffalo, antelope, woolly mammoths, and other game through what is now modern-day Iran to the vast steppes of Central Asia.

These semi-arid grass-covered plains formed an ancient "superhighway" stretching from eastern France to Korea. Your ancestors, having migrated north out of Africa into the Middle East, then traveled both east and west along this Central Asian superhighway. A smaller group continued moving north from the Middle East to Anatolia and the Balkans, trading familiar grasslands for forests and high country.

M9: The Eurasian Clan Spreads Wide and Far

Fast Facts:
Time of Emergence: 40,000 years ago
Place: Iran or southern Central Asia
Estimated Number of Homo sapiens: Tens of thousands
Tools and Skills: Upper Paleolithic

Your next ancestor, a man born around 40,000 years ago in Iran or southern Central Asia, gave rise to a genetic marker known as M9, which marked a new lineage diverging from the M89 Middle Eastern Clan. His descendants, of which you are one, spent the next 30,000 years populating much of the planet.

This large lineage, known as the Eurasian Clan, dispersed gradually over thousands of years. Seasoned hunters followed the herds ever eastward, along the vast super highway of Eurasian steppe. Eventually their path was blocked by the massive mountain ranges of south Central Asia—the Hindu Kush, the Tian Shan, and the Himalayas.

The three mountain ranges meet in a region known as the "Pamir Knot," located in present-day Tajikistan. Here the tribes of hunters split into two groups. Some moved north into Central Asia, others moved south into what is now Pakistan and the Indian subcontinent.

These different migration routes through the Pamir Knot region gave rise to separate lineages.

Most people native to the Northern Hemisphere trace their roots to the Eurasian Clan. Nearly all North Americans and East Asians are descended from the man described above, as are most Europeans and many Indians.

M45: The Journey Through Central Asia

Fast Facts:
Time of Emergence: 35,000
Place of Origin: Central Asia
Climate: Glaciers expanding over much of Europe
Estimated Number of Homo sapiens: Approximately 100,000
Tools and Skills: Upper Paleolithic

The next marker of your genetic heritage, M45, arose around 35,000 years ago, in a man born in Central Asia. He was part of the M9 Eurasian Clan that had moved to the north of the mountainous Hindu Kush and onto the game-rich steppes of present-day Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and southern Siberia.

Although big game was plentiful, the environment on the Eurasian steppes became increasing hostile as the glaciers of the Ice Age began to expand once again. The reduction in rainfall may have induced desertlike conditions on the southern steppes, forcing your ancestors to follow the herds of game north.

To exist in such harsh conditions, they learned to build portable animal-skin shelters and to create weaponry and hunting techniques that would prove successful against the much larger animals they encountered in the colder climates. They compensated for the lack of stone they traditionally used to make weapons by developing smaller points and blades—microliths—that could be mounted to bone or wood handles and used effectively. Their tool kit also included bone needles for sewing animal-skin clothing that would both keep them warm and allow them the range of movement needed to hunt the reindeer and mammoth that kept them fed.

Your ancestors' resourcefulness and ability to adapt was critical to survival during the last ice age in Siberia, a region where no other hominid species is known to have lived.

The M45 Central Asian Clan gave rise to many more; the man who was its source is the common ancestor of most Europeans and nearly all Native American men.

M207: Leaving Central Asia

Fast Facts:
Time of Emergence: 30,000
Place of Origin: Central Asia
Climate: Glaciers expanding over much of Europe and western Eurasia
Estimated Number of Homo sapiens: Approximately 100,000
Tools and Skills: Upper Paleolithic

After spending considerable time in Central Asia, refining skills to survive in harsh new conditions and exploit new resources, a group from the Central Asian Clan began to head west towards the European sub-continent.

An individual in this clan carried the new M207 mutation on his Y chromosome. His descendants ultimately split into two distinct groups, with one continuing onto the European subcontinent, and the other group turning south and eventually making it as far as India.

Your lineage falls within the first haplogroup, R1, and gave rise to the first modern humans to move into Europe and eventually colonize the continent.

M173: Colonizing Europe—The First Modern Europeans

Fast Facts:
Time of Emergence: Around 30,000 years ago
Place: Central Asia
Climate: Ice Age
Estimated Number of Homo sapiens: Approximately 100,000
Tools and Skills: Upper Paleolithic

As your ancestors continued to move west, a man born around 30,000 years ago in Central Asia gave rise to a lineage defined by the genetic marker M173. His descendants were part of the first large wave of humans to reach Europe.

During this period, the Eurasian steppelands extended from present-day Germany, and possibly France, to Korea and China. The climate fostered a land rich in resources and opened a window into Europe.

Your ancestors' arrival in Europe heralded the end of the era of the Neandertals, a hominid species that inhabited Europe and parts of western Asia from about 29,000 to 230,000 years ago. Better communication skills, weapons, and resourcefulness probably enabled your ancestors to outcompete Neandertals for scarce resources.

This wave of migration into western Europe marked the appearance and spread of what archaeologists call the Aurignacian culture. The culture is distinguished by significant innovations in methods of manufacturing tools, more standardization of tools, and a broader set of tool types, such as end-scrapers for preparing animal skins and tools for woodworking.

In addition to stone, the first modern humans to reach Europe used bone, ivory, antler, and shells as part of their tool kit. Bracelets and pendants made of shells, teeth, ivory, and carved bone appear at many sites. Jewelry, often an indication of status, suggests a more complex social organization was beginning to develop.

The large number of archaeological sites found in Europe from around 30,000 years ago indicates that there was an increase in population size.

Around 20,000 years ago, the climate window shut again, and expanding ice sheets forced your ancestors to move south to Spain, Italy, and the Balkans. As the ice retreated and temperatures became warmer, beginning about 12,000 years ago, many descendants of M173 moved north again to recolonize places that had become inhospitable during the Ice Age.

Not surprisingly, today the number of descendants of the man who gave rise to marker M173 remains very high in western Europe. It is particularly concentrated in northern France and the British Isles where it was carried by ancestors who had weathered the Ice Age in Spain.

Comments on the results of my Genographic y-DNA report

June 25, 2006: Some additional information to the report - as published at the Dutch page - concerns a possible y-DNA link for sub-haplogroup R1a1 with the Vikings and Poland. This information is also available at Wikipedia

April 7, 2007: The internet y-DNA databases still do not contain any exact match between me and other tested persons on y-DNA. There might be a relationship between persons when there is an exact match (12/12 match) or a one-step-mutation (11/12 match). The closest haplotypes within the sub-haplogroup R1a1 in these y-DNA databases are three- or four-step-mutations, in Norway, Iceland, Ireland, United Kingdom and Germany (source: www.ftdna.com). This may indicate a Viking-connection. On the other hand there is a possible link with Poland, especially in the Lublin-area, where an 8/8 match has been found (source: www.yhrd.org). Only eight markers are not enough to suppose any relationship.

June 15, 2008: From public internetfora and personal email-discussions with several people around the world I have concluded that there's a strong indication that my R1a1-haplotype originated somewhere in the Northsea area or Southern Scandinavia, which makes a Viking-origin quite probable indeed. Especially the sequence of 10 alleles on DYS 388 points to the so called Northwest-cluster within R1a1. This sequence is nearly absent in Eastern European R1a1-haplotypes. The modal sequence on DYS 388 is 12 alleles within R1a1.
Extremely rare is the sequence on DYS 439 in my results. Modal is a sequence of 10 alleles on DYS 439, where my sequence is 8 alleles. Because of the less research on this subject at this moment there's no scientifical evidence for the origin of this rare sequence. Possibly a so called multi-step-mutation appeared somewhere in my paternal ancestry from DYS 439=10 to DYS 439=8, but the possibility of such a mutation has not yet been proved or rejected.

December 20, 2009: Prof. Anatole A. Klyosov DSc and member of the Russian Academy of DNA Genealogy has another opinion about the origin of haplogroup R1a1 than Semino, Wells and others. He did research on public DNA-databases and concluded that R1a1 originated at the Balkans about 11.650 years ago. From there R1a1 (mutation DYS 388=10 included) spread to other directions.

May 4, 2010:: Today I found out that the Genographic Project changed my haplogroup R1a(M17) to R1(M173) due to new insights in human DNA. They also mention that my subclade is R1a, SRY10831.2, which means I'm part of R1a but without the M17 marker. Being an R1a in Northwest Europe is quite rare, but the lack of M17 is even more rare. It seems to me that this means my haplogroup was derived from R1(M173) and prior to R1a(M17). The ISOGG revised the Y-DNA Haplogroup Tree and the tree of 2010 mentions my haplogroup as R1a1. The former R1a1(M17) is now R1a1a and R1a1a*

When new information is available this page will be revised. Additional information and comments to this page are very welcome!

Freerk Boekelo
June 2006 (revised June 2008, last update May, 2010)

Genographic Project (GP) - DNA Heritage (DNAH) - Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) - Polish Y-DNA R1a1 Clades (Peter Gwozdz' website)

YHRD - YSEARCH - YBASE - Oxford Ancestors (OA) - Relative Genetics (RG) - Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF)

Y-DNA Haplogroup Tree 2010 (ISOGG) - With Athey's Haplogroup Predictor - TMRCA calculator - Y-DNA Comparison Utility

Semino et al (2000), The Genetic Legacy of Paleolithic Homo sapiens sapiens in Extant Europeans, Science, Vol 290
Wells et al (2001), The Eurasian Heartland: A continental perspective on Y-chromosome diversity, PNAS, Vol 98
Wells (2002), The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey
Passarino et al (2002), Different genetic components in the Norwegian population revealed by the analysis of mtDNA and Y chromosome polymorphisms
Ploski et al (2002), Homogeneity and distinctiveness of Polish paternal lineages revealed by Y chromosome microsatellite haplotype analysis
Weale et al (2002), Y Chromosome evidence for Anglo-Saxon mass migration
Behar et al (2003), Multiple origins of Ashkenazi Levites: Y chromosome evidence for both Near Eastern and European ancestries
Capelli et al (2003), A Y chromosome census of the British Isles
Rootsi (2004), Human Y chromosomal variations in European populations
Tambets (2004), The Western and Eastern roots of the Saami—the story of Genetic “Outliers” told by mitochondrial DNA and Y Chromosomes
Kayser et al (2005), Significant genetic differentiation between Poland and Germany follows present-day political borders, as revealed by Y-chromosome analysis
Dupuy et al (2005), Geographical heterogeneity of Y-chromosomal lineages in Norway
McDonald (2005), Y Haplogroups of the World
Pericic et al (2005), High-Resolution Phylogenetic Analysis of Southeastern Europe Traces Major Episodes of Paternal Gene Flow Among Slavic Populations, Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution
McEvoy et al (2006), The scale and nature of Viking settlement in Ireland from Y-chromosome admixture analysis
Karlsson et al (2006), Y-chromosome diversity in Sweden – A long-time perspective
Lappalainen et al (2008), Migration waves to the Baltic Sea Region
Wiik et al (2008), Where did European men come from?
Klyosov (2009), DNA Genealogy, Mutation Rates, and Some Historical Evidence Written in the Y-Chromosome, Part II: Walking the Map (In: JOGG 2009)

Dienekes' Anthropology Blog
Journal of Genetic Genealogy
American Journal of Human Genetics
European Journal of Human Genetics
National Center for Biotechnology Information - PubMed
The Genographic Project News

Kurgan-hypothesis - Indo-European languages