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November 10, 2007

This year I participated in the National Geographic’s Genographic Project and I found out that the DNA gotten from my dad’s side of the family is Haplogroup I1a. To quote the great Wikipedia, “I1a is a Y-chromosome haplogroup occurring at greatest frequency in Scandinavia. It displays a very clear frequency gradient, with a peak frequency of approximately 35% among the populations of southern Norway, southwestern Sweden, and Denmark, and rapidly decreasing frequencies toward the edges of the historically Germanic-influenced world.” Needless to say I found this to be rather odd. If you know me, you know that I don’t look particularly Nordic. So I figured I took after my mother’s side of the family… until I got my mitochondrial DNA results, which turned out to be Haplogroup U4 and to quote Oxford Ancestors, “U4 is found today mainly in the east and north of Europe with particularly high concentrations in Scandinavia and the Baltic states.” What the -? It’s the same thing!

Some background information: The Hernandez family (my branch of it anyway) went from Spain to the Canary Islands to Cuba and then to Miami. Looking at Spanish history it’s not so strange to find out we’re part of Haplogroups I1a and U4 when you think that Spain was occupied, and in some cases permanently settled, by Germanic Tribes such as the Vandals, the Suebi, and the Visigoths, all of which originated in the Baltic area. Spain was also frequently raided by Vikings, which were known for their enthusiastic raping as well as pillaging.

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