Genetic Genealogy and Support of European Origin of Joho/Yoho

By Tim Yoho


On 1/10/11, I received an email from Earl Yoho concerning the results of a blood test his brother Gerald had submitted for a DNA analysis. Earl thought the results might be appropriate for the Yoho Family History and he was absolutely correct. Earl is my 4th cousin, twice removed. We both share Peter Yoho, the son of Johannes Joho and Margaret Baker as common ancestors.

I thought you might be interested in the following:  My brother submitted blood samples to a reputable DNA analysis firm (cost about $ 1000.00) about nine months ago.  We have received several reports during the period.  I got this information from my brother this morning and thought you might like to have it for the Yoho Family History.  I have some other pages of information that shows various schematics of where our lines may have originated but they are mostly hard to decipher charts.  Hope this may be interesting to you.


Gerald's message to Earl:

Good morning, Earl. The last test was completed on the Y chromosome Haplo-group and it turns out that we are R1b1b2a1b4c. The short version is R-L2. We are considered "Alpine Celtic" and have many ancestors right where we thought as well as the Saxons that teamed up with the Anglos in Britain....And of course some of the Vikings from Denmark as the Norman Conquest took place with William the Conqueror. Throw in mom's DNA mostly from Norway, and we have a heck of a mix going.


Explanation and Summary of these findings

Genetics in general and Genetic Genealogy in particular is quite complicated and difficult to understand by most non scientists. As a biologist, I have a fairly good understanding of genetics and will attempt to put these findings into terms that hopefully will be followed by the reader.

There are basically two kinds of DNA in the cells of humans. The nucleus of every cell with the exception of mature red blood corpuscles have 46 chromosomes. Two of those are called the sex chromosomes, the "X" and the "Y". Females have two of the "X's" while males have only one, but have the "Y" chromosome that females lack. The "X" was named because of its characteristic shape. The "Y" is not shaped that way at all, but was given the designation simply because it was the next letter in the alphabet. The two chromosomes appear in the above picture showing a genealogical "tree".

The second kind of DNA (mt-DNA) is found in an organelle called a mitochondria that floats within the cytoplasm of the cell. The mitochondria functions in part to provide energy for cell function. What is unique about the circular DNA in this organelle is that it is inherited only from your mother in her egg. The sperm from a male does not contribute this organelle to a new human. Genetic Genealogy can trace both mitochondrial DNA and "Y" chromosome DNA to specific origins and places in past history. Since Earl and Gerald's DNA analysis used the "Y" chromosome, I will focus on that mainly.

Basis of "Y" Chromosome Analysis in Genetic Genealogy

DNA studies have permitted researchers to categorise all humans on Earth in genealogical groups sharing one common ancestor at one given point in prehistory. They are called haplogroups. There are two kinds of haplogroups: the paternally inherited Y-chromosome DNA (Y-DNA) haplogroups, and the maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups.

The special feature that both Y chromosomes and mtDNA display is that gene mutations can accrue along a certain segment of both molecules and these mutations remain fixed in place on the DNA. They are called Genetic Markers and can "easily" be found in DNA analysis. Furthermore the historical sequence of these mutations or markers can also be inferred.

The mtDNA and Y-DNA haplogroups (mutation markers) are both named according to capitalized letters of the alphabet and numbers such as "R1 to which we belong. Each of these has subgroups that are designated with small case letters and numbers (R1b1).

Most Geneticists agree that the original or first population of Homo sapien originated in Africa between 400,000 and 250,000 years ago. From there, some of those humans migrated out of the continent 50,000 to 100,000 years ago.

Migration and Location of Humans after Leaving Africa

Using the Letter and Number Designation, R1b to which we Yoho's belong is the most common haplogroup in Western Europe, reaching over 80% of the population in Ireland, the Scottish Highlands, western Wales, the Atlantic fringe of France and the Basque country. It is also common in Anatolia and around the Caucasus, in parts of Russia and in Central and South Asia. Besides the Atlantic and North Sea coast of Europe, hotspots include the Po valley in north-central Italy (over 70%), the Ossetians of the North Caucasus (over 40%) and nearby Armenia (35%), the Bashkirs of the Urals region of Russia (50%), Turkmenistan (over 35%), the Hazara people of Afghanistan (35%), the Uyghurs of North-West China (20%) and the Newars of Nepal (11%). R1b-V88, a subclade specific to sub-Saharan Africa, is found in 60 to 95% of men in northern Cameroon.

The Anatolian Hypothesis by Colin Renfrew states that the Pre-Proto-Indo-European Culture arose in Anatolia and spread through the Balkans and into Europe beginning about 8,500 years ago. Members of Haplogroup R1b were a part of the next large wave of humans to reach Europe where today this haplogroup is the most frequently observed, especially in western Europe, largely in the form of Haplogroup R1b1b2, which originated about 7,000 years ago. Greek and Anatolian R1b lineages could be attributed to the Celtic invasions of the 3rd century BC, but more probably to the Roman occupation.

Anatolia (Turkish: Anadolu, from Greek Aνατολή Anatolē — "East" or "(sun)rise"; also Asia Minor, from Greek: Μικρά Ασία Mikrá Asía "small Asia") is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey. The region is bounded by the Black Sea to the north, Georgia to the northeast, the Armenian Highland to the east, Mesopotamia to the southeast, the Mediterranean Sea to the south and the Aegean Sea to the west. Anatolia has been home to many civilizations throughout history, such as the Hittites, Phrygians, Lydians, Persians, Greeks, Assyrians, Romans, Byzantines, Anatolian Seljuks and . As a result, Anatolia is one of the archeologically richest areas in the world.

Three routes that our ancestors could have traveled from the Black Sea area into Central Europe have been proposed. A southern route from Anatolia along the Mediterranean Coast presents difficulty for the migrants to reach Central Europe due to the mountain ranges bordering the Coast, especially the Alps along northern Italy. A middle route from the Black Sea going up the Danube River is much more likely. A northern route through Ukraine and Poland, north of the Carpathian Mountains is also a likely route. Note that the lower route in map below leads to the Alps.

R1b1b2 is thought to have arrived in central and western Europe around 2,500 BC, by going up the Danube from the Black Sea coast. The archeological and genetic evidence (distribution of R1b subdivisions) point at several consecutive waves towards the Danube between 2,800 BC and 2,300 BC.

Earl and Earl's brother and most if not all Joho's and Yoho's have the full designation R1b1b2a1b4c. The subcategory in red is known as the "Celtic Alpine"and is found Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Britain, Ireland, and Norway. This subgroup is thought to have originated approximately 2,500 years ago when individuals had reached the "Alpine" regions of Europe.


After the movement of human kind out of Africa, the origin of Joho/Yoho takes its roots from Anatolia in the westernmost part of Asia and owes its genetic diversity to the Greeks and Romans as well as others. From Anatolia our ancestors moved into Europe between 2,800 and 2,300 BC. The Alpine Celtic markers occurred about 2,500 years ago as our ancestors settled in Germany, Switzerland and other parts of Europe.

This genetic evidence leaves no doubt that our recent ancestors originated in Germany and or Switzerland and should lay to rest the idea that Yoho takes its origin from the American Indian which predominetly belong to Haplogroup "Q"

Haplogroup Q is the predominant Y-chromosome haplogroup in indigenous peoples of the Americas. Approximately 20,000 to 15,000 years ago, a group migrated from Asia into the Americas by crossing the Bering Strait. Many of the men in this group must have belonged to haplogroup Q for it now accounts for the majority of non-European haplogroups in indigenous peoples of the Americas. Indeed, haplogroup Q has been found in approximately 94% of Indigenous peoples of South America and detected in Na-Dené speakers at a rate of 25-50%, and North American Eskimo Aleut populations at about 46%.


For additions, comments or corrections, contact me: Tim Yoho