Dr. Nikitin has kindly agreed to allow me to post his reply to me to the
group. See below.
From: Dr. Happy [mailto:wagonswest33@...
Sent: Sunday, August 30, 2009 11:05 PM
Subject: Re: [bukowsko_triangle] Re: Carpathian Highlander mtDNA Project
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The results of the study seem to indicate that the three Carpathian
highlander populations have frequencies of genetic markers (on
mitochondrial DNA) different than those of the neighboring populations
of larger ethnicities. Those frequencies are also different within the
highlander groups studied. The only significance in the latter
differences (as far as genetics is concerned) is that all three groups
followed different genetic/demographic histories, which is not
unexpected, and that Lemkos have unique markers present (I and M
haplogroups). These markers are not characteristic at the frequency
found in Lemkos of a European population.
I am not an expert on ethnicity, but I do believe that ethnicity is
better resolved at a local subgroup level than at the one involving
political-national designations. To illustrate, in my paper, the mtDNA
marker frequencies of Russians, Poles and Czechs are almost
indistinguishable from one another, yet from an ethnic prospective these
three have rather different ethnic roots.
The National Geographic channel just aired a special on mtDNA
genealogy. Though hard to follow at times, the program did bring up some
important points about the utility of mtDNA polymorphism to genealogical
studies. Most importantly, genetic lineages don't follow population
histories precisely, and are only useful in desiphering the likely
geographic origins of the founder group on the maternal side. The mtDNA
info is just not precise enough to go further, though many do try. I'd
be happy to answer any other questions you may have.
--- On Sun, 8/30/09, w7v0-83u7@... <w7v0-83u7@...> wrote:
> From: w7v0-83u7@... <w7v0-83u7@...>
> Subject: Re: [bukowsko_triangle] Re: Carpathian Highlander mtDNA
> To: t4r2-mt9f@...
> Cc: wagonswest33@...
> Date: Sunday, August 30, 2009, 9:35 PM
> None of
> us here, as far as I know,
> are population geneticists, so your offer of help is very
> much appreciated. It's
> easy for laypersons to draw false conclusions from
> your 2009 paper bear on the
> the long-standing question of whether the Carpatho-Rusyns
> are, by reason of
> having a different origin, a separate ethnic group from the
> Ukrainians? The
> scatter chart would seem to suggest that the origins of the
> Lemkos, Boykos, and
> Hutsuls are not only different from the Ukrainians but also
> from one another,
> but it is difficult for us non-experts to determine the
> degree of significance
> of those differences.
> If you
> have the time, I'd also like
> to ask you a couple of questions about the utility of DNA
> testing for purposes
> of every-day genealogy.