View Full Version : U3b Romani Thracian connection Query

02-18-2021, 10:07 AM
I have a query for those with a better grasp of DNA science.

My maternal mtDNA is U3b2b. It seems to be one of the rarest U3b clades. To date I am aware of five other confirmed carriers, two Iranians, from the Quashqai nomadic population (18-D-QS and 98-D-QS) two residents of Niš, Serbia (Nish57 and Nish113 from Scorrano et al, 2017), and a resident of Illinois, USA, of undetermined ancestry (FTDNA KC250336). There is also an Italian carrier from Umbria (MN687162 identified July 20202) listed as U3b2b at YFULL Mtree, but Ian Logan's site has that individual instead placed just upstream at U3b2.

Researching ancient samples of U3b, I came across P192-1, an individual buried at Svilengrad, Bulgaria 800-500 BC, in a Thracian context. This sample has been identified as U3b, and tested positive for mutation 13967T, so far only found in the U3b2b individual from Illinois, USA. However the sample also tested positive for 12738C, a defining marker for U3b1c. According to YFULL Mtree subclades of this has been found in Iran and Jordan (U3b1c1), and amongst the European Romani Diaspora, in Spain, Poland, Lithuania, Italy and Finland (U3b1c2). Independant studies have confirmed this clade as the most prominent mtDNA Haplogroup in Western and Northern European Romani populations.

My direct maternal ancestor lived in Somerset, England in the 1700s. Her descendants married into British Romani families within a century, and there is a long oral tradition of maternal Romani ancestry on this line, also preserved independently by distant relatives who left England and lost touch as long ago as the 1880s.

The only other U3b carriers I have found in England are both Romani, though unaware of their exact clade. Niš in Serbia has a large minority Romani population, of several centuries standing, (perhaps one in twenty of the city), so it's possible the U3b2b samples there are also Romani, or at least of maternal Romani descendants. The link to the Quashqai nomads is also fairly intriguing, as a recent 2019 paper indicated input into the early Romani genepool from nomads in Persia.

I am trying to determine whethere my haplogroup, like U3b1c2, was spread in Europe by Romanies, but has yet to be detected in large studies, due to it's relative rarity in comparison to it's cousin clade, or if it was instead introduced by other populations, such as the Thracians. The answer could of course be both, and that the Romani population assimilated these clades in the Balkans from Thracian descendants, and then spread them further.

Generally the studies have indicated Romanies did absorb this clade in Europe, but recent finds call this into question and it is possible the clade may have been bought by Romani from South Asia. There is a U3b Romani man from Turkey, who recently posted his results from My True Ancestry on the forums here. They gave him a deep dive match to I8999 a female of the Iron Age Ghandara Culture excavated in the Swat Valley at Loe Banr, Pakistan dating to around 1000-800 BC, so near contemporary with the Thracian sample. I know this site is largely hookum, but that lady was U3b also, in her case U3b1a. The Swat Valley is certainly important to the genesis of the Romani people, and is also where the closest living relative on the Romani Y lines lives today according to YFULL Mtree.

In trying to pin this down, my query is really about P192-1, the Iron Age Thracian. How it is possible that person seemingly carried markers for both U3b1c and U3b2b. Must one marker be a phantom detection? If he did carry both, does this mean he belongs to a new clade, intermediate between the two?

Thanks in advance for any input.

02-18-2021, 11:00 PM
Have the mtDNA results been published for P192-1? If the full sequence results are available, this will show if it is U3b1 or U3b2. If the full sequence results are not available, then the ID as U3b might not be reliable.

02-20-2021, 08:38 AM
Hi Thanks for the reply. I assume the mtDNA results were published for this sample for others to be able to run an analysis, but I am unaware of how to find a full sequence, or if that exists? This is a screenshot of the information I found posted online on a Russian site, which seems to indicate it is U3b1, but I am puzzled why it tests positive for a U3b2b marker also:


02-20-2021, 09:04 PM
The screenshot you posted shows that it was not a reliable read - lots of errors, so I don't think it is useful.

02-20-2021, 10:13 PM
Thanks. I thought that might be the case. The paper itself refers to it as just U3b.