Did the Irish bring rare mtDNA to Newfoundland?

Did the Irish bring rare mtDNA to Newfoundland?

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by David Pike

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Did the Irish bring rare mtDNA to Newfoundland?


This presentation was originally given as part of Genetic Genealogy Ireland 2019.


Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) has the distinct feature of being strictly maternally inherited, making it an indispensable tool for genealogical research of matrilineal ancestors. Within the mtDNA Project for Newfoundland and Labrador one particular mtDNA profile (belonging to haplogroup H5a5) has been found to occur at an unusually high frequency, especially in comparison with how rarely it appears to occur elsewhere. Given the substantial number of Irish who settled in Newfoundland, it is natural to ask whether Ireland is the source of this mtDNA lineage (as well as other mtDNA profiles in Newfoundland). This lecture will highlight what is known of the H5a5 profile in Newfoundland and where it may have originated.




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Presenter: David Pike

For over 30 years I have been a member of the Family History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador. In 2009 I was elected to the society’s Board of Directors, and I was President from 2013 to 2016. I continue to serve as webmaster and as a Board member. Some other societies to which I belong include:

  • Newfoundland and Labrador Historical Society
  • Wessex Society of Newfoundland
  • Somerset & Dorset FHS
  • Dorset FHS
  • Isle of Wight FHS
  • Guild of One-Name Studies
  • International Society of Genetic Genealogy
David Pike
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