Q-YP937 13000 Years Distantly Related Lines in Mexico and South America

Publicly available, highly resolved Y-DNA samples can shed light into the ancient origins of the male lines which have survived to this day. In one sense, anyone alive today is a survivor, but Y-DNA lines of the Native Americans survived a specific, widespread extinction associated with European colonization of the Americas.

It is a descendant of now rarer Q-Z780 line that diversified earlier than more prolific cousins Q-M848

Q-YP937 is part of the rarer in the New World branch of Q-M1107 known as Q-Z780. The surviving lineages of Q-Z780 diversified earlier than the now more prolific Q-M848. Their oldest (and only) ancient sample on the YFull YTree is Anzick-1, aka “Anzick Boy”, who lived around 12750 years ago in Montana.


In contrast, Q-M848 has seven ancient samples with age estimates on the YFull YTree and one undated ancient sample from Bolivia, TW028. These ancient samples range from California and Nevada south to Chile and Brazil.

Several lines of Q-M848 are exclusively found in South America, but it also has two 12000-year-old lines exclusively found in Mexico, Q-CTS748 and Q-CTS2731.

Q-YP937 has a 9100-year-old Tohono O’odham line and a 13000-year-old exclusively South American subclade

Q-YP937 has two child lineages, one is represented by 9100-year-distantly-related Tohono O’odham-speakers (or their descendants) from Sonoro and the other by an Aymara-speaker from Bolivia and a Maxikali-speaker from Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Tohono O’odham Nation website

Q-YP921 may represent 9100 years of genetic continuity within the Tohono O’odham tribes and/or region of Sonora, Mexico

Q-YP921 relative frequency computed by HRAS.
Note that the algorithm is representing Sonora State as an extremely northwestern location within the state rather than a more central one. I noticed this now and will correct this in the next update and, and that time, update this map.
Also note that the HRAS-estimated origin for Q-YP921 is pulled toward the center of Mexico due to three samples, two of them scientific, of a particular line that are indicated only as ‘Mexico’. For now HRAS represents such country-level resolution samples as a central position within the country. A possible solution would be to programmatically, and in the case of Q-BZ1021 for example, treat all Mexico-coded samples as Sonora given that the only Mexico regional code below this branch is Sonora. I need to think about whether or not this may have unintended negative side-effects in other cases before implementing.

Tohono O’odham means “desert people” in their own language. They were called “tepary bean eaters” by their neighbors, the Akimel O’odham, the “river people” who inhabit what is now known as central and southern Arizona. O’odham, or Papago-Pima, is an Uto-Aztecan language. It means that the Aztecs spoke a language related to theirs.

So far, the only language code ascribed to Q-YP921 samples on the YFull tree are Tohono O’odham. Maybe if more people are tested, Q-YP921 will be found in other neighboring, surviving indigenous groups.

Two private samples on the YFull YTree have not indicated any language (in that case, we assume their paper trail does not go back to an ancestor who spoke a particular indigenous language of the Mexico). One sample traces his male line to Michoacan and the other to Mexico in general. I’m not an expert on indigenous people of Mexico to suggest from which indigenous groups they may likely descend.

You may find it interesting to see a drawing of Cuvieronius, a now-extinct mammal that was a distant cousin of elephants. Remains of one were found at the El Fin del Mundo kill site in Sonora State. The remains have been dated to 13,390 calibrated years BP and were found in association with Clovis points. So the ancestors of this line likely hunted these animals.

Q-MPB013 could have migrated to South America 13100 years ago

Here is something about the two ethnic groups so far represented by Q-MPB013.


The Aymara language has 1.7 million speakers and is in its own language family. Most linguists believe the similarities to Quechua may be due to proximity and not necessarily from descending from a common protolanguage.

There was a significant uprising by Aymaras in 1780, in which they almost captured the city of La Paz, killing many Spaniards. This rebellion was stopped by the Spanish two years later. However, uprisings continued occurring against Spanish rule intermittently until Peruvian independence in 1821.


Maxikali is in the Macro-Jê language family, which is or has been spoken across most of the non-coastal areas of the south-eastern half of Brazil.

One of the five oral vowels of Maxakali is represented as “ɨ” and called “close central unrounded vowel”.


This vowel is in the reconstructed language of Proto-Uto-Aztecan and found in many living languages of the Americas (see above Wikipedia article).

Migration Path Algorithm Insight

For those interested in the “guts” of HRAS’ migration path computing algorithm, the outlying sample from Colombia does not contribute to the origin calculation of Q-Y166140 equally to his two sibling samples from Sonora state. The algorithm does need need to look at the distribution of siblings or cousins to Q-Y166140 to apply a reduced weight to Colombia. This outlier penalty weighting scheme, described here, simply takes all origins / computed origins for immediately downstream nodes (where a node is a branch or a sample) into account. Given a set of two samples from Sonora and one from Colombia, Colombia is an outlier. This is why the origin of Q-Y166140 is computed much closer to Sonora than to Colombia. It has nothing to do with the fact that cousins are also found in Sonora but not in Colombia. This is an example of the outlier penalty working as designed.

These posts are the opinion of Hunter Provyn, a haplogroup researcher in J-M241 and J-M102.

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