You are viewing Youlish Rhodes Sr.'s 23andMe Ancestry report.

Maternal Haplogroup

You descend from a long line of women that can be traced back to eastern Africa over 150,000 years ago. These are the women of your maternal line, and your maternal haplogroup sheds light on their story.

Youlish, you belong to maternal haplogroup L3f1b1.

As our ancestors ventured out of eastern Africa, they branched off in diverse groups that crossed and recrossed the globe over tens of thousands of years. Some of their migrations can be traced through haplogroups, families of lineages that descend from a common ancestor. Your maternal haplogroup can reveal the path followed by the women of your maternal line.

Migrations of Your Maternal Line

180,000 Years Ago
65,000 Years Ago

Haplogroup L

180,000 Years Ago

If every person living today could trace his or her maternal line back over thousands of generations, all of our lines would meet at a single woman who lived in eastern Africa between 150,000 and 200,000 years ago. Though she was one of perhaps thousands of women alive at the time, only the diverse branches of her haplogroup have survived to today. The story of your maternal line begins with her.

Haplogroup L3

65,000 Years Ago

Your branch of L is haplogroup L3, which arose from a woman who likely lived in eastern Africa between 60,000 and 70,000 years ago. While many of her descendants remained in Africa, one small group ventured east across the Red Sea, likely across the narrow Bab-el-Mandeb into the tip of the Arabian Peninsula.


Years Ago

Origin and Migrations of Haplogroup L3f

Your maternal line stems from a branch of L3 called L3f. Haplogroup L3f is an old offshoot that traces back to a woman who likely lived nearly 46,000 years ago. Members of L3f live in a wide distribution across the Sahel belt of Africa, a dry savanna region on the southern fringe of the Sahara Desert, as well as in the northern regions of the Central African rainforest.

Between 20,000 and 30,000 years ago, L3f gave rise to two daughter haplogroups, L3f1 and L3f2. L3f1 appears to have arisen in eastern Africa and moved westward before the peak of the Ice Age about 20,000 years ago, when the Sahara Desert expanded and rendered much of the northern part of the continent uninhabitable. Today the haplogroup is commonly found among the Yoruba and Fulbe populations of western Africa, and in African-Americans who are descended from them. Haplogroup L3f2 originated in the Chad Basin of northern-central Africa, where it has been largely confined since then. It has not been detected in African-American populations, an indication that the Atlantic slave trade did not reach as far inland as present-day Chad and Niger.


Years Ago

Your maternal haplogroup, L3f1b1, traces back to a woman who lived approximately 2,500 years ago.

That's nearly 100.0 generations ago! What happened between then and now? As researchers and citizen scientists discover more about your haplogroup, new details may be added to the story of your maternal line.



L3f1b1 is relatively uncommon among 23andMe customers.

Today, you share your haplogroup with all the maternal-line descendants of the common ancestor of L3f1b1, including other 23andMe customers.
1 in 1,300
23andMe customers share your haplogroup assignment.


Members of L3 were swept along in the Bantu Migrations.

Paths of the Bantu Migrations

About 5,000 years ago, many people in sub-Saharan Africa still relied on hunting, gathering, and foraging as their main means of collecting food. But that was soon going to change. People in West-Central Africa began experimenting with agriculture, cultivating the yams, legumes, peppers, and gourds that would became staples of sub-Saharan African diet. These people spoke languages belonging to the Bantu language family, and about 4,000 years ago they began to move.

First, they headed east across the central rainforest. Eventually, the descendants of these migrants arrived at the farthest reaches of southern Africa. Later, other Bantu speakers who had remained in West Africa also began to travel down the western coast. As they traveled over a period of centuries, they both displaced and absorbed many other hunter-gatherer groups that were already living throughout Africa.Their agricultural and technological knowledge also diffused to other local groups. They often intermarried, sometimes adopting local cultural practices of those people they encountered. The languages that they brought with them from their ancestral homeland spread throughout sub-Saharan Africa, and today the majority of sub-Saharan African languages are Bantu.

The Genetics of Maternal Haplogroups

Read Scientific Details

Your haplogroup is determined by your mitochondrial DNA.

Each generation, mothers pass down copies of their mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) to their children. While most of your genome exists in 23 pairs of chromosomes that exchange pieces between generations in a process called recombination, mtDNA is transmitted unshuffled. Because of this unusual pattern of inheritance, mtDNA contains rich information about maternal lineages.

A small number of DNA changes, called mutations, generally occur from one generation to the next. Because mtDNA does not recombine between generations, these mutations accumulate in patterns that uniquely mark individual lineages. Scientists can compare the sequence differences that result by constructing a tree. This tree shows how maternal lineages relate to one another, including the observation that they all share a most recent common ancestor approximately 150,000 to 200,000 years ago.

The term "haplogroup" refers to a family of lineages that share a common ancestor and, therefore, a particular set of mutations. We identify your haplogroup by determining which branches of the mtDNA tree correspond to your DNA. Because more closely related lineages tend to share geographic roots, your haplogroup can provide insight into the origins of some of your ancient maternal-line ancestors.

Maternal haplogroups are named with sequences of letters and numbers that reflect the structure of the tree and how the branches relate to one another.

What's the story of your maternal line?

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