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My Leonard Haplogroup I2a2a1

Updated: Jan 25, 2022

We've only scratched the surface of the human genome, but what we know so far is truly amazing and, quite frankly, mind-boggling! As a female, I inherited my mother's mtDNA, which was passed down virtually unchanged (although with some mutations), from generation to generation, going back to a single matriarch who geneticists have named "Mitochondrial Eve".

Y-DNA is only passed from father to son. I believe that partly explains why my father has over 73,000 matches on Ancestry DNA and I only have about 52,000, as explained in one of my recent posts (click here). If I had inherited all my father's DNA and all my mother's DNA, I would have way more matches than him, instead of fewer, but our test results demonstrate just how much DNA is lost in one generation between a father and daughter.

Ancestry DNA does not provide information about haplogroups, but you can download the raw DNA file and use Morley's Subclade Predictor (learn more here) to find out which haplogroup a male's DNA belongs to.

Based on my father's DNA, my Leonard haplogroup is I2a2a1. While this is just a prediction, his brother's test produced the same results. Nevertheless, I hope to confirm the haplogroup positively in the near future with the help of FamilyTreeDNA's Y-DNA analysis (not an affiliate link).

Here you can see my 3rd great-grandfather, Charles Russell Leonard, at left, followed by his son, grandson, great-grandson, and 2nd great-grandson - five generations of Leonard Y-DNA:

Information about the I2a2a1 Haplogroup

Haplogroup l2:

Haplogroup I2 is the most common paternal lineage in former Yugoslavia, Romania, Bulgaria and Sardinia, and a major lineage in most Slavic countries. Its maximum frequencies are observed in Bosnia (55%, including 71% in Bosnian Croats), Sardinia (39.5%), Croatia (38%), Serbia (33%), Montenegro (31%), Romania (28%), Moldova (24%), Macedonia (24%), Slovenia (22%), Bulgaria (22%), Belarus (18.5%), Hungary (18%), Slovakia (17.5%), Ukraine (13.5%), and Albania (13.5%). It is found at a frequency of 5 to 10% in Germanic countries.

Haplogroup I2a2a1:

I2a2a1 (M284+)
I2-M284 occurs almost exclusively in Britain and Ireland, but has also been found in Portugal, France, Germany and Norway. It is a very old haplogroup, originating some 10,000 years ago and is split in two subclades Y10626 and L1195, which are each about 7,000 years old. Present-day carriers share a common ancestor who lived approximately 5,500 to 6,000 years ago, during the Megalithic age.

Nearly all of the ethnicities defined as I2a2a1 are confirmed by our Ancestry DNA tests. Below are the Ethnicity Estimate's calculated by Ancestry DNA test results. Notice the differences between my father's ethnicity estimate and that of his older brother, even though both are confirmed to have both the same parents (confirmed by shared matches on both sides of the family for each of them). My uncle's test came up with matches for Wales, Sweden & Denmark, Portugal, and Norway. Also, my father's estimate for Scotland is 5% higher than his brother. This may be because my father's test was taken a couple years ago and my uncle's was just taken recently. Perhaps Ancestry will update my father's in the future as these estimates do fluctuate, and these "lost" ethnicities will be found.

My father's four quarters are Leonard-Daniels-Hollenbeck-Dykeman

I'm sure these DNA results will eventually help us prove the ancestry of Charles Russell Leonard and find the missing links connecting him to Solomon Leonard of Duxbury and Bridgewater, Massachusetts. A valuable paper written by Brad Leonard, who spent much of his long life researching the Leonard family, can be found on his site at

Brad has been in touch with many Leonards from various branches of the family and done extensive analysis on Leonard DNA and does an excellent job explaining the very complex details in a paper he wrote in 2013. According to Brad, "Five of Solomon Leonard of Duxbury’s direct male descendants have been tested. They are in haplogroup I2b, subclade I-M223".

According to the group's research, there are five main clusters of Leonards:

  • Leonards who migrated from Ireland, mostly in the 19th century, are generally found in the "R1b" Haplogroup. Some were also from England, but not all R1b Leonards are closely related. Haplogroup R1b is the most common haplogroup in the British Isles.

  • Leonards who migrated from Germany in the 18th century may be in the "E" Haplogroup.

  • Descendants of James and Henry Leonard, ironmasters, are in the "J2" Haplogroup.

  • Descendants of Solomon Leonard of Duxbury and Bridgewater appear to be in the "I" Haplogroup.

  • Descendants of John Leonard of Springfield, Mass., may also belong to the "I" Haplogroup.

Brad has also been an administrator of The Leonard Project, a group on the FamilyTreeDNA site, which you can find here:

If you are a descendant of Solomon Leonard, or suspect you might be and you've had your DNA tested on Ancestry or uploaded the raw data to Gedmatch, or if you belong to haplogroup I2a2a1 or I2b, please comment below or contact me.

For more information about my Leonard family, see the Leonard page here.


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