Wednesday, September 26, 2012
A colleague referred me to a very interesting webpage about the origins of red hair. If you have red hair or have a friend or family member who does, you will find this page of interest.
Both my first wife and my daughter had auburn hair in their younger days. As they approached 40 their hair browned out.
Because of their hair color, this article was of interest to me. It claims that red hair is a recessive trait and that it is only found in descendants of the R1b haplogroup. In both the cases of my ex-wife and my daughter this would hold true. My haplogroup is R1b as was the paternal line of my ex-wife. R1b is the most common male haplogroup in Western Europe--perhaps accounting for 40% of the men in that region and a much higher percentage in some parts of the British Isles. So far so good.
However, if red hair is a recessive trait, redheaded children must also inherit the gene from their mother as well. I wonder which female haplogroup(s) carry this trait. Both my ex-wife and I have inherited different versions of the female haplotype H. Again H is the most common female haplotype in Western Europe. Do other female haplotypes carry this recessive gene? If not it would take an R1b male and an H female to create a redheaded child. But perhaps others can carry this recessive gene. Someday soon we may have the answer to this question.
In the meantime could this offer some new clues to redheaded orphans?