Hui have a lot of West Eurasian Y chromosomes

O C R1a R1b R2 E1b G H I1 I2 J1 J2 L N Q T Total N
Han 258 12 2 2 2 1 1 2 1 1 7 9 2 300
Hui 24 7 21 1 9 1 3 1 1 4 1 11 1 3 14 4 106
Tibetan 49 11 18 1 1 3 3 3 3 7 1 100

It’s been a while since I checked in on the genetics of the Hui people. I found the paper, Analysis of 17 Y‐STR loci haplotype and Y‐chromosome haplogroup distribution in five Chinese ethnic groups. About 50% of the Y chromosomal haplogroups are normally classified as “West Eurasian” (R, E, G, I and J). But curious a fraction of the Han have these too, as do some Tibetans.

Additionally, know that some Mongols also have R1a1a. It’s hard to differentiate different periods of admixture. But to me the presence of R2 and J2 point to a Central/South Asian origin of a lot of the Hui R1a as well.

9 thoughts on “Hui have a lot of West Eurasian Y chromosomes

  1. I don’t wonder about the WE admixture as such, but the presence of almost all major European haplogroups. That’s surprising. Haplogroup I comes as a total surprise to me. I would have expected R, G and J, but I1?
    Do you know the variant of E1b, is it in the paper?

  2. Also the regions from which the sampled people are from would be great to know. I doubt that all Hui have the same profile.

  3. Someone tallied the results of DNA tests and the sample size is small. The Hui Yang has high yHg R and they originated from the northern Xianbei,

    doi:10.1080/14631360903531958 “An overview of the history and culture of the Xianbei”

    The Chinese name ‘Yang’ was among the earliest to be adopted by the Xianbei. … This suggests that the personal and last names of Yang Zhong were originally Xianbei. Because of the important role that Yang Zhong played in establishing the Northern Zhou, he was appointed as the Duke of Sui, from which the name of ‘Sui’ Dynasty was derived, and was the father-in-law of the emperor. His son, Yang Jian, later became the prime minister. By kinship, Yang Jian was the maternal grandfather of the last emperor of the Northern Zhou. In 581, Yang Jian abolished the emperor, seized the throne, and changed the national title into the Sui. His son, Yang Guang, annihilated the Southern Chen (557–589), the last kingdom of the Southern Dynasties (420–589) in southern China, and reunified the north and south. He commanded the construction of the Grand Canal to facilitate cultural exchanges and trade between northern and southern China, developed unified monetary and measurement standards, and institutionalized the imperial examination system initiated by his father to recruit talents based on merits. After each of his three military expeditions against the Korean Kingdom of Gaojuli failed in disastrous debacles, massive peasant revolts broke out throughout the country. The Sui Dynasty ended when Yang Guang was killed by the renegade general, Yuwen Huaji, who was the older brother-in-law of his daughter, Princess Nanyang.

    Div Size Ethnic Surn C D N O Q R G J rest
    0.72 8 Hui 楊Yáng 0.00 0.00 25.00 25.00 0.00 37.50 0.00 12.50 0.00
    0.67 35 Hui 馬Mǎ 0.00 0.00 0.00 51.40 14.30 17.10 5.70 8.60 2.90
    0.42 12 Han 賈Jiǎ 0.00 0.00 0.00 74.90 8.30 8.30 8.30 0.00 0.00
    0.22 16 Han 蕭Xiāo 0.00 6.30 0.00 87.80 0.00 6.30 0.00 0.00 0.00
    0.40 17 Han 葉Yè 5.90 5.90 0.00 76.60 5.90 5.90 0.00 0.00 0.00
    0.50 19 Han 謝Xiè 5.30 0.00 10.50 68.50 10.50 5.30 0.00 0.00 0.00
    0.60 24 Han 金Jīn 8.30 0.00 20.80 58.40 8.30 4.20 0.00 0.00 0.00
    0.48 27 Han 馬Mǎ 11.10 0.00 11.10 70.30 3.70 3.70 0.00 0.00 0.00
    0.40 164 Han 王Wáng 6.70 2.40 6.70 76.80 4.90 1.80 0.60 0.00 0.00
    0.40 119 Han 劉Liú 10.10 0.80 8.40 76.40 2.50 1.60 0.00 0.00 0.00
    0.44 103 Han 李Lǐ 10.70 3.90 7.80 73.70 2.90 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.00
    0.29 55 Han 楊Yáng 5.50 3.60 7.30 83.50 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00

    The percentages are re-aggregated from finer grain yHg thus there might be some rounding off error.

  4. While not about Chinese R1a, I have noticed that survey articles on African-American Y haplogroups exhibit almost all European haplogroups except R1a and subgroups.

  5. Really a lot of R1b in America, though (not surprising, given frequency in Britain and Ireland), and I assume it shows up a fair bit in African Americans, for the reason everyone knows. I read that the Masseys in the South had a bad reputation for mistreating their slaves.

    (Massey, Massie, Macy, the Italian Masse and various other variants are all the same name, due to lack of standard spelling in the Medieval – all derive from a now very unremarkable place called Massy in Normandy which is still there).

    Something else funny I discovered – I found some software that allows you to input your family name, and it shows the frequency of that name globally. High frequency in England, obviously, particularly around Cheshire, which is where the original Massey settled after the Norman Conquest (my great grandfather came from a village in Cheshire) but the surprising thing to me was there are a lot of Masseys in India. Assuming that derived from colonial Brits marrying locals, I presume that R1b must be reasonably well represented, at least in pockets. Starting in 1066, Masseys have something of a history of invading other people’s countries and marrying locals, disappearing into the woodwork in the process, a tradition I have carried on.

    I discovered a 1985 Hindi film titled Massey Sahib in which the lead character is an Indian guy surnamed Massey who seeks to emulate and ingratiate himself with his colonial masters, seeing himself as ‘different’ from other Indians. It all ends predictably badly for him.

  6. The only study I can remember with genome wide autosomal on the Hui is this one – https://www.nature.com/articles/ejhg2016181

    The shift looks about 7-10% between Northern Han and West Eurasians, so 50% is indeed quite an excess, from some patrilineal founders phenomenon. (Though ideally it would be comparing like for like and autosomal and y in same samples.)

  7. Are you sure it’s not an Indian variant of ‘Massih’ meaning ‘Messiah’ in Urdu, a common surname for Indian and Pakistani christians?

  8. I’m not sure of anything. But in that Hindi film, the guy’s name was Francis Massey, which is at least suggestive that he was meant to be Anglo-Indian.

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