All haplotypes that tested positive on L38, also tested positive on L39/S155, L40/S156, L65.1/S159.1; and L272.3. Thus haplogroup I-L38 also can also be defined (or named) using these SNPs. To simplify matters this website only will refer to haplogroup I-L39/S155, L40/S156, L65.1/S159.1, L272.3 as I-L38.

This website collects all available information on haplogroup I-L38. Each of the webpages below reports about a specific investigation; each leading to (direct or indirect) insights on I-L38's history.

About this Website

About the naming of I-L38

By studying the branching points of the paternal ancestral tree, it is possible to define haplogroups. This name comes from the Greek word haploûs, meaning - single. Haplogroups are groups that have a Single Nucleotide Polymorphism in common. SNP tests show whether a sample is positive or negative for a SNP mutation.

The result L38+ means that the sample does not have the ancestral state, but does have a derived, mutated state (for which it tests positive). In case of L38 this means that the ancestral allele “A” mutated into “G”. Because new SNPs are being discovered continiously, haplogroups become more detailed over time.

Each haplogroup can be further divided into clusters of haplotypes using STR values. There are two ways to refer to a haplogroup:

  1. The longhand name: using the hierarchical name. According international naming conventions, letters and numbers alternate to appoint a haplogroup. For example: haplogroup I2a2b (aka I-L38) refers to branch “a” on branch “2” of branch “a” of branch "2" of haplogroup “I”. Disadvantage of this way of naming is that the entire hierarchical structure has to be adapted to fit in new discovered SNPs (with a confusion of tongues as a result). In 2011 I2a2b was called I2b2, before that it was called I2b*, and before that I2b1…

  2. The shorthand name: by using the determining mutation I-L38 refers to a branch of haplogroup I that is determined by mutation L38. Advantage of this way of naming is that it remains stable (samples remain positive or negative for a certain SNP). Y-DNA SNPs are referred to with a letter and a number. The letter refers to the lab or research team that discovered the SNP; the number indicates the order in which it was discovered. Eg: L38 was the 38th SNP that was discovered by the research team of Thomas Krahn of the Family Tree DNA Genomics Research Center. Sometimes separate research institutes discover the same mutation, which gets then two names. Eg: L38 and S154 refer to the same mutation (so haplogroup I-L38 could be called I-S154 as well).

Besides these 'technical names' I-L38 also has two nicknames;

  • "Lichtenstein haplogroup" (because of its relation to the archeological skeletons in the Lichtenstein cave);

  • "Rhinelander haplogroup" (because of its high frequency along the Rhine).

About the Author

Hans De Beule:

  • was born in the early seventies;

  • lives in Flanders, Belgium

  • studied social sciences (MSc KULeuven)

  • works as director

  • is a generalist interested in history, geneology, genography

  • concentrates on genography and haplogroup I-L38 since 2005

  • administrator of the Haplogroup I-L38 FTDNA project and the I-L38 YFull project

  • is contact person for the ISOGG I-L38 branch

  • mothertongue: Dutch

Questions, Suggestions and Thoughts

Feedback is welcome; please contact:

Last update: April 2021 - Hans De Beule