Y-DNA Haplogroup J2a4h M172+ M410+ L24+(M530+) L25+ L231+
Y Chromosome DNA testing allows participants to trace the geographical path of their paternal line. Recent testing on the Dugas dit Labreche family and on a descendent of Abraham Dugas, the Acadian ancestor of many Dugas in North America, showed both men were unrelated, even though they shared the same surname, but that both men carried a fairly rare genetic signature indicating Haplogroup J2a. All men who have the M172 mutation and the downstream M410 mutation, indicating Haplogroup J2a are very distantly related to one man who lived in the Middle East over 10,000 years ago. Halplogroup J2 is quite rare among French Canadians, about 83% of them belonging to Haplogroup R1B or I. About 4% of participants in the French Heritage DNA project showed a haplogroup assignment of J2. Haplogroup J2 is most frequent today in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean. In Iraq about 50% of men are in Haplogroup J, half of which in J2. In Lebanon, Turkey, Cyprus, Crete, and areas of Southern Italy, Haplogroup J2 is found in about a quarter of the population. Both Dugas ancestors were from the border region with Spain and it should be noted that Sephardic Jewish populations carry a very high percentage of Haplogroup J2, 29% and Haplogroup J2 is the most frequent haplogroup in Jewish populations overall. Jean Ducas dit Labreche was from the Basque country and a recent DNA study on the remains of 30 Basques from the 7th Century, showed Haplogroup R1b and I were the only haplogroups present. Haplogroup J2 did not appear to be present in the region at that time. Currently, researchers are looking at specific subclades of Haplogroup J2 which show distinct geographical spreads. Research is in its' primary stages, but the DNA subclade, L24 or M530 (rs35248080) and L25 (rs34534058) w DYS 445=10 in which descendents of Jean Ducas dit Labreche fall into, seems to have a geographic tendency in present day populations in the Middle East, specifically Iran and Lebanon. Most recently a new SNP, L231 was discovered through Y chromosome testing in a Dugas Labreche DNA sample. A C-G transition at position 13524835 of the Y chromosome was noted and to date, this mutation has only been found in men from the Dugas dit Labreche family.
Looking at M530, the mutation found in the Dugas dit Labreche Family, its presence in Europe is very rare. Highest frequencies for this paternal marker are found in Iran (up to 17.6%), followed by Lebanon (12%). J2a3h2 (J2a4h2) M530 Distribution from Semino 2012:
Did Jean Ducas descend from the Morisco or Sephardic Populations expelled from Spain?
Although it is difficult to attach a recent ancestry based soley on a DNA result, it does seem quite likely that Jean Ducas may have descended from Sephardic or Morisco populations expelled from Spain as a result of the Spanish inquisition. The map on the left, shows one wave of emmigration from Aragon in 1610. This was an emmigration largely of converted muslims into France and to the Ottoman Empire. Henry the IV of Bearn granted entry of 22,000 Mudejar's (Morisco's) from Aragon, charging 10 reales per person. What is important to note is the routes they took to enter France. 12,000 Entered through the Somport Pass. Saint Pierre d'Oloron lies at the head of this pass. Another 10,000 entered France via Roncesvalles-Saint Jean Pied du Port. Although many of these emigrants moved on and settled north of the Dordogne, many also settled in Bearn and the Pays Basque. There were many thousands more entering via the ports at Saint Jean de Luz and Bayonne, and much more illegal land migration over the Pyrenees. Oloron did have Jewish and Morisco communities at the time of our ancestor's birth as well as strong commercial links to the Moors and Sephardic populations of Aragon, specifically in the textile trade. We also see the surname Ducha and Ducas present in the village of Cascante and Tudela, Navarra as well as in Oloron. Records for the surname Ducas have been found in Oloron, Saint Jean de Luz, Tudela and Cazeres on the road between Tarbes and Toulouse. The son of a Marguerite Ducas, Jean Bourdin, from Le Mas d'Azil, near Toulouse is registered leaving France in 1686 to reside in the Levant. He left the port of Marseille for Tripoli, Syria (now Lebanon). This record is registered with the Chamber of Commerce in Marseille.
Today, Haplogroup J2 is present in 7.8% of Bearnaise men. What is clear is that the semi independent regions along the border of France and Spain did receive a boost in populations as a result of all sorts of religious persecutions. It is also quite possible our ancestor's moved into Bearn from the Languedoc (southern France) as a result of Huguenot persecution in the 16th century or Jewish Persecution in the 14th century. During the 16th century France was in the middle of the Wars of Religion, largely between protestants and catholics. Bearn was one region of refuge for protestants who had been displaced by these wars. In either case, it appears our ancestor could have been a recent arrival into Bearn, coming from the Languedoc or from Spain. This would explain why the surname Ducas and its phonetical equivalent, Ducha, were quite rare in the region and are now, all but gone.
Sephardic Migration into France
During the Spanish inquisition period, large numbers of Sephardic and Morisco communities settled in Southern France. They settled in Saint Jean de Luz, Bayonne, Biarritz, Bidache, Labastide Clairance, Tarbes, Toulouse, Marseille, Bordeaux and La Rochelle. They lived as new christians, but many returned to their faith openly in France or moving on to the Netherlands and points east. Do the seemingly elevated levels of DNA haplogroups J2 and E3b in south western France represent the descendents of this Sephardic Migration? In part, quite likely, but Haplogroup J2 and E3b began to arrive in France before the idea of "France" was even dreamed of. Likely even before the Phoenicians, there was some settlement of Middle Eastern peoples in the Mediterranean areas of France. The Greek and Phoenician presence also brought J2 into France and of course the Roman period also would have been a major contributor of Haplogroup J2 into what is today, France. So although, rare, Haplogroup J2 can be found in local populations throughout France and Spain.
DNA Mutation Rates observed in the Dugas Labreche DNA lines
Recent testing on 2 lines of the Dugas dit Labreche family noted higher mutation rates than rates generally used in calculating a Time to Most a Recent Common Ancestor (TMRCA). The accepted rates, 0.002 to 0.0024 are only about half of the rates observed when comparing 2 lineages in the Dugas Labreche family. 2 Participants, both descended from Jean Ducas, married in 1708, with a total of 17 transmission events (births) down both lines combined, observed mutations of one step on 5 different markers. The markers, DYS 607, DYS 576, CDYa, DYS 438 and DYS 534 show individually varying mutation rates of their own, with DYS 438 being a very slow moving marker. All told, the overall 67 marker mutation rate observed in our comparison was 0.0044. Many test participants have also noted higher mutation rates similar to those observed in our line and it is generally considered that these rates vary from lineage to lineage and also possibly, from time period to time period.