Maternal mitochondrial DNA traces British man’s heritage back to Garden of Eden.

Researchers from Britain’s DNA, who carried out the tests, said the result meant that in genetic terms he was a “thoroughbred”, and could be described as the “grandson of Eve, or the grandfather of everyone in Britain”.

They were so surprised by the results that they phoned Mr Kinnaird, a widower who lives in the far north of Scotland, to break the news to him.

They told him his mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), passed through the female line, was 30,000 years old and only two genetic mutations removed from the first woman, while most men have a genome with around 200 mutations since the earliest humans.

Alistair Moffat, the historian and rector of St Andrews University, who was involved in setting up the DNA project, said: “It is an astonishing result and means he could have been in the ‘Garden of Eden’.

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