The human endogenous retrovirus (HERV-H) family is most abundant and widely distributed in the human genome, with about 100-1,000 full-length or deleted elements and a similar number of solitary, long-terminal repeats. The HERV-H env ORF has been characterized in humans and in the course of primate evolution, indicating the increased possibility of biological roles in humans. Using the polymerase chain reaction approach with a human monochromosomal DNA panel, 70 env fragments belonging to the HERV-H family from chromosomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, X, and Y were identified and analyzed. They showed 82-99% sequence similarity to that of HERV-H (accession no. AF108843). We also identified other HERV-H env fragments in the DDBJ/EMBL/GenBank databases. The total of 120 fragments was evolutionarily analyzed. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that the HERV-H env family is divided into one major and two minor groups. The HERV-H members have been actively proliferated and evolved by intra-chromosomal spread during hominid radiation.