Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2005-04 > 1113180392

From: "Kiernan O'Rourke-Phipps" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Jewish/non-Jewish surname and Y-DNA results
Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 17:46:32 -0700
In-Reply-To: <>

Hi Ellen,

Thanks for that. OK. You're saying that Y-DNA is at present silent on the
subject of Jewish/non-Jewish--it doesn't say we are and doesn't say we
aren't because R1b is R1b--whoever has it. That makes sense. So an R1b
Semmler with two "m's" in their name is no different in DNA terms than a R1b
Semler with one "m". If I'm reading you correctly.

So does that mean that you would take non-Jewish as the default position for
R1b? That is, would you always (almost always?) assume Christian for an an
R1b, no matter what their surname, unless there was clear non-genetic
evidence that an R1b was Jewish (raised in the faith and/or cultural ties,
paper trail, etc.)?

I'm asking because you said,
>If your able to match your R1b to Jewish R1b Semlers,
> then you might be on to something.

So that sounds like R1b Semmlers/Semlers would always be presumed to be
non-Jewish unless proven to be Jewish by finding R1b Semmlers/Semlers who
are already known to be Jewish by non-DNA means. But surely, if R1b COULD
be either Jewish or non-Jewish, the evidence for being EITHER must be found
outside of Y-DNA. We can't assume ANYTHING from the R1b on this point, can

Just trying to understand the interpretation process. I'm sure someone will
correct me if I have misunderstood.



> From: ellen Levy <>
> Reply-To:
> Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 14:49:34 -0700 (PDT)
> To:
> Subject: Re: [DNA] Jewish/non-Jewish surname and Y-DNA results
> Resent-From:
> Resent-Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 15:49:40 -0600
> Kiernan:
> Don't like to refer to myself as an "expert" - sounds
> too pompous!
> You originally asked if there was anything in your DNA
> results that might indicate possible Jewish ancestry.
> The answer: There isn't. Why? Because Ashkenazi Jews
> (which includes German Jews) obtained their R1b
> ancestry from their European ancestors during the 2000
> years they lived in Europe.
> Thus, it would be nearly impossible to distinguish a
> non-Jewish European R1b from a Jewish R1b. There are
> no modal R1b haplotypes among Ashkenazim. R1b is
> diffused completely through Ashkenazi populations,
> from Western through Eastern Europe groups. This
> probably indicates admixture over a long period of
> time, in various locations in Europe, with various R1b
> European ancestors.
> If your able to match your R1b to Jewish R1b Semlers,
> then you might be on to something.
> Hope this helps.
> Ellen Coffman
> --- Kiernan O'Rourke-Phipps <>
> wrote:
>> Hi Ellen,
>> Since I have seen that you're an expert regarding
>> Jewish DNA on the list,
>> could you please comment on the shared surname issue
>> and the Y-DNA results I
>> posted. (Sorry if this seems to be beating a dead
>> horse. If this has been
>> specifically discussed in the list archives, I
>> couldn't find it.) My
>> father's family went to Russia from Germany under
>> Tsar Alexander I. There
>> is no indication of them possibly being Jewish in
>> origin (other than the
>> shared name). One reason they went to Russia was to
>> benefit from the Tsar's
>> promise of no military service for Germans who would
>> settle in Belarussia,
>> so obviously they were not Jewish at the time the
>> family migrated (if they
>> ever were).
>> So is there anything in the Y-DNA results that says
>> anything either way to
>> you about their Jewish/non-Jewish origin. I am
>> assuming from what you have
>> said already that there isn't.
>> Please note: I'm not claiming anything either way.
>> Who knows? Maybe some
>> Semmlers were Christian and converted to Judaism and
>> changed their name to
>> Semler. (Historically that seem less likely in
>> Germany & Russia.)
>> Probably the extra "m" originally had more to do
>> with spelling conventions
>> (or lack of them--since that came late in history)
>> or geographical area of
>> origin with different spellings coming from
>> different regions rather than
>> being intentionally attached to different groups of
>> people. And illiteracy
>> for some groups has to play a large part in
>> variations in surname spellings.
>> The only reason I ever started thinking about the
>> Jewish/non-Jewish issue
>> was because while my name was Semmler when I was a
>> kid, people I met assumed
>> that I was Jewish. When my parents were divorced and
>> my mother had me assume
>> my mother's maiden name (O'Rourke), one of my
>> teachers commented that I
>> should be more proud of my Jewish heritage! Well, I
>> would be if I had one,
>> but to my knowledge, I don't.
>> But perhaps I should be looking at all populations
>> (that is,
>> Christian/Jewish) of Semmlers/Semlers for clues for
>> where the family came
>> from in Germany. Here's where the Y-DNA would come
>> in. Do the Y-DNA results
>> we have so far help in answering this question?
>> Would the 25 marker test be
>> any help?
>> Thanks for your patience with this topic, Kiernan
>> === message truncated ===
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