GENEALOGY-DNA-L Archives

Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2005-04 > 1113234344


From: ellen Levy <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Jewish/non-Jewish surname and Y-DNA results
Date: Mon, 11 Apr 2005 08:45:44 -0700 (PDT)
In-Reply-To: <BE7F6DF5.351B%kiernana@comcast.net>


Kiernan:

Your not getting some of the points I am making and I
definitely don't want to be misunderstood on this
topic.

Y DNA and MtDNA can be used in some instances as
indicators of Jewish ancestry - J1, while not
exclusively Jewish in Europe, is almost overwhelmingly
so. We've had some discussions just this weekend
about certain MtDNA K results that are uniquely
Jewish. I also believe the majority of N1b within
Europe is of Jewish origin. So it can, in some
instances, be used to distinguish Jewish ancestry.
OK? But generally not with R1b.

What I was trying to say about that general Jewish
population is that THEY do not use Y DNA or MtDNA as
"proof" of Jewish ancestry. They never have.
However, there is common genetic elements that Jews
share that are not shared by non-Jews. But Jews don't
use this genetics to define their ethnicity.
Researchers use it to explore the common (and
sometimes not so common) genetic origins of the Jews.


I hope this clarifies things. Please don't interprete
my postings as indicating that Y DNA or MtDNA cannot
be used as indicators of Jewish ancestry.


Ellen Coffman

--- Kiernan O'Rourke-Phipps <>
wrote:

> Ellen,
>
> Thanks for you taking the time to give such a
> considered answer.
>
> > This may not
> > be the answer you were hoping to hear, but I think
> it
> > is the most accurate.
>
> Well, I'm not actually "hoping" for anything from
> raising this topic--except
> to increase my understanding of how DNA can be used
> to supplement
> linguistic, historical, anthropological, and plain
> old genealogical
> documentation. My father's surname is just an
> example of a family puzzle
> that many other people might also have since surname
> studies are being
> conducted through Y-DNA testing. That is, surnames
> shared across groups are
> going to raise such questions when people first try
> to interpret their Y-DNA
> results.
>
> It seems from what you say that Y-DNA can NOT be
> used to distinguish Jewish
> from non-Jewish ancestry. OK.
>
> But I am puzzled by the idea of taking European
> (whether Christian or pagan
> or whatever) as the default for R1b rather than just
> saying that Y-DNA won't
> help prove Jewish or non-Jewish ancestry either way.
> I can see it if being
> Jewish is being viewed as more of a
> cultural/religious concept than genetic
> category. Also OK.
>
> I'm sure you've had enough of this discussion. So
> thanks again for your
> time.
>
> Kiernan
>
>
>
> > From: ellen Levy <>
> > Reply-To:
> > Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 21:21:28 -0700 (PDT)
> > To:
> > Subject: Re: [DNA] Jewish/non-Jewish surname and
> Y-DNA results
> > Resent-From:
> > Resent-Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 22:21:35 -0600
> >
> > Kiernan:
> >
> > Do you mean do I always view R1b as non-Jewish or
> > European in origin? I view the original source of
> > Jewish R1b as European (not necessarily as
> > "Christian." Could have just as easily been pagan,
> > depending on when the admixture or conversion
> > occurred). That means that when the Jews came to
> > settle in Europe, R1b became part of the genetic
> > makeup of the Jews over time. So yes - I take R1b
> as
> > "non-Jewish" as a default position, though there
> are
> > Jews who are R1b (approximately 9% of the
> Ashkenazi
> > results) and have been Jewish for 1500 years or
> more.
> > There is no evidence, however, that Jewish R1b is
> > Middle Eastern/Israelite in origin.
> >
> > So if you are non-Jewish and are R1b and have no
> > genealogical history of any Jewish background,
> then
> > chances are pretty overwhelming that your ancestry
> is
> > non-Jewish.
> >
> > As for Jews who are R1b needing to find "evidence"
> of
> > Jewish background through something other than
> DNA, I
> > agree with that statement in a way, though that
> goes
> > for all Jews, not just R1b Jews. Rather, they
> don't
> > need to find "evidence," but their ethnicity is
> > generally based on something other than DNA
> results.
> >
> > Now Jewish DNA researchers were no doubt thrilled
> to
> > find genetic evidence of Middle Eastern/Israelite
> > ancestry (haplogroup J1 in particular). This
> helped
> > "prove" that they were not just the spiritual
> > descendants, but also the genetic descendants, of
> the
> > ancient Israelites.
> >
> > However, that is the reaction of DNA researchers
> and
> > those of us who are interested in such topics, not
> the
> > majority of the Jewish community. Most of them
> > couldn't care less about DNA and what it "proves."
> > Maybe that is because most Jews just assumed there
> was
> > a direct genetic link. Or maybe that is because
> most
> > view the spiritual/religious inheritance as
> > outweighing the necessity of finding any genetic
> link.
> >
> >
> > In any case, most Jews out there don't base their
> > Jewish ethnicity on their DNA. DNA results don't
> > "prove" ethnicity among Jews. Heck, even being J1
> > doesn't "prove" you are Cohanim. Do you think the
> > synagogues have kicked out the Cohens who have
> results
> > other than J1? DNA testing is a relatively new
> > science anyway. My father, for example, couldn't
> care
> > less about DNA testing and what it reflects about
> the
> > complex genetic origins of European Jews (he is
> R1a,
> > by the way). All he knows is that he was born
> Jewish
> > and that his parents were Jewish and his
> grandparents
> > and so on back.
> >
> > If you match Jewish R1b Semlers (as you stated
> "raised
> > in the faith and/or cultural ties, paper trail,
> etc),
> > then there is a possibility that you may have
> Jewish
> > ancestry. However, there is a much stronger
> > possibility that your Jewish Semler's have
> European
> > ancestry (in fact, they almost certainly do) and
> that
> > a Christian Semler simply converted to Judaism
> > sometime in the past.
> >
> > As far as I can tell you have no history of being
> > Jewish in a genealogical, cultural, or religious
> > sense. There is basically no family history of
> being
> > Jewish. You are R1b with no known genetic
> connection
> > to any Jewish Semler's (you haven't tested Jewish
> > Semler's and found them to be R1b with a haplotype
> > that matches your own). Thus, from this
> information,
> > at this point in time, you can assume that you
> most
> > likely have no Jewish genetic ancestry. This may
> not
> > be the answer you were hoping to hear, but I think
> it
> > is the most accurate.
> >
> > Ellen Coffman
> >
> > --- Kiernan O'Rourke-Phipps <>
> > wrote:
> >
> >> 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
>
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