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Old 10th October 2014, 05:51 AM
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Join Date: May 2014
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Ashkenazim as FF matches / Question

I am of Polish descent on my mother's side.
Me and my mother got our autosomal DNA tested by FTDNA and we have some matches who are Ashkenazim. Most of them descend from places where our Polish ancestors lived. But as far as we know we don't have any Jewish root.

Recently, I decided to purchase a FF test for my mother's 1st cousin twice removed (my great-grandfather's cousin). Surprisingly, almost half of her matches are Ashkenazim.

We have an extended family tree going far back until 1690 and all our ancestors were Polish and Roman Catholic. The results don't give us any % as of Jewish Diaspora descent. Our Ashkenazi matches share with us longest blocks no more than 20cM and I don't know if this value is really significant since they are known as a very endogamous group. On 23andMe I have a similar situation. I show up as 0,1% Ashkenazi Jewish (which means nothing) but I do have a lot of Ashkenazi matches.

So, according to what I've mentioned above I have two questions.

1- Are they false matches?

2- Some studies prove that in general most Ashkenazim have a very admixed background (Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Central, Southern, North and Eastern European etc). The studies also suggest that the endogamous marriages in the Ashkenazi population is what really distinguished them from other populations genetically. So, if it's true why they just show up as Jewish Diaspora? Why their other components aren't displayed? If it was possible to see what's behind the label "Jewish Diaspora" maybe we could understand why some Ashkenazi Jews have non-Jews matches and vice versa. In this kind of situation as mine, most of the people would tend to think that they had some European Jewish roots. But, they hardly ever think about the opposite, which is also very possible.
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