Sephardic Jewish Maternal Line Descent
I'm not sure where the best place for this post is, but I would like to create more interest in mtDNA testing for Sephardic Jews, and I'm interested in any suggestions.
I had no prior knowledge of Jewish ancestry on my mother's side, but when I took the mtDNA full sequence test, it revealed a number of coding region matches who were Sephardi Jews. Mostly Jews from Morocco who understand their ancestry to trace back to Spain and the Inquisition.
I found it fascinating that I may have Sephardic Jewish maternal line ancestry, even if it does go back a number of generations. But it was discouraging to see a mere 51 people who took the mtDNA full sequence test identify Morocco as their country of maternal line origin.
I am certain that a larger population of Sephardic Jews taking the mtDNA full sequence test would result in more matches, and more information for all of us, but how do I go about creating interest?
On a separate note, Family Tree DNA makes it extraordinarily difficult for people to identify their ancestry so it appears in the Comments column of the mtDNA Ancestral Origins page. I had to reach out to all of my Sephardic matches individually, and each of them in turn had to contact Family Tree DNA via e-mail, and make a special request. Why not incorporate this into the profile page?
You don't state what your haplogroup is. Perhaps it's one of the specific subclades of T2e ( T2e1 and T2e5) that has been found among Sephardic Jews.
There are a couple of scientific papers on this at http://www.nature.com/ejhg/journal/v...g2011200a.html and https://www.esciencecentral.org/jour....php?aid=20717. The defining coding region mutations for the T2e5 Sephardic subclade are 2308G and 14499T, along with the usual HVR1/HVR2 mutations found in all T2e subclades.
Although my haplogroup is T2e, I'm not in either of the two subclades that have been found to be associated with Sephardic ancestry.
My haplogroup is H1, which seems pretty generic, and made the discovery of these Moroccan Jewish coding region matches all the more surprising.
My thread about this discovery is here:
I'm curious if you took the mtDNA Full Sequence test, and what your Ancestral Origins page looks like? Among my coding region matches, by percentage, I overwhelmingly match Moroccan Jews (about 5% of individuals tested with Morocco as most distant known country of maternal origin). The second highest are Belgium and Northern Ireland, both at a mere 0.5%. But all my matches are genetic distance 3.
23andme also shows that I'm 1.7% "Broadly Southern European," mostly on the otherwise British & Irish chromosomes from my mother, and 0.5% Sub-Saharan African (0.4% West, 0.1% "Broadly") mostly on the X chromosome. I wonder if these are proxies for Sephardic ancestry.
With all this, I can only trace my maternal line to Ireland in the late 1800s. The history before that must have been very interesting.
I have only taken the partial HVR2 mtDNA test, but my mother upgraded to to the full sequencing test. Here's the kicker... we only had 1 match with another male also with a FMS test. My mom's results say a genetic distance of 2. I contacted this man a while later and he told us he was adopted and knows nothing about his maternal line and it's ethnic origins.
The mtDNA region results for my mom and I show Italy, which is correct. But this man we match with has no Italian and none of our maternal Italian surnames ever came up in his search for his biological mother so far, and nothing of Italian in his autosomal results either. He was taken aback by all this, as were we. We became close with him and started helping him to try and piece together his possible maternal line for clues.
It was then we all posted our results on FTDNA's Mitosearch sister website that allows testers to post their mtDNA results and from other companies, too. Turns out, all three of us match several families with Finnish ancestors, others with German and English, too. One of our theories is that children from a distant H1 female branched out and relocated to other regions and countries long ago... perhaps even during the Viking age or further back when many groups clashed with the Roman Empire with possible hints at Roman slavery as well.
But one thing is for sure... 61% North African Tuaregs are mtDNA H1 (link)
So then, a few months ago, we all got a third man who matched us all with a genetic distance of 1. He is Italian and his maternal line traces back to the small mountainous village of Sicilians in southern central Italy where our maternal great grandmothers came from. So the mystery is why our H1 line and the Italian line is so remote and isolated with few matches. I manage my mom's account and put her in two H1 FTDNA projects–to date, no matches. I also put her in the Italian projects–no matches.
So where our Jewish comes into play, we do not know, unless it's solely autosomal. But then again, many H1 people are Jewish, we aren't, but a DNA colleague found my vast amounts of Moroccan Jewish using the Eurogenes calculator on GEDmatch.
We also got the latest DNA Tribes SNP Analysis Report recently, (noticed I said SNP, not STR) from submitting our FTDNA Raw Data files. I noticed they have more population samples since our 2014 reports. The Report basically puts all the GEDmatch information into better perspective. And due to our high Broadly Southern European on 23andMe, I'm betting most of our NA/Sephardic Jewish is locked in there. And not to mention how low my 23andMe Ashkenazi is >0.1%
Currently, DNA Tribes Report maps show the Sephardic listing is within the region of Libya. And it keeps all the other North African Jewish groups separate just has GEDmatch does as well. As my mother's NA Jewish is reported as Libyan Jewish and Moroccan for me. I also wonder how much Sephardic DNA gets lost in there as I know that many Sephardic Jews left or escaped for North Africa during the Inquisition and many Jewish tribes, especially the Moroccan Jews, adopted the Sephardic customs and the Andalusian liturgy.
Also our DNA Tribes Jewish Diaspora list is quite detailed. Mine is listed at the very bottom below:
DNA Tribes Report
Admixture Analysis: 53 Regional Clusters (Me)
Regional Cluster Mixture
Northwest European 38.5%
Italian Greek 17.9%
Balto - North Slavic 11.1%
Sephardic Jewish 7%
North African 1.7%
Admixture Analysis: 53 Regional Clusters (my Mom)
Regional Cluster Mixture
Italian Greek 19.5%
Northwest European 13.3%
Balto - North Slavic 11.9%
North African 6.3%
Sephardic Jewish 5.2%
Northern Amerindian 2.8%
Red Sea Arab 2.2%
Population Admixture: Native and Jewish Populations (Me)
Moroccan Jewish 11.3%
Central Sicily 1.9%
Basque Spain 1.1%
Thessaly Greece 0.5%
Population Admixture: Native and Jewish Populations (my Mom)
Argyll and Bute Scottish Highlands 19%
Libyan Jewish 14.6%
Andalusia Spain 9.9%
Basque France 3.4%
South Morocco 2%
Total Ancestral Fit: Diasporic Populations (Me)
Rank Population Diaspora Type
1 Caucasian New Zealand and Australia Diaspora
2 European American Diaspora
8 Canary Islands Diaspora
12 Romani Europe Diaspora
18 Cuba Diaspora
28 Brazil Diaspora
29 Mestizo Diaspora
36 Ashkenazi Jewish Europe General Jewish Diaspora
37 Algerian Jewish Jewish Diaspora
42 Puerto Rico Diaspora
47 Ashkenazi Jewish Romania Jewish Diaspora
50 Costa Rica Diaspora
51 Ashkenazi Jewish Nertherlands Jewish Diaspora
56 Colombia Diaspora
59 Sephardic Jewish General Jewish Diaspora
61 Italian Jewish Jewish Diaspora
70 Moroccan Jewish Jewish Diaspora
71 Ashkenazi Jewish Austria Jewish Diaspora
78 Libyan Jewish Jewish Diaspora
84 Tunisian Jewish Jewish Diaspora
85 Ashkenazi Jewish Poland Jewish Diaspora
87 Syrian Jewish Jewish Diaspora
88 Sephardic Jewish Turkey Jewish Diaspora
94 Ashkenazi Jewish France Jewish Diaspora
96 Ashkenazi Jewish Latvia Jewish Diaspora
100 Ashkenazi Jewish Belarus Jewish Diaspora
101 Dominican Republic Diaspora
102 Mexican American Los Angeles CA Diaspora
107 Persian Qatar Diaspora
109 Georgian Jewish Jewish Diaspora
110 Iraqi Jewish Jewish Diaspora
112 Ashkenazi Jewish Russia Jewish Diaspora
114 Kurdistand Jewish Jewish Diaspora
119 Ashkenazi Jewish Germany Jewish Diaspora
123 Azerbaijani Jewish Jewish Diaspora
134 Iranian Jewish Jewish Diaspora
136 Yemenite Jewish Jewish Diaspora
154 Uzbekistani Jewish Jewish Diaspora
166 Coloured Wellington South Africa Diaspora
180 Mumbai Jewish Jewish Diaspora
200 Cochin Jewish India Jewish Diaspora
210 Indian Singaporean Diaspora
252 Ethiopian Jewish Jewish Diaspora
274 African American Diaspora
278 Coloured Colesberg South Africa Diaspora
326 Chinese American Denver CO Diaspora
333 Jamaica Diaspora
352 Chinese Singaporean Diaspora
375 African Qatar Diaspora
387 Barbados Diaspora
400 Haiti Diaspora
Last edited by BravoNovember; 2nd February 2017 at 12:26 PM.
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