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  #11  
Old 24th February 2018, 12:39 AM
Rakkaus Rakkaus is offline
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Originally Posted by Miamio View Post
Clear it up easily.Upload to GedMatch and GedMatch Genesis.
Learn to use the tools.Its confusing for a while. ......you will have your answers
Oh c'mon 'clear it up easily'?

Human genetics is complicated stuff to begin with, nothing is easy when you're a genetic mutt as mixed as I am.


I've uploaded all 3 of my tests to GedMatch a while ago. I've run the admixture tests, although I don't exactly understand all the different tests and their numbers (I read reference populations? wouldn't you always want more reference pops? or just newer versions?), multiple versions of Eurogenes, Dodecad, MDLP Project, HarappaWorld, EthioHelix (Africans), puntDNAL, Gedrosia, Eurasia...

I don't know exactly which tests I should be using and then exactly how I should interpret them for my primary reasons, trying to figure out what precise ethnic groups actually make up my ancestors and to what degree.

Opening up Oracle renders the results somewhat interesting & useful for my purposes, particularly Oracle-4 which shows combinations of 2, 3, 4 populations I'm closest too along with just 1 population approximation to which I've never very close to since I'm not pure of any one thing.

Except the 4 grouped populations never all match what I know of my ancestry.

I know Eurogenes is obviously the test for European descent, though not sure which version of that to use, and though I'm predominantly European I may also have some traces from the Near/Middle East or other peripheral border regions to take into account.
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  #12  
Old 24th February 2018, 09:15 AM
josh w. josh w. is offline
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Originally Posted by Rakkaus View Post
Oh c'mon 'clear it up easily'?

Human genetics is complicated stuff to begin with, nothing is easy when you're a genetic mutt as mixed as I am.


I've uploaded all 3 of my tests to GedMatch a while ago. I've run the admixture tests, although I don't exactly understand all the different tests and their numbers (I read reference populations? wouldn't you always want more reference pops? or just newer versions?), multiple versions of Eurogenes, Dodecad, MDLP Project, HarappaWorld, EthioHelix (Africans), puntDNAL, Gedrosia, Eurasia...

I don't know exactly which tests I should be using and then exactly how I should interpret them for my primary reasons, trying to figure out what precise ethnic groups actually make up my ancestors and to what degree.

Opening up Oracle renders the results somewhat interesting & useful for my purposes, particularly Oracle-4 which shows combinations of 2, 3, 4 populations I'm closest too along with just 1 population approximation to which I've never very close to since I'm not pure of any one thing.

Except the 4 grouped populations never all match what I know of my ancestry.

I know Eurogenes is obviously the test for European descent, though not sure which version of that to use, and though I'm predominantly European I may also have some traces from the Near/Middle East or other peripheral border regions to take into account.
You can also join the Jewish and Italian my Origins Project at Ftdna. Some have suggested that the Jewish presence in Italy may been over-estimated. There were Levantine groups in Sicily before the Sephardis. Dna Land may be helpful in this regard.
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  #13  
Old 24th February 2018, 12:54 PM
Rakkaus Rakkaus is offline
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Originally Posted by josh w. View Post
You can also join the Jewish and Italian my Origins Project at Ftdna. Some have suggested that the Jewish presence in Italy may been over-estimated. There were Levantine groups in Sicily before the Sephardis. Dna Land may be helpful in this regard.
The modern nation of Italy (and "Italian" identity) is not that useful as an ethnogeographic term, "Italy" nationstate being only made-up in 1861.


Ancient Romans classed Southern Italy + Sicily together as Magna Græcia (Great Greece) due their significant shared Ancient Greek populations not found in Northern Italy.

2000 years later Southern Italy + Sicily were unified under Spanish rule for 400+ years as Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, which had distinct identity/history from Northern Italian states, closer to Spanish.

Like Iberia, Sicily went through phase of religious tolerant Islamic Saracen rule before Christian re-conquest (although Normans continued tolerance, Spanish brought intolerance).

As part of Spain, Two Sicilies went through Spanish history events like Spanish Inquisition and forced conversion/expulsion of Jews ordered by Spanish monarchy, events which didn't happen in Northern Italy states.

Two Sicilies share enough history/culture/ethnic roots to be grouped together, but statements that apply to "Italy" don't necessarily apply to Two Sicilies.


Sicily saw countless different ethnic groups pass through, many different possible ethnic makeup scenarios are plausible.

Phoenicians,
Carthaginians,
Ancient Greeks,
Ancient Romans,
Ancient Jews,
Vandals,
Ostrogoths,
Byzantine Greeks,
Saracens,
Normans,
Albanians,
Aragonese,
Sephardic Jews,
Spanish,
Italians

Two Sicilies constantly fought over by European powers from Middle Ages to Napoleonic era, armies French, Austrian, British, etc. occupied Sicily/Naples seizing them (temporarily) from Spanish. Marauding armies historically left genetic traces wherever they went.



As often the case, the Jewish situation/history in Northern Italy was quite different from Southern Italy/Sicily.

Jews in Northern Italian states like Venice & Piedmont were Ashkenazi Jews, whose recorded presence only dates to Middle Ages. Some genetic studies even suggest Ashkenazi Jews originated in Italy.


As far back as 2nd century BC Levantine Jews had been present in Southern Italy & Sicily recorded by ancient Roman historians/writings.

Early Christianity was form of Judaism, earliest Christian communities were Jewish-Christians who sought to convert Gentiles.

Hellenic Near East Jewish-Christian leader Saul of Tarsus makes journey to Rome in AD 60, and Bible notes Paul stopping at Syracusæ in Sicily, Reggio Calabria, and Puteoli in Naples on his way to Rome, finding brethren there.

There were significant Jewish communities of Levantine origin in Sicily/Southern Italy even before destruction of Second Temple and true "diaspora" period.


The only other group of Levantine origin to have significant influence on Sicilian history were Carthaginians, who were derived from ancient Phoenicians who had settled parts of Sicily and Iberia, along with North Africa, as far back as 900 BC. Phoenicians founded ancient Ziz which become Greek Panormos, Latin Panormus, Italian Palermo.

But Carthaginians best known for being on the losing end of the most hated rivalry with the Romans. (Carthago delenda est...)

The Romans kicked Carthaginians out of Sicily in the First Punic War in 264 BC, kicked out of Iberia in Second Punic War 218 BC, reducing Carthage to its North African capital in modern Tunisia, until Romans conquered North Africa & burned Carthage to the ground in the Third Punic War 146 BC.

Unlike Jews, Phoenicians basically just died out as any sort of distinct people & culture.

To have Levantine DNA from Phoenicians in Sicily would require presuming Rome allowed Carthaginians with Phoenician DNA to stay after Romans defeated them & annexed all of Sicily 2300 years ago, and passed along that Levantine Phoenician DNA through all generations since.

I would still think such ancient Carthaginian DNA would more closely resemble their descendants in North Africa (or even Iberia) rather than the Levant where Carthaginians' distant ancestors died out even much earlier.

Persia conquered Phoenicia in the Levant 539 BC; their western North Africa-based related but offspring people Carthaginians developed centuries as a distinct people mixing with other groups.

Ancient Carthaginians themselves at the time of Punic Wars were unlikely to be pure Levantine origin people, Phoenicians were far distant ancestors even for them 2000 years ago.
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  #14  
Old 24th February 2018, 01:14 PM
Rakkaus Rakkaus is offline
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And to those who said take 23andMe, I did, and posted in the OP the default results...

Even at 50% confidence default it left me with a LOT (39%) of uncertain "Broad" DNA to figure out:

18.6% Broadly Southern European
12.4% Broadly Northwestern European
8.0% Broadly European


At 70% confidence, 23Me leaves me with

26.6% Broadly Southern European
10.1% Broadly Northwestern European
28.7% Broadly European
2.3% Unassigned




That's 67.7% of my DNA that I'm left to somehow figure out to assign per 23andMe with 70% confidence.


I did upload all 3 of my DNA samples to DNA.Land, there was a decent amount of variation between my 3 raw data samples.

Funny (and further confusingly), Sicily is the largest literal quintessential "Mediterranean Island", my paternal grandparents are from Sicily...

....yet only 1 test sample on DNA.Land found only 1% DNA to classify as "Mediterranean Islander", which DNA.Land defines as:

"Mediterranean Islander
Includes: Cypriot in Cyprus; Italian/EastSicilian and Italian/WestSicilian in Italy and Maltese in Malta"



23andMe raw data:




FamilyTreeDNA raw data:



AncestryDNA raw data:

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  #15  
Old 24th February 2018, 06:46 PM
josh w. josh w. is offline
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Originally Posted by Rakkaus View Post
The modern nation of Italy (and "Italian" identity) is not that useful as an ethnogeographic term, "Italy" nationstate being only made-up in 1861.


Ancient Romans classed Southern Italy + Sicily together as Magna Græcia (Great Greece) due their significant shared Ancient Greek populations not found in Northern Italy.

2000 years later Southern Italy + Sicily were unified under Spanish rule for 400+ years as Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, which had distinct identity/history from Northern Italian states, closer to Spanish.

Like Iberia, Sicily went through phase of religious tolerant Islamic Saracen rule before Christian re-conquest (although Normans continued tolerance, Spanish brought intolerance).

As part of Spain, Two Sicilies went through Spanish history events like Spanish Inquisition and forced conversion/expulsion of Jews ordered by Spanish monarchy, events which didn't happen in Northern Italy states.

Two Sicilies share enough history/culture/ethnic roots to be grouped together, but statements that apply to "Italy" don't necessarily apply to Two Sicilies.


Sicily saw countless different ethnic groups pass through, many different possible ethnic makeup scenarios are plausible.

Phoenicians,
Carthaginians,
Ancient Greeks,
Ancient Romans,
Ancient Jews,
Vandals,
Ostrogoths,
Byzantine Greeks,
Saracens,
Normans,
Albanians,
Aragonese,
Sephardic Jews,
Spanish,
Italians

Two Sicilies constantly fought over by European powers from Middle Ages to Napoleonic era, armies French, Austrian, British, etc. occupied Sicily/Naples seizing them (temporarily) from Spanish. Marauding armies historically left genetic traces wherever they went.



As often the case, the Jewish situation/history in Northern Italy was quite different from Southern Italy/Sicily.

Jews in Northern Italian states like Venice & Piedmont were Ashkenazi Jews, whose recorded presence only dates to Middle Ages. Some genetic studies even suggest Ashkenazi Jews originated in Italy.


As far back as 2nd century BC Levantine Jews had been present in Southern Italy & Sicily recorded by ancient Roman historians/writings.

Early Christianity was form of Judaism, earliest Christian communities were Jewish-Christians who sought to convert Gentiles.

Hellenic Near East Jewish-Christian leader Saul of Tarsus makes journey to Rome in AD 60, and Bible notes Paul stopping at Syracusæ in Sicily, Reggio Calabria, and Puteoli in Naples on his way to Rome, finding brethren there.

There were significant Jewish communities of Levantine origin in Sicily/Southern Italy even before destruction of Second Temple and true "diaspora" period.


The only other group of Levantine origin to have significant influence on Sicilian history were Carthaginians, who were derived from ancient Phoenicians who had settled parts of Sicily and Iberia, along with North Africa, as far back as 900 BC. Phoenicians founded ancient Ziz which become Greek Panormos, Latin Panormus, Italian Palermo.

But Carthaginians best known for being on the losing end of the most hated rivalry with the Romans. (Carthago delenda est...)

The Romans kicked Carthaginians out of Sicily in the First Punic War in 264 BC, kicked out of Iberia in Second Punic War 218 BC, reducing Carthage to its North African capital in modern Tunisia, until Romans conquered North Africa & burned Carthage to the ground in the Third Punic War 146 BC.

Unlike Jews, Phoenicians basically just died out as any sort of distinct people & culture.

To have Levantine DNA from Phoenicians in Sicily would require presuming Rome allowed Carthaginians with Phoenician DNA to stay after Romans defeated them & annexed all of Sicily 2300 years ago, and passed along that Levantine Phoenician DNA through all generations since.

I would still think such ancient Carthaginian DNA would more closely resemble their descendants in North Africa (or even Iberia) rather than the Levant where Carthaginians' distant ancestors died out even much earlier.

Persia conquered Phoenicia in the Levant 539 BC; their western North Africa-based related but offspring people Carthaginians developed centuries as a distinct people mixing with other groups.

Ancient Carthaginians themselves at the time of Punic Wars were unlikely to be pure Levantine origin people, Phoenicians were far distant ancestors even for them 2000 years ago.

There was a maritime Neolithic route from the Levant to Spain via Sicily. The Levantine component could have gotten there at any time.
Actually, the Ydna at Carthage (not all of Tunisia) resembles that of European Phoenician locations--research by Zallua.
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  #16  
Old 24th February 2018, 10:47 PM
josh w. josh w. is offline
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Originally Posted by josh w. View Post
There was a maritime Neolithic route from the Levant to Spain via Sicily. The Levantine component could have gotten there at any time.
Actually, the Ydna at Carthage (not all of Tunisia) resembles that of European Phoenician locations--research by Zallua.
Rakkaus, You have an excellent grasp of the history of the region. However, I would prefer history supported by dna results than either source alone. There was probably more than one admixture event where Levantine lines were admixed in Sicily. There is no easy way of determining which event had the greatest impact. There are at least two methodological problems with such an analysis. First of all, there is probably great overlap between Jewish and Phoenician-Lebanese lines . They both had Canaanite ancestors- was there much difference between Haifa and Phoenicia. Even today, after 2000 years of separation and varied histories, it is not easy to separate modern Lebanese from Ashkenazis. That relates to the second point. I am not aware of a West Med Sephardic adna sample. The closest is My Heritage with general Iberian and North African samples---the North African sample is identified as Sephardic North African for Jews but plain North African for everyone else. Most samples are from the East Med.

Last edited by josh w.; 24th February 2018 at 10:59 PM.
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  #17  
Old 25th February 2018, 07:34 AM
josh w. josh w. is offline
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Originally Posted by josh w. View Post
Rakkaus, You have an excellent grasp of the history of the region. However, I would prefer history supported by dna results than either source alone. There was probably more than one admixture event where Levantine lines were admixed in Sicily. There is no easy way of determining which event had the greatest impact. There are at least two methodological problems with such an analysis. First of all, there is probably great overlap between Jewish and Phoenician-Lebanese lines . They both had Canaanite ancestors- was there much difference between Haifa and Phoenicia. Even today, after 2000 years of separation and varied histories, it is not easy to separate modern Lebanese from Ashkenazis. That relates to the second point. I am not aware of a West Med Sephardic adna sample. The closest is My Heritage with general Iberian and North African samples---the North African sample is identified as Sephardic North African for Jews but plain North African for everyone else. Most samples are from the East Med.
My Heritage has a North African Sephardic sample. I am not aware of a European West Med Sephardic adna sample. There is no sample currently from Iberia or Sicily. Such a sample would have to be composed of conversos. There is a Roman Jewish sample but they reject the possibility that they have Sephardic origins. A key problem for any sample, Jewish or converso, would be admixture from host countries. Behar used an Iberian converso sample for a Mtdna study.

Last edited by josh w.; 25th February 2018 at 07:38 AM.
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  #18  
Old 27th February 2018, 06:33 PM
Rakkaus Rakkaus is offline
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Originally Posted by josh w. View Post
Rakkaus, You have an excellent grasp of the history of the region. However, I would prefer history supported by dna results than either source alone. There was probably more than one admixture event where Levantine lines were admixed in Sicily. There is no easy way of determining which event had the greatest impact. There are at least two methodological problems with such an analysis. First of all, there is probably great overlap between Jewish and Phoenician-Lebanese lines . They both had Canaanite ancestors- was there much difference between Haifa and Phoenicia. Even today, after 2000 years of separation and varied histories, it is not easy to separate modern Lebanese from Ashkenazis. That relates to the second point. I am not aware of a West Med Sephardic adna sample. The closest is My Heritage with general Iberian and North African samples---the North African sample is identified as Sephardic North African for Jews but plain North African for everyone else. Most samples are from the East Med.
I'm skeptical of ancient Phoenician-Carthaginian line going back over 2,000 years to western Sicily before even the First Punic War.

While true ancient Phoenicians founded Ziz which later became Panormos, even at peak Carthage never had total dominance of the island of Sicily, only two major settlements on the western coast to serve trade routes. Much more of the island was settled by Greeks.

And were the 'native' prehistoric tribes of Sicily: the Siculi, the Sicani, the Elymi.

The Siculi were an Italic tribe.
The Sicani were believed to have migrated from Iberia.
The Elymi in Roman legend were descended from Trojans, like Romans themselves, and treated as such by Rome, though unclear how much truth there is to Trojan origins legend in either case.


Phoenicians founded the colony that became Carthage sometime in 8th or 7th century BC; Phoenicia was history by 6th century BC.

Historicity of Carthaginians' Phoenician origin may be exaggerated by mythology. In Virgil's Aeneid, Trojan Aeneas founds Rome; Phoenician Dido (from Tyre, present Lebanon) founds Carthage- vowing bitter enmity between Rome & Carthage until one destroys the other.


EVEN IF Carthaginians were pure Levantine Phoenicians not mixed with other tribes, they never had a total dominant presence in Sicily relative to Greeks, Romans, the native tribes, until Rome annexed all of Sicily in 3rd century BC.

Greek Syracusans destroyed Motya in 397 BC. Carthage founded Lilybaeum in its place, one of the last holdouts in Sicily surrendered by Carthage in the 241 BC peace treaty ending the First Punic War.




As for the DNA...

DNALand actually counts Mediterranean Islander under the broader category of "Ashkenazi/Levantine"...

And as my results posted just above show, DNA.Land estimated I have 0-1% based on 3 DNA samples.

Whatever genetic connections I have to the Levant I don't think are typical of Sicilians descended from ancient Phoenicians or other Canaanites. I'd think such descent would be identiied as "Sicilian" DNA by now, especially given the way "Mediterranean Islander" is classified under "Levantine".

NOT MINE, SAMPLE IMAGE I FOUND SHOWING DNA.LAND CLASSIFIES MEDITERRANEAN ISLANDER UNDER ASHKENAZI/LEVANTINE:






On the other hand, here is the map of my DNA.Land analysis of my FTDNA sample:




Pretty amazing I have two grandparents from the island of Sicily... yet Sicily- both west and east samples- along with Sardinia are the only places in Western Europe where I didn't match at all.

Kinda re-enforces my sense that "Sicilian" is not much more satisfactory or satisfying an answer as to my ethnic roots than "Italian"...


I match with Northern Italians in Tuscany & Bergamo.
I match with Greeks, Albanians, Bulgarians.
I match with French, Iberians, Basques in France & Spain.
I match with Brits including Scots & Orcadians.
I match with Icelanders, Norwegians, Finns.
I have small matches with Turks (but NOT Cypriots), Caucasians, Algerians, Tunisians, Egyptians...
I even have small matches with modern Levantine peoples including Syrians, Jordanians and the Druze in Israel.

But nothing at all to match either side of poor Sicily in the middle nor Sardinia nor Malta nor Cyprus.

4 of my (paternal) great-grandparents were from Sicily.

A 5th (maternal) great-grandparent born in São Paulo, Brazil but I believe traces ancestry back to Naples/Southern Italy.

But wouldn't think I was 5/8 Southern Italian/Sicilian origin looking at my DNA.

DNA isn't transmitted evenly, may have gotten more from one grandparent than another, why I have different results from sister...

...although would be odd to get only 0-1% Mediterranean Islander if my entire paternal side were of Mediterranean Islander genetic origin being from Sicily.


My maternal grandfather was from Finland & clearly Finnish genes were very strong, there's no uncertainty there, most tests show over 1/4 my DNA of Finnish origin or Fennoscandian (presumably Swedish mixed during 700 years or so Finland was part of Sweden.)

My phenotype reflects that somewhat.

Finnish blonde genes made me naturally towheaded platinum-blonde child, now gold-tinted 'dirty blonde', fair & straight-haired while my Sicilian father has dark curly hair (or had, hope inheriting hair from my Finnish grandfather means I'll keep my hair like he did).

My sister inherited looks from my father- though her hair is straight. She was NOT a fellow towhead as a child, always a shade of brown.

When I see my child pics, unless look close to see brown eyes (which I also got from maternal side) I look more like a Finn or Swede than a Sicilian.


On eye color, light eyes are rare in Sicily, but my Sicilian grandmother had icy blue eyes & pale skin.

My grandfather from same town in Sicily had brown eyes & tanned complexion... but his sister looks just like him except with blue eyes & pale skin (no sunbathing for old Sicilian women...but my grandfather was always out in the sun working his garden.)




Considering only ~10-25% of Sicilians have blue eyes, blue eyes running in both of my Sicilian grandparents' families stands out, adds more evidence suggesting relatively recent ancestors admixture from somewhere else, although neither Balkans nor Iberia seems a likely source of light eyes...

Normans perhaps?

Last edited by Rakkaus; 27th February 2018 at 06:43 PM.
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  #19  
Old 27th February 2018, 06:53 PM
josh w. josh w. is offline
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Originally Posted by Rakkaus View Post
I'm skeptical of ancient Phoenician-Carthaginian line going back over 2,000 years to western Sicily before even the First Punic War.

While true ancient Phoenicians founded Ziz which later became Panormos, even at peak Carthage never had total dominance of the island of Sicily, only two major settlements on the western coast to serve trade routes. Much more of the island was settled by Greeks.

And were the 'native' prehistoric tribes of Sicily: the Siculi, the Sicani, the Elymi.

The Siculi were an Italic tribe.
The Sicani were believed to have migrated from Iberia.
The Elymi in Roman legend were descended from Trojans, like Romans themselves, and treated as such by Rome, though unclear how much truth there is to Trojan origins legend in either case.


Phoenicians founded the colony that became Carthage sometime in 8th or 7th century BC; Phoenicia was history by 6th century BC.

Historicity of Carthaginians' Phoenician origin may be exaggerated by mythology. In Virgil's Aeneid, Trojan Aeneas founds Rome; Phoenician Dido (from Tyre, present Lebanon) founds Carthage- vowing bitter enmity between Rome & Carthage until one destroys the other.


EVEN IF Carthaginians were pure Levantine Phoenicians not mixed with other tribes, they never had a total dominant presence in Sicily relative to Greeks, Romans, the native tribes, until Rome annexed all of Sicily in 3rd century BC.

Greek Syracusans destroyed Motya in 397 BC. Carthage founded Lilybaeum in its place, one of the last holdouts in Sicily surrendered by Carthage in the 241 BC peace treaty ending the First Punic War.




As for the DNA...

DNALand actually counts Mediterranean Islander under the broader category of "Ashkenazi/Levantine"...

And as my results posted just above show, DNA.Land estimated I have 0-1% based on 3 DNA samples.

Whatever genetic connections I have to the Levant I don't think are typical of Sicilians descended from ancient Phoenicians or other Canaanites. I'd think such descent would be identiied as "Sicilian" DNA by now, especially given the way "Mediterranean Islander" is classified under "Levantine".

NOT MINE, SAMPLE IMAGE I FOUND SHOWING DNA.LAND CLASSIFIES MEDITERRANEAN ISLANDER UNDER ASHKENAZI/LEVANTINE:






On the other hand, here is the map of my DNA.Land analysis of my FTDNA sample:




Pretty amazing I have two grandparents from the island of Sicily... yet Sicily- both west and east samples- along with Sardinia are the only places in Western Europe where I didn't match at all.

Kinda re-enforces my sense that "Sicilian" is not much more satisfactory or satisfying an answer as to my ethnic roots than "Italian"...


I match with Northern Italians in Tuscany & Bergamo.
I match with Greeks, Albanians, Bulgarians.
I match with French, Iberians, Basques in France & Spain.
I match with Brits including Scots & Orcadians.
I match with Icelanders, Norwegians, Finns.
I have small matches with Turks (but NOT Cypriots), Caucasians, Algerians, Tunisians, Egyptians...
I even have small matches with modern Levantine peoples including Syrians, Jordanians and the Druze in Israel.

But nothing at all to match either side of poor Sicily in the middle nor Sardinia nor Malta nor Cyprus.

4 of my (paternal) great-grandparents were from Sicily.

A 5th (maternal) great-grandparent born in São Paulo, Brazil but I believe traces ancestry back to Naples/Southern Italy.

But wouldn't think I was 5/8 Southern Italian/Sicilian origin looking at my DNA.

DNA isn't transmitted evenly, may have gotten more from one grandparent than another, why I have different results from sister...

...although would be odd to get only 0-1% Mediterranean Islander if my entire paternal side were of Mediterranean Islander genetic origin being from Sicily.


My maternal grandfather was from Finland & clearly Finnish genes were very strong, there's no uncertainty there, most tests show over 1/4 my DNA of Finnish origin or Fennoscandian (presumably Swedish mixed during 700 years or so Finland was part of Sweden.)

My phenotype reflects that somewhat.

Finnish blonde genes made me naturally towheaded platinum-blonde child, now gold-tinted 'dirty blonde', fair & straight-haired while my Sicilian father has dark curly hair (or had, hope inheriting hair from my Finnish grandfather means I'll keep my hair like he did).

My sister inherited looks from my father- though her hair is straight. She was NOT a fellow towhead as a child, always a shade of brown.

When I see my child pics, unless look close to see brown eyes (which I also got from maternal side) I look more like a Finn or Swede than a Sicilian.


On eye color, light eyes are rare in Sicily, but my Sicilian grandmother had icy blue eyes & pale skin.

My grandfather from same town in Sicily had brown eyes & tanned complexion... but his sister looks just like him except with blue eyes & pale skin (no sunbathing for old Sicilian women...but my grandfather was always out in the sun working his garden.)




Considering only ~10-25% of Sicilians have blue eyes, blue eyes running in both of my Sicilian grandparents' families stands out, adds more evidence suggesting relatively recent ancestors admixture from somewhere else, although neither Balkans nor Iberia seems a likely source of light eyes...

Normans perhaps?

I never said that Phoenicians were dominant merely that they were present. Do you have phylogenetic dna evidence to support your conclusion. Have you read Zalloua's y dna research on the 'Phoenician Signature' in Europe and North Africa.
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  #20  
Old 27th February 2018, 08:06 PM
Rakkaus Rakkaus is offline
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My Heritage has a North African Sephardic sample. I am not aware of a European West Med Sephardic adna sample. There is no sample currently from Iberia or Sicily. Such a sample would have to be composed of conversos. There is a Roman Jewish sample but they reject the possibility that they have Sephardic origins. A key problem for any sample, Jewish or converso, would be admixture from host countries. Behar used an Iberian converso sample for a Mtdna study.
MyHeritage I have not taken a direct sample test with, but I submitted the raw data from FTDNA, 23andMe, AncestryDNA.

With slight variances, all of them paint a quite different picture of me than what the original sources like myOrigins said.

MyHeritage I find dubious to trust because apparently all of France, Italy (incl. Sicily), Spain, North Africa are considered "Iberian", of which I have only 1-2% or so.

Or 0% Italian, I mean "Iberian", in MyHeritage's analysis of my FTDNA sample.


Meanwhile it says I'm 40-48% Greek, a small range on the map which covers the modern nation of Greece expanding slightly north of Peloponnese into Balkans and wrapping out into the Aegean Sea to cover Greek isles Crete and east to Cyprus.

I expect to have some Greek, but I don't expect virtually all of presumably "Sicilian" DNA from Magna Græcia to be grouped into such a tiny "Greek" range that just happens to coincide with where modern Orthodox Greek nation got its 19th/20th century independence from the Muslim Ottomans, whereas the Ancient Hellenic world extended from Egypt, the Levant, Asia Minor (Trojan War!) to Peloponnese to Sicily & Italy to Iberia.

How could all of Italy, France, Spain, Tunis, Algeria, Morocco, be grouped together as "Iberian", but "Greek" covers such a narrow range?

MyHeritage says 16.5% English from the same FTDNA sample raw data the myOrigins gives 0% British.


~1-2% Middle Eastern okay.

Balkans 11-20% or so which seems to cover all of Southeast Europe north of Greece from Croatia to Romania to Bulgaria.

And why not, MyHeritage says I have ~2% Somali from East Africa, I'm black per the one drop rule.



I would not expect there to be many- or any- "pure" Sephardic Jews from Sicily/Southern Italy, rather estimates are that about 1/4 of the population has some Sephardic Jewish ancestry.

The Spanish Inquisition expelled the Jews from Sicily 1493, from Naples 1541, and from Milan in the North in 1597 (although situation was different in Northern Italy).

Wealthier Jews could afford to leave seeking refuge in the Ottoman Empire.

Poorer- and likely less educated- Jews had to convert to Catholicism, at least publicly & officially, although many continued some habits & traditions of crypto-Judaism in secret.

In Italy/Sicily, the conversos were called neofiti (neophytes). Over time they were mixed in with the general population in Italy/Sicily. New generations were not necessarily interested in living full crypto-Jewish lives like their ancestors but passed along some Sephardic Jewish origin customs & practices, traditions & superstitions, whose Judaic origins were forgotten over time & instead believed to just be family customs, Catholic customs, Sicilian/Italian customs, local customs.


Perhaps worth noting that 1492 Spanish King Ferdinand issues the Alhambra Decree expelling the Jews & establishing Spanish Inquisition at the same time Columbus discovers the New World...

This would begin several centuries of severe decline for Sicily/Naples under Spanish rule.

Sicily had been a coveted prize in the middle of the ancient and medieval worlds with an advanced & learned population going back at least to Archimedes in 3rd century BC Sicily. Religious tolerance had also been a hallmark of Sicilian society allowing it to progress in learning whether under Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Saracen, Norman rule.

Sicily had been not only the breadbasket that fed Ancient Rome but a commercial mecca for Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Saracens, Normans, Aragonese, Spanish merchant trading & commerce in the centre of the Old World, with Jews making up a significant portion of the merchant class to enrich Sicily.

The discovery of the New World rendered Sicily a forgotten backwater as far as its Spanish masters were concerned, with many more lucrative trade routes & opportunity to plunder resources in the New World; combined with the Spanish forcing expulsions of Jews & letting Inquisition run wild, Spain allowed Two Sicilies to regress to a largely illiterate agrarian peasant society by the 19th century, corruption & neglect giving rise to the infamous mafias of Naples and Sicily.

By 1860 Italian unification with Garibaldi's conquest of Spanish Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, it's estimated that literacy in the kingdom had dropped as low as 10%.

It would have been impossible for descendants of forced convert crypto-Jews to maintain traditional Jewish learning & scholarship through the generations when nearly everyone in Two Sicilies was totally illiterate peasantry under the tyrannical Spanish Bourbon kings.

That provides a perfect opportunity for descendants of the Sephardic Jewish neofiti to end up largely integrating & intermingling with their fellow Sicilian peasantry & lose touch with any sort of Jewish intellectual roots but continue Jewish customs, beliefs, superstitions out of habit while potentially forgetting their Jewish origins.

Especially as Sicilians did not share the extreme anti-Semitism of the Spanish Monarchy which forced the anti-Jewish and anti-intellectual Spanish Inquisition upon Two Sicilies against the will of the local populations- and neofiti knew all the forced conversions/expulsions were Spain's idea/policy, there was a greater solidarity among Sicilians regardless of ethnoreligious ancestral background, all reduced to agrarian impoverishes peasants, and more of a willingness to mix compared to other places in Europe where Jews were either kept strictly kept away in ghettos or expelled without even the option to convert religions.


While it may hard to genetically isolate a Sicilian/Italian Sephardic Jew, nearly all would be expected to have host country admixture, nevertheless these neofiti did exist in not insignificant numbers in Southern Italy & Sicily since 1500s, their descendants of varying degrees of Sephardic ancestry must exist among Italians/Sicilians in Italy or amid the Italian immigrant diaspora.
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