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  • #31
    I understand that religion should be kept out of this, but for Judaism it is a bit different. Jewishness can also be looked at as an ethnicity as when a person specifies if he is a Levite or Benjamite etc.

    It is very confusing for me as an Arab to find close matches from Europe, yet not knowing if the person who tested is an Ashkenazi or not. Having such information is valuable in this case in trying to make out if indeed there is a connection in relatively more recent times than say 10,000 years!!

    Another case is Kurds who do not have a homeland of their own. So if they specify country of origin to be Turkey, Iran, Iraq or Syria it is useless information for other Kurds who are searching the database.

    In yhrd for example country and ethnicity are combined (e.g Russia/Ingushian or Tunisia/Andalusian Arabs) and this gives a more helpful information to researchers.

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    • #32
      Efgen, appreciate your information on how comments become comments. If possible I think it would be helpful to list both surname and ethnicity. For example in searching for Jewish genetic connections which might be related to my family, I have trouble identifying "Jewish" surnames. Whether in German or Slavic most surnames are shared by non-Jews and Jews.(Unless there is a Hebrew connection).
      Last edited by josh w.; 2 August 2006, 12:51 PM.

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      • #33
        Kaiser, I stongly agree with your position. However sometimes surnames are not very helpful in establishing connections. For example it appears that my family did not have a surname until around 1800. Since the family moved from town to town and country to country (My mother had a Polish surname but the family lived in Russia and Lithuania) the value of geographical information is limited. Under these conditions, ethnicity is about all that I have to go on.
        Last edited by josh w.; 2 August 2006, 01:14 PM.

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        • #34
          Josh,

          I agree that names aren't always easily-identifiable as Jewish names, so it would be nice if there was room to specify it in those cases, as a matter of information. However, if you have a high-resolution genetic match, then the families must share an MRCA, regardless of ethnicity. The question then becomes: How many generations ago was that MRCA? And having a genetic match between Jewish and non-Jewish families actually makes things much more interesting from a historical perspective.

          In my family's own group of close and exact 37-marker matches, most are Ashkenazi, I believe one has known Sephardic ancestry and one is Puerto Rican with no knowledge or documented evidence of any type of Jewish ancestry:

          Ashkenazi or Sephardi? DNA unites Jewish families, but raises questions
          http://www.jta.org/page_print_story....ntcategoryid=5

          The families discussed in this article (my family is one of them) are also geographically dispersed throughout Eastern Europe, at least as far back as our own genealogies have been able to take us so far.

          So although both geographic origins and ethnic origins are useful information, they are two different things and should be supplied separately. And, they should be supplied to the best of our knowledge from documentation or strong family traditions, but not assumed based on matches with other people.

          Elise
          Last edited by efgen; 2 August 2006, 01:33 PM.

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          • #35
            I think it's important to have a section in the FtDNA setup page, near the pulldown menu for Country of Origin, what ethnicity your line originates. This portion should be listed under "comments" in the matches/countries of origins page that other people see. In my case (Volga German), the Germans in the Volga, Russia region were only there for just under 180 years before immigrating out of Russia or being forcibly moved to Siberia during the early communist years. Prior to that, they were from the former German States, spoke german, had german religion and german culture, which they carried over to Russia, then to the United States (in my great grandmother's case). If I put Russia, it would give the impression to my matches that my ethnicity is also russian, which it's not. Many groups of people moved out of their homeland and into other countries, but didn't completely assimilate into those countries. I also have Sephardic Jewish ancestry via Spain and Portugal. If I had a haplogroup from that family line (which I am working on....trying to convince family members to take a Y-DNA test), I would want to list "Sephardic" under the comments section, likewise I would want to know if my Spanish or Portuguese matches were also from a Sephardic background.
            Last edited by breakwater70; 2 August 2006, 02:25 PM.

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            • #36
              Efgen, I agree on the importance of an inclusive historical perspective. On other threads I have indicated my concerns about exclusive Ftdna projects. The article you mentioned should have followed your advice: it concluded that a family was converso without evidence.
              Last edited by josh w.; 2 August 2006, 09:40 PM.

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