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R1b oral history of Cohanim (Cohane) with DYS393=12?

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  • R1b oral history of Cohanim (Cohane) with DYS393=12?

    All that I've read about the Cohanim (orally-described descents of Aaron) DNA findings have come up with an almost insignificant trace of the R1b haplogroup, which to my surprise I was defined as despite having a strong oral history of being Cohane. Though my family descends from Russia (at least before we immigrated to the US), roughly only 7% of Ashkenazi are R1b. Furthermore, a result of DYS393=12 has shown to only be 2-4% of the R1b haplogroup, adjusted by other findings to still be a minute amount.

    This DYS393 value might be a recent genetic mutation, yet from all I've read this marker is slow to mutate. Furthermore, those whom I have found genetic matches with (a genetic distance of 3 at Y37, an exact match at Y25 and a genetic distance of 1 at Y25) also are from the same region and have a strong rabbinic/Kohanim history. Since we have yet to find common ancestors, this at least seems to show that such a mutation at DYS393 would not have been recent.

    Though a portion of genetic evidence also shows that the British Celtic population might carry a DYS393=12, all of those specified have rabbinic heritage and are from Eastern Europe/Western Asia, varying from Russia, the Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania. I have read some studies that stated R1b with a DYS393=12 indicates a sub-haplogroup of ht35, though I haven't been tested for this since FTDNA doesn't have R1b deep clade tests as of yet. ht35 is theorized as originating from the Astonia/Iran region. The theory of the Khazar might play into this, as uncertain as it may be, but that does draw the oral Kohane history into question as well.

    In all, I'm posing this as genetic intrigue, since its certain piqued my interest. It is possible that we have goyim (non-Jewish) ancestors on my paternal side, but the Jewish population has long been isolated from their host neighbors and there truly was little intermarriage, especially compared to today's norms. A non-Jewish convert would also have a hard time convincing a population they were Kohanim, since this priestly grouping is said to be passed from father to son descending back to the people of Aaron, whose direct offspring the Cohanim are said to be.

    Any thoughts you could provide would be appreciated. Also, if you also find yourself to fit this grouping, please do let me know! FTDNA's CEO Bennett Greenspan, as an enthusiast of Jewish genetic heritage, expressed interest in this finding, especially considering that I've found others with similar markings. He thought that my family might be Sephardic, which given their diaspora from Spain it might be possible, but that's yet unproven.

  • #2
    Me too

    Hi Sean,
    I fit what you have described i.e., R1b and DYS393=12

    My tradition is Jewish Cohanim, with my earliest known ancestor living in the city of Posen in 1832.

    Not much practical help. I have just applied to join the R1b Cohane group.

    Regards,
    John Shrimski

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    • #3
      Originally posted by jshrimski View Post
      Hi Sean,
      I fit what you have described i.e., R1b and DYS393=12

      My tradition is Jewish Cohanim, with my earliest known ancestor living in the city of Posen in 1832.

      Not much practical help. I have just applied to join the R1b Cohane group.

      Regards,
      John Shrimski
      The post you're responding to is from 11 years ago. There's been much knowledge gained about yDNA since that time.

      The most important knowledge about yDNA has been in the field of SNPs, which relate to deep ancestry. What the OP is referring to with DYS393=12 is a strong indicator in R1b of a branch that's different from most of the R1b found in men with European ancestry.

      DYS393=12 is found in branches of R1b that are much more common in Italy, the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the Middle East than in Western and Central Europe. So, this branch of R1b fits well for someone with Jewish ancestry.

      My suggestion is that you join the haplogroup project for this eastern branch of R1b. You'll probably find many others in the project with Jewish ancestry, like you. The project website is at https://www.familytreedna.com/groups...ubclades/about.

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