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Suspect Sephardic Jewish relative

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  • Suspect Sephardic Jewish relative

    Hi Guys.

    I really need your help please.
    I know some of you are really knowledgeable, especially users on here like Khazaria, etc.

    Hopefully this shouldn’t take too long.
    I have done most of the DNA work for you so far.

    My uncles girlfriend needs to find out more about a suspected Jewish great, great grandmother of hers from Russia. I am keeping names out of this (hers and mine) because she has asked me to find answers as anonymously as possible up till now, although that may change over time.

    At first I assumed the branch of her family must have been Ashkenazi Jewish since she was from Russia (the ancestor), but other info I found is now leading to a more likely Sephardic Jewish origin, although I am not even close to 100% convinced yet. This branch of the family have a name that is common among Christians and Jews, but the Christian version seems more common in Hispanic countries than other Christian countries of Europe and is apparently also a Sephardic name, although not strictly only Sephardic. I might be slightly wrong on this assumption, but that is where I am at the moment and from what I have read online.

    She has done a DNA test with Family Tree DNA and the MyOrigins admixture ethnicity results show 100% European, broken down into 48% Western and Central Europe, 35 percent British Isles, 12% Scandinavia and 5 percent Southern Europe.

    There is no Jewish Diaspora, or Ashkenazi, or Sephardic showing. There is also no Middle East showing, or Sub-Saharan African, or Asian, although the last two of these show up in very, very small amounts below 0.5% probably indicating just genetic noise. (via Gedmatch). There is nothing else showing, no Turkey, or Asia Minor/Anatolia and no North African.

    All of this leads me into believing there is no Sephardic link because these last few usually show up for Sephardic Jews from what I have read. (there is currently no Sephardic category at all on Family Tree DNA results and so you have to figure that out for yourself as I understand it).

    To explain the Jewish suspected connection she talks about, I am looking at Sephardic, since no Ashkenazi Jewish has shown up on the test (no Jewish at all).

    As mentioned above there is no Turkish, Subaharan African, or North African together with the Southern European in the test result to confirm Sephardic origin. The Southern European in the result is interesting though because of the percentage shown (5 percent) matches very closely with the suspected Jewish percentage which I calculated she should have from her Jewish (?) Great Great Grandmother (around 6%).

    This is another reason, besides the surname that I am suspecting Sephardic Jewish descent which is not impossible for Jews in Russia although a little unlikely as most Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain went to Turkey and North Africa, not as many to Russia, or Eastern Europe although that is where most of the world’s Jews come from in semi-recent history.

    I just read an article on Sephardic Jews confirming the surname of this relative definitely can be Sephardic. This just seems to confirm my suspicion even more.

    I have uploaded the info to Gedmatch and so far have only used the “MDLP K13 Ultimate Admixture” calculator on there. I will not now go into too much more detail, but it pretty much confirms the Family Tree Test results and elaborates a little on the different possible ethnicities from these regions. Proportions are about 10% different in some ethnicities though. Caucas Gedrosia (8.89 percent) seems to be a match the Southern European component (5 percent). Not sure if these are the same, but they are both the smallest percentages, so I have assumed that to be the case (except for the trace amounts considered genetic noise).

    Update: I have also used Eurogenes J-test now on Gedmatch which gives 2.16% Ashkenazi which the test creator says is very low and most likely NOT Jewish according to how his calculator was designed. On the same calculator we also get East Med 4.15%, West Asian 1.89%, Middle Eastern 0.09%, South Baltic 10.57%, East Euro 13.31, West Med 16.64%, and a few much bigger central and North Euro ones.

    The Ashkenazi is apparently too small to be certain of anything in that regard, but what do these other ones suggest to you? Would you say there is enough genetic and family surname evidence to be reasonably sure that there is a small Sephardic component (around 5, or 6 percent)? If yes, what chance would you guess this is likely to be the case (eg. Are you 70 percent sure, 90 percent sure, etc)?? Even if the relative was Sephardic, the African and/or Middle Eastern can be diluted a huge amount over 4 generations. Is the time frame just to long to be even close to certain on this?

    I realise there is still more work to be done, but at this point what would you say so far? I am prepared to do more research on the genetic and family history side, although there is not much more on the family history side. But please let me know what you think so far in as much detail as possible. Are there people you know who ARE Sephardic Jews and who can show you and me their test results, or even if they are half, or quarter Sephardic.

    What do you think based on my info above so far?
    Any info you can provide whatsoever might be a great help in this regard, no matter how small.

    Regards,

    John.
    (PS. I have not checked for cousin matches with family finder yet. Partially because the Jewish heritage, if it even exists is 4 generations back and so recent Jewish cousins, or second cousins may just be by chance/intermarriage).
    Last edited by JohnDoe; 31 May 2016, 07:44 AM.

  • #2
    UPDATE

    The South Baltic and East Med are very interesting and seem to confirm Sephardic via J-test. But are these percentages high enough to confirm anything, or even suspect in these categories according to how J-test is designed?

    Comment


    • #3
      UPDATE 2

      Just ran Eurogenes K13 on Gedmatch:

      The East Med, West Asian and Baltic comes up again - above 2%
      See the ones I put dashes next to, below:

      Population
      North_Atlantic 46.91
      --Baltic 23.40
      West_Med 17.21
      --West_Asian 4.30
      --East_Med 3.69
      Red_Sea 1.15
      South_Asian 1.47
      East_Asian 0.09
      Siberian -
      Amerindian 0.52
      Oceanian 1.04
      Northeast_African -
      Sub-Saharan 0.23
      Last edited by JohnDoe; 31 May 2016, 09:26 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by JohnDoe View Post
        Just ran Eurogenes K13 on Gedmatch:

        The East Med, West Asian and Baltic comes up again - above 2%
        See the ones I put dashes next to, below:

        Population
        North_Atlantic 46.91
        --Baltic 23.40
        West_Med 17.21
        --West_Asian 4.30
        --East_Med 3.69
        Red_Sea 1.15
        South_Asian 1.47
        East_Asian 0.09
        Siberian -
        Amerindian 0.52
        Oceanian 1.04
        Northeast_African -
        Sub-Saharan 0.23
        Are there any Jewish FF matches. The Baltic component is consistent with Russian ancestry. The East Med is kinda low for Jewish ancestry.

        Comment


        • #5
          I will see if I can do family finder today.
          I confused Baltic with Balkans, the result is Baltic, so I was wrong, there is no connection with Baltic and Sephardic, only if it said Balkans would there have been a much stronger link.

          The Baltic is probably her Scandinavian component which is the 3rd highest in her results at My Origins (Scandinavian being the same as Russian I believe, or at least West Russian). So it could be Scandinavian, or Russian - since genetically they are almost identical. (I think it's the same with some Germans and Scandinavia too).

          I realize the East Med component in kinda small, but the suspected Jewish relative is a great great grandmother who already would have only had a portion of her DNA as East Med (the average modern Middle Easterner is 30-40 percent East Med with Lebanon and Saudi being the highest.)

          Thanks and Please guys keep contributing, any others here that also have an opinion to add??
          Last edited by JohnDoe; 1 June 2016, 06:35 AM.

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