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  • Who was my mitomom's husband?

    Question:

    Does anyone have any ideas for Y chromosome haplotypes that might tend to be associated with Jewish mtDNA types that come from India or other South Asian countries?

    In other words, which Jewish guys were the guys who brought brides over from India?

    Background:

    I'm descended from Ashkenazic Jewish women who lived in southeastern Belarus from, probably, at least the mid-1700s to the early 1900s.

    I have an M* mtDNA haplotype, with HVR1 SNPs at 16111, 16223, 16235, 16362, 16519. All people with this HVR1 motif who have published HVR2 results have the same HVR2 motif, too, and I think they're all of Ashkenazic Jewish descent.

    The conventional wisdom is that an M* type is probably a type that comes from India, or possibly from Central Asia.

    The frequency of my motif seems to be 4% for people with Belarusian ancestry in the FTDNA database, and 1% for all customers with Eastern European ancestry. I don't know of anyone who has a type that is really like mine in both the HVR1 and HVR2 regions that comes from any ancestry other than Ashkenazic Jewish ancestry.

    I've had a full-genome test done, and I have all the usual M* coding region SNPs, along 1 or possibly 2 SNPs that are present among some people in India who live "primitive" lives in the jungles of India. I think their line split off from mine about 45,000 to 50,000 years ago, so I don't think that I have to assume that my original Indian-Jewish mitomom necessarily grew up gathering nuts and berries in the jungles of India. It seems logical that my Indian mitomom (or mitomom from Central Asia, or wherever) would have lived a fairly urban kind of life along a Silk Road trade route.

    Maybe it's possible that my mitomom was the only representative from her people to become Jewish, but maybe it's possible that some guys from her people also became Jewish and brought some Indian Y chromosome DNA to the Jewish people.

    So, anyhow, does anyone out there in DNA land know of a Y chromosome type that fits this description:

    A. Found in, say, 1% to 10% of FTDNA customers with Eastern European Jewish ancestry.

    B. Found at a higher rate among FTDNA customers with Belarusian Jewish ancestry than among other Eastern European Jews?

  • #2
    Allbell:

    very fascinating. Have you looked at some papers on Indian M, such as for instance Philogeny and antiquity of M macrohaplogroup inferred from complete mtDNA sequence of Indian specific lineages ? Where do you fit into those trees? Has your subhaplogroup been named?

    Given the interest in the results, I would attempt to send an email to the authors of those papers asking them if they have suggestions on the origin of your group. Sometimes, those people do answer.

    As for the Indian Y connection, I can't think of anything - I am not aware of any H, Indian-C, L and R2 among Jewish people (although propbably there is some L and R2, who knows). R1a and J2 there's plenty, but it is usually assumed that those migrated to, rather than from, India. Of course, the haplogroup may have come in other ways. Gypsies did bring some M mtdna to Europe, though I believe it's one particular type of M. And your M may be as well something present in Eastern Asia rather than India.

    cacio

    Comment


    • #3
      I share your guess that it was probably trade via the Silk or Spice Roads that brought M* from India to southeastern Europe. As Cacio notes, Gypsies are another possibilty since there was significant Jewish-Gypsie contact.
      It should be noted that not all Jews in southeastern Europe came from western Europe. A significant number came from the Black Sea area. (The term "Ashkenazi" originally referred not to German Jews but to peoples near Crimea on the Black Sea.) Many groups passed near this area heading westward from central Asia, including but not limited to the Khazars. As a result many Y dna haplogroups found in Asia (not just the Middle East) are also in the Jewish population, J2, R1a, Q and G.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have actually thought about this myself for my own mtDNA haplogroup U5a. We will probably never know but it may be a Y-DNA haplogroup that no longer exists since U5 is so old in Europe and seems to pre-date other groups considerably both Y-DNA haplogroups and mtDNA haplogroups.

        Comment


        • #5
          It might be Alzheimers, gypsie is spelled gypsy.

          Comment


          • #6
            Clarification-- While the eastern end of the Silk Road began in China, the Spice Road began further south in India (or the East Indies). The two Roads joined north of India. There were also maritime Indian Ocean routes for spices and other goods which ended in Persian Gulf and Red Sea ports.
            Jewish involvement in this trade may be as old as the Bible. During Solomon's time there was trade with the land of Ophir. Some scholars place Ophir in Africa. However based on comments by Josephus and Philo, other scholars place Ophir in India or the East Indies. In more recent times, also in connection with trade, there have been Jewish colonies in Mumbai and Kolkata.

            Of course none of this explains why M* was only present in Belarus. I wonder if there is a related line in the Ukraine.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by cacio
              Allbell:

              very fascinating. Have you looked at some papers on Indian M, such as for instance Philogeny and antiquity of M macrohaplogroup inferred from complete mtDNA sequence of Indian specific lineages ?...Has your subhaplogroup been named?
              M33, but only because of 1 SNP, and I have a lot of coding region SNPs. As far as I can tell, there are only a few other published examples of anyone else having any of my other coding region SNPs. So, it's not clear whether I'm really an M33 (e.g., descended from people who are to India what pygmies are to Africa).

              There are some other Ashkenazic Jewish people with a Gypsy M* type, but it's clearly totally different from the M33 type, and no Gypsy sequences that I've found online resemble mine.

              At first, I thought I must have a Khazar type, but, apparently, the Chuvash are the modern-day descendants of the Khazars, and I can't find any evidence of Chuvash people with mtDNA haplotypes like mine.

              Of course, it's possible that someone people with radically different HVR1 motifs actually do have coding region SNPs similar to mine and just haven't had the coding region test done, or haven't posted the SNPs on the Web.

              Given the interest in the results, I would attempt to send an email to the authors of those papers asking them if they have suggestions on the origin of your group.
              I tried. To me, it seems as if my mitogroup would make an obvious honors thesis topic for someone into this stuff, but the researchers I tried e-mailing, including the people at Family Tree DNA, just weren't interested.

              R1a and J2 there's plenty, but it is usually assumed that those migrated to, rather than from, India.
              Of course, some of those people could be descended from my mitomom's husband, but it seems to me that the best category for a male sequence found in India would be one that's common in Belarus and rare but present in India.

              And your M may be as well something present in Eastern Asia rather than India.
              So far, I haven't found East Asian people with many of my coding region SNPs, but maybe there are people like that in some database that I need a subscription to access.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by josh w.
                Of course none of this explains why M* was only present in Belarus. I wonder if there is a related line in the Ukraine.
                It is present in people descended from Jews from Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland and Russia, but it appears only about one-fourth as often there as in people descended from Jews from Belarus.

                One issue is that a lot of Jewish people in the United States whose relatives came from "Eastern Europe" may believe their ancestors came from Russia or Poland even if the ancestors came from town in what are now in Belarus, Lithuania or Ukraine, so, it could be that some of the people who match me who had ancestors in "Russia" or "Poland" really had 19th century ancestors who were living near mine on land that is now in Belarus.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Allbell:

                  it's true that usually scientists don't answer. In this case, though, it would be of interest, because M lineages are usually not found west of India, so that would make a good study.

                  As far as I know, M33 is found in the Sun paper cited above. Did you contact some of the authors of that? Did you try contacting Tomas Kiivisild, who authored papers on India in the past (though not that specific one). Being from Estonia (I believe) he may have some extra interest.

                  cacio

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Allbell, Just a few random thoughts:
                    Do the haplogroup percentages for M* among non-Jewish Eastern Europeans match the Jewish percentages. If so, that would suggest a non-Jewish Belarus origin for the M*. If not, the M* entered the Jewish population probably further east or south . A word of caution about low frequency haplogroup percentages. They are subject to sampling biases especially with small samples and are therefore open to change with independent samples.
                    If the M* came directly from the east it might be of value to see if there is research on Mizrachi mtdna patterns. There were significant Jewish colonies in Iraq and Iran and there may be some survivors available for testing in Israel. Iraq would be interesting since there was a Bagdadi Jewish colony in India. A main reason why Jews were involved in international trade was the existence of far flung Jewish colonies that were in contact with one another.
                    Last edited by josh w.; 15 June 2007, 12:21 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      According to this paper, 8 out of 436 modern-day Poles (i.e., almost 100% Gentile) are in mtDNA haplogroup M.

                      http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi...9.2002.00116.x

                      Also note that Ashkenazi Jewish yDNA includes noticeable percentages of K2, Q, and R2.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        lgmayka:

                        nice paper. It shows a small (2%) but nevertheless present East-Asian mtdna presence. However, most of these 8 seem to belong to more east-asian subgroups of M (4 C, 1 each of D,G,E). Only one is classified as M*, and it doesn't match allbell.

                        cacio

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I am still concerned about drawing inferences considering the small N involved. Since the Belarus sample is only 118, 4% amounts to 5 people. Other eastern European samples are much larger and even 1% would be greater than 5. I am also not sure for example, that 4% in Belarus is significantly different from 1% in Russia given the probable margins of error (confidence intervals) for the respective percentages.
                          The question then remains as to whether the M* pattern reflects a unique migration of a small number of families or whether it is the tip of the iceberg of a larger pattern not well fleshed out by current research. I think that the researchers who showed little interest in the problem were betting on the former possibility.That is, in the absence of direct historical information a likely explanation is unlikely.
                          Last edited by josh w.; 17 June 2007, 03:14 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            On Dienekes's blog, I saw a reference to a new paper on Czech mtdna. The following quote from the abstract seems relevant for the discussion of Asian mtdna in Eastern Europe:

                            "We suggest that the presence of East Eurasian mtDNA haplotypes is not an original feature of the gene pool of the proto-Slavs but rather may be mostly a consequence of admixture with Central Asian nomadic tribes, who migrated into Central and Eastern Europe in the early Middle Ages."

                            Unfortunately, I don't have the paper, so I don't know what is involved. The abstract mentions A, N9a, D4, M* as the Asian haplogroups, but it doesn't specify what the M* is.

                            cacio

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by cacio
                              Allbell:

                              As far as I know, M33 is found in the Sun paper cited above. Did you contact some of the authors of that? Did you try contacting Tomas Kiivisild,
                              cacio
                              M33/M*'s: I did try to contact those folks without any luck.

                              Kiivisild: I hadn't tried contacting him, partly because, till Hammer et al. brushed me off, I figured they would be interested. I get the feeling (from the wording of an e-mail I got from someone at one research group) that scientists not affiliated with Family Tree DNA may feel a little weird about using FTDNA results.

                              Comment

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