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need help interpreting test results - Eastern Europe?

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  • need help interpreting test results - Eastern Europe?

    I recently got back my YDNA 37-marker test results and am trying to figure out what it means. I'm sure this must be a frequently-asked question. If so, please point me in the right direction.

    -- FTDNA says my haplogroup is E3 (England), with 1-step mutations including France, Hungary, Poland, and the comments include "Askenazi"

    -- The Recent Ancestral Origins page has the following matches, and similar but more results for 12-markers with 1 or 2 step mutations:

    25-marker YDNA
    Exact matches - England (8896)
    1 step mutations - Belarus (128), France (638), Hungary (138), Lithuania (182), Poland (448), Prussia (91), Russia (297)

    37-marker YDNA
    3 Step Mutations - England (6012), Lithuania (133)
    4 Step Mutations - Belarus (101)-Ashkenazi, Hungary (97)

    -- On YSearch with 37 markers compared and 3-4-5 genetic distances, I get matches with origins in Hungary and Poland.

    Now when I look at my actual male line and what I know or speculate, the GURGANUS family goes back to England in the early 1600's and late 1500's and in the form GURGANEY. Before this, there is absolutely no evidence to point anywhere. I'm guessing they weren't originally English as there are very few there at the time, and none found there before the early 1500's.

    So they must have migrated there from somewhere else? This is where the above results get interesting. Does this mean that this line came from Eastern Europe and were Ashkenazi Jews? Perhaps escaping persecution? Then converted to Christianity by the mid-1500's when they show up in parish registries and christenings? Or were from Eastern Europe but not necessarily Ashkenazi?

    I have heard family legends suggesting Hungary, Lithuania, and Germany as where the family came from, but no evidence or details to support these. So I tend to ignore the legends until evidence is found.

    So my question is, what do the test results tell me? Are there additional tests that would shed more light on this?

    Ray Gurganus
    [email protected]

  • #2
    I presume your line is E3b. Your line appears to have migrated from eastern Europe but whether it is of Jewish origin is an open question. It could be Jewish and E3b is one of the most common haplogroups in that population. However E3b is also somewhat common in southern Europe among some non-Jewish groups. I won't go into the history of this situation but FTDNA has both non-Jewish and Jewish E3b projects. It would be worth comparing your STR pattern with members of both projects.


    • #3
      Ray and Josh,

      E3 is a valid haplogroup on its own -- those who are SNP-confirmed to be E3 are negative for the SNPs that define E3a and E3b.

      I see Ray in Ysearch and based on his marker values, he's definitely not an E3b. In fact, he's not an E3 either -- he's an E.

      I do know that there's a cluster of Jewish people in E (my uncle is in it), but there are also several seemingly non-Jewish people who match this cluster very closely (at 37 markers). How is this cluster so mixed between Jewish and non-Jewish? I'm not sure there's enough data to answer this yet.

      Unfortunately, I don't know of any group that's doing an in-depth study of E or E3. The E3b project does have some E and E3 members, but the project's focus is really on E3b and its subclades.

      Regarding the E3b projects, allow me to clarify some things that Josh said...

      First, the E3b project is most definitely not a "non-Jewish" project -- it is all-inclusive. Second, the Jewish E3b project was set up to provide a focused study of those in E3b with known Jewish ancestry. Many members of the Jewish E3b project also participate in the regular E3b project, so there's no conflict between them.

      I recently took over administration of the Jewish E3b project from the original administrator -- he asked me to do so last week, due to time constraints. I have also been working very closely with the administrators of the regular E3b project since early this year. So there will be plenty of collaboration between the two projects.

      For those interested, all are welcome to view the results of the Jewish E3b project at our public website,



      • #4

        ExE3 would be indeed quite rare. These haplogroups are found only in certain parts of Africa (eg Ethiopia and Sahel) and even there they are rare. So these European E would be quite something. Have they been SNP tested? It seems to me they are ideal candidates for an SNP test such as EA's haploview, which tests also E1 and E2.



        • #5

          I only know that they're classified as E by FTDNA. I have not been in contact with any of these people to know if they've been tested for E1 or E2 outside of FTDNA (I know my uncle has not). Would certainly be interesting to find out, though!


          PS. I forgot to post the link to the regular E3b project yesterday -
          Last edited by efgen; 11 October 2007, 07:41 AM.


          • #6
            Sorry, I thought I saw posts from a non-Jewish E3b project.