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Y-DNA J1 with DYS388=13

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  • Y-DNA J1 with DYS388=13

    Since knowledgeable researchers working with actual data ( ) have demonstrated that J1 with the distinctive value of 13 at DYS388 is a valid branch after all, I'd better restart my own amateur research.


    Y-DNA J1 with DYS388=13 is a branch of J1 which is thought to be the result of a single mutation in a man who lived somewhere in the Taurus or Zagros mountains of western Asia about 11,000 years ago.

    About 9,000 years ago, men with J1 DYS388=13 began to migrate and resettle, mostly to the north. A few also moved south among people now known as Bedouins.

    Today the type is found mainly among Assyrians of Syria, Iraq, and Iran; Iraqi Kurds; and Armenians. There is also a heavy concentration of cases, but not much variety, among various peoples of the Caucasus, suggesting that those cases are the numerous descendants of a small number of men.

    I'm aware of about 250 cases of J1 with DYS388=13. You can see the cases with known locations on a Google map at

    Only 4 or so cases of J1 with DYS388=13 have been found among Arabs. No cases have been found among ethnic Turks of Turkey, or among Iranians other than ethnic Assyrians. Thus, the homeland of J1 with DYS388=13 is now pretty clear: northern Iraq and Iran, eastern Anatolia, and Armenia.

    DNA testing companies all seem to highlight the frequency of J1 among Jews. However, J1 with DYS388=13 is rare among Jews. Of the 250 or so cases of J1 with DYS388=13, there are at least 3 Sephardic Jewish cases, all connected with the Istanbul area, and in turn, J1 with DYS388=13 is not typical of Sephardim. There are no known cases among Ashkenazi Jews.

    The spread of J1 DYS388=13 at very low frequency in Europe is becoming somewhat clearer:

    --- All of the cases of J1 DYS388=13 in Eastern Europe can potentially be explained by the settling of Armenians there, especially in the 13th and 14th centuries: http://en.wikipedia....spora_in_Europe None of the Eastern European cases actually has a perfect match to an Armenian, except for short 6-marker haplotypes. But the population of Armenia has experienced a lot of disruption since the 13th century, to put it mildly, and many lines may have been extinguished there.

    --- All of the Greek cases have exact matches to Assyrians. I'm not sure what to conclude from that.

    --- At least one, and possibly more, of the Spanish and American Hispanic lines may once have been Sephardic.

    --- Three or more cases in northwest Europe are probably descended from lines which were once Sephardic. The ex-Sephardic family involved was prominent enough to appear in English historical records.

    --- The presence of a few cases in England, Scotland, Germany, and Italy might be the result of Middle Eastern people going to those places with knights returning from the Crusades. Some of the haplotypes are near matches to cases from Lebanon and Jordan.

  • #2
    Some recent academic papers have shed new light on this type, so I'll restart this description once again from scratch.

    J1* with DYS388=13, or to be more precise now, J1* with values lower than 15 for the STR DYS388, is a branch different from the most common type of J1, which is J1e or J1c3 P58+. (J1* means J1 with no known further SNPs, and in particular negative for P58.)

    J1* with "DYS388 short" appears to have branched from J1 in the north Caucasus about 11,900 years ago. (Source, academic paper "The Caucasus as an asymmetric semipermeable barrier to ancient human migrations, " by Bayazit Yunusbayev et al., 2011)

    From the Caucasus it spread south, and it is relatively common among Armenians and Assyrians. Further south, there are a few cases among Bedouins and other Middle Eastern people. The type is very rare among Arabs.

    J1* with "DYS388 short" did not spread into Europe in the same way. All European cases appear to be descended from strays. In eastern Europe, two cases seem to have originally been Armenian. All the other eastern European cases seem to be from lines which moved during the Byzantine era around the Black Sea. Cases in Sicily may have resulted from the spread of Greek civilization. I don't know the origin of the rare cases further west and north in Europe. There are no verifiable Ashkenazi (European Jewish) examples of J1* with "DYS388 short," so they are clearly not the source of this type in Europe.

    My Google Map of cases of J1* with "DYS388 short" is at

    The map appears to make this type look more widespread than it really is, and I'm thinking maybe I should take the map down. A more realistic depiction of J1* with "DYS388 short" would show the north Caucasus obliterated by around 600 markers, with fly specks of individual cases elsewhere.

    I have very little color coding in the map markers, which shows that I have only identified two "strains" of J1* with "DYS388 short." The cerise or pinkish markers are J1* with DYS388=14, which seems to be associated with Assyrians of northern Syria. The yellow markers (my own cluster) are a mostly Polish strain traceable to the north Caucasus about 1,300 years ago and probably in eastern Europe since about the 8th century AD or earlier.

    J1 w/DYS388=13