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Puzzling Y-12 Results

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  • Puzzling Y-12 Results

    My Genographic Project Y-12 test results placed me in the E3b (M35) Haplogroup. My father's parents were both born in Sicily and considered Sicilian by the family. The concluding statements in my "Genetic History" (from the Genographic Project) read as follows:

    "Members of haplogroup E3b bear witness to the great Neolithic migrations out of the Middle East....The marker is common in southern Italy, southeast Europe and northern Africa...."

    Everything I'm seeing in the literature and studies says something quite different, namely, that E3b is very rare throughout all of Europe, including Italy and Sicily. These sources instead point to eastern and southern Africa.

    Can anyone make sense of this? I mean, I know Sicily is a "mess" genetically speaking, but what is the basis of the Genographic Project's statement that E3b is common in southern Italy and southeast Europe?

  • #2
    E3b in Europe

    You may find this of interest: http://www.familytreedna.com/pdf/hape3b.pdf

    Comment


    • #3
      Cruciani

      Thanks. Actually, that is one of the studies I found which indicates that E3b is NOT common in southern Italy or Europe in general, contrary to what the Genographic Project is telling me.

      I haven't found any more recent studies on E3b than the 2004 Cruciani study.

      Comment


      • #4
        E3b common among Sicilians

        My read of the study mentioned above suggests that E3b is VERY common among Sicilians (over 35% of the population studied). Am I missing something?

        Vince

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        • #5
          The discrepancy seems to be the question of which subclade of E3b his results belong. If he is M35, as stated, then this group is found primarily among Africans and not at all among Sicilians. But if he is another subclade, some of them are fairly common among Sicilians.

          I wonder if the "M35" was confirmed by SNP testing, or if it is just an estimate by the Genographic Project?

          In any case, an E3b haplotype in Sicily suggests to me one of three migrations to Sicily: Greek (since E3b is common among Greeks as well), Phoenician (probably mixed with Berber), or Saracen (again probably mixed with Berber).

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Jason
            The discrepancy seems to be the question of which subclade of E3b his results belong. If he is M35, as stated, then this group is found primarily among Africans and not at all among Sicilians. But if he is another subclade, some of them are fairly common among Sicilians.

            I wonder if the "M35" was confirmed by SNP testing, or if it is just an estimate by the Genographic Project?
            I read right past the M35 reference in his original post, so never stopped to ponder whether he was referring to a specific subclade.

            However it seems that the Genographic Project is using the M35 marker as a shorthand for ALL E3b haplogroups. In other words, they are not referring to a particular subclade.

            Whether they did SNP testing in this case I don't know, but I sincerely doubt it. I think they just meant to predict that Musso was E3b in general. I'd be curious to know if
            Athey's Y-Haplogroup Predictor offered a subclade prediction that is prevalent in Sicily or not.

            Comment


            • #7
              Jason and Vineviz,

              I've learned a few things since my original posting in this thread.

              You stated, "it seems that the Genographic Project is using the M35 marker as a shorthand for ALL E3b haplogroups. In other words, they are not referring to a particular subclade...I think they just meant to predict that Musso was E3b in general."

              Absolutely correct. They told me M35, but that was simply their estimate based on my haplotype, not SNP testing.

              You stated, "I'd be curious to know if Athey's Y-Haplogroup Predictor offered a subclade prediction that is prevalent in Sicily or not."

              As far as I can see, Athey's Y-Hapologroup Predictor doesn't go any deeper than E3b; that is, it doesn't distinguish between the various subclades. YHRD.org, however, does show the 20 most common haplotypes in Sicily, and only 2 of my allele values appear more than five times in the list of 20.

              YHRD also shows my haplotype to be most similar to semitic Andalusian Arabs in Tunisia. Historically, this makes sense, given the centuries-long Arab rule of the Iberian peninsula and Sicily, and the belief among most historians, that when Arab rule ended in Sicily, much of the Arab population remained in Sicily, converted to Christianity, and intermingled with the existing populations of Sicily.

              This is also consistent with the responses I received from several geneticists and genealogists on the Genealogy-DNA list at RootsWeb.com. The consensus there was that I likely fall into Cruciani's M78-beta cluster with my rare 10-repeat allele at DYS439. Another possibility is the closely-related M81 haplogroup, associated with Berber-speaking populations. Each of these E3b subclades proposed by Cruciani were found in less than 1% of their Sicilian population.

              I also checked my surname frequency throughout Italy and Sicily. In Sicily, it occurs with greatest frequency in the province of Palermo, which was heavily setted by the Arabs during and after their rule. My grandfather came from the town of Chiusa Sclafani in the province of Palermo. On the mainland, it occurs with even greater frequency in the northwest region of Piemont, close to the Spanish border. Unlike in Sicily, when Arab rule ended in Spain, not many Arabs hung around; they migrated into France and Italy. If the Latinized surname Musso has Arabic origins, then all the pieces begin to fit together.

              A newly-formed genetic testing company called EthnoAncestry will soon be offering E3b subclade tests (probably for M78 and M81), so I'll be signing up for one of those once they become available.

              So, as I said earlier, I've learned a few things since the Geno Project told me I was E3b/M35. But I'm still left with a haplotype/haplogroup that appears to be rare in Sicily and Europe as a whole.

              Incidentally, Athey's Predictor also had me as E3b, but with a "confidence" rating of only 45. The next closest haplogroup is G, with a rating of 28. This seems to confirm that I'm not a mainstream E3b.

              Jim

              Comment


              • #8
                Arabs in Sicily

                Originally posted by Musso
                YHRD also shows my haplotype to be most similar to semitic Andalusian Arabs in Tunisia. Historically, this makes sense, given the centuries-long Arab rule of the Iberian peninsula and Sicily, and the belief among most historians, that when Arab rule ended in Sicily, much of the Arab population remained in Sicily, converted to Christianity, and intermingled with the existing populations of Sicily.

                This is also consistent with the responses I received from several geneticists and genealogists on the Genealogy-DNA list at RootsWeb.com. The consensus there was that I likely fall into Cruciani's M78-beta cluster with my rare 10-repeat allele at DYS439. Another possibility is the closely-related M81 haplogroup, associated with Berber-speaking populations. Each of these E3b subclades proposed by Cruciani were found in less than 1% of their Sicilian population.

                I also checked my surname frequency throughout Italy and Sicily. In Sicily, it occurs with greatest frequency in the province of Palermo, which was heavily setted by the Arabs during and after their rule. My grandfather came from the town of Chiusa Sclafani in the province of Palermo. On the mainland, it occurs with even greater frequency in the northwest region of Piemont, close to the Spanish border. Unlike in Sicily, when Arab rule ended in Spain, not many Arabs hung around; they migrated into France and Italy. If the Latinized surname Musso has Arabic origins, then all the pieces begin to fit together.

                Jim
                I'm very new to genetic genealogy, so I'm not up to speed on all the terminology that Jim uses in his post, but I can verify the historical aspect of what he refers to about the Arabs in Sicily. My paternal ancestors are from Mezzojuso, in the province of Palermo, which was founded by the Arabs in Sicily sometime in the early 10th century. The Arabs had taken Sicily from the Byzantine Empire in the previous century.

                Based on my readings in Sicilian history in the period of the Middle Ages, even after the Normans took Sicily from the Arabs in the late 11th century, taking its capital Palermo in 1072, the Arab influence in Sicily still remained strong. Although Muslims had to pay a tax to practice their religion (as Christians in Muslim lands had to do in the same period), there was no real attempt by the Christians to convert the Muslims. The Muslim Arabs played a major role in the court politics and administration of the Norman kings of the 12th century.

                One of the books I read on this period, by British Arab medievalist Jeremy Johns, talks about the case of the "boys from Mezzojuso." This case involved several Muslims from Mezzojuso who turned up in the records because they left the land without their lord's permission. So, based on Johns, even in the mid 12th century this town had a significant, perhaps even majority, Arab Muslim population. It wasn't until Frederick, the German grandson of the first Norman king, that the Muslim presence in Sicily was ended. Although Frederick spoke Arabic and corresponded with Arabs philosophers and scientists across the Mediterranean, he removed all the Muslims from Sicily in 1231 after a revolt in the Muslim hill towns in the west of Sicily (possibly including Mezzojuso) and transferred them to Lucera in southern Italy, where they were still allowed to practice Islam (see http://www.umd.umich.edu/univ/ur/pre...orbook_pr.html). The idea was that if they were not close to north Africa, it would be harder for the Arabs there to incite more rebellions.

                I don't know to what extent Muslim Arabs in Sicily converted to Christianity and remained there after 1231, but I'm sure some did, so anyone with Sicilian ancestry like Jim and myself may very well have Arab ancestry. This could go back even further. As someone already mentioned in this thread, the Phoenicians, via the Carthaginians, were the main rivals of the Greeks in Sicily in the period that Socrates and Plato lived. The Carthaginians dominated the western part of Sicily, which includes Palermo province, for some time.

                Mike

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                • #9
                  Arabs in Sicily

                  Mike,

                  You stated: "It wasn't until Frederick, the German grandson of the first Norman king, that the Muslim presence in Sicily was ended. Although Frederick spoke Arabic and corresponded with Arabs philosophers and scientists across the Mediterranean, he removed all the Muslims from Sicily in 1231 after a revolt in the Muslim hill towns in the west of Sicily..."

                  It's my understanding that Frederick II expelled no more than a few thousand Muslims from Sicily. The remaining Arab population, estimated to be at least half a million, underwent such widespread conversion that, by the 1280's, there were very few Arabs practicing Islam in Sicily. Many Arabs retained their Arabic names and surnames for a time, however. So the medieval feudal records continue to reflect a large number of Arabs remaining in Sicily following Frederick's act of expulsion.

                  I'll see if I can find some sources (historians) to support my understanding. The genetic evidence for a large arabic component in Sicilian ancestry isn't there yet, as far as I've been able to discover. But genetic testing for genealogical purposes is still so new that not many people have been tested yet.

                  In any case, it's nice to know somebody else out there whose Sicilian ancestry may derive, at least in part, from Arabic ancestry.

                  Jim

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Arabs in Sicily

                    Originally posted by Musso
                    It's my understanding that Frederick II expelled no more than a few thousand Muslims from Sicily. The remaining Arab population, estimated to be at least half a million, underwent such widespread conversion that, by the 1280's, there were very few Arabs practicing Islam in Sicily. Many Arabs retained their Arabic names and surnames for a time, however. So the medieval feudal records continue to reflect a large number of Arabs remaining in Sicily following Frederick's act of expulsion.

                    I'll see if I can find some sources (historians) to support my understanding. The genetic evidence for a large arabic component in Sicilian ancestry isn't there yet, as far as I've been able to discover. But genetic testing for genealogical purposes is still so new that not many people have been tested yet.

                    In any case, it's nice to know somebody else out there whose Sicilian ancestry may derive, at least in part, from Arabic ancestry.

                    Jim
                    Jim,

                    You may be right about that, so please check with some historical sources and let me know. I'm always happy to learn something new.

                    Your response actually triggered a little more thought in my mind about the subject of Arabs and Islam in Sicily. The historical overview I gave may have been a little too general. I'm sure there were Christian Sicilians who converted to Islam during the Arab rule before the Normans. I know that was the case in Andalusia when the Muslim Arabs and Berbers ran what's now Spain. So some of the Muslims who were expelled by Frederick may have been ethnically Greek or Italian.

                    And the opposite probably happened, as you state above, once Frederick felt it necessary to clear the Muslims from western Sicily - Muslims converted to Christianity. I just wonder about the numbers. The book about the Lucera colony of Muslims set up by Frederick (which I provided a link for) estimates there were 15-20,000 Sicilian Muslims who were sent there. I know the present population of Sicily is 5 million, but it must have been significantly less 750 years ago, even if Palermo had one of the largest populations at the time among European cities. So I wonder if your estimate of Arab population of half a million might be too high. Maybe that would be the Muslim population, but ethnically many may have been Greek or Italian. Anyway, I'd like to know that answer.

                    It just goes to show you how complicated, but also interesting, genetic genealogy is for a multi-ethnic land like Sicily.

                    Mike

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The concepts of "conquest" and "conversion" probably oversimplify the migration pattern. Given Sicily's proximity to North Africa, transportation between these regions has likely been continuous for over 2000 years. For a significant portion of this period the various religions more or less co-existed without a conversion requirement. This was the case in both locations, e.g. North African Christians could have migrated to Sicily. This makes a family search more difficult, but all our searches tend to simplify history.
                      Last edited by josh w.; 24 July 2005, 02:15 PM.

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                      • #12
                        A Haplogroup U Paisana From Comiso, Sicily!

                        I thought I'd jump in to the "Sicilian thread" and introduce myself. My mother's parents, Vincenzo Giardina and Vincenza Donzelli Giardina, came from Comiso, Sicily, to the US in the early 1900's. They settled in Syracuse, NY, which is where I was born. (Interestingly, my Dad was not Sicilian NOR Italian...he was English/German/French.)

                        My mtDNA results are as follows: 16172C, 16343G, 16390A, 16519C. The Genographic Project lists me as a Haplogroup U. My last three results apparently make me a potential U3. The real puzzler is my first result...the 16172C.

                        I heard there were other Sicilians here, and thought I'd hook up with you guys. Fascinating info on this thread, by the way!

                        Me

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