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Jewish Y DNA and figuring out just how close the TMRCA

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  • Jewish Y DNA and figuring out just how close the TMRCA

    Hi guys, I am hoping that some one can give me advice on seeing if I can ever find a common ancestor for my brother's closest Y DNA matches. Sorry if this has been asked before, but I couldn't find it in reference to certain STR markers.

    At the 67 marker level my brother has four matches at a GD of 3. No one has any surnames that match. We are in a haplogroup that is known for being Jewish. Out of the four men that match my brother two are a perfect match to each other. And the other two are off if I remember correctly 2 and 1 GD with each other and the other two men.

    The common marker that some of us are off on is the CDY, which three of them are not off on. They all have 33-38 there except for one is a 34-38. My brother's kit seems to be the odd one at CDY and has values of 32-39 here. These two markers seem to be what really throws off being a tightly related match. http://www.familytreedna.com/faq/answers.aspx?id=9 (Click on question 26). And yes I know this link is for if you have the same surname, but with the Jewish backgrounds I can't even take anyone not having the same surname seriously. The other marker that throws my brother off being a closer match for this small group is DYS 444. My brother is an 11 here, everyone else is a 12. I think this marker is not as fast to change as the other CDY markers.

    Three of the four men report their most distant paternal ancestor was born in the Ukraine, two of those three know they have Jewish roots for sure. The third figures he must because also his autosomal test at another company the Jewish matches had come up as well. The fourth man is from America, and not sure of his roots at all. Is it possible with these faster changing CDY markers that we are actually more tightly related? Should I be looking for records with the men's last names from Ukraine with the possibility that maybe my great grandfather's father could have had one of those names and been the brother of one their great grand dads'? Could we be from Ukraine and not Lithuania? And yes I know about the every changing borders in this region. Ugh! Or should I just figure the connection is much further back to the early to mid 1700s? I was hoping based on these faster markers it might mean our common ancestor was in the mid to late 1800s. Thanks in advance for any advice.
    Last edited by Táltos; 17 February 2014, 04:11 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Táltos View Post
    Hi guys, I am hoping that some one can give me advice on seeing if I can ever find a common ancestor for my brother's closest Y DNA matches. Sorry if this has been asked before, but I couldn't find it in reference to certain STR markers.

    At the 67 marker level my brother has four matches at a GD of 3. No one has any surnames that match. We are in a haplogroup that is known for being Jewish. Out of the four men that match my brother two are a perfect match to each other. And the other two are off if I remember correctly 2 and 1 GD with each other and the other two men.

    The common marker that some of us are off on is the CDY, which three of them are not off on. They all have 33-38 there except for one is a 34-38. My brother's kit seems to be the odd one at CDY and has values of 32-39 here. These two markers seem to be what really throws off being a tightly related match. http://www.familytreedna.com/faq/answers.aspx?id=9 (Click on question 26). And yes I know this link is for if you have the same surname, but with the Jewish backgrounds I can't even take anyone not having the same surname seriously. The other marker that throws my brother off being a closer match for this small group is DYS 444. My brother is an 11 here, everyone else is a 12. I think this marker is not as fast to change as the other CDY markers.

    Three of the four men report their most distant paternal ancestor was born in the Ukraine, two of those three know they have Jewish roots for sure. The third figures he must because also his autosomal test at another company the Jewish matches had come up as well. The fourth man is from America, and not sure of his roots at all. Is it possible with these faster changing CDY markers that we are actually more tightly related? Should I be looking for records with the men's last names from Ukraine with the possibility that maybe my great grandfather's father could have had one of those names and been the brother of one their great grand dads'? Could we be from Ukraine and not Lithuania? And yes I know about the every changing borders in this region. Ugh! Or should I just figure the connection is much further back to the early to mid 1700s? I was hoping based on these faster markers it might mean our common ancestor was in the mid to late 1800s. Thanks in advance for any advice.
    Can't be sure but I would stay with Tip estimates. I have 65/67 matches including a mismatch on a fast mutating marker. I can't find any common ancestry, not even the same country, with these matches. As you note, surname and country are not that informative among Ashkenazis.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by josh w. View Post
      Can't be sure but I would stay with Tip estimates. I have 65/67 matches including a mismatch on a fast mutating marker. I can't find any common ancestry, not even the same country, with these matches. As you note, surname and country are not that informative among Ashkenazis.
      Thanks Josh. It's frustrating, I feel I could be so close. Just trying to find any kind of strategy to solve this puzzle.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Táltos View Post
        Thanks Josh. It's frustrating, I feel I could be so close. Just trying to find any kind of strategy to solve this puzzle.
        A major problem is that there are few eastern European Ashkenazi records before the 1800s. There are older records in central European areas controlled by German authorities. Families of special status may have older records, e.g. Cohens.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by josh w. View Post
          A major problem is that there are few eastern European Ashkenazi records before the 1800s. There are older records in central European areas controlled by German authorities. Families of special status may have older records, e.g. Cohens.
          Thanks for the information. For right now I would just be happy to get around 1890 when my great grandfather was born. Of course if I'm ever able to get that far back I will want to go even farther!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Táltos View Post
            Thanks for the information. For right now I would just be happy to get around 1890 when my great grandfather was born. Of course if I'm ever able to get that far back I will want to go even farther!
            I assume that you have tried JewishGen and the genealogical site Geni. At JewishGen, you might start with Ukrainian databases

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            • #7
              Endogamy...

              I've gone through this process too, with no recognizable names on the 37 level and one closest match at only a GD of 2. One thing I figured out from the genealogy I do have is that my ancestors were endogamous. For example, four great-great-grandparents were siblings who had children who then married each other. I believe that genetically this gives the same result as sister-brother incest, then they hatched my grandfather. The result of this endogamy is a stretching of the genetic distance, making it look like normal matches are farther back than they really are. I've read numerous non-match reports here and I think the endogamy may be more common than people know or want to admit.

              The Jewish matches are especially problematic. I have many autosomal matches from Lithuania even though I have no known ancestors from there since 2 centuries ago. One explanation is that they were Crimean Jews who migrated en masse to Lithuania some centuries ago, while my immediate ancestors ended up in Ukraine. It's important to realize that Jews were highly mobile and changed their names routinely. In the old world life was pretty crappy and Jews often built entire mythologies on their background for the sole purpose of avoiding identification.
              Last edited by Gnarlodious; 18 February 2014, 07:08 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Gnarlodious View Post
                I've gone through this process too, with no recognizable names on the 37 level and one closest match at only a GD of 2. One thing I figured out from the genealogy I do have is that my ancestors were endogamous. For example, four great-great-grandparents were siblings who had children who then married each other. I believe that genetically this gives the same result as sister-brother incest, then they hatched my grandfather. The result of this endogamy is a stretching of the genetic distance, making it look like normal matches are farther back than they really are. I've read numerous non-match reports here and I think the endogamy may be more common than people know or want to admit.

                The Jewish matches are especially problematic. I have many autosomal matches from Lithuania even though I have no known ancestors from there since 2 centuries ago. One explanation is that they were Crimean Jews who migrated en masse to Lithuania some centuries ago, while my immediate ancestors ended up in Ukraine. It's important to realize that Jews were highly mobile and changed their names routinely. In the old world life was pretty crappy and Jews often built entire mythologies on their background for the sole purpose of avoiding identification.
                Jews were in Poland, Lithuania and the western Ukraine before they were in Crimea. My closest Y match was from Georgia. The Russian government forced Russian Jews to populate the Caucasus in the 1800s. That is, the general Jewish migration pattern was west to east.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by josh w. View Post
                  I assume that you have tried JewishGen and the genealogical site Geni. At JewishGen, you might start with Ukrainian databases
                  Yes. I was up waaayyy too late last night looking there. I focused on the Ukraine. I wasn't quite sure what I was looking for either. I kept coming across variants of this surname- Cherkasskij when looking for my own. I also came across a few with similar spellings to how mine is, but nothing that I could connect. I was also looking to see if any of my brother's matches names came up in the same records, but no luck.

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                  • #10
                    SO Another thought....

                    I have been corresponding recently with my brother's match who does not know of any Jewish ancestry either. We traded Gedmatch numbers. We do show some matching there. We don't match each other here, I'm wondering if we might just sit under the threshold.

                    Here are the stats of how we match.
                    Chr Start Location End Location Centimorgans (cM) SNPs
                    1 240,754,013 243,378,785 7.1 591
                    2 122,930,526 127,266,748 4.0 897
                    5 37,932,397 40,184,520 3.8 628
                    6 22,496,866 24,488,936 3.2 695
                    8 48,972,954 53,989,785 4.0 809
                    10 117,479,268 119,416,948 3.5 585
                    12 77,453,804 82,070,202 4.2 852
                    13 36,284,100 38,227,692 3.3 563
                    15 44,797,794 47,522,404 3.2 608

                    Largest segment = 7.1 cM
                    Total of segments > 3 cM = 36.3 cM
                    Estimated number of generations to MRCA = 6.3

                    Yes a lot of smaller segments, but chromosome one I think looks promising. And they are on several chromosomes, not just one or two. He and I do not match on the X chromosome, which is good. I would not expect to match him there as this is the direct paternal line, and I'm female. He also does not match my Mom on Gedmatch.

                    The only thing that bugs me is he does not match me on chromosome 7. That is the chromosome where all my Jewish matches, match me. But, and I'm sure this is a huge but... if in our particular families we converted, and our paternal lines started to marry out from the Jewish ancestry it makes sense that he and I don't match on chromosome 7??

                    Another interesting thing about this match, I can find variations of our surnames being associated with the Ślepowron coat of arms. Now I can't be sure of anything with that. However I'm just trying to understand what could have gone into making my family convert. I'm sure there are several reasons, and most are probably not so nice. Anyway I have heard about some instances where Jewish people converted, and then obtained coats of arms and status. Part of the story that I have been told about my family was that they had a large farm in Lithuania, and had money. So I don't know, just brainstorming!

                    BTW Gnarlodious, thanks for the bit about getting hatched. That really cracked me up!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Táltos View Post
                      Yes. I was up waaayyy too late last night looking there. I focused on the Ukraine. I wasn't quite sure what I was looking for either. I kept coming across variants of this surname- Cherkasskij when looking for my own. I also came across a few with similar spellings to how mine is, but nothing that I could connect. I was also looking to see if any of my brother's matches names came up in the same records, but no luck.
                      Not clear, was your ancestor's surname Cherkasskij. It points to a region of the Ukraine south of Keiv.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by josh w. View Post
                        Not clear, was your ancestor's surname Cherkasskij. It points to a region of the Ukraine south of Keiv.
                        Hi Josh. From what I know it was Krakaukas/Krakoski. When I was entering the name like that under the Ukraine databases that spelling (and variations of it) came up a lot more than the way we spell it. I was wondering if that is a Ukrainian version of it? Or something else?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Táltos View Post
                          Hi Josh. From what I know it was Krakaukas/Krakoski. When I was entering the name like that under the Ukraine databases that spelling (and variations of it) came up a lot more than the way we spell it. I was wondering if that is a Ukrainian version of it? Or something else?
                          They are different places. Your family name points to the city in western Poland. At JewishGen you might limit your search to the 'sounds exactly like' option.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by josh w. View Post
                            They are different places. Your family name points to the city in western Poland. At JewishGen you might limit your search to the 'sounds exactly like' option.
                            Josh thanks much for the tip!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Táltos View Post
                              Josh thanks much for the tip!
                              Keep in mind that the surname Krakovsky was probably adopted in the 1800s and the Lithuanian version in the 1900s. There are some Krakovskys in Lithuanian databases. The Slavic-Yiddish version of the name might also be found in Polish and Ukrainian databases, but probably not the Lithuanian version. Do you know the Yiddish version of your ancestor's given name-- that is how he would be listed in government records.
                              Since most Jewish surnames in eastern Europe were not adopted until the 1800s, I would not expect the dna matches to have the same surname although the families might have lived in Krakow at some point.

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