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CMH Question: I was but am I still?

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  • #31
    Okay, but recognizing the complexity of defining Jewish identity and the need for published research on the 12 marker CMH, is it reasonable to conclude that someone who is J1 and matches the 12 marker has some Jewish ancestry? That's what the research seems to be saying. In the case of Italians, a reasonable explanation (to me) would be the mixing into the population of the Jewish slaves brought to Italy for the construction of Rome and their consequent conversion to Christianity. Just a little trivia - some southern Italian families wash meat with salt before cooking it, while other families don't. I know this in itself is not indicative of Jewish ancestry, but it's interesting...

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    • #32
      Vinnie, it is difficult to answer your question without published data. There were many Jewish colonies in southern Italy as well as Rome. On the other hand, there were also non-Jewish Semites in ancient Rome. There is a similar issue with regard to Spain. There were more J1 Muslims than J1 Jews in Andalusia. To complicate matters even further, some of the Italian Jews were Italians who had converted to Judaism. My guess is that there are some J1s with a 12 marker CMH who have never been Jewish, but without data I can't be sure. I do not mean to discourage anyone from seeking possible roots Jewish or otherwise. Hopefully more research will clarify the picture. ( I am of Jewish ancestry but grew up in an Italian-American neighborhood.)
      Last edited by josh w.; 19 February 2007, 07:02 PM.

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      • #33
        Josh, I really appreciate your replies. It seems that the best a J1 who wasn't raised Jewish can do is to claim a general Semitic heritage. However, given what I know about the history of Italy, I think there's a greater chance of a central Italian (Rome & environs) being of Jewish stock than Arabic. Of course, there's a much greater chance for Sicilians to have Arabic origin, although there were quite a few Jewish communities there until 1492. Hope your experiences growing up in an Italian-American neighborhood were more positive than not...Vinnie

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        • #34
          Vinnie, thanks for your comment. Your last sentence put it well. Perhaps because of my experiences, Italy is one of my most favorite places to visit. My guess is that the Arabs of ancient Rome became less distinctive than Jews because they did not have a unifying religion at that time, i.e. they would be harder to trace in terms of genealogy. I think you are correct about the greater likelihood of Jews on the mainland, although there was a Jewish colony in Palermo. Eventually I expect FTDNA to present their CMH data and perhaps the picture will become clearer.

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          • #35
            Hey Josh,

            Sorry for the delayed response but things got very busy. I uploaded my Genographic results to FTDNA and found just one person who matches me exactly on the 12 marker. What's interesting is that his father's family is from the same region of Italy that mine is. I'm now waiting to know if he's also J1, and where is grandfather's village is in relation to mine. Also, in researching the history of my grandfather's village, I've found this it was likely settled as people fled into the mountains from the invading barbarians during the fall of Rome. I wouldn't be surprised if there weren't more J1's in central Italy than anyone knows about at this time. I still haven't found anything on the significance of my DYS385b value. However, could you verify that if mine's 21, and the CMH seems to be 15, does that mean that I'm 6 mutations away from the CMH on that one marker?

            Vinnie

            P.S. I've been to Israel twice and would love to return some day.

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            • #36
              vinnie:

              I just wanted to mention that J1 seems to be relatively frequent both in southern and in central Italy, around 5% or more of the population. Given this distribution, I think it's hard to imagine that it is all due to Jewish or Arabic influences. The Arabs were only in Sicily, and I don't think the Jewish community ever had large numbers in italy - and besides, it was concentrated in large towns, not in the countryside. My guess is that most of the J1, especially outside Sicily, may be earlier, prehistoric. But that's just a guess, I don't think I have read any conclusive paper about the topic.

              cacio

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              • #37
                I think Cacio is right. Although there is no conclusive paper to prove it, the new paper on Etruscan DNA is a step closer.

                See

                http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2007/02...etruscans.html

                and comments on it.

                I assume J*(xJ2) is essentially J1.

                Jim
                J1

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                • #38
                  Vinnie, I would defer to Cacio's and Jim's well informed views that the J1 might not be Semitic in origin. I have seen estimates that as much as 10% of the Roman population was Jewish, but Jews did tend to congregate in cities. (On the other hand, if Semitic-Italians converted to Christianity they could have moved to small towns).

                  On the issue of genetic distance, it depends on the method of calculation. With the "step-wise" method, the STRs you mentioned would reflect a difference of 6. On the other hand, using the "infinite alleles" method, the difference would only be 1. On my data, FTDNA used the infinite alleles approach. However, the latter value may be an underestimate since a jump of as many as 6 STRs may reflect more than one mutational event.
                  Last edited by josh w.; 28 February 2007, 01:17 PM.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by josh w.
                    On the issue of genetic distance, it depends on the method of calculation. With the "step-wise" method, the STRs you mentioned would reflect a difference of 6. On the other hand, using the "infinite alleles" method, the difference would only be 1. On my data, FTDNA used the infinite alleles approach. However, the latter value may be an underestimate since a jump of as many as 6 STRs may reflect more than one mutational event.
                    It might be worth noting that the modal value for DYS385b in the Italy DNA Project is 18, higher than the overal J1 modal (DYS385b=17) and the Cohen modal (DYS385b=15).

                    Italian J1 looks, to my untrained eye, more Arabic than Semitic but (as others have pointed out) those ties could be quite ancient.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Jim Honeychuck
                      I think Cacio is right. Although there is no conclusive paper to prove it, the new paper on Etruscan DNA is a step closer.

                      See

                      http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2007/02...etruscans.html

                      and comments on it.

                      I assume J*(xJ2) is essentially J1.

                      Jim
                      J1
                      My understanding from the Genographic project, FTDNA, and peer-reviewed articles I have read is that J1 is different from J*(xJ2).

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by vineviz
                        It might be worth noting that the modal value for DYS385b in the Italy DNA Project is 18, higher than the overal J1 modal (DYS385b=17) and the Cohen modal (DYS385b=15).

                        Italian J1 looks, to my untrained eye, more Arabic than Semitic but (as others have pointed out) those ties could be quite ancient.

                        Can you point me to any specific articles that address Italian J1 and/or Arabic J1?

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by cacio
                          vinnie:

                          I just wanted to mention that J1 seems to be relatively frequent both in southern and in central Italy, around 5% or more of the population. Given this distribution, I think it's hard to imagine that it is all due to Jewish or Arabic influences. The Arabs were only in Sicily, and I don't think the Jewish community ever had large numbers in italy - and besides, it was concentrated in large towns, not in the countryside. My guess is that most of the J1, especially outside Sicily, may be earlier, prehistoric. But that's just a guess, I don't think I have read any conclusive paper about the topic.

                          cacio
                          My understanding of Sicilian history is that there were quite a number of Jewish people there until 1492 when they were expelled by the Spaniards; Sicily was, along with much of southern Italy, part of the "Kingdom of the Two Sicilies". That year is cited as the beginning of economic decline on the island. Additionally, Rome has the longest continuous Jewish community in Europe, and I think in the world (Josh?).

                          Cacio, did you read Dieneke's blog preceding the abstract on the Etruscan article?

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by josh w.
                            Vinnie, I would defer to Cacio's and Jim's well informed views that the J1 might not be Semitic in origin. I have seen estimates that as much as 10% of the Roman population was Jewish, but Jews did tend to congregate in cities. (On the other hand, if Semitic-Italians converted to Christianity they could have moved to small towns).

                            On the issue of genetic distance, it depends on the method of calculation. With the "step-wise" method, the STRs you mentioned would reflect a difference of 6. On the other hand, using the "infinite alleles" method, the difference would only be 1. On my data, FTDNA used the infinite alleles approach. However, the latter value may be an underestimate since a jump of as many as 6 STRs may reflect more than one mutational event.
                            Josh, thank you for the info on genetic difference. However, the peer-reviewed articles that I've read on J1 indicate that it is basically a Semitic (Jewish and non-Jewish) haplogroup; e.g., Thomas et al. 2000 and Semino et al. 2004. Am I misunderstanding them? Anyway, I'm waiting for my deepSNP results now, although there's not a lot out there on J1 subclades at this point in time.

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                            • #44
                              vinnie:

                              two sources I can think of about J in Italy are:

                              Capelli et al: Population structure in the Mediterranean basin, 2005
                              Semino et al: Origin, Diffusion and Differentiation of Y-chromosome haplogroups E and J, 2004
                              plus a couple of papers by Di Giacomo on Italy. Both consider J2 a neolithic marker. As for J1, they're less clear, here and there they mention the Arabs etc. But as said, I am somewhat skeptical about the possible influence of Arabs and Jews in Central Italy. The Arabs could explain Sicily, but not central and even Southern Italy. As for the Jews, they were certainly present, but I don't think they ever were in such big numbers as to justify the current percentages. But I haven't read those papers very carefully.

                              Which dienekes discussion do you refer to? I think I have read and actually posted something in one of them. I think Dienekes was concerned about the Greek influence, ie he thought that the influence of the greeks in S Italy is much larger than what those papers seem to imply. Though I think so far it seems that C and S Italy have more J than Greece.

                              cacio

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                              • #45
                                Rome is certainly one of the oldest cities with a continuous Jewish population outside of Israel (perhaps there are some cities in Iraq or Iran that may be older). As Jim has noted on another post, there is a non-Semitic (neither Arab nor Jewish) J1 line in Europe. I recall Mike Maddi of the Sicilian Project had a project member from this line. I was under the impression that Mike was working with FTDNA staff on this issue. You might contact Mike since he had a few J1s in his project-- the others appeared to have Semitic origins. Part of the problem is that no one has identified uniquely Jewish haplotypes. On this forum and others I have seen mention of projects with this aim, but none have come to fruition.
                                Last edited by josh w.; 28 February 2007, 07:35 PM.

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