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Sephardic Jewish percentage in non-Jewish person

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  • Sephardic Jewish percentage in non-Jewish person

    Everything is in the title :-) Ftdna My Origins results show 81% European (55% West and Central Europe, 17% SE Europe, 9% Eastern Europe) and 19% Middle Eastern (12% Asia Minor, 7% East Middle East).
    I uploaded my raw data to MyHeritage and the results show: 81% Europe (35.1% Balkans, 27.4% English, 14.9% Italian and 3.7% Greek), 16.2% North Africa (as Sephardi Jew), and roughly 3% Western Asia/Middle East.
    My maternal family is 100% French, from North Eastern France going back to the XVIIth C at the very least. My paternal family is 100% South Italian - most of them migrated to Algeria around the end of the XIXth C. Anyone has a theory about that 16% Jewish percentage, and does anybody here (with no Jewish ancestry as far as paper genealogy goes) got Jewish ancestry in their results? Thanks :-)

  • #2
    Someone likely will give a more scholarly answer than me, but a few hundred years back, a lot of Jewish families in France were forced to convert.

    I do not think your situation is particularly surprising.

    By the way, my wife appears to have picked up some Ashkenazi from a French line on her mother's side. Yours being Sephardic may have come via French Colonies in Northern Africa with some bending of the family tree.

    Jack
    Last edited by georgian1950; 2nd April 2018, 02:12 PM. Reason: additional

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    • #3
      Well, IF (and that's a big if) there's some Jewish ancestry, it could as well come from my father's side (since Jews expelled from Spain in the XVth C. came to Italy). It's an interesting result, but I don't put much stock in it, since there's no way to validate or invalidate it with paper genealogy research.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Audela View Post
        Well, IF (and that's a big if) there's some Jewish ancestry, it could as well come from my father's side (since Jews expelled from Spain in the XVth C. came to Italy). It's an interesting result, but I don't put much stock in it, since there's no way to validate or invalidate it with paper genealogy research.
        Alhambra Decree was over 500 years ago. That would mean your father extended family had to practice a relative endogamy for hundreds of years. You would know about that by now.

        Probably reexamining paper trail closer to modern times might provide possible reasons for 16%. Please remember, that females and males are equal!

        Do you see very many Jewish matches in FF?


        Mr. W.


        P.S.
        Potentially small traces from both your parents could have combined into your 16%.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Audela View Post
          Well, IF (and that's a big if) there's some Jewish ancestry, it could as well come from my father's side (since Jews expelled from Spain in the XVth C. came to Italy). It's an interesting result, but I don't put much stock in it, since there's no way to validate or invalidate it with paper genealogy research.
          I am not sure what MH's Sephardic North African reflects. It may reflect North African more than Sephardic. This was the problem for MO. My MH segment is identified as Sephardic North African but for my 1/4 Jewish grandson it is simply identified as North African

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Audela View Post
            Everything is in the title :-) Ftdna My Origins results show 81% European (55% West and Central Europe, 17% SE Europe, 9% Eastern Europe) and 19% Middle Eastern (12% Asia Minor, 7% East Middle East).
            I uploaded my raw data to MyHeritage and the results show: 81% Europe (35.1% Balkans, 27.4% English, 14.9% Italian and 3.7% Greek), 16.2% North Africa (as Sephardi Jew), and roughly 3% Western Asia/Middle East.
            My maternal family is 100% French, from North Eastern France going back to the XVIIth C at the very least. My paternal family is 100% South Italian - most of them migrated to Algeria around the end of the XIXth C. Anyone has a theory about that 16% Jewish percentage, and does anybody here (with no Jewish ancestry as far as paper genealogy goes) got Jewish ancestry in their results? Thanks :-)
            My mother is of Portuguese ancestry from the Azores and MyHeritage estimates her as 13.6% Sephardic. We have no documented Jewish ancestry.
            Attached Files

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            • #7
              Originally posted by dna View Post

              Do you see very many Jewish matches in FF?
              Difficult to say just by the names. I checked the first 30 matches. Six of them might be Jewish (based on the name)… or not!
              I don't know much about my paternal family (never really had any contact with any of them), what I do know is that they were Catholic, going back several generations.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by josh w. View Post
                I am not sure what MH's Sephardic North African reflects. It may reflect North African more than Sephardic. This was the problem for MO. My MH segment is identified as Sephardic North African but for my 1/4 Jewish grandson it is simply identified as North African
                I do wonder how MH differentiates between simply North African and Sephardi Jewish North African. In any case, my Middle Eastern percentage from MO was mostly transferred to North Africa/Sephardi.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by AFH View Post
                  My mother is of Portuguese ancestry from the Azores and MyHeritage estimates her as 13.6% Sephardic. We have no documented Jewish ancestry.
                  Could be that Iberian is interpreted as Sephardic?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Audela View Post
                    I do wonder how MH differentiates between simply North African and Sephardi Jewish North African. In any case, my Middle Eastern percentage from MO was mostly transferred to North Africa/Sephardi.

                    I meant that Sephardis might have internalized North African lines due to admixture. On the other hand, there has been a Near Eastern presence in North Africa since at least the
                    Maritime Neolithic expansion.

                    I have FF converso matches from the Azores probably going back to the 1500s. There were Sephardis in a number of places including Terceria and Sao Miguel.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Audela View Post
                      Could be that Iberian is interpreted as Sephardic?
                      I think it's likely picking up what FTDNA assigns as North Africa, Southeast Europe, and Asia Minor. FTDNA also seems to have trouble separating North African from West Middle East with some of my family members. It alternates back and forth I have tested three generations. There are also Levantine Y-DNA and mtDNA in some of my distant cousins that don't match Jewish people. It's a blend of all the North African and Middle Eastern populations that lived on the Iberian peninsula the last 2,000 years or so and includes the New Christian lines that were absorbed from forced conversions about 500 years ago or so. I think it's just to complex from many different sources and so distant that these ethnicity estimate tests may never sort it out in a way that is meaningful.

                      This is her FTDNA MyOrigins estimate.
                      Attached Files

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                      • #12
                        Well, someone posted this on a FB group. It's an excerpt of an email he received from MyHeritage: "Currently Sephardic Jewish is an Ethnicity not currently in our database yet but we are continuously growing our database so this could be added in the future."
                        Weird… In any case, their estimates don't seem to be accurate at all. For ie, they gave me 25% English when I have absolutely no English ancestry, and they didn't pick up any of my French. Moving on…

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Audela View Post
                          Well, someone posted this on a FB group. It's an excerpt of an email he received from MyHeritage: "Currently Sephardic Jewish is an Ethnicity not currently in our database yet but we are continuously growing our database so this could be added in the future."
                          Weird… In any case, their estimates don't seem to be accurate at all. For ie, they gave me 25% English when I have absolutely no English ancestry, and they didn't pick up any of my French. Moving on…
                          It is not easy to find a Sephardic group. Unlike Ashkenazis, there are few if any individuals who are mainly Sephardic. The key problem is admixture with host countries. Sample patterns vary with host country patterns

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Audela View Post
                            Well, someone posted this on a FB group. It's an excerpt of an email he received from MyHeritage: "Currently Sephardic Jewish is an Ethnicity not currently in our database yet but we are continuously growing our database so this could be added in the future."
                            Weird… In any case, their estimates don't seem to be accurate at all. For ie, they gave me 25% English when I have absolutely no English ancestry, and they didn't pick up any of my French. Moving on…
                            Deep ancestry is an interesting conversation topic, but as you probably learned by now, the results are good on the continental level.

                            Let's consider Normandy, would you like people from there to be French or Vikings (Nordic)?

                            What about Brittany, should people from there be French or British (after all it was settled by the original Britons)?

                            I hope you had smiled reading the above questions


                            Mr. W.
                            Last edited by dna; 4th April 2018, 01:34 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dna View Post
                              Deep ancestry is an interesting conversation topic, but as you probably learned by now, the results are good on the continental level.

                              Let's consider Normandy, would you like people from there to be French or Vikings (Nordic)?
                              Tough question. What makes a nation, after all? It's more than dna, that's for sure.

                              But personally, I'd like them to be Vikings :-)

                              What about Brittany, should people from there be French or British (after all it was settled by the original Britons)?
                              In my (very subjective) opinion, and at the risk of infuriating the Bretons who might read this thread, I'd say they're too rude to be British, so I'd classify them as French.

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