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  • Question on Jewish results from multiple tests

    Hello everyone, hope you are all well.

    I’m looking for some insight into the Jewish results I have received on different DNA tests. I have no known Jewish ancestors. However, my family does not really have a vast knowledge on family after the 4th generation. My family on both sides are from Sicily. We are from the western side of the island. Specifically Palermo and Trapani.

    FTDNA gives me 30% Sephardic Jewish. An amount I think is quite high when I have no recent Jewish ancestors.

    My Heritage gives me 3% Ashkenazi, far different from Family Tree.

    Ancestry used to give me Ashkenazi, but it disappeared in the recent update and is now Eastern Europe and Russia. My father does have a few distant relatives that show up as 100 percent European Jewish.

    on GedMatch, when I use any tool, I will always have some form of Jewish show up. On Eurogenes K15 Oracle, my 2 and 4 populations come up with “Italian Jewish” as the first population.

    All tests also give us the Middle East with the Levant highlighted.

    My question in summary is: Are these tests, because Sicilian and Jewish DNA plot close to each other, simply reading some of my Sicilian DNA as Jewish, or does there seem to be the possibility of a Jewish ancestor. I am wondering if it seems likely enough to be worth researching further.

    Thank you for any insight you can give me, it is greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Michaela,

    1. You definitely don't have as much as 30% Sephardic DNA. If you have any, it would be almost certainly no greater than 1% - same situation as with other Sicilians.

    2. You might have some Sephardic Jewish DNA and/or Italki Jewish DNA because I've found legitimate Jewish genetic cousins for a bunch of Sicilians, including those from your ancestral Palermo area. See my August 2019 Quora answer about Jewish DNA in Sicilians.

    3. If you privately email me your Family Finder match list (the .csv spreadsheet file), I will browse it carefully to inform you of any Sephardic Jewish or Ashkenazic Jewish matches you may have, but only if you tested originally with Family Finder and did not transfer your kit from MyHeritageDNA or AncestryDNA. Looking for appropriate cousin matches is the ONLY way to answer this question, because Jews and Sicilians always cluster genetically in the calculators regardless of whether an individual from one community happens to match an individual from the other community.

    4. Did your father also test with Family Tree DNA, or did he only transfer his AncestryDNA kit to Family Tree DNA? It is always possible that he has additional Jewish matches in Family Finder here, just as you say he does at AncestryDNA. I will tentatively suggest to you that his Jewish matches at AncestryDNA are real and that you may well have inherited some of the same DNA.

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