Turkish Ashkenazi family? #general

Jules Levin

At 02:50 AM 9/13/2009, you wrote:

The explanation I offered of Oriental-appearing facial features on some of
our relatives cited the Mongol presence in much of Eastern Europe in the
late 13th century. Their rape of women during these conquests may be why
some of our relatives have such features. Belarus, Poland and Lithuania and
Galicia (the earliest know Jewish community in Lviv was in 1280) did not
escape the Mongol invasion. Although Jews did not exist there in large
numbers, we as genealogists know that for every one ancestor that
far back in
history, hundreds if not thousands of descendents with her genes may be
You don't have to be a genealogist to know this, and it is probably
more likely that the average rape victim has zero descendents.
But the main problem with the "mongol rape" theory is that it ignores
all other possible sources of "asian" features in any Eastern European
population. (The Asian fold is not rare among echt German and Slavic
populations as well). I can think of at least five without checking
with Wikipedia:
1. The Karaites of NE Europe, of Turkic origin and a Judaic faith,
brought to Lithuania >from the Black Sea area by a Lithuanian prince.
2. The large substrate of Finnic peoples in NE Europe: the
surviving Finnish, Estonian, and Livonian (in Latvia) peoples have mostly
been genetically Europeanized, but the band of Finnic tribes across Northern
Asia as far as the Pacific still show the Asiatic features that they
brought to Europe. The magyar ancestors of the Hungarians also brought
asian features to Europe.
3. I have read (and seen at least one photograph) that in the 19th
Century mustered out Jewish Cantonists in Asian parts of
Russia could marry local women and bring them back to their home
villages. Since the women were animist or Moslem they could be
converted to Judaism (presumably it would have been more difficult to
convert Russian Orthodox women).
4. The Russian (and later Soviet) army had units of soldiers (not to
mention Cossaks) >from Asian regions who at one time or another made
it as far as Paris. No Mongols are necessary for military rape rampages.
5. How common is/was the epicanthic fold in the "original"
Indo-European and Semitic populations of Europe and the middle
East? I assume there must have existed some genetic potential for
this feature in order for it to be selected for and spread among the
Asian population. I suspect that if you could have surveyed the
Jewish population of Judea before the great expulsions you would have
found individuals with this feature, without benefit of mongol rape.

Jules Levin
Los Angeles

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