JAFFE Family--Rawitsch, Posen Province Branch and DNA Testing #poland


Jim Bennett <bennett@...>
 

I am a descendant of a family of JAFFE's who lived for generations
in Rawitsch, then Posen Provice, Prussia [now Rawicz, W. Poland]. The
earliest known "founder" was Moshe Jaffe [b.~1710 -- d. ~1785], sons Shmuel
Zanwill and Avraham, and grandsons and great-grandsons with the names: Zvi
Hirsch, Meir, Yosef, Loeb, Shimon, Yaakov, Shimshon, etc.

After more than twenty years of research, the documentary evidence
is inconclusive whether this branch traces its decent >from Rabbi Mordechai
Jaffe of Prague (1530-1612) and his uncle Rabbi Moses Jaffe, who traced
their ancestry to Samuel ben Elhanan, great-grandson of Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo
Yitzhaki, 1040-1105), and >from the latter to King David. Rabbi Mordechai's
lifework was the compilation of the Levush (Apparel), a major codification
of rabbinical law, and he was known as the "Ba'al haLevushim" or
"HaLevush".

Personal name repetition patterns are often strong indicators of
descent, especially if the ancestor was an illustrious Rabbi. But in my
branch we do not find any Mordechai's, just a few 19th century Max's,
Moritz's and Martin's--whose Hebrew names sometimes were Mordechai. This is
certainly not definitive proof.

There are other Jaffe families, including the descendants of Wolf
Jaffe and his son Rabbi Menachem Mendel Moses Jaffe of Krotoschin, Posen
Province who suspect, but cannot prove their descent >from the "Levush".
Other families lived in Prussia, Poland, Lithuania and Belarus.

So my proposal is:

1) Identify a few "pure" male Jaffe's who are "proven" descendants of the
"Levush" whose DNA has already been tested--or could be tested. Their
Y-Chromosome test results would serve as the standard against which others
would be compared;

2) Request direct male Jaffe's >from other "branches" to do likewise;
[Personally I cannot, because I'm a male descendant of a Jaffe female
ancestor].

3) Compare the results to see if the various sampled male Jaffe's share a
common ancestor some 14-17 generations ago;

4) Rejoice that we've linked up with our "cousins" or accept that we're just
"commoners".
[Undoubtedly some Jews adopted the Jaffe surname upon marrying a Jaffe
woman].

So with a very small effort, we various Jaffe's can answer
centuries-old questions about our heritage.

The testing can be done by Family Tree DNA, which is approved by
JewishGen.
www.familytreedna.com

I invite volunteers to step forward. Please contact me.

Jim Bennett
Haifa, Israel

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