Jeffrey Mark Paull
I very much enjoyed meeting you at my talk at the IAJGS Conference in
Orlando. In regard to your statement: "I have so many questions - for
instance, my brother closely matches 2 of the testers used in Dr.
Paull's 2016 study, but they are identified as haplogroup J-L823 and
my brother as J-M267," your brother does, in fact, belong to the same
main J-M267 haplogroup as our three pedigreed Katzenellenbogen
descendants. We did additional SNP testing to further define their
subclade, which is J-L823. Undoubtedly, if you were to test your
brother for the J-L823 SNP, he would test positive for it as well. If
you would like to confirm this by ordering this single SNP, I would be
happy to assist you with that.
Other than this SNP test, there is no other Y-DNA test that I would
recommend that your brother take at the present time. His Y-DNA
results have already provided you with the essential information that
he shares a common ancestor with the Katzenellenbogen rabbinical
lineage. Exactly when that ancestor lived, however, cannot be
pinpointed with accuracy. Perhaps someday, next generation sequencing
(NGS) tests like the Big Y test will enable us to further narrow down
the time during which the most recent common Katzenellenbogen ancestor
lived, but, unfortunately, that is still a ways down the road.
If he hasn't already done so, you might have your brother take a Family
Finder test, and see if he has any genetic matches with Zweighaft among
their ancestral surnames. If so, correspond with them, and find out what
they know about their Zweighaft ancestry.
At this point, with the knowledge that your brother shares a common
ancestor with the Katzenellenbogen rabbinical lineage, I would recommend
putting your time and energy into traditional genealogical research. Try
to find out more about the Zweighaft surname. Where and when did it
originate? Try and find out where your ancestors lived. Did any of them
live in Mannheim, Germany, or in Landau, Germany, or in Lublin, Poland?
If so, those are some of same towns in which the pedigreed
Katzenellenbogen descendants' ancestors also lived. Perhaps there was a
connection between your family and the Katzenellenbogen ancestors there.
Do you have any oral tradition or written evidence of Sephardic ethnic
ancestry? This is yet another clue provided by the Katzellenbogen Y-DNA
study to follow up on.
You won't find all of the answers to these questions overnight, but
step-by-step, you may be able to narrow down where and when your
ancestors connected to the Katzenellenbogen rabbinical lineage. At least
you have some very important clues regarding where to look!
If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to call or
All the Best,
Dr. Jeffrey Mark Paull