Although, I have been a member of JewishGen almost since the start (I am
member 1283), I only just joined this list. I do have other known Sephardic
ancestors besides for the line which I discuss here.
In August, I received an email >from someone who is a mitochondrial DNA
match. Mitochondrial DNA is passed >from mother to child. Both male and
female children inherit it, but males do not pass it further. Thus this
match indicates that we are related on our purely maternal lines.
The person whom I match is >from Mallorca, Spain. Although he knew that both
his father and mother were descended on their male lines >from people who
converted >from Judaism due to the Inquisition, he did not know about his
purely maternal line which is why he took the test. The fact that he matches
a great number of central and eastern European Jews proves that this line is
In my case, I can trace my maternal line only pack to a woman named Lina or
Lia ( = Leah) who was born in 1753 in the town of Birstein in the
present-day Main-Kinzig-Kreis in Hessen, Germany. That is only about halfway
back to the Inquisition.
What else I noticed is that almost all of my many mitochondrial matches are
obviously primarily Ashkenazi. There are only a couple of other who appear
to have ancestors >from Spain. What I am curious about is if anyone has any
statistics, even if quite approximate, as to what percentage of Jews
converted at the time of the Inquisition as opposed to leaving Spain?
Ralph N. Baer Washington, DC RalphNBaer@aol.com