Re: Question about genetic groups on My Heritage & Ancestry #dna #sephardic

Sally Bruckheimer <sallybruc@...>

"Mitochondrial DNA is suitable for tracing the female line.  It goes back many generations.  I do not have experience with this test, but I expect it is capable of going back further than any Jewish genealogy you might have.  However, most Jewish genealogy follows the patriarchal names.  So, mitochondrial DNA research (the matriarchal line, mother-to-daughter, mother-to-daughter) has limited utility.  Not being sexist.  Just the way it is.  Blame our ancestors and their patriarchal proclivity."

Y-DNA is like mt-DNA, but the all male line. It also doesn't change for centuries, and almost all of the family names disappear in the 19th century sometime. It doesn't matter if it is the all female or all male line, so for genealogy both are useless. If you are a HOROWICZ or another surname that goes back further, they don't go back far enough.

The 'Cohen' gene marker is present in about 50% of men claiming Cohen status - and not in the other 50%. It is also present in some non-Cohen claimants. There is no proof that any gene is a REAL Cohen marker, much less than it came from Cohenim or Sephardim who may or may not have migrated to Eastern Europe. It is undoubtedly true that some Sephardim went to the Ottoman Empire, including Greece and the Balkans, and they may well have intermarried with Ashkenazi living there, but you can't prove anything with 'tantalizing evidence'.

Y-DNA and mt-DNA do not give an answer for what happened 500 or 600 years ago, and they can't tell you if you are Sephardic or anything else.

Sally Bruckheimer
Retired Molecular Biologist
Princeton, NJ

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