Maharam of Rothenburg Matches 14th Century Erfurt Sample #dna #germany #rabbinic

Adam Cherson

Meir ben Borukh Rothenburg is in the Rabbinical Index under group R-A13358. Sample I13865 in the recently pre-printed Erfurt study ( is R-Y19847+, which means that the two lines are closely related on the R haplotree.

I cannot say for sure how close, because the ancient sample provide only limited SNPs for classification. However, it could be very close. The only thing that prevents me from saying that I13565 is in fact the Maharam of Rothenburg is the fact that the latter is buried in Worms and I13865 is from Erfurt.

The date of I13865 is estimated to be anywhere from about 1275 CE to 1398 CE. The Maharam is believed to have been born circa 1215 CE and lived until 1293 CE. Rothenburg ob der Tauber is about 115 miles SW of Erfurt.

Adam Cherson

Dan Rottenberg

Meir of Rothenburg died in 1293 in the Emperor Rudolf's castle in Ensisheim, Alsace, where he was held captive for the last seven years of his life. Many of his relatives relocated there after he was arrested and remained in Alsace long after his death. See, for example, the family of the composter Kurt Weill.

I'm pretty clueless about DNA, but as far as I know, Meir had two daughters but no sons.

I have long theorized that anyone with any variation of the name Rothenberg is likely descended from Meir of Rothenburg or one of his disciples. See my letter to Avotaynu (Spring 2004), or contact me privately and I'll send a digital copy to anyone who's interested.
Dan Rottenberg
Philadelphia PA