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Jewish Marker Information


Kim de Beus

Aug 11, 2010, 11:57 PM

Post #1 of 6 (96381 views)
Jewish Marker Information Can't Post

Many customers request further explanation of the Jewish markers associated with the 18 Marker Ethnic Panel; therefore, Dr. Yates has asked that I post some information regarding the markers.

As a matter of background, DNA Consultants has recently developed a new Jewish DNA Ancestry Test. This test will be launched through Jewish Voice Ministries International on August 29th and I look forward to handling the anticipated business from this new product. It was during the research and development of this new test that the following information was established.

JEWISH I. This is the most common of the three markers. It can occur without known Jewish ancestry for a variety of reasons including an ancestor’s conversion to Christianity during the long centuries of persecutions against Jews in Europe. Its frequency is highest in Poles, Russians, Germans, Hungarians, Romanians and Slavic peoples who intermarried with Ashkenazi Jews. It also appears in Spanish, Portuguese and Moroccan Jews.

JEWISH II. This marker is the strongest. It is found in Jewish families who have intermarried with other Jews down through the centuries. It is characteristic of Ashkenazi Jews.

JEWISH III. This marker is an indication of Middle Eastern roots. Preserved by Jews, it is also borne by Kurds, Syrians, Arabs, Berbers, Basques, Turks, Greeks, Italians and other populations from the ancient world.

Trust this will provide some further guidance with interpreting Jewish marker results.




New User

Aug 19, 2010, 12:28 PM

Post #2 of 6 (96324 views)
Re: [Kim de Beus] Jewish Marker Information [In reply to] Can't Post


My DNA Fingerprint Plus report states "[t]here was a match with Ashkenazi (markers) and Sephardic Jews (green diamond in Israel)." There is also a check mark on the Ethnic Panel for "Ashkenazi Jewish I" for one parent.

The key for "Ashkenazi Jewish", though, notes that "these markers do not necessarily point to Jewish ancestry." (I did not see a key for "Sephardic Jewish".) This leaves me a little confused about how to interpret my match with the Jewish markers. Is it probable, based on the test results, that I am Jewish?

Thank you for your clarification.

donald yates
User / Moderator

Aug 20, 2010, 3:44 AM

Post #3 of 6 (96312 views)
Re: [FLWalker] Jewish Marker Information [In reply to] Can't Post

The fact that you have Jewish marker(s) passed down to you means you have some Jewish ancestry, somewhere, to some degree, but does not make you Jewish any more than having a Native American marker makes you an Indian. Also the fact that you do not receive a marker does not mean you lack that ancestry since it might have been passed over in the shuffling of your parents' CODIS scores to create your unique DNA Fingerprint. Your sibling might get a value but you do not. Hope this helps.

Ashkenazi I, II and III are the same as Jewish I, II and III. Sephardic Jews intermingled with their Ashkenazi relatives in the 500 years after the Spanish Inquisition. Our Ashkenazi population in the World Matches is based on Hungarian Jews but is generalizable to all Ashkenazi Jews. Our Sephardic data is restricted to a special study of Spanish/Portuguese Jews in Israel.

Sephardic Population study:
Picornell, Antonia, Carmen Tomas, Gema Jimenez, Jose A. Castro, and M. Misericordia Ramon. (2002) “Jewish Population Genetic Data in 20 Polymorphic Loci. Forensic Science International 125:52-8.

Ashkenazi Population study:
Egyed, Balazs, Elena Bosch, Francesc Calafell, David Comas, Peter J. Oefner, Peter A. Underhill, and Jaume Bertranpetit. (2006) “Analysis of the Population Heterogeneity in Hungary Using Fifteen Forensically Informative STR Markers,” Forensic Science International 158: 244-49.

I see there might be more to your question. Yes, it is probable but not certain that you have Jewish ancestry, somewhere, to some degree. All results of population comparisons are only probable. But I would estimate the confidence level is 95%. Note however that matches do not equate to percentages of ancestry. No test (despite what you may have seen on TV) can estimate percentages of ancestry or admixture. One reason for this is that all populations are mixed to begin with.
Donald N. Yates
Principal Investigator
DNA Consultants

(This post was edited by donald yates on Aug 20, 2010, 4:00 AM)

New User

Sep 4, 2010, 4:36 AM

Post #4 of 6 (96245 views)
Re: [Kim de Beus] Jewish Marker Information [In reply to] Can't Post

I shared with someone I know that my DNA test showed Jewish ancestry, and he replied that "anyone with American Caucasian ancestry will have that marker because of migration patterns." I find his point difficult to believe given the fact that Jews make up such a small percentage of the world's population, but I'm curious to know whether the results you see from your DNA tests bear it out.

(This post was edited by FLWalker on Sep 4, 2010, 4:39 AM)

Kim de Beus

Sep 13, 2010, 11:53 PM

Post #5 of 6 (96181 views)
Re: [FLWalker] Jewish Marker Information [In reply to] Can't Post

Testing shows that not everyone has the Jewish markers. Most people do not.

At the same time, we recognize that Jews are an archaic, diaspora population and are spread all over Europe and the Americas. There are many populations, especially Catholic and Muslim ones, that have avoided intermarrying with them. Jewish markers are more common in Protestant populations, showing that Jews more easily converted to Protestant sects than Catholic ones.



Dec 5, 2010, 4:27 AM

Post #6 of 6 (92988 views)
Re: [Kim de Beus] Jewish Marker Information [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you all for this valuable information. I am sharing my mom's story here because it might be pertinent and of interest to others who have similar markers and background.

And so - my mom got her Jewish results in recently, and they are as follows:


She had long suspected that there could be some Jews on her dad's side of the family in particular. Both her parents have a predominantly Russian background and didn't come to the United States until the 1890s/early 1900s, but their Russian background may only be in terms of location; they probably weren't Slavic at all, but with a dominant Germanic element. After all, her paternal grandmother claimed Volga German ancestry (also known as Catherine the Great's Germans, Germans who were brought into Russia by her 1760s manifestos), and her mother's side of the family has German Mennonites from Russia, as well as some Norwegians (kind of a typical Minnesotan/Dakotan background, and that is where she grew up and has lived all her life).

With that said, her results surprised me a bit. I was not expecting her to test positive for Jewish markers from both parents; I didn't think her mother, my maternal grandmother, was anything except pure German and Norwegian. I know the Jewish I marker is the least indicative of the three, but the fact there may be some Ashkenazi in there is pretty remarkable to me.

As for III, that also is fascinating; it proves that either there was more mixing among the German Russians than Catherine the Great wanted (she tried to bar German Jews from coming to Russia), or that after these Germans came to Russia, they weren't as stringent about sticking to their group as historians have documented (most sources I've read claimed the Volga Germans kept mostly to themselves in Russia). Regardless, while I am surprised, I am not 100% so because some of mother's uncles looked VERY Middle Eastern. Her dad didn't in particular, but some of his brothers sure did: very dark complexion, curly hair, etc. So, while she and I didn't inherit the stereotypical phenotype (actually, I probably did with my hair, which skipped my mom somehow), it's still in the family line.

Finally, the III marker is almost certainly Jewish in her case. One of her uncles carried around the Star of David way back in the 1940s, so if the III marker indicated something like Arabic or Syrian in her case, that habit would have been very odd. Sly If the Middle Eastern marker indicates anything other than Jewish in her case (or something Middle Eastern mixed with Jewish), it could be Turkish because her paternal grandfather did enjoy Tatar dances, and the various Tatar groups usually have some Turkic element if he is indeed was part of that group ethnically (he may have just done the dances because it was common Russian custom, and he was a master at blending into whatever national customs were required, whether it was language, dance, mannerisms, etc.).

With all that said, if anyone knows about any Kurds, Syrians, Arabs, Berbers, Basques, Greeks, and Italians who somehow made their way into the Saratov/Samara and Omsk/Tomsk regions of Russia, do tell - but otherwise, I think the III marker is indicative of either Jewish, Turkish, or both given my mom's background.


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