Archive | November 2012

Ashkenazi Lament

My father is Norwegian (Lutheran) while my mother was German, half jewish and half catholic. So my maternal grandfather was a German Jew, this qualifies his DNA as Ashkenazi. Apparently this group was very inbred to the point where I am finding many many matches at 23andme for my DNA (from him) that are too far back to find the paper trail. And we have most of our jewish ancestors documented back to the late 1700s. To be specific, of my over 1000 matches at 23andme at least 900 or more are Ashkenazi of which over half are Eastern European. As we have no known Eastern European family [correction: one 4th grandfather born in Ukraine plus another unknown], I have to conclude that siblings of our ancestors in the 1500s and 1600s migrated East [correction: much movement back west in the 1600s for example Sulzbach welcomed back eastern jews in 1666]. Our Floss families came there from Austria which deported its Jews in 1420 and again in the mid 1500s according to the Wikipedia article on Austrian Jewish history. Probably at that time other family members went further east.

So far I have found one new 5th cousin through the 23andme site on the jewish side (and that was from a surname scan) as compared to about six new Norwegian relatives. And it seems that the Ashkenazi matches drown out our other German matches. Of course the problem may also be that very few Germans have tested since it is apparently not legal there. Fortunately lots of Norwegians have tested.

Dad’s 37 STR marker results are in!

Dad’s initial 12 marker STR test showed him to be a classic Western Atlantic Modal Haplotype (WAMH) which meant that he had over 6000 matches at family tree DNA. As you can imagine that was not very useful for finding out which of the many Lars Monsens born around 1781 in the Bergen area might be his g-grandfather. So I spent the money to upgrade him to 37 markers to see if we could do better. Now that the results are in for that, there is only one match four steps away whose most distant paternal ancestor is Swedish. I emailed him yesterday and have not yet heard back. There are also about ten 25 marker matches but they all seem to be English in origin so I have not yet emailed them.

Next step is to use the Ysearch site but it times out on my internet via tethered Blackberry so I will wait until next week for that.

Meanwhile I used the SNPs he was tested for to calculate his Y haplogroup using the latest ISOGG chart and it is R1b1a2a1a1 or R1b-L11*

Look at our test results page to read more about that haplogroup including a number of good links.