Posted on 26 August 2019.

Seed of Israel: DNA Information To Tracing Your Jewish Ancestry by Joshua Robbin Marks,  48 pages together with endnotes; out there on for $14.99.

By Donald H. Harrison

Donald H. Harrison

SAN DIEGO – Maybe your mates or family members have advised you that they did a DNA take a look at and came upon about their ancestry, and now you’re questioning whether or not you ought to be examined equally. Journalist Joshua Robbin Marks offers readers on this slim, jargon-filled quantity with recommendations on learn how to go about it, and what you would possibly anticipate.

Briefly chapter essays, Marks tells about his personal expertise studying that he’s 100 p.c Ashkenazi Jewish, explains the fundamentals of DNA – Jewish and in any other case –, and offers a short abstract of the place and when  contingents of Jews have settled over the centuries.

I used to be a bit daunted by this paragraph:

In keeping with the web site Levite DNA, Ashkenazi Jews show the best frequency of E haplogroup (21.89 %) on the Y-DNA aspect adopted by J2 (17.83 %), J1 (17.77 %) R1b (11.50 %), G (9.94 %), R1a (9.29 %), Q (four.56 %), T (2.87 %), I (2.67 %), R2 (1.27%), L (O.27 %) and N (O.12 %).

Nonetheless, I plunged on, and I used to be glad that I did.

I realized from Marks that roughly 900 years in the past, Jews who had been descended from those that migrated from Judea to Italy had been on the transfer once more. They went to  Germany, there changing into the progenitors of the Ashkenazim.  This was not a mass motion resembling described within the Biblical Exodus.  It concerned a comparatively few households. who, over time, turned even fewer.

“Ashkenazi Jews are throughout 30th cousins or much less due to a genetic bottleneck within the Medieval period of 600 to 800 years go of simply 350 folks,” Marks informs us.

Maybe, then, I ought to say “Cousin Marks informs us.”

In case you resolve to genetically analysis your ancestry, Marks recommends that you just begin with “one of many main business DNA testing corporations” resembling Ancestry, 23 and Me, FamilyTreeDNA, or My Heritage.

After you get your outcomes from one in all them, in some circumstances you could add these outcomes to one of many different companies, thereby compiling much more details about your family tree and heredity.

My grandson Shor just lately had a DNA take a look at and realized, unsurprisingly, that he’s 100 p.c Jewish.  I deduced that if he’s 100 p.c Jewish, then I should be too.  However the routes that my ancestors might have traveled over the centuries – now there’s info I’d like to be taught.

Harrison is editor of San Diego Jewish World.  He could also be contacted through

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