View Full Version : Is it worth it to investigate Ashkenazi ancestry?

06-27-2020, 05:47 PM
Hi everyone!

In November 2019 I tested with MyHeritage, which pointed to some Ashkenazi Jewish heritage. Unfortunately, I do not have much information about my family tree beyond my direct grandparents (I was born in NE Slovakia). What I am trying to answer here is whether I should take this as an indication worth spending time and money on with other DNA testing companies. I am agnostic to the outcome, so I am fine to accept that it's an error from the side of the company I just want to know whether I should investigate further. I would be grateful for any hints that would help to confirm or dismiss the result.

Ethnicity breakdown according to MH: Balkan 39.5% | Baltic 30.8% | East European 24.0% | Ashkenazi Jewish 3.4% | Scandinavian 2.3%

Now, I don't know how reliable those estimates from MH really are. I am currently regarding the Ashkenazi estimate as " a noise" coming from their data due to the fact that: a) % is quite low, b) I'm not aware of any AJ heritage in my family

Other observations:

1. I tested earlier with one other company and my paternal haplogroup is (R2) R-F1092; maternal: H2b
2. MH has a DNA matching tool. I have quite a few matches in MH database which are 90% - 100 % of Ashkenazi descent (the largest segment is 34cm with a person who is 100% Ashkenazi)
3. I match with people who have no East European ancestry, but only AJ.
4. Most of my AJ matches (with 80%+ AJ ancestry) triangulate on 16th chromosome and all segments are longer than 8cMs
5. I uploaded my results to DNA LAND and the results show 7.4% AJ ancestry

I am attaching some screenshots from DNA matching tool here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/79ha4118sy3ep5f/MyHeritage%20-%20AJ%20matches.pdf?dl=0

I will be glad to answer any questions.

Appreciate your help.


06-27-2020, 07:13 PM
A number of different threads exist on this topic, including one started in the past couple of days which you might want to check out: https://anthrogenica.com/showthread.php?20793-Researching-Possible-Jewish-Ancestry-GED-painting-NEED-HELP-PLEASE!-) I say follow the matches. MH and DNA.land ethnicity estimates alone are not at all reliable, since lots of people get false positives for Ashkenazi with those services. But if you get a lot of Ashkenazi matches, that's a strong sign. You might want to check the segments you share using chromosome painting in GEDmatch to get a better idea of whether those segments come from shared Jewish or non-Jewish ancestors (keeping in mind that Ashkenazi Jews have some minor ancestry from non-Jewish Eastern Europeans which doesn't necessarily show up in ethnicity estimates).

The MH update is supposed to be released sometime this year, and it looks like it'll be much more refined. It'll be interesting to see what happens with these minor percentages that tend to get over-assigned.