PDA

View Full Version : Jewish Genetic Communities in MyHeritage and AncestryDNA



passenger
12-24-2020, 10:52 PM
I thought it might be interesting to create a space for people to post, compare and discuss the Jewish "genetic communities" from MyHeritage and AncestryDNA.

For reference, I've listed the regions from each service that are specifically labelled as "Jewish". Of course, in the case of AncestryDNA, this is limited to "European Jewish" (read "Ashkenazi") groups.

AncestryDNA

Jews in Western & Central Europe:

Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg

Poland, Slovakia, Hungary & Moravia

Western Ukraine, Moldova & Eastern Romania


Jews in Central & Eastern Europe:

Lithuania, Latvia & Belarus

Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine & Western Russia

Northeast Poland, Lithuania, Latvia & West Belarus

42011 42012


MyHeritage


Ashkenazi Genetic Groups:

Eastern Europe, mostly Lithuania, Poland and Belarus

Eastern Europe, mostly Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania

Eastern and Central Europe, mostly Poland, Germany, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia

Central Europe, mostly Czechia, Poland and Hungary

Central and Eastern Europe, mostly Germany, Poland and Ukraine

Central and Eastern Europe, mostly Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Netherlands, Germany, Austria and England

Eastern Europe, mostly Belarus, Poland, Romania and Ukraine

Eastern Europe, mostly Poland, Austria, Hungary, Romania and Ukraine

Eastern Europe, mostly Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania and Hungary

Eastern Europe, mostly Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania and Russia

Eastern Europe, mostly Poland, Ukraine, Russia and Lithuania

Eastern Europe, mostly Russia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Poland

Eastern and Central Europe, mostly Ukraine, Poland, Germany and Russia

England and Poland

Europe, mostly Poland, Germany, Netherlands and England

Europe, mostly Poland, Ukraine, Germany, England and Ireland

Germany, Poland and Hungary

Lithuania, Germany, France and England

Netherlands, Germany and England

Netherlands, Germany, England and Ireland

Poland, Germany, Austria and Ukraine

Poland, Germany, England and Ireland

Poland, Hungary, Germany and Austria

Poland, Ukraine, Russia and Romania

Sephardic Genetic Groups:

Algeria #2

Algeria and Tunisia #2

Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco

Libya (Tripoli)

Morocco (Tangier-Tétouan-Al Hoceima) and Algeria (Oran)

Morocco and Algeria #3

Morocco and Algeria #4

Syria (Aleppo) and Egypt

Tunisia (Tunis)

Turkey, Greece, Algeria, Morocco and France

Western Morocco and Algeria

Ethiopian Jewish Genetic Groups:

Eritrea, Turkey (Şarkışla) and Ethiopia

Ethiopia and Eritrea #1

Ethiopia and Eritrea #2

Sudan

Mizrahi Genetic Groups:

Iran #2

Iran #3

Iran, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan

Iran, Iraq and Azerbaijan

Iraq #2

Iraq (Baghdad) #2

Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan

Syria (Damascus)


Yemenite Jewish Genetic Groups:

Israel, Turkey and Yemen

Yemen #1

Yemen #2

Yemen (Aden) #1

Yemen (Aden) #2

Yemen (Sana)

Yemen and Denmark

Yemen, Egypt, Iran and Uzbekistan

passenger
12-24-2020, 11:02 PM
And here are my mom's genetic groups for MyHeritage:

42037

One of these groups appears at high confidence: Lithuania, Poland and Belarus

One only appears at low confidence: Central and Eastern Europe, mostly Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Netherlands, Germany, Austria and England

The other two appear at medium confidence.

She hasn't tested with AncestryDNA, but my cousins from her side, who have, get all three regions from "Jews in Central & Eastern Europe", which appear to be identical to the regions she got at medium and high confidence from MH.

She gets no Sephardic region, despite being 1/4 on paper and scoring 25.6% "Sephardic Jewish - North Africa" (not that the ethnicity breakdown and genetic communites are directly correlated).

In general, one of the things I wonder about is what seems to be an excessive number of genetic communities on MH, particularly for Ashkenazim, and whether these groupings correspond to any truly meaningful trends in Ashkenazi migration patterns, past and present.

BalkanKiwi
12-24-2020, 11:36 PM
I haven't tested at Ancestry so I have nothing to compare to, but I hope you don't mind me throwing mine in here anyway.

Myself:


Eastern and Central Europe, mostly Poland, Germany, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia
Netherlands, Germany and England

Sister:


Eastern and Central Europe, mostly Poland, Germany, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia


Mother:


Eastern and Central Europe, mostly Poland, Germany, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia
Netherlands, Germany and England


Grandfather:


Eastern and Central Europe, mostly Poland, Germany, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia

passenger
12-24-2020, 11:40 PM
I haven't tested at Ancestry so I have nothing to compare to, but I hope you don't mind me throwing mine in here anyway.

Feel free! I didn't mean for it to be exclusively for people who have tested with both, who are probably few and far between. In any case, the comparisons really only work for the Ashkenazi categories.

Do your groups make any sense based on what you know from your paper trail?

BalkanKiwi
12-25-2020, 12:01 AM
Feel free! I didn't mean for it to be exclusively for people who have tested with both, who are probably few and far between. In any case, the comparisons really only work for the Ashkenazi categories.

Do your groups make any sense based on what you know from your paper trail?

Indeed they do, although these particular groups aren't overly insightful (not that I expect them to be). "Eastern and Central Europe, mostly Poland, Germany, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia" is probably the stock standard group for most Ashkenazi, and "Netherlands, Germany and England" is possibly reflective of ancestor movement from Poland to England (and then eventually to Australia and then New Zealand). Somewhat interestingly for both genetic groups, there is a cluster in Adelaide, Australia, between the 1850-1900s, which is where my third great grandfather and his wife moved to from England. Maybe a coincidence, as I haven't read up in detail on the science behind the process, however its interesting both reflect this. There was likely a large Ashkenazi population within Adelaide during this time (no doubt evident from the family trees they used to build the database).

jkotl0327
12-25-2020, 12:29 AM
I thought it might be interesting to create a space for people to post, compare and discuss the Jewish "genetic communities" from MyHeritage and AncestryDNA.

For reference, I've listed the regions from each service that are specifically labelled as "Jewish". Of course, in the case of AncestryDNA, this is limited to "European Jewish" (read "Ashkenazi") groups.

AncestryDNA

Jews in Western & Central Europe:

Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg

Poland, Slovakia, Hungary & Moravia

Western Ukraine, Moldova & Eastern Romania


Jews in Central & Eastern Europe:

Lithuania, Latvia & Belarus

Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine & Western Russia

Northeast Poland, Lithuania, Latvia & West Belarus

42011 42012


MyHeritage


Ashkenazi Genetic Groups:

Eastern Europe, mostly Lithuania, Poland and Belarus

Eastern Europe, mostly Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania

Eastern and Central Europe, mostly Poland, Germany, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia

Central Europe, mostly Czechia, Poland and Hungary

Central and Eastern Europe, mostly Germany, Poland and Ukraine

Central and Eastern Europe, mostly Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Netherlands, Germany, Austria and England

Eastern Europe, mostly Belarus, Poland, Romania and Ukraine

Eastern Europe, mostly Poland, Austria, Hungary, Romania and Ukraine

Eastern Europe, mostly Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania and Hungary

Eastern Europe, mostly Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania and Russia

Eastern Europe, mostly Poland, Ukraine, Russia and Lithuania

Eastern Europe, mostly Russia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Poland

Eastern and Central Europe, mostly Ukraine, Poland, Germany and Russia

England and Poland

Europe, mostly Poland, Germany, Netherlands and England

Europe, mostly Poland, Ukraine, Germany, England and Ireland

Germany, Poland and Hungary

Lithuania, Germany, France and England

Netherlands, Germany and England

Netherlands, Germany, England and Ireland

Poland, Germany, Austria and Ukraine

Poland, Germany, England and Ireland

Poland, Hungary, Germany and Austria


Sephardic Genetic Groups:

Algeria #2

Algeria and Tunisia #2

Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco

Libya (Tripoli)

Morocco (Tangier-Tétouan-Al Hoceima) and Algeria (Oran)

Morocco and Algeria #3

Morocco and Algeria #4

Syria (Aleppo) and Egypt

Tunisia (Tunis)

Turkey, Greece, Algeria, Morocco and France

Western Morocco and Algeria

Poland, Ukraine, Russia and Romania

Ethiopian Jewish Genetic Groups:

Eritrea, Turkey (Şarkışla) and Ethiopia

Ethiopia and Eritrea #1

Ethiopia and Eritrea #2

Sudan

Mizrahi Genetic Groups:

Iran #2

Iran #3

Iran, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan

Iran, Iraq and Azerbaijan

Iraq #2

Iraq (Baghdad) #2

Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan

Syria (Damascus)


Yemenite Jewish Genetic Groups:

Israel, Turkey and Yemen

Yemen #1

Yemen #2

Yemen (Aden) #1

Yemen (Aden) #2

Yemen (Sana)

Yemen and Denmark

Yemen, Egypt, Iran and Uzbekistan

High Confidence: Poland, Ukraine, Russia and Romania (the only high confidence one for all 6 kits I have, seems to represent my central to SW Ukraine region best),
Eastern and Central Europe, mostly Poland, Germany, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia (high confidence for 3 of my 6 kits)

Medium Confidence: Eastern and Central Europe, mostly Poland, Germany, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia (medium confidence for the other 3 of my 6 kits), Poland, Hungary, Germany and Austria (for 3 out of 6 kits, particularly my mother and maternal grandparents but not me or my father's two kits, which doesn't seem to make much sense), Poland, Germany, Austria and Ukraine (medium confidence for 2 out of 6 kits, for one of my dad's kits and my mother's kit, seems to be no rhyme or reason to that either)

Low Confidence: Poland, Germany, Austria and Ukraine (the other 4 out of 6 kits), Poland, Hungary, Germany and Austria (the other 3 out of 6 kits), Central and Eastern Europe, mostly Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Netherlands, Germany, Austria and England (2 kits, just my mother and grandmother, such a big region I'm not sure if it means anything), Eastern Europe, mostly Poland, Austria, Hungary, Romania and Ukraine (all 6 kits, all low confidence, not sure why, it makes more sense for my family than some of the other groups), Eastern Europe, mostly Lithuania, Poland and Belarus (just one of my dad's kits, seems to be Litvak-like in distribution? I know my dad's grandmother is from Nikolaev Oblast, but they lived in a shtetl distinct for its German Jewish migrants, across the Buh from a larger city that was specifically known for its community's Litvak origins, so my older relatives always insisted that side only had German Jewish and some local Ukrainian Jewish, no Litvak. Also only one of my dad's kits gets this community, the other one doesn't. Maybe if I can get my paternal grandmother tested I can find out more, or maybe it just doesn't mean anything.)

StillWater
12-25-2020, 02:31 AM
High confidence(the order does matter):

Eastern Europe, mostly Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania
Poland, Ukraine, Russia and Romania

Medium(again, order matters):

Eastern Europe, mostly Lithuania, Poland and Belarus
Eastern and Central Europe, mostly Poland, Germany, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia

Poland, Ukraine, Russia and Romania comes from my grandma, who gets it as her first region - her dad is from Southern Ukraine. There goes my hope of them being Litvak transplants.

MyHeritage did a lot of overfitting, be it with group assignment, their listing of "Top Places' etc. For example, many AJ groups will get Ireland as a location for the 1600's, simply because many people have both Ashkenazi and Irish heritage. Here is how you can better understand each group and evade much of the overfit data: pick 1950-2000 for the group and see the locations. Look at the former Pale locations. For example, my first group gets:

New York, NY, USA
Moscow, Russia
United States
Russia
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Chicago, IL, USA
Minsk, Belarus
Belarus
New Jersey, USA

Notice how Belarus is the only former Pale location? This indicates that it's probably the mode of its members and what the group in fact "attempted" to pick up on. This is because we can reasonably rely on Soviet era Jews as being pure regional proxies much better than American Jews with vast trees. If most people in this group (nth generation New World Jews) also happened to have ancestors from Ukraine, then Ukraine will appear for older dates. Not suprisingly, since Ukraine is a common location to have Jewish ancestors in, it will appear in most Ashkenazi trees and thus will seem relevant to every group. However, as the date gets shallower, there is less room for such overfitting and thus we're left with the actual variable and not its correlates. Not suprisingly, the description on the group's page is: "Ashkenazi Jews in Eastern Europe, mostly in Belarus and some in Russia, Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania and their descendants in the United States and some in England, Canada and Israel"

Let's now try it with bane of my existance - Poland, Ukraine, Russia and Romania:

New York, NY, USA
Los Angeles, CA, USA
United States
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Kyiv, Ukraine
Chicago, IL, USA
Montreal, Québec, Canada
New Jersey, USA
Miami, FL, USA
Moscow, Russia

Not surprisingly, it's a non-Litvak group, as indicated by Kiev and the absence of old Lite. "But Poland is listed first and it's not there!". Almost no Jews lived in Poland after 1950 - that's the limitation of this method. However, contrast it to the previous one, and this clearly demonstrates that it's a "southern group".

Now, for "Eastern Europe, mostly Lithuania, Poland and Belarus":

United States
New York, NY, USA
Chicago, IL, USA
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Boston, MA, USA
Philadelphia, PA, USA
United Kingdom
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Miami, FL, USA

While we don't have Lithuanian locations on the list thanks to the Holocaust, we have a firm proxy for mainland Litvaks - South Africa.

Now, look at "Eastern and Central Europe, mostly Poland, Germany, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia":

New York, NY, USA
United States
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Chicago, IL, USA
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Florida, USA
Miami, FL, USA
Moscow, Russia
England
New Jersey, USA

This implies that what this group represents is sufficiently western, that we don't get Pale locations, and so far we see that the first country in the list likely represents the largest common factor.

Now, we do have this group - Eastern Europe, mostly Russia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Poland.

Top places 1950 - 2000
Hadera, Haifa District, Israel
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Safed, North District, Israel
Poland
Russia
United States
Ashland, WI, USA
Bainbridge, GA, USA
Birmingham, AL, USA
Chicago, IL, USA

"But you said Poland can't appear and it does". Yes, but look at the first locations in Israel and it becomes clear what this is. This is a Holocaust survivor group. Some surviving Jews remained in post-war Poland for 1-2 decades. Am I not then also over fitting - how can a group be this specific? Not when there are 24 Ashkenazi groups. When there are that many groups, one can end up being as specific as representing a subset of Holocaust survivors (technically, their descendants).

passenger
12-25-2020, 02:42 AM
High Confidence: Poland, Ukraine, Russia and Romania (the only high confidence one for all 6 kits I have, seems to represent my central to SW Ukraine region best),
Eastern and Central Europe, mostly Poland, Germany, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia (high confidence for 3 of my 6 kits)

Medium Confidence: Eastern and Central Europe, mostly Poland, Germany, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia (medium confidence for the other 3 of my 6 kits), Poland, Hungary, Germany and Austria (for 3 out of 6 kits, particularly my mother and maternal grandparents but not me or my father's two kits, which doesn't seem to make much sense), Poland, Germany, Austria and Ukraine (medium confidence for 2 out of 6 kits, for one of my dad's kits and my mother's kit, seems to be no rhyme or reason to that either)

Low Confidence: Poland, Germany, Austria and Ukraine (the other 4 out of 6 kits), Poland, Hungary, Germany and Austria (the other 3 out of 6 kits), Central and Eastern Europe, mostly Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Netherlands, Germany, Austria and England (2 kits, just my mother and grandmother, such a big region I'm not sure if it means anything), Eastern Europe, mostly Poland, Austria, Hungary, Romania and Ukraine (all 6 kits, all low confidence, not sure why, it makes more sense for my family than some of the other groups), Eastern Europe, mostly Lithuania, Poland and Belarus (just one of my dad's kits, seems to be Litvak-like in distribution? I know my dad's grandmother is from Nikolaev Oblast, but they lived in a shtetl distinct for its German Jewish migrants, across the Buh from a larger city that was specifically known for its community's Litvak origins, so my older relatives always insisted that side only had German Jewish and some local Ukrainian Jewish, no Litvak. Also only one of my dad's kits gets this community, the other one doesn't. Maybe if I can get my paternal grandmother tested I can find out more, or maybe it just doesn't mean anything.)

Yeah, I'm not sure how meaningful some of these groups are. That's partly why I thought comparing the groups from MH and Ancestry might be useful, or at least interesting. Ancestry's broad strokes make some sense to me, and seem to reflect a North/South (more or less Litvak) axis from Lithuania to Ukraine, more or less within the Pale, on the one hand, and another East/West axis, maybe partially reflective of movement within and out of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (though I'm sure it's not quite as simple or clear-cut as that). With MH I see some of that, but there are just too many groups to try and make sense out of it.

From what I know of my tree, my mom's groups make sense, but I can't get far back enough to confirm. She had three grandparents whose families came from the Pale. Her paternal grandfather (born in Istanbul but partly raised in Odessa) had a mother who was born in Odessa and a father born in Slutsk (Belarus). Her maternal grandparents were both from Kremenchug (central Ukraine) and I don't know much about their parents, except that her maternal grandfather had some family from the Minsk area, and her grandmother's mother was listed on one document as being from Ekaterinoslav (Dnipro), but of course the family couldn't have been in that region for very long.

passenger
12-25-2020, 02:54 AM
MyHeritage did a lot of overfitting, be it with group assignment, their listing of "Top Places' etc. For example, many AJ groups will get Ireland as a location for the 1600's, simply because many people have both Ashkenazi and Irish heritage. Here is how you can better understand each group and evade much of the overfit data: pick 1950-2000 for the group and see the locations. Look at the former Pale locations. For example, my first group gets...

Thanks for adding some nuance! I'll have to go through and look at the locations more carefully. It would be nice if they added some sort of historical narrative or at least tried to make sense of the groups for their customers.

StillWater
12-25-2020, 03:11 AM
Thanks for adding some nuance! I'll have to go through and look at the locations more carefully. It would be nice if they added some sort of historical narrative or at least tried to make sense of the groups for their customers.

Thankfully, it seems they deleted the group called "Southern Italy and Poland" - clear case of overfitting.

jkotl0327
12-25-2020, 03:42 AM
High confidence(the order does matter):

Eastern Europe, mostly Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania
Poland, Ukraine, Russia and Romania

Medium(again, order matters):

Eastern Europe, mostly Lithuania, Poland and Belarus
Eastern and Central Europe, mostly Poland, Germany, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia

Poland, Ukraine, Russia and Romania comes from my grandma, who gets it as her first region - her dad is from Southern Ukraine. There goes my hope of them being Litvak transplants.

MyHeritage did a lot of overfitting, be it with group assignment, their listing of "Top Places' etc. For example, many AJ groups will get Ireland as a location for the 1600's, simply because many people have both Ashkenazi and Irish heritage. Here is how you can better understand each group and evade much of the overfit data: pick 1950-2000 for the group and see the locations. Look at the former Pale locations. For example, my first group gets:

New York, NY, USA
Moscow, Russia
United States
Russia
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Chicago, IL, USA
Minsk, Belarus
Belarus
New Jersey, USA

Notice how Belarus is the only former Pale location? This indicates that it's probably the mode of its members and what the group in fact "attempted" to pick up on. This is because we can reasonably rely on Soviet era Jews as being pure regional proxies much better than American Jews with vast trees. If most people in this group (nth generation New World Jews) also happened to have ancestors from Ukraine, then Ukraine will appear for older dates. Not suprisingly, since Ukraine is a common location to have Jewish ancestors in, it will appear in most Ashkenazi trees and thus will seem relevant to every group. However, as the date gets shallower, there is less room for such overfitting and thus we're left with the actual variable and not its correlates. Not suprisingly, the description on the group's page is: "Ashkenazi Jews in Eastern Europe, mostly in Belarus and some in Russia, Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania and their descendants in the United States and some in England, Canada and Israel"

Let's now try it with bane of my existance - Poland, Ukraine, Russia and Romania:

New York, NY, USA
Los Angeles, CA, USA
United States
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Kyiv, Ukraine
Chicago, IL, USA
Montreal, Québec, Canada
New Jersey, USA
Miami, FL, USA
Moscow, Russia

Not surprisingly, it's a non-Litvak group, as indicated by Kiev and the absence of old Lite. "But Poland is listed first and it's not there!". Almost no Jews lived in Poland after 1950 - that's the limitation of this method. However, contrast it to the previous one, and this clearly demonstrates that it's a "southern group".

Now, for "Eastern Europe, mostly Lithuania, Poland and Belarus":

United States
New York, NY, USA
Chicago, IL, USA
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Boston, MA, USA
Philadelphia, PA, USA
United Kingdom
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Miami, FL, USA

While we don't have Lithuanian locations on the list thanks to the Holocaust, we have a firm proxy for mainland Litvaks - South Africa.

Now, look at "Eastern and Central Europe, mostly Poland, Germany, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia":

New York, NY, USA
United States
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Chicago, IL, USA
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Florida, USA
Miami, FL, USA
Moscow, Russia
England
New Jersey, USA

This implies that what this group represents is sufficiently western, that we don't get Pale locations, and so far we see that the first country in the list likely represents the largest common factor.

Now, we do have this group - Eastern Europe, mostly Russia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Poland.

Top places 1950 - 2000
Hadera, Haifa District, Israel
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Safed, North District, Israel
Poland
Russia
United States
Ashland, WI, USA
Bainbridge, GA, USA
Birmingham, AL, USA
Chicago, IL, USA

"But you said Poland can't appear and it does". Yes, but look at the first locations in Israel and it becomes clear what this is. This is a Holocaust survivor group. Some surviving Jews remained in post-war Poland for 1-2 decades. Am I not then also over fitting - how can a group be this specific? Not when there are 24 Ashkenazi groups. When there are that many groups, one can end up being as specific as representing a subset of Holocaust survivors (technically, their descendants).

Poland/Ukraine/Russia/Romania is the top group for all my family members... seems like you are related to us Ukrainishers :)
The Lithuania/Poland/Belarus, my dad gets for one kit but not the other, and at low confidence, you think it means something or no?

jkotl0327
12-25-2020, 03:43 AM
Thankfully, it seems they deleted the group called "Southern Italy and Poland" - clear case of overfitting.

Never saw this group

passenger
12-25-2020, 04:29 AM
Some of the MH groups I really don't get:

Israel, Turkey and Yemen (in Yemenite Jewish)

Yemen, Egypt, Iran and Uzbekistan (YJ)

Eritrea, Turkey (Şarkışla) and Ethiopia (in Ethiopian Jewish)

Turkey, Greece, Algeria, Morocco and France (in Sephardic)

I'm guessing these are groups due to intermarriage in the diaspora - Israel in the case of the first three, France for the last one? But then what's the point of the group? Why is there no stand alone group for Eastern Sephardim?

StillWater
12-25-2020, 04:37 AM
Some of the MH groups I really don't get:

Israel, Turkey and Yemen (in Yemenite Jewish)

Yemen, Egypt, Iran and Uzbekistan (YJ)

Eritrea, Turkey (Şarkışla) and Ethiopia (in Ethiopian Jewish)

Turkey, Greece, Algeria, Morocco and France (in Sephardic)

I'm guessing these are groups due to intermarriage in the diaspora - Israel in the case of the first three, France for the last one? But then what's the point of the group? Why is there no stand alone group for Eastern Sephardim?

Probably not enough pure East Sephardim in their database who are related.

passenger
12-25-2020, 04:42 AM
Probably not enough pure East Sephardim in their database who are related.

I guess not.

StillWater
12-25-2020, 04:47 AM
I guess not.

Look at the locations for 1950-2000 in Turkey, Greece, Algeria, Morocco and France (in Sephardic). It is effectively the East Sephardi group. It's probably impossible to get it at high confidence without having East Sephardi ancestry. Perhaps for low confidence, one could be related to the North African ancestors of the people in this group.

passenger
12-25-2020, 05:11 AM
Look at the locations for 1950-2000 in Turkey, Greece, Algeria, Morocco and France (in Sephardic). It is effectively the East Sephardi group. It's probably impossible to get it at high confidence without having East Sephardi ancestry. Perhaps for low confidence, one could be related to the North African ancestors of the people in this group.

Yeah, that seems to be the case.

As for the others I mentioned, I really don't know. Looking at the descriptions they have, they make it seem like they represent cohesive groups of Ethiopian or Yemenite Jews who actually migrated to those locations. Are/were there such migrations? Eritrean Jews in Şarkışla, Turkey?

Their timeline locations are also bizarre. I gather they're simply timelines from members in that group who may have other ethnicities with lines that they've traced back farther than their Jewish ones, hence the very improbable 17th century locations for some of these. But then the inclusion of that information leads me to question the usefulness/reliability of any of it.

talombo
12-25-2020, 07:35 AM
https://i.imgur.com/laFK6l3.jpg

Riverman
12-25-2020, 03:15 PM
Like for other ethnicities, the time scale depends ob the available records. How many Jewish genealogical records exist before 1700? And how many of these sources being regularly used by genealogists?
An important, wealthy family from England is simply much more likely to have easy to access records at all. For Central Europe records before the 30 Years War are generally more rare than in Britain, Spain and France.

jkotl0327
12-25-2020, 03:25 PM
https://i.imgur.com/laFK6l3.jpg

Is that 13% Ashkenazi actual Ashkenazi?

talombo
12-25-2020, 03:52 PM
Is that 13% Ashkenazi actual Ashkenazi?

I don't think so but it's possible, the first name one of my great-grandmothers from Egypt was Fela which might be Ashkenazi, I don't know her maiden name.

StillWater
12-25-2020, 04:00 PM
Yeah, that seems to be the case.

As for the others I mentioned, I really don't know. Looking at the descriptions they have, they make it seem like they represent cohesive groups of Ethiopian or Yemenite Jews who actually migrated to those locations. Are/were there such migrations? Eritrean Jews in Şarkışla, Turkey?

Their timeline locations are also bizarre. I gather they're simply timelines from members in that group who may have other ethnicities with lines that they've traced back farther than their Jewish ones, hence the very improbable 17th century locations for some of these. But then the inclusion of that information leads me to question the usefulness/reliability of any of it.

It would be amazing if MH discovered something like this and their methods could discover something like this, but this is almost surely a case of overfitting modern Israeli trees.

StillWater
12-25-2020, 04:04 PM
Poland/Ukraine/Russia/Romania is the top group for all my family members... seems like you are related to us Ukrainishers :)
The Lithuania/Poland/Belarus, my dad gets for one kit but not the other, and at low confidence, you think it means something or no?

The confidence level there tells you exactly how much it might mean something. You could have distant Litvak ancestry or it's just picking up on shared non-Litvak ancestors with partially Litvak New World Jews. Could also be due to shared ancestors in some geographic midpoint - i.e northern Wolyn.

StillWater
12-25-2020, 04:09 PM
https://i.imgur.com/laFK6l3.jpg

Odd that you have 2 Jewish groups listed as "Additional", yet you were assigned the relevant ethnic categories. Do they show up under your main breakdown once you change confidence to low?

For the group you're assigned under AJ:

Top places 1950 - 2000
New York, NY, USA
United States
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Tel Aviv-Yafo, Tel Aviv District, Israel
Budapest, Hungary
United Kingdom
San Francisco, CA, USA
England
Haifa, Israel
Miami, FL, USA

We know that AJ in Turkey were disproportionally, if not heavily Hungarian. This could very well be real. Of course, that doesn't mean the entire 13.1% is real.

passenger
12-25-2020, 04:12 PM
I don't think so but it's possible, the first name one of my great-grandmothers from Egypt was Fela which might be Ashkenazi, I don't know her maiden name.

Probably part of it is real Ashkenazi from farther back in your Eastern Sephardic branches, and part of it is just genetic overlap.

passenger
12-25-2020, 04:21 PM
Like for other ethnicities, the time scale depends ob the available records. How many Jewish genealogical records exist before 1700? And how many of these sources being regularly used by genealogists?
An important, wealthy family from England is simply much more likely to have easy to access records at all. For Central Europe records before the 30 Years War are generally more rare than in Britain, Spain and France.

Yes, I'm sure you're right about that. But even still, the assortment of locations for some groups and time periods is odd and certainly wouldn't reflect the trajectory of more than a tiny minority of the ancestors of that group.

Look at the locations for Turkey, Greece etc. from 1650-1700:

Wales
Maryland, USA
Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
Caracas, Capital District, Venezuela
Moulins, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

I suppose that means the only branches that went back that far were from trees that included Western Sephardim, but even so, some of those locations are fairly peripheral to the Western Sephardic world.

StillWater
12-25-2020, 04:25 PM
Yes, I'm sure you're right about that. But even still, the assortment of locations for some groups and time periods is odd and certainly wouldn't reflect the trajectory of more than a tiny minority of the ancestors of that group.

Look at the locations for Turkey, Greece etc. from 1650-1700:

Wales
Maryland, USA
Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
Caracas, Capital District, Venezuela
Moulins, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

I suppose that means the only branches that went back that far were from trees that included Western Sephardim, but even so, some of those locations are fairly peripheral to the Western Sephardic world.

As I said, that's not even the main reason for this. Could be that not even a single location under 1650-1700 is due to that. Most of it is simply picking up on locations partially Sephardi members of this group have for their gentile sides. Look at what AJ groups score that far back and you'll see what I mean.

passenger
12-25-2020, 04:27 PM
Odd that you have 2 Jewish groups listed as "Additional", yet you were assigned the relevant ethnic categories. Do they show up under your main breakdown once you change confidence to low?

It seems that if there are multiple "ethnicities" prevalent in a certain group they're likely to list it as "additional". Given that the average Eastern Sephardic person on MH scores an amalgamation of Sephardic, Italian, Greek, West Asian, Ashkenazi, etc., that's probably why it's not strongly associated with Sephardic NA, even though it comes under that general heading. I think this also happened with Sam1989's results. Not sure about the Netherlands/Germany Ashkenazi group though.

passenger
12-25-2020, 04:29 PM
As I said, that's not even the main reason for this. Could be that not even a single location under 1650-1700 is due to that. Most of it is simply picking up on locations partially Sephardi members of this group have for their gentile sides. Look at what AJ groups score that far back and you'll see what I mean.

I also said that above. I think it might be a combination of both things in some cases, though.

StillWater
12-25-2020, 04:32 PM
I don't think so but it's possible, the first name one of my great-grandmothers from Egypt was Fela which might be Ashkenazi, I don't know her maiden name.

I don't know about Fela, but you scoring the main Hungarian group is awfully coincidental with Ashkenazi history in Turkey.

talombo
12-25-2020, 05:03 PM
Odd that you have 2 Jewish groups listed as "Additional", yet you were assigned the relevant ethnic categories. Do they show up under your main breakdown once you change confidence to low?

For the group you're assigned under AJ:

Top places 1950 - 2000
New York, NY, USA
United States
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Tel Aviv-Yafo, Tel Aviv District, Israel
Budapest, Hungary
United Kingdom
San Francisco, CA, USA
England
Haifa, Israel
Miami, FL, USA

We know that AJ in Turkey were disproportionally, if not heavily Hungarian. This could very well be real. Of course, that doesn't mean the entire 13.1% is real.

This is what I get under my two Ashkenazi groups:
https://i.imgur.com/72TN0Sf.jpg

jetshop
12-25-2020, 06:09 PM
The two high-confidence groups are the same for both my kits but with the orders switched. The medium confidence group is the same, but only MyHeritage's has a low confidence group.

My father's side is from northwestern Hungary (including parts of what was Hungary pre-Trianon.) My mother's is from the Podolia region, Odessa, and Łódź.

The locations from the last 100 years broadly make sense with the exception of Germany and Austria.

MyHeritage kit

High confidence:
Poland, Hungary, Germany, and Austria
Eastern and Central Europe, mostly Poland, Germany, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia

Medium confidence:
Poland, Ukraine, Russia and Romania

Low confidence:
Eastern Europe, mostly Poland, Austria, Hungary, Romania and Ukraine

1900-1950 non-USA places:
High confidence - Poland, Germany, Hungary | Poland
Medium - Poland, Ukraine
Low - Romania, Poland, Austria

1950-2000 non-USA places:
High confidence - Tel Aviv, Budapest | Poland
Medium - Kyiv


23andme kit

High confidence:
Eastern and Central Europe, mostly Poland, Germany, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia
Poland, Hungary, Germany and Austria

Medium confidence:
Poland, Ukraine, Russia and Romania

1900-1950 non-USA places:
High confidence - Poland | Poland, Germany, Hungary
Medium - Poland, Ukraine

1950-2000 non-USA places:
High confidence - [all in USA] | Tel Aviv, Budapest
Medium - Kyiv

Sam1989
12-25-2020, 11:04 PM
It seems that if there are multiple "ethnicities" prevalent in a certain group they're likely to list it as "additional". Given that the average Eastern Sephardic person on MH scores an amalgamation of Sephardic, Italian, Greek, West Asian, Ashkenazi, etc., that's probably why it's not strongly associated with Sephardic NA, even though it comes under that general heading. I think this also happened with Sam1989's results. Not sure about the Netherlands/Germany Ashkenazi group though.

yes, only when I click on "All available regions" this category suddenly appears under Sephardic Jewish-NA and the same with the category of Netherlands, Germany and England that suddenly appears under Ashkenazi Jewish

jkotl0327
12-26-2020, 01:17 AM
Odd that you have 2 Jewish groups listed as "Additional", yet you were assigned the relevant ethnic categories. Do they show up under your main breakdown once you change confidence to low?

For the group you're assigned under AJ:

Top places 1950 - 2000
New York, NY, USA
United States
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Tel Aviv-Yafo, Tel Aviv District, Israel
Budapest, Hungary
United Kingdom
San Francisco, CA, USA
England
Haifa, Israel
Miami, FL, USA

We know that AJ in Turkey were disproportionally, if not heavily Hungarian. This could very well be real. Of course, that doesn't mean the entire 13.1% is real.

Interesting that that is a mainly Hungarian group... I suppose that may explain why my mother's side all get it at medium confidence since their roots trend more western than my father's side's. I expected it to be a Polish group.

Mariusz95
12-27-2020, 12:44 PM
Are differences between Ashkenazi Jews in England, Netherlands and Germany and Ashkenazi Jews in Eastern Europe? In Myheritage low confidence I have Ashkenazi Jew Group from Western Europe.

Riverman
12-27-2020, 01:23 PM
Are differences between Ashkenazi Jews in England, Netherlands and Germany and Ashkenazi Jews in Eastern Europe? In Myheritage low confidence I have Ashkenazi Jew Group from Western Europe.

I think part of the difference is the degree of admixture. Like some Ashkenazi groups might be more mixed?

Like if you look at the main ancestries, ID: 5017 gets for ethnicities:

Aschkenasischer Jude
Nord- und Westeuropäer
Engländer
Ire, Schotte und Waliser


Jewish is as common in this mixed group as Northern and Western European = largely German.

The group being described as "Northern Europeans and Jews". So its primarily people of mixed Northern European plus Jewish background, presumably in varying degrees. If you combine the percentages (German, English, Irish etc.), the group is overall more Northern European than Jewish. So its basically about people with German-Jewish and English-Jewish background of some sort. Many might just have small percentages of AJ.

Group ID: 5215 on the other hand is both more Eastern shifted and more Jewish overall, but still mixed, but only Slavic admixed.

Group ID: 6852 is "purely Ashkenazi Jewish", with a slight tilt towards German Jews (?).

Group ID: 6403 is like 5215, but the admixture is mostly English-related instead of Polish/Slavic.

And so on. I think the ethnicity percentages are quite telling, especially for Jews, since MH is not that good in recognising AJ as 23andme is, but its still definitely one of the more solid recognitions in the West Eurasian context of all. So the clusters are for Jewish people not very informative in my opinion, they rather sum up the varying degrees of regional admixture with non-Jewish people. Places are secondary to ethnicity estimates.

Edit: Some more clearly AJ clusters seem to be related to family networks and regions more than others. But they have to be distinguished from the ancestrally more mixed ones, like the above mentioned.

More clearly family and regional relations might be shown by ID: 5227 vs. ID: 5052 vs. ID: 6407.

BalkanKiwi
12-29-2020, 03:15 AM
Looking over again all of the genetic groups my family gets, Netherlands, Germany and England seems to be the most interesting. Ashkenazi Jewish and North and West European are the top 2 ethnicities (expected). From the 1600s up until the 1900s, Amsterdam is in the top 2 places. From what I have read from MyHeritage, and correct me if my assumption is wrong, this is simply saying I have a bunch of Ashkenazi cousins who likely lived in Amsterdam//Rotterdam/the Netherlands? Rather than it suggesting an Ashkenazi ancestor was born in the Netherlands? I don't believe identifying ancestor origins is the intention of genetic groups.


Top places 1600 - 1650

England
Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
Germany
London, England
Boston, MA, USA


Top places 1650 - 1700

Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
Germany
England
Boston, MA, USA
Virginia, USA


Top places 1700 - 1750

Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
Germany
England
Virginia, USA
Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands


Top places 1750 - 1800

Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
Germany
England
Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands
Virginia, USA


Top places 1800 - 1850

Germany
Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
United Kingdom
Ireland
England


Top places 1850 - 1900

Germany
Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
United Kingdom
Netherlands
England

passenger
12-29-2020, 04:29 AM
Looking over again all of the genetic groups my family gets, Netherlands, Germany and England seems to be the most interesting. Ashkenazi Jewish and North and West European are the top 2 ethnicities (expected). From the 1600s up until the 1900s, Amsterdam is in the top 2 places. From what I have read from MyHeritage, and correct me if my assumption is wrong, this is simply saying I have a bunch of Ashkenazi cousins who likely lived in Amsterdam//Rotterdam/the Netherlands? Rather than it suggesting an Ashkenazi ancestor was born in the Netherlands? I don't believe identifying ancestor origins is the intention of genetic groups.

I don't know what their intentions are, but the results seem very mixed. Following up on what Riverman said above, I think that some of the genetic communities end up corresponding with groups that can be more or less easily described by ethnic origin and/or historical migration patterns, but there are others which are a bit more nebulous. Honestly I think they wanted to package the genetic communities as more precise indicators of regional/"ethnic" origins, but the end result came out as somewhat of a half-baked solution and I don't think they took enough time to comb through the communities and refine them into something meaningful to the general public. This is especially true for their "top places" and they say as much in their blog:


We plan to improve the list of Top places in the next few weeks so that it will have a more organized hierarchy and countries will receive more accurate “votes” from the cities beneath them, so that this section in the page will provide more useful information.

It could be that the Western Ashkenazi groups are actually meaningful, and reflect some degree of assimilation and intermarriage with non-Jewish NW Europeans (not necessarily from an early date, but among some of the modern descendants of Western Ashkenazim), hence the mix of top locations and ethnicities. The consistency of Amsterdam as a top location looks like a good sign, but does that mean that it corresponds with Ashkenazi migration to Amsterdam or with non-Jewish Dutch roots acquired through intermarriage? Both?

BalkanKiwi
12-29-2020, 04:57 AM
I don't know what their intentions are, but the results seem very mixed. Following up on what Riverman said above, I think that some of the genetic communities end up corresponding with groups that can be more or less easily described by ethnic origin and/or historical migration patterns, but there are others which are a bit more nebulous. Honestly I think they wanted to package the genetic communities as more precise indicators of regional/"ethnic" origins, but the end result came out as somewhat of half-baked solution and I don't think they took enough time to comb through the communities and refine them into something meaningful to the general public. This is especially true for their "top places" and they say as much in their blog:



It could be that the Western Ashkenazi groups are actually meaningful, and reflect some degree of assimilation and intermarriage with non-Jewish NW Europeans (not necessarily from an early date, but among some of the modern descendants of Western Ashkenazim), hence the mix of top locations and ethnicities. The consistency of Amsterdam as a top location looks like a good sign, but does that mean that it corresponds with Ashkenazi migration to Amsterdam or with non-Jewish Dutch roots acquired through intermarriage? Both?

I agree with this, and its important to note that they have at least acknowledged the current limitations and are looking to make the information more meaningful. I had a quick look through my MyHeritage matches from the Netherlands. There's quite a few as expected, many of which are Ashkenazi, and for my grandfather in particular, many are 3rd-5th cousins with only Dutch family surnames listed. Clearly not a sure fire way to confirm anything, but somewhat of interesting pattern when compared to the genetic groups.

Like you, those are my current questions at the moment. It would be easy to say, "Ashkenazi matches from the Netherlands with only Dutch surnames + consistent Dutch genetic groups = likely intermarriage between Ashkenazi and non-Jewish Dutch", however its not that straight forward and there are other variables to consider.

passenger
12-29-2020, 05:09 AM
It would be easy to say, "Ashkenazi matches from the Netherlands with only Dutch surnames + consistent Dutch genetic groups = likely intermarriage between Ashkenazi and non-Jewish Dutch", however its not that straight forward and there are other variables to consider.

The similarity between a lot of Dutch Jewish surnames and other Dutch surnames doesn't help.

BalkanKiwi
12-29-2020, 09:11 AM
The similarity between a lot of Dutch Jewish surnames and other Dutch surnames doesn't help.

Indeed. I've only just noticed your Dutch flag after all this time. You've no doubt mentioned it and I've forgotten, but is your Dutch connected to your Ashkenazi?

Riverman
12-29-2020, 12:41 PM
Looking over again all of the genetic groups my family gets, Netherlands, Germany and England seems to be the most interesting. Ashkenazi Jewish and North and West European are the top 2 ethnicities (expected). From the 1600s up until the 1900s, Amsterdam is in the top 2 places. From what I have read from MyHeritage, and correct me if my assumption is wrong, this is simply saying I have a bunch of Ashkenazi cousins who likely lived in Amsterdam//Rotterdam/the Netherlands? Rather than it suggesting an Ashkenazi ancestor was born in the Netherlands? I don't believe identifying ancestor origins is the intention of genetic groups.


In theory, the intention is to give ancestral places, but the problem is, if you cluster consists of people of which many people have some sort of ancestry and a good record for a tree, their ancestors will dominate the clusters representation, especially in the early times. And you might belong to the same cluster without sharing those ancestors. A big problem is place names, because in a lot of cases many different spellings and names in different languages exist. Like in places of Hungary you have for the same place names in Hungarian, German, Romanian and Serbian. Then you have different spellings within these languages! And you have the same place names used in different provinces, sometimes even in the same province numerous times, for different places. Because of this chaos, a lot of the place names and information from the tree never makes in the maps. I observed that on MH, Ancestry and Geneanet for a long time, its a real problem for Central Europe and Central-Eastern Europe in particular.
Its however much less of a problem for Western Europe, because the data base of the sites is better, the place names more clear and standardised. Also the record being more complete and less often destroyed in the West. So even for my own tree, in which the ancestry from todays France is just a very small portion, it gets overrepresented because of that. Whereas other parts of my tree, most go back to the 17th century, disappear from the map or some villages being even in other countries, since the automatic recognition failed and I didn't used the Google conform place name and region.
I would have to re-write all my tree with the modern place names Google recognises and even then a lot would go wrong.

And this is a problem for all ethnicities, but even more so for Ashkenazi Jews, because the records are usually not better than for the Christian inhabitants. So the whole feature can just show what is there, not what's being missed by other customers trees. And if a lot of German Jews mixed with those from the Dutch sphere, they might get a shift on the maps bigger than it really would be otherwise. They can't say where your ancestors were, they can just show what the people in your cluster have written in their trees, what's available. Whether that was really the majority of ancestry at that time or not.

The question is on what the clearly Ashkenazi clusters (up to 100 percent of all members) are based upon. Like ID: 5227 vs. ID: 5052 vs. ID: 6407. Are these some marriage networks? I guess its at least more than chance, because if the clusters would be less structured, they wouldn't have recognised the correct relationships so often for many users. A good way to check would be whether AJ people belonging to one of these clusters, but not ther others have a different background of some sort.

passenger
12-29-2020, 04:43 PM
Indeed. I've only just noticed your Dutch flag after all this time. You've no doubt mentioned it and I've forgotten, but is your Dutch connected to your Ashkenazi?

As far as I know, no. The flag is there to represent Dutch heritage from my dad's side coming from his immigrant great-grandfather as well as New Netherland settlers. However, there is the matter of my dad's trace Middle Eastern (shows up on G25, MyHeritage and FTDNA). I had more or less dismissed an Ashkenazi origin for that, since I have yet to find a 100% Jewish match for him on MH (only partial Jewish matches), although Randwulf seemed to think some of his segments on Gedmatch chromosome painting could be Ashkenazi. But now MH has assigned him the Ashkenazi group "Eastern Europe, mostly Lithuania, Poland and Belarus" at medium confidence. That isn't even a Western Ashkenazi group, so I don't know what to make of it.

BalkanKiwi
03-09-2021, 10:20 AM
I thought I'd revisit this as I've noticed some changes since I last posted. Germany has now replaced Netherlands as the top country. What's interesting is the regions in Germany listed below, besides being consistent for myself, sister, mother and grandfather, are also the same for both the Eastern and Central Europe, mostly Poland, Germany, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia and Netherlands, Germany and England groups, and across the similar time periods.

I went and mapped out the top German locations. I'll gather southern Germany had a number of Jewish communities. The Baden-Württemberg region is the top region for most time periods for all of us (starting at 1600). Once again, whether this is implying that we likely had at least one Ashkenazi ancestor who lived in this area at some stage, I'm not sure. Unfortunately many of our German matches don't list specific regions for their surnames, which makes it difficult to explore that avenue.

My father, however, has a few matches who list Baden-Württemberg, and he also gets the same regions under a few of his Balkan Genetic Groups.

https://i.imgur.com/MzzOYf1.jpg