Quote Originally Posted by ChemProf View Post
Thank you for confirming about the name Moti. Obviously, the fact that neither of us have heard of it as a regular farsi name doesn't rule out that it is a farsi name as well, but it's clearly not a common one, whereas it is a pretty common Jewish name as a short version of Mordechai, and in particular Mordechai is a Jewish name important to Iranian Jewish history (Esther). I thought the "Mirza" might rule out being Jewish, but through Googling I found Iranian Jews who were also given the "Mirza" honorific. I don't know exactly when they were born, but doing the math and going backwards from my grandmother's current age + 2 generations, the absolute earliest would have been 130 years ago, quite possibly further as the men in my family tended to marry late, so long before surnames. He was apparently a traveling businessman (unusual in and of itself back then) and he met his future wife (my great-great-grandmother) on a business trip in Russia. When she came to Iran with him, she changed her name, so I don't know what her name used to be. She changed it to Farangis, from Farangi, which says very little about her origins. This then makes me curious about the crypto-Jew suggestion earlier: was she trying to hide background, or did she simply have a name that was considered unpronouncable in Iran at the time? I guess there were plenty of Russians in Tehran in the late 1800s, so her name would not have been considered so unusual. Mirza Moti and Farangis. Their children and grandchildren were really beautiful when they were young. This is all I know about them, and even this only because I started heckling my mother massively trying to find answers to the questions that my DNA test brought up. It leaves a lot of room for the imagination! I hope getting the MyHeritage kit so I can upload to FTDNA and GEDmatch legacy will help me find some answers. And as far as Iranian genetics goes, I guess there is a huge opportunity for surprises, since we are and have been so mixed!

(btw, a perfect example of the nightmare of using paperwork for Iranian ethnogenesis: my grandmother doesn't actually know when her birthday is, either month or year, because she was born almost 90 years ago and her parents wrote down her date of birth in two places, but they wrote conflicting dates. When my grandfather was still alive they used to constantly bicker about when to actually celebrate her birthday because they were both 100% sure that it was date X and that the other person was wrong )
Moti is used in Israel as a diminutive of Mordechai. You need to check if either Iranian Jews or Kurdish Jews used the same diminutive prior to 1948. Also, Gedmatch can barely distinguish Assyrian from Mizrachi.