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Thread: Am I part Yekke?

  1. #1
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    Am I part Yekke?

    My mother has a full Yekke (German Jew) match, whom she shares 1.9% DNA with, 44cm as the largest segment, over a total of 11 segments. I'm fully aware that any 2 Ashkenazim will on average share more DNA than others with the same ancestral relationship, but this close? Her most western grandparent was born in the northern part of Congress Poland.

    update: poll added above
    Last edited by StillWater; 07-21-2019 at 04:49 PM.

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by StillWater View Post
    My mother has a full Yekke match, whom she shares 1.9% DNA with, 44cm as the largest segment, over a total of 11 segments. I'm fully aware that any 2 Ashkenazim will on average share more DNA than others with the same ancestral relationship, but this close? Her most western grandparent was born in the northern part of Congress Poland.
    That's a lot of DNA.

    I also have surprisingly close (seemingly) full Yekke matches; hard to account for the genetic proximity. As has come up on this forum a bunch of times, though, most connections across the West-East Ashkenazi divide in the last 250 years are likely to be from westward, rather than eastward, migrations. Would be cool if you got to the bottom of this particular connection!
    The clock indicates the momentóbut what does eternity indicate?

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  5. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by hartaisarlag View Post
    That's a lot of DNA.

    I also have surprisingly close (seemingly) full Yekke matches; hard to account for the genetic proximity. As has come up on this forum a bunch of times, though, most connections across the West-East Ashkenazi divide in the last 250 years are likely to be from westward, rather than eastward, migrations. Would be cool if you got to the bottom of this particular connection!
    The match says he's fully Yekke and seems confident that he has no connection to Eastern Europe. Have you contacted your (seemingly) full Yekke matches? How close are they?
    Last edited by StillWater; 07-21-2019 at 03:45 AM.

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    I have not—I'd actually forgotten about this puzzle until now. Two of my 30 top FTDNA matches by total shared cM (148, with a 16 cM segment, and another 148, with a 14 cM segment), seem to be fully Yekke. I'll reach out and ask.

    I've also noticed a few decently close matches who are of 100% recent Hungarian Jewish origin, and I don't have any ancestors who lived anywhere in the Hungarian domain.

    On that last point, though, I recently learned the name of a late 18th century ancestor from Bedzin (southern Poland, just shy of Silesia) with a surname that's mostly attested in Hungary. If only I had the Beider volumes in front of me.
    The clock indicates the momentóbut what does eternity indicate?

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  8. #5
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    I've added a poll for those of you too lazy to reply with your opinions. However, I'd appreciate some commentary; that's not to say the responses from hartaisarlag haven't been sufficient.

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  10. #6
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    Screen Shot 2019-07-21 at 3.07.52 PM.png

    By the way, on the topic of Western Ashkenazim vs. Eastern Ashkenazim, which keeps coming up peripherally, I don't think anyone's ever shared this PCA from Granot-Hershkovitz et al. 2017. With a pretty decent sample size, it's clear that about half of WAJ overlap with EAJ, and half don't (that's a conservative way of putting it; a good number of the overlappers are clustered on the edge of the EAJ range). The idea that there's no way to distinguish WAJ from EAJ in aggregate needs to be retired. That is not to say an overwhelming majority of WAJ individuals differ noticeably from EAJ, though. The most parsimonious explanation for this is backmigration, recent enough not to have affected all WAJ communities.

    An alternate explanation that comes to mind assumes the basic truth of the Danubian/bney khes hypothesis of Yiddish origins. In that case, we might find that the WAJ who overlap EAJ are all Bavarian and Austrian Jews, and that many of the non-overlapping WAJ are Jews from the greater Rhineland.

    Would be great to have geographical details on these German Jews' origins.
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  12. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by hartaisarlag View Post
    Screen Shot 2019-07-21 at 3.07.52 PM.png

    By the way, on the topic of Western Ashkenazim vs. Eastern Ashkenazim, which keeps coming up peripherally, I don't think anyone's ever shared this PCA from Granot-Hershkovitz et al. 2017. With a pretty decent sample size, it's clear that about half of WAJ overlap with EAJ, and half don't (that's a conservative way of putting it; a good number of the overlappers are clustered on the edge of the EAJ range). The idea that there's no way to distinguish WAJ from EAJ in aggregate needs to be retired. That is not to say an overwhelming majority of WAJ individuals differ noticeably from EAJ, though. The most parsimonious explanation for this is backmigration, recent enough not to have affected all WAJ communities.

    An alternate explanation that comes to mind assumes the basic truth of the Danubian/bney khes hypothesis of Yiddish origins. In that case, we might find that the WAJ who overlap EAJ are all Bavarian and Austrian Jews, and that many of the non-overlapping WAJ are Jews from the greater Rhineland.

    Would be great to have geographical details on these German Jews' origins.
    I am one of those Eastern Ashkenazim who plots closer to Yekkes than to my own. Note the largest region-specific diaspora group 24genetics assigned me in their report with Jewish references:

     


    You might be on to something, although possibly in the other direction, where those EAJ who plot with WAJ descend more from Bney Khes.
    Last edited by StillWater; 07-21-2019 at 07:46 PM.

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  14. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by StillWater View Post
    I am one of those Eastern Ashkenazim who plots closer to Yekkes than to my own. Note the largest region-specific diaspora group 24genetics assigned me in their report with Jewish references:

     


    You might be on to something, although possibly in the other direction, where those EAJ who plot with WAJ descend more from Bney Khes.
    There's that possibility.

    *Or* the possibility that EAJ who plot with WAJ are the ones with less Balto-Slavic admixture.

    I remember that my top Eurogenes K47 matches were Dodecanese Greek and German Jewish. It could just be an artifact of my below-average Balto-Slavic ancestry (my North Atlantic ancestry is normal for Ashkenazim, though). I'm more interested in the aggregate pattern than in individual results, each of which could be explained by half a dozen different factors.
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  16. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by hartaisarlag View Post
    There's that possibility.

    *Or* the possibility that EAJ who plot with WAJ are the ones with less Balto-Slavic admixture.

    I remember that my top Eurogenes K47 matches were Dodecanese Greek and German Jewish. It could just be an artifact of my below-average Balto-Slavic ancestry (my North Atlantic ancestry is normal for Ashkenazim, though). I'm more interested in the aggregate pattern than in individual results, each of which could be explained by half a dozen different factors.
    This is the obvious and more likely possibility, but I was commenting on why I was assigned Austrian Jewish specifically, as opposed to German Jewish. Where do you find Eurogenes K47?

  17. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by StillWater View Post
    This is the obvious and more likely possibility, but I was commenting on why I was assigned Austrian Jewish specifically, as opposed to German Jewish. Where do you find Eurogenes K47?
    Depends how you're framing it.

    Granot-Hershkovitz et al. construct it so that a bit more than half of WAJ don't overlap with EAJ, whereas a bit less than half of WAJ do.

    You can also look at the PCA and conclude that a bit less than 2/3 of EAJ overlap with about 1/2 of WAJ, and a bit more than 1/3 of EAJ don't overlap with WAJ at all.

    I think both factors—the Balto-Slavic factor and the backmigration-overlaying-primeval structure factor—are at play.
    Last edited by hartaisarlag; 07-21-2019 at 08:20 PM.
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