Archive for Phoenicia/Canaan

Weil an Anagram for Levi? Weil … Spanish and Moroccan Sephardi?

New information has been discovered that indicates that Weil written in Hebrew is an anagram for Levi written in Hebrew.  This makes the Weils Levites.  This is further reinforced by a 23andMe report that states that among my DNA cousin matches the most numerous and weighted DNA match and ancestral name is Cohen.  The third largest is Levi.  The second largest is Rothschild.  It must be remembered that this calculation comes from the DNA samples that were voluntarily submitted, not from a scientific population study.

Also, new information has been discovered that places Weils in Spain and Morocco.

Weil/Weyl/Weill Anagram for Levi

What’s in a name? By Estee Rieder

“There are some that are even an anagram of an earlier family name; the name Weil in Hebrew (vov-yud-lamed) is an anagram of Levi (lamed-vav-yud).“

Several locations, including Wikipedia and a Moroccan Jewish name list, indicate that Weyl/Weil/Weill may have come as an anagram of the name Levi.  According to Jewish biblical history, the Cohens and the Levites were assigned specific tasks in the temple, and treated differently in other ways. That is consistent with the 900 page history that indicates that the Weils were a highly respected Rabbinical family.

Weil A Sephardi Name?

Weil is listed as a Sephardi name in the following documents:


Getting There: The Rationale

The analysis/search of the Sephardi connection started because one of my 2nd cousins Karen, also a descendant of Carl Henry Weil, was surprised when her DNA analysis showed 98% Ashkenazi. Her comment stirred my prior interest in a possible Weil Sephardi origin.  A comment in an excerpt from the 900 page family history suggested that the Weils were Sephardi although I gather there is no hard information on that point in that book.  The history also indicated that the author didn’t know where the name came from.  Apparently there are two rivers in Europe who’s names are spelled close to Weil. However, the family history also contains an unsubstantiated suggestion that the family originated in Valls, Tarragona, Spain not far south west from Barcelona.  It was a Jewish centre.  If true, that ups the probability almost to a certainty.

First, the naming conventions are different for the Ashkenazim than for the Sephardi.  The German web site Hohenems Genealogie (Jüdische Familiengeschichte in Vorarlberg und Tirol) which has extensive family tree information on the Weils.  Lo and behold, the Weils practiced the Sephardi convention where they named the first male and female children after a living family member, specifically grandparents.  Ashkenazim don’t, apparently. Furthermore, Sephardi have been using surnames from according to that convention going back to about the 12th C, when, of course, there were large numbers of Jews in Portugal, Spain and Morocco.  Ashkenazim didn’t really adopt surnames until the late 17th C to the mid-18th C when they were required to in Europe. The 900 page family history indicates that the Weil names goes way back in the Randegg family.

Also, both my 2nd Cousin Karen and I have significant Iberian and Mediterranean DNA, not in large amounts but sufficient to be unequivocal.   It appears in other DNA tests as well. I used a number of GEDmatch Admixture analysis apps with both my file and Karen’s which further confirmed a substantial Mediterranean connection.  I did not get it from my other three grandparents.

My Eastern European DNA can almost totally be attributed to my Polish great grandmother Juliana Lugiewicz who conceived my grandfather with Carl Weil on New Years Eve 1989.


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Ancestry Overview

The new 23andMe features provided the revelation that in the past several hundred years my mother’s line had ancestry in Europe/the Near East.

This may be the first confirmation of something about a North African blood connection that my mother once alluded to in conversation with one of my brothers.  It also may provide the explanation of observation that my Mediterranean DNA is too great (around 45%) to be credited solely to my grandfather which should only be about 25%.

Also somewhat surprising is the reference to my father’s line still being found primarily in Africa.

Your Mother’s Line

Along your mother’s line, you have ancestry in Europe/the Near East in the past few hundred years, that traces back to eastern Africa around 50,000 years ago.


Your Father’s Line

Your father’s line was likely in eastern Africa 50,000 years ago. Today that line is still found primarily in Africa.

Your Overall Ancestry

It looks like all of your ancestors from the past few hundred years were of European/Near Eastern origin.

Ashkenazi Jewish Ancestry

It looks like you have some Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. You share DNA with some 23andMe customers that have reported full Jewish ancestry.

And if it weren’t exotic enough there is the

Neanderthal Ancestry

You have an estimated 2.8% Neanderthal DNA, which puts you in the 85th percentile among Multi-regional 23andMe members.

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The Family’s Silk Route Connection from the Orient to the Levant – 9.6% Baloch


Apparently we share 9.57% of our genetic material with the people of the region that straddle Pakistan (Balochistan) and Iran (Baluchestan).  This region lies along and roughly in the western-middle of the ancient collection of overland and sea highways known as the Silk Road or Silk Route stretching from China to Turkey.  Much of the over-land route is to the north of Baluchestan.

Why did we not know this before?

The nature of DNA genealogical analysis is that it is a relatively young field of study–roughly 10 years old.  From a start of, for all intents and purposes, a  zero population of DNA samples this field is adding DNA samples at an exponential rate.  However, this means two things  that are relevant to answering the question of “why now?”  First, sample collection is not even world wide.  There seem to be higher concentrations in certain populations determined by societal wealth, education, ethnic motivation, and marketing.  For the most part, homogeneous populations are not as interested in learning their DNA genealogy when their parents and ancestors as well as their archaeology and written records provide both oral and written records going back  hundreds or thousands of years thereby satisfying their curiosity–they know who they are.

Relatively recent immigrants to “new world” regions don’t have these resources, particularly if they were forced by conflict to migrate thereby losing their family records. Intermarriage between immigrant groups confuses the oral tradition and often newly developed regions in the past t-500 years haven’t had  religious or civic record keeping.  Aside from large cracks through which data could fall, this also provided a vast canvas upon which individuals could paint new identities for themselves further obscuring their ancestral trail.  Gramps, Frank, stand up and take a bow.

Major forces in collecting genealogical material, by DNA and other means, have been Jews and Mormons–for different reasons.  European antisemitism from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s was a major people and record destroyer motivating contemporary Jews to learn who they are and who their ancestors were as well as locating lost living relatives.  The Mormons have their own, more open-ended, motivation which they have developed into a thriving business world wide.  They are omnivorous.

Into this mix has come a new generation of academics, geneticists, genealogists and genetic entrepreneurs bringing new DNA data collection and analysis and new analytic tools.  The world wide web has made this available to us all.

Even as data is being collected, the analysis of  that data is becoming more sophisticated.  Researchers are sharing their databases, their analytic approaches and even their tools making them and us smarter, more knowledgeable and increasingly more accurate.

The terminology is standardizing.  Terms like Admixture Analysis and Painting are becoming more comprehensible to the likes of us amateurs.

Our Baloch/Baluch is such an evolutionary product of this growth of data and understanding.

Admixture Analysis examines “the interbreeding between two or more previously isolated populations within a species”.  We are species that sleeps around.

The admixture of the child of one Caucasian parent and one Chinese parent is roughly (47-53%) 50% Caucasian and 50 % Chinese.  However, each parent is also an admixture of their ancestors.  The greater the amount of DNA analysis from an ever growing sample of DNA tests, the more refined is the researcher’s ability to match specific genetic fragments to specific populations both farther back in time and more specific to geographical locations.

Previously, our admixture analysis was based on samples and analysis more heavily European and North American.  The most motivated, therefore the most active groups providing samples and doing analysis were Jews, African Americans and Indigenous Americans–for obvious reasons.

My first use of Admixture Analysis was provided by 23andMe, then FTDNA and then analysis of my DNA by separate sources other than specific DNA labs.  I used GEDmatch and then Dienekes Pontikos’ Dodecad Project  made available by GEDmatch.

Dodecad was weighted to northern Europe.  Two weeks ago I used a new one, Harappa Ancestry Project (HarappaWorld), which focuses on Asia and Africa.  You can find a table below comparing the analysis of my DNA by these two analytic engines.

The 4 Admixture analysis engines produced results not that far off each other, in the macro, such as Mediterranean and Western/Northern/Eastern Europe and Asian/East Mediterranean.  The analysis by first 3 engines identified lots of general regional (Asian and Eastern Mediterranean) fragments without attachment to specific national geography.  However, Harappa appears to have pulled many of the fragments together and assigned a specific region and national group–Baloch.

The technology is more nuanced and sophisticated than I can adequately represent but as far as I have examined, they are reasonable presentations.  Will they change? Probably.  But they will become more precise as the years go on, perhaps even pinpointing specific small geographic regions, such as a province and a specific point in time.

So what’s the big deal about only 10% of my/our DNA being Baloch?  Big deal is a stretch but fascinating is closer to the truth–for me anyway.

For one thing, our major Y-haplogroup, E, came out of Africa.  We all originated there but not all haplogroups originated there.  Recent analysis suggests, contrary to previous analysis, that the migratory route was NOT up the Rift Valley from Kenya through Egypt into the Eastern Mediterranean. “The patterns of recombination diversity in the X chromosome from 30 populations Old World suggest that anatomically modern human first left Africa through the Bab-el-Mandeb strait rather than through present Egypt.”  This was about 60,000 years ago when the oceans were much lower and the straits were much shallower or dry, allowing a series of emigrations along the southern coast of Asia.  They went across the now 80 mile long and minimum width 20 mile strait located between Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula, Djibouti and Eritrea, north of Somalia, in the Horn of Africa.

From there they then went either across the Arabian Peninsula (Yemen et al) or by sea north across to Balochistan (Iran or Pakistan). Alternatively it could have been overland towards the Mediterranean and then back east along the Silk Road through Iran.  Our E Y-chromosome, even E1b1b1c1a (M-84), is found in Yemen. I don’t know yet if there are many M-84s in Balochistan but I presume that there are.  Stay tuned.

The further importance is that the flow, as the scientists suggest, was then west along the Silk Road by land and by sea.  Overland arrives at the small triangular region bounded by the upper coast of the northeastern Mediterranean and then over to the Syrian/Turkish border near Haran where Abraham lived and, according to a genealogical study, may have been an E1b1b1c1a like us.  Analysis suggests that in this triangular region of about 300x150x400 km is where our most recent mutation, giving us E1b1b1c1a, is believed to have taken place in our Most Recent Common Ancestor about 1515 BCE, give or take a few hundred years.

A further fascinating question about the Baloch connection, the answer to which might lead to further fascinating revelations, is “why is my Baloch fragment 10%?”   Clearly, or perhaps not so clearly, my mother and grandmother should have diluted my Baloch connection substantially–by at least 75%.  If they had no Baloch DNA themselves, then Frank would have had Baloch DNA of approximately 40%.   Bear in mind that this extrapolation math is being done by a DNA amateur.  But if true, one of Frank’s parents would have had Baloch DNA approximating 80%.  Obviously, this would have implications for ancestry migration prior to Eastern Europe where Frank seems to have come from.

Stay tuned.

In 10 years all this analysis will look quite primitive as then we will better know the migratory steps.

Below you will find some of the information and sources on the Balochs and Baluchs for you to explore, if you are interested.

Note: Eventually I will edit the following material  but it is sufficiently clear to get you started–if you are curious.


The ancient Silk Route straddles it and ends up near Harran in Turkey at the eastern tip of the area where our Y-chromosome originated. As the crow flies it is 2,643 km from Quetta in Pakistan to Harran.  It just skirts (40 km) the southern suburbs of Tehran en route.


The Silk Route or Silk Road meandered over 6,500 kms over land and there were sea links as well. See the map.

  1.  IRAN Baluchestan Province Wikipedia
  2. PAKISTAN ·  Balochistan, Pakistan – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Balochistan (بلوچستان) is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and the largest, constituting approximately 44% of its total land mass. It is bordered by Iran to the …,_Pakistan

·  Balochistan – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Balochistan (Balochi: بلوچستان) or Baluchistan Land of the Baloch. Is an arid, mountainous region in the Iranian plateau in Southwest Asia; it includes part of …

·  Balochistan travel guide – Wikitravel


Open source travel guide to Balochistan, featuring up-to-date information on attractions, hotels, restaurants, nightlife, travel tips and more. Free and reliable advice written …

Cities (Pakistan)

Other destinations

  • PC Gwadar Beach resort [1] and Gadani beaches
  • Archaeological site of Mahargarh
  • Makran Coastal Highway (Over 770 km From Karachi to Gwadar) is unique fascination for tourists. It is pertinent to mention here that Alexander had passed through the coastal belt of Balochistan in 325 BC covering a long trail
  • Juniper Forests in Ziarat Valley – One of the largest Juniper forests in the globe


Balochistan provincial region of SW Pakistan has an area of 134,051 mi2 or (347,190 km2). It covers 48% of Pakistani territory;

Stay safe

You should seek advice from tourist offices and embassies about which areas are safe and which are not. Travel to some portions of Balochistan is not advisable or requires an armed escort.


Judaism and the Silk Route

Richard Foltz

The History Teacher
Vol. 32, No. 1 (Nov., 1998), pp. 9-16
Published by: Society for History Education
Article Stable URL:

To read a page go to

Admixture Comparisons

Harrappa Admixture Dienekes Admixture
Population Population
NE-Euro 46.56% East_European 15.97%
Caucasian 8.61% West_European 44.99%
Siberian 0.79%
Mediterranean 29.54% Mediterranean 25.30%
West_Asian 6.92%
Baloch 9.57%
SW-Asian 4.17% Southwest_Asian 3.72%
South_Asian 0.76%
NE-Asian Northeast_Asian 0.74%
SE-Asian 0.27% Southeast_Asian
San (South Africa) 0.22%
W-African Northwest_African 1.61%
E-African East_African
Pygmy Palaeo_African
American 0.25%
Beringian (ancient Asian migrants to America via Siberia and land bridge over the Bering Straits)


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Geographical Origin of E1b1b1c1a M84

Given that the Time of the Most Recent Common Ancestor M84 was about 1515 BCE  (+/-650 years), it is hard to pinpoint the exact location of his birth. However, scientists estimate that it was within a region of about 20,000 sq km that stretched southwest to the Mediterranean from just over the Turkish/Syrian border at about Harran (home of Abraham).

By comparison, that is an area about the same size as Israel, Sardinia, Sicily or Massachusetts; twice the size of Lebanon or Cyprus; and 4 times the size of PEI but 1/4 the size of Ireland or the island of Newfoundland. It is also slightly larger than the triangular area from Toronto to Kingston to Ottawa.

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Three different Y-chromosomes (E1b1b, J2, J1) are strongly common to modern Jews & Mediterranean populations with a strong Phoenician footprint

3 different Y-chromosomes (E1b1b, J2, J1) are strongly common to Ancient Hebrews, Phoenicians and Samaritans.

Genographic scientists in the American Journal of Human Genetics (AJHG-D-08-00725R2) shows that they left some people their genes as well. The study finds that as many as one in 17 men in the Mediterranean basin may have a Phoenician as a direct male-line ancestor.
NOTES: To view the publication in full:

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Research into Relationship Between Sephardic Jews and Phoenicians

Research into Relationship Between Sephardic Jews and Phoenicians

Thesis: There would appear to be a relationship between Phoenicians and ancient Hebrews from around the time of Solomon that stretches as far away as Cadiz in Spain. Is it true? If so, why?

1. Cadiz on the west coast of Spain/Andalusia Founded by Phoenicians; 1104 BC
2. From
“Evidence which suggests Jewish connections with the Iberian Peninsula includes:
• References in the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, I Kings, and Jonah to the country of Tarshish, which is thought by many to have been located in modern southern Spain (in ancient Tartessus).
• A signet ring found at Cadiz, dating from the 8th-7th century BC. The inscription on the ring, generally accepted as Phoenician, has been interpreted by a few scholars to be “paleo-hebraic.” “
• An amphora dating from at least the first century AD found in Ibiza, which bears imprints of two Hebrew characters.
• Several early Jewish writers wrote that their families had lived in Spain since the destruction of the first temple. The famous Don Isaac Abravanel (1407–1508) stated that the Abravanel family had lived on the Iberian Peninsula for 2,000 years.
Gadir (Phoenician: גדר), the original name given to the outpost established here by the Phoenicians, means “wall, compound”, or, more generally, “walled stronghold”. The Punic dialect lent this word, along with many others, to the Berber languages, where it was nativised as agadir meaning “wall” in Tamazight and “fortified granary” in Shilha; it appears as a common place name in North Africa.[4] The name of the Israeli town of Gedera has a similar etymology.
The city was originally founded as Gadir (Phoenician גדר “walled city”) by the Phoenicians, who used it in their trade with Tartessos, a city-state believed by archaeologists to be somewhere near the mouth of the Guadalquivir River, about thirty kilometres northwest of Cadiz. (Its exact location has never been firmly established.)

Cadiz is the most ancient city still standing in Western Europe.[1] Traditionally, its founding is dated to 1104 BC[5] although no archaeological strata on the site can be dated earlier than the 9th century BC. One resolution for this discrepancy has been to assume that Gadir was merely a small seasonal trading post in its earliest days.

One of the city’s notable features during antiquity was the temple dedicated to the Phoenician god Melqart. (Melqart was associated with Hercules by the Greeks.) According to the Life of Apollonius of Tyana, the temple was still standing during the 1st century. Some historians, based in part on this source, believe that the columns of this temple were the origin of the myth of the pillars of Hercules.[7]

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3rd to 4th cousin – Eugene Yurtsev – Closest possible unknown relative identified to date.

Eugene Yurtsev is the closest possible unknown relative identified to date. Eugene and I have made contact on 23andMe.

Third cousin means that we might share great-great-grandparents, in other words, Frank’s grandparents.

He will be exploring his family tree with his family in the coming days. What I have learned is that a few years ago he migrated to the United States from Israel where he and his family had migrated from Belarus (600 km x 600 km; landlocked; surrounded by Ukraine, Poland, Russia, Latvia and Lithuania).

The lab matching determined that we share 0.41% of our genes and 4 chromosome segments: two on chr 1, and one each on 6 and 12.

However, we don’t share common Y haplotype or Mitochondrial haplotype. Since his Y chromosome is not our E, then his intervening line of descent, at some stage was through the maternal line.

My brother Brian shares two on chr 1 and 1 on chr 6. Curiously, my son David shares the most segments, 5, whereas son Jon shares none at all.

David shares: chr 1 x2; chr 6 x 2; chr 12 x 1.

Stay tuned.

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23andMe Ancestry Lab Test for DNA Shared with Ashkenazim

It looks as if we have a high level of DNA shared with Ashkenazi meaning that gramps was highly probably Jewish. This is the strongest confirmation yet of the guess that Jim made. I have asked a 23andMe expert for confirmation of my interpretation.

It is worth bearing in mind that the Most Recent Common Ancestor, the progenitor of our E haplogroup was born between 2175 BC and 875 BC. By comparison, while Shem, son of Noah was the progenitor of the Semitic peoples, Abraham, the common ancestor of Jews, Muslims and Christians lived about 2000 BC, give or take a significant handful of years. The Phoenicians lived as an identifiable group from about 3200 BC to 312 BC. I think that while E haplotype E1b1b1c makes up about 10% of modern Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews, it is conceivable that our line came up through one of the non-Hebrew Phoenician trading posts around the Mediterranean. It is conceivable, but probably a low percentage option given the nature of migration to North America in the 1800s.

My test results are below, using the 23andMe Ancestry Lab test utility, turning on the the Ashkenazi test and indicating 1 grandparent, gramps, from the same country (whatever that is, even if it is the US).

If set Minimum Segment Length in cM @


% Declared Ashkenazim at each of the 4 lengths

16.1%-29.9% Brian 20.2%-36.9%

Not Declared
14.6%-28.4% Brian 18.5%-36.2%

Brian did the same test and produced the following results at 7.5 cM. As shown above, his results were 20.2%-36.9% declared, 18.5%-36.2% undeclared. All of these results are significantly higher than my results.

Note: also read the GEDmatch Admixture posting under Category DNA or Research. It is a geographical breakdown of the DNA.


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New York Hebrew Orphan Asylum Records

A short search of this record recently made available by, using obvious combinations of Frank, Francis, Freeman and McCallum, turned up no obvious leads.

AJHS, New York Hebrew Orphan Asylum Records, 1860-1934
According to one account, residents of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum of the City of New York (HOA) made up an entire enumeration district in the 1920 U.S. census. Not all the children at the HOA were “orphans” in the traditional sense – some were half-orphans: children whose parents who couldn’t provide for them. (By the way, the Yankees never did buy the asylum property. They built their new stadium on a little site in the Bronx instead.)

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So you want a villa on the Mediterranean

Who knew!

Israeli immigration laws will accept an application for Israeli citizenship if there is proven documentation that any grandparent—not just the maternal grandmother—was Jewish. This does not mean that person is an “ethnic Jew”, but Israeli immigration will accept that person because he or she has an ethnically Jewish connection, and because this same degree of connection was sufficient to be persecuted as a Jew by the Nazis. See Jewish ethnic divisions.

This Wikipedia site has an interesting overview of what it means to be Jewish.  It is not as straightforward as one would assume.

In a related area, today I heard on the CBC (Tapestry) a program on Jewish aetheists, agnostics and ignostics.    Apparently a recent study in the United States determined that 17% of Jews are aetheists.    The same program indicated that the Sephardic Jews who were chased out of Spain into northern Portugal by the Catholics at the end of the 15th century  AD went on to university there and many became  aetheists, apparently the first in Europe.   Now I ask you, did it not cross anyone’s mind before that?  So far I have not attempted to confirm the information presented in that program. The program is available in a podcast .

From the Wikipedia entry cited above:

Who is a Jew?” (Hebrew: מיהו יהודי‎ pronounced [ˈmihu jehuˈdi]) is a basic question about Jewish identity and considerations of Jewish self-identification. The question is based in ideas about Jewish personhood which themselves have cultural, religious, genealogical, and personal dimensions. The question was of importance during the rule of the Nazis in Germany, and was addressed by the Nuremburg Laws

There are controversial aspects — to begin with, the question has a logical inverse, namely, “Who is not a Jew?” Recent court cases have gained particular prominence in connection with several legal cases in Israel since 1962,[1][2] and in 2009 there was a prominent and controversial court case, in the United Kingdom, about the question.[3][4][5][6][7][8]

The definition of who is a Jew varies according to whether it is being considered by Jews based on normative religious statutes, self-identification, or by non-Jews for other reasons. Because Jewish identity can include characteristics of an ethnicity, a religion,[9] and citizenship, the definition of who is a Jew has varied, depending on whether a religious, sociological, or ethnic aspect was being considered.[10]

According to halakha, the oldest normative definition used by Jews for self-identification, a person is matrilineally a Jew by birth, or becomes one through conversion to Judaism. Adherence to this definition has been challenged since the emergence of the Karaite sect, emergence of modern groups in Judaism since the 19th century, and the creation of Israel in 1948. Issues that have been raised reflect:

  • Child’s non-Jewish mother: i.e. whether a child born of a non-Jewish mother should be considered Jewish through the father’s Jewish identity.
  • Conversion: i.e. what process of conversion other than the historically normative procedure according to Jewish law should be considered valid.
  • Historical loss of Jewish identity: i.e. whether a person’s or group’s actions (such as conversion to a different religion) or circumstances in his or her community’s life (such as being unaware of Jewish parents) should affect his or her Jewish status.
  • Diaspora identity: identity of Jews among themselves, and by non-Jews throughout the Jewish diaspora.
  • Claim to Israeli citizenship: the examination of the three previous issues in the context of the Basic Laws of Israel.

As indicated in an earlier post, we don’t yet have proof of patrilineal  Jewish ancestry but we have definitive proof of patrilineal  Semitic ancestry.


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