Archive for September, 2011

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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Certain Relatives

More certain relatives (single strand more than 10 Centimorgans long) from 23andMe. Some are duplicates from previous list.

If any of them (you) come to this site please establish contact by emailing me at

Larry Baum 26.2
Martin Varsavsky 18.5
Michael Schonbaum 17.1
Anthony Bates 16.6
DG Party 12 15.8
Jeffery Stein 14.6
Gary Nachman 14.5
Lee – 13.9
Andrea Gargiulo 12.9
Naomi Torpey 12.7
Annette Murch 12.6
Laura Tesler 12.4
Robert Lefkowitz 12.4
Daniel Williamson 12.1
Helene Carman 12
Valerie Podlesnaya 11.9
Anonymous0222 11.8
Chris Jones 11.8
Elizabeth Bakwin 11.8
Alexandr Ivashchenko 11.4
Andy Warner 11.1
Brian Hawthorne 11.1
Stuart Opotowsky 11.1
Cara Weisman 11
Meredith Sellers 11
Cheryl Schweitzer 11
Charles Bockoff 10.9
David Elkins 10.9
Doug Evans 10.9
Fedor Karpelevitch 10.9
orderedchaos 10.9
Yuliya Ivashchenko 10.9
Carl MGB 10.8
David Friedman 10.6
deaconSandy 10.6
California Sam 10.6
Donovan1 10.6
ken levine 10.6
Edward Kazyanskaya 10.4
Ilya Shlyakhter 10.4
Sandy Yancey 10.4
Sari Friedman 10.4
Amanda Garnica 10.2
Richard Hawk 10.2
Russell Conser 10.2
SpeaksCohn 10.2
Jan Greenspan 10.1
Mizya Blyakher 10.1
Richard Cahn 10.1
Brent Gendleman 10
Dane Elliott 10
David Toube 10

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Relatives – 19 Names From GEDmatch

Apparently, when two individuals have shared matches of a single DNA strand greater than 10 Centimorgans in length, they are definitely related, probably in the 3rd-5th cousin range.

If any of them come to this site, I would appreciate them (you) sending me an email at .

GEDmatch has found a few for us. FYI, their GEDmatch names are:

Anthony Bates (16.6 cM)
Lee 13.9 cM

Fedor Karpelevitch
ken levine
Alexandr Ivashchenko
Yuliya Ivashchenko
Mizya Blyakher
Richard Hawk

Jan Greenspan
Dane Elliott

Elizabeth Bakwin
Ilya Shlyakhter
Robert Lefkowitz
Naomi Torpey

There are a whole whack more between 5 and 10 cMs, that are considered possible relatives.

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Geographical Connections Through GEDmatch Admixture Analysis

Updated September 18, 2011

Today GEDmatch added a new utility for analysing individuals complete DNA file and coming up with an admixture breakdown by geographical region. I had the utility analyse my data and it produced the columns below.

I wondered what it might say about Frank so I decided to subtract my known western European DNA (mother=50%; paternal grandmother=25%) from the western European total and distribute the difference proportionally across the rest of the percentages. I also decided to try it with taking out 100% of western European DNA to simulate 100% of it coming from the two women. However, it is worth noting the discrepancy between the 75% of DNA contributed by those 3 grandparents is far larger than the 44.9% Western Europe DNA turned up in the analysis. Since we don’t have either DNA analysis or genealogical information on them to use to make a decision about further data extractions, I just left that 30% in.

This discrepancy raises a question however. Theoretically, the total western European DNA credited to Molly and Dory should total almost exactly 75%. However, the analysis only shows 44.9%. What happened to that other 30%? The only explanation that I can think of is that either Molly or Dory or both had some DNA from non-Western European sources. That would be news to me. However, Brian suddenly remembered a conversation with Dory in which she mentioned that her father had mentioned the possibility of some Moroccan ancestry! We have not had time to talk abut that further. In the meantime I am trying to contact Dory’s cousin Tony in Oakville to see if he knows anything or knows if any family members have had DNA testing done. Also, I’m going to contact Bryce, Jeannine and Dennis Sharpe to see if they can shed any light on an Italian connection to the family that his mother, Molly’s half-sister may have mentioned. There was something about a ship building, which was her father’s business.

The distribution over the regions is interesting on its own. However, the adjustment to the western Europe DNA produces fascinating results. After extracting Western Europe, in a gross consolidation the Mediterranean and the West Asian (Arabian Peninsula) added together to total 55%. If you also add SouthWest Asia that total climbs to 62%. Eastern Europe is 30%. The residual 8% is Asian or African.

West Asia includes Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, part of Iran and Turkey as well as smaller countries.

If you want a visual definition of West Asia and the other Asian sectors see the colour map at

For the time being, we don’t have an explanation for the Eastern European contribution, but it % size would suggest that it is a relatively recent contribution. The original 29.6% would suggest that either of Frank’s parents could have made that contribution but it is unlikely that that great-grandparent would have 100% Eastern European DNA.

GEDmatch Admixture Analysis of Ian McCallum
**Adjustment by Subtracting Obvious Western European DNA
Mother DNA % 50%
Grandmother DNA % 25%

Removing 100% of Western Europe
New Weighting
Population Self Added
East_European 29.6%
West_European (removed 44.9%)
Mediterranean 44%
Neo_African 0.2%
West_Asian 11.3%
South_Asian 2.3%
Northeast_Asian 1.0%
Southeast_Asian 0.7%
East_African 0.5%
Southwest_Asian 6.7%
Northwest_African 3.5%
Palaeo_African 0.4%

Adjusted Summaries
East_European 30%
Mediterranean+West Asian (Arabian Penninsula – Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Saudi, Yemen etc) 55%

Note: also read the 23andMe Ancestry Lab posting under Category DNA or Semitics. It is a breakdown of the DNA that is shared with Ashkenazim.


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