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Indian matriarchs

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  • abell07030
    I got DNA testing through Family Tree DNA. It turns out that I and about 2 percent to 3 percent of people descended matrilineally from Jewish women who lived
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 28, 2008
      I got DNA testing through Family Tree DNA.

      It turns out that I and about 2 percent to 3 percent of people
      descended matrilineally from Jewish women who lived in Belarus (and
      about 0.5 percent of other Ashkenazic Jews) have an mtDNA (mom line)
      pattern that might possibly come form India or Central Asia.

      Our pattern is: differences from the standard sequence at positions
      16111, 16223, 16235 and 16362. (If you have been tested, understand
      what I'm talking about and want more details, let me know and I'll
      give you the details.)

      One problem is that, so far, it doesn't seem as if there are any
      somewhat similar sequences in databases that come from people other
      than Ashkenazic Jews. The sequence seems to be an "Asian" type that
      split away from the root African type around the same time that modern
      human beings were leaving Africa, about 50,000 years ago. But the type
      is so weird that it's also been separated for at least about 45,000 to
      50,000 years from all other Asian mtDNA sequences. So, it could even
      be a type that originated in the Middle East while the first modern
      people to leave Africa were heading to Asia.

      If we could find some other, non-Jewish peoples in the world, or
      Sephardic or Mizrahi Jewish peoples, who had a sequence that was more
      similar, then maybe it would be easier to figure out the sequence got
      into the Jewish gene pool.

      One interesting discovery is that there's a document from about 900 CE
      stored in the Cairo genizah that shows that an Egyptian Jewish man
      brought an Indian woman to be his bride in Egypt around that time. So,
      it seems as if there are written documents supporting the idea that
      some of us Jewish people might be descended from Indian woman (or, I
      guess, Central Asian women) who entered the Jewish people many
      centuries ago.

      Of course, we all know that there are Jewish people in India who have
      deep roots in India, but I think it's pretty amazing to think of
      Indian women converting to Judaism and entering the Mizrahi, Sephardic
      or Ashkenazic Jewish populations a thousand years ago or more.
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