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With our Genealogy by Genetics partner, Family Tree DNA (FTDNA), JewishGen leads the way and takes Jewish genealogy into the new millennium by offering a revolutionary strategy for advancing your genealogy research -- DNA matching -- at an affordable price!

This tool will place you on the cutting edge of scientific technology. For some families, especially when there are no records and the paper trail dead ends, this tool may be your only means of establishing a relationship with potential family. With a simple swab of your inner cheek and scientific analysis of just a small portion of your DNA, relationships can be determined over a period in excess of a few thousand years. If someone has exactly the same DNA signature as yours, there is an extremely high likelihood that you share a common ancestor, from a time period ranging from a few generations to thousands of years ago.

Genealogical DNA testing can trace your patrilineal ancestors (father's father's father's ... father) by testing the Y chromosome and your matrilineal ancestors (mother's mother's mother's ... mother) by testing mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). The Y chromosome is passed from father to son, so only men can be tested for it. mtDNA is passed from a mother to all her children, so both men and women can be tested for it. However, men do not pass their mtDNA down to their children, so the only continuous path for mtDNA is through the direct maternal line.

Types of Genetic Genealogy DNA Tests Family Tree DNA Projects Learn More About Genetic Genealogy

Types of DNA Tests

Family Tree DNA offers several different tests. You can take one or more, depending on your genealogical DNA testing goals. Following is a summary of the tests available:

Paternal line (Y-DNA) Maternal line (mtDNA)
Men only.
Father's father's father's ... father
Have 12, 25, 37 or 67 markers tested on your Y chromosome, as well as learn about your ancient origins.
Both men and women.
Mother's mother's mother's ... mother
Have 1 or 2 regions of your mtDNA tested, or have your entire mtDNA tested, as well as learn about your ancient origins.
12-Marker Benefits:
  • Get started in Genetic Genealogy! Obtain your first 12 Y-DNA markers.
  • Compare your DNA to FTDNA's extensive database of Ashkenazi and Sephardic Y-DNA, as well as Levite and Cohanim Y-DNA.
  • Determine relatedness between two men with the same surname. This is the most common goal of those who participate in genealogical DNA testing. Two men with the same surname who match on 12 markers are virtually guaranteed to share a common patrilineal ancestor.
  • Learn about your ancient origins. With your 12-marker results, Family Tree DNA will notify you of your Y-DNA haplogroup -- your branch on the human genetic tree. Everyone in the same haplogroup shares a common ancestor who lived thousands of years ago.
mtDNA (HVR1 - hyper-variable region 1):
  • Get started in Genetic Genealogy! Learn how your mtDNA differs from the Cambridge Reference Sequence (CRS) in the HVR1 section of your mtDNA.
  • Compare your mtDNA to FTDNA's extensive database of Ashkenazi and Sephardic mtDNA.
  • Determine possible relatedness between two people who suspect having a common matrilineal ancestor.
  • Learn about your ancient origins. With your HVR1 results, Family Tree DNA will notify you of your mtDNA haplogroup -- your branch on the human genetic tree. Everyone in the same haplogroup shares a common ancestor who lived thousands of years ago.
25-, 37- and 67-Marker Benefits:
  • Refine your same-surname matches. With large same-surname families, testing more markers can help to determine where and when one family group branched off from another.
  • Refine your different-surname matches. Testing at least 37 markers is necessary to determine if you share a recent ancestor (within a few hundred years) with your different-surname matches.
Remember that surnames were adopted by most Jewish families in only the last 200-300 years. There were also many instances where children were legally required to use their mother's maiden name, especially in Galicia. So never assume that you can't share a recent ancestor with your different-surname matches.
mtDNAPlus (HVR2 - hyper-variable region 2):
  • Learn how your mtDNA differs from the CRS in the HVR2 section of your mtDNA.
  • Narrow down your matches to determine to whom you're more closely related.

mtDNA Full Sequence:
  • Learn how your entire mtDNA differs from the CRS.
  • Since your entire mtDNA is tested, you'll never again have to take another mtDNA test!
Deep-Clade Test:

Learn to which sub-branch of the human genetic tree you belong and further refine to whom you're related.
Deep-Clade Test:

Learn to which sub-branch of the human genetic tree you belong and further refine to whom you're related.


FTDNA Surname Projects & More

Family Tree DNA offers discounted group pricing to those who participate in one of their several thousand surname, geographical and heritage projects.

Below is a list of known Family Tree DNA projects which focus on Jewish ancestry. For surname projects, although only one spelling is listed below, most projects welcome and encourage participants with variant spellings. Some projects have specific requirements and qualifications for joining, so be sure to carefully read the information on each project's website before submitting a request to join.

If you do not find your surname or another project of interest listed below, use the search box to the right to see if there are other projects that include your surname. If there isn't a project for your surname, considering initiating a surname project of your own. By initiating a surname project at FTDNA, you'll be tapping into the most comprehensive of DNA results from samples submitted by Jewish people. This is the ideal opportunity for those of you with unconnected branches on your same surname tree!


Join the Genealogy Revolution.
Search for your surname in the largest DNA database of its kind!

My Surname

Special Interest Group (SIG) Geographical DNA Projects
Belarus SIG Official DNA project for Belarus SIG. Anyone with matrilineal or patrilineal Jewish ancestry from towns in Belarus is welcome and encouraged to participate.
German-Jewish SIG Official DNA project for the German-Jewish SIG (GerSIG). Anyone with matrilineal or patrilineal Jewish ancestry from Germany is welcome and encouraged to participate.
Gesher Galicia Official DNA project for Gesher Galicia, the SIG for those with Jewish roots in the former Austrian province of Galicia. Anyone with matrilineal or patrilineal Jewish ancestry from Galicia is welcome and encouraged to participate.
Hungarian SIG Official DNA project for Hungarian SIG. Anyone with matrilineal or patrilineal Jewish ancestry from Greater Hungary is welcome and encouraged to participate.
Scandinavia SIG Official DNA project for Scandinavia SIG. Anyone with matrilineal or patrilineal Jewish ancestry from Scandinavia is welcome and encouraged to participate.
Your SIGSIG Leaders, please contact Elise Friedman, JewishGen DNA Projects Coordinator for information about starting a DNA project for your SIG through JewishGen's SIG DNA Projects Initiative.


Surname Projects
Arbit
Auerbach
Benveniste & Sons
Berkson
Bernstein
Bilstein
Bleifer
Bloom
Braude
Brosgol
Chazanovich
Chernick
Cohen
Damelin
Dardashti
Dershowitz
Deutsch
Dubin
Dumes
Dworsky
Efron
Elman
Epstein
Esterson
Evenchik
Falk
Feinberg
Feldman
Feuerstein
Friedman
Ganz
Geller
Gershoff
Gilinsky
Goldberg
Goldhamer
Goldman
Goldsholl
Goldstein
Gorenstein
Gottesfeld
Gottesman
Goza/Gozhanskij
Grace
Greenberg
Greenspan
Grundfest
Gurman
Heffler
Heller
Holtzman
Horowitz
Hubscher
Ilitzky
Israel
Isseroff
Jaffe
Judeikin
Kaminker
Kaplan
Karnovsky
Kastner
Katz
Katzman
Kessler
Kisilstein
Kitzes
Klemanowicz
Kletskin
Kolber
Kosovsky
Krolik
Kronish
Landa
Lederman
Lefkowitz
Leibowitz
Lifshitz
Lis
Luria
Matfes
Milhofer
Minovitz
Mintz
Mirvis
Naar
Neiman
Newman
Oberlander
Olstein
Orol
Ortenberg
Ostrer
Paikin
Palevsky
Plitt
Pokrasse
Pomerantz
Raskin
Rosen*
Rozenholz
Rosenthal
Rossoff
Rothschild
Rubin
Russler
Samuels
Savin
Schneider
Schonwetter
Schreier
Schwartz
Shapiro
Sheiness
Shifrin
Siegel
Silbiger
Silver*
Silverman
Sinai
Solomon
Stein
Stern
Subotnick
Talalay
Tanenbaum
Tartakovsky
Widelec
Wolinsky
Zalewski
Zawadzki
Ziff
Zucker


Regional Geographical Projects
Project Name Description
Ariogala, Lithuania We are a group of descendants of Jews who lived in Ariogala, Lithuania and the surrounding towns. Our goal is to discover new ancestral relationships among participants. The project is open to anyone who has a direct male line ancestor or a direct female line ancestor who lived in Ariogala, Lithuania, or the surrounding area. Contact the group administrator to determine if you might be eligible to particpate.
Belarusian Jewish Polesie DNA Study We're studying the similarity or diversity of our Jewish ancestors from the former Polesie region of Poland/Russia, which today comprises southwestern Belarus. Towns such as Brest, Kobrin, Pinsk, Kamenetz and more are included in this region.
Iberian Surnames of Ashkenaz The goal of this geographic Y-DNA project is to determine the Y-DNA haplogroups and haplotype signatures of males in Ashkenazi regions with Iberian surnames or an oral history of being descendant from Sephardim in order to be able to compare them with those of known Sephardic Jews.
Jewish Ukraine West Open to anyone with Jewish ancestors from the western Ukraine or Moldova. The region includes the gubernias of Podolia, Volhynia, Kiev and Kherson as well as Bessarabia and the eastern part of Galicia.
Kremenets Shetel CO-OP Project Descendants of Jews who lived in Kremenets and surrounding towns since the 14th century. Kremenets is in a border region of western Ukraine. The area was under Polish rule until the partitions of Poland in the 1790s, when it became part of the Russian Empire. The Kremenets area returned to Polish rule during the interwar years, but after the war was shifted to Ukraine.
Pikeliai, Lithuania Pikeliai/Pikeln is a town in Lithuania. While there are no Jews living there in the present day, it used to have a Jewish community. There are around 200 unique Jewish surnames associated with this shtetl based on my research in 19th and early 20th century records. The purpose of this project is to identify whether Jewish people with ancestors from this shtetl are related.
Przedborz, Poland Trace the common ancestry of Jewish familes from the town of Przedborz, Poland and surrounding towns, such as Opoczno, Konskie, Checiny, Radom, Radomsko, Wloszczowa, Koniecpol, Kielce, Czestochowa, Piotrkow Trybunalski and nearby smaller shtetls.
Jews of Rhodes We are trying to identify the original 50 families who were Iberian, Italian, and Romaniote Jews that existed in Rhodes in 1522. This will be done by studying the paternal lines (using Y DNA testing) and the maternal lines (using mitochondrial DNA testing) of Jews whose families had lived on the Island of Rhodes.
Telsiai Uyezd/District, Lithuania The purpose of this project is to identify whether Jewish people with ancestors from this district/Uyezd are related. Towns/shtetls in this district include: Aleksandravas, Alsedziai, Barstyciai, Darbenai, Gargzdai, Gruslauke, Jokubavas, Kalnalis, Kartena, Kretinga, Kuliai, Laukuva, Lieplaukis, Mosedis, Nevarenai, Palanga, Pavandene, Pikeliai, Plateliai, Plunge, Pozere, Salantai, Salociai, Saukliai, Seda, Skuodas, Telsiai, Tirksliai, Tverai, Varniai, Ylakiai, Zarenai, Zemaiciu Kalvaria, Zemalenai, Zidikai


Jewish Genealogical Society (JGS) DNA Projects
Project Name Description
JGS Oregon We'll help obtain testing and interpret test results for those who currently live in Oregon or southern Washington State, or whose ancestors came from this area. If you live in this area and are Jewish or if you think you have Jewish ancestry, we welcome you to our group.
JGSGW Members of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington (JGSGW) and anyone who is a relative of a member, searching for his or her Jewish roots, are welcome to join.


Heritage Projects
Project Name Description
Anousim Crypto Jews from Mexico and the United States
Canadian Anusim Crypto Jews of French descent
Davidic Dynasty DNA research to establish common Y-DNA and mt-DNA pattern/patterns for those that have a tradition in their family that they come from the Royal House of David. Many of our great Rabbis were from the House of David, so if you are from a Rabbinic line you could also be the House of David.
Jewish Heritage Project Anyone with Jewish ancestry is invited to join this project and compare your DNA with others.
Hebrew DNA Project Open to everyone who has reason to believe they had Hebrew ancestors.
Sephardic Heritage Worldwide Sephardim
Sephardim New Mexico Crypto Jews of New Mexico
Tribe of Yissochur Open to men who claim patrilineal descent from the Bnei Yissoschur, Reb Hersh Mylech Spira of Dynow (1783 - 1841)


Haplogroup Projects
Note: Haplogroup projects are restricted to people who ALREADY have their DNA results. These projects do not accept members who haven't taken a DNA test yet since you need to know your haplogroup to join the correct project.
Project Name Description
Y-DNA Haplogroup J For all men whose DNA results place them in Y-DNA haplogroup J
Jewish E For Jewish men whose DNA results place them in Y-DNA haplogroup E
Jewish R1b For Jewish men whose DNA results place them in Y-DNA haplogroup R1b
Jewish Q For Jewish men whose DNA results place them in Y-DNA haplogroup Q
mtDNA Haplogroup H For everyone whose mtDNA results place them in mtDNA haplogroup H
mtDNA Haplogroup K For everyone whose mtDNA results place them in mtDNA haplogroup K
mtDNA Haplogroup N For everyone whose mtDNA results place them in mtDNA haplogroup N


Learn More about Genetic Genealogy

Mailing Lists & Discussion Boards FAQs, Tutorials & Other Resources
Subscribe to the JewishGen DNA Testing Discussion Group
Family Tree DNA Discussion Forums
Family Tree DNA FAQ
FTDNA Tutorial - Understanding DNA
FTDNA Tutorial - Reading and Comparing DNA Test Results
mtDNA Results FAQ
Understanding Haplogroups
International Society of Genetic Genealogy


Scientific Research Papers
1/2006The Matrilineal Ancestry of Ashkenazi Jewry: Portrait of a Recent Founder Event (pdf)
5/2004MtDNA evidence for a genetic bottleneck in the early history of the Ashkenazi Jewish population (pdf)
1/2004Contrasting patterns of Y chromosome variation in Ashkenazi Jewish and host non-Jewish European populations (pdf)
9/2003Multiple Origins of Ashkenazi Levites: Y Chromosome Evidence for Both Near Eastern and European Ancestries (pdf)
7/2001Y Chromosomes of Jewish Priests (pdf)
6/2000Jewish and Middle Eastern non-Jewish populations share a common pool of Y-chromosome biallelic haplotypes (pdf)
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