The Challenges of Jewish DNA testing

By Kitty Munson Cooper
Blogging at

Where to Test? See
  • Family Tree DNA only place for Y test, has projects,
  • 23andme gives health results
  • is least likely to have matches for recent immigrants

Diagrams from the NIH

Y Haplogroups

Jewish Y Haplogroups: J1c3, J2a cohanim
R1a1 most Levites
E1a1 is frequent
Others: various J subgroups, T1, and E1

Sample Y DNA STR results for 37 markers

Jewish E haplogroup Family Tree DNA project


Jewish mtDNA Haplogroups:
K1a9 and N1b2

others are European

Inheritance from 8 g-grandparents, courtesy of Angie Bush
Admixture of a 100% Ashkenazi person from

Aunt Shaindel is found!

Above, results in my family, see also this paper

Match to a known Ashkenazi 3rd cousin

Comparison to a Norwegian 3rd cousin

Kitty's Guidelines for Jewish DNA Matches

  • At least one segment > 20 cM
  • Another segment > 10 cM
  • Several more good sized segments
Relationship Chart from ISOGG wiki at:

Israel Pickholtz documents his extensive family DNA project

He blogs at