My Heritage DNA is offering free transfers of raw data from 23andme, FTDNA, or AncestryDNA to their site for ethnicity analysis and DNA matches. Seeing nothing to lose, I thought I'd give it a try. The results are interesting. See below my paternal grandfather.
What really stands out to me is the very high amount of Mizrahi Jewish. West Asian is the same as Caucasus. Middle Eastern here is the Levant but also parts of Arabia. The Italian score is high, but my grandfather consistently gets high Italian on all the tests, even comparatively with other Palestinian Christians. The North Africa here could be Egyptian or Berber.
My grandmother's results:
So, even more surprising because she not only gets Mizrahi, but 8.8% Ashkenazi! I don't know how it is possible for her to have actual Ashkenazi ancestry seeing as how it would be too close in time to make sense. I am unaware of any Jews in the family beyond those in ancient times pre-Christianity. Of course, anything is possible, and this might very well be the case. However, with strict marriage laws between religions, I feel it was not likely.
Lastly, my father's results:
Another thing to note is that My Heritage is an Israeli start up company. It might explain why their reference populations include Sephardic, Mizrahi, and Ashkenazi Jews. The same is true at FTDNA where my grandfather gets 20+% Sephardic Jewish ancestry (they sometimes lump Mizrahi into Sephardic which must be the case there). I wonder if they are less conservative in assigning Jewish ancestry or have different algorithms.
The DNA matches are not available yet and are still processing. I would be curious to see other results from this company from Middle Eastern people. Please share and comment if you have tried the free transfer and let me know what you think of it!
Follow along as I post results and interpretations of various DNA tests conducted on my Palestinian Christian family members. For a condensed version, read the Summary page for key findings. For more in-depth review, the other pages & blog posts will offer detailed and specific information. Use the labels to find posts relating to the Pages above or family surnames. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.