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 holylanddna@gmail.com. 


This blog is a collection of my ongoing research on the Palestinian Christian population and an attempt to keep everything organized.  It is a work in progress!  In lieu of a written report, here I will present my findings to family members, distant cousins, and anyone interested in the history of the modern day Palestinian people.  My discoveries are based on the results of various tests of my family members, as well as comparisons to other Palestinians of similar backgrounds.

A little history: My paternal grandparents are Orthodox Christians from Beit Sahour, Palestine, who immigrated first to Central America and later to the US. I have grown more interested in this unique heritage over time. Upon reading about the Palestinian Christians and their origins, I have found many conflicting theories. Once DNA testing became readily available, I thought it was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about my ancient roots on this side of my family.

Testing: We began Y-dna & Mtdna testing at Family Tree DNA in 2010 with my grandfather and my grandmother's brother. The results were interesting, but not a complete picture. Eventually, I convinced my entire family to get tested through 23andme. I transferred some of the results to Family Finder at Family Tree DNA for comparison. My father also took the National Geographic Geno 2.0 test. Recently my father and I have taken the AncestryDNA test through ancestry.com. I upgraded my great-uncle and grandfather's Y-dna tests to 67 markers and we have had additional snps tested and joined several projects. We have received specialized admixture analyses through scientists, professors, and the services at Gedmatch. It has been a privilege to discuss the results with some of the experts in the field for their knowledgeable insight. But, most of all, it has been wonderful to connect with distant cousins throughout the world who share Holy Land DNA!

Purpose of the blog: After 4 years of research and testing, it is time to share the results with family members who so graciously provided samples and endured lots of questions. This is the method I have chosen to share information. I decided to make it public in case it might be helpful to others who share this heritage or scholars seeking to learn more about this population. It is also a place I can organize my findings (which I should have started long ago!).

How to find information:  The main pages give some specific information, but more information will be written in blog posts.  Posts are labelled according to their category and also with family surnames.  So, if you are interested in everything written about Rishmawi, search for that tag for relevant posts.  If you are interested in everything related to admixture, search for that tag, etc.

Scientific terms & concepts:  If you seek to understand more about the science behind the data, I encourage you to check out Genetics 101 and Family Tree DNA's Learning Center.

Disclosure: What I post here reflects my current understanding of my ancient paternal heritage. As it changes, I will make modifications to the site. I am not a geneticist nor do I claim that everything I state is fact. Genetic genealogy is in it's infancy. I have seen it grow exponentially just in the past 4 years and it will continue to evolve and become more refined. The results are still a bit subjective. If you disagree with any of the conclusions that I draw, feel free to contact me!

Thanks for visiting!

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