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. 


Paternal Ancient Ancestry

Y-DNA is used extensively by scientists to study paternal ancestry. Unlike all other types of DNA, the Y-DNA is passed down strictly from father to son from generation to generation. By testing the Y-DNA, scientists are able to view the genetic markers of an individual's paternal ancestors from ancient times.
Y-DNA contains two types of ancestral markers, namely STR markers and SNP markers. While STRs are useful for tracing recent ancestry (past few hundred years), SNPs are used to study ancient human history (thousands of years ago). SNPs are small changes (mutations) which occur naturally and randomly in the DNA every few thousand years. Once a SNP occurs in the Y-DNA of a male individual, it becomes a permanent marker that is passed down from that point forward to all future male descendants. The Y-DNA of every male living today contains a unique collection of SNPs inherited from male predecessors over thousands of years.
All humans living today can be classified into a specific Y-DNA haplogroup in the Y-DNA Tree based on SNP markers found in their Y-DNA.
This page covers Paternal Haplogroup assignments (ancient ancestry), see the Y-DNA page for STR markers that show more recent ancestry.
More Information about paternal haplogroups in general can be found here.


Tests Performed & Basic Results:

  1. Paternal Haplogroup assignments at 23andme for my father and grandfather (following the Rishmawi ancient ancestor) - J1e
  2. Deep paternal haplogroup assignment with terminal snp at National Geographic's Geno 2.0 for my father - J1e (P58) with terminal snp of YSC234.


23andme descriptions:

Other DNA Cousin surnames that are also J1e: 

Personal Comments: J1e is considered to be the Semitic Haplogroup of Abraham.  The men who carry this haplogroup are direct descendants of Abraham through one of his 8 sons.  Abraham was originally from Iraq and brought his genes with him to Palestine as the Israelites conquered Canaan. Also, his other descendants were in the Arabian Peninsula during ancient times.  More than half of our Palestinian Christian cousins carry J1e, but E1b (considered the native Canaanite haplogroup), and G2 (Caucasus) are both present in large numbers of Palestinian Christian men and also J2 (highest in Lebanon). Even though Salomon-Isaac-Rishmawi are all J1e, it's very likely that several of our other family surnames are E1b, G, and J2. Right now every direct line male tested from Beit Sahour is showing J1e.  We need more men to test with different last names to see if this trend will continue. Please note the examples shown are for Middle Eastern matches, not those who have a father of a different ethnicity. Look at the list of names below and you will see many you recognize.  The descriptions are all similar for the Middle Eastern based haplogroups.

DNA Cousins who are E1b:
Khoury (knowing this name means priest, this shows Khoury can have different ancient roots)

  • Haplogroup: E1b1b1c, a subgroup of E1b1b
  • Age: more than 15,000 years
  • Region: Near East, northeastern Africa, southern Europe
  • Example Populations: Ethiopians, Jordanians, Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews
  • Highlight: Most people who bear E1b1b1c trace their roots to the Near East about 15,000 years ago.

DNA Cousins who are G:

G2a: Yanni, Farah, Masso/Maso, Yunis, Al Nimri, Farouni, Abou-Ata, Kattan
G2a5: Elbournou, Rabbat
G1*: Zugbi, Manzur, Daboub, Babish, Giacoman

  • Haplogroup: G, a subgroup of F
  • Age: 16,000 years
  • Region: Central Asia, Near East, Northern Africa, Europe
  • Example Populations: Palestinians, Ossetians, Georgians, Moroccans
  • Highlight: Haplogroup G probably originated in the Caucasus but made its way across the Near East, northern Africa, southern Europe, and even into China.

*Right now the paternal lines from Bethlehem, mostly appear to be G1*

DNA Cousins who are J2: Farha, Kawas, Khawam, Annabi, Sawabini, Monsour, Khoury, Hrimat (many others that are more distant DNA cousins have this haplogroup and are not listed here)

  • Haplogroup: J2, a subgroup of J
  • Age: 18,000 years
  • Region: Southern Europe, Near East, Northern Africa
  • Example Populations: Ashkenazi Jews, Sephardic Jews, Lebanese
  • Highlight: Haplogroup J2 is found in nearly one-quarter of Sephardic Jewish men.

DNA Cousins who are T: Hanhan, Bashara, Haddad, Fakhoury, Sakakeeny

  • Haplogroup: T, a subgroup of F
  • Age: 21,000 years
  • Region: Europe, Near East, Northern Africa
  • Example Populations: Iraqis, Ethiopians, Egyptians
  • Highlight: T can be found across much of the Near East and Europe, although typically at low frequencies.

Comments: The above paternal haplogroups are representative of what you would find in Palestinian Christians from most represented to less.  There are some other random haplogroups that are occasionally seen, but those are quite rare.


Geno 2.0 - National Geographic Results

This test gave deep ancestry results for the direct maternal and direct paternal lines of my father.  So, looking at the paternal side it would go back on the Rishmawi line (father's father's father's father, etc).  This test is more specific for these lines than the general haplogroup given by 23andme.  Currently, YSC234 is my father & grandfather's terminal snp.  They have tested for several other snps downstream of YSC234 and they are all negative so far.

For those interested in the complete list of snps tested, here they are:

Tests Taken

CTS10362+, CTS10640+, CTS1068+, CTS10858+, CTS109+, CTS11358+, CTS1138+, CTS11501+, CTS11571+, CTS11575+, CTS11726+, CTS11741+, CTS11765+, CTS11787+, CTS12047+, CTS12238+, CTS125+, CTS12632+, CTS1547+, CTS1983+, CTS1996+, CTS2769+, CTS3068+, CTS3101+, CTS3210+, CTS3331+, CTS3401+, CTS3431+, CTS3492+, CTS3536+, CTS3654+, CTS3662+, CTS3868+, CTS3936+, CTS3996+, CTS4025+, CTS4133+, CTS426+, CTS4274+, CTS4294+, CTS4364+, CTS4368+, CTS4443+, CTS4740+, CTS5169+, CTS5269+, CTS5280+, CTS5285+, CTS5318+, CTS5394+, CTS5457+, CTS5532+, CTS5628+, CTS6135+, CTS6383+, CTS6800+, CTS6907+, CTS6932+, CTS712+, CTS7412+, CTS7598+, CTS7738+, CTS7922+, CTS7933+, CTS7997+, CTS8183+, CTS8243+, CTS8340+, CTS8437+, CTS852+, CTS8938+, CTS8980+, CTS9240+, CTS9828+, F1046+, F1167+, F1181+, F1209+, F1302+, F1320+, F1329+, F1450+, F1460+, F1634+, F1704+, F1714+, F1744+, F1753+, F1767+, F1825+, F2048+, F2058+, F2075+, F2116+, F2142+, F2155+, F2174+, F2276+, F2302+, F2345+, F2366+, F2390+, F2402+, F2502+, F2587+, F2688+, F2710+, F2746+, F2749+, F2769+, F2794+, F2817+, F2837+, F2839+, F2973+, F2985+, F2993+, F3074+, F3111+, F3119+, F3136+, F3335+, F3347+, F3358+, F3368+, F3384+, F3402+, F3556+, F3692+, F4072+, F4188+, F4200+, F4287+, F4289+, F719+, F922+, L132+, L134+, L15+, L16+, L321+, L350+, L403+, L468+, L470+, L498+, L620+, L748+, L765+, L778+, M139+, M168+, M235+, M267+, M294+, M304+, M42+, M497+, M89+, M94+, P123+, P124+, P126+, P127+, P130+, P135+, P136+, P138+, P14+, P141+, P145+, P146+, P148+, P151+, P158+, P159+, P160+, P166+, P187+, P209+, P58+, PF1016+, PF1029+, PF1031+, PF1040+, PF1046+, PF1061+, PF1092+, PF1097+, PF110+, PF1203+, PF1269+, PF1276+, PF192+, PF210+, PF212+, PF223+, PF234+, PF258+, PF2591+, PF2593+, PF2599+, PF2608+, PF2611+, PF2615+, PF2624+, PF263+, PF2643+, PF272+, PF2745+, PF2747+, PF2748+, PF2749+, PF2770+, PF278+, PF292+, PF316+, PF325+, PF342+, PF3515+, PF3517+, PF3518+, PF3534+, PF3560+, PF3561+, PF3562+, PF4490+, PF4491+, PF4513+, PF4521+, PF4530+, PF4572+, PF4591+, PF4595+, PF4598+, PF4622+, PF4629+, PF4630+, PF4632+, PF4634+, PF4635+, PF4636+, PF4638+, PF4652+, PF4653+, PF4654+, PF4656+, PF4657+, PF4659+, PF4661+, PF4662+, PF4663+, PF4664+, PF4668+, PF4669+, PF4670+, PF4672+, PF4675+, PF4676+, PF4678+, PF4685+, PF4695+, PF4738+, PF4758+, PF4759+, PF4761+, PF4762+, PF4764+, PF4768+, PF4769+, PF4772+, PF4773+, PF4774+, PF4780+, PF4787+, PF4788+, PF4798+, PF4799+, PF4800+, PF4801+, PF4830+, PF4831+, PF4832+, PF4833+, PF4835+, PF4838+, PF4843+, PF4844+, PF500+, PF667+, PF719+, PF725+, PF779+, PF796+, PF803+, PF815+, PF821+, PF840+, PF844+, PF892+, PF937+, PF951+, PF954+, PF970+, V186+, V189+, V205+, V52+, V9+, YSC0000056+, YSC0000062+, YSC0000063+, YSC0000064+, YSC0000065+, YSC0000066+, YSC0000068+, YSC0000069+, YSC0000071+, YSC0000073+, YSC0000164+, YSC0000165+, YSC0000168+, YSC0000169+, YSC0000171+, YSC0000172+, YSC0000173+, YSC0000175+, YSC0000177+, YSC0000181+, YSC0000184+, YSC0000187+, YSC0000188+, YSC0000197+, YSC0000198+, YSC0000199+, YSC0000209+, YSC0000214+, YSC0000218+, YSC0000226+, YSC0000228+, YSC0000229+, YSC0000234+, YSC0000235+, YSC0000236+, YSC0000239+, YSC0000265+, Z1853+, Z1854+, Z1855+, Z1856+, Z1858+, Z1860+, Z1861+, Z1862+, Z1865+, Z1866+, Z1867+, Z1868+, Z1870+, Z1871+, Z1874+, Z1875+, Z1877+, Z1878+, Z1885+, Z1886+, Z1887+, Z1889+, Z1890+, Z1892+, YSC0000078+, YSC0000079+, YSC0000080-, Z640-, Z641-, Z644-, ZS227-, ZS241-, FGC4736-, Z1884-, YSC0000076-, PF4851-, L222-

Branch: P58
Age: To Be Determined
Location of Origin: West Asia

For most of their history, members of this lineage have remained in their West Asian homeland. More recently, some groups from this line have traveled to Europe and Central Asia.
Today, in Europe, it is present at trace frequencies of less than 1 percent in most populations. However, it is 1 to 2 percent of the male population in Spain and between 2 and 3 percent of the male population in Portugal. In Central Asia, it is 1 percent of male lineages in the Avars and Dargins of Dagestan. It is about 7 percent of Circassians’ male lineages.
In West Asia, it is about 8 percent of Kurdish populations. It is between 11 and 13 percent of male lineages among the Druze. It is about 33 percent of the Saudi Arabian male population. It is about 20 percent of Jewish Diaspora population groups.
Note: This branch is not accompanied by a major movement on the map, and research on this branch is continuing.

YSC234 originated somewhere between the Levant & Mesopotamia thousands of years ago.  I was told my father's dna (Geno 2.0 results) looks very native to the Levant and may end up being a very important sample for scientists!

COMMENTS: What we know about my father's direct paternal line Rishmawi is that they came from a place called Rishmaya in Lebanon.  From oral history, we believe that Musallam Rishmawi came to Beit Sahour, Palestine in the early 1700s and was adopted into the Ishaq family.  We do not really know if they were native to Lebanon or if they were returning to their homeland in Palestine, but I have strong reasons to believe it is the latter (see Y-dna page for details).  The specific snp results and the corresponding stories here, show us that this Rishmawi line is not of Ghassanid/Yemenite origin, but the large number of Jews & people from the Caucasus point to an ancient Israelite connection.

More for information on this subject, search for the label paternal in blog posts and be sure to read the Y-dna page for the fascinating Ishaq/Rishmawi mystery!


Joshua Lipson said...

Do you have more subclade information on the E1b1b cousins?

HolyLandDNA said...

The subclade I've seen the most is: E1b1b1c1a. Do you know much about it?

Anonymous said...

That's about what I expected. E1b1b1c1a is defined by M84, and is also very common among Jews (Ashkenazi, Sephardi, and Mizrahi), Arabians, Cypriots, Ethiopians, and Kurds. I'm a Jewish member of E1b1b1c1 (xM84), which is slightly more common among Ashkenazi Jews than E1b1b1c1a—wondering if any of these Palestinian families are E1b1b1c1 or E1b1b1c1*, rather than E1b1b1c1a. And if so, where they're from :)

HolyLandDNA said...

I went through the matches on 23andme and here is what I've found for the various E haplogroup matches: M123, M34, L29, M78, V22, V12, V13. Apparently the written form has changed, so I'm not sure which of these is 1a, 1, and 1*.

Anonymous said...

Ah, just noticed that! So, after some digging:

M78, V22, V12, and V13 are from a very, very distantly related branch of E1b1b.

Could you tell me which individuals (and where they're from) are labeled L29 (Which is E1b1b1c1a), and which ones are labeled M34 (very possibly meaning they're members of L29's sister branch, which 23andMe doesn't test for)? I'd be so grateful :)

HolyLandDNA said...

This is difficult to do because some of these are anonymous matches. Here is what I found offhand (not an exhaustive list) from my old relative finder on 23andme:

E1b1b1a: Gholam, Sauma, Sawalha, Swidan, Zeidan

E1b1b1c1a: Jubran, Kaleh, Freij, Bartholo, Nasir, Jazzar

E1b1b1c: Garza, Habis, Sabat

Do you know the age of the common ancestor among these groups? How distantly related?

G├╝lsoy Ersoy said...

I am E1b1b1c1a


Anonymous said...

For those that may be interested, check out this fb page: E-M123 United

There is a information there regarding the haplogroup, DNA, discoveries as well as some fun stuff.