**Family Members (near and far) - If all this information is overwhelming to you, and you would prefer to test under my account, I can help you set that up. You would take the test, send it in, and then I would manage the account and interpret the results for you. Just let me know if this is something you want to do.
23andme - I would recommend this test for almost everyone. It gives the most bang for the buck! For $99 you get your deep maternal ancestry (maternal haplogroup assignment), if you are a male you get your deep paternal ancestry (paternal haplogroup assignment), plus you get an overall ancestry composition of both sides of your family, plus DNA cousin matches. This is a very large database of people and the company does ship internationally. We have more Middle Eastern matches here than any of the other companies.
Family Tree DNA- This company is the pioneer in DNA testing for genealogy purposes. I recommend them for Y-DNA testing (males only). You get the paternal haplogroup assignment, but also the str markers to show how closely your deep paternal ancestor is related to others we know. They also have projects like the Lebanon-Syria-Jordan-Palestine Project, Arab World Project, etc. that you can join. FTDNA also offers a Family Finder test which is autosomal test similar to 23andme. Personally, I do not find it very useful for Middle Eastern people because their database is smaller and mostly American/European.
AncestryDNA- When on sale, this is a decent autosomal test. The most unique feature is that it lines up family tree matches. So, if you have a detailed family tree at ancestry.com it can show you how you are related to another person with a detailed family tree. Most Palestinians do not have that kind of tree, therefore this is not a really useful feature. The ethnicity calculator is pretty good, however. I would recommend this test only if you cannot take the 23andme test or if you find it deeply discounted. They currently do not accept international orders. I do recommend this test for people with colonial American ancestry.
National Geographic Geno 2.0- This is a good overview test of the deep maternal and paternal haplogroups, but no DNA cousin matches. This one goes back very far to ancient times. I recommend it as a second or third test, but not as useful as 23andme. Also, this test is far more useful for males because it gives wonderful detailed information on the direct paternal line. I would not recommend this test for females.
- Males from Beit Sahour or abroad who have Beit Sahour roots on their direct paternal line. Right now everyone is showing J1e from Beit Sahour, and I'd like to see if that trend continues. If it does, we can likely assume that everyone descends from Dawood Al-Qazaha as it has been passed down from oral history. Last names that we need tested- Abueita, Andoni, Bardawil, David, Habbas, Qumsieh, Romman (Beit Jala), and more! Very few last names from Beit Sahour have been tested. If you fit this criteria and are interested in helping, please contact me for more details or order a test from 23andme and let me know.
- Males from Bethlehem & Beit Jala. Right now the men in Bethlehem are showing G1* as their direct paternal haplogroup. We need to test this to see if most men have it or if there is a blend. If you are from Bethlehem and know about the history of the clans, you might want to lead a project on this. By testing males at 23andme, we can start to form groups based on clan history and paternal haplogroups.
- If you are a male from Beit Sahour and have already tested at 23andme and want to dig deeper into your direct paternal line, I recommend the Y-dna test.
- If you are a female and 100% from Beit Sahour, please consider the 23andme test. We especially need the older generation females to test because their direct maternal lines are a bridge to our ancient past. Most of the family trees did not record the women's last names, so this is very helpful to get them tested.
- If you are not from the Bethlehem area but you are a Palestinian Christian from Ramallah, Bizreit, Beersheeba or another town, please share your results by contacting me. The more we study the population as a whole, the more we can test our oral histories and see how we all connect. Right now we have solid proof that the people from other Christian villages are related to each other from several hundred years ago. They were likely all one group. The more we test, the more we know!
- If you are a Christian from Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon- please share your results. Let's see how closely we are related or if there are any major differences.
- OTHER REQUESTS- If you are a Palestinian Muslim or Jew, we would be happy to compare results with you. Also if you are an Arab from a country outside of the Levant, we would be interested in seeing how closely the DNA resembles each other.
- TESTING ORDER- Always choose a male if available because you get twice the information. I chose to have my grandmother's brother tested for his y-dna because my grandmother's father passed away a long time ago. I could have also chosen her uncle who is the brother to her father. The paternal haplgroup information would be the same. Second, always choose the older people first- they are one step further back in time and will bring in matches that the younger generation will not have. Third- there is not much need to have siblings tested because the information would be the same. It is better to test a first, second, or third cousin. If you have any questions about who to test, please let me know.
- Interested, but not sure about testing? Email or message me and I'll help answer any questions you may have. If you are knowledgeable about the history of our ancestors, you can help in other ways. I am trying to make connections between families and if you have a family tree or personal family stories, I would love see them!