GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2004-11 > 1101778423
From: ellen Levy <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Cohen and Cohanim
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2004 17:33:48 -0800 (PST)
A good resource concerning the distribution of J* is
(again) Ornella Semino's study on Hg's J & E. His
study describes J* as "J-267*." This sub-clade is
believed to have originated in the southern Levant and
spread into North Africa (it is very common in Tunisia
and Algeria) and northwards into Lebanon and Turkey.
It basically petters out once you leave Turkey, though
does appear in very small percentages (2% or so) in
some Greek & Italian populations.
--- Roland Elliott <> wrote:
> It has also been found in Africa--two Locals and
> Southern Arabia.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "ellen Levy" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Monday, November 29, 2004 16:59
> Subject: Re: [DNA] Cohen and Cohanim
> Hi Gaila:
> How could I resist answering this?
> The surname "Cohen" or its variants is often, but
> always, indicative of Cohanim or priesthood status.
> Your friend may be referring to the fact that in his
> case, his surname is not indicative of this status,
> perhaps that his family's membership in this caste
> been forgotten over time(this happened in my Levite
> The Cohanim signature is indeed a variant of
> haplogroup J, as you put it. In genetic
> the Cohanim signature is part of sub-clade J* (or
> properly JxJ2). This sub-clade is very rare in
> non-Jewish Europeans, but occurs in Ashkenazi Jews
> (those from Northwestern & Eastern Europe) at
> It is the only Y haplogroup within the Jewish
> population that can said to be clearly Semitic or
> Middle Eastern in origin. Within those of Cohanim
> class, it occurs in both Sephardic and Ashkenazi
> at a rate of about 50% - very high indeed.
> Not having the Cohanim signature doesn't preclude
> from being part of this priestly caste. It is,
> however, indicative of a common Middle Eastern
> ancestry when found among Jews and among the Cohanim
> in particular.
> Ellen Coffman
> --- Gaila & James Merrington <>
> > Hello
> > I have a Jewish friend, Mr Cohen and I had
> > the Cohen study to him.
> > He was quick to explain he was a Cohen but not a
> > Cohanim. I was wondering,
> > in the Cohen study where such a large percentage
> > were found to have a
> > Cohanim Y signature, did they all expect to have
> > Cohanim Y signature or were
> > some sure that they would not.
> > Was the Cohanim signature a variation of "J"
> > Thanks
> > Gaila
> > ==============================
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