Archiver > Y-DNA-HAPLOGROUP-G > 2008-11 > 1225746263

From: <>
Subject: [Y-DNA-HAPLOGROUP-G] (no subject)
Date: Mon, 3 Nov 2008 13:04:23 -0800

am posting with his permission this e-mail received from Mr. Mason. Normally the family research of G persons does not have much utility in understanding deeper ancestry. Our correspondent suggests a possible migration route in the Middle Ages for his G1 Jewish group. We have somewhat confirmatory DNA evidence for migrations of the G2c* and G2a3* DYS388=13 groups from Sicily and the Caucasus Mtns. respectively by the presence of similar samples in those 2 areas. Here a similar G1 sample from today's Spain would serve the same purpose. Even when a large migration takes place, usually there are a few persons with similar DNA left behind. Unfortunately we have only a few G1 samples so far.

Ray Banks

----- Original Message -----
From: George Mason
Sent: Sunday, November 02, 2008 12:19 PM
Subject: Possible G1 migration path

I have recently had something of a breakthrough in tracing my Jewish ancestors. Up until recently, all I knew for sure was that my earliest documented ancestors had been found on an 1874 Tax Lists, in Kaunas/Kovno, Lithuania. Being an FTDNA confirmed G1*, I just assumed that, most likely, my earliest ancestors were Sarmatians who came from the Middle East, migrated through Turkey, into the Caucases Mountains, Ossetia, etc, coming into the Russian Empire from the East and then moving into Belarus, Poland, etc. I had no idea how they became Jews. However, there was an oral tradition in my family that our ancestors were from Spain and, before they took the surname MOZESSON, the earlier surname had been ORABUENA (which has become Orabena, Arabena, and Aravena, in modern times). Given the FTDNA and Genographic Project theory that we came into Europe from the East, I wasn't sure what to do with this family lore, so I just "parked it" until further information might help me to make!
sense of it.

This past week, I happened to come across a web site for the town of Vilkaviskis, in Lithuania. I found that it had many spelling variations to its' name, depending on who the occupying power was at the time, and one of the alternate spellings for the town was similar to the family tradition that my ancestor, Moses, came from the town of "Wilkowishk". I then did some further research and found that, on an 1826-1828 tax list for that town, there was an entry, "Mozessohn, Szlomo [Solomon], son of Mowsza [Moses]. I already knew that Solomon was my Great x3 Grandfather. This taxpayers list now confirmed that this was the ancestral town for my family. I then explored the history of the Jews in Vilkaviskis and learned that there was a strong Sephardic Jewish tradition there [The Great Synagogue for the town was built in 1530 and held elaborate Torah Scrolls that were said to have come from Spain and, as late as the 1920s, the Jewish school in the town used Hebrew as its language, !
but Hebrew with Sephardic pronunciation]. I now had indirect support for my family tradition that we had come from Spain. Then I looked into the history of the name Orabuena, in Spain, and found that that surname was concentrated in Tudela, Kingdom of Navarre, as early as the 1200s and my ancestors most likely left from there in 1498, when all Jews were expelled from the Kindgom. I then looked into the origin of the name "Orabuena". It seemed to be based on the traditional Jewish greeting: "Be-Sha'a Tova", wishing good luck/success/happiness. This was not a patrynomic name so, could it have been a name based on a location? Looking into Spanish history, I discovered that the little town of Villa Del Oro, just east of Cordoba, had originally been called "Orabuena".

So, what does all of this suggest? That there may have been a migration path (at least for my Jewish G1* ancestors) coming out of Israel, perhaps around the time of the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, going up through North Africa, crossing into Spain, eventually settling in southern Spain, around Cordoba, until some time around 1,000 AD, when southern Spain fell into anarchy and my ancestors moved to the Kingdom of Navarre, in northern Spain (at the invitation of King Sancho the Great, who was looking for people to repopulate his cities following the expulsion of the Saracens). Then, with the expulsion of the Jews from Navarre in 1498, my ancestors most likely moved north, into France, then up the Loire Valley, through Germany and Austria, into the Kingdom of Poland (which then consisted of Poland and Lithuania) after news spread that Jews were welcome there. Jews were settling in the town of Vilkaviskis by the late 1400s - early 1500s, my ancestors likely being among t!

An alternate migration path is also suggested that may have had something to do with the controversial Khazars, a Turkic people, north of the Caucasus, who converted to Judiasm and, when their kingdom was overthrown, some of them apparently fled to Spain, around 1,000 AD, and later went to Hungary as cavalry mercenaries and then went on into Poland, Belarus, etc.

Do I have solid proof for all of the above? No. It is only circumstantial, based on the information I have presented here, but it does suggest a migration sequence that at least some Jewish G1* may have followed. More solid "proof" would, admittedly, be hard to come by (unless we can find an Orabena or Aravena who matches my haplotype - I've looked. Nothing yet).
G1* George Mason

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