Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Robinson Ydna Origins Possibly in Spain or Portugal?

The Iberian Peninsula, which consists of modern day Spain and Portugal, has been colonized and ruled by several tribal powers throughout history. The identity of the ancient Iberians is unknown; however it is known that the Celts who came later merged with them, to form the Celtiberians. The Atlantic Modal Haplotype, the most common haplotype in Western Europe is a part of R1B1A2 and it has Celtic and Germanic variations. A Celtic origin is most likely for individuals of Spanish lineage who are members of Haplogroup R1B1A2. In the year 409, the weakening of the Roman Empire's power in Iberia resulted in a power vacuum throughout the peninsula. That same year, Germanic Suevi,Vandals, and Sarmatian Alans followed shortly after by the Visigoths established kingdoms throughout Iberia. These Germanic tribes brought with them Haplogroup I as well as Germanic variants of haplogroup R1B1A2. These Germanic Kingdoms were taken over by the Moors in the 8th century, but were reestablished in the 13th century during the Reconquista, setting the stage for the Spanish speaking, Christian Spain we know today.
In the early 11th century the establishment of the very prominent Narbonne Talmudic Academy in France resulted in increased Jewish educational opportunities for the Jews of France and Spain. Some researchers propose that during the height of the academy‚Äôs prominence, many non-Jews from France and Spain were attracted to the famous school and underwent conversions to Judaism, thus introducing haplogroups R1B1A2 and I into the Jewish gene pool. Even non-Jews who had not attended the academy may have been enticed to convert. In Spain, some estimates hold that Jews comprised 10-20 percent of the total population. This is a very high percentage considering that historically Jews have been known to make up about 1% of the world's population. Jews were very successful in business and reached very high positions in Spanish society, to the point that many not only held titles of nobility and were employed frequently by the crown, but some researchers believe some Jews even married into the royal family. 

The Jews' prominence in Spain prior to the Inquisition may have made conversion to Judaism more attractive and accessible, thus creating yet another opportunity for haplogroup R1B1A2 and haplogroup I to be introduced into the Jewish gene pool. Pogroms in Spain, may also account for the introduction of some Western European DNA among Sephardic Jews, although pogroms were not so common in Spain, nor as severe as they were in Eastern Europe. These origins are highly speculative and research is currently underway to confirm these theories, however these haplogroups are present in most Sephardic and Ashkenazic communities in small percentages. These haplogroups have even been found among Sephardic Jews whose ancestors migrated to the Ottoman Empire in the fifteenth century and have not been to Europe since. Therefore Jewish ancestry cannot be discounted because of a match with a Western European haplogroup. A member of this project with tradition of Jewish ancestry on his paternal line and is a member of these haplogroups may have direct descent from a convert to Judaism. Since converts may marry born Jews, indirect Jewish ancestry on other lines is possible and testing of other family members may be necessary. Sephardic Jews, but more often Spaniards and other Europeans brought these lineages with them to the Dominican Republic from Europe.  
My son is also R1b1a2 and his father's father was born and raised in England.  I have traced his Henwood line back to the 16th century in England, mainly in the Hampshire area.  We don't know where they were in the 13th century.  All I know is that with DYS#393 being a 12 and not a 13 as most Robinson lines have, this puts us farther eastward, so I've been told.  


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