All through the centuries, the Jewish individuals have all the time prided themselves on their yichus (lineage, distinguished start, or pedigree). Yichus was especially necessary for rabbinical households, and many of them have created family tree charts or household timber during which they have traced their lineage to King David, Maimonides, and different great Jews of the past.[Editor’s Observe: As a result of area limitations, that is an abbreviated, text-only model of the authors’ manuscript. The full article, containing all figures, knowledge tables, maps, household timber, pictures, and 125 footnoted references, might be seen or downloaded from the Academia.edu web site: https://www.academia.edu/26048275/The_Y-DNA_Genetic_Signature_and_Ethnic_Origin_of_the_ Twersky_Chassidic_Dynasty.]
If, as professed by Arthur Kurzweil, the “royal families” of the Jewish individuals have been those of the illustrious rabbis, then the Twersky Chassidic dynasty of Chernobyl certainly merits an exalted place on the royal throne. It is called a family with an unblemished yichus, as the Twersky Grand Rabbis married solely inside their speedy family for almost 200 years. Within the rabbinical Chassidic world, a Chernobyler Ainikle, a descendant of the Twersky Chassidic dynasty, is very sought after for marriage, resulting from the purity of the blood line. Leaders of nearly each major Chassidic dynasty right now (e.g., Belz, Bobov, Lubavitch, Ruzhin, Satmar, Savran-Bendery, Stolin, and Vishnitz) are blood descendants of Grand Rabbi Menachem Nachum Twersky of Chernobyl.
For hundreds of years, Jewish males and ladies have sought to connect themselves and their descendants to this famend family, both by way of marriage, or by paper path. With current advances in genetic genealogy, that is now attainable to do for more individuals of Jewish descent than ever before, as demonstrated by the authors’ identification of the Y-DNA genetic signatures of some of the world’s most outstanding rabbinical lineages. In this research, we determine the Y-DNA genetic signature and ethnic origin of the Twersky Chassidic dynasty.
The Twersky Chassidic Dynasty of Chernobyl
The Twersky Chassidic dynasty was founded by Grand Rabbi Menachem Nachum Twersky (1730–1797), recognized by the title of his guide, Me’or Einayim (“Light of the Eyes”). Per family lore, the identify “Twersky” was chosen to remember the holy city of Tveria (Tiberius) in Israel. The dynasty is known as after the Ukrainian city of Chernobyl, the place Rabbi Menachem Nachum served as the maggid (preacher).
Grand Rabbi Twersky was a scholar of the Baal Shem Tov (the founder of Chassidism), and later, of his pupil and chief disciple, the Maggid of Mezritch. He lived a life of nice piety and asceticism and is considered one of the pioneers of the Chassidic motion. His guide, Me’or Einayim, revealed in Slavuta in 1798, was one of the first scholarly works on Chassidic thought, and it gained widespread acceptance as one of the main works and foundations of Chassidic ideology.
In line with rabbinical sources, Grand Rabbi Menachem Nachum Twersky had two sons and one daughter. Though a rabbi of nice scholarship, his eldest son, Moshe (b. circa 1750 – d. earlier than 1792), did not found a rabbinical dynasty. Rabbinical sources and tombstone inscriptions, in addition to Chernobyl censuses, listing many of his descendants as being scribes and sextons of the rabbinical Twersky household, as well as rabbis, Talmud academics, and mohels. Moshe’s descendants have been an integral half of the inside workings of the Twersky rabbinical courtroom, though they didn’t marry among the descendants of the rabbinical household.
Grand Rabbi Menachem Nachum’s second son, Mordechai (1770–1837), took over his father’s position in Chernobyl, and in contrast to his father, he lived a life of great opulence. His ideas, sermons, and discourses have been revealed in his ebook, Likutei Torah, which was praised for its holiness by other Chassidic leaders
Grand Rabbi Mordechai Twersky had three daughters and eight sons. The sons carried on the traditions of their father and turned Grand Rabbis in cities throughout Ukraine. Each of them established his own department of the Twersky Chassidic dynasty in the towns of Chernobyl, Korostichev, Cherkasy, Makarov, Trisk, Tolna, Skvira, and Rachmastrivka (see Determine 1 in the full article).
The Twersky Chassidic dynasty produced an extended line of distinguished rabbis and notable personalities over the centuries and is tightly interwoven with many of the most famous Ashkenazi rabbinical families of Europe. There have been 140 Twersky Grand Rabbis between 1730 and the current, more than some other Chassidic dynasty, as sons turned Grand Rabbis (Admurs) in their fathers’ lifetimes, and lived in cities and cities round the world.
Presently, nine of these Twersky Grand Rabbis reside in Israel, seven in the United States, two in the United Kingdom, and one in Canada. There are numerous scions of the Twersky Chassidic dynasty alive at this time, and the genealogy of the household has been maintained via meticulously stored household data.
The Twersky Chassidic dynasty has many tens of hundreds of documented descendants all through the world. The family has been well-documented as a result of the quite a few genealogies research which were revealed. Because of the genealogical research efforts of co-author Yitzchak Meyer Twersky in finding, translating, and compiling plentiful source material in his ebook, Grand Rabbis of the Chernobyl Dynasty, the genealogical info on the Twersky lineage is in depth and highly accessible.
The 1795 census was the first census that was taken after the ultimate partition of Poland, during which the Russian Empire acquired approximately two million Polish Jews, who did not use surnames. Listed in this census, in each Polish and Russian, are Nochim, son of Hirsh, age 66, and his spouse Feyga, daughter of Yudko, age 50. Also listed are Morduch (Mordechai), son of Nochim, age 22, and his spouse Sora (Sara), daughter of Aharon, age 21. (Each Mordechai’s and Sara’s ages have been underestimated by a number of years in the census; he was born in 1770, and she was born c. 1771.)
The 1795 Chernobyl census is extraordinarily necessary for a number of causes:
- It’s the first official doc that mentions Nochim (Menachem Nachum) of Chernobyl.
- It mentions him as being a preacher.
- It mentions his father, Gershko (Zvi Hersh).
- It mentions Menachem Nachum’s spouse, Feyga, daughter of Yudko. Feyga represents a beforehand unknown second or third spouse of Menachem Nachum, not talked about in any rabbinical sources.
- It mentions Menachem Nachum’s son, Mordechai of Chernobyl.
- It mentions Mordechai’s spouse Sara, the daughter of Aharon [Grand Rabbi Aharon the Great of Karlin (1736–1772), founder of the Karlin-Stolin rabbinical dynasty].
The Twersky Chassidic dynasty is a particularly noteworthy lineage from a genealogical research perspective, as a result of its distinguished ancestry, its many marriage connections to different iconic rabbinical lineages and dynasties throughout the Russian Empire, its giant quantity of descendants, and its well-documented paper path.
The Twersky Chassidic dynasty traces its ancestry again to Rashi (1040–1105) via the Katzenellenbogen-Luria and the Shapiro-Treves rabbinical lineages. Members of the household intermarried with other outstanding Jewish households and produced many notable rabbis, many of whom founded their own rabbinical dynasties (e.g., the Ruzhin and Savran-Bendery Chassidic dynasties):
- Grand Rabbi Menachem Nachum Twersky’s daughter Malka married Rabbi Avraham Hirsch of Korostichev. Their daughter, Chava, was the mom of Grand Rabbi Yisrael Friedman (1796–1850), founder of the Ruzhin rabbinical dynasty.
- Malka and Avraham’s different daughter, Leah, married Rabbi Aryeh Leib Wertheim of Bendery (c. 1772–1854), co-founder of the Savran-Bendery rabbinical dynasty. Their daughter, Sima Wertheim, married Rabbi Eliyahu Pinchas Polonsky, Av Beit Din of Ekaterinopol (c. 1803–1855), and a great-grandson of Rabbi Pinchas Shapira of Koretz.
The ancestral hyperlinks and notable descendants of Grand Rabbi Menachem Nachum Twersky of Chernobyl are summarized in Figure 2 in the full article.
Identifying Pedigreed Descendants of the Twersky Chassidic Dynasty
Genetic checks, together with Y-DNA exams, aren’t an alternative to traditional genealogical analysis, and a substantial information of the genealogical background is required before Y-DNA checks could make a big contribution. That is notably true since Jewish surnames, most of which have been adopted in the early 1800s, don’t necessarily suggest relatedness, and are notoriously unreliable for genealogical surname studies.
The Twersky Chassidic dynasty extends over almost three centuries, and identifying dwelling paternal descendants, descending solely from father to son, who’re prepared and capable of take a Y-DNA check, presents unique genealogical challenges. In depth genealogical analysis of the Twersky household carried out by Yitzchak Meyer Twersky, culminating in the publication of Grand Rabbis of the Chernobyl Dynasty, laid the crucial groundwork for identification of dwelling descendants for this Y-DNA research.
From the many branches of the Twersky household documented in the ebook, we recognized eight pedigreed descendants as potential research members and candidates for Y-DNA testing. Two of these research individuals descend from Rabbi Moshe, the elder son of Grand Rabbi Menachem Nahum Twersky of Chernobyl, and six of them descend from his younger son, Grand Rabbi Mordechai of Chernobyl.
These latter research members symbolize six of the eight Chassidic dynasties that have been established by the sons of Grand Rabbi Mordechai of Chernobyl, together with the Chernobyl, Makarov, Trisk, Tolna, Skvira, and Rachmastrivka branches (see Determine 3 in the full article).
The paper trail for these eight pedigreed descendants was validated by an in depth search of Chernobyl census and very important data. Every of the eight descendants identified and selected for Y-DNA testing, and the branches of the Twersky Chassidic dynasty from which they descend, are described under.
The Fundamental Branches of the Twersky Chassidic Dynasty (see illustrations in the full article)
The Chernobyl Department
Yitzchak Meyer Twersky (b. 1965) is an Eighth-generation direct paternal descendant of Grand Rabbi Menachem Nachum Twersky of Chernobyl (1730–1797) by way of his grandson, Grand Rabbi Aharon Twersky of Chernobyl (1784–1871). Yitzchak Meyer Twersky was initially contacted by lead writer Dr. Jeffrey Mark Paull, and in addition to taking a Y-DNA check, he was invited to serve as a member of the Twersky Y-DNA research group, and as a co-author of this research.
The Korostichev Branch
Grand Rabbi Moshe Twersky of Korostichev (1789–1866) was the father of Grand Rabbi Mordechai Twersky of Korostichev (1841–1916). His son, Grand Rabbi David Yaakov Twersky of Korostichev-Zhitomir (d. 1940), had a son, Grand Rabbi Yitzchak Avraham Moshe Twersky of Korostichev (d. 1982, Jerusalem), who was the last recognized male descendant of the Korostichev department of the Twersky Chassidic dynasty.
The Cherkasy Branch
Grand Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Twerski (1794–1876) had solely daughters. His grandson, Grand Rabbi Mordechai Dov Auerbach, adopted his mom’s surname of Twerski. Grand Rabbi Mordechai Dov Twerski of Hornistaiple was the son of Sterna Rachel Auerbach, who was the daughter of Grand Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Twerski of Cherkasy (1794–1876). Hence, like the Korostichev branch, the Cherkasy department has no son-after-son descendants.
The Makarov Branch
Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Tversky (b. 1975) is an 8th-generation paternal descendant of Grand Rabbi Menachem Nachum Twersky of Chernobyl (1730–1797), by means of his grandson, Grand Rabbi Menachem Nachum Twersky of Makarov (1804–1851), whose son was Grand Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak Twersky of Makarov (1828–1891).
The Trisk Branch
Rabbi Yitzchak David Twersky (b. 1977) is a 9th-generation paternal descendant of Grand Rabbi Menachem Nachum Twersky of Chernobyl (1730–1797), via his grandson, Grand Rabbi Avraham Twersky of Trisk (1806–1889).
The Tolna Department
Rabbi Neal (Menachem Nachum) Twersky (b. 1947) is a 7th-generation paternal descendant of Grand Rabbi Menachem Nachum Twersky of Chernobyl (1730–1797), via his grandson, Grand Rabbi David Twersky of Tolna (1808–1882).
The Skvira Branch
Menachem Nachum Twersky (b. 1994) is an Eighth-generation paternal descendant of Grand Rabbi Menachem Nachum Twersky of Chernobyl (1730–1797), by means of his grandson, Grand Rabbi Yitzchak Twersky of Skvira (1812–1885). His son was Grand Rabbi David Twersky of Skvira (1845–1919).
The Rachmastrivka Department
Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Twersky (b. 1993) is a Ninth-generation paternal descendant of Grand Rabbi Menachem Nachum Twersky of Chernobyl (1730–1797), via his grandson, Grand Rabbi Yochanan Twersky of Rachmastrivka (1816–1895).
Rabbi Moshe Twersky of Chernobyl Branc
Till just lately, it was thought that the only dwelling son-after-son descendants of Grand Rabbi Menachem Nachum Twersky have been the paternal descendants of his younger son, Grand Rabbi Mordechai Twersky of Chernobyl (1770–1837). While there have been recognized descendants of his elder son, Rabbi Moshe (b. circa 1750 – d. before 1792), they have been descendants of one of his daughters.
In numerous rabbinical sources, we discovered mention of descendants of Rabbi Moshe, together with one that was a gabbai of Rabbi Aharon Twersky of Chernobyl (1784–1871), nevertheless it was unclear whether or not he was a descendant of a son or a daughter.
Based mostly on census data obtained from the Chernobyl archives, we discovered that Rabbi Moshe had no less than three sons (Mechel, Yisrael Yitzchak, and Yosef Naftali), and a son-in-law (Hirsh) from a beforehand unknown daughter. We additionally succeeded in identifying two pedigreed descendants of Rabbi Moshe as potential candidates for Y-DNA testing. These two Twersky descendants, Yisrael Tverskoy and Jonathan Tversky, have been beforehand unaware of their actual line of descent from Rabbi Moshe, or of their connection to at least one another.
Yisrael Tverskoy (b. 1937, in Kiev) is an 8th-generation paternal descendant of Grand Rabbi Menachem Nachum Twersky of Chernobyl (1730–1797), by means of his son, Rabbi Moshe Twersky (b. circa 1750 – d. before 1792), his grandson, Rabbi Mechel Twersky (1772–1845), his great-grandson, Rabbi Moshe Twersky (b. 1792), his 2nd-great-grandson, Rabbi Aharon Twersky (1828–1901), and his Third-great-grandson, Rabbi Mordechai Yisrael Twersky (1868–1908). Rabbi David Twersky (1859–1915) was the brother of Rabbi Mordechai Yisrael Twersky.
Jonathan Tversky (b. 1956, in Australia) is an 8th-generation paternal descendant of Grand Rabbi Menachem Nachum Twersky of Chernobyl (1730–1797), via his son, Rabbi Moshe Twersky (b. circa 1750 – d. before 1792), his grandson, Rabbi Mechel Twersky (1772–1845), his great-grandson, Rabbi Abraham Twersky (b. 1822), and his 2nd-great grandson, Rabbi Mordechai Twersky (b. 1846).
The Y-DNA results of these two descendants of Rabbi Moshe genetically matched to each other, and additionally they genetically matched the Y-DNA results of the pedigreed descendants from Grand Rabbi Mordechai of Chernobyl’s department, thereby proving that they have been, indeed, son-after-son descendants of Grand Rabbi Menachem Nachum Twersky of Chernobyl. This was an astounding discovery to the Chassidic world, as expressed in articles which appeared in the Yiddish publications Oros and Yiddishe Zeit, as well as in the English model of the publication Hamodia.
The paternal strains of descent for all eight pedigreed paternal descendants of the Twersky Chassidic dynasty are summarized in Table 1 in the full article.
The Y-DNA exams have been carried out by Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) of Houston, Texas. The normal DNA Y-chromosome phase (DYS) markers, additionally referred to in genetic testing as short-tandem repeat (STR) markers, for the eight pedigreed Twersky paternal descendants are introduced in Desk 2 in the full article.
The worth of testing Y-DNA STR markers comes from making a Y-DNA signature (haplotype) and evaluating that Y-DNA signature to others in a database. They are helpful for genetic family tree as a result of a singular Y-DNA signature distinguishes one paternal lineage from another. They will then be used together with Family Tree DNA’s Y-DNA comparative database to find genealogical connections or historic ancestry.
Y-DNA mutates very slowly and passes down from father to son with out recombination, apart from the rare mutations that occur alongside the hereditary line; subsequently, the Y-DNA genetic signature of a male descendant represents that of his whole paternal lineage. For the function of Y-DNA testing, all descendants of the studied lineage have to be son-after-son; if there’s even one maternal ancestor interposed in the lineage, the Y-DNA outcomes of her descendants will mirror her husband’s lineage, and not the Y-DNA genetic signature of the lineage of curiosity.
To determine the Y-DNA genetic signature of a given rabbinical lineage, the Y-DNA of pedigreed descendants of that lineage should genetically match one another. Ideally, these pedigreed descendants ought to be from totally different branches of the lineage, with every descendant representing a special cousinly paternal line. Matching Y-DNA outcomes from three or more totally different paternal strains provide further confirmation and validation of the Y-DNA genetic signature.
Y-DNA checks of the eight pedigreed Twersky paternal descendants have been reported at the 37 STR marker degree. As a result of the pedigrees of all eight descendants have been well-documented, and the id of their widespread ancestor was recognized, testing at an increased quantity of markers above the 37 STR marker degree (e.g., 67, 111) was thought-about pointless for figuring out the haplotype and establishing a genetic match.
The preliminary haplogroup for the eight descendants was predicted by FTDNA based mostly upon their haplotype. Further single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping was carried out for all eight pedigreed descendants to additional refine the initial haplogroup classification.
Y-DNA Check Outcomes
The Twersky Haplotype
Table 2 in the full article presents the Y-DNA check outcomes for the eight pedigreed Twersky paternal descendants. The Y-DNA outcomes showed an in depth genetic match among all eight descendants. The allele values of one of the pedigreed descendants (Rabbi Neal Twersky) represented modal values at all 37 STR marker places, indicating that he had no mutations; his allele values subsequently most probably symbolize ancestral values, or the modal haplotype. This also makes genetic sense, as he had the fewest number of generations again to the widespread ancestor and founder of the lineage, Grand Rabbi Menachem Nahum Twersky, of any of the descendants (see Table 1 in the full article).
All six pedigreed descendants of Grand Rabbi Mordechai Twersky matched each other quite intently, matching the modal haplotype on either 35/37 or 36/37 STR marker places. Non-matching allele values, representing attainable mutations at the STR marker places tested, are indicated by the blue-shaded cells in Desk 2 in the full article.
The two pedigreed descendants of Rabbi Moshe Twersky matched each other’s allele values at 34/37 STR marker places. Additionally they matched the allele values of the pedigreed descendants of Moshe’s brother, Grand Rabbi Mordechai Twersky, quite intently, with Yisrael Tverskoy matching the modal haplotype at 35/37 STR marker places and Jonathan Tversky matching it at 36/37 STR marker places.
An fascinating discovering was the uniqueness of the Twersky haplotype, as indicated by the comparatively small number of Y-DNA matches on the Twersky descendants’ genetic match lists. Yitzchak Meyer Twersky and Yisrael Tverskoy had solely the other seven pedigreed Twersky descendants on their Y-DNA37 match lists. Including these seven pedigreed descendants, Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Twersky had eight genetic matches; Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Twersky and Rabbi Neal Twersky had twenty, Menachem Nachum Twersky had twenty-one, and Jonathan Tversky and Rabbi Yitzchak David Twersky had thirty-nine (see Table 3 in the full article).
Based mostly on their haplotype, all eight pedigreed descendants have been initially categorized as belonging to the R1b-M173 haplogroup. Further SNP testing of all eight pedigreed descendants’ Y-DNA revealed that they belong to the R-V88 subclade of the R1b-M173 haplogroup. This haplogroup/subclade designation, together with the lineage-specific haplotype, includes the Y-DNA genetic signature for the Twersky Chassidic dynasty.
The close Y-DNA genetic match among all eight pedigreed Twersky descendants, representing two totally different ancestral strains, validates their pedigree again to their widespread ancestor and founder of the lineage, Grand Rabbi Menachem Nahum Twersky of Chernobyl.
A attainable rationalization for the larger number of genetic matches for Jonathan Tversky and Rabbi Yitzchak David Twersky is a back-mutation of the Y-GATA-H4 STR marker allele value from 13 to 12 that occurred twice separately in the Twersky line (see Desk 2 in full article). An allele worth of 13 for this marker represents a mutation that’s distinctive of the Twersky lineage; an allele worth of 12 represents a R1b-V88 modal ancestral worth.
Time-to-Most Current Widespread Ancestor (TMRCA) Predictions
On this Y-DNA research of the Twersky Chassidic dynasty, as in our previous research of rabbinical lineages, the widespread ancestor of all pedigreed descendants is understood, and subsequently, every descendant’s era or place in the lineage does not must be estimated. Nevertheless, conducting Y-DNA testing of pedigreed descendants with well-documented paper trails offers the alternative to guage and assess the accuracy of current predictive fashions for estimating the time-to-most current widespread ancestor (TMRCA).
FTDNA’s time predictor (TiP) mannequin was used to foretell the TMRCA chances for the eight pedigreed Twersky descendants. In evaluating Y-DNA outcomes for estimating the chance of the TMRCA, each pedigreed Twersky descendant’s Y-DNA outcomes, at 37 STR markers, have been compared to those of the modal haplotype, represented by Rabbi Neal Twersky, as a result of: (1) He represents the closest descendant to the widespread ancestor (see Desk 1 in full article), and as a result of: (2) His modal allele values most probably characterize ancestral values (see Desk 2 in full article). These chance predictions are introduced numerically in Desk four and graphically in Determine four in the full article.
The most recent widespread ancestor (MRCA) for all pedigreed Twersky descendants is Grand Rabbi Menachem Nachum Twersky (1730–1797). He preceded 7th-generation descendant Rabbi Neal Twersky in the lineage by six generations, Eighth-generation descendants Yisrael Tverskoy, Jonathan Tversky, Yitzchak Meyer Twersky, Rabbi Zvi Hirsh Tversky, and Menachem Nachum Twersky by seven generations, and 9th-generation descendants Rabbis Yitzchak David Twersky and Moshe Yehuda Twersky by eight generations (see Table 1 in the full article). These are recognized, documented TMRCAs.
As shown by the mean chance values in Desk 4 (see the full article), the recognized TMRCAs fell between the 75.three and the 86.2 % chance predictions for this research. These chance predictions have been most correct for the Ninth-generation descendants (86.2%), less correct for the 8th-generation descendants (81.four%), and least correct for the 7th-generation descendant (75.3%).
These results are in keeping with these of our previous Y-DNA studies of rabbinical lineages, which confirmed that the FTDNA time predictor model persistently overestimates the TMRCA in the range of four to 46 % utilizing the FTDNA time predictor mannequin, and that the diploma of overestimation is inversely associated to the distance to the MRCA (i.e., the closer to the MRCA, the less correct the TiP mannequin predictions are, and the further from the MRCA, the more correct they’re).
To say this another approach, the recognized TMRCAs in these rabbinical lineage studies usually fall between the 54 % and 96 % chance predictions, depending on the distance to the most up-to-date widespread ancestor, with a mean value of about 75 %. Comparable findings have been reported by Unkefer, who indicated that the actual documented TMRCA usually falls between the 50 % and the 95 % chance predictions.
The Twersky Haplogroup
A haplogroup is a gaggle of comparable haplotypes that share a standard ancestor having the similar single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) mutation in all haplotypes. Simply put, a haplogroup is a genetic inhabitants group of people who share a standard ancestor on the patrilineal or matrilineal line. As a result of a haplogroup consists of comparable haplotypes, it’s potential to predict a haplogroup from the haplotype, but a SNP check is required to verify the haplogroup prediction.
Y-chromosome DNA (Y-DNA) haplogroups are determined by SNP checks. SNPs are places on the DNA where one nucleotide has mutated to a unique nucleotide. Haplogroup classifications and the SNPs inside them are organized within branches on the Y-chromosome phylogenetic tree. The defining SNP for a haplogroup is usually the furthest downstream SNP that has been identified on the phylogenic tree. This defining SNP of the newest subclade recognized by present research is known as the terminal SNP.
The Worldwide Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG), Household Tree DNA (FTDNA), and YFull keep phylogenetic or Y-SNP timber. These timber are usually updated as new branch-defining SNPs are found, with the YFull tree at present being relied upon as the newest model. Different commonly updated haplogroup-specific timber, corresponding to the R1b Basal Subclades Phylogenetic Timber, are also out there.
Based mostly on their Y-DNA37 STR markers, all eight pedigreed descendants of the Twersky Chassidic dynasty have been initially categorized as belonging to the R-M173 haplogroup. Males from this lineage share a standard paternal ancestor, which is outlined by the presence of the SNP mutation known as M173, also called R1. The R1 haplogroup is very common throughout Europe and western Eurasia. Its most important subgroups are R1a (M420) and R1b (M343).
Haplogroup R1b, also referred to as haplogroup R-M343, is an offshoot of M173. It’s the most steadily occurring Y chromosome haplogroup in Western Europe, in addition to some elements of Russia, Central Asia, and Central Africa. Additionally it is current at decrease frequencies throughout Japanese Europe, Western Asia, in addition to elements of North Africa and South Asia.
To further delineate the haplogroup of the Twersky Chassidic dynasty, we ordered FTDNA’s R1b-M343 “Backbone SNP Pack,” which checks for 140 SNPs downstream of M343. The Y-DNA of pedigreed descendant Rabbi Neal Twersky was the first to be examined; he was discovered to belong to the R1b-V88 subclade of the R1b-M343 haplogroup. Following receipt of these results, the R1b-V88 SNP marker was examined for and confirmed for the different seven pedigreed Twersky descendants.
The discovery of the R1b-V88 SNP marker was announced in 2010 by Cruciani et al. Aside from individuals in southern Europe and Western Asia, the preponderance of R1b-V88 was present in northern and central Africa. Small percentages (1 to four%) of R1b-V88 have been also found in the Levant, among the Lebanese, the Druze, and the Jews, and in virtually each country in Africa north of the equator.
The YFull tree exhibits that the ancestral R1b-V88 haplogroup has many branches, of which two giant branches are recognized. One department is the Arab-African branch; the other branch has a cut up at 3400 years-before-present (ybp), before the start of Judaism. One sub-branch at 3400 ybp results in a person from Saudi Arabia and the other sub-branch leads to one other cut up at 900 ybp into the Jewish Ashkenazi branch.
This final cut up matches the concept that a Jewish group left the Middle East and lived in Iberia as part of the Sephardic Jewish group there. One of the Ashkenazi descendants, after dwelling in Iberia, migrated to the Ashkenazi nations, the place the inhabitants grew.
Penninx and Akaha (2016) analyzed the STR values amongst 5 totally different groups belonging to totally different branches of the R1b-V88 haplogroup in their FTDNA challenge. From this evaluation, they reported that: “The Spanish group and the Ashkenazi group share a relatively recent common ancestor, with a TMRCA distance of 450–2100 ybp” (see the footnotes in the full article for complete source citations).
Based mostly on their findings, the authors concluded that: “The scenario that best fits the observation with the historic knowledge is a migration of a Jewish person from the Middle East to Iberia, and a later migration from Iberia to the Ashkenazi countries in the early Middle Ages and later migrations to the Ottoman Empire and the New World.”
Their conclusions are supported by the results of current research research which make a robust case for the Iberian origins of R1b-V88 and its dad or mum SNP, R1b-L278. Maglio (2014) used biogeographical evaluation to find out origins and migration patterns of a knowledge set of individuals who tested constructive for the R1b-V88 SNP marker. The writer concluded: “The resulting phylogenetic relationships for R1b-V88 support an Iberian origin, a Mediterranean expansion, and a Europe to Africa back migration.”
In addition to the phylogenetic proof supporting Iberian ancestry based mostly upon the R1b-V88 haplogroup marker, the STR results for the pedigreed Twersky descendants present further supporting evidence of Iberian ancestry. Five pedigreed Twersky descendants – Jonathan Tversky, Zvi Hirsch Tversky, Menachem Nachum Twersky, Rabbi Neal Twersky, and Rabbi Yitzchak David Twersky – have an individual with the surname “Zamora” on their genetic match lists. He matches them on 33 to 34 of 37 STR markers.
Recorded in the spellings of Zamora, Zamorrann, and Zamorrano, this well-known Spanish surname derives from the historic city of Zamora in Northwest Spain, a city based by the invading Moors in the 12th century. The Zamora surname additionally appears on several totally different lists of Sephardic Jewish surnames.
In response to Professor Avraham Gross of Ben-Gurion University, Zamora, the capital of the northwestern province of the similar identify, was the most necessary middle of Jewish learning in Spain during the 15th century. He discussed the Yeshiva of Zamora’s founder, Rabbi and Gaon of Castile Isaac Campantón (1360–1463), and emphasised Zamora’s place at the peak of Jewish studying proper before the Expulsion.
These intriguing analysis findings recommend that the Twersky Chassidic dynasty probably descends from a standard Sephardic Iberian ancestor. Current research means that this Iberian ancestor lived approximately 450–2100 years ago, and that he most probably migrated to Iberia from Africa or the Middle East. Throughout the early Middle Ages, this Iberian ancestor migrated from Iberia to the Ashkenazi nations, through which the Twersky Chassidic dynasty arose.
The Iberian ethnic origin of the Twersky Chassidic dynasty, whereas intriguing, isn’t completely sudden, or with out historic precedent. Sephardic Jewry, having been expelled from Spain, discovered totally different houses all through Europe.
With the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492, as well as expulsion from Austria, Hungary, and Germany, Poland turned the recognized haven for exiles from the rest of Europe, and the resulting accession to the ranks of Polish Jewry made it the cultural and religious middle of the Jewish individuals in Europe till the 1600s.
Additionally it is well-known that many major rabbinical households have a long-standing custom that they descend from pre-Inquisition Spain and Portugal. The outstanding Ashkenazi rabbinical Epstein household, for example, claims descent from Spain. On this regard, the results of our previous Y-DNA research of the Katzenellenbogen rabbinical dynasty offered compelling genetic proof that it, too, was most certainly Sephardic in origin.
The Twersky Y-DNA Genetic Signature
As beforehand said, the lineage-specific haplotype, together with the haplogroup/subclade designation, includes the Y-DNA genetic signature for the Twersky Chassidic dynasty; both are essential and complementary elements of the Y-DNA genetic signature of a paternal lineage. We have now utilized this strategy in our earlier Y-DNA studies of rabbinical lineages, the benefits of which have just lately been summarized.
For the lineage descending from the Twersky Chassidic dynasty, the allele values at the 37 STR marker places introduced in “Y-DNA Test Results for Pedigreed Descendants of the Twersky Chassidic Dynasty” (see Desk 2 in full article) characterize the haplotype of the lineage. The modal allele values, which correspond to the allele values for Rabbi Neal Twersky, are more than likely to characterize ancestral values.
This distinctive sample of allele values distinguishes the Twersky lineage from other paternal lineages; even people who belong to the similar father or mother haplogroup and subclade. That is additionally evidenced by the undeniable fact that there are so few genetic matches to pedigreed Twersky descendants in the FTDNA database; two of the pedigreed Twersky descendants match solely the different seven pedigreed descendants, and a third has only one different non-Twersky genetic match (see Desk three in full article).
The dad or mum haplogroup to which the Twersky lineage belongs is the R1b-M343 haplogroup, which is an offshoot of R1-M173. Following identification of the R-V88 SNP marker in all eight pedigreed descendants, we tested Rabbi Neal Twersky’s Y-DNA for three further SNPs downstream of R-V88: PF6289, FGC20973, and FGC21049. His Y-DNA examined constructive for all three SNPs. The TMRCA for the terminal FGC21049 SNP is roughly 100–650 ybp, with a mean of about 350 ybp. This mean TMRCA (350 ybp) is in the range of the precise TMRCA for the founder of Twersky Chassidic dynasty (287 ybp).
Based mostly on their constructive R-V88 SNP marker results, and intently matching STR allele values, it can be safely presumed that the different seven pedigreed Twersky descendants would check constructive for the three downstream SNPs as nicely. Therefore, the full phylogenetic path for the Twersky haplogroup is:
R-M173 > P25, M343 > V88 > FGC21015 > FGC21027 > FGC20970 > FGC20973 > FGC20980 > FGC21049
Taken together, these STR haplotype and SNP haplogroup results define the Y-DNA genetic signature for the Twersky Chassidic dynasty.
Recommendations for Future Research
The identification of the Twersky Y-DNA genetic signature is a big research discovering with many implications for the area of genetic genealogy, notably for individuals of Jewish descent. Like most pioneering genetic genealogy studies, the Twersky Y-DNA research raises many new analysis questions and opens many new promising research avenues to exploration.
Based mostly upon the matching Y-DNA outcomes of eight pedigreed paternal descendants of the Twersky Chassidic dynasty, we’ve got succeeded in identifying the haplotype and haplogroup that characterize the Y-DNA signature of the Twersky Chassidic dynasty, again to their most up-to-date widespread ancestor and founder of the dynasty, Grand Rabbi Menachem Nachum Twersky (1730–1797).
There are tens of hundreds of Twersky descendants extensively dispersed all through the world. Many of them are patrilineal descendants of the Twersky Chassidic dynasty, however many might have independently acquired the Twersky surname and bear no genetic relationship to descendants of the Twersky rabbinical household.
We are presently conducting a worldwide surname-lineage research to match the Y-DNA check outcomes of Twersky descendants from all families having the Twersky surname to the Y-DNA genetic signature of the Twersky Chassidic dynasty to either affirm or disprove paternal descent from the Twersky rabbinical household.
For those descendants who don’t match the Twersky Y-DNA genetic signature, we are trying to determine their haplotype and haplogroup, decide how they could relate to the Twersky Chassidic dynasty (e.g., resembling by descent by way of a son-in-law who adopted the Twersky surname), and investigate attainable sources of errors in the paper trail.
The haplotype classification for the eight pedigreed Twersky descendants was based mostly on the testing of 37 STR markers. We compared recognized TMRCAs to predicted values utilizing FTDNA’s STR mutation rate-based time predictor mannequin, and discovered that the model overestimated the TMRCA by approximately 14 to 25 %. This discovering was in line with the results of our earlier Y-DNA studies of rabbinical lineages. Such research studies provide useful validation knowledge for evaluating the accuracy and reliability of present STR mutation rate-based models.
The predicted R-M173 haplogroup classification was further refined by the testing of downstream SNPs for all eight pedigreed Twersky descendants. From this additional SNP testing, all eight descendants have been found to belong to the R-V88 subclade of the R1b haplogroup, which yielded recent insights into the doubtless Sephardic origin of the Twersky Chassidic dynasty.
Further SNP testing confirmed that one pedigreed descendant of the Twersky Chassidic dynasty belongs to the FGC20149 subclade of the R-V88 haplogroup. Based mostly on their constructive R-V88 SNP marker results, and intently matching STR allele values, it can be safely presumed that the other seven pedigreed Twersky descendants belong to this subclade as properly. There are 5 SNPs (FGC21047, FGC21053, FGC21054, FGC21055, FGC21065) at or near the similar phylogenetic degree as FGC21049. Further SNP testing might be required to verify them and establish their branching sequence.
Current analysis means that the Iberian ancestor of the Twersky Chassidic dynasty lived roughly 450–2100 years ago, and that he almost certainly migrated to Iberia from Africa or the Middle East. Nevertheless, current phylogenetic-based TMRCA calculations are imprecise, and give only a relative indication of chronological magnitude. The potential Twersky Sephardic ancestral connection to the Spanish town of Zamora offers yet one more intriguing clue which deserves further investigation.
Future research employing next-generation sequence (NGS)-based methods, similar to FTDNA’s Huge Y check, will permit the identification of novel SNPs which might be further downstream of the FGC21049 SNP marker, and help to elucidate where they fit on the phylogenetic tree. This phylogenetic knowledge, when coupled with applicable population genetics and biogeographical strategies, will allow more correct age estimates of haplogroup clusters. Developments in STR methodologies can also make extra correct determinations of mutation charges, TMRCAs, and ethnic origins potential.
Undoubtedly, as such NGS-based methods grow to be extra extensively out there and used, and the full genome database grows, the Twersky Y-DNA genetic signature, like the genetic signature of different rabbinical lineages, will probably be additional prolonged and refined.
Summary and Conclusions
The Twersky Chassidic dynasty dates back almost three centuries. Because of the quite a few revealed genealogies of the Twersky household in rabbinical sources, family timber, and yichus letters, the authenticity and validity of the lineage has been well-established. In depth genealogical research of the Twersky household laid the crucial groundwork for identification of eight son-after-son descendants of the Twersky Chassidic dynasty for participation in this Y-DNA research.
Based mostly upon the intently matching Y-DNA results of these eight pedigreed paternal descendants, we have now succeeded in figuring out the haplotype and haplogroup that characterize the Y-DNA signature of the Twersky Chassidic dynasty, again to their most recent widespread ancestor and founder of the rabbinical dynasty, Grand Rabbi Menachem Nachum Twersky (1730–1797).
The findings and conclusions which are drawn from a Y-DNA research are solely as robust as the genealogical evidence upon which they are based mostly. On this Y-DNA research research, we have been very fortunate to have had eight pedigreed son-after-son descendants with well-documented strains of descent from the Twersky Chassidic dynasty. This offered us with a very strong knowledge set and a robust foundation of genealogical evidence upon which our findings and conclusions are based mostly.
The closeness of the genetic match amongst these eight pedigreed Twersky descendants, taken together with their well-documented paper path, offers a high diploma of confidence that their distinct allele sample at 37 STR marker places, which defines their haplotype, in addition to the R1b-V88 and FGC21049 SNP markers, which define their haplogroup and subclade, accurately represents the Y-DNA genetic signature of the Twersky Chassidic dynasty and its numerous branches (Chernobyl, Makarov, Trisk, Tolna, Skvira, and Rachmastrivka).
In a current Y-DNA rabbinical lineage research, we reported that the Katzenellenbogen rabbinical dynasty, lengthy thought-about to be a basic Ashkenazic lineage, had a Sephardic ethnic origin. In a research of forty-five men of their Household Tree DNA FGC20747 SNP undertaking, Rachel Unkefer et al. also lately introduced Y-DNA evidence for an Ashkenazi lineage’s Iberian origin.
These present analysis findings recommend that the Twersky Chassidic dynasty, too, almost definitely descends from a Sephardic Iberian ancestor. Current analysis makes a robust case for the Iberian origins of the R1b-V88 SNP marker and suggests that the most recent widespread ancestor lived roughly 450–2100 years ago. This ancestor most certainly migrated to Iberia from Africa or the Center East, and during the early Middle Ages, his paternal descendant(s) migrated from Iberia to the Ashkenazi nations, where, several centuries later, the Twersky Chassidic dynasty arose.
Along with the phylogenetic-based proof of Iberian origin, this research offers an intriguing clue which means that the Twersky Chassidic dynasty might have an historic connection to the city of Zamora, an necessary middle of Jewish studying in Spain throughout the 15th century.
The software of DNA to genealogy has made great strides since its beginnings just over a decade ago, and the advantages of combining DNA and traditional paper-trail methodologies are evident. The Twersky Y-DNA analysis research represents a model instance of how conventional family tree and genetic genealogy work together to validate the paper path for the pedigreed descendants of a lineage, and determine and characterize the Y-DNA genetic signature of the rabbinical lineage beneath research.
Several of our Twersky Y-DNA research members have been not sure of their exact line of descent from the Twersky Chassidic dynasty, and by way of their participation in our analysis research, they rediscovered their roots. As extra individuals of Jewish descent flip to genetic testing as a approach of discovering their roots, it’s turning into increasingly clear that figuring out the distinctive Y-DNA genetic signature of the world’s traditionally vital rabbinical lineages will play an necessary position in Jewish genealogy.
Y-DNA research studies of rabbinical lineages resembling Polonsky, Bacharach, Wertheim-Giterman, Katzenellenbogen, and the Shpoler Zeida have demonstrated the intrinsic worth of figuring out the Y-DNA genetic signature of these lineages for bridging major gaps in the paper path for each Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews. As Y-DNA genetic signatures are identified for a rising number of rabbinical lineages, and the measurement of the DNA database increases, the probability of finding a genetic match to a well-documented rabbinical line will increase.
With the successful identification and characterization of the Y-DNA genetic signature of the Twersky Chassidic dynasty, we hope to allow many more present and future generations of newly discovered Twersky descendants to attach themselves and their households to this illustrious rabbinical lineage, and to rediscover their exceptional heritage.
The authors wish to thank our Twersky Y-DNA research members for their excellent cooperation, endurance, and permission to current their names and Y-DNA knowledge in our research. We additionally supply our honest because of Susan Okay. Steeble for her invaluable modifying help, and to Janet Billstein Akaha, Wim Penninx, Zach Gordon, and Schelly Talalay Dardashti for their helpful feedback relating to the haplogroup and ethnic origin dialogue.