The E-Y6923 SNP has only been known since 2014, so many to most Jewish men who have been identified as E-M34 or E-L791—old branches which are are ancestral to E-Y6923–are probably members of our branch. In 2019, it was discovered that E-Y6923 shares the upstream branch E-Y6926 with a collection of Baluch/Arab families from the United Arab Emirates and Oman, and that they and all E-Y6923 men share a single direct male-line ancestor who lived around the year 1100 BCE. All men who belong to haplogroup E-Y6923, the main focus of this project, go back to a single direct male-line ancestor who lived around the year 350 CE.
Our haplogroup’s Ashkenazi branch, called E-Y6940, goes back to an ancestor who lived around the years 750-900 CE, and is the second-largest Y-DNA branch among Ashkenazi Jews. It is found in Ashkenazi Jews from across central and eastern Europe, but is notably rare among western (i.e. German) Ashkenazim, compared to other major Ashkenazi Y-DNA lineages.
In the last few years, four additional branches of E-Y6923 have been discovered. One, E-Y102667, has been confirmed in a Libyan Jew, a Tunisian/Turkish Jew, and a Puerto Rican family—and its estimated members include Libyan Jews, Algerian Jews, Tunisian Jews, Sicilians, and Puerto Ricans. Another, E-FT227227 includes a New Mexican and a Peruvian. E-FT405052 includes a Sephardi Jew with roots in Rhodes and Turkey, as well as a French-Canadian. A fifth branch, unnamed so far, is defined by an American with roots in the Moselle German-speaking community of Lorraine.
Given the structure of E-Y6923 and its historical context, it can be said that the Latin American and Sicilian members of our branch are descended from Sephardic and Sicilian Jews who converted to Catholicism before, during, or immediately after the Inquisition.
This distribution pattern, along with the TMRCA (time of most recent common ancestor) date of 400 CE, allow us to conjecture that the shared ancestor of all E-Y6923 men lived somewhere in the Western Roman Empire, during its final stages. Given known patterns of Jewish settlement in the 4th century CE, the likeliest location for this common ancestor is Italy, though North Africa and Iberia are also possibilities.
The structure of E-Y6940 has been clarified by extensive Big Y testing over the last several years. Most of E-Y6940 falls under the Y179930 branch, under which there are 5 named branches and 2 unnamed ones.