The goals of this project consist of two components: a DNA component and a genealogy component.
One of the goals of this project will be to expand on the work being done in the E-M35 project in further developing the Y6923 tree. The best way to do this is by collecting SNP data through Big Y tests to identify more sub-branches of Y6923. Once these SNPs are discovered, we can use STR values from the Y37 tests and higher that you have most likely already taken to identify clusters that correlate to specific SNPs that fall under this marker.
Additionally, we hope to expand our genealogical knowledge of this haplogroup by comparing the known lineages of participating individuals and families, and attempting to identify individuals who are likely common ancestors to specific subgroups within our haplogroup. Since most European Jews did not adopt surnames until the early 19th century, surnames often prove less useful as a way to establish common descent among Jewish families. Thus, this project will serve as a way to study links between previously unrelated families as a surname project might traditionally do.
What You Can Do
Below are the steps that you can take to both assist with this research and learn more about your ancestry:
Step 1: Participate in the group:
Even if you are not in the position to take additional tests, please join the group at the very least. In doing so, you will be able to participate in the discussion and receive updates on the progress of our research. Furthermore, as our research progresses, members of the project might find themselves grouped under a particular sub-branch based on the tests they've already taken. So you might find valuable information about your ancestry just by joining the project.
Step 2: Take the Big Y Test:
Big Y is the best way to discover new SNPs, which is how we can further expand our tree. Take a look at your Y-DNA matches on Family Tree DNA and see if you match up with any of the individuals who are currently on the tree on our results page. If you are a Genetic Distance of 2 or lower (the first column on your match list) from one of the individuals on the tree, then you likely fall under the same subgroup on the tree as that individual. In that case, don't worry about taking the Big Y for right now. However, if none of your 0-2 matches are on the tree, then you are probably part of a sub-branch that has yet to be discovered—Your Big Y results will likely unlock a hidden branch on the tree!
Step 3: Test Individual SNPs:
We understand that at the moment the Big Y Test is cost-prohibitive for many people, so if you are not in the position to take the Big Y test, you can still test just one of the SNPs on the tree individually to confirm that you fall under a particular branch. These individual SNP tests are a much cheaper option. The downside to doing it this way is that you won't be able to identify any new branches in the tree. Furthermore, this method is more of a "guess and check" approach—i.e. it's possible to find that you test negative for the SNP in question and then you're back to square one. The upside is, as mentioned above, once you test positive for a particular SNP, you know that you are positive for every SNP on each node above it in the tree.
While Family Tree DNA offers selected SNP tests, currently only two of the SNPs that represent sub-branches of Y6923 are offered. Thus, anyone who wants to test those SNPs should contact a project administrator for further information on where to test. If you are interested in ordering an individual SNP, please contact a group administrator first. They will help you determine whether it makes sense to do one of these tests. At this stage, it is most likely better to wait to test an individual SNP until we have identified more sub-branches.
Step 4: Contribute Your Genealogical Information:
Right now, our first step in the genealogical process of this project is to see if we can identify potential candidates for who could be the actual men that represent the sub-branches of our tree. Given that, we are looking for information from people who can trace their patrilineal ancestry (i.e. father's father's father's father, etc.) into the 17th century or further. If you have records going back that far, then please contact one of the project administrators and/or post a comment on the project activity feed.