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Belarusian Jewish Polesie

For descendants of Jews from SW Belarus
  • 192 members

About us

The Belarusian Jewish Polesie DNA Study invites participation by both men and women whose Jewish ancestors were from the former Polesie region of Belarus. For men, your qualifying ancestor(s) can be either patrilineal (father's father's father) or matrilineal (mother's mother's mother). For women, your qualifying ancestor(s) must be matrilineal. Individuals whose Jewish Polesie ancestors are not their patrilineal or matrilineal ancestors are encouraged to identify qualifying members of their extended family and encourage them to participate in this study. Where is Polesie? Polesie can be loosely defined as today's Southwestern Belarus. Towns in the following districts of the Brest region are included: Baranovichi, Beryoza, Brest, Drogichin, Gantsevichi, Ivanovo, Ivatsevichi, Kamenets, Kobrin, Luninets, Lyakhovichi, Malorita, Pinsk, Pruzhany, Stolin and Zhabinka. In addition, Slonim, Volkovysk and Svisloch, which are just north of the Brest region, can also be included in this project.
Participation Requirements:
  1. You must have *CONFIRMED* Jewish ancestry from the geographic region described above, on your matrilineal or patrilineal line. This project is not intended for people who have suspected Jewish ancestry or whose ancestors were from other regions of Eastern Europe.

    Those who do not qualify for this project should consider joining the Jewish Heritage Project, which is open to everyone with Jewish ancestry.
  2. We strongly recommend a minimum of 37 markers for paternal lines and mtDNAPlus (HVR1&2) for maternal lines for the best results of this study. However, all qualifying individuals are welcome to participate with any test you can (or are willing to) afford.
  3. Specify your earliest known patrilineal and/or matrilineal ancestor(s) and the town they were from under the Setup Preferences tab of your myFTDNA webpage.
  4. Follow the instructions on your Setup Preferences page to specify the town of origin by latitute/longitude. This will mark your town on the member distribution map below.
  5. Upload a GEDCOM showing your qualifying patrilineal and/or matrilineal ancestry to your myFTDNA webpage.
How to Join:



You must have *CONFIRMED* Jewish ancestry from the geographic region described above, on your matrilineal or patrilineal line. This project is not intended for people who have suspected Jewish ancestry or whose ancestors were from other regions of Eastern Europe. Those who do not qualify for this project should consider joining the Jewish Heritage Project, which is open to everyone with Jewish ancestry.


Log in to your personal myFTDNA webpage. Click the blue JOIN button at the top of the page. Scroll to the Dual Geographical Projects category and click the B link. Then click the "Belarusian Jewish Polesie" link and follow the instructions to submit a join request. If you have participated in the Genographic Project, but have not transferred your DNA results to Family Tree DNA yet, you must do so before you can join the Belarusian Jewish Polesie DNA Study. Log in to your personal Genographic Project page and at the very bottom of your results page, you'll find a link to transfer your DNA results to Family Tree DNA. Follow the instructions and once your results have been transferred, continue by following the instructions above for existing Family Tree DNA customers.
If you have never purchased a Family Tree DNA or Genographic Project test kit, please submit a project join request using the link below. Once you are approved to join the Belarusian Jewish Polesie DNA Study, you will be directed to an order form to purchase your DNA test kit. FTDNA has offered us the following discounted group rates for this project:
Matrilineal Only (women & men): mtDNA (HVR1): $99 mtDNAPlus (HVR1&2): $149 Recommended Minimum! mtFullSequence (complete mtDNA): $449 Patrilineal Only (men only): Y-DNA 12 Markers: $ 99 Y-DNA 37 Markers: $149 Recommended Minimum! Y-DNA 67 Markers: $248 Combination Matrilineal & Patrilineal (men only): Y-DNA12 + mtDNA: $179 Y-DNA37 + mtDNAPlus: $278 Recommended Minimum! Y-DNA67 + mtDNAPlus: $377 Tests may be upgraded at a later date, after the initial test is complete. Special upgrade pricing will apply. Matrilineal = Your mother's mother's mother's mother's mother, etc. Patrilineal = Your father's father's father's father's father, etc. How Many Markers? The more markers you test, the more recently related your matches will be. If you match a person with a different surname as you at only 12 markers, your connection to that person may be over 1000 years ago, well before reasonable genealogical timeframes. However, a match at 37 markers or more generally indicates a relationship within the past few hundred years.
Related Links:
Jewish Polesie Yahoo Group JewishGen Belarus SIG Genographic Project International Society of Genetic Genealogy
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