• 137 members

About us

This project aims to create a database of Romaniote Jewish DNA, including y-DNA, mtDNA and autosomal DNA. Its goal is to identify the origin of the Romaniotes, the relationships within the community, and its relationship to other Jewish groups. Romaniotes are Greek-speaking Jews. Originally, most Jews in the Greek-speaking parts of the former Byzantine Empire would have been considered Romaniote. But from the 16th century, the mass immigration of Sephardic Jews expelled from Iberia overwhelmed most Romaniote communities, whose rites and culture were progressively replaced by the Ladino-speaking Sephardic culture of the incomers. Romaniote families intermarried with Sephardic families and most Romaniotes lost their unique identity. However, in certain peripheral regions, most notably Epirus, with its capital Ioannina (Janina), the Romaniote culture prevailed into the 20th century. In the early 20th century, around half of the Romaniote population emigrated, many to the USA. Around 90% of the Romaniotes remaining in Greece perished in the Holocaust. All people with Romaniote ancestry are welcome to join this group. We are especially interested in those with four Romaniote grandparents.