The STRAUSS Clan is a large and genetically varied group of people of both Jewish and Gentile Germanic origin.
The name has been used by families in the Germanic area for at least a 1,000 years. The overlord of Gröna for example, went by the name of Struz and used the image of an Ostrich as his symbol. Examples of it could still be seen on the 1,000 year old church bell of that town. "Struz" or "Strutz" is the North-German form of the word "Strauss", which is of course the German word for an "Ostrich". A branch of that family later also built a keep at Straußberg near Sonderhausen in Thuringia .
Some of the earliest Jewish bearers of the name hailed from the Judengasse in medieval Frankfurt, where families have been known by the names of the House they inhabited. All the houses had names and these included Haus Strauss, complete with an image of an ostrich on the façade. Other famous houses that led to famous families included Haus Rothschild, Haus Wolf, Haus Schiff, etc.
When, for tax purposes, Napoleon made surnames obligatory in 1808, some more Jewish families decided to take the name Strauss or Straus.
Our Clan is therefore made up of numerous large and often well-known families who are completely unrelated to one another. Sizeable populations of these have also taken root outside of Europe in the USA, South Africa, Australia and elsewhere.
Some of the STRAUSS haplotypes I have already come across in the past include the following:
- E1a1 (E-M132 & M44)A Jewish Hungarian STRAUSS family from Zeteny that descends from Berko (Bernat) STRAUSZ (*1813).
- E1b1b1a1b (E-M35.1 & M78) A STRAUSS family from the Odenwald with Hessenic Jewish origins and that descends from Conrad STRAUSS (1660 - 1720). Albert EINSTEIN also appears to share this Haplotype, being E1b1b1 (M35.1).
- E1b1b1c1 (E-M34) An Ashkenazi Jewish family that descends from David Manasseh STRAUSS (1716-1780).Napoleon BONAPARTE also shared this Haplotype .
- G2c (G-M201) A Jewish STRAUSS family of Frankfurt Judengasse origin that descends from Samuel STRAUS, (*c 1850)
- I1 A Slovenian STRUTZ Family of Nordic origin that descends from Bartholomus STRUTZ (*c 1725) of Ribnica na Pohorju, Slovenia (Untersteiermark under Austrian Empire)
- I2a2 or or I2a1b (M423) This is an extremely rare Haplogroup and the age of the YSTR variation for the M423 subclade is 8.8±3.6 kya according to Wikipedia. Pericic places its expansion to have occurred "not earlier than the YD to Holocene transition and not later than the early Neolithic”
- I2b1 (I-M233 & Z78) A branch of the STRAUSS family of South Africa who (with R1b1a2 below) claims descent from Georg Friedrich STRAUSS (1697-1749) who emigrated from Strasbourg to the Cape of Good Hope in 1723. This branch seems to descend from his younger son Johannes Matthias STRAUSS (1743-1825) and a match has not yet been found to any STRAUSS families outside of South Africa. A very close match has been established with a SCHOEFFLER family of German origin who agreed to join the project.
- R1a1a The Haplotype of the United States Jewish STRAUS family that descend from Moises Lazarus (1715 - 1776). This family owned Macy's and includes Isidor STRAUS who died on the Titanic.
- R1b1a2 (R-M269) This is the largest Project Group with five members in four different branches. Two are members of a large branch of the STRAUSS family of South Africa who (with I2b1 above) claims descent from Georg Friedrich STRAUSS (1697-1749) who emigrated from Strasbourg to the Cape of Good Hope in 1723. This branch seems to descend from his older son David Frederik STRAUSS (1733 - after 1794). An American R1b1a2 branch descends from Emil August STRAUSS (1859) of Osterode, Prussia while a British branch could be traced back to Charles STRAUSS abt 1790 in London, England. A STRAUSS family descending from Burghardt Woldemar OBRAM (1864) from Latvia, also shares this Haplotype as does the Jewish-American STRAUS family that descends from Jakob (Loeb Nathan) STRAUS (*1778). This haplotype happens to be one of the most common in Western Europe, especially in Celtic areas like Wales and Ireland. Sykes refers to this tribe as Oisín in his "Blood of the Isles" while Oppeneheimer preferred the Basque name Ruisko in his "Origins of the British". It has also been reported that Pharaoh Tutankhamun shared this Haplotype.
- Q1b1 A Jewish STRAUSS family that also includes people with the surname ROSENSTRAUS
It would also be interesting to see how some other well known bearers of the STRAUSS family name fit into this jigsaw puzzle.
Johann STRAUSS, composer and waltz king of Vienna
Richard STRAUSS, composer
Christoph STRAUSS, composer
Oscar STRAUS, composer
Levi STRAUSS, founder of Levi Strauss Jeans
Franz Josef STRAUSS, former minister president of Bavaria
Peter STRAUSS, actor
Dominique STRAUSS-KAHN, former head of the IMF
Claude LEVI-STRAUSS, French anthropologist
Harry "Pittsburgh Phil" STRAUSS, Murder Inc enforcer
And numerous others as could be seen at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strauss.
Please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss any of this further while I would keep all who join this exciting project informed and updated as the puzzle expands.