As of December 30, 2020, 48 members of the Taunus project match its modal haplotype closely. Of these, 26 tested 111 markers, including 9 who participated in the Big Y test. Five tested 67 markers, nine tested 37 markers, and eight tested 12 markers.
34 additional men who tested their Y-DNA at FTDNA appear to qualify for membership in the Taunus project.
Almost all of the project’s members are Ashkenazi Levites. Epstein, our most frequent surname, appeared in Frankfurt am Main in 1392. Because most Ashkenazi Jews did not have surnames until early in the 19th Century, FTDNA surname projects are of limited genealogical usefulness to us.
Only 25% of the Epsteins in the Epstein surname project appear to match haplogroup L408’s membership standards. Similarly only 30% of the haplogroup R-L408 members in the Taunus project are Epsteins.
Haplogroup R-L408's nearest relatives are western European gentiles. Going further back, the lineage points to northern Italy. How, where, and when did an isolated branch of European men enter the Jewish people and become Levites?
The historic Epstein family, which constitutes a plurality of the Taunus project is fortunate to have comparatively well established genealogical records and origin accounts or myths. Everything should be open to questioning, but this is what we have to work with.
The historic Epsteins' very abbreviated record and narratives are as follows:
The family showed up in Frankfurt AM in 1392 CE. So far for reliable genealogy.
We have been told that we are descended from the Benvenistes of Gerona, Spain.
We are allegedly descendants of Judean exiles.
We are allegedly members of the Yitzharite clan of the tribe of Levi which participated in the exodus from Egypt.
So much for well established family myths.
The non-Epsteins among us probably fall into four categories:
1. Descendants of the population from which the historic Epsteins emerged.
2. Former Epsteins who neglected the family name and eventually assumed other surnames when required to do so in the 19th Century.
3. Epsteins who chose to change their surname for various reasons.
4. The results of non paternity events.