WIRTH J-L556, L560

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About us

The most distant known geographic origins of the families in the WIRTH group are in present-day Austria, Belarus, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Puerto Rico, Romania, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.  The WIRTH group includes members of the Weil, Bacharach and Graciani rabbinic families.  There are two main sub-branches of the WIRTH group:  J2a-Y9005 and J2a-Y11782.  The Weils and Gracianis are on the Y9005 branch and the Bacharachs are on the Y11782 branch.  


J-L556 boasts one of the oldest pedigrees among Ashkenazi Jews that have been corroborated by NGS Y-DNA testing. The Weil family, several members of which have been Y-DNA tested here on FTDNA, claim descent from Rabbi Yaakov ben Yehuda Weil, a 14th and 15th century German Jewish Rabbi and scholar. Estimated to have been born in the late 14th century in Weil der Stadt, a town located in southwest Germany, Rabbi Yaakov would become well known as a prominent student of Jacob Moellin, a renown religious scholar of 14th and 15th century Ashkenazi Jewry. Rabbi Yaakov would eventually become the head rabbi of towns like Nuremburg, Bamburg, Augsburg, and ultimately Erfurt, where in died sometime before 1456. 

The Weil family with an extant genealogy connecting them to Rabbi Yaakov can only be confirmed via Y-DNA testing back to the 18th century, initially leaving some doubt whether or not the genealogy all the way back to the 14th century could be trusted. However, another pedigreed individual, now carrying the surname Rindskopf, who descends from a 15th century Rabbi Yehuda Weil has been NGS-confirmed to have a TMRCA of c. 600 ybp (1000 - 225 ybp @ 95%) with the Weil family that has have a pedigree all the way back to Rabbi Yaakov. The Rabbi is known to have had a son named Yehuda, and given the dates and the Ashkenazic tradition of naming children after recently-deceased relatives in addition to the Y-TMRCA, it seems likely that this individual's Most Distantly Known Ancestor (MDKA) Rabbi Yehuda was the grandson of Rabbi Yaakov's son Yehuda, and thus the great grandson Rabbi Yaakov himself. 

Several other Weils with different pedigrees going back to distinct ancestors in medieval Germany have also been tested on FTDNA and found to match the other Weils closely, but do not yet have a NGS (ex. Big Y) test to confirm how long ago their Y-chromosomes diverged from the Weils described above. Still, given all the data, we are confident that Rabbi Yaakov or a close relative of his was the MRCA of J-Y20339, the subclade that contains all pedigreed Weil families. 

Jacob ben Judah Weil - Encyclopedia.com
Raabi Jakob ben Yehuda Weil - Geni.com
Jews of Frankfurt, Weil family chart - Jewsoffrankfurt.com
J-Y20339, the Weil family subclade - YFull.com