Beneveniste, Horowitz, & Epstein DNA Project- Background



Benveniste, Eppstein, Epshteyn, Epstein, Gorovich, Gorowitz, Gurevich, Horovitz, Horowitz, Horvitz, Horwitz, Hurvitz, Hurwitz


Two prominent Ashkenazi families claim descent from two brothers who lived in Spain during the 13th Century CE . The Epsteins’ alleged patriarch is Rabbi Aharon de na Clara ben Yosef haLevi. The Horowitzes’ alleged patriarch is Rabbi Pinhas, Rabbi Aharon’s older brother and mentor. These brothers are the direct male descendants of Rabbi Zerahyah ben Yitzhak haLevi Gerondi (died after 1186). Epstein family lore asserts that Aharon’s surname was Benveniste.

The first known male Horowitz is Yishayahu ben Moshe haLevi Ish Horowitz who came to Prague in the late15th Century from the village of Horovice. The first known male Epstein is Yaakov (Koppelman) ben Natan haLevi von Eppstein who came to Frankfurt am Main in the early 15th Century from the town of Eppstein.. Benvenistes were prominent in Spain and, after the expulsion, were prominent in the Balkans. We do not know whether there have been several Benveniste families or only one. We know that many Jews assumed the Epstein and Horowitz surnames in he 19th Century.

General Fund

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Project Stats

Statistic Type Count
Big Y 7
Combined GEDCOMs Uploaded 4
DISTINCT mtDNA Haplogroups 22
DISTINCT Y-DNA Confirmed Haplogroups 12
DISTINCT Y-DNA Predicted Haplogroups 0
Family Finder 32
Genographic 2.0 Transfers 2
Maternal Ancestor Information 36
mtDNA 32
mtDNA Full Sequence 16
mtDNA Plus 28
mtDNA Subgroups 0
Paternal Ancestor Information 44
Predicted Y-DNA Haplogroups 12
Total Members 57
Unpredicted Y-DNA Haplogroups 0
Unreturned Kits 6
Y-DNA Deep Clade (After 2008) 4
Y-DNA Deep Clade (Prior to 2008) 5
Y-DNA Subgroups 8
Y-DNA111 20
Y-DNA12 39
Y-DNA25 32
Y-DNA37 32
Y-DNA67 26