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
Combined GEDCOMs Uploaded 4
DISTINCT mtDNA Haplogroups 13
DISTINCT Y-DNA Confirmed Haplogroups 8
DISTINCT Y-DNA Predicted Haplogroups 6
Family Finder 15
Genographic 2.0 Transfers 2
Maternal Ancestor Information 21
mtDNA 22
mtDNA Full Sequence 8
mtDNA Plus 18
mtDNA Subgroups 0
Paternal Ancestor Information 30
Predicted Y-DNA Haplogroups 10
Total Members 39
Unpredicted Y-DNA Haplogroups 1
Unreturned Kits 2
Y-DNA Deep Clade (After 2008) 3
Y-DNA Deep Clade (Prior to 2008) 4
Y-DNA Subgroups 7
Y-DNA111 12
Y-DNA12 30
Y-DNA25 23
Y-DNA37 23
Y-DNA67 16