We are studying the DNA of our Feldberg family so that we can find out more about our family history, take our family tree back more generations, and hopefully connect with people from hitherto unknown branches of our family.
In order to do this, we have had DNA testing done by known descendants of Isaac Feldberg and of Chana Feldberg Vishnick. The testing on Isaac's known descendant was only done on that part of the DNA molecule that is only passed down from men to their sons, which is called Y-DNA or the Y chromosome. So, since this part of the DNA is not passed down or received or carried by their daughters, we can only compare his results to the results of other men.
There are other parts of DNA that could be tested, but the male DNA is the portion most reliably used for genealogical purposes right now. However, it is possible to compare the results of male to female cousins by looking at their autosomal chromosomes, as well as looking at the mitochondrial dna of the direct female line, and we are in the process of doing that for a descendant of Chana Feldberg, but the results are not yet as definitive.
With regards to our Feldberg Y-DNA, if you wish to see the first 37-markers of our entire 67-marker panel of numerical results, as well as to learn about DNA and DNA testing in general, you can click here. For all 67 markers which we have had tested, you can view our complete results under user 6AD3P at http://www.ysearch.org. And, if you would like to read more about our Feldberg family, you can click here.
Ideally we should be able to register our Feldberg Y DNA results in online Y-DNA databases, and find people whose results match ours perfectly, and who know enough about their family history that we know immediately exactly what our relationships are.
There are not yet any perfect matches, but there are many people in the http://www.familytreeDNA.com database whose results are very, very similar to ours, with only one tiny bit of the DNA molecule, which is called an allele, differing by just one points from ours at 37 markers. At 67 markers, our best matches, at this time, are two or more points from ours. This can be due to normal changes to the DNA that can occur over time, called mutations, so we are corresponding with these people, in the hopes that we can determine whether we are, indeed, related within relatively recent history, the last 200 years or so.
In the meantime, what does all this mean about our history? Scientists have figured out that they can categorize people's DNA in ways that correspond to migration patterns of their ancestors, and these very distinct DNA patterns are called haplotypes or haplogroups. Each person's DNA reflects many things, and one of those is their haplotype.
The forebearers of haplogroup R are thought to have migrated into Europe about 10,000 years ago, from the Middle East. As time went on, after they spread out further into the British Isles and Russia, the DNA of the people with R haplogroup split off into more subtypes, and distinct DNA patterns or fingerprints developed, which are called R1 and R2. As time went on and more changes in the basic DNA structure occurred, R1 and R2 split into more subgroups.
Our particular Feldberg DNA pattern, puts us in haplogroup R1a1, which is a distinct DNA fingerprint that became slightly different in a consistent, unique way, from the basic R1 DNA pattern over time. So, while our DNA matches the R1 DNA of many people, we have more in common in our genes with people whose DNA is in haplogroup R1a1.
The map below to the left, shows the migration patterns of most know male chromosome haplogroups. I suggest you look closely at the map, finding the black line with a little box with the letter R in it in what is now Western Russia. Following the black lines to the left and right, you can see that the forebears of the R, and then the R1 and R1a1 haplogroups spread out to the west over Europe and into the British Isles, and to the east towards western Asia and India.
Y-DNA Migration Map (click to enlarge)
Copyright and Courtesy of FamilyTreeDNA.com
Modern Distribution of Haplotype R1a1
This map is copyright ©23andMe, Inc. 2009. All rights reserved; distributed pursuant to a Limited License from 23andMe
If you have trouble getting a sense of the migration pattern from the above map, even when you look at the enlarged image, you can find another migration map, specifically for haplogroup R and it's subtypes, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_R1b_(Y-DNA).
The other map, above to the right, is a recent distribution map. It shows the probable proportion of the population living in each area that have this haplotype. The darker the color, the higher proportion of the population that are haplotype R1a1. Where the color is extremely dark, it means a major portion of the people in the area are R1a1. Conversely, where the color is faint, only a very small percent of the population is haplotype R1a1. For a more details about the ancient history and current distribution of R1a1, check out the webpages recommended in the Further Reading section below.
In order to connect with other people whose DNA matches ours, we have uploaded our results to a number of databases in addition already being in the database at http://www.familytreeDNA.com. The additional databases we have registered at so far are http://www.ysearch.org and http://dna.ancestry.com.
Connecting with people who match our DNA is not an automated process. Instead, it requires studying the matches suggested by the website to see how close the matches really are, and then corresponding with those people whose results match ours the most closely.
The few people we have corresponded with so far who have male chromosome DNA results similar to ours, believe their families are from Western Poland, Lithuania, and the Ukraine. Our most distant known Feldberg patriarch, Isaac Feldberg, apparently lived in Warsaw.
But we, unfortunately, have still not found any records definitively telling us precisely how Lazarus Vishnick's wives' Annie and Esther Feldberg, our Feldberg matriarchs who we have been told lived in Lomza Gubernia in Poland, were related to Isaac Feldberg and his children. Annie and Esther Vishnik both passed away in or near Makow, and we have not been able to locate any records that would show who their parents were.
We had thought Isaac's three known children, Sarah Feldberg (1858-1917), Morris Feldberg (1864-1925), and Rose Feldberg (1873-1953), were all from Makow in Lomza. However, we have found out that, according to Morris Feldberg's death record, Morris and his parents Isaac Feldberg and Leah Liss were from Warsaw. Since Warsaw and Lomza are very close, and Jews often moved around the area at the end of the nineteenth century, it is possible Morris's sisters were born in Makow and Morris in Warsaw, but it is also possible that the whole family was from Makow, and simply said they were from Warszawa because that is larger and more well known. The records we have obtained for Rose and Sarah, so far, all just say they were from Russia or Poland, depending on which government was in power in the area at the time. All three siblings were were married and living in the United States by 1890.
Another option we are exploring has been to obtain our Feldberg maternal DNA from descendants of either Esther or Annie Feldberg, as a way to find people related to us through their maternal lines, instead of just looking for our paternal DNA cousins. If you are interested in seeing this happen, or in assisting us in our efforts to obtain more records about our family, please do email us.
If you are reading this page because you are trying to find or document your relationships to Jewish ancestors and relatives, please also visit the Jewish Genealogy section of our free online resources page.
R1b1 is a subgroup of the R1b haplogroup. The following is a good discussion of the R1b haplogroup theories including maps:
The following wikipedia article is also more technical but you may find useful information there as well:
The Feldberg family history facts and DNA results on these pages are available to us because of gracious contributions of time, effort, and financial assistance by members of our family who assist our research in various ways, and the member of our family who contributed the DNA sample. We are deeply indebted and grateful for their interest and support.
Last Modified October 07, 2012
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Original URL: http://freepages.family.rootsweb.com/~thecohens/feldbergdna.html