There is an interesting DNA project at Family Tree DNA designed to trace the Sephardic heritage of descendants of the Spanish Diaspora.
The Y-DNA (male DNA) project has the goal of determining an individual's region of ethnic origin (pre-Expulsion Spain) and links between major Sephardic families of the Ottoman Empire. The group administrator and project director is Alain Farhi, who has done extensive research on his family and also founded Les Fleurs de l'Orient genealogy database.
The project has identified pairs of males who may be descendants of Jews from Spain and collected their DNA. The descendants share a surname and belong to different branches of their surname tree. DNA tests have identified linkage between members of different branches and a probable common ancestor.
The names in the project include ALHADEFF, ANZARUT, ARUH, BEKHOR, CAPOUYA, CAVALIERO, CHITAYAT, CONSTANTINI, DOUEK, FARHI, GUBBAY, LABY, LISBONA, MARZOUK, MODIANO, PARDO, PIZANTI, RUSSO, SERRANO, SOUROUJON AND TARANTO.
The International Institute for Jewish Genealogy is collaborating with Les Fleurs d'Orient in the study tracking movement of Sephardim from the former Ottoman Empire, Italy and Greece and ultimately to trace their origins to pre-Expulsion Spain.
To date, most DNA work among Jews has been done on Ashkenazim, but this new project is engaged in developing a DNA database of Jews of Spanish origin, focused primarily on families from Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey.
The project is also sampling modern-day Spaniards with a view to establishing what percentage possesses the J haplotype, and which may indicate the numbers of Jews who converted in 1492 and were absorbed into the general Spanish population.
For more information, click here.