01 September 2010

FamilyTreeDNA: 'Hitler ancestry questionable'

Journalists and the cybersphere out of control on a certain topic? Gee, where have we seen that before?

With the recent focus on Adolf Hitler's possible Jewish ancestry, there is now information refuting that claim from the person who released the initial report.

In a press release today, Family Tree DNA, the first and largest company in the genetic genealogy field, today said that certain media outlets' interpretation of Adolf Hitler's possible Jewish ancestry is highly questionable. The reports of that possibility were released by Jean-Paul Mulders and historian Marc Vermeeren.

Mulders himself confirmed the misinterpretation of his account with the following statement to Family Tree DNA:
"I never wrote that Hitler was a Jew, or that he had a Jewish grandfather. I only wrote that Hitler's haplogroup is E1b1b, being more common among Berbers, Somalian people and Jews than among overall Germans.

This, in order to convey that he was not exactly what during the Third Reich would have been called 'Aryan.' All the rest are speculations of journalists who didn't even take the trouble to read my article, although I had it translated into English especially for this purpose."

FamilyTreeDNA's chief Y-DNA scientist, Professor Michael Hammer, said that "scientific studies as well as records from our own database make it clear that one cannot reach the kind of conclusion featured in the published articles."
Based on the company's records, no more than 9% of the populations of Germany and Austria belong to the haplogroup E1b1b, and among those, the vast majority - about 80% - are not associated with Jewish ancestry.

"This data clearly show that just because one person belongs to the branch of the Y-chromosome referred to as haplogroup E1b1b, that does not mean the person is likely to be of Jewish ancestry," said Professor Hammer.
While many media outlets seem to run with the most sensational news, it will be interesting to see who picks up on the now-corrected information by Mulders and Hammer. Statistically, Tracing the Tribe believes it will be a much smaller number. We'll have to see if this correction gets any play in cyberspace.

Family Tree DNA is the prime source for anyone researching recent and distant ties. Founded in April 2000, Family Tree DNA was the first company to develop the commercial application of DNA testing for genealogical purposes that had previously been available only for academic and scientific research.

The company has more than 300,000 individual records in its Y-DNA and mtDNA databases - and a state-of-the-art Genomics Research Center in Houston, Texas.


  1. Anonymous6:12 PM

    Roman control in Germany extended east of the Neckar River. Soldiers were recruited from all parts of the Roman Empire and North African soldiers could have been in Germany.

  2. Anonymous1:12 PM

    East of the Neckar? Don't you mean west? There were Romans as far north as Augsburg, but for the most part We kept those clowns out of germania!

  3. Thanks for sharing this story. I've been enjoying your blog since I stumbled across it while researching some of my family trees.