07 April 2008

New York: DNA and classic genealogy, April 13

How DNA and classic genealogy join to solve a family history puzzle is the topic of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island's next meeting, set for 2pm, Sunday, April 13, in Plainview, NY.

Herb Huebscher is administrator of the Hubscher Family DNA Project at FamilyTreeDna.com and it has been my pleasure to know him for a number of years. His knowledge and dedication to both Jewish genealogy and to genetic genealogy is well-known to many researchers. He has spoken on the project at several annual conferences, each time updating the audience with new information. The puzzle pieces are falling into place, providing a coherent picture of how it all happened.

Long involved in his genealogy, he ventured into DNA-based genealogy in 2002 as the Hubscher Family DNA Project group administrator, and his project report was published in Avotaynu (Winter 2003). Since 2004, he has been the group administrator/coordinator of a DNA-based genealogy research project linking a number of seemingly disparate families to a common ancestor.

The puzzle involves 40 disparate families (some 55 individuals) with a common paternal ancestor several hundred years ago. Major advances reported towards the solution:

New Y-DNA results on 55 persons representing 40 families (Litvaks and Galizianers)

Advanced DNA testing techniques reveal matching results and shared DNA anomalies,

Common haplogroup subclade identified for all families,

Development of a phylogenetic tree showing interfamily relationships,

Explanation of Levite status in only some families,

Comparison of group DNA characteristics with recent tests of known Sephardic Levites,

Answering the question: Sephardi or Ashkenazi roots? and

Refined estimate of the Common Ancestor's lifetime and place.

Born in Vienna, Austria, Huebscher came to the US as a child in 1938. An electrical engineer, he received BEE, MS, and MBA degrees. Following an electronics industry career, he was a Long Island University full-time business strategy professor, and then an adjunct professor before his 1998 retirement.

Admission is free. For directions or additional details, click here.

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