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Presenter: Jeffrey Paull
As valuable a tool in the genealogical research of Jewish paternal lineages as Y-DNA analysis has proven to be, such testing has often produced confounding and unexpected results. Y-DNA results for Jewish descendants who share the same surname, and having paper trails which show descent from the same common ancestor, quite often do not match. Sometimes Y-DNA results are at odds with yichus claims, which leave descendants of that lineage searching for answers. The purpose of this presentation is to explain some of the major reasons for these unexpected results, including: Men who married into prestigious lineages often took their wives' surnames; Jewish surname laws required all heads of households to have unique surnames; Some yichus claims and oral histories are known to have been exaggerated; Lineage mistakes are common in rabbinical texts, family trees, and online sources. Several examples from Y-DNA case studies, which illustrate these points, are presented.