DNA Consultants’ fourth Jewish marker, Tatar/Khazar, has been renamed Jewish IV, bringing it into line with European, Asian and Sub-Saharan African marker groups. All these populations have four markers in acknowledgment of their complexity, age and diversity.
Native American has only two markers.
Jewish IV can be expected to be more sensitive following the addition of Altai Turkic, Caucasus, Southern Russian and Khazak population data to the company’s computer program atDNA.
The four Jewish markers may be described as follows:
JEWISH I. This is the most common of the three markers. It can occur without known Jewish ancestry for a variety of reasons including an ancestor’s conversion to Christianity during the centuries of persecutions against Jews in Europe. Its frequency is highest in Poles, Russians, Germans, Hungarians, Romanians and Slavic peoples who intermarried with Ashkenazi Jews. It also appears in Spanish, Portuguese and Moroccan Jews (Sephardim).
JEWISH II. This marker is the strongest. It is found in Jewish families who have intermarried with other Jews down through the centuries. It is characteristic of Ashkenazi Jews.
JEWISH III. This marker is an indication of Middle Eastern roots. Preserved by Jews, it is also borne by Kurds, Syrians, Arabs, Berbers, Basques, Turks, Greeks, Italians and other populations from the ancient world.
JEWISH IV. A marker indicative of Tatar or Khazar heritage.Khazars were a Central Asian people of Turkic, Hunnish and Iranian elements that arose in the Caucasus region. After converting to Judaism in the early Middle Ages, they moved westward into Russia and the Ukraine under pressure from Islam, eventually becoming a large component of Eastern and Central European Jewry. Many Ashkenazi Jews now find they have some Khazar (or intermingled Tatar) ancestry.
As can be seen, these divisions reflect the three major convert populations of Judaism, Sephardim, Ashkenazim and Khazars (often referred to as “the thirteenth tribe”) in addition to the original Middle Eastern Israelites and related people of the Bible (Jewish III), which forms the core genetic element of solidarity.