Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois

JGSI DNA Project 

JGSI has arranged with FamilyTreeDNA, the world's first and largest genealogy-driven DNA testing service, to provide DNA testing to our members at a reduced rate. With FamilyTreeDNA (, it might be possible to find previously unknown branches of your family tree which could prove especially useful if you are seeking additional options to enhance your research.

There are currently two kinds of genealogical DNA tests: Y chromosome (Y-DNA) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Since the Y chromosome reflects the paternal line, it becomes valuable for genealogical research since it typically follows a surname line. Y-DNA analysis can help to prove or disprove common ancestry between families with the same surname and/or can help to discover common ancestry between families of different surnames. It may identify a deeper past ancestry, as well. In addition, Y-DNA testing may allow you to locate a recent common ancestor of your father's father's father's father's father .  .  . "stretching back into the mists of time". Conversely, mtDNA testing will study your mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's .  .  . line.

As stated at

While it can't provide you with your entire family tree or tell you who your ancestors are, DNA testing can:

  •     Determine if two people are related

  •    Determine if two people descend from the same ancestor

  •     Find out if you are related to others with the same surname

  •     Prove or disprove your family tree research

  •    Provide clues about your ethnic origin

JGSI highly recommends testing at the 37 marker level. This analysis will provide genealogists with an excellent beginning level of information to further their research.

For more information, contact Alvin Holtzman at  

Please click here to join the JGSI DNA project at

View Opening Doors for Today's Genealogist, our DNA project coordinator Alvin Holtzman's 2008 presentation: A 28 page DNA Project presentation offers an overview of the use of DNA testing for studying your genealogy. The file in PDF format is approximately 4MB. A high speed internet connection is recommended.

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