Explanation of Y Charts (Start Here)

These charts are not suitable as sources for your own family tree. We have pruned female lines, skipped generations, used question marks to represent speculative connections, and in general condensed a vast amount of data into a small space. Our purpose is to present customized outlines for highlighting the possible Y-DNA inheritance, not definitive family trees.

We have used readily available sources such as the Frankfurt Ele Toldot, Charles Stanton Collection, the Steinheim Institute cemetery database, and works by Alexander Dietz and David Kaufmann in our intensive research. We have much more information that does not appear here that we’re happy to share with family members, but we will not share information about living individuals nor our entire GEDCOM. This is a work in progress.

What is a “Y Chart”?  A “Y Chart” follows the transfer of the Y (male chromosome) from father to son.  Since females do not receive the Y chromosome, their lines don’t appear here. We use these charts to identify living male descendants who have the Y DNA of the progenitor of their male lineage. A living male descendant may have Y-DNA markers identical to their oldest known direct line male ancestor who lived many  generations ago, or one or more mutations may have occurred in the interim, but the Y-DNA is still almost identical. By identifying and testing at least two living descendants of a particular lineage we can estimate the number of generations back to the common male ancestor.

What is genetic genealogy?  Genetic genealogy is the application of genetics to traditional genealogy. Usually genealogists rely only upon a very well documented paper trail, not adding individuals to their family tree unless records exist to prove a relationship. Genetic genealogists supplement the paper trail with DNA to bridge the gaps. Close Y-DNA matches to others with documented family trees show a common ancestor, although it might be impossible to document every link in the chain. Hypothetical family trees show how a group of people might fit together, and then testing living descendants will prove or disprove the theory.

Our Y Chart for the Bacharach, Wertheimer, Schwab and Metz families is a good example of a speculative tree based on a combination of paper trail and DNA. The DNA from a descendant of Rabbi Samson Wertheimer suggests this line merges with the Bacharach rabbinical family in the 14th – 15th Century.  The paper trail reveals that Rabbi Samson Wertheimer shares multiple connections with the family of Rabbi Simon Jair Bacharach in the 17th Century and the same first names appear in both families.  So we are relying on both DNA and paper trail when we try to determine where this connection most likely occurred.  The DNA in this case trumps the paper trail; these two lines do share a common male ancestor within the past 700 years.

What does a “?” mean in a Family Chart?  Because DNA tells us definitively that a relationship exists between two Y DNA matches, we sometimes have to consider a variety of factors including; marker results, paper trail research, study of family naming conventions,  and feasiblity based on dates and  geography in adding a branch to a tree. Because we aren’t 100% certain of the exact placement, we use a “?” to suggest a very likely placement.  We also use this symbol when we have a line that is likely to be a DNA match, but has not yet been tested.  The goal is to remove these question marks through a combination of research and DNA testing.