DNA and Barrow Lousada genealogy

Our first exposure to DNA technology was when our distant cousin Michael Waas conducted a study of male-line Sephardic descent in which some of us participated (see ref 306). This study was drawn upon in early 2020 by his collaborator Adam Brown when he covered the use of Y-DNA data in Jewish genealogy - paper uploaded here. Adam Brown also, in the online discussion group Sephardic Diaspora during 2019, referred to the Ashkenasi founder effect (see here) and to the likelihood that Randy Schoenberg (and presumably all of us who descend via the Barrows from Simon Michael Pressburg) does not descend from the small number of original founders of the Ashkenasi community. This discussion is ongoing - but perhaps the ancestors of Simon Michael Pressburg included people from the Sephardic Diaspora. We are exploring with Adam Brown a Y-DNA mini-project using advanced analysis technology and a small number of male-line Lousadas. In the meantime, Julian Land and Michael Waas compared their autosomal DNA and as Michael reported on 25 Jan 2020 'we do have some very small 3cM segments shared between us. But who knows if that's from the Portuguese or Ashkenasi sides of our families'. Indeed, we have no certain knowledge of common ancestry - in the face of our increasing certainty that Abraham Israel Pereira did not have a Baruch Lousada mother, the best prospect at present lies in possible joint Lopes Pereira ancestry.

John Griffiths, descendant of Joseph Barrow, has proved inspirational in raising our interest in DNA. In late 2019 he compared his and Julian Land's autosomal DNA data on GEDmatch and found that we have a single 3.4cM segment match on our 8th chromosome. This match is less than might have been expected for 6th cousins (common ancestors Simon Barrow 1709-1802 and Bailah Montefiore 1720-73) but probably illustrates how drastically autosomal DNA can be discarded. Randy Schoenberg having provided access to his DNA records, John Griffiths and Julian Land found matches with Randy Schoenberg, with one segment match on the 21st chromosome being common to all 3 people. But the failure of this 21st chromosome segment to show up in the comparison between John Griffiths and Julian Land presumably reflects a match of their 21st chromosome fragments to different half-identical regions of Randy's 21st chromosome (see ref 313 pp154-5). Thus at least one of John Griffiths and Julian Land has an independent non-Barrow link with Randy Schoenberg. Using the same GEDmatch settings, total matches with Randy were 16.2cM and 28.1cM respectively, the relative sizes correctly reflecting Julian Land's greater link to Randy Schoenberg (because of the de Symons connection which all descendants of Simon Barrow of Bath have and which therefore John Griffiths does not have), while Julian Land's residual connection plus John Griffiths' own substantial connection suggests a direct Barrow/Pressburg link (the proven non-Barrow link was 3.0cM). Nothing needs to be explained in connection with the failure of Randy Schoenberg's DNA to show the 8th chromosome match - this part of his DNA has been effectively discarded.

To this may be added what we have learnt from autosomal DNA analysis of some Fischl & Dirsztay descendants. Dena Jenkins with probable Fischl ancestry found on FamilyTreeDNA that 'hooray we have the same 5th cousin. I found him in your kit and then went on my cousin's kit .. we both have him....If we both have the same 5th cousin we must be related!' However this match with Dena Jenkins may have arisen other than via the Barrows. In the absence of further DNA comparisons from her, this connection has not been further examined, and we have been most fortunate that Scott McDougall's wife, a descendant of Bela de Dirsztay 1861-1921, has had her DNA results uploaded to GEDmatch, and autosomal matches with Julian Land (23.2cM) and John Griffiths (20.3cM) confirmed (using the above GEDmatch settings). Her matches with us are not inconsistent with the 7th cousins we probably are according to our Barrow/Pressburg suggestion, and thus we continue to regard Simon Michael Pressburg with his Baruch Lousada daughter-in-law as common ancestors of her (and Dena Jenkins). A subsequent DNA match supports our inclination here as it brings additional Pressburg and Fischl links.

 In early 2020 Bob Leuzarder, who thought himself to be a probable descendant of Jacob the NY chocolate merchant, introduced some immediate relatives and also a DNA match also from the USA - Jeannine Wegmueller, a descendant of the Luzarders. It was not clear how the Leuzarders (see here) and the Luzarders (see ref 314) related to each other nor to the rest of us. They participated in the work by John Griffiths on over 200 DNA segments arising from a study group of 11 likely family members; John's latest report #4 is here, and his observations on this are here. A later inspection by Julian Land of the DNA segment matches arising from a subset of 7 of the relatives is reported here with just 2 of 133 of these superficially intriguing matches proving valuable. These 2 matches (on chromosomes 2 and 8) appear to represent remnants of Lousada DNA, but only serve to elaborate (rather than to prove outright) our hypotheses - namely, the Portuguese origin of Jacob and our Barrow/Pressburg suggestion. Nonetheless encouraged, we went on to hypothesize a descent of both the Luzarders and Leuzarders from Jacob the NY chocolate merchant. In this, we show Bob and Jeannine as 4th cousins once removed, and Bob ceasing to be a male-line Lousada despite his surname. Bob Leuzarder and his close relatives were not included in Julian Land's 7-relative study so it was a pleasant surprise when they turned out to have the chromosome 2 Lousada segment identified therein. But there are a few somewhat more awkward implications flowing from our hypotheses, adorned as they now are by DNA. For the chromosome 2 Lousada match also shows that Jeannine has a non-Lousada match with Scott's wife, while the chromosome 8 match shows that Ed Barrow has a non-Lousada match with Jeannine. Added to this is that striking match noted by John Griffiths between Scott's wife and Michael Waas - the Lopes Pereira connection referred to in the first paragraph above may help explain this in the light of the lengthy Vienna sojourn of Baron Moses d'Aguilar and various family members. That is, we may be able to find interactions between the Lopes Pereira descendants in central Europe with the even larger number of descendants of Simon Michael Pressburg. The link between Ed and Jeannine could be Irish.

The matches Bob and Jeannine have with Julian Land (at 27.6cM and 31.8cM respectively) are similar to their own match of 29.8cM (again using the above GEDmatch settings). But a high degree of consanguinity was present; making connections seem closer. Apart from possible unknown earlier cousin-cousin marriages in each line, there was a probable uncle-niece marriage in 1698 in both Jeannine and Bob's ancestry together with 2 cousin-cousin marriages in 1832 and 1743 in Julian's ancestry. Julian and Ed Barrow are 4th cousins and their 31.2cM match may also be somewhat enhanced due to consanguinity - the 1832 cousin-cousin marriage in Julian's ancestry. A summary of the total autosomal DNA matches of 8 relatives can be found here, though it should be noted that in this summary we have used a tighter (400 rather than a floating 200-400) SNP filter and as a result the matches in the summary show reduced cM figures compared with the numbers discussed above. We have used some nominally unrelated people in our summary so that we could contrast cousin-cousin matches with cousin-unrelated matches. The tighter SNP filter enhances the contrast between cousin-cousin and cousin-unrelated matches. It will be noted that the 'unrelated' people turn out to have some interesting unexplained connections anyway - such is the nature of autosomal DNA matching especially where there is Jewish ancestry!

On 10 May 2021, FamilyTreeDNA reported an interesting match Julian Land has with 3 successive generations of the Nunes Vaz family. Using the obvious point of linkage evident in Nunes Vaz ancestry namely Simha Henriques Faro #1629, we could not resist suggesting an earlier linkage between the Henriques Faros and the Baruch Lousadas than was deducible from the paper records. This was not entirely impetuous - we had been looking at ways further Henriques Faro links could have arisen. Jarrett Ross on 26 Sep 21 cautioned not only that there may be other Sephardic elements in the match, but that an Ashkenasi element is important as well because his GM (the 1st of the 3 generations referred to) is Ashkenasi! We interpret the matches as follows. Julian's match with the GM has been halved (as judged by the largest segment being halved) by the GM's marriage with a Nunes Vaz descendant. However, because total match was similar in the next generation, the missing Ashkenasi matching genes have been more or less replaced by matching Nunes Vaz genes. That is, there is a Sephardic match with the Nunes Vaz GF roughly comparable to the Ashkenasi match with the GM. In the next generation, the combined match has been largely preserved, probably because the matching DNA has largely survived (as judged by the largest segment not being much reduced), with only a small introduction of new matching DNA. While our original interest was the Sephardic match, the original Ashkenasi match is as close or closer than Julian's other Ashkenasi matches, and we explore it by looking at 3 common Ashkenasi matches but as summarised here, we can see some patterns but nothing of statistical significance.