YDNA of the original Spira family - Is there a real proff exists?

Started by Dr. Doron Burshtain, Ph.D. on Thursday, February 11, 2021
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2/11/2021 at 2:30 PM

There are many Shapira/Spira etc. Y-DNA branches, and there are many reasons for that. Geographical, adoption of names and of course the original linage of the Spira which came from Shabtai Klonimus of Rome.
In your "Index INDEX of Rabbinical YDNA Signatures" file there is an indication of J-M267 as the Macro-HG, and J-ZS11006 as Granular-HG.
Dated to 9-Jan-20. Is there any written research showing this connection?

As much as I know there are several claims to the same linage. From R1b (R-FGC14600), to G-M201, and also the J-ZS11006 appears there but with Kahana indication, which is not set along the known papertrail line of the "Original" Spira.
(Please see here: https://www.familytreedna.com/public/Shapiro?iframe=ycolorized)

Private User
2/11/2021 at 4:45 PM

Hello Dr. Doron Burshtain,

Many thanks for your interest in this work. The goal in this project is to identify and index any and all, reasonably verifiable, rabbinical yDNA signatures. I understand that there may be more than one claim to each and every yDNA signature and I do a certain amount of checking before adding a signature to the index, but as one person, I do not have the time to thoroughly investigate each and every generational step of every claim. I have tried to access the URL you provided but for some reason or other I am receiving this message: “Results pages are not currently enabled. Contact the group administrator for additional information.” Is there another way I can access this information?

I would be interested in adding all the possible Shapira yDNA signatures to the index. Could you please provide URLs for literature (of GENI trees) reporting the R1b and G-M201 claims?

Now if you will allow, here is the evidence, as I perceive it to be, for the ZS11006 claim. I will be referring to the GENI tree. I have exchanged email with Mr. Allen Robert Spira, who is the person tested at ZS11006 (Private User), and I have reviewed his well documented research connecting his yDNA patriline to Moshe Shmuel Cahana Shapira (bca 1630). Mr. Spira has produced a detailed report explaining his direct descent from Moshe Cahana Shapira which you may request directly from him via GENI.

Between Moshe Cahana Shapira and the 1st Shapira, I rely on the GENI tree, and here are the steps shown there, going backwards in time starting with Moshe Cahana’s father:

Yosef Kahana Shapira bca 1600; Commment: profile added by Gonen Fink, managed by 3 persons
Yaakov Kahana Shapira bca 1570: Comment: profile added by Gonen Fink, managed by 4 persons
Yitzchok HaKohen Shapira bca 1535; Comment: profile added by Gonen Fink, managed by 13 persons
David Kahana Shapira bca 1505; Comment: profile added by Gonen Fink, managed by 11 persons
Yoel HaCohen Shapira bca 1470; Comment: profile added by Gonen Fink, managed by 10 persons
Asher Katz Shapira bca 1375; Comment: profile added by Dr. Shimon Barak, managed by 3 persons, curated by Yigal Burstein
Shmuel Zalman Shapira (1st Shapira of Speyer) bca 1345; Comment: profile added by Richard Klein, managed by 72 persons,
curated by Yigal Burstein

The above is how the pedigree appears on GENI. I believe the distance between the estimated birth years of Asher Katz and Yoel HaCohen is too great and therefore suggest that if this pedigree holds water then there are probably one or two generations between Asher and Yoel. I also note that Asher Katz Shapira is described as being a ‘Katz’ which if taken to mean of Cohanic descent, implies that his father, Shmuel Zalman is also a Cohen.

So to summarize, there is strong evidence for the yDNA signature as far as Moshe Cahana, and then some evidence for the same pedigree extending to the 1st Shapira of Speyer.

In order to probe the evidence for the connections between Moshe Cahana and the 1st Shapira it would be possible to search the ‘Revisions’ on each profile and then make an inquiry to the person who make created the father-son relationship, as well as to send a bulk message to all the managers of any profile. As previously stated, an in-depth analysis of each profile is beyond the scope of this project.

I have added Private User , Gonen Fink , and Yigal Burstein to this discussion in the event any of these researchers may want to comment.

Cordially and Appreciatively,
Adam Cherson

2/12/2021 at 12:25 AM

Hello Adam Cherson,

Thank you for the detailed explanation.
I do know and strongly support the GENI mission and do know that from the other hand since this line is particularly important (not to say sentimental) there are a lot of emotions, beliefs and wishes. Our aim is to have a correct and as much as accurate tree.
There are two major claims with published work. Both are contradicting, and both are missing yet the holly grail of connection. (1 to two generations on many lines)
The first one is led by Janet Akaha via FamilyTreeDNA:
Genal Shapira/Spira linages:
The public access URLs are here:
She is investigating the R-FGC14605 mainly as the DNA connection:
Her email is listed there.
She also did, and still doing a great work on the Jews of Frankfurt appears here:

From the other hand there is Dr. Jeffrey Mark Paul “Y-DNA Research Studies of Rabbinical Lineages and Their Importance to Jewish Genealogy”: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=JLKlSpMAAAAJ&hl=en
He has done a lot of great work also and claims that the G-M201 Macro-HG is the direct connection.
But he is also missing one or two generations in the line.
In both works above you will find detailed trees with indicated assumptions vs absolute knowledge.
This means that all 3 claims are yet missing or having generations gaps. One more, one less. And when it comes to GENI, in many cases, especially when it is close to the roots, people are relaying on others. Which is correct in some cases and might lead to mistakes in other cases (i.e., repetitive mistake by many). As a researcher, I know that some might be correct, but the method to reach the answer are sometimes un-reliable. So, in this case we can not be sure yet.

Looking forward,
And all the best,
Dr. Doron Burshtain,

Private User
2/12/2021 at 10:17 AM

Dr. Doron Burshtain, Ph.D. Thanks for the references. I have looked into them and, for future reference, here is where things stand at the moment:

R-FGC14618 (aka R-FGC149600) 1) Janet B Akaha has a tree created in 2013 (https://jewsoffrankfurt.com/family-trees/test/shapiro-spiraspeyer-r...) which has a lineage stemming from Rabbi Jechiel Michel Jerusalem and leading to Arthur William SPIRA, whose y-group is R-FGC14618 (aka R-FGC14600). Akaha's study also presents evidence of several other Shapiro lineages sharing in this same y-group identification (https://jewsoffrankfurt.com/family-trees/test/r1b1a2-shapiro-spier-...). Comment: On the GENI tree Arthur Spira's pedigree reaches and stops at Haschman Leib (Juda) Spira; on the Akaha tree there is a '?' between Haschman and the next earlier ancestor who is the son of Elia Spira; above Elia there are four generations before reaching the Jechiel mentioned earlier. COMMENT:: Besides the uncertainty created by the tree of Arthur William Spira stopping at Haschmann (appearances suggest that this Spira family has not made the leap beyond Haschmann seen on the Akaha tree), there is a question as to whether the Jechiel mentioned above descends from the 1st Shapiro lineage (see the 'About' section here: Rabbi Shimshon Spira, [of Posen]).The parallel Shapiro lineages presented are traced into the 17th Century, about 300 years after the 1st Shapiro, which means that all of these lines could have a common Shapiro ancestor who is not a descendant of the 1st Shapiro. It does not appear that any additional evidence has been discovered to connect Haschmann, or any of the other parallel Shapiro lineages presented by Akaha, to the 1st Shapiro has been found since 2013.

G-M201 (predicted to be G-FGC1107): 1) Dr. Jeffrey Mark Paulll and Dr. Jeffrey Briskman and Susan Steeble have a study posted 02JAN2019 (https://www.academia.edu/38073682/The_Y-DNA_Genetic_Signature_and_E...
) which confirms the yDNA signature of Rabbi Pinchas Shapiro (of Koretz), "The Koritze Rebbe", a personage from the 18th Century (12 generations away from the 1st Shapiro), and states: "We want to be careful to point out that we are not claiming that the Y-DNA genetic signature which we have identified in this research study represents the Shapiro rabbinical lineage back to its founder, Rabbi Shlomo Spira (1375–1473), although, based on the well-documented paper trail for the traditional lineage, that is certainly a realistic expectation." (p24). COMMENT: The Paul paper indicates that "FTDNA’s next-generation gene sequencing test, known as the Big Y-500 test, has been ordered for one of the pedigreed Shapiro rabbinical descendants to identify SNPs that may be further downstream of G-FGC1107, as well as unique SNP mutations of the lineage." (p25) I am not aware of any follow-up reports as of today's date.

J-ZS11006: This y-signature claim has been detailed above in this discussion thread. COMMENT: The ZS11006 is well documented through Moshe Shmuel Cahana, about 8-9 generations away from the 1st Shapiro. Perhaps the key to this claim, as well as to possibly resolving 1st Shapiro y-signature in general is in the figure of Asher Katz Shapiro bca 1375, proposed by the GENI tree to be a son of the 1st Shapiro. If it can be established by source materials and evidence that this is a confirmed father-son relationship, then that could lend valuable support to the J-ZS11006 claim, since this is a known Cohanic lineage. However, it should be noted that if Asher Katz was adopted by the 1st Shapiro, then it would be possible that the 1st Shapiro and he would have different y-signatures and that one line would be Cohanic (ZS11006) and the other biological line would not be (which could be the G or the R lines described above).

CONCLUSION: 1) The most important single fact to be examined is in my opinion the father-son relationship between the 1st Shapiro and Asher Katz Shapiro. It would be great if the custodian and managers could share their sources for this relationship.2) As a result of this discussion I will be adding both the Shapiro G and R claims to the YSignature Index.

2/12/2021 at 1:57 PM

Thank you, Adam Cherson, for the excellent current knowledge conclusion.
Let’s hope that this historical puzzle will be solved soon both by DNA-trail and Paper-trail.

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