Was a Jefferson ancestor Jewish?Breaking News
No biological samples of Jefferson remain, but his Y chromosome, the genetic element that determines maleness, is assumed to be the same as that carried by living descendants of Field Jefferson, his paternal uncle. These relatives donated cells for an inquiry into whether Jefferson had fathered a hidden family with his slave Sally Hemings, a possibility that most historians had scoffed at.
But researchers reported in 1998 that the Jefferson family chromosome matched perfectly that of a male line descendant of Eston Hemings, one of Sally Hemings' sons. The genetic evidence was not conclusive by itself but made a strong case combined with the historical evidence that Hemings had indeed become Jefferson's mistress after the death of his wife, Martha.
Geneticists at the University of Leicester in England, led by Turi King and Mark Jobling, have now undertaken a survey of the branch or lineage to which Jefferson's Y chromosome belongs.
Jefferson's Y chromosome belongs to the branch designated K2, which is quite rare. It occurs in a few men in Spain and Portugal and is most common in the Middle East and eastern Africa, being carried by about 10 percent of men in Oman and Somalia, the geneticists report in the current issue of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
comments powered by Disqus
- More Doubts, Opposition To Sale Of Unique, Hartford Collection Of Political History
- How the Curse of Sykes-Picot Still Haunts the Middle East
- Kennewick Man Will Return Home to Native American Tribes
- Now it’s the University of Louisville’s turn to remove a Confederate statue
- A fortress built by Alexander the Great after he conquered Jerusalem has been discovered
- Liz Covart amazingly popular podcast helps her audience understand early American history
- Justus Rosenberg is still teaching at age 95
- Glenda Gilmore chides Yale for deciding to keep the name of Calhoun
- The historian and cartographer Bill Rankin has developed a new way to visualize slavery
- Paula S. Fass says young Americans need required national service