Thomas Jefferson may have had a Jewish ancestor, a new genetic study suggests. The New York Times reported Wednesday that researchers studying the third U.S. president’s Y chromosome found it belongs to a lineage that is rare in Europe but common in the Middle East, raising the possibility that he had a Jewish ancestor many generations ago. Geneticists at the University of Leicester in England are now studying K2, the rare branch or lineage to which Jefferson’s Y chromosome belongs, they wrote in The American Journal of Physical Anthropology. Each Y chromosome falls on branches of a single tree descended from one man in the ancestral human population. No biological samples of Jefferson remain, but descendants of his paternal uncle had given cells to researchers trying to ascertain whether Jefferson fathered children with his slave Sally Hemings.
Did Jefferson have Jewish ancestor?