J-M102 Lineages of South Asia

There are several lineages of J-M102 with modern descendants living in India.


This lineage's most recent common ancestor lived 6300 BC. The descendants range from Syria, Azerbaijan, the Persian Gulf and to South Asia. An outlier appears to have migrated much more recently to the Azores from South India.

An analysis of the MRCAs of the exclusively South Asian branches reveals two unique migrations separated in time by four millennia.

The most ancient sample of these lineages, I4157, has not been classified more specifically than J-Z2432 and lived 1400 BC near Sherabad, Uzbekistan.


This lineage has most recent common ancestor who lived 5500 BC.

The oldest sample of this lineage, I12982, has been found in Swat Valley and is dated to 900 BC. He is J-Y2155 [analyzed by Ted Kandell of Open Genomes].

Despite a lack of more ancient specimens in South Asia, we infer that their common ancestor must have been living in South Asia by 5500 BC because every lineage below that has South Asian diversity. This corresponds with the South Asian Neolithic, so these men were part of the group that introduced agriculture to South Asia.

More information on this lineage - Links between J-Z2449 and the South Asian Neolithic


This lineage has most recent common ancestor who lived 1600 BC. There is no diversity upstream of this lineage in South Asia. The timing and geography correspond to the Indo-Aryan migrations.

The Indo-Aryans split off around 1800 BCE to 1600 BCE from the Iranians, whereafter the Indo-Aryans migrated into Anatolia and the northern part of the South Asia (modern Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Nepal), while the Iranians moved into Iran, both bringing with them the Indo-Iranian languages. - Wikipedia, Indo-Aryan Migrations

If this lineage really were associated with the Indo-Aryan Migrations, the Syrian outlier on YFull who is J-Y28235* could possibly be descended from the ruling elites of the Mitanni who spoke an Indo-Aryan language and ruled over a large region including Syria, Assur and parts of SE Anatolia.

Mitanni Kingdom at its greatest extent 1400 BC. An Indo-Aryan speaking elite ruled over a Hurrian speaking majority in the Mitanni Kingdom 1500-1300 BC. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Javierfv1212 - Source: Cambridge Ancient History Vol II Middle East & Aegean Region 1800-1300. I. E. S. EDWARDS (Ed) et al.

A treatise on the training of chariot horses by Kikkuli, a Mitanni writer, contains a number of Indo-Aryan glosses. The names of the rulers were also Indo-Aryan.

If this connection is true it would mean that the man who would later migrate to become part of the Mitanni must not have strayed much from where his common ancestor with the South Asians had been living during the interval from 3800-1600 BC. If this is deemed implausible, the theory that the modern Syrian descends from Mitanni falls apart.

On the FTDNA Haplotree there is a man of Scottish descent who forms a subclade with this Syrian called J-FGC61914. They share 10 SNPs. So their most recent common ancestor may have lived roughly  2700 BC. Unfortunately FTDNA's system prohibits these distantly related men and even administrators of haplogroup research projects from contacting each other - even when the man has no other closer matches. This is one major point against FTDNA.

There are four men of European descent, Englishmen and a German of Hanover, who, on the basis of STRs, may end up in this branch but they have yet to test SNPs.

It would be very interesting if these men finally get on the YFull tree and enable us to consider/reject a steppe origin migration to Europe vs some other explanation. If J-FGC61914 were indeed a steppe migration, it was a very unsuccessful one in terms of modern surviving numbers. A wide geographic dearth of samples would also need to be breached.


These are the only Indians in J-L283, a lineage whose main branch J-Z622 appears to have migrated to Europe by 3400 BC, perhaps via a north of the Black Sea route. One J-L283* man has so far been found - he traces descent to Harput, Turkey.

More information on the origins of J-L283

Men in J-Y146401 who are negative for FGC64029 are Syrian Christians of India, also known as St Thomas Christians. According to their tradition, the group was founded in Kerala when St Thomas arrived by boat in Muziris (now Pattanam) in AD 52. Based on the genetic data, it's possible that the ancestor of these men underwent such a migration but other explanations cannot yet be ruled out.

Their closest relatives are men who trace descent from Lebanon and Syria. The common ancestor of these Syrian Christian and these Lebanese lived 900 BC. An Italian man is predicted to split the Lebanese-Syrian subclade once his Big Y completes. The next closest relative of all these men is an Albanian, their common ancestor lived 1200 BC.

More information on this lineage - J-L283 Syrian Christians of India descend from J-Y146401 that lived in the Levant 900 BC and likely Europe before that


Sample EB-16138 from an Estonian scientific study in this Ashkenazi branch traces descent to Cochin Jewish India.

J-Z39653 is a lone Ashkenazi branch of prolific J-Z1043 which itself has common ancestor living 800 BC in Central or Southern Europe.

While the modern distribution favors Eastern Europe, taking into account historical Jewish expulsions and persecution and the South European distribution of J-Z1043, an origin in Italy or nearby seems most likely for the most recent common ancestor of J-Z39653 who lived around 870 AD.


A cluster of three men in J-M172 project and a sample from a study, EB-16882, form a second Jewish lineage of J-M102 in India. They are all Jews of India and one man specifically has a tradition of being descended from Cochin Jews. Another has indicated he descends from .

There are three main Jewish groups from India:

  • Bene Israel Jews
  • Cochin Jews
  • Baghdadi Jews

The Bene Israel legend has them coming to India in the first or second century from Palestine/Israel. The Cochin Jews are largely the Jews expelled during the inquisitions from Spain and Portugal. The Baghdadi Jews are a more recent addition to India and primarily came from Arab lands and Iran.

These men are mentioned in this J-M172 research post as being M205>PH4306>PH1089. PH1089 is not yet in YFull but is a part of J-B248 in the FTDNA haplotree which corresponds to J-Y128487 on YFull.

Experimental tree of J-M205 by Chris Rottensteiner Oct 2016

In the experimental tree above by Chris Rottensteiner of J2-M172 Haplogroup Research it looks like PH1089 and B247 will split J-Y128487 into three branches. If this is correct, the closest relatives of these Jews from India are the men on YFull below J-Y128487 from Kars, a group from Qatar/Kuwait/Saudi with MRCA 1650 AD, and an Armenian from a study. One level upstream is a Jordanian from a study, EB-16181.

All of the men in that group (minus the Jordanian who is upstream) are more closely related to each other than they are to the Jewish lineage because they are PH2734, PH2514 positive. So if the current estimates hold, the Jewish lineage has MRCA with these other men who lived between 2700-2000 BC.

The pairwise genetic distance between three men ranges from 5-7/37 (absolute GD) or 5/37 (FTDNA GD). This distance may predate a single expulsion era or Baghdad Jewish common ancestor for the entire group.

I think the most plausible explanation is that a Jewish common ancestor of this group was living in the Near East sometime 1000-2000 years ago. This is based on:

  1. This lineage's next closest relatives are all from the Near East
  2. Other aforementioned exogenous J-M102 lineages of exclusively Christians / Jews of India either definitely (J-Z39653) or appear much more likely (J-Y146401) to have migrated there as Christians / Jews rather than descending from local converts.

One of these men has recently ordered Big Y. I will revisit this in a separate article after the YFull analysis completes.

These posts are the opinion of Hunter Provyn, a haplogroup researcher in J-M241 and J-M102.

2 thoughts on “J-M102 Lineages of South Asia”

  1. I dont know how can he dye the haplogroup with religious color ??? you can discuss the j-m 102 lineage with out making them jew or christians.

    1. I didn’t make them Jews or Christians, this was the decision of their ancestors and subsequent descendants that kept the identity.

      It is pertinent for haplogroup research to acknowledge when a lineage, with most recent common ancestor living many hundreds of years ago, appears to have almost exclusively living descendants of a particular ethnic identity or religion. DNA does not transmit ethnic identity or religion. However in many cases parents and community members pass on concepts of ethnicity or religion to their children.

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