What are we trying to find out?


Main square, Bacharach, Germany

Many families used the surname Bacharach, Bachrach, or another spelling variant in various parts of Germany, the Czech Republic, and Eastern Europe in the 17th-19th centuries, long before surnames were mandated by the governments where they lived. What we're trying to determine is whether all these different families with that surname are related (they started in one place with that surname and spread out) or whether they are unrelated (they adopted the surname independently of each other). The best way to answer that question is to carry out a surname study, which looks at the Y-DNA, and compares several representatives of different Bacharach families from different parts of the world. We are looking for more males with the Bacharach surname, especially men who know their ancestry at least back to 1800, so that we can connect the scientific data with the historical data. Read more about our results in Avotaynu Magazine.

What's in it for you?

Maybe there's a long-lost branch of your family out there somewhere that you would never have run across otherwise. This is your chance to find them, and for them to find you. Or maybe you'll turn out to be part of the distinguished rabbinic Bacharach family. You'll never know if you don't do the test.

How do you participate?

If you are male and your surname is (or was in some previous generation) Bacharach, Bachrach, Bacherach, Bacher, Backrack, or any other spelling variant, you only need to do a cheek swab, no blood test, nothing more intrusive. If you are not a male with the Bacharach surname, but are related to a Bacharach family some other way, you can participate by helping to identify and recruit males from your family who have the appropriate Y-DNA.

The Y-DNA test does not reveal any information about diseases or anything else confidential. The results will tell whether you share a recent (within a few hundred years) male ancestor with the other participants, and how far back that ancestor likely was. It also tells you the larger group (haplogroup) of your Y-DNA in the larger schema of human migration several thousand years ago. The cost of the 37-marker test with the project discount is $149, but if that's an impediment contact us and we can try to work something out. And, if you are descended from the Bacharachs and would like to help, but don't have the correct DNA, you can contribute to the testing fund to help defray the costs of testing for your cousins who have the DNA. The project administrators do not benefit financially in any way from the sale of tests or donations to the testing fund.

The company that does the tests and runs the project is FamilyTreeDNA, which was the first one in that business. You might have heard a while back about the Cohen gene research--that was done by the main scientist from this company. Here's an FAQ that provides some information, and I can try to answer any other questions you have based on my experience, or I can get an answer for you from the FTDNA folks. Nobody in the project benefits financially from the purchase of tests. This is is solely a scholarly/intellectual pursuit.

If you want to join the project, just go to our project page and order your kit. Please test at least 37 markers (Y-37) so we have enough data to see when the different branches diverged. If you can do the Y-67 or Y-111 test, that is even better.

Rachel Unkefer, Project Administrator