New Results from Eastern Europe

We have some new results from a participant whose ancestors were from Slonim, Belarus in the 19th century. We are still waiting for the rest of the 37 markers, but he matches 12/12 on the first set of markers with all the other Bacharach/Bachrachs in the study. This is our first indication that the Bachrachs from Poland/Belarus/Lithuania area share a common ancestor with the Bacharachs from various parts of Germany. When we get more markers back we’ll have a better idea of how far back the common ancestor is likely to be. Stay tuned for more results!

Exciting Results and What They Mean


As of a couple of weeks ago, we’ve been getting test results in and have been very excited to learn that, so far, all the men with the Bacharach/Bachrach surname are matches. You can see the actual results by clicking on the “DNA Results” tab above, but I will give a summary here. As of today, we have the following participants:

  • 2 men who trace their ancestry to Kestrich, Hesse
  • 1 man who traces his ancestry to Frielendorf, Hesse
  • 1 man who traces his ancestry to Fellheim, Bavaria (Bavarian Swabia)

The summary of the matches is as follows:

  • All four participants match 12/12 (100%) on the first 12 markers of the Y-DNA
  • Kestrich and Frielendorf match 25/25 with each other when looking at the first 25 markers (with the exception of extra copies of DYS464, which we will get to later
  • Kestrich and Frielendorf match 24/25 with Fellheim

These are all very close matches, and a fairly clear indication that these men all share a common ancestor, possibly somewhere in the range of 400-600 years ago. Some of the participants have had more markers tested, which will help to refine the data and begin to show where the genetic divergence occurred.

We know that there were Bacharachs in Fellheim in the 1600s and in Kestrich at least as early as the 1700s. These locations are about 250 miles apart, which is not so far today, but represents a long distance back then. Click on the map tab above to see where these places are.

While we are still waiting on the remainder of the 37-marker test for one individual and the remainder of 67-marker tests for two individuals, the results so far are continuing to match. Of the 37-marker tests we have back now:

  • Fellheim matches 35/37 with Kestrich (again with the caveat about the extra copies of DYS464)

We will keep you up-to-date as more results come in.

DYS 464 Anomaly

Now the explanation about the DYS464 marker. Normally there will be four copies of this, labeled 464a-464d. There is, however, a small percentage of Y-DNA samples which contain more than four. Of the Bacharachs, three out of four have two additional copies: 464e and 464f. The fourth person’s results from the lab do not show these two extra copies. Family Tree DNA is rechecking this result, since everyone else in this group has the extra copies and there are 24/25 or 25/25 matches on everything else. If it turns out this was a clerical error and the individual does indeed have these two extra copies, which is what I expect to happen, then these Bacharachs are all related. Remember, this is an extremely rare occurrence, which increases the likelihood of a common ancestor for these men.

Other Surnames

While looking at the matches for the men in the project, we stumbled upon a few others whose markers matched exactly or extremely closely, but whose surname was not Bacharach or Bachrach or who had no knowledge of any connection to that surname. We asked them to join our project since they were such close matches, including the rare DYS464 situation. They both trace their oldest patrilineal ancestors to somewhere in eastern Europe, to the generic “Russia” which so many of us are familiar with. We don’t know what the connection is to the Bacharachs, but we suspect there is one and perhaps we can unearth it. We may add other individuals who come up as matches for the Bacharachs in general as time goes on, even if they don’t share the surname.

Looking for Men Named Bacharach/Bachrach (or any other spelling)

If your last name is Bacharach or Bachrach (or Bacherach, Backrack, Bachrack or something similar) and your family is or was at one time Jewish, please join our project to see whether all the different Bacharach families which originated in different parts of Germany originate from the same male progenitor. Even if you’re not interested in genealogy, you might be interested in finding out where your ancestors came from.

See the full explanation on our ABOUT page.