If you want to discover your genetic history and where you came from... you’ve found the right place!


review of scientific and news articles on dna testing and popular genetics

Gypsy Migrations

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The Gypsies, or Roma, or Romani (so called because of their concentration in Romania) are a far-flung distinctive population with a lot of diversity. In our database, we have samples of four Gypsy populations, plus samples for Romania, Macedonia and Hungary which you can match if you have even a small degree of Gypsy/Romani.

Gypsy DNA can sometimes be conflated or confused with Jewish DNA because both populations originated in the Middle East and often lived in the same Central European areas in modern times, but true Gypsy matches usually come with Indian, especially north Indian matches, because that's where the Gypsies lived around the 900s before they backtracked into Iran and Turkey and eventually crossed the Bosporus into Europe.

The Gypsy language, Romani, shows a strong Romanian influence but its basic vocabulary and grammar point to a north Indian origin.

The Gypsy religion, on the other hand, is not Indian or Hindu but closest to Jewish, Persian and Zoroastrian forms of monotheism.

"It is not known when or why the Gypsies left India but they were living in Iran by the tenth century AD. The Iranian poet Firdausi (c. 930-1020) wrote of the Gypsies in his epic history of the Iranians, the Shah Nama (Book of Kings), that they were originally a tribe of musicians who had been sent to the ruler of Iran by an Indian king. Once they had eaten the ruler out of house and home, the Gypsies took to the roads. By the 11th century Gypsies were living in the Byzantine empire and soon afterwards were spreading through the Balkans. When the Ottoman Turks began to overrun the Balkans in the 14th century, groups of Gypsies dispersed across western Europe, reaching Bohemia in 1399, Bavaria in 1418, Paris in 1421, Rome in 1423 and Spain in 1425. In the early 16th century Gypsies spread to Britain, Scandinavia, Poland and Russia, but the Balkans remained the main Gypsy centre." John Haywood, The Great Migrations from the Earliest Humans to the Age of Globalization (London:  Quercus), p. 142.

Gypsy Migrations according to Haywood.


Shari commented on 16-Oct-2011 10:26 AM

According to my mother’s Fingerprint Plus DNA test, both of her parents had Jewish I and Jewish III DNA. One parent had Tatar/Khazar DNA (Jewish IV). India was Mom’s Top World Match. Mom’s mother was genetically Roma-Gypsy. To date there is no genealogical
evidence that Mom’s father was either Roma-Gypsy or Jewish. I’m wondering if the combination of Jewish I and Jewish III along with Indian (from India) ancestry is the typical DNA pattern found for persons of Gypsy-Roma ancestry. Perhaps Jewish I and III could
also indicate only Jewish ancestry, a possibility for Mom’s father’s ancestry. Another possibility would be that her father had unconfirmed Gypsy-Roma ancestry. One or the other parent having Jewish IV DNA may provide a clue. I enjoyed reading GYPSY MIGRATIONS.
I’ve also found the following Internet article to be interesting. Dr. Hancock suggests that Romani had “military” beginnings on the basis of his linguistic and historical research: “An examination of the earliest words in the Romani language suggests a number
of things: firstly that there is little in the original, ‘first layer’ Indian vocabulary that reflects a nomadic or itinerant population, but rather it points to a settled one; and secondly that while there are not many original words for e.g. artisan or agricultural
skills, there are quite a few military terms... ”

From: ON ROMANI ORIGINS AND IDENTITY, Ian Hancock The Romani Archives and Documentation Center 
 The University of Texas at Austin


Donald Locke commented on 18-Oct-2011 12:23 AM

"Gypsy DNA can sometimes be conflated or confused with Jewish DNA because both populations originated in the Middle East" I would disagree with this opinion that the Romany originated in the Middle East when we clearly originated in South Asia. India,
Sri Lanka, Nepal, parts of Pakistan. I am of the English Romanichal vista "clan" and the Romanichal vista Y DNA results clearly show a high average of our male population carrying Y Haplo Group H1a, more importantly I am the researcher who discovered the relationship
between marker 425 = 0, null to the Romany H1a male lineages. To date, of all the Romany H1a male lineages identified so far, of all those tested to the 67 marker level, 100% were found carrying this same null value marker mutation in common regardless our
surnames, and regardless which Romany vista "clan" we hail from. Romany of England, Scotland, Hungary, Bulgaria have found Y Haplo H1a with the 425 = 0 marker mutation, which clearly links the Romanichal vista to the Roma vista's of Europe. mt Haplo Group
M5a1 which is also being claimed as South Asian in origin has also recently been discovered amongst the English Romanichal. I am the Admin. of the Y Haplo Group H and Romany DNA projects with FTDNA. To date not a single Asian Y Haplo H1a male has been found
carrying the 425 = 0 marker mutation, this mutation so far is only found among the European Romany male population. And as far as I am concerned, H1a with the 425 = 0 marker mutation = Romany origins. Donald Locke

stevo commented on 11-May-2012 03:01 PM

my name is steven and i have found out that my real farther was Roma/Gypsy . my my mom was jewish from morroco. there are a group of people in eastern turkey called kerds and the name sindh is a common surname with them. i bealeve they travled to india
backtraped to turkey and then went to germany/auatria and this group beacame the sinti rom of the rinelands. that however is the sinti the other rom im not sure.

Theo commented on 31-Jul-2013 02:45 AM

Hello. While your article is interesting and should be accurate from a scientific point of view, I would like to make some amendments to your cultural references.

Back home gypsies are called Rromi, or Rrom ethnics, and that distinction makes no linguistic sense in Romanian. This leads me to believe they inherited the name from an older distinction. As a native Romanian, to me the gypsy language makes absolutely no sense. I can't understand a thing until they actually switch to a different language.

Mel commented on 17-May-2014 06:00 PM

A few corrections...

The word "Romani" has nothing to do with Romania, as stated in the article above. The word is the feminine adjective form of "Rom" which means man in the Romani language.

Our religion tends to be Christian, not "Jewish, Persian and Zoroastrian forms of monotheism".

Please tell us what you think

Name, website, and email are optional; if we publish your comment, your name will be shown, and may be linked to your website if provided, but the email you enter will not be published.

Captcha Image

Recent Posts


Clovis Jews Melungeon Movement Tucson Gypsies rock art Donald N. Yates Wendy Roth Marija Gimbutas Jewish genetics research Oxford Nanopore myths Ari Plost Hohokam Indians Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Terry Gross ethnicity Germany peopling of the Americas Nikola Tesla family history Russell Belk genealogy American Journal of Human Genetics Douglas Preston National Museum of Natural History ethnic markers Elvis Presley DNA Miguel Gonzalez England Khoisan linguistics haplogroup X Black Irish Roma People alleles Holocaust Database Ripan Malhi genomics labs Akhenaten haplogroup R familial Mediterranean fever Monya Baker B'nai Abraham Kari Carpenter Luca Pagani single nucleotide polymorphism Panther's Lodge Bigfoot Great Goddess personal genomics Helladic art Arizona State University Svante Paabo haplogroup E Kennewick Man Kari Schroeder Etruscans Melungeons Cooper surname Riane Eisler history of science Bode Technology Michael Schwartz Kate Wong Chauvet cave paintings ethics Austro-Hungary hoaxes aliyah Harold Goodwin Algonquian Indians National Health Laboratories Tennessee Stony Creek Baptist Church Israel, Shlomo Sand Jews and Muslims in British Colonial America CODIS markers New York Review of Books clinical chemistry Cancer Genome Atlas Columbia University art history University of Leicester Israel Henry VII N. Brent Kennedy Teresa Panther-Yates Early Jews and Muslims of England and Wales (book) The Nation magazine FOX News Phyllis Starnes Theodore Steinberg Rutgers University Current Anthropology Sasquatch immunology Early Jews of England and Wales Richard Dewhurst Stone Age Neolithic Revolution Epigraphic Society Cleopatra Solutreans Stephen Oppenheimer Rich Crankshaw haplogroup U haplogroup M Melungeon Heritage Association Hertfordshire Ashkenazi Jews Anglo-Saxons Cismaru Caucasian andrew solomon DNA magazine Ireland Charlotte Harris Reese Ananya Mandal Patrick Henry Denisovans university of North Carolina at Chapel Hill forensics FDA Wikipedia AP Richard Lewontin Gila River Pueblo Indians Y chromosome DNA Anasazi health and medicine Celts Plato Colima Richard Buckley Native American DNA Phoenicians Applied Epistemology phenotype Navajo hominids far from the tree haplogroup N Belgium Maronites Bryony Jones Mark Thomas haplogroup Z Finnish people Jim Bentley Zuni Indians King Arthur Anne Marie Fine Kentucky Joseph Jacobs IntegenX Ancient Giantns Who Ruled America New Mexico Majorca education Virginia genealogy Michoacan Sarmatians Henry IV First Peoples Irish DNA admixture Bureau of Indian Affairs Russia Cajuns Discover magazine pheromones Population genetics Les Miserables Barnard College Abenaki Indians population genetics Keros haplogroup T Romania New York Times prehistory Europe Cohen Modal Haplotype Alabama Secret History of the Cherokee Indians Waynesboro Pennsylvania Nayarit Washington D.C. mental foramen Basques North Carolina Jack Goins Virginia DeMarce Marie Cheng Muslims in American history Promega Science Daily, Genome Biol. Evol., Eran Elhaik, Khazarian Hypothesis, Rhineland Hypothesis palatal tori Asiatic Fathers of America corn polydactylism BBCNews China Sonora PNAS haplogroup J Colin Renfrew Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies Pueblo Grande Museum Wendell Paulson North African DNA Tifaneg occipital bun Sinaloa clan symbols human migrations Scientific American Egyptians Nature Communications mitochondrial DNA Bering Land Bridge Hopi Indians Black Dutch DNA Forums FBI Genome Sciences Building methylation climate change Chris Stringer Douglas Owsley rapid DNA testing population isolates ancient DNA Gravettian culture London Timothy Bestor Ukraine X chromosome bloviators Rare Genes Irish history Bradshaw Foundation Jewish contribution to world literature Hohokam Charles Darwin Middle Ages Valparaiso University Cornwall Khazars Discovery Channel 23andme Lab Corp Arizona Pomponia Graecina Constantine Rafinesque Neanderthals Magdalenian culture haplogroup B Salt River seafaring Melba Ketchum District of Columbia Stan Steiner Chuetas Zionism mutation rate Sea Peoples Daily News and Analysis Louis XVI Cismar Horatio Cushman Philippa Langley cancer Kurgan Culture Bill Tiffee Tintagel megapopulations New York Academy of Sciences Native American DNA Test Jon Entine Richard III Oxford Journal of Evolution Rafael Falk El Castillo cave paintings oncology When Scotland Was Jewish Nova Scotia Stacy Schiff William Byrd Nephilim, Fritz Zimmerman Dienekes Anthropology Blog David Cornish Roberta Estes private allele ENFSI Asian DNA giants race Normans mummies MHC Bentley surname research Abraham Lincoln powwows Thuya Fritz Zimmerman Michael Grant Olmec EURO DNA Fingerprint Test Henriette Mertz ISOGG GlobalFiler Irish Central Old Souls in a New World Mary Kugler medicine Peter Parham American history Rush Limbaugh Melanesians Texas A&M University Chris Tyler-Smith Phoenix Jone Entine HapMap Eric Wayner haplogroup L Altai Turks Harry Ostrer Lithuania Science magazine Bryan Sykes genetics George van der Merwede evolution Robinson Crusoe Elzina Grimwood Bulgaria crypto-Jews Jalisco John Butler Barack Obama African DNA bar mitzvah Life Technologies Sorbs Sinti Sam Kean Arabia Cherokee DNA human leukocyte testing Slovakia Daniel Defoe Grim Sleeper French Canadians haplogroup H Italy anthropology genetic determinism M. J. Harper Turkic DNA Patagonia Scotland Mexico Albert Einstein College of Medicine James Shoemaker Acadians archeology religion Penny Ferguson Tom Martin Scroft Leicester DNA Fingerprint Test statistics BATWING Greeks cannibalism Micmac Indians Gregory Mendel Cave art Victor Hugo Y chromosomal haplogroups breast cancer Melungeon Union Britain George Starr-Bresette Walter Plecker Maya Jewish GenWeb Indo-Europeans Isabel Allende Chromosomal Labs Bode Technology Ziesmer, Zizmor Freemont Indians NPR Havasupai Indians Austronesian, Filipinos, Australoid Anacostia Indians DNA testing companies Comanche Indians human leukocyte antigens Erika Chek Hayden Tutankamun Telltown European DNA Peter Martyr Iran DNA databases Elizabeth C. Hirschman Sizemore Indians Paleolithic Age Jewish novelists Panther's Lodge Publishers Mary Settegast Smithsonian Magazine Zizmer microsatellites India King Arthur, Tintagel, The Earliest Jews and Muslims of England and Wales DNA Fingerprint Test Phillipe Charlier consanguinity genetic memory Yates surname Monica Sanowar John Wilwol prehistoric art Wales Johnny Depp Gunnar Thompson autosomal DNA epigenetics Beringia French DNA Carl Zimmer Amy Harmon Nature Genetics surnames INORA DNA security Shlomo Sand Charles Perou Colin Pitchfork Moundbuilders Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act Sizemore surname horizontal inheritance Smithsonian Institution news Arabic Pima Indians Janet Lewis Crain Ron Janke Alec Jeffreys Holocaust origins of art Middle Eastern DNA Choctaw Indians Harold Sterling Gladwin Nadia Abu El-Haj Lebanon National Geographic Daily News