Origin of Red Hair in Jewish Populations?

Nicu

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Rightfully or not, there has been a prevailing stereotype in much of Europe, especially Central and Eastern, that reddish hair is often associated with Jewish people (some of this has to do with negative stereotypes stemming from the Bible), but there is something to it, as it seems they have over 5% with some degree of red hair or beard, which is of course not very common in general.

Many might assume this is particular to Ashkenazi Jews, who absorbed some Central and Eastern Euro populations to an extent (although apparently more so South Euro), but if you look at Biblical references, they describe several of the Israelite kings and other figures as having red hair, like David, Esau, Judas, etc. It's hard to say how much of this is figurative and up to interpretation, but it is true that lighter hair can naturally occur within Semitic Levantine populations, even without European input, including Arabic-speaking ones today. I wonder how common it was in the days of the ancient Israelites and Judeans versus modern populations.

Curious if anyone has more light to shed on this.
 
I'm sure red beards are far commoner among Jews than red hair, which is indeed noticeable.
 
My brother'n'law is Ashkenazi and has red hair. It's a definite Jewish type.
 
The "European input" doesn't have to be recent. It could date way back to the incursion of the Anatolian Neolithic Farmers who were the distant cousins of the Western Hunter-Gatherers in Europe. Now the ANFs were mostly dark-haired (or so we presume) but light hair probably wasn't uncommon. Then there are the Caucasus Hunter-Gatherers among which light hair might have occured in noticable amounts. Haplogroup J is not Semitic/Levantine and was brought by the CHGs or some related population.

But the references in the Bible might talk about something else. In the case of David it is said that "he was ruddy" which probably refers to his complexion. As for Esau, it says that his skin was red when he was born and that he was hairy. The occurance of red hair among Ashkenazi Jews is most likely the result of European admixture.
 
I've heard that some of the R1a and Eastern Euro component in Jews might even be ancient, or even part of the Israelite ethnogenesis, with LBA Indo-Iranic people assimilating into Canaanite areas. Unsure how plausible this is though, but some Indo-Iranic people were undoubtedly in adjacent areas roughly around that time.
 
I've heard that some of the R1a and Eastern Euro component in Jews might even be ancient, or even part of the Israelite ethnogenesis, with LBA Indo-Iranic people assimilating into Canaanite areas. Unsure how plausible this is though, but some Indo-Iranic people were undoubtedly in adjacent areas roughly around that time.

could be
as the r1a in ashkenazi jews is r1a-z93 if i am not wrong this is more of the eastern
or indo-iranian branch of r1a
R1a1a1b2 (F992/S202/Z93)[46] [R1a1a2*] (Z93, M746)[49] (Central Asia, South Asia and West Asia)
our prime minister ( which i am not a big fan of him )
belong to that haplogroup
autosomally speaking:
the eastern european component that ashkenazi jews have is likely the result of genflow
from poles or other east central european people
 
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Is red hair not more common among Jews and Samaritans than among Gentiles in eastern Europe?
 
Netanyahu's R1a-Z93 may come from a Khazarian or Bukharian ancestor. The Indo-Iranian Scythians mixed heavily with Turkic tribes in Central Asia but also with the peoples of the Caucasus. If it's from the Khazars, it could be related to their elite as Judaism was pretty much limited to their elites. Maybe that's where Netanyahu's love for power comes from.
 
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Netanyahu's R1a-Z93 may come from a Khazarian or Bukharian ancestor. The Indo-Iranian Scythians mixed heavily with Turkic tribes in Central Asia but also with the peoples of the Caucasus. If it's from the Khazars, it could be related to their elite as Judaism was pretty much limited to their elites. Maybe that's where Netanyahu's love for power comes.

maybe so
funny enough
and yes i am aware that his r1a-z93 might be more specific jewish downstream branch
he is still more closer to the real Aryans which almost undoubtedly carried some r1a-z93 type
he indeed love power we are trying to get rid of him for 14 years lol :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:


p.s
it isn't usually my style to put the dirty laundry outside to the public
and i was silent for many years
but after 7/10 disaster
where i lost my paternal relative :(
because he among other reasons feed the hamas monsters for many many years
with qatari money
i think i have the right to trash him now
 
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- I don't know if 5% red hairs is reliable for Askhenaze Jews but it seems red hairs are commoner among them than among Easrern Europeans (0,8 to 1,4% approximatively, the most among Czechs, and even LESS among true Balts (< 0, 6%) -
- as a whole, you have more red beards than red hairs, but when red hairs rise up in number, red beards do the same in the same population -
- a possible answer would be studying the SNP's responsible for these red hairs (7 well known some time ago, maybe more now) and seeing which ones dominate among Jews - apparently the 3 commoner are rather found in Northern Europe, from West to East...
 
True, beards sometimes have different colors than the rest and are governed by a different set of genes. Heck, I have very dark brown head hair but there is more auburn and light brown color around the middle part of my beard, go figure. I met people who had straight up red beards and brown hair too.

And yes, the answers to this are probably far more complicated than it may seem, as different Jewish populations have interacted and mixed with different other peoples over their long and interesting history.

Still less than like Irish and Scottish people but still notable. I guess the most red-haired in the world are weirdly enough the Uralic Udmurt people of Russia. They probably got that from some kind of EHG or IE source at some point.
 
True, beards sometimes have different colors than the rest and are governed by a different set of genes. Heck, I have very dark brown head hair but there is more auburn and light brown color around the middle part of my beard, go figure. I met people who had straight up red beards and brown hair too.

And yes, the answers to this are probably far more complicated than it may seem, as different Jewish populations have interacted and mixed with different other peoples over their long and interesting history.

Still less than like Irish and Scottish people but still notable. I guess the most red-haired in the world are weirdly enough the Uralic Udmurt people of Russia. They probably got that from some kind of EHG or IE source at some point.
In my previous post I spoke of 7 SNP's without knowing too much; I think the right concept is 7 loci (I don't know on what SNP's they are, because the paper I red (about white Australians) is lost somewhere among my docs heap.
Concerning red beards I think a lot of the loci concerned are placed close to other loci concerned by red head hair. Even head hair is unprecise because the total superficy of the head is parted in different places (top, back neck - top ears outlines, at least, and for beard and moustache you have diverse places too (vertical branch of beard on the sides, under chink part and the part under the mouth, as a whole ! for the scalp, very often the same colour for the forementioned parts (more uniform than beard), but not always!
Concerning Uralic Udmuts it's uneasy to say from whose they took these %, even if we can think red hairs gained strength among some IE tribes which could have passed their genes to other people. The identities of concerned loci could help here again.
BTW Eire republic shows a 7/7,5% as a whole (unlevel), Scotland 6,5% (unlevel too) as a whole but some parts of the Highlands goes over the 8% (11% sometimes according to some scholars, but in "desertic" places.For Udmurts, I never saw them directly, but I read something like 6,5% or a little more. Two very distant places of the World for red hairs.
 
i am hetrozygous for ( Val60Leu + Val92Met)
not sure though if they are red hair variants
 
- I don't know if 5% red hairs is reliable for Askhenaze Jews but it seems red hairs are commoner among them than among Easrern Europeans (0,8 to 1,4% approximatively, the most among Czechs, and even LESS among true Balts (< 0, 6%) -
- as a whole, you have more red beards than red hairs, but when red hairs rise up in number, red beards do the same in the same population -
- a possible answer would be studying the SNP's responsible for these red hairs (7 well known some time ago, maybe more now) and seeing which ones dominate among Jews - apparently the 3 commoner are rather found in Northern Europe, from West to East...
Here are the RHC MC1R variants with an non-negligible frequency in their population in order according to gnomAD v4.1.0. The data regarding the penetrance of S83P and Y152X is relatively limited given that they are rare in other ethnic groups but there is at least evidence of a postive correlation to RHC phenotype with all of these. Weak r variants are naturally not included as they are actually negatively correlated with RHC phenotype on an individual level due to lowering chances of carrying multiple R variants compared to the population at random. This was demonstrated in the 2019 Zorina-Lichtenwalter study involving the UK Biobank. I155T was found narrowly penentrant enough to outweigh the reduced likelihood of carrying one of the more penentrant variants like R151C and retains a positive correlation.

R151C(rs1805007)
0.06848
R160W(rs1805008)0.05669
R142H(rs11547464)0.01774
S83P(rs34474212)0.01253
Y152X(rs201326893)0.01091
I155T(rs1110400)0.008717
D924H(rs1805009)0.002094
D84E(rs1805006)0.001790

So the combined allele frequency is 0.178951 and the overall carrier rate nearly 36%. This is not lower than most Europeans except for the British Isles and Scandinavia which clearly stand out at 40-50%+. If the current population is representative Ashkenazi Jews did not have a lower RHC carrier rate than their hosts in Western/Central/Eastern Europe. With Southern Europeans who they are much closer to autosomally and also in terms of general pigmentation the total carrier rate based on gnomAD is far lower (over 10% difference). Population bottleneck likely had a significant role in this circumstance especially with the elevation in frequency of two otherwise very rare variants.

Biologist studying the inheritance of red hair Harry Conitzer (Die Rothaarigkeit, 1931) tried to investigate how dark pigmentation supposedly masks rufosity. He surveyed the families of schoochildren in Jewish Berlin schools with red hair to determine how their darker pigmentation affected inheritance. Data from sources like Bolk and Virchow suggested that much darker Jews could be at least as red-haired as much blonder Europeans and he wanted to verify. He developed his own scale covering the same range as the reddish series of the Fischer-Saller scale but with 18 shades for greater precision. He found that the red-haired Jewish schoolchildren with non-red parents had fewer red-haired siblings than the red-haired gentile schoolchildren at regular schools which was attributed to rufosity being less easily expressed under darker pigmentation. Both him and Charles Davenport (Heredity of Hair Color in Man, 1909) suspected red hair is a based on a single dominant gene the phenotype of which is often masked by dark pigment but we now know that it is not a simple trait.

Red-blonds are in some cases the product of occasional heterozygote penetration and perhaps this is more likely to occur in individuals predisposed to lighter hair color. Virchow did not include red-blond and Bolk probably not in full extent, which may account for darker pigmentation not impacting red hair inheritance as much. Virchow found only around 0.2% bright red (brandrothe) among gentile schoolchildren the Berlin area which was below the Prussian Jewish schoolchildren at 0.5%. This result was likely valid despite doubts because the same difference was found among Berlin dental patients in a 1904 study from Heinrich Friedlaender. The extensive Davenport & Love study of American WWI veterans of recent immigrant background (Army Anthropology, 1919) found Jewish veterens to have no less clear red hair (not obscured by dark pigment but still distinct from blond) than lighter-haired veterans of French/French-Canadian, German, or Polish origin. If L.S. Penrose's (Data for the study of linkage in man: red hair and the ABO locus, 1949) method of distinguishing fully expressed "strikingly red hair" from their likely heterozygous non-red siblings who may have rufous nuance was used the impact of including red-blonds could be ascertained.

About 1.5% distinctive red Fischer #1-3 for Ashkenazim overall seems accurate, although closer to 3% was found with studies using the broader Fischer-Saller scale. Karl Pearson found 1.6% Fischer #1-3 among 1008 boys from Jews' Free School families (Annals of Eugenics, 1928). Conitzer references a study from Dr. Victor Kretzer which included 3000 adult Jews from Latvia, Belarus, and Ukraine and about 1.5% had distinctively red hair. Dr. Kretzer found only 0.2% red by the same standard in 1000 Latvians from Liepāja/Latgale and 500 Russians from Latgale each, which would be higher if red-blond shades were included. Unlike with Germans who are relatively close in carrier rate, inclusion of red-blond as with the Fischer-Saller scale should not affect the comparison here. So red/reddish hair was apparently drastically more common compared to those Eastern Europeans groups with the most Baltic genetic drift associated with a deficit in rufosity.
 
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Melkiirs
[ Weak 'r' variants are naturally not included as they are actually negatively correlated with red hair due to lowering chances of carrying multiple R varaints compared to the general population. ]

Here I don't understand very well. Maybe I'm wrong but I thought the 'r' variant marked a low-penetrance marker; so don't see how it could be said as "negatively correlated with red hair ... compared to the general population"? The general population has as a whole very few 'RR' markers, not too much '0R' markers and a lot of '00' (not red) ones, if I don't mistake. Maybe I missed something in the reasoning?
 
That said, the flashing reds left aside, it remains in a pop other seriously reddish hues that can push the % from 1%-1,5% to 4%-5%... in the same pop.
 
from
Hum Mol Genet. 2019 Jun 15; 28(12): 2093–2106.
Published online 2019 Jan 16. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddz018
PMCID: PMC6548228
PMID: 30657907

A study in scarlet: MC1R as the main predictor of red hair and exemplar of the flip-flop effect​

Katerina Zorina-Lichtenwalter,1 Ryan N Lichtenwalter,1 Dima V Zaykin,2 Marc Parisien,1 Simon Gravel,3 Andrey Bortsov,4 and Luda Diatchenko1

In this branch of investigation, it remained to answer the question whether the contribution of r alleles to red hair was truly negative or whether it was positive but dwarfed by that of R variants. To this end, we ran two types of analyses to test for the independent contribution of r variants to the red hair phenotype. First, we ran a haplotype association analysis, and second, we ran regression on r allele count while holding the count of R minor alleles constant. Haplotype association analysis showed that each haplotype was positively associated with red hair (Table 4). In other words, each variant’s minor allele, whether R or r, on a wild-type background of all other variants’ major alleles in this haploblock was correlated with red hair. However, based on odds ratios (ORs), r variant contribution to red hair is up to two orders of magnitude lower than R variant contribution.
 
Melkiirs
[ Weak 'r' variants are naturally not included as they are actually negatively correlated with red hair due to lowering chances of carrying multiple R varaints compared to the general population. ]

Here I don't understand very well. Maybe I'm wrong but I thought the 'r' variant marked a low-penetrance marker; so don't see how it could be said as "negatively correlated with red hair ... compared to the general population"? The general population has as a whole very few 'RR' markers, not too much '0R' markers and a lot of '00' (not red) ones, if I don't mistake. Maybe I missed something in the reasoning?
For the whole UK Biobank sample the allele count of weak r variants was found negatively associated with red hair. Excluding those carrying multiple R variants from the sample the correlation becomes positive. Naturally most individuals with red hair have two strong R variants and no weak r variants. The weak r variants increase likelihood just for those who have minimal chance to carry two R variants. Due to high linkage disequilibrium on the MC1R gene it is very rare to have two variants on a single haplotype, such cases being less than 1% of the UK Biobank. Despite the rarity this exists as a certain member on TA is homozygous for r variant V60L and heterozygous for R151C. Regardless the few potential individuals with both a weak r variant and two R variants would not shift general trends.

4.6% of the participants in the UK Biobank identifying as White British at large report red hair. Among participants carrying a weak r variant, this proportion should be significantly lower because that eliminates the vast majority of red-haired individuals. That is what I meant by a negative correlation compared to the general population despite the definite positive correlation for non-R carriers or those heterozygous for R variants.

Edit: I attached the relevant slide from the report which should help to clarify. An OR below 1 indicates a negative relationship.
 

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That said, the flashing reds left aside, it remains in a pop other seriously reddish hues that can push the % from 1%-1,5% to 4%-5%... in the same pop.
My point regarding standards was that when reddish blond is counted it may lead populations with varying pigmentation to compare differently in reddish shades. A study using the Fischer-Saller scale with a sample of 2004 schoolchildren from Cloppenburg, Lower Saxony by Margit Wagner (Häufigkeit und familiäres Vorkommen des Rutilismus in einer vorwiegend hell pigmentierten Bevölkerung, 1958) found 4.9% red-blonds IV-VI but just 1.3% distinctive reds I-III. 1.3% I-III is low for the British Isles but 6.7% I-VI has substantial overlap. K.L. Little (Some Anthropological Characteristics of Anglo-Negro Children, 1943) in fact found less than this (4.6% I-VI) in a sample of 237 comparatively darker-haired British children from Cardiff and Liverpool but at the same time over twice the proportion distinctive red. Quite a small sample for UK children but it demonstrates this phenomenon.

Relevance to this thread is that Ashkenazi Jews did not have less distinctively red hair than their blonder host populations with a similar RHC rate, but when red-blond shades were included this was not necessarily the case. If for example Louis Bolk’s observers counted the shades verging on golden blond it would have been very unlikely that the Jewish and Dutch schoolchildren came so close in incidence of red hair. In 1952-55 students at the Afrikaans-speaking University of Stellenbosch (originally under Coert Grobelaar) were found to have as high as 6.3% reddish including the reddish golden Fischer shades #9-12, although the distinctive red found was much more similar to Bolk’s results at 2.1%. Red-blond is correlated with predisposition to both blondism and rufosity.

I also think that with very blond populations other factors have to be take into account for comparison. Norwegians for example overlap with the British in terms of RHC rate, yet certain scaled figures for red hair are low for Britain. Halfdan Bryn found only 1.34% Fischer #1-3 in his largest survey of 11,771 recruit age males (Die Somatologie der Norweger, 1929) although the seperate survey of 25,000 schoolchildren found much more red at 4.6% for boys. In some districts (e.g. around Mjøsen) as the proportion of adult males with red hair was as low as a quarter of the proportion observed in local children, which is quite drastic. If Norwegian children with red hair compared to British have a marked tendency to fade to blond by adulthood versus the red becoming darker and more auburn that might help to explain the difference. Lighter auburn is included in Fischer #1-3 unlike reddish-blond. When Fischer shades #9-12 along with #1-3 are counted about 15% of Norwegian recruit age males are reddish-haired according to Bryn's survey, which should not be less than in the UK.
 
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