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How Can I Find Out Which Hebrew Tribe I'm From?

How Can I Find Out Which Hebrew Tribe I'm From?


For the most part, tribal identities have been lost through the generations, and the majority of Jews do not know which tribe they are from.

There are a number of people whose families have passed down their identity as Kohanim (Priests) or Levites, which means they descend from the tribe of Levi. There are also a handful of non-Levite families who can trace their ancestry to a particular tribe, but these are few and far between.

When the Messiah comes, we will all find out which tribes we are from. So if this bit of information is important to you, do your best to hasten his arrival! For more on that, check out our Moshiach and the Future Redemption section.

Malkie Janowski is an accomplished educator who lives in Coral Springs, Florida. Mrs. Janowski is also a responder on's Ask the Rabbi team.
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Discussion (45)
June 18, 2015
I'm not a Jew yet, but I'm still debating myself on if I want to convert or not. But, right now I'm look into my Jewish Ancestry.
Both me and my brother took a DNA test, since we are different Genders, it was easy to figure out which DNA is paternal and which one is maternal.
On my brother's results he was the only one that matched up with the Cochin Jews, the oldest Jewish community in India, dating back to biblical times said to be sent by King Solomon to trade with the Indians. The Cochin Jews are descendants of Sephardic Jews and another Jewish group I forgot. But since it only showed up for my brother,so I know it's paternal, the Cochin Jews Y-DNA is middle eastern while the X-DNA is Indian.
Both me and my brother however also match up with the Ethiopian Jews, who has a couple of Jewish Ancestors dating back to before the destruction of the temple I can't really tell if it's paternal, maternal or possible both.But I am going to test my parents.
So, I also have a west African tribe that my parents already know about. Apparently this west African tribe has a Jewish Origin-theory but no DNA test has been done to confirm that, but the theory is they're from The tribe of Gad via Eri, so, adding it all up I have three possible tribal ancestry, which are the tribe of Judah (coming from the Cochin Jews, and also Ethiopian Jews), tribe of Gad (igbo jews), tribe of Dan (coming again from the Ethiopian jews)
But it seems that Judah would be the one since it has confirmed to be paternal via the Cochin Jews through DNA testing, because the igbo-Jewish theory has not been confirmed yet.
May 19, 2015
Tribe of Israel
Yes. I visited my local synagogue and found out that I am of the tribe of Levi.
May 18, 2015
My name is Stephen Gelb. What tribe do I come from.
G. A. Malone
March 6, 2015
Desendent of Abraham
I did a search on my family. I was lucky enough to come over a very very very long line of royalty low and behold I traced my family history all the way back to Abraham and then from there traced back all the way to Adam and Eve. I know sounds crazy but true.
January 19, 2015
Jewish lineage
Is it important (today) or was there a time, that a person of Jewish descent, always knew his connection to the 12 tribes ?
November 19, 2014
I just found out I got Jewish in me,my father's family came from Caldas de Reyes, Spain. I would like to know what tribe I come from in Israel.
October 2, 2014
My family lineage is from Spain & Mexico; Campos is the last name. What tribe do I belong to?
Cristobal Campos
Horizon City
September 14, 2014
If the Messiah must come from the tribe of Judah how will he be able to prove it if all the genealogical records have been lost? Weren't they destroyed in 70AD by the Romans? And if so wouldn't it mean that the Messiah would have had to be identified before then? And if so, can we all think of someone who foots the bill?
June 16, 2014
My Surname is Stearns , the family lineage came out of Germany, I have been researching this and have found that more then likely they have Hebrew roots and may in fact come from the Lost Tribe of Dan. Does anyone else have knowledge on this surname out of Germany.
Julie Stearns
June 11, 2014
Surname Norman
I've been doing some research into my family history and I believe I belong to the Tribe of Benjamin. Although I don't believe that my family really knows that we derive from the Jewish heritage.
Jill Norman
Denver CO
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