International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

DNA and Genealogical Evidence Suggests the Plymouth Colonists were Sephardic Jews
Elizabeth C. Hirschman; James A. Vance; Jesse D. Harris

The Plymouth settlement in Massachusetts stands as one of the origin points for American social ideology. The settlers are widely viewed as archetypes of early American culture – British, white and Christian. We challenge this belief using linguistic, genealogical, and DNA evidence. Our research argues that the Plymouth settlers were largely of Sephardic Jewish ancestry, practiced endogamy and engaged in Judaic customs and practices for at least their first two generations in North America. Our findings suggest that colonial American culture was much more diverse in religion and ethnicity than previously believed.

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