Katz Cohanim Cluster

The amazing 2500 year story of the paternal line ancestry of

William "Bill" Gerald Katz, may his memory be carried forth by the telling of this tale.

30 years of Katz Research in a Nutshell

It was only through my interest in genealogy that I came to discover "Katz" was actually a contraction of the Hebrew "Kahan Tzedek", meaning a "priest of justice". This title, and later it became a surname, was taken by families who had an oral cohanim tradition of descent from the ancient Israelite priesthood. Although my dad, Bill Katz, knew he was "Jewish", as an atheist Bill's cohanim ancestry was news to him. Yet we learned it was old news to every generation on Bill's direct paternal line going back from his father over the last 2,000+ years!

Katz Family Story--2500 BCE to the 20th Century

Photos: Banner: Woodcut of Ancient Jerusalem. Column above: Figurines of Bill Katz, his dad Tanchim "Sidney" Katz, his dad Reuben HaCohen Katz, his dad Yakov Duvidovich HaCohen Katz...and the Israelite priest---face is young Yankel---from which this line descends! Below: Rueben's headstone at Home of Peace cemetery in Los Angeles, depicting "cohen hands" and showing "he knew!"

Katz Lineage Y-DNA Genetics

  • Pedigree Style Tree Branch Chart for the J2a- FGC4992 Cohanim Cluster--before Bill Katz had his Y-chromosome tested in 2001, nothing on this chart was known to science. The "L254" mutation was discovered on Bill's Y, as was "FGC4977" and his maniacal daughter Deb's pursuit for over 20 years of advanced testing for Bill and his matches, led to the identification of all the branches you see on the chart. Boom!

  • J2a-Levant Project Website--Deb started this project to organize her dad's genetic matches, now numbering over 160 men! But the project over time grew to include many other genetic lineages within J2a. The LINKS section has items you might enjoy including an illustrated Jewish History Timeline and Deb on Jewish Life TV.

Photos: Above Ancient Babylon; the genetics tell us Katz ancestors were among the Judeans exiled there. Below: The Sura Academy in Babylonia, where Katz ancestors taught (Diaspora Museum, Tel Aviv).