This haplogroup is found at highest frequencies in Middle Eastern and north African populations, where it probably evolved. This marker has been carried by Middle Eastern traders into Europe, central Asia, India and Pakistan.
Brian Sykes used the name Re to represent the founder of Haplogroup J (Saxons, Vikings, and Celts, 2006).
This haplogroup originated in the Arabian peninsula about 15 to 24 thousand years ago. Its modern distribution is heaviest in Arabic countries. Outside the Middle East, it might be associated with Semites who traded in and conquered Sicily, southern Italy, Spain and Pakistan. About 20 percent of Ashkenazim and 12 percent of Sephardim belong to this group.
This haplogroup originated in the northern part of the Fertile Crescent about 18.5 thousand years ago. It later spread throughout central Asia and the Mediterranean, and south into India. About 15 percent of Ashkenazim and Sephardim belong to this group.
Cohen Modal Haplotype
The cohanim, Jewish priests said to be descended from Moses’ brother Aaron, fall into two haplotypes, one in haplogroup J1e, and one in haplogroup J2a.