Thursday, June 23, 2016

Second Cousins..... and Siblings

While working a new presentation, I considered that I might want to say something about my second cousins Ruth and Judy, on my mother's father's Gordon side. They are first cousins to one another and their grandmother was the older sister of my grandfather.

My DNA matches with them seem to me to be odd and I have cited them before.














As you can see on the far right, I share 497 cM with Ruth and 249 cM with Judy; Ruth has about twice as much as Judy. (These numbers have changed a bit since I last cited them. Then Ruth's match was more than double Judy's.) My longest segment with Ruth is 64 cM and with Judy 41 cM. The ISOGG chart says that second cousins are 212.5 cM on average, so clearly Ruth is the outlier.

Blaine Bettinger's chart of shared cM based of reported data from known relationships has second cousins sharing 246 cM, precisely Judy's number before the recent adjustment.

Since Judy and Ruth have the same grandfather, the difference between them - aside from the general randomness of DNA as it passes from generation to generation - is Ruth's father. I don't know much about his background. He was born in New York and both his parents were dead by the time he was twenty-two.

I have not done much to clarify Ruth's father's background, but Ruth has matches of one sort or another with more than forty Pikholz descendants from my ancestral town of Skalat, so I assume he was a Galicianer on both sides.

But before I used these numbers to make my particular point in this new presentation, I took a look at how my four sisters match with both cousins. (The numbers here are from GEDMatch, so are slightly different from those on FTDNA.)

The match between Ruth and me is much greater than her matches with my sisters - 1.7 standard deviations. The average of Ruth's matches with us - 356.4 cM - is nearly sixty percent larger than Judy's - 225.2 - much less of a difference than with me alone.

This would not serve the purpose I wanted for the presentation, but it is worthy of note on its own. Just for sport, I looked at how my sisters and I line up against the rest of our second cousins. I did not include our two double second cousins and our half second cousin, just the straight-forward second cousins with no known endogamy and with standard-issue Jewish parents and grandparents..

Judy & Ruth are first cousins. So are Sam & Beth. Marty, Rhoda and Terry are second cousins.

There is considerable variation in these numbers. Each of our eight cousins except Terry has matches with us that include one with a standard deviation above 1.4. And Sarajoy is less than 1.15 standard deviations from each of the eight cousins, the rest of us being further from the averages for at least one cousin - in my case, three.

The range of averages goes from Judy's 225.2 cM to Ruth's 356.4 cM and Sam's 360.4 cM. There is a very large gap between Sam and Ruth and the next largest matches - Beth and Susan. I am not sure what to make of it except to say that the "other sides" of the cousins are undoubtedly relevant. Blaine Bettinger announces studies from time to time of matches of known relatives and I have shared this with him.

My own lesson - one that I have written about before and which I hope the genetic genealogy community is absorbing - you must test siblings. You cannot assume that once you have tested one or two children in a family, the rest will not add anything. Even moreso first cousins. "I know he is my first cousin, why do we both have to test?" is, shall we say, not productive.

But test the siblings. Your own. Your parents'. Your cousins'. As much as you can afford. You cannot know in advance how and when it will matter. So just do it.

I will probably find another excuse to hammer at this, before too many more months.

Housekeeping notes

Books for Seattle
Anyone who would like to ensure getting a signed copy of my book ENDOGAMY: One Family, One People at the IAJGS Conference is Seattle can order here until 10 July. After that, it depends on how many I have with me.

New Family Finder results
Results are in for a new Family Finder test, this one a Pikholz descendant from Rozdol in a family where no one had tested before. This is the family I call IF3, headed by Abraham Pikholz (~1826-1878) one of several sons of a couple (or two couples with the same names) Isak and Feige Pikholz. Abraham's youngest son lived on Nyar Street in Budapest and the woman who tested is one of two daughters of his youngest son.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Jeannie

I have been Facebook friends with Jeannie McClenahan Cecil for not quite a year but it seems like much longer. She told me she had matches with me and several members of my family. Family Tree DNA had us as suggested second-fourth cousins, a category with includes about 130 of my matches and which surely doesn't mean we are that close.

Her father was born in Mandatory Jerusalem to a Jewish mother but was adopted by a non-Jewish couple and from his teen years lived abroad. I don't have all the details straight, but in any case, this is her story to tell, not mine.

She visited her father's house earlier
Jeannie and her daughter Gabrielle are here for the first time. A long visit, considering that they are first-time tourists.

Last week we went out to dinner, less than a ten minute walk from where her father grew up.
Her father's house on the right, our restaurant on the left

We talked about her research journey that began some twenty years ago, about her impressions of Israel and Jerusalem, about the first cousin of her father who shares his original name and whose wife does the genealogy research from their side. (I am a suggested second-fourth cousin to him as well and his wife and I are now Facebook friends. They live in the same small community as my third son. In fact another first cousin lives on my son's street!)

Jeannie sprinkled her conversation with basic Hebrew words that she had learned from her father, who passed away only last winter. She was clearly enjoying herself and was experiencing a sense of "home." ("Home" is in fact a small town in northeastern Ohio.)

Our matching DNA
And we talked about our DNA connections. We hadn't done much of that during the past year. I tried to be there to give her advice, suggestions and encouragement - the work she did herself, as it should be.













As it happens, of all the matches with my family members, I am the closest both for her father and for the cousin.

Her father, whose father remains unidentified, is in the Y-haplogroup R-M269. So am I, but not close enough to be a match. The cousin has not yet tested his Y-DNA.

These are my matches with Jeannie's father and his cousin. Two of the three are identical segments, the smallest one is not an identical match.

This looks to be fairly straightforward. The three of us share a little over 30 cM, which is third-fourth cousin territory, so the question is on which side.

Jeannie's father's DNA
Jeannie's father matches my sisters, some more, some less. But he does not match Aunt Betty or Uncle Bob. Nor does he match my double second cousins Marshall and Lee. So that points to a match on my mother's side. He matches all six of my cousins on that side - two firsts and two seconds via each grandparent. Here is how my sisters and I, those six cousins and Jeannie's cousin line up with her father on GEDmatch.


On chromosome 5 where I matched both of Jeannie's kits at 17.32 cM, we see the cousin's yellow bar at the top, followed by my second cousin Sam, then three of my sisters and me. Sam is on my grandmother's side. In the center of that chromosome my sisters and I and my first cousin Kay match Jeannie's father but not his cousin.

On chromosome 7, none of the matches under the cousin triangulate with him except my sister Amy on line four. So these are mostly matches with Jeannie's father including both my first cousins. The small pink segment is a second cousin on my grandFAther's side. But Amy matches Jeannie's cousin as well.

None of my cousins matched the FTDNA segment on chromosome 10.

On chromosome 12, both of Jeannie's kits match my cousin Sam, but not my sisters or me.

Chromosome 17 shows a long list of matches, but only mine (the fourth line) triangulates with Jeannie's two kits. The others who match Jeannie's father but not his cousin include both my first cousins and one of the seconds on my grandfather's side.

So it appears to me that the common ancestor with both of Jeannie's kits and my family is on my grandmother's Rosenbloom side, from Borisov in Belarus. Jeannie's family knows of no connection to that area.

There is likely also a common ancestor also on my grandfather's side who is not reflected in Jeannie's cousin. Since Jeannie's grandfather is not-Jewish, the connection with my grandfather's side must be shared by both him and his cousin since he would have no other way to receive this DNA. It's just the vagaries of recombination that each shows different matches.

The cousin's DNA matches
Jeannie's cousin too has a collection of matches which include my sisters and me and assorted combinations of the cousins on my mother's side. This is the other side of the coin whereby my grandfather's family's DNA came to the two cousins differently. (I am not going to lay all that out here. Jeannie can do it in her spare time.)

But what is interesting is that the cousin has significant matches with me that Jeannie's father does not have. They are not as impressive as the Rosenbloom matches which I discussed above, but there are many and they are pervasive. The cousin has matches with Aunt Betty, Uncle Bob, Marshal and Lee, but they are weak.

There are stronger matches with Craig, Ron and Felisa whose Pikholz roots are not clear, as their farthest known ancestors are from about 1860-70.

The matches cross my parts of the Pikholz family is all directions showing a wide but distant connection. But this does not look to me like a pre-surname common ancestor as there is relatively little with the descendants of Peretz Pikholz and Nachman Pikholz. So perhaps we are talking about the family of Rojse the wife of Isak Josef Pikholz or the family of Taube the wife of Mordecai Pikholz. Or someone via the mother of my g-g-gf Isak Fischel Pikholz. Or my Kwoczka great-grandmother. Most like some some combination of several of these. It would be speculation at this point to try to say more.

What is clear is that this Pikholz connection is with the mother of Jeannie's cousin, about whom I know nothing. Yet.

One other thought. The matches between Jeannie's kits and my mother's side include almost no X chromosome matches, and not many more on the Pikholz side.

Jeannie, you have work to do, though I do not know that we have enough to break this wall down. For now.

Jeannie's story is different from the usual "How I found my family" and I suggested that she might want to propose a presentation for the IAJGS Conference in Orlando next year. With or without the DNA component. A daughter of Jerusalem has come home.

Housekeeping notes
Y-DNA
A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the study published in Avotaynu by Rachel Unkefer, J. B. Royal and Wim Penninx called Y-DNA Evidence for an Ashkenzai Lineage's Iberian Origin. This study is being done on a haplogroup called FGC20747 and it includes my line. That article is now available here. I mentioned this to the Pikholz descendants from Skalat, for whom it is relevant and my cousin Terry asked if this would permit us to eat rice on Passover, as the Sephardim do and would it help get EU citizenship.

I am an authority on neither subject, but I think the EU has a list of approved surnames and you have to belong to one of them to qualify for a restoration of Spanish citizenship.

On the question of rice - and I repeat that I speak with no authority - it seems to me that there are several problems. First of all these customs are generally patrilineal.  Terry's grandmother is the Pikholz, not her grandfather. So she is probably stuck with his rice.

Secondly, DNA has not achieved any status of halacha, so Sephardic ancestry would probably require a generation-after-generation proof, not something macro like DNA patterns.

Third - and again, I speak with no authority - even if we pass the test on the first two points, there is probably a requirement for nullification of a vow, as some ancestor six, seven or more generations ago surely took this custom voluntarily.

Books for Seattle
Anyone who would like to ensure getting a signed copy of my book ENDOGAMY: One Family, One People at the IAJGS Conference is Seattle can order here until 10 July. After that, it depends on how many I have with me.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

That Time of Year

Skalat
The Jewish community of Skalat, one of the two ancestral Pikholz towns in east Galicia, suffered its final aktzia on the holiday of Shavuot in 1943 and here in Israel some of the remaining survivors and descendants gather the following day at the monument in the Holon cemetery. I have described this service in earlier years here and here and here.

The beginning of the scroll of martyrs'
names that is inside the monument
We had a bigger turnout this year than last. Something more than two dozen people and no problem with a minyan. There was no mention of the passing of survivors in the past year.

Yocheved Sarid spoke first. Her three children and her late brother's wife were all there. The row of monuments is along the east side of the cemetery with a major highway right outside, so I found it difficult to hear her.

Tova Willner Zehavi spoke at great length. I don't remember her ever speaking before. She spoke with special emphasis about a baby - one who was never properly given a name. Pikholz descendants, the sister and brother Tzipi Tal and David Dekel are also Willner descendants through their mother's mothers mother. (Before the service began, David and I discussed his DNA results which indicate pretty clearly that he is connected to my family in a way we haven't figured out yet. I discuss this in Chapter Eight of my book.)

There was one new participant - Koby Willner, an American immigrant who got in touch with me last year. Koby's Skalat connections are both Willner and Bomse.

David Braunstein, who has come the last few years after his father's death read a piece that his father had written. (Chaim Braunstein edited the Hebrew yizkor book and was the prime mover in setting up the memorial sites in the Skalat-area itself.)

Zvika Sarid reported that both the Skalat monuments are in need of maintenance and asked that those who can send contributions to Yocheved Sarid at Kevutzat Yavneh and she will send them to Skalat.

We concluded with everyone saying kaddish.

Correcting the database
Steve Pickholtz sent me a very long list of Pickholtz (that specific spelling) on MyHeritage which includes a Rachel Weisinger married to Joseph Pickholtz. There was no identifying information here and I haven't a clue who this Joseph is. I had seen this couple before on Geni.com, but as I have seen before, you cannot always get responses from the folks who manage the Geni.com information.

This time, I got a response via MyHeritage and Olivier in France checked with his family sources and reported that he had no information on the couple but did know the name of a nephew of Joseph. That was enough for me to recognize Joseph as the son of Benjamin (Bendit) Pickholtz of Rozdol, Skole and New York. Joseph had no children but a nephew had told me years ago that his wife was Rae Gross.

I went back and forth with both families for a few hours and then decided to check the theory that made the most sense to me. Using Steve Morse's One-Step site, I found this:













Rae (Rachel) Weisinger married Harold Gross in 1934. That triggered memories in both families where everyone agreed that Rae had been married before she married Joseph Pickholtz. Database corrected.

Housekeeping notes
Family Tree DNA has announced a Fathers' Day sale. I for one am disappointed as I can only see one of our pending orders for which it is relevant. This is their announcement.
I will get one second cousin out of this. The rest will wait. I hope.

I have just set up a couple of additional visits with cousins as I work my way from Baltimore to North Carolina next month. The "new" Pikholz family in Durham has still eluded me.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Beglers: Bonnie and Marla

So Wednesday afternoon, I am minding my own business when I get one of these "I match [so-and-so-many] of your project. Can you tell me how we are related?" messages that seem to come every other day. In this case, the writer mentioned that her grandparents came from a particular town in Poland and when they arrived in Pittsburgh, they shortened their surname. So I asked her if she is related to my seventh grade teacher and sure enough she is.

Bonnie bottom right, me top left
Later, I wrote to Bonnie Morris, who sat in front of me during much of seventh grade, and told her the story. We laughed at that and talked a bit and for the first time I asked her about her family history. I knew her family. Two of her first cousins were also in our class and during much of the 1940s and 1950s her father and my grandfather served together in various synagogue capacities, particularly in the
Men's Club. On this particular occasion, I learned that one of her cousins had an older sister I don't recall knowing about and that her father had another brother I have never heard of.

I asked her what "Morris" had been originally and where in Europe they came from and she said that her grandfather had been Matasarnik and that he had come from Uman, a well-known town south of Kiyev. Matasarnik is a name I had never heard so I had a look at the JewishGen Family Finder and saw no one listing it as a surname of interest.

Then I asked about her mother. Mrs. Morris (Pearl) was a Begler, Bonnie told me, from Russia someplace but Bonnie wasn't sure where. So I make another quick trip to JGFF and find this:
Marla Waltman, President of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Toronto, with whom I spent much of last Sunday. Marla Waltman whose mother has DNA matches with almost all the Pikholz descendants from Skalat. Marla has Beglers in what was then Russia and in what is now Pittsburgh. How cool is that!

So I opened a new Facebook chat, introduced them and the fun began.

At first Marla thought Bonnie was Bonnie Eckhouse, a known relative of hers, "the daughter of Israel Louis Eckhouse and Pollie Begler."

Wait. I know who the Eckhouses are. Louis Eckhouse's mother is Rose Braun, the aunt of my father's cousin Herb. But Herb had told me that Louis' wife was Pauline Saville, not Begler. So I go off to the indispensable Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project to look for a death notice for Pauline in the Chronicle. And there she is - sister of (among others) Jack, Sam and Paul Begler. (Scratch Saville.)

The burial database at the Rauh Jewish Archives (at the Heinz History Center) shows four Eckhouse graves at Torath Chaim Cemetery and Pauline's father is Yehudah Lev (sic - should be Leib), whose secular name is Louis.

Louis and (Bonnie's maternal grandfather) Harry (Yitzhak) Begler are brothers. Bonnie knows that. Kind of curious that the first cousins Pauline and Pearl (Bonnie's mother) Begler both married men with the same secular names as their fathers and both had daughters named Bonnie.




























So what is Marla to Bonnie? Marla says that her great-grandmother Sosya Beigler is the elder sister of Harry and Louis. Sosya is the eldest and Harry the third. Sosya married Levi Ben Tzion Spektor and their son Louis is the father of Marla's father Irving Waltman.

How Spektor became Waltman is beyond the scope of this particular article, but if Marla wants to write up the family here, I'll be pleased to give her the space to do so whenever she is ready

Marla says that the parents of Sosya and Harry are Simcha Chaim Beigler and Freda Breteal. Marla says further that the family says they are from Shpikov (48 47 N 28 34 E) in the district of Bratzlav Podolia, later Vinnitsa Ukraine, but the records point to Radyanskoye some 27 miles away.

Marla and Bonnie are second cousins once removed. That's pretty close considering that they did not know of each other. For me that's a good day's work. They will no doubt continue talking and I'll be available as needed. Sometimes I'm just a facilitator. But then who else knows both Bonnie and Marla? And I love it when my friends meet each other!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

London and Toronto

I'm afraid that blogging from actual events is more than I can handle and both events have been covered by blogs, Facebook posts and tweets, but having spent nearly a week abroad, I figure I should say something here, if only for my own record.

As I write this, I am in my home office expecting to get a call any minute from the fellow delivering my suitcase. Each of the three legs of my trip included a stopover in Brussels and two of the three times my suitcase was not loaded onto the connecting flight. In London, they delivered it to my hotel at 1:20 AM, in time for my four o'clock taxi. Here they are not in such a rush, but since it's mostly laundry, neither am I.

London
The Wednesday evening program was sponsored by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain and the Guild of One-Name Studies (of which I am a member). The program was organized by Jeanette Rosenberg of the JGS and most of the attendees are members of that organization. The audience also included my wife's brother and one of her cousins with his wife.

Jeanette's husband Mark Nicholls picked me up at the airport after what seemed an interminable wait at Border Control, plus filling out papers for the missing suitcase. They took me from the hotel to the program site and back.

Paul Howse of the Guild did the introductions.

With Debbie Kennett, in my traveling clothes
Debbie Kennett spoke first. She gave a nice, professional, comprehensive introduction to the whole notion of DNA and its use in genealogy research. (She also addressed - aggressively - some of the nonsense that is being published in the field.)

I followed with the latest iteration of my basic DNA talk that has accompanied the publication of ENDOGAMY: One Family, One People. I have renamed it Lessons
With Paul Howse (right)
in Jewish DNA - One Man's Successes and What He Learned on the Journey
. It was well received. We took questions together afterwards and in most cases we both had what to say.

Debbie and I exchanged signatures on our books. Hers was on the reading list for the course I took at GRIP two years ago.

My thanks to Mark Nicholls for the photos.

Toronto
My friend and colleague Lara Diamond and I were invited to the first-ever Jewish stream of the Ontario Genealogical Society Conference, where we heard some of the top speakers in the field. Much of the conference was centered on matters Canadian, which didn't much interest either of us. But there were also some top-notch speakers including CeCe Moore and Judy Russell, whom I already knew, and Maurice Gleason whom I knew only by reputation.

There were some of the usual vendors, but mostly Canadian groups with limited appeal for those of us with no Canadian interests. (Actually, my grandfather arrived in the US via Montreal and St. Albans Vermont, at age seven with his mother and an older brother and sister. That was 1904. The rest of the family had preceded them in stages.
Actually, Uncle Dave was nine and Aunt Bessie was a bit older



































Friday, I listened to Maurice on the basics of Y-DNA research. Mostly basic stuff with a lot on the FTDNA surname projects. Even knowing much of the material, I can usually learn something from a new speaker and such was the case here.

I spoke Friday afternoon at a special "by invitation only" seminar for the Genetic Genealogy Special Interest Group of the Toronto branch of the Society, on Observations on the DNA of Populations Who "Marry Within the Tribe." This was a first-time event for this talk and it was well-received.

Lara and I both went to the Jewish neighborhood for Shabbat and I met several very nice couples, all of whom had done genealogies of their families. It made me think about how much genealogy is being done outside what we consider the genealogy community. It is important to harness all these private projects so that others can see their work in a searchable format, learn from it and perhaps connect to them. (Programs like Geni.com where people can change each others' data are not the solution.) I don't think this is being addressed. I don't even think that we are aware of the scope of such works. 

I imagine that the non-Jewish world has the same phenomenon.


Lara at 8:30, from her blog
Bright and early at 8:30 Sunday morning Lara spoke about ancestral movement in Europe in a talk called Movement Between Towns in Eastern Europe (aka Ancestral Towns May Not Have Been So Ancestral). It was a good crowd and it went well. (We aren't competing or anything, but she had more people than I.)

Shamelessly lifted from Lara's blog
I followed with my basic DNA talk, Lessons, in a different room, then we went back to Lara's room for her second talk Jewish Genealogy Research in Ukraine. It was largely the same people she had at 8:30, so they must have liked it.

Later, I did a Pop-up presentation in the hallway - fifteen minutes showing two case studies, while Lara did some "Ask the Expert" consulting.

We moved on to a panel discussion on the future of genetic genealogy, including the panel's thoughts on the long-term viability of the testing companies who control all our spit-and-swab data and many of the analytical tools. The final program was a keynote address by CeCe Moore to a packed auditorium where she impressed everyone with her stories of people who had searched successfully for their birth families. The folks doing that kind of work are having a real affect on peoples' lives.

Sunday evening, I gave a non-DNA talk to the JGS of Toronto. Perhaps they'll have me back to do DNA.

You can see Lara's more detailed descriptions of the conference here and here.

After I arrived in Toronto Thursday, I met with a fellow who had a few weak matches with my family and wanted to talk about trying to nail down the possible Jewish background of his grandfather. That is not the kind of thing that holds much interest for me as it is all so remote and tenuous, but he found it useful and attended my other talks. I thought something similar awaited me Monday morning, when I had a meeting scheduled with a man whose family matched mine on our Y-DNA line.

I was wrong. This one was real. A few days earlier, the latest Avotaynu had an article by Rachel Unkefer, J. B. Royal and Wim Penninx called Y-DNA Evidence for an Ashkenzai Lineage's Iberian Origin. This study is being done on a haplogroup called FGC20747 and it includes my line. It appears to include the Goldlust line as well, and one of the Goldlusts was my Monday meeting. As a result of our meeting, they have now joined that project and we look forward to learning more about our joint heritage, which appears headed for the days of the Inquisition - not generation after generation, but in a more macro view.

As my own work has concentrated on the past 220 years, I really do not fully understand this type of Y-DNA research but between the GRIP course next month and some personal mentoring from Rachel afterwards, I hope to enhance my understanding.

It was a good conference and a great experience. Many thanks to JGS Toronto president  Marla Waltman - whose mother matches over forty Pikholz descendants from Skalat and who was responsible for creating the Jewish stream and inviting Lara and me to speak. Les Kelman, too, facilitated our participation.

Housekeeping Notes
Suitcase arrived.

The call for papers for RootsTech2017 has gone out. I may submit some proposals for that February event. I have also submitted proposals for the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in Pittsburgh at the end of August of next year.

I have another second cousin lined up for a DNA test as soon as we find out about the Fathers' Day sale prices. Perhaps some others of you will also sign up.

Only a month before my summer trip and things are falling into place nicely. I'll write more later but in the meantime, you can see some of it here.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Before Galicia

Nearly three years ago,  I posted a bit of speculation whereby our Pikholz families -  both the Skalaters and the Rozdolers - came to Galicia in the late 1700s from Visk, in Maramaros County Hungary. This town is now called Vyshkovo and it is in Ukraine, just north of the Romanian border. Khust is 10 miles NNW and Sighet is 23 miles ESE. I don't know much about this mountainous area of Sub-Carpathia, though one of the outposts of our Rozdol family, Skole, is only 68 miles to the north.

The speculation was based on the fact that a Hungarian (non-Jewish) family named Pikolcz lived in the town. They were landowners - some kind of minor nobility - who had fallen on hard times and I wondered if perhaps our family had lived on their lands and when required to take surnames, took Pikholz as their own.

There are no records for Vyshkovo for that period so the whole thing was left in the realm of speculation these past fifteen years.

For the past few months, I have been watching in awe as my friend, colleague and sometimes collaborator Lara Diamond blogs week after week at Lara's Jewnealogy about her families' records. It seems like every month she adds another ancestor. (When is the last time I did that!) Most of the events in her records were after 1895, but some were records that documented births decades previous. I knew that the towns she was looking at are in today's southwest Ukraine, but had once been Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

When I told her my Vyshkovo story, she said that not only are her two primary towns very close to Vyshkovo ("right across the river") but that quite a few of them were for people named Pikkel. Maybe these folks had something to do with me. Maybe if we actually lived in Vyshkovo, we were one family.

Lara had transcribed the records into a spreadsheet. They included 102 Pikkel birth records, twenty-six marriage records and and forty-six death records. Almost all of them were from the towns Vajnag and Talaborfalva, now known as Vonihove and Tereblya. Talaborfalva is nine miles from Vyshkovo and Vajnag is maybe half that. Though it no doubt seemed like longer considering that they had to get down from the mountain.

I entered all of those plus the entries in the JewishGen Hungarian SIG database and at that gave me a total of seventy-four men and sixty-four women with the birth names Pikkel or variant spellings. After sorting out the relationships as best I could, I have eighteen men and twelve women from Lara's lists whose parents are thus far unknown, plus another fourteen from the JewishGen lists. The rest I was able to organize in to families. There is nothing in the way of given names that indicates a connection to our Pikholz families, but there wouldn't be since we would have long gone our separate ways.

I did nothing more than glance at Yad Vashem or American records, or even the post-1895 Vyshkovo records - there is time enough to do that if this pans out. The new Yad Vashem site is not working well, but I looked for people named Pikkel who submitted Pages of Testimony for other people named Pikkel and there are twenty-eight of those. I hoped that would give me some candidates for Y-DNA testing since I have very clear Y results for both our Rozdol and our Skalat branches.. So far I have one candidate in suburban Chicago, whose phone goes to voice message.

I also wrote to about ten Pikkel on Facebook, with one response so far. He is not relevant.

And I succeeded in contacting one person who had submitted a tree on Ancestry. He referred me to a family member in New York State who confirmed that her family is from Vajnag, but so far no Y-DNA candidate.

So this is all very preliminary. But I find it quite exciting. More as it happens.


Housekeeping notes

I'm off to London and Toronto on the first of June. (Looks like I may need a sweater and a raincoat.) The offer to order (signed) books for pick up in those two places expires 30 May. The savings in shipping is significant. Order here.

The summer is falling into place. I'll be speaking in Buffalo Grove Illinois, Baltimore, Fairfax Virginia, Charlotte and Durham North Carolina, Cincinnati and perhaps another venue or two, before heading to Seattle for three presentations at the IAJGS Conference. See details here.

You can order books for Seattle pickup here. I'll have books with me at the other venues.


I shall also be giving an evening presentation during the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) on 20 July.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Let Me Say It Once Again - Siblings!

Less than a year ago, in a tail-end segment in a larger blog, I discussed the importance of siblings' testing.

The case at hand then was our fourth cousins Anna and David, two of the three living great-great-grandchildren of Uncle Selig Pikholz. Or more precisely, the demonstration that they are indeed our fourth cousins.

Anna and David are half-siblings and both have all their Jewish DNA from the father that they share.

Many of us have a tendency to test one person from each family, then move on to known first and second cousins, in order to get a genetic picture of our families. Partly it's a matter of budget. Who has funds available to test everyone. And besides, we tell ourselves, how much different will one sibling be from another. And if I have two, do I really need the third? And the fourth?

Many of us did that back in the pre-genetic days when the biggest thing was interviewing relatives. Who has time to get to everyone? And how different will one older relative be from another. We know they can and will be different, but we rationalize because we really cannot get to everyone.

Many of us did the same with records. When the AGAD records - for east Galicia - became available in the archives in Warsaw, we often saw hundreds of relevant records in the index. Our budgets were limited so we'd order one or two of each family. The parents are the same from one to another, so what's the point of spending money for another six births to the same couple.

The same is true for DNA. As this is important, I am going to quote myself verbatim before adding a new point.


If we look at the chromosomes below, we see that Anna matches everyone in my family except my sister Sarajoy and me. Her brother does not match the two of us nor does he match our second cousins Rhoda and Terry.








On Chromosome 8, both have a nice set of matches with Aunt Betty, Uncle Bob and Herb - who, remember, are their third cousins once removed.



Both have very large matches with Marty on Chromosome 15 - Anna's is 50 cM!



But Chromosome 3 is remarkable. Anna's brother has a nice set of matches with five of us, two of which are a bit more than 20 cM. But Anna has seven matches, all over 30 cM and four of them are 57-69 cM! This is huge for four fourth cousins and three third cousins once removed. And keep in mind that Sarajoy and I are not there at all.



If Anna were not known to be a cousin, these numbers would jump off the page - but only by looking at the largest segments or the individual chromosomes.






In fact, if we only looked at the Family Finder match list (on the right), we would see nothing remarkable at all. We would not even see that Anna's matches with us are significantly different from her brother's.



There are lessons here galore. Lessons about looking specifically at the large matches. Lessons about looking at the chromosomes, not just at the total cMs and the overall suggested relationships. 



And perhaps most important is the lesson about testing cousins and siblings. Before Anna tested, her brother's results were anything but inspiring. If someone had said "Why do we need her? We have her brother!" look what we would have lost out on. 



And even with Anna, if all we had from our side had been Uncle Bob, Terry, Rhoda, Lee, Judith, Sarajoy and me, it would have been a fine test collection of seven people but we would have missed the best results. 
In the meantime, we have one new test, Lee's brother Marshal. Does he matter? Could he possibly make the case stronger than it already is? Let's have a look.

Lee's matches with David and Anna on FTDNA
Marshal matches only David - and FTDNA considers it much weaker than Lee's.
Marshal's match - such as it is - adds nothing.

Let's look at GEDmatch, where Lee has that 31.3 cM segment with Anna and 9.8 cM with David on chromosome 3 and another 9.2 cM with Anna on chromosome 21.

What does Marshal have? 
Marshal matches David, but not on the chromosomes where Lee has his significant matches. And Marshal doesn't match Anna at all.

So indeed, why do we need Marshal in this analysis? (In fact, no one pushed him to take the test after lee had done so. Marshal decided that on his own.)

But this is the wrong question. This test was ordered for Cousin Margie, their mother. She was not able to do it and after she died, Lee took her test. I assume that was a random decision - Marshal could have taken it then. If he had, Lee could have said (we all could have said) "Marshal has tested, why do we need another one?" From where we are now, we know the answer to that. Lee had this wonderful match with Anna that Marshal didn't. Like three of my sisters who match Anna, while Sarajoy and I do not. And David's unremarkable matches do not compare to Anna's.

So let me say it again. Test siblings. As many as you can. As many as will cooperate. As many as your budget will allow. And even moreso, test a variety and a multitude of first cousins. Test every second cousin. as many as you can. Don't say "Josh already tested."

This is probably not the last time you will hear me on this particular soapbox.

Housekeeping notes
The deadline for ordering "ENDOGÀMY: One Family, One People" for pick-up in London on 1 June or in Toronto at the Ontario Genealogical Society Conference is 30 May.

I shall be speaking in Buffalo Grove Illinois on Thursday 14 July. Time and address to be announc3d.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Cousin Debbie

Debbie
In the course of putting together my summer travel schedule, I did some emailing with Deborah Long, the founder of the Triangle Jewish Genealogical Society in North Carolina. I shall be speaking for them on Sunday 31 July in Durham. (Program directors please note: The Thursday before and the Monday after are still available.)

Debbie did a MtDNA test more than six years ago, but only recently did the autosomal (Family Finder) and her match list came in at the end of April. She sent me a note with all the enthusiasm of the new DNA researcher (including the required exclamation points) showing me that we are second-fourth cousins. She gave me access to her data at FTDNA and I saw that in addition to me, Debbie is a suggested second-fourth cousin to three of my four sisters, my father's sister (Aunt Betty) and my double second cousin Lee. But her best match with my family - and her third best match overall - is Lee's brother Marshal, who is a suggested second-third cousin.

I fiddled a bit within the limited reach of the FTDNA chromosome browser, then helped her upload to GEDmatch where I could do this properly. The matches on GEDmatch are different. Two of her three best matches with my family are Pinchas and Bruce, descendants of the brothers of my great-grandmother Jutte Leah Kwoczka. They are 3.6-3.7 generations away on GEDmatch but only suggested third-fifth cousins on FTDNA. Other matches of under four generations on GEDmatch are Marshal and Lee, Aunt Betty, two of my sisters and my second cousin Susan on my grandMOTHER's side. (Susan is also a second cousin to Marshal and Lee.) FTDNA has Debbie and Susan as suggested fifth-remote cousins.

Debbie and the Kwoczkas
I decided to do several chromosome browsers on GEDmatch, with different combinations of my family and Debbie. First I did the Kwoczkas. I used Pinchas, Bruce and Pinchas' nephew Ben, plus the thirteen (of fourteen) descendants of Jutte Leah that Debbie matches. The results were weak, but there are two of some note. On all the following charts, note that the start and end points are often identical from match to match.

Chromosome 4 has a nice grouping of Pinchas, Ben and Bruce, but without any of Jutte Leah's descendants. The segment is small - not quite 6 cM. Nothing to get excited about, but worth noting, perhaps for future reference. Perhaps, for instance with better results for one of Debbie's relatives.

Chromosome 9 has a match of just over 10 cM with Bruce and matches just under 10 cM with (Aunt Betty's son) Ed, my father's brother Uncle Bob, followed by Aunt Betty, my second cousins Rhoda, Marshal and Lee. Nothing remarkable here, but it does appear that Debbie and the Kwoczkas have a common ancestor.

Debbie's ancestrral surnames and geography:
  • Auerbach [Poland],
  • Chonig [Poland],
  • Dobrzynski [Poland],
  • Galas [Poland],
  • Kozlowski [Poland],
  • Landau [Poland],
  • Munk [Hungary Slovakia],
  • Praskier [Poland],
  • Weisz [Hungary Slovakia]
do not point to anything meaningful vis-a vis the Kwoczkas.

Debbie and Nana
Since there was nothing obvious between Debbie and my Pikholz side, I had a look at my grandmother's side, which also includes Marshal and Lee whose mother is a double first cousin of my father. Nana is Bauer and Stern on her mother's side and Rosenzweig and Zelinka on her father's side.

Outside Marshal, Lee and the descendants of my grandmother, there are only a few others who have tested. Susan, our second cousin, Shabtai - a second cousin of my father on my gm's mother's side, and Fred - a half-second cousin of ours on my gm's father's side. (Fred's grandmother is his only source of Jewish DNA.)

I do not see my 5C1R on the Rosenzweig side among Debbie's matches and although my fifth cousin Cyndi on the Zelinka side is a fifth-remote with Debbie on FTDNA, I do not see a match between them on GEDmatch.

This time the chromosome browser was much more helpful.








Chromosome 2 has a segment with significant matches between Debbie and everyone in the group except Susan, Shabtai and my sister Amy. (Well, Ed's isn't exactly significant, but it's there.) Most are in the 19.5-20.5 cM range and aside from Ed, they all have the same starting point. The significant match is Fred. His match tells us that this segment comes from Nana's father, either the Rosenzweigs or the Zelinkas. Both those families are from Trencin County Slovakia, back into the 1700s.

But we can get more specific, using the matches on the X chromosome.











Here we see Aunt Betty, Uncle Bob and all four of my sisters, with some of those segments identical. This cannot come from my father's father because the X cannot go from father to son. It could come from Nana's mother's side, but nothing hints at that as a source. That leaves Nana's father's side, as on chromosome 2 above, and it cannot be from his Rosenzweig father. It must be, therefore, from my great-great-grandmother, who is a Zelinka. And the line from her to the common ancestor with Debbie cannot have a father-son on either Debbie's side or ours. Since both our side and Debbie's almost certainly have another woman or two on the way to the common ancestor, I do not expect that person to be either a Zelinka or one of Debbie's Munks.

Geography
In citing her ancestral surnames, Debbie mentions Munk from Slovakia. She specifically mentioned the town of Baán in Trencin County..According to the JewishGen Communities database, Baán is the Hungarian name for what is now known as Bánovce nad Bebravou, located at 48°43' N 18°16' . This is Zelinka-Rosenzweig territory, though we do not have anyone in that particular town, so far as we know. But now with Debbie, it seems we do.

Descendants of Rivka Feige Pikholz
I ran a chromosome browser on GEDmatch which includes the descendants of my great-grandfather Hersch Pikholz, one descendant of each of his two full sisters and four descendants of one of his two half-sisters. (The other has no matches with Debbie.) The common ancestor here is my great-great-grandmother Rivka Feige Pikholz.

Debbie has no matches to speak of involving Hersch's two full sisters. There are, however, matches involving Lillian and Erika - a granddaughter and a great-granddaughter of Hersch's half sister Breine Riss.

First of all, Debbie has three segments of 5-6 cM - on chromosomes 1, 3 and 16 - where she matches both Lillian and Erika. So we see a common ancestor between Debbie and Rivka Feige (or perhaps her first husband).

Second, Debbie has matching segments with Lillian and my second cousin Rhoda on chromosome 7. These segments of are also in the 5.5-6 cM range. If these are legitimate segments, they too point to Rivka Feige.


On chromosome 11 (above), Debbie has matching segments of about 7.3 cM with Erika, Uncle Bob, one of my sisters and me. This too, points to a common ancestor for Debbie and Rivka Feige, though once again, the segments are small.

Finally, as an afterthought, I did the same chromosome browser again, adding three kits of descendants of Rivka Feige's two brothers who are not known to have additional Pikholz ancestry. That showed Debbie with one more matching segment in the 8.7-10.3 cM range. This is a segment on chromosome 19 and it includes Jane, three of my sisters and me.

Let us keep in mind that with all the matches of this sort, we cannot see how exactly they match Debbie without getting tests from some of her first and second cousins.

Due Diligence
I ran a chromosome browser on my mother's side - two first cousins and two second cousins on each side. There was nothing significant there with us, but Debbie has two small matches with my two second cousins (first cousins to each other) on my grandfather's side. On chromosome 15, the two matches are nearly 10 cM and have the same starting point. On chromosome 16, the two matches are identical - 5.62 cM. If these are real segments, they are probably on the Jaffe side of those cousins' grandfather. But likely a very long time ago.

Debbie matches thirteen of the fourteen Rozdol Pikholz descendants according to GEDmatch, with three at 4.0 generations or closer. (FTDNA shows only seven matches, with one as close as suggested third-fifth cousin.) Nothing particularly significant there, though there is a <10 cM match with two second cousins on chromosome 9 and another with two 1C1R of chromosome 16. The relevant surnames here aside from perhaps Pikholz, are Blum and Mensch.

Finally, I checked Debbie's matches with the rest of the Pikholz families, descendants of Nachman (b.1795), Peretz (b.1820), Mordecai (b.1805) and a few others whose lineage is unknown. Chromosome 1 has a match of about 8 cM with Irene and Gili, great-granddaughters of Peretz. Chromosome 13 has small overlapping matches with Jacob, Maciej and Maxine, descendants of Nachman.

Debbie also has two sets of matches on the X chromosome - one with Thelma and Daphne who are not know to be related, the other with Ron and Charlie, also not known to be related. These - and the Nachman/Peretz matches - are no doubt indicative of common ancestry, but probably no more than vestigal, from quite long ago.


Housekeeping notes
My London program with Debbie Kennett is barely three weeks away. It is under the joint sponsorship of the Guild of One-Name Studies and the JGS of Great Britain. Order tickets at http://tinyURL.com/GuildDNA.

London will be followed immediate by the Ontario Genealogical Society Conference in Toronto, where I will be giving several presentations.

Those who want to order "ENDOGAMY: One Family, One People" for pick-up in London or Toronto, signed and with no shipping charge, may do so here until 30 May.

You can also order for pick-up at the IAJGS Conference in Seattle, where I'll be giving three presentations. Deadline for Seattle order is 10 July.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Olga's Testimony

It was a few days before Hanukkah twelve and a half years ago and I was in the library at Yad Vashem when I first laid eyes on the testimony of Olga M. Pickholz-Barnitsch. I had first seen her name four years earlier in the bibliography of an article in the Journal of Historical Review, citing two articles she had written in the Yad Vashem bulletin. I did not know who she was or what became of her; I assumed that she was born Olga Pickholz and Barnitsch was her married name. I certainly did not know that she had submitted a testimony of her own that covered more than thirty pages of typewritten Polish.

The cover of Olga's personal testimony 12 March 1959
Dr. Olga Barnitsch of Ramat Hasharon Israel, born 27 June 1914 in Lwow, gave testimony which mentioned, in addition to her own family, the following surnames:

Tennenbaum, Zellermayer, Liebling, Kurzrok, Markel, Oberlander, Friedman, Igel, Lippmann, Migden, Schwefelgeist, Switajlo, Monis, Mehrer, Parnas, Landesberg, Rotfeld, Hoch, Bader, Linsker-Hafter, Buber, Hausmann, Tauber, Axer, Teichholz, Hescheles, Aleksandrowicz, Koch, Weigl, Rentschner, Schranz, Maleszewska and others.

The opening passage identifies her father as Maurycy Pickholz, the son of Jozef of Grzymalow. and Zisli (Gruber). From the opening line we learn that Michalina Pickholz took the name Olga Barniczowa during the war and her husband was Leon Auerbach of Stanislawow.

Later on page four, she names her Migden, Lippmann and Schwefelgeist cousins.

It was many years later, after our DNA project bore fruit, that I was able to identify Michalina/Olga as my father's third cousin, a great-granddaughter of Uncle Selig.

































This is the family as we came to know it, down to Olga's generation.
















But I am not here on this Holocaust Memorial Day - Yom Hashoah - to tell the story of the family structure. I am here to tell you that this week, Anna Mecik, the daughter of Olga's cousin David, has completed a translation into English of Olga's personal testimony. A copy has been submitted to Yad Vashem.

You can find Olga's testimony linked from this page, as a Word file. If I may say so, this is a good day to read it.

The population registry knew that Olga had died in 1964 at age fifty, however had no idea where she was buried. But the sole remaining Migden cousin knew and a few years ago I visited her grave at the very back corner of the Old Ramat Hasharon Cemetery.

The inscription reads:

Here lies buried
OLGA
BARNITSCH
bat Moshe
PICKHOLZ z"l
 
Died 18 Kislev 5725
TNZB"H (May her soul be bound in life)
 
 
 
 
In memory of
MOSHE ben YOSEF PICKHOLZ
FRIEDA Mehrer PICKHOLZ
ZVI ben MOSHE PICKHOLZ
Who were killed in the Shoah 5700-5705
May G-d avenge their blood



Anna Mecik, my fourth cousin, has begun working on a translation of Olga's report on the crimes against the Jews at the camp at Stutthof.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Julian's Father: Using Ethnicity Percentages

Each of the major DNA testing companies has an analysis of ethnicity based on their autosomal tests. They appear more based on statistics than on science and my feeling is that it's more a marketing tool than anything else, useful in a general sense, but not to be taken too seriously. These reports are meant for inquiries into deep ancestry, but many people use them to see if they had a Cherokee great-great-grandparent and such. I don't think that many people use them to solve twentieth century questions. Certainly not questions that are ancestor-specific.

Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) where I test, calls their analysis "My Origins" and here is what they show about me.
They have a breakdown by percentages and a map showing where those different groups are located today. As expected, they say I am 90% Jewish Ashkenazi with a bit of "Eastern Middle East" and a few margin-of-error types thrown in. My sisters are similar to me, but with small differences. As I say, useful in a general sense especially for people who have little idea of their ancestral backgrounds, but not to be taken too seriously.

Last week I spoke at the Israel Genealogical Society's Petah Tiqva branch, giving my usual basic DNA talk. I told the story of Joanna, the Polish woman whose grandfather Julian (1911-1986) was supposedly the illegitimate son of a Pikholz who was the estate manager in Klimkowce, not far from Skalat. The structure we worked out over time in our first foray into genetic genealogy was this:
The people who tested are Jacob and Joanna's uncle who insisted on anonymity. His kit is listed as Filip, who is in fact Joanna's son. Jacob himself was in the audience in Petah Tiqva. The reason this looked like a good bet for genetic testing was not only that the relationship is close enough to be doable, but also because even if DNA showed a slightly more distant relationship, there was no alternate explanation. Any DNA that "Filip" and Jacob have in common could not have come from anyone else as all of Joanna's family is strictly Polish.

You cannot go into all the possibilities in that kind of lecture, but in fact Jacob and I were always aware of one other possibility. We don't know if Josef was still alive when Julian was conceived. A grandson was named for Josef six months after Julian was born, so perhaps Josef could not have fathered Julian. But Josef had several sons who would have been in their twenties and there is a good chance that whenever Josef died, one of the sons became the estate manager in his place. So perhaps one of Josef's sons was Julian's father. (The sons, by the way, were not full-brothers of Jacob's grandfather. After Jacob's grandmother died, Josef married a Pikholz niece and the other sons were from her.)

It was, however, my best estimate that Josef himself was the father, especially since Julian named his first son Josef for reasons that no one in the family ever knew.

The DNA was ambiguous. Here are "Filip's" first six matches:
As is clear from the ancestral surnames on the right, four of the six are Pikholz descendants. The first three of those are Jacob and two of his cousins. (The fourth is my third cousin in Denver. I don't know why he is here.) All of them are called "2nd cousin - 4th cousin." I would have expected Jacob and "Filip" to be 2nd-3rd cousins, but in fact if you look at the shared centiMorgans, Jacob's connection is the weakest - both in longest segment and in the aggregate.

The weakness of the match between Jacob and "Filip" could be the randomness of DNA, but it also could be because Julian's father was one of Josef's sons. I preferred the former. Jacob himself was less certain.

So as the Q&A continued in Petah Tiqva, Jacob also mentioned that "Filip's" My Origins showed him to have only 17% Jewish Diaspora making it quite impossible for him to have had measurable Jewish DNA from any non-Pikholz source.

In any case, "Filip's" grandfather was a Pikholz and about twenty-five percent of his DNA should have reflected that - regardless of whether it came from Josef or one of his sons. Seventeen percent seemed to me beyond the norm. (I'd say "beyond a standard deviation" but that would imply that I know something about statistics.)

After I got home, I had a closer look. Here is "Filip's" My Origins:






















Filip's "Ashkenazi Diaspora" component is 20%, not the 17% that Jacob had cited. FTDNA recalibrates these numbers from time to time. That's still less than what we would expect from someone whose grandfather was fully Jewish. I also called up Jacob's My Origins.



















Jacob appears to be 86% Ashkenazi with another 14% that is probably Sephardic. Filip has none of the Sephardic or other Southern European  or Turkish..

If I had to decide between Josef and one of his sons as the father of Julian, based on the DNA results and the My Origins (remember, I am not a big fan of My Origins and no one really thinks it is a precise measure of anything), I would say it like this.

Filip got less than the normal 25% of his grandfather's DNA. So no wonder that Jacob's match with Filip is weaker than one might expect. But Jacob's match with Filip is not extraordinarily weak - not enough to account for both the 20%/25% difference and the addition of an extra generation, even an extra generation which comes from Josef's niece/wife..

So I will stick with "Josef himself is Julian's father." But then I don't know much about statistics. And I don't much trust My Origins. It may be that these ethnicity percentages can occasionally be used to address ancestor-specific questions from 106 years ago. Who knew?

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Bauers and the Rosenzweigs

Autosomal results came in recently for Susan, my second cousin on my father's maternal side.

This is the structure of the family. The shaded names have tested and results are in. One more is not on GEDmatch yet.



















We have two children and six grandchildren of my grandmother, a grandson of my grandmother's sister and now Susan a granddaughter of my grandmother's brother. All these are descendants of my great-grandparents Moritz Rosenzweig and Regina Bauer. Their mothers are Zelinka and Stern, respectively.

We also have tests from my father's second cousin, Shabtai, on the Bauer/Stern side and from Fred, the grandson of my grandmother's half-sister on the Rosenzweig/Zelinka side. Fred's Jewish DNA is all from Aunt Ella.

Susan's first matches, as ranked by Family Tree DNA, include all those known relatives plus a second cousin on her mother's side.

I set up a chromosome browser on GEDmatch for all eleven of Susan's matches on our sides to see if we could discern a significant amount of DNA from each of my great-grandparents' sides.

GEDmatch estimates Susan to be 2.4-2.6 generations from Aunt Betty and Uncle Bob and 2.7-3.1 generations from the seven second cousins. They have her as 3.2 generations from Shabtai and 3.3 from Fred.

On the right is the color code that GEDmatch uses to distinguish segment sizes. Remember, the sizes of the graphic bars are not proportional to the actual centiMorgans.

On the chromosome browser which follows, I marked Fred's matches with Susan in red and Shabtai's matches with Susan in blue. I didn't label any of the rest of us because it doesn't matter who is who for the purpose of this exercise.

I did not include the X chromosome because Susan is related through her father's father, which produces no X component.




































































Seven of Susan's chromosomes have matches with both Fred and Shabtai, eight with Shabtai but not Fred, four with Fred but not Shabtai and three with matches with neither. After triangulation, we can tell without much doubt that certain segments of our DNA come from one side or the other. Of course, we also have segments which are clearly on my grandmother's side, but since neither Shabtai nor Fred shares them, we cannot tell whether they come from the Rosenzweig/Zelinka side or the Bauer/Stern side.

Normally, I would say that we need to test additional cousins on each side, but Fred is an only grandchild and Shabtai has only one living sibling and no known cousins. We have a fifth cousin on the Zelinka side but she does not match Susan and we have a fifth cousin once removed on the Rosenzweig side, but his small match with Susan on chromosome 6 does not match any of the rest of us.

I really have to refresh myself on the use of Kitty Cooper's mapping tools. Doing this on all sides would help understand which ancestral couple provided what parts of our DNA but also what was the make up of the ancestors themselves.

Housekeeping notes
This Wednesday, 13 April, I am speaking about DNA at the Petah Tiqva branch of the Israel Genealogical Society. Seven o'clock at Yad Lebanim, Arlosorov 30. I'll be speaking in Hebrew. Signed copies of ENDOGAMY: One Family, One People will be available for purchase.

Seven weeks until my next programs, in London and Toronto. You can order books for pick-up there until 30 May.