Sunday, March 10, 2013


The month of Nisan begins Monday evening. My mother's mother and maternal grandmother died during Nisan and last year I wrote about that here with some follow-up on the Rosenblooms here

To this we can add the "lost" photograph of Etta-Bryna's grave. (I though I had posted that, but cannot find it in my previous posts.)

It shows my grandmother's younger sister Shayna Liba standing next to her mother's grave, shortly before she went to America at no more than twenty years old.

Now on to the subject of the week.

PIKHOLZ DNA - Where are we holding?
When we last looked at the Pikholz Project's DNA just over six months ago, the situation was thus:
The red circles were those who had tested or had ordered tests, the greens said they would and the blues were targeted.
In addition to my own tests, my father's sister and a first cousin also tested. This has been very helpful in keeping things sorted out. (They also both tested on their mothers' sides, which is useful but for another discussion.)

The Y-chromsome for Vladimir was not what we had hoped for. While Dalia's nephew and I are a perfect match in haplogroup R-M269, Vladimir is J-M172. So barring issues of a "false father," we have at least two Pikholz male lines. We must keep in mind, however, that we do not know that Vladimir belongs to the Skalat side. He may very well be a Rozdoler. In the autosomal test, Vladimir is a remote cousin (further than fourth cousin) of Dalia and of the my father's sister and cousin.

(One of the Rozdolers asked why I have not encouraged his side to test. I told him that I wasn't really up to chasing after potential testees, but would help anyone else who would take it on.)

The autosomal test for the Kansas City cousin was even further off the charts. I expected that she would be a fairly close cousin to Vladimir, but she shows up as not even remote to him or to any of the rest of us. On the other hand, she could be a fifth or sixth cousin and there are any number of other testees who show up as connected to her and to one or more of us.

Our testing company, Family Tree DNA, has had a few discount opportunities, but despite my encouragement, no one had taken advantage of any of them until now.

I don't know how much longer the
$39 price will be valid. You can order at
A few weeks ago FTDNA tried a new kind of discount - $39 for the most basic Y chromosome test. This test is for twelve markers, much simpler than the thirty-seven markers that Dalia's nephew and Vladimir did and the sixty-seven markers that I did. From our standpoint, it is enough to check possible connections while also getting the DNA sample into FTDNA's sytem so that we can do more extensive testing later.

I contacted everyone as usual and mentioned it at the end of one of my weekly blogs. This time there were results. First off, one of the Rozdolers ordered a test. A Y-12 is not enough to say that there is a common male line, but it is enough to say there isn't. Later we can do more - and perhaps another Rozdoler or three will test as well. 

Tests were ordered for the two Israelis on the chart - Moshe and Aharon. The trick now will be to get them to actually submit the DNA samples. I am speaking in Kiryat Tiv'on next week and if the kits arrive by then, I will try to visit one of the two on my way north.

The possible Polish cousin agreed to test and a kit was ordered for him. His concern was that none of his neighbors should find out he is Jewish. Here if he seems to fit a known Pikholz male line, great. If not we can upgrade his analysis to an autosomal and do a comparison with Jacob, who is a known Pikholz, but without a male line. Not to mention the RITA and TONKA families whom I assume are descended from the same Nachman Pikholz who is known to be Jacob's third-great-grandfather.

I had high hopes that "M" would test. We had a bit of conversation, but he did not address the specific question of testing. I heard nothing from the other two - but perhaps they ordered kits without telling me. (I can dream, can't I?)

We now have tests or kits on order for eleven supposed Pikholz descendants and we are all in a surname project at FTDNA called "Pickholtz." Those who wish to contribute to the Project without actually testing are welcome to give a donation. This can be done online here. Thank you.

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Housekeeping note
I am speaking (in Hebrew) at the Israel Genealogical Society's Kiryat Tiv'on branch on Sunday evening 17 March at 6:30.  The subject is

1 comment:

  1. Correction: On the tree chart above, the daughter of Moshe Hersch and wife of Szulim (on the left side) is NOT Taube. That should be Sara, sometimes recorded as Sara Nesia.