Sunday, July 20, 2014

Some summarizing data on my DNA projects

As we get ready for registration for the GRIPitt course in Practical Genetic Genealogy this
afternoon (Sunday), it seems like a good time to summarize what kind of testing has been done for my family DNA projects. Unless I say otherwise, the test in question is a Family Finder (autosomal) test.

Today will also be the debut of my T-shirts, seen on the right. I have black and yellow, in additioon to the blue.

Thanks to Amy and Larry Kritzman for getting this done on time and Sarajoy for the graphics and some of the design.

My documented family 
First let me mention the close family members who have tested. Some of them are in more than one of my family lines.

Two of my sisters have done tests recently and we don't expect to see results for maybe six weeks. They, of course, are in all the lines that I am in.

My father's sister (aka Aunt Betty) is in all my lines on my father's side. She did both Family Finder and MtDNA. My second cousin Lee is also in all the lines on my father's side, as our grandfahers are brothers and our grandmothers are sisters.I had a few things to say about Lee's excellent DNA soon after his test results came it.

My father's first cousin Herb did both a Family Finder and MtDNA. My father's brother (aka U Bob) ordered a Family Finder test a few days ago, so that covers all but one of the living cousins of my father's generation. The last one is thinking about it.

Terry and Rhoda, daughters of my father's first cousins on the Pikholz side have tested. Rhoda's test is new. This means that of the six children of my great-grandfather Hersch Pickholz who had children, descendants of five have tested.

All those above are descendants of my great-grandparents Hersch Pickholz and Jutte Leah Kwoczka. Jutte Leah had two brothers and Baruch the grandson of one and Pinchas the  great-grandson of the other have also tested. Baruch also did the most basic Y (male line) test.

One other documented cousin on my father's side has tested. That would be Ralph, whose great-great-grandmother Leah was the older sister of Hersch Pickholz. His results are not in yet.

There are also connections on their other sides between Pinchas and Rhoda and between Herb and Ralph. That's endogamy for you - all that marrying within the tribe that makes the DNA very very hard to decipher.

My mother's family
On my mother's side, which I have only begun looking at, four cousins have tested - my first cousin Kay, my second cousin on my grandmother's side, Beth, and two second cousins on my grandfather's side Ruth and Judy. Ruth also did an MtDNA test. We do not yet have results for any of those tests.

Other Pikholz descendants from Skalat
Aside from my personal, documented family, we have eleven Skalaters who have done Family Finder tests. Those include:
  • a pair of third cousins with a Y-37 match to me  
  • two pairs of cousins, apparently part of the same family and also with a Y-37 match to me 
  • a set of two third cousins and a third cousin once removed
  • two individuals - Jane and david, whom we are having trouble connecting to anyone, though they are definitely Pikholz descendants from Skalat
We also have a Pikholz from Skalat who did the most basic Y-12 test, but has declined to do more. We have no one else in his family. the results of his Y-test are consistent with ours, but he only did twelve markers, so we cannot say much else.

Results are in for all of these.

Pikholz descendants from Rozdol
We have eleven Pikholz descendants from Rozdol families who have tested.
  • two second cousins froim a family that we can trace back only to about 1850
  • two third cousins and a second cousin to their parents
  • three descendants of the main Rozdol line - the one that traces back positively to the original Rozdol couple
  • one with a Pikholz maternal line back to his great-grandmother
  • two whose father are Pikholz on both sides. they share one side in common
Ambiguous Pikholz
We have two Pikholz descendants we have no ideaa how to place. I originally thought they were close to one another, that they were traceable to a specific Skalat family and that there would be another Y-37 match. Wrong, wrong and wrong.

Steve Pickholtz is a category of his own. His grandfather was adopted into the same Pikholz family as jane above and the adopting parents included the sister of the mother. Yet Steve also matches enough actual Pikholz descendants that we cannot ignore him.

Other non-Pikholz matches
Although our purpose in doing the DNA testing was to determine relationships withing the Pikholz families, we can hardly ignore someone who is not known to be a pikholz but who matches eighteen or twenty of ours.

We have about two dozen such people, mostly people who came to me. There are no doubt many more that I haven't chased after. Many of these have actually joined our surname project.

I have done chromosome browser analyses for many of these but have not been able to identify anything definitive. Maybe this GRIPitt course will change that. I have discussed a number of these analyses on this blog, over the past six or eight months.

Lines to my great-grandparents
Let me count out my great-grandparents, to see how many baases we have covered in Y and MtDNA tests.

My father's paternal grandparents:
  • I did the Y-37 that leads to Hersch Pickhilz and his father Isak Fischel
  • Herb's MtDNA leads to Jutte Leah Kwoczka and her mother Basie Pollak

My father's maternal grandparents:
  • Moritz Rosenzweig has no male line  descendant
  • Aunt Betty's MtDNA goes through her grandmother Regina bauer to Regina's mother Fani Stern
My mother's paternal grandparents:
  •  We have some people who can test the Gordon line, but no one wants to right now and it is not urgent
  • Ruth's MtDNA goes up through our great-grandmother Anna Kugel's mother Zelda
My mother's maternal grandparents:
  • We have Rosenblooms galore who can test for our great-grandfather Israel David Rosenbloom. No one has agreed to do so. yet.
  • I did the MtDNA for my great-grandmother Etta Bryna.
That's seven out of eight possible and five out of seven done - or in process. Good enough for now.

I don't have much WiFi access right now and there is much to do, so I shall close here. Big two weeks coming up.

While I was writing this, the good folks at GRIPitt accepted my suggegstion to make a brief presentation of the special challenges of Jewish genealogy. Something else to do in the next few days, but something I welcome.

Housekeeping notes
The handouts for my presentation at the IAJGS Conference on Jewish Genealogy in Salt Lake city is now available. The talk is entitled" Beyond a Doubt: What We Know vs. What We Can Prove."

See the handouts at

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