Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Descendants of Chana Chaje Pikholz

I last wrote about the family of Mordecai Pikholz (~1805-1864) and his relationship to Izak Fischel Pikholz, my second-great-grandfather, about two months ago - here and here. I am pretty sure that they are brothers but I have nothing conclusive.

Here is the structure as we know it.
The purple-shaded area is the family of Chana Chaje.
People in yellow in parentheses have tested. For instance Dalia, a descendant of Chaim Yaakov.
Judy, Charlie and Leonora are also descended from Isak Josef on the top left.
In my posts two months ago, I discussed the Family Finder results of Ruth (at the bottom in green). We now have results for her first cousin Dana and their third cousin Moshe. (Ruth and Dana are also second cousins  as their non-Pikholz grandmothers. are sisters.)

Mordecai's eldest daughter Chana Chaje (~1823-1896) was married to a man named Eliezer (~1822-1878). We do not know his surname but he was a Levi, a family tradition backed by Moshe's Y-37 test. He may have had a generic Levite surname such as Segal or Halevi, or it may have been something else. In any event, the family was known as Pikholz, including Eliezer himself as we see in his death record, where he is listed by the nickname "Leiser."
Moshe's autosomal matches
Moshe has interesting segments with multiple matches on five chromosomes.

On chromosome 4 he has matches of nearly 11 cM with descendants of Rivka Feige, my g-g-gm, from her first husband Gabriel Riss. This is pretty clearly a Riss segment. Of course we have no idea who Moshe's common ancestor with the Riss family might be.

On chromosome 11, Moshe has a segment of nearly 29 cM with Ruth, 17-20 cM with Charlie and Nan and 12 cM with Dana. Charlie is a descendant of both Mordecai and Izak Josef, while Nan is a decendant of only Izak Josef. Izak Josef has no Y-DNA descendants, so we can tie him to Mordecai only through autosomal match such as this.

On chromosome 13, Moshe has a segment of 31.5 cM with Ruth and 16.3 cM with Dana. I would guess that this segment came from Eliezer the Levi, Chana Chaje's husband, rather than from Mordecai Pikholz or his wife Taube. This makes it less likely that Eliezer is closely related to the family in some other way, such as through Mordecai's wife Taube.

On chromosome 18, Moshe has 43 cM with Leonora and 42 cM with Dana on largely overlapping segments. (Leonora and Dana have a match on that segment of 38 cM, with a smaller segment almost immediately adjacent.) These are three mutual third cousins. Lara Diamond's Ashkenazic Shared DNA Survey shows third cousins sharing a longest segment anywhere from zero to 91 cM, with an average of 26.66 cM. (Her sample size is 397.) So this layman thinks that a single segment of over 40 cM is large and a share of that size among three mutual third cousins is fairly rare. This segment is probably from Eliezer the Levi.

Finally on chromosome 20, Moshe has a segment with Leonora of 60 cM including nearly 57 cM with Dalia.
The segment also includes matches of 24-32 cM with my cousins Fred and Herb, Barbara and Dana - and smaller segments with three cousins who are strictly Izak Josef descendants and my cousin Roz. These matches add weight to the connected nature of the families of Mordecai and Izak Josef, but without shedding much light.

I also ran Moshe's prominent segments on the Matching Segments Tool at GEDmatch and found quite a few non-Pikholz on most of them. I will probably write to those above whatever threshhold I set - perhaps 25 cM - and if the past is any indication, those who bother to respond will tell me that they don't know anything. But if even one can add to our knowledge, it is worth the effort.

Dana's autosomal matches
I discussed Ruth's matches previously but since she and Dana are so closely related (both first and second cousins) I cannot discuss Dana without mentioning Ruth.

On chromosome 4, Dana and Ruth have a matching segment of nearly 40 cM. Leonora matches a bit more than half of that segment. On the other end of that segment, Judy has a
match of nearly 20 cM, my father's sister has a match on just over 20 cM and my cousin Rhoda has a match of 12 cM. Those last three match Dana and Ruth either through Izak Josef or because Izak Fischel and Mordecai are brothers.

On chromosome 5, Dana has 27-28 cM with two of Izak Josef's descendants and 11 cM with one of my cousins. Ruth shares part of that. That is another segment shared by Mordecai and Izak Josef's descendants.

Looking further at chromosome 5, I saw two large-ish matches with strangers on the Matching Segments Tools.
Two strangers match this segment with Dana and Izak Josef descendants. I wrote to them.

Dana's matches on chromosomes 13 and 20 are covered by what I wrote about Moshe above.

On chromosome 18, Dana has the one large segment with Moshe and Leonora that I discussed above plus one more with Charlie of 25 cM together with smaller matches with Ruth and Nan.

The general overview
Dana's matches with the Isak Josef and Isak Fischel descendants are sronger than Moshe's but weaker than her close cousin Ruth's. My feeling is that the difference between Dana and Ruth is just the vagaries of DNA, while the difference between the two women and Moshe is real. Perhaps if Dana's brother tested, he would be closer to Ruth than Dana is. Perhaps if Moshe's sister tested, she might be closer to Dana and Ruth than Moshe is.

The one I really want to test is Esther, the granddaughter of Tema. She is one generation older than the other descendants of Chana Chaje, though she is chronolocally younger than some of them. Esther seems to have moved since my last contact with her.

Four years ago, I wrote about three or four marriages between the Pikholz family and the Zellermayers. I expect that there is something further here - perhaps Izak Josef's wife. I am not sure at this time how I might determine that.

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