Sunday, February 18, 2018

Some Day I'll Find It, The Mitchneck Connection: Using Lazarus to Predict Relationships

I've mentioned before that various family members have stated that we were related to Simon Mitchneck, a famous Hollywood voice coach.  I've written about finding letters from Simon's sister enclosed in Simon's passport applications that spoke about the family's desperate situation in the aftermath of World War I.  Records of Simon and his three brothers (who emigrated to America) consistently named their father as Shia and their mother as Leah/Lea Goldberg/Goldenberg.  I do know that they do have some sort of connection to the Halper family (which also may be my great-great grandmother's maiden name).

And back in December, I wrote about how Simon Mitcheck's great nephew contacted me after seeing his family discussed on the blog--and how the DNA that the great nephew shared with known descendants of Hillel and Hinda Diamond demonstrated that the family stories of a relationship were correct.

After seeing this post, Simon's nephew "M" (the father of the gentleman who contacted me) agreed to test.  His results came in, and again, there are multiple large segments shared with varying descendants of Hillel and Hinda Diamond.  Descendants of Hillel and Hinda Diamond share anywhere from 7.3cM to 119.6cM with him, so predicting the true relationship is difficult--particularly because we are dealing with Ashkenazic Jewish DNA, which is intrinsically endogamous.  (In the chart below, D, L, Berly, Paul & Stephan are 100% Ashkenazi; Beth and David are 50% Ashkenazi; Liz, Patty and Debra are 25% Ashkenazi; M is 100% Ashkenazi.)
DNA Shared by Tested Descendants of Hillel & Hinda Diamond with M.  (Orange boxes represent tested individuals)

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Megillah & Friday Night Dinner at RootsTech!

If you're Jewish and will be at RootsTech in just over a week, please come to Megillah readings!  RootsTech has been gracious enough to let us use a room in the Salt Palace Convention Center for Megillah!  In addition, we will be getting together for a (kosher) Friday night dinner--RSVP requested.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Ashkenazic Jewish Shared DNA Survey - Initial Results

Thank you to everyone who has contributed data about shared DNA in people with Ashkenazic ancestry!  I have 4000 data points to analyze, and that should help the entire genetic genealogy community  (I'm still collecting data--you can find out more about the project and how to contribute here).

So far I've been going through and finding anomalies in the data and contacting those submitters (if they left email addresses) to clarify some things.

I'm going to do some deeper statistical analysis once I get the data cleaned up, but meanwhile, here is a high-level look at the data so far.  This data contains entries regardless of the percentage of Ashkenazi DNA (later posts will break down shared DNA based on how much Ashkenazi ancestry the testers have).  This is using very rough data, but I wanted to get some initial information out there to hopefully help inform people while I work on cleaning the data and then analyzing results.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Current DNA Sales

Both FamilyTreeDNA and Ancestry have ongoing sales on DNA tests!  (Affiliate links are below; if you buy using these affiliate links, I get a small commission, and you do not pay any more than you would otherwise.)

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

February Talks - VA, AZ, UT

I have four talks coming up in February.  All are DNA/endogamy-related, and they'll be in Virginia, Arizona & Utah.  Details are as follows:


Sunday, February 4, 2018

Polish Schoolchildren's Signatures

Anyone who had family in what was Poland of 1926 (which includes parts of modern-day Ukraine and Lithuania, as well as much of modern-day Poland and parts of what used to be Russian Empire, Galicia, Czechoslovakia and East Prussia among others) needs to be aware of an incredible resource hosted by the Library of Congress.

In 1926, in honor of America's 150th anniversary of independence, Polish schoolchildren wrote their signatures in "admiration and friendship for the United States."  Children of all religions participated--Jewish names are interspersed with Ukrainian, Polish, and Czech children's names.
Page of signatures from schoolchildren in Horochow, Poland (now Horochiv, Ukraine), 1926

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Rutner Family Hungarian Passport

My great grandmother Esther Rutner Joshowitz had only one sibling who came to America--her brother Adolph (also known as Abraham).  Adolph/Abraham was born in Dulfalva, Hungary (today Dulovo, Ukraine), married Amalia "Mali" Kassirer and had two sons in Budapest, moved to Paris, and then emigrated to America.  His wife and two sons later joined him in Pennsylvania, and Adolph's daughter Helen was born in America.

Adolph's second son, Emile, gave me copies of some family documents back in the early 1990s--among which were the passport on which he, his mother, and his brother Max used to emigrate to America.

Although at the time this passport was issued, Dulfalva was in Czechoslovakia and Petrova (Amalia's birthplace) was in Romania, Amalia's passport was Hungarian.