Sunday, July 9, 2017

Diamond Cousins Reunited, 100+ Years Later

Back in May 2013, I got my first FamilyTreeDNA FamilyFinder (autosomal) results back and contacted a predicted 1st-3rd cousin match.  Long story short (and you can read the long story here--it still gives me chills), my grandfather's aunt Shaindel was not killed in the Holocaust as had been recorded in my family tree since around 1990, but rather she was living in Detroit.  Jennie Diamond Dorfman (as she was known in America) had six children who lived to adulthood, seventeen grandchildren who lived to adulthood, and dozens of great- and great-great grandchildren.
My Grandfather's Aunt, Jennie Diamond Dorfman

Since 2013, I've met several of these Detroit cousins as they passed through Maryland, but this past weekend, I went to Michigan to meet more of them.  I stayed with my father's second cousins (thank you, Dave & Priscilla!), and they graciously hosted a get-together at their home so that I could meet some of the other cousins (and it only ended up being a small fraction--there are a LOT of cousins!).
With DNA-Discovered Cousins
We got a group photo, but unfortunately some relatives had left by this time (Karen, Makayla, Julian, Lexi, and maybe a few others) so they aren't in the photo.

And yes, I did get some DNA samples (thanks to Dave Sr., Patty & Debbie) which will help to get more segments inherited from our mutual ancestors, Hillel & Hinda Diamond.

People say that genetic genealogy when you're Jewish is impossible.  It definitely is harder than if you aren't from an endogamous community, but it isn't impossible.  I never would have thought to look for these cousins since I assumed my grandfather's aunt had been killed.  And now I have met a new and wonderful part of the family!

Note:  I'm on Twitter.  Follow me (@larasgenealogy).


  1. Thank you for sharing this. What a blessing!

  2. Which DNA company did you use? I used a well known company & wasn't able to connect with anybody. Please let me know. Thanks.

    1. I used FamilyTreeDNA. But you have success at the company where your family members have tested--and it may be in different places for different people.

  3. Lara, you have discovered so my tragedy in your family tree. It is entirely heartwarming to read about family re-discovered.