Sunday, October 7, 2018

DNA & Naming Patterns Find Another Fuchs Branch (I Think)

Back in November 2016, a new match popped up on FamilyTreeDNA.  This person, IK, shared some very large segments with several of my family members.  Despite the fact that everyone involved here is 100% Ashkenazic Jewish (so endogamy abounds), these large segments imply that there is an actual close relationship.
DNA IK shares with some of my family members (showing matching segments of 10cM and higher)

Based on who IK matched (and didn't match), I was pretty sure that the match was via my Fuchs/Vizel line.  The gentleman who manages IK's kit thought it was through IK's Farkas line, since I have Farkas ancestors.  However, Farkas was an extremely common surname in the area, and IK didn't match cousins who are related via my Farkas line but not the Fuchs line.

When I emailed IK's kit administrator recently, he sent me a link to IK's tree--and things got interesting.  IK's grandfather was listed as Gershon Farkas, son of Wolf.  There were no spouses listed for either Gershon or Wolf.  So I went and looked for one.
Gerson Farkos Birth, 1880
Gerson Farkas was born on October 13, 1880 in what is now Vilkhivtsi, Ukraine.  His parents were given as Wolf and Dvora.

Gerson had siblings as well; from their birth records, we learn that the mother's full name was Chaja Dvora Steinmetz.  Gerson's siblings included:
  • Josef Marku, born June 15, 1868
  • Twins Abraham Burech & Izsak Mendel, born July 17, 1869
  • Levi, born April 15, 1872
The given names here are very familiar to me.  Gerson Fuchs was my fourth great grandfather, and Yitzchak Menachem (Izsak Mendel in Hebrew) Fuchs was the name of both my third and fifth great grandfathers.

The sandek (godfather) for Izsak Mendel was Mendel Steinmetz, and the sandek for Abraham Burech was Jakub Fux.  Could Jakub have been a relative?

Likely either Wolf's or Chaja Devora's mother was a Fuchs.  But which one?  I don't know--yet.  But I wouldn't have even realized that this family was related were it not for the DNA hint.

As always, DNA doesn't stand on its own, but in conjunction with documentation, it can be powerful.  Stay tuned as I (hopefully) find documentation to cement this connection!

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

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