Sunday, November 4, 2018

The Rosenfeld Connection - Test Everyone!

I recently received an email from a woman named Susan.  Susan had asked her first cousin Francine to take a DNA test, and when Susan uploaded Francine's results to GedMatch, she noticed that Francine shared a very large segment with two kits I administer--for my cousins Berly and Paula.

Berly and Paula are first cousins to my father through their Diamond mother, and they are sisters to one another.  My initial thought was that the connection was going to be through their father, and I was going to forward the email onto them.  But I looked at Francine's results first.  Right away, I realized that this shared DNA was via my Diamond side; both my father's first cousin Stephen (also a first cousin to Berly and Paula) as well as their second cousin once removed, Patty, all shared relatively large segments of that same chromosome.
DNA Shared by Francine & My Known Relatives

Berly and Paula each share a segment of over 60cM with Francine.  Stephen shares a 38cM portion of that segment, and Patty shares a separate 30cM segment.  And yes, everyone triangulates.  So the implication is that the connection would be via the shared ancestors of Berly, Paula, Stephan & Patty--my great-great grandparents, Hillel & Hinda Diamond.

Susan is related on Francine's father's side, and the surnames she mentioned from that side didn't sound immediately familiar to me.  But Susan also told me she knew two names on Francine's mother's family--Rosenfeld and Zukin.  It took a few minutes, but then I realized that I knew exactly who Francine was.  I had blogged about a potential Rosenfeld/Zukin connection in July 2017 here.

This all started in August 2014 when I wrote about two brothers (David and Chaim/Hyman Rosenfeld) who were related in some manner to the Diamond family.  When they came to America, they were on the same ship with Morris Dorfman (husband of my grandfather's Aunt Shaindel/Jennie) and some other relatives, and they were going to join their cousin L. Diamond, my grandfather's Uncle Leibish (Louis Diamond in America).
Rosenfeld Brothers' Ship Manifest; 1909
Was Leibish really a cousin to the brothers or could he have been a family friend who the brothers called "cousin"?  Well, DNA has now answered that one.  Leibish was definitely a relative of these brothers--David's granddaughter's Francine shares these large segments with descendants of Leibish's parents.

Francine shares little DNA with my father or his siblings.  She shares little DNA with other descendants of my grandfather's Aunt Shaindel/Jennie who have tested, with the exception of Patty.  Had I not coerced nicely asked so many relatives to test, I might never have connected with Francine.  Had I connected with Francine not via DNA and asked her to test, comparing her DNA to just my father's would not have be a compelling argument for any sort of relationship (beyond the normal bits of DNA shared by most pairs of Jewish people).

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  1. When testing your relatives, which company do you use? Do you use multiple testing companies? And how do you decide which one to use for a particular relative?

    1. For close relatives, Ancestry and then I make sure to transfer everywhere else. For others, I tend to use FTDNA.

    2. What's your logic for doing it that way? I'm trying to decide how to start testing relatives and I'm torn between Ancestry and FTDNA.

    3. I like that I can manage everyone's account via one project, rather than having to set up multiple accounts (since I tend to administer them). And with the same sample, I can also do y &/or mtDNA if appropriate. Also, since FTDNA saves the sample, if new tests are invented in a decade and some of the tested relatives have since passed away, they could still potentially be tested.

    4. That makes sense to me. So why do close relatives on Ancestry? I'm tempted do distant relatives on Ancestry because of the wider pool of matches.

    5. For those, I did both. :) Get them in the Ancestry pool but have their samples with FTDNA. But doing that for everyone doubles the cost.

  2. You manage a kit with one of my newer matches... E. Tolchin. Here is my Kit SJ9496003 (*Robinson). I believe my Portnoy side married a Diamond in the early 1900's however, I don't recognize a Tolchin. Jacob/Jack Portnoy (Russian) married Gizella Diamond (Romanian) in New York on 12 December 1918. I've been trying to find my Portnoy's but there are so few left and quite a few notable ones that aren't interested. So, I figure I will leave a comment and see where it goes!

  3. I jumped the gun! I match 3 other kits as well! L. Diamond (you?) S. Diamond and Ruth L. I think I can safely say, "Hello Cousin!"

  4. One more. This is Gesella's family before she married into Portnoy. New York State Census, 1905:
    Name: Gesela Diamand
    Residence Place: Manhattan, New York, New York
    Age: 5
    Birth Year (Estimated): 1900
    Birthplace: Romania
    Relationship to Head of Household: Daughter
    Race: W
    Gender: Female
    Household Role Sex Age Birthplace
    Henry Diamand Head Male 40y Romania
    Bessie Diamand Wife Female 34y Romania
    Fannie Diamand Daughter Female 9y Romania
    Gustav Diamand Son Male 7y Romania
    Gesela Diamand Daughter Female 5y Romania

    1. Michele,

      I didn't post your other two comments because they included GedMatch numbers.

      The one thing you need to realize here is that these are all Ashkenazic kits, so endogamy is at play. To demonstrate, the people you mentioned include my mother's brother and my father's brother, who are not related to one another. Here's what true cousins look like when dealing with endogamy:

      And unfortunately those aren't my Diamonds; mine are from what is now Ukraine (quite a distance from Romania) and was then Russian Empire.