Sunday, March 24, 2019

A DNA Connection--Or Rather, Connection_s_!

Back in November 2018, I was going through my 23AndMe results.  Because I'm 100% Jewish, endogamy causes me to have a ton of predicted close matches, so I was concentrated on those with open sharing, so that I could look at the size of our largest shared segment as well as those where known relatives who have tested also shared a large total amount of DNA.  One of the people I messaged was MC.
Message Sent to MC in November 2018

I received a response in February from MC's son:
Message Received, February 2019
John saw my Bajcz surname listed, and his mother has Basch ancestors.  However, my Bajcz family was from pretty far north up in Volhynia.  But Velyatin sounded interesting.  Remember my cousin Avishay?

John's mother was on GedMatch, so I compared her to several of my other kits.  And wow, do they share DNA!
Shared Segments on Chromosome 2
On chromosome 2, there's a large segment shared, to various degrees, by my mother, her brother, their aunt, and Avishay.  That was pretty intriguing.  But it got better.
Shared segments on chromosome 17 & 19
Ron and my mother are third cousins; their shared ancestors are my 3rd great grandparents, Mendel Ita Farkas Rutner.  Ron shares some segments on these and several other segments with John's mother, but there's no triangulation.  So at this point, I can't definitely attribute the connection to being through the Rutner/Farkas line.

Helen is my grandmother's first cousin, on their shared Rutner line.  She does share triangulated segments with John's mother and my uncle and great-aunt.  So that at least points us towards my Rutner great grandparents as being the connection.

This was exciting.  But wait, there's more!
Shared segments on chromosomes 23 & 23
There were other large segments shared by Helen, my great-aunt, my mom and my uncle.

Well, I already got the records for Velyatin, so I took what John knew about his mother's Velyatin family and found the connection.

Johns's great grandfather was Wolf/Farkas Marton, the son of Malka Szax and Samuel Marton.  I actually already had some of the Szax family from Velyatin in my tree, but I didn't have Malka.  John didn't know Malka's parents' names, but he did know that after Malka died, his great grandfather married Malka's sister Fani.
Feige Sax Marton Death, 1929
Feige Sax died in Venyatin on January 7, 1929.  The death was reported (on the right side of the above image) by Samuel Marton.  And her parents were Moses and Rivke Sax.

I know who these people are.  Rivke's maiden name was Klein.  Her mother was Malka Rutner Klein, who was a first cousin of my great-great-great grandfather.  So John's mother and I are fifth cousins once removed!

But here's the thing.  Although that's the only connection I've found so far on paper, that can't be the only connection.  Remember those shared segments on Chromosome 23?
Shared Segments on the X Chromosome with MC
Chromosome 23 is the X chromosome.  X is inherited differently than the other 22 chromosomes, in that men only get an X from their mother (while women get an X from each parent).  Because of that, an X segment in common wouldn't be passed down a line that has two men in a row.  Which this does--this connection is via my great-great grandfather's father's father, so there are three men in sequence.  So there has to be a connection in another way as well, especially with this amount of X and the amount of DNA that my part of the family shares with John's mother.  So I'm still investigating.

But meanwhile, I'm in contact with my 6th cousin John, who is likely also related in other ways as well!

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  1. Hi! I think we might be related, too :-). I just got back from a trip to Velyatin (and Mukachevo). My Velyatin family names are Adler and Sax.

    1. We likely are related! Please email me, and we can figure it out. (And even if we're not, I can get you in touch with John.)

  2. What a great post and discovery.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. hi how can I get in touch with you? I am researching my family history in Velyatin?

    1. Hi! All of the known vital records for Velyatin are indexed and are on JewishGen.