My genealogical research shows that in our past, it was very common for
our Askenazi ancestors to marry cousins, sometimes as close as first
cousins. This is not surprising since many of our ancestors lived in
rural villages with small Jewish populations.
Since this is more unusual in this century, it was quite a surprise to
discover that my wife (Jaye Medalia) and I also share a moderate DNA
match. We had her brother tested (Jim Medalia) so that we could also
access the family's Y-DNA haplogroup and it shows a potential 5th
cousin family finder match between our families. Through my
genealogical research on both sides of our families, we discovered that
we both had maternal great-grandmothers >from Vilkaviskis, Lithuania.
(Rousuck and Ringle surnames, respectively.) Since we have very little
information on family surnames beyond the mid-1800's, we suspect there
is probably a common ancestor >from that area, earlier in the 18th or
19th century. .
Alternatively, my wife's paternal family was >from Alsace and Germany.
My paternal great-grandmother was Hungarian and had the surname
Deutsch, which suggests that the family may have originally been
German. I seem to also share a lot of family finder matches with
persons of German descent. It may be that the family relationship
stems >from our paternal German ancestry.
Both of us also have relationship to the Greengard family. I actually
show the most connection to Joel M. Greengard, which shows a 23 cm
common block, and FTDNA says we could be 2nd-4th cousins, which I
assume stems >from our common Lithuanian heritage. My brother-in-law
also shares DNA with the family, but not to the same degree.
Let me know if you want to share more information about both of our
family's backgrounds. I am also curious about your family's Alsace
connection. I have done much research on my wife's Alsace ancestry.
She has a number of cousins with the Aron surname.
From: Alison Greengard
Date: Sat, 1 Feb 2014
My husband and I have always wondered if we are actually related as he
and I both have Aron as a family surname in our ancestry. My husband's
Aron family is >from the Strasbourg, Alsace region of France. My Aron
family is on my paternal side and >from Uzventis, Lithuania to the
1700's. We also know my Aron grandmother corresponded with a cousin in
the Strasbourg area of France. ...