JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen OPPENHEIM Family- Whose Son Was He? Y-DNA Mismatch #general


Carolyn Lea <clea@...>
 

I have been researching the Hertz Wolf OPPENHEIM/ER (b Hannover 1787) family
that settled in Charleston, SC. A son, Joseph Hertz (b 1823 Charleston) md.
Hannah Joseph (b 1827 Charleston) and moved his family to Savannah, Ga. Last
year I was contacted by a researcher (she found me on Jgen) who was working
on this line. Together we extended my research, especially trying to make
sense of information regarding her husband's grandfather, Frank Davis
Oppenheim. The records we have found indicate the following:

Frank is listed as the son of Joseph and Hannah, b 1882 in the 1900 census.
Hannah claims to have 9 children, 8 living. She claims the same in 1910.

Frank's death certificate also gives his date of birth as 1882 and lists his
parents as Hannah and Joseph, his place of birth as Charleston. Same with
his WWI registration.

Obits for both the parents and most of the siblings (those we have located)
identify Frank as a son/brother.

Frank was a musician who traveled with minstrel shows and circuses. There is
a scrapbook about travels and performances but little on personal life.
There is a postcard (to a sister) in which he refer's to himself as a
brother. Frank had two children by his first marriage. The son was placed in
an orphanage supposedly due to a cleft palate. His sister found him as an
adult. This opens up another possibility, i.e., that the son was not Frank's
child.

The age difference between Frank and and his closest sibling is 17 years.
Hannah would have been 55 years old at the time of his birth. While this is
certainly possible it raised doubts for us and my friend decided to have a Y
DNA test done in which Frank's grandson's DNA was tested against another
direct male descendant in Joseph's line. The DNA did not match and the lab
reported the test results did not match other samples of known Jewish
heritage. Higher-level genetic matches suggested lineage most closely
matched samples originating in the British Isles.

Unlike Keith Promisel who posted about a DNA mismatch last week we do not
doubt the lab's findings. Our questions are concerned with the most likely
possibilities of parentage. I was unable to find a birth record for Frank in
1882 Charleston on the LDS film for that year (altho it is clear some births
were not recorded.) My questions are:

This family was not wealthy as far as we can determine. They were
"comfortable." Is it likely they would have adopted a child when in their
mid-fifties who was not related in some way? If he is not related at all how
common would it be to claim so on the records listed above?

All four daughters were old enough to have a child in 1882. If a daughter
gave birth out of wedlock or was unable to raise the child due to divorce or
abandonment is it likely the child would be raised as and identified as a
son? One daughter married a non-Jewish man (whose lineage was British)
although we have found little information on him and it is unclear when he
died or how much he hung around. Do the labs findings negate the possibility
of a Jewish mother?

Feeling as though we have now hit a brick wall, we would welcome any
comments and suggestions. I know there are many possibilities but we are
trying to determine the most likely scenarios to know how to proceed.

Carolyn Lea
NW Ohio
clea@woh.rr.com
ID# 152314

Researching: SCHWARZBAUM/SCHWARTZBAUM > Posen, Prussia >New York,Savannah, Georgia
and California ROTHSCHILD/ROTHCHILD> Zierenberg, Hessen Kassel, Hamburg? Prussia>
Darien and Savannah, Georgia BASCH>Prussia>Savannah, Georgia LEWISOHN/LEVISON
Elbing, West Prussia> Brunswick and Savannah, Georgia OPPENHEIM(ER) > Hannover>
Savannah, Georgia and South Carolina WEINBERG >Prussia? Hamburg?> Georgia
WITKOWSKI/ WITMAN> Posen, Prussia > Georgia, Florida, New York

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