German ancestry of my Galician or Ukrainian ancestors?

Joseph Walder

One of the thus far enduring mysteries of my DNA matches (on Ancestry) is the appearance of moderately strong matches with people who, when contacted, tell me something along the lines of "I can trace my ancestors back in Germany several hundred years." This is mysterious to me because my paternal grandparents came from Galicia and my maternal grandparents came fromĀ  Ukraine. I've traced three of the four back to the mid/early 1800s. (The fourth, who abandoned his family in the US, had very likely falsified his name and perhaps other aspects of his history.) The trail goes cold when I get back far enough that Jews in Galicia and Ukraine did not have surnames.

So how do I interpret those DNA matches tied to German ancestry? How might I link them to ancestors in Galicia and Ukraine? Just to be clear, the DNA matches tied to German ancestry have typical strengths of around 100 cM.

Joseph Walder, Portland, Oregon, USA

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