Thank you for adding me to the discussion group.
I have recently done an Autosomal DNA test which came back with the overwhelming results linking me to some 1000+ Jewish cousins. While I had a suspicion that I might have some Jewish ancestry the results were far beyond my expectation. However, I am stuck because I do not recognise any of the surnames and am not able to link to my family tree.
I was born in Lithuania. But according to my paternal grandmother, her parents PLATEISS / PLATEIS were Baltic Germans based in Riga. Strangely, my grandmother baked challah, this tradition has been passed from generation to generation since my gggg-grandmother surname DIKAITE / DIKIS. I suspect they could have been Jews converted by The Lutheran Church, with links in Germany, Latvia and Lithuania (Birzai). I am researching the above names to determine if Jewish.
My maternal side of the family from Pasvol, Salat and Birzai (District Ponevez) claim to be 100% Lithuanian, although I do question some surnames ROZENAS, VRUBLIAUSKAITE, MASKOLIUNAS, RUTKEVILIS, KASCIUSKA, SLEKONIS and the accuracy of the maternal family tree altogether. The documents have been destroyed and my maternal grandmother’s stories are confusing, her denial of Jewish roots, a very sensitive emotional reaction and deliberate attempts to stop my research made me believe she must be hiding the identity of the ancestors and that the names have possibly been changed to Lithuanian. In the meantime, mtDNA test results linked me to people with Jewish ancestral names in haplogroups H & H1b, also people in Scandinavia, British Isles, Netherlands, Sicily, even a few cousins in Brazil and Iberian Peninsula. I realise dna test is not a valid proof of one’s Jewishness but I am fascinated by the idea that there is a chance my mom could actually be Jewish.
I do not know how to best proceed with my search from here and would be extremely grateful for tips and suggestions on how to identify my Jewish ancestors.