As an experienced researcher but a newbie to DNA, I'm struggling with interpreting the results.
I did the basic autosomal test with Ancestry and uploaded my data to GEDmatch and MyHeritage for maximum coverage. I've matched the DNA of 13 other second and third cousins whom I knew already, and their matches fit the standard pattern.
So far, so good. But I've also found 70 or so people with whom I have no known connection and no shared surname, going back to when surnames were made mandatory for Eastern European Jews (c.1800), who share with me either more than 100cM of DNA or one segment longer than 35cM. That's more than many of my third cousins!
I know that because we Ashkenazi Jews are an endogamous population I may share a total amount of DNA with someone with whom I have no single recent common ancestor, but many repeated strands which might not converge later than perhaps 20 or more generations ago. But my question is this: does one shared segment of (say) 35 to 50 cM mean that we are almost certainly fifth cousins or closer? Or is it again just an indicator of endogamy?
BORENSTEIN, MORDECHELEVITCH,GODZINSKIJ & ZIMNOWICZ from Warsaw and Grodno
MILLET, ENGELBERG, BLUMENKEHL, SUSSWEIN, WACKS & PITERZIL from Tarnow, Dabrowa Tarnowska and Lezajsk
LEZTER, SALENDER, RINENBERG, EISEN & KRAETTER from Rzeszow and Kolbuszowa
YAROSHEVSKY, SHAPOCHNIKOW & GRANITUR from Odessa and Zlatopol/Novomirgorod
LEWINSTEIN from Berdichev
ADLER, FINKELSTEIN, PARYLLE, WEINTRAUB & ZILZ from Tarnopol and Trembowla