Re: Need help identifying my maternal grandfather #dna


I haven't mastered triangulation, but in an endogamous population like Ashkenazi Jews, everyone's a cousin to everyone which makes DNA analysis  hard unless, in my family and friends' experience, you're talking above 200 cM if you're 100% Ashkenazi or above 100 cM if you're, for example, 50% Ashkenazi. With over 30,000 matches on FTDNA, one family member has 3 known/traceable matches (2nd & 3rd cousins) on her Polish side and none on her Belarussian side. And some of her known lines go back to 2nd or even 3rd ggparents.  Many matches suggest by location that they are one or two generations away from being a traceable 2nd or 3rd cousin, but the linkage is always elusive.  But one can get lucky and find that 400+ cM first cousin.  FTDNA has chromosome level and "in-common-with" analysis tools, but the trees are typically not as detailed as Ancestry.  Since you did Ancestry DNA, you probably have Raffele's naturalization petition (below) filed in Georgia where he lists Marie C Beneduce as his and common-law wife Anna's (born in Minsk) daughter.  Raffaele came over in 1906 from Naples as a single 17 year old, but the common law marriage means there's probably not a marriage certificate anywhere.  But Marie should have a birth certificate in Akron, maybe under her mother's name alone.  How many Marie's were born in Akron on March 29, 1914? A request to the city clerk might end up getting a mother's maiden name, and then you could track down her immigration ship manifest (allowing for all possible spellings of Anna/Hannah and of her surname) with a birth year of 1894.  That manifest MAY show nearest relative back in Minsk (some manifests have a page 2 that includes such info if it's not on page 1) or relatives with whom she's travelling.  Once you're working in Minsk records, the difficulties increase, but Jewishgen can help with that. Traditional genealogy records indicate Raffaele/Ralph remarried (Marie Giordano in Summit Co., Ohio in 1920) and had a NYC family, dying in 1931.  You may have covered all this ground in your research leading up to DNA as a last resort, but, if not, I think you have leads worth following.  (e.g. Marie C Beneduce may have applied for Social Security using form SSA-5  which should show mother's maiden name.)  Good luck.

David Davies
Barrington, RI

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