Re: Trying to Find Potential Jewish Ancestors #germany

Nettie Edwards

I am 63 years old and Ancestry gives me just 1%, which was a huge surprise, but that’s another story. Ancestry gives my 59 year old brother 4%. We know for certain that our 2 x great grandfather was Jewish and arrived on these shores as a young man in the 1860s. That is 4 generations back. Ancestry suggests my father has 10%, his half sister 14%. The link to my 2x great grandfather is confirmed by us all sharing dna with a daughter by his 2nd marriage who Ancestry estimates to have 13%. Both of our mutual forebears were English Gentile women who converted to Judaism. I’m currently working with DNA Painter and learning that I have inherited far more dna from my father’s Mother’s English Romany forebears than I did from his father’s Jewish ones. However, we have some matches with European dna on my paternal grandmother’s side as some of the descendants a sister her 2 x great grandparents married into a Jewish  Family in London. A distant cousin I recently found on this line, through working with DNA Painter had told me that besides cemetery records in South Africa, he has found just one family record that confirms his family’s Jewish heritage, as so many records were destroyed during the London Blitz, or the family used Christian churches for births marriages and deaths.
My 2x great grandmother (the one who married my 2x great grandfather and converted to Judaism) had the surname Elkes who were Christian Non Conformists. Members of other online and offline Jewish Genealogy groups have insisted that the name has European Jewish origins so I am left wondering if many generations back, the family had been Jews who converted to Christianity when Judaism was banished in the U.K.
DNA is random but it’s the very complications of the story that fascinate me and that I  believe are important to bear witness to. In the same way that there are more people in the U.K. with obscured Gypsy heritage, there are more people who have totally lost Jewish heritage. I may not be a Jew or a Gypsy but I’m proud to know that the people who came before me were, and I want to understand their lives and uncover their stories. 

with best wishes, Nettie Edwards

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