Re: Autosomal Analysis Question #dna

Jeffrey Herrmann

This hypothetical Chinese woman would have lived approximately 25 to 33 generations ago (assuming a generation is on average 25 yrs).  No genetic genealogy text or paper I have read would support a belief in the survival of any significant amount of her autosomal DNA in living descendants.  If anyone can cite evidence to support this belief, I would welcome the opportunity to improve my knowledge of genetics.
Jeffrey Herrmann

Re: Who is the better option for DNA: siblings or father and son? #dna


You should always test the oldest family member. If you are looking for a paternal relative, then test your father, followed by one of his siblings.
Stephen Schmideg
Melbourne, Australia

Legacy Family Tree Announces registration for their 2021 Family Tree Webinars #announcements #general

Jan Meisels Allen


Legacy Family Tree, a member of the MyHeritage group of companies, announced that registration is open for their 2021 Legacy Family Tree Webinars.  There are 120 classes to chose from on topics ranging from Prussia to Ireland to Samoa, from Zotero to WordPress, from The National Road to Angel Island to the 1890 census, and from the top 10 DNA do's and don'ts to the genealogy of your house.  The webinars are free at time of the webinar and for the first seven days. After the free time only those with paid subscriptions may access the webinars. Webinars can accept up to 3,000 live viewers.


To read more see:


To convert the time zone to  your local time zone see:


This year they also have an “African Diaspora” which will broadcast live the first Friday of each month and will deliver educational webinars geared toward African-ancestored people in the United States and around the world.   Another new series is “O’Canada” which will broadcast live the third Friday of each month and will present educational classes with a focus on the broad range of ancestries found in Canada.


The Board for Certification of Genealogists  (BCG) will again host a monthly webinar series.


They are continuing for the third year with their Down-Under Series designed for genealogists in Australia and New Zealand - at 12pm (noon) on the first Wednesday of each month (Sydney time). That line up may be accessed at:


You can register to get information on the webinars at:

This site provides information on date of presentation, name of webinar and the presenter.


I have no affiliation with MyHeritage or Legacy family Tree Webinars and am posting this solely for the information of the reader.


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee



(Netherlands) Records That Became Public As of January 2021 #records #announcements #general

Jan Meisels Allen


The Dutch National Archives have made some records that became public as of January 1, 2021. Exceptions may occur for those people who are still living:


Civil registration records:


  • Birth records from 1920
  • Marriage records from 1945
  • Death records from 1970


Legal records:


  • Court records from 1945
  • Police records from 1945

There are also some national government records, some of which may be of interest as they include Department of Justice, police division, which includes reports about concentration and extermination camps, the Putten razzia of 1 October 1944, and the prosecution of Jews in the Netherlands.

Due to the pandemic the archives is currently close therefore most of the records cannot be accessed now.

The information is from Yvette Hoitnik CG a board certified genealogist in the Netherlands on her blog post:


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


Re: Autosomal Analysis Question #dna

Kevin Brook

Over the years, many JewishGenners have been curious about perceived East Asian physical traits (especially eye shapes) in certain members of their Ashkenazic families and genetic tests that assigned some of them tiny percentages of East Asian ancestry. Some of these posters speculated that the traits and genes could have come from Khazars, Mongols, or Tatars. If the source(s) had been Mongols, they feared that rape had been responsible.

The good news is we definitely didn't get these from rapists since the actual contributors were not men.  The scientific evidence for the source population wasn't revealed in earlier JewishGen messages (I searched the archive).

Now we know that in medieval times, probably the 1200s or 1300s, a Chinese woman traveled west on the Silk Road and she ended up becoming probably the first Chinese person to permanently settle in Europe, and not only that but she converted to Judaism and married a Jewish man and had at least one daughter and at least one granddaughter and her lineage continued from there, all raised in the Jewish community.  Sadly, we'll never learn her name or hometown or life story, which were unrecorded.  Obviously, if the Chinese settler had been a man instead, we would have been likely able to determine his surname by looking through a Y-DNA (paternal) match list.

It goes without saying that her native language and traditions didn't pass down to us to any degree.  What she did pass down is her mitochondrial sequence.  Scientists identified a mtDNA (maternal) haplogroup called M33c that is found mostly among Chinese ethnicities.  Its daughter branch M33c2 is also found among Chinese, specifically at least Han Chinese in Sichuan province, but also among Ashkenazic Jews from Eastern Europe. (Not among the original German Jews.)

Deborah Schilmeister Levenstein's great-uncle was right!

In addition, the East Asian haplogroups A and N9a3 among Ashkenazim likely came from Chinese women, too.

I had already provided some preliminary details to Mike Rothenberg via private email in March 2014 so his question in message #32910 from November 2017 surprises me. Anyway, I wanted you all to know what I know.


Jiao-Yang Tian, Hua-Wei Wang, et al., "A Genetic Contribution from the Far East into Ashkenazi Jews via the Ancient Silk Road," Scientific Reports 5 (February 11, 2015): article no. 8377.

Kevin Alan Brook, "The Chinese Lady who Joined the Ashkenazic People," Jewish Times Asia, March 2015, page 19.

Kevin Alan Brook, The Jews of Khazaria, Third Edition (Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2018) on pages 203-204.

Kevin Brook

In reply to:

Deborah Schilmeister Levenstein, Message #306386:
"The men in his ggrandfather, my zeyde, and my greazt-uncles and great aunt all looked decidedly Asian.  One great-uncle often referred to himself as a 'Chinaman.'"

Victoria Fisch Reed, Message #199956:
"our cousin, the former DA of San Bernadino, was often mistaken for Chinese or Mexican, and I own a photograph of perhaps a great-great grandfather (we've never been sure) taken sometime in the middle of the nineteenth century, whose eyes have a decidely Asian appearance. In addition, I was in New York this weekend and got to see my first cousin's son [...] He said to me that he had forgotten this incident, but that when he was young and moved to Texas, some of the kids didn't want to play ball with him because they thought he was Korean and didn't speak English."

Andrea King, Message #257965:
"Many of the descendants of my Great Great Grandfather Aaron Bennett (including my grandma) had asian shaped eyes!"

Eric Benjaminson, Message #257421:
"We have always wondered why one of the defining physical features of male Benjaminsons is an oriental cast to our eyelids."

Joe Hirschfeld, Message #520299:
"That is why I'm told many Jews of European ancestry have an Asiatic look. This may be a myth, but that look is true in my family- one aunt particularly and a few cousins."

Ann Rabinowitz, Message #267391:
"There are many Jews who have slightly "oriental" eyes from the Baltics including several of my family."

Anne Lapidus Brest, Message #168583:
"In my ex husband's family [...] many family members have "Oriental" features.  More so in the older family members, but it has carried down through the generations and my daughter has "Oriental" eyes.  Where would this come from?  The family are from Latvia."

Evelyn Filippi, Message #200011:
Evelyn thought Israelis whose ancestors lived in Russia, unlike other Israelis, "had the look  of Mongol to me . They had  it  in the eyes."

Charles Nydorf, Message #31737:
"A component associated with East Asian populations like the Hmong of China is .2% among the Sephardim and .8% among the Ashkenazim. These numbers are small but higher among the Ashkenazim as would be expected."

SZTARK, WAJZER and WAJNBERG from Przytyk #poland #general


I've just found out about two unknown to us  great aunts from my wife's SZTARK family from Przytyk, Poland,  one was married to Leib WAJZER
and the other to Jojna WAJNBERG (born in Kozienice). I got some information about those families from JewishGen and Yad Vashem but I wish to know more. 
According to Yad Vashem, Zvi WAJZER was the only surviver of 6 siblings, he lived in 1957 in Tel Aviv, and according to ספר פשיטיק (Przytyk Yizkor book)
he had a daughter in law named Sarah BAUM.
Any help will be appreciated.
Melbourne, Australia

Researching (main surnames):

Re: United Hebrew Cemetery St. Louis, MO #usa #names #photographs

Peter Cohen

In my research, I came across several children in my family under the age of one, that I had never heard about. It seems like it was common for the generation born in the nineteenth century to never speak of dead children. There may have been a superstition connected with it.
Peter Cohen

Re: Herrnstadt family can anyone identify those people in this photos #germany #israel #photographs

Simon Srebrny

I can't answer your question, but I have put together a modest, incomplete tree of this Herrnstadt family.
Else Herrnstadt, wife of Oscar Grab, was born in Lissa on 21 Feb 1884.

Simon Srebrny
from London, living in Berlin

Re: How many "first names" did people have? #names

Jeremy Lichtman

I've frequently seen this in Polish or Lithuanian records.

People typically had two names. They were generally interchangeable (unless they only liked one of them!), which is odd to people today who are used to a first name / second name schema.


Jeremy Lichtman
Toronto, Canada

Descendants of Harry and Anna(Feldman) Katz #usa


Harry Katz, b. April, 1888, Bucharest, Romania ,and his wife, Anna Feldman,b. circa 1891, had three children, all born in New York. Isadore Irving Katz, b. 29 Jan. 1917 - d. Nov. 1975; Hyman Katz ,b. 28 Feb 1918-d. April 1998; and Ethel Katz, b. @ 1921- no other information beyond the US Census 1940. These three siblings were my mother's first cousins. I would love to be able to contact their children , or grandchildren.
 Another avenue of finding my grandfather, Sam Katz, the youngest sibling of Harry (Chune) Katz . I am unsure of any marriage partners of the three. I have checked the marriage indexes , but am unable to narrow it down. 
    Thank-you , again for all your help!
   Diane Preston
   N.Stonington, CT 

Info on Selig Schlesser b. 1898 #usa

Richard Stower

I am looking for any information on Selig Schlesser who was an actor in the Yiddish Theater in NYC in the 1920s.

Thank you.

Richard Stower
Yarmouth, Maine
Dobrowa Tarnowską: KANNER, SCHMIDT, WERNER

Schwartz connection - Chicago/Aurora, IL #usa #general

Kelley Conrad

I have an unknown great-grandfather on my father's side (his mother's father) and recently had a relatively close DNA match on that side. His DNA match is close enough to me that he could possibly be a half-brother or nephew to my grandmother and cousin to my father. He knows very little about his family so I've hit a roadblock. My grandmother was born in NH 1916 and there's another close DNA match who is possibly her 1/2 sister (father unknown), born in the 1930s in Aurora, IL.

He wrote that he might have had an aunt who married into the Walgreens family. His surname is Schwartz and his father was originally from Chicago, IL. His father ran away from home at age 10 or 11 and never returned, but they believe the father's sister married into Walgreens. I don't have any dates of birth/death and he is unsure of his grandfather's given name. He believes the grandfather's name was Samuel Schwartz, but isn't 100% sure. 

Has anyone heard of a Schwartz-Walgreen connection? Anyone with Schwartz family from Chicago with a family tree I could take a look at? It's like finding a needle in a haystack since I don't have dates or much info.  

I appreciate any info!

Thank you,
Kelley Conrad
Upton, MA

Re: United Hebrew Cemetery St. Louis, MO #usa #names #photographs


Hi Debbie,

My husband who is originally from St. Louis said to contact Berger Funeral Home and Rindskof
Funeral Homes as they may have records from that era.  

Anne Goldfarb (Chana Rachel Kean

Re: Brittany centfraniers, ennobled from 1400 to 1600, Leroy, LeJuiff #france #records

Sue Nusbaum

The Book by Herve Torchet: Accounts of the Duc of Bretagne 1420-1433, available through, may provide the information you are seeking, if your ancestors bought nobility. 

"Fouages" were a royalty or tax paid by household. Torchet has published several books about changes in the Fouages. One is for Saint-Malo where my ancestors are from: The Reformation  of the Fouages of 1426, Diocese of Saint-Malo. 

These "Fouages" books are quite expensive, 215 Euros, plus shipping. 

Sue King Nusbaum
Longboat Key, FL, US

R' Moshe of Kletzk -18th Cent. #rabbinic

Yonatan Ben-Ari

There was a Moshe of Kletzk in the 18th cent. who was the father of
Rabbi David of Novarodok( the " galya Mesechta") during the 19th cent.
I do not know what his surname was , if he had one at all. I know that
he was not EISENSTAT who was a colleague of his, also from Kletzk.
His son, Rabbi David, seems also not have had a family (that I know
of). Does anyone know of any descendants of the above Moshe or if he
had a family name?

According to family lore my great great grandfather was a brother of
the above Rabbi David. Our family name was ABRAMOWITZ but no source
that I have seen mentions this family name with the above Moshe or his
son David. It is recorded that David's son , Moshe, adopted the family
name of his father-in-law HOROWITZ (from Minsk). Rabbi David's
son-in-law who published David's book was a RABINOWITZ.


Yoni Ben-Ari, Jerusalem

Who is the better option for DNA: siblings or father and son? #dna


Hi, I'm told that two relatives taking DNA tests give a better idea  but I wondered if anyone knew which is the better option out of a father and son or two brothers. We're hoping to find unknown relatives who stayed in Poland or went to the USA.
Thanks for any help,
Carol Cambers

Re: Descendants of Yosef Meir Weiss the "Imrei Yosef" #romania

Peninah Zilberman

Shalom Sarah,


Indeed “Spinka Rebbe” , from Marmaures has a large Dynasty in Bnei Brak, a religious suburb of TLV, Israel.

I just checked on Google, there are some sources which can help you to reach the people you are looking for

Good Luck

Peninah Zilberman


Peninah Zilberman


Canada 1-416-781-0330

Israel 972-54-228-8141



Sent from Mail for Windows 10


Re: Tombstone translation #translation

Mike Coleman

For the avoidance of doubt, should such be needed by any reader, my posting of the tweaked image is simply as an aid for a third party attempting a translation.

Mike Coleman, U.K.

Re: Sephardic SIG Are Tsentsiper/Zenziper/Sensibar out of Belarus of Sephardic ancestry? #sephardic

Kevin Brook

As I told Joshua via private email when he asked me the same question in August 2019, the Ashkenazic surname Zenziper/Tsentsiper isn't considered Sephardic by any of the name experts such as Alexander Beider. I am sure it isn't. It was almost certainly first assigned to Jews in the early 19th century.

Legitimate Sephardic surnames in Ashkenazic communities include Algazi, Alfasi, Kastel, and Abarbanel.

Kevin Alan Brook

Re: DNA Testing on Karaites #dna

Kevin Brook

My East European Karaite DNA study's results have been published in a peer-reviewed journal:

"The Genetics of Crimean Karaites" by Kevin Alan Brook
in Karadeniz Araştırmaları (Journal of Black Sea Studies), No. 42 (Summer 2014): pages 69-84

I also presented a summary of these results on pages 213-215 of my peer-reviewed book "The Jews of Khazaria, Third Edition" (Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2018).

Kevin Alan Brook