Searching for grandfather #usa #records


I am searching for my maternal grandfather and do not know his name. I know that he was/is Ashkenazi Jewish and had a secret relationship/involvement with my maternal grandmother (who was married to someone else). Their relationship resulted in the birth of my mother in Montgomery, Alabama in 1946. I discovered my Jewish heritage through an Ancestry DNA test and am excited to learn about this side of my family and part of myself. - Any help is appreciated! Attached is a picture of my family tree.

Madelyn Lamar Altman

Feige Stern

Hi Madelyn,

Since there won't be a paper trail, your best bet is by trying to see what you can learn from your DNA.
It's too much to explain here, but I recommend joining some of the DNA groups on FB to further explain how to go about it.
You'll need to get your DNA into the other commercial databases.  If you already have your DNA done at ancestry, you can upload it to MyHeritage and Familytreedna.
Then you'll need to test at 23andme (they don't upload from another database).  
On each database you'll need to look for names that you can eliminate from the other side of your tree and see if there are any names in common.  Then you need to construct family trees going back to before your Grandfather to find the MRCA (Most Recent Common Ancestor).

Best of luck!
Feige Kauvar Stern
Cleveland, OH

Michele Lock

There is a Facebook group called 'Jewish DNA for Genetic Genealogy and Family Research', who can help with advice on how to proceed in learning about your biological grandfather. They have files on how to get started, and also on how to handle some of the more complex issues that come up in these situations.

It is through your close DNA matches that you will be able to zero in on who your grandfather might be, or at least zero in on the family in which he was a member. It is your close DNA matches who are 100% Ashkenazi Jewish who are relevant here. And since you tested on AncestryDNA, those close matches who have family trees are the most useful ones to you.

Good luck.
Michele Lock

Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock and Kalon/Kolon in Zagare/Joniskis/Gruzdziai, Lithuania
Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock in Plunge/Telsiai in Lithuania
Rabinowitz in Papile, Lithuania and Riga, Latvia
Trisinsky/Trushinsky/Sturisky and Leybman in Dotnuva, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman/Goodman in Czestochowa, Poland
Lavine/Lev/Lew in Trenton, New Jersey and Lida/Vilna gub., Belarus

Peggy Mosinger Freedman

Hi Madelyn,
In addition to the suggestions here, have you considered asking your mother to be tested also?  Your tree shows that she is living.
It may help you figure out your closest relatives in large databases if you have the closest relative to the mystery person tested.

Also, collect any family stories that your family will share.  I have worked with people whose siblings knew that they had another father but had never told them before the DNA test.
Please be kind!  Not everyone will be happy about old surprises.

Best of luck!
Peggy Mosinger Freedman