Need help identifying my maternal grandfather #dna


Richard A. Di Lorenzo
 


 

I am looking to hire someone to help me find out just who my maternal grandfather was. Here’s a summary:

 

My sisters and I are in our 70s; and, based on DNA analysis, we are each about 50% Jewish.  Until we were in our 20s we thought we were were 100% Italian. That’s when our mother learned, and notified us, that she had been given away as an infant/baby! A Mrs. Pinto took her in and raised her as a daughter - on the upper east side of Manhattan - this would be 1915. Mrs. Pinto already had a daughter, Theresa, 10. 

 

Theresa kept a few of the letters that my mother’s birth guardians independently sent to Mrs. Pinto - asking about my mother’s welfare. Based on these letters, which I now possess, and a brief oral history that Theresa ultimately provided to her own daughter Geri: my mother’s birth guardians were a Jewish woman named Anna and an Italian immigrant named Raffaele Beneduce. 

 

Based on DNA analysis, my father’s grand-niece has no Jewish blood, so I believe my father had no Jewish blood. Thus, my mother must have been 100% Jewish, meaning both of her birth parents were 100% Jewish. I am quite confident Anna was 100% Jewish; two of my 100% Jewish second cousins are her grandnephews, but they have very little info about her.

 

And, based on DNA analysis, Raffaele’s grand nephew has no Jewish blood, so I believe Raffaele had no Jewish blood.  My conclusion is that Raffaele could not have been my mother’s birth father.

 

I need help in finding out who my maternal grandfather was. Did he have other children? Where, when, how did he die? Where is he buried?  I would also like to answer the same questions about my maternal grandmother Anna. I have reason to believe Anna, besides NYC, lived briefly in Akron, Ohio; and in Tuxedo, NY; and in Philadelphia; but that she was born in Minsk, Russia.

 

In ancestry.com I have many many Jewish Matches.  In MyHeritage.com I have more than 16,000 Jewish Matches! But I don’t know how to “mine the gold” - to figure out who my maternal grandfather was. Who can help me? I am willing to pay. I now reside in Beavercreek, Ohio and Naples, FL.

 

Richard A. Di Lorenzo


Meserich
 

Richard A. Di Lorenzo

This made my body tremble .. And I feel a connection so strong but so strong in all this, that I could not explain it by this means .. I am willing to help you. I am new to this, but I have a lot of time to surf the networks, having an information base on the matter.
 
You can talk to me at my email if you wish. Meserich@...


Michele Lock
 

There is a Facebook group called "Jewish DNA for Genetic Genealogy and Family Research", where you should post your questions about identifying your maternal grandfather. There are persons there in that group who have experience solving these sorts of problems, using their understanding of Jewish DNA results and knowledge of Jewish genealogy through records. They may also be able to tell you who you may hire to solve this mystery. 

It is the top 20-30 Jewish DNA matches for both your and for your sisters who will be the matches that aid you in this search. You don't have to go through all 16000-20000 Jewish matches to solve your problem. It is important to be able to understand DNA centimorgans lengths and number of shared DNA segments to zero in on who is a descendent of this grandfather or his siblings. Ancestry results are also useful because some matches have their family trees up for viewing.

The group also has advice on how to handle some of the more delicate situations that arise from identifying these unknown relationships. Not everyone who does DNA testing is comfortable finding out their long deceased relative had unknown children. 

Good luck with your search.
--
Michele Lock

Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock and Kalon/Kolon in Zagare/Joniskis/Gruzdziai, Lithuania
Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock in Plunge/Telsiai in Lithuania
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


Yonatan Ben-Ari
 

I believe that the last sentence in Michele's post is the reason that
DNA testing is not allowed in Israel (due to possible issues of
Mamzerut -Bastards),

Yoni Ben-Ari, Jerusalem


Sarah L Meyer
 

She lives in Ohio and or Florida, so there is no problem with DNA testing for her.  Yes the mamzer possibility is why the Chassidic (Haredi) Rabbinate has forbidden DNA testing for the purpose of finding relatives in Israel - but secular Jews find ways around it.

--
Sarah L Meyer
Georgetown TX
ANK(I)ER, BIGOS, KARMELEK, PERLSTADT, STOKFISZ, SZPIL(T)BAUM, Poland
BIRGARDOVSKY, EDELBERG, HITE (CHAIT), PERCHIK Russia (southern Ukraine) and some Latvia or Lithuania
https://www.sarahsgenies.com


Michele Lock
 

My reference to 'delicate situations' in regards to a person trying to identify an unknown grandparent or parent - what can happen is that if a potential biological relative is contacted by a searcher, and the potential relative has no interest in helping sort out the mystery, it has happened that such a biological relative may cease all contact, remove their DNA accounts from wherever they tested, and take down their online family tree, thus making it that much harder for the searcher to solve the mystery.  The Jewish DNA facebook group has advice on how to minimize this from happening, and how to be respectful when approaching potential biological relatives.

I sense from the original poster's question that he is not interested in trying to prove he is Jewish halachically, only he is wishing to learn more about his biological grandparents.

Though in a related vein - I have a maternal first cousin here in the US who has a daughter who recently married a man who is Modern Orthodox. The groom's mother demanded that my first cousin prove she is Jewish, and DNA was not an option. Luckily, my first cousin is also into genealogy, and already had gravestone photos of our strictly maternal line, going back three generations, all with Hebrew names and burial in Jewish cemeteries. My cousin later said that the rabbi from the Orthodox synagogue who performed the ceremony was embarrassed that this had happened. 

And thanks to Jewishgen, AncestryDNA and New York City death certificates, I've been able to take our strictly maternal line back another 2 generations, to a woman named Sarah Shloimovitch of Lida/Lyubcha Belarus, born approximately 1820.

--
Michele Lock

Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock and Kalon/Kolon in Zagare/Joniskis/Gruzdziai, Lithuania
Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock in Plunge/Telsiai in Lithuania
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


rhode.bud@...
 

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
rhode.bud@...