Sunday, July 16, 2017

Rosenfeld Connection

(Note: I'm giving three presentations at next week's IAJGS conference.  Hope to see some readers there!)

Back in August 2014, I wrote about two brothers (David and Chaim/Hyman Rosenfeld) who were related in some manner to the Diamond family.  When they came to America, they were on the same ship with Morris Dorfman (husband of my grandfather's Aunt Shaindel/Jennie) and some other relatives, and they were going to join their cousin L. Diamond, who was my grandfather's Uncle Leibish (Louis Diamond in America).
Rosenfeld Brothers' Ship Manifest; 1909

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Diamond Cousins Reunited, 100+ Years Later

Back in May 2013, I got my first FamilyTreeDNA FamilyFinder (autosomal) results back and contacted a predicted 1st-3rd cousin match.  Long story short (and you can read the long story here--it still gives me chills), my grandfather's aunt Shaindel was not killed in the Holocaust as had been recorded in my family tree since around 1990, but rather she was living in Detroit.  Jennie Diamond Dorfman (as she was known in America) had six children who lived to adulthood, seventeen grandchildren who lived to adulthood, and dozens of great- and great-great grandchildren.
My Grandfather's Aunt, Jennie Diamond Dorfman

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

PD Index for Jewish Ancestry--Some Wrinkles

I'm a geek.  And as a genealogist, genetic genealogy plays right into that--I can use my math and science background to leverage another tool to better understand my family's history.  The more relatives who have tested, the better fidelity I can get in understanding which DNA came from which ancestors which can then help me identify other relatives via DNA.  In doing this, I have tested a lot of cousins (around 50), and I'm still going--I just sent in 3 kits this week, and another relative is hopefully shipping his back directly right around now.
Some of my kits on GedMatch.  Yes, there are a lot.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Transition to Polish Rule

Earlier this month, I wrote about finding a letter in Simon Mitchneck's 1919 passport application from his sister Dora, detailing the hardships the family was enduring in WWI's aftermath.  Simon didn't take his planned 1919 trip, and he applied for another passport in 1922.  In this application, he included a translation of a letter from his sister Toba (who was getting married in 1919) which shows that things were still difficult.  At this time, the area around Torchin had transitioned for years as part of the Russian Empire to part of the newly-created country of Poland.  Here is Toba's letter.

Translation of Letter from Toba Mitchneck Hochman, Page 1 (1922)

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Uncle Leibish's Grandson--With DNA Proof

I've been trying to find my grandfather's Uncle Leibish for a while (see here, here, here, and here).  About 6 weeks ago, I wrote about how I found his grandson.  Well, not only have I met his grandson, but I have genetic proof of our relationship (which also allows me to identify more Diamond-specific DNA).
Me with Uncle Leibish's Grandson

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Off to America!

A few years back, I emailed the few addresses I could find for the small village of Losinovka, just outside of what is now Nezhin, Ukraine.  My Tolchinsky family lived there, and I was hoping to find a contact who could help me with some ultra-local records.  I've since been in touch with a Ukrainian Orthodox priest who has an interest in history.  He was able to tell me that there was no Jewish cemetery in the village, but since the Jewish community wasn't much more than my Tolchinsky family, that didn't surprise me--they'd likely have been buried in Nezhin.  He also has been gracious enough to send me documents about my family when he comes across them in the local records.  The latest was incredible.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Upcoming Talk on Ukraine Trip--Kensington, Maryland

I'll be speaking about my trip to Ukraine this Thursday (June 15, 2017) in Kensington, Maryland.  If you're in the Maryland/DC area, please come!  It's free and open to the public.