I love presenting at genealogy conferences and mingling with others equally devoted to family history. I also really enjoy visiting the exhibit hall, chatting with vendors, and seeing what’s new. I am not sure how well that will work in an online environment but I am about to find out.
This coming week is the 40th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy. It was originally going to be here in San Diego, on Harbor Island, but now it is virtual, using a package called BigMarker. Click here for the IAJGS press release. I will be doing a live session called Ask the Experts About Jewish DNA with Adam Brown on Tuesday at 2:15 PST (5:15 EST).
For the originally planned San Diego conference, I was going to do a talk on dealing with Jewish endogamy in your autosomal DNA test results (click here for those slides), as well as tell a quick story about discovering via DNA that I have third cousins in South Africa (click here for that blog post), but those talks were cut when they went to the online format. So I will give a very brief summary of the endogamy issue in our Ask the Experts session or, if you want to know more, come talk to me at my “table” after that session. Click here to see my slide advising which Jewish matches to follow up on.
The pre-recorded, thus on demand, talks start tomorrow (Sunday) for conference attendees. I plan to listen to the one about South Africa now that I have relatives there.
I have been getting most of my information through the IAJGS facebook group for the conference. Recently they explained how to submit questions in advance, as follows: Continue reading
Reading about this holocaust survivor’s discovery of missing family via DNA had me crying –
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4589762,00.html – but it also got me thinking about how few jewish DNA success stories there are. Perhaps that is changing now that more people are testing.
The screenshot at the left is from facebook page A7734 about Menachem’s search. It shows him and the genealogist who helped him, looking at the first picture of his parents he had ever seen.
Frankly, success stories with jewish DNA are rare. I have none to report from my family. I emailed all my Ashkenazi researching friends to see if anyone had a good success story. Not very many are out there. If you have one, please send it along.
The endogamous nature of jewish DNA is part of the problem. Everyone looks like a close relative in the DNA matching. Another part of the problem is that so few Ashkenazim know their ancestors past their great-grandparents. Too many records were destroyed in WWII, among other problems researching.
In my experience, if an Ashkenazi Jewish (AJ) DNA match is not showing as a 2nd cousin or better it is unlikely that you will find the relationship. An experienced Israeli researcher told me to ignore anyone without at least one long segment match of 23 cM.
Below are a few tips from search angel Gaye Tannenbaum who frequently works with AJ DNA.