Sunday, October 5, 2014

Forensic Genealogy Conference Reveals Jewish Ancestry

Colleen Fitzpatrick, PhDFriday and Saturday I went to the Fall Genealogy Conference (October 2014) given by the Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society. in Lincoln, Nebraska.  The topic was Forensic Genealogy with an emphasis on DNA as a Genealogy tool. The presenter was a funny little lady Colleen Fitzpatrick, PhD, Forensic Genealogist, from California.  Definitely a very brilliant lady who has a nack for digging out the truth in ways you may have not considered in typical genealogical searches.  She's the author of three 'award winning' books, which I bought and have no idea when I'll have time to read.  Why I do that? I don't know, but maybe I need to make Gabby's nap time reading time.

I had two questions about my DNA results and discovered that one of the questions I already had figured out so, thus, confirmed by Ms Fitzpatrick. The reason my Native American Ancestry doesn't show up on my DNA results from is simply because it wasn't in the slice of DNA tested.

A couple of years ago my half cousin in Washington (GESCH) did a Y Chromosomal DNA test that would show only the male line, thus catching the GESCH DNA. This test was done to see if there was a connection to the Ashkenazi Jewish lines in Germany. My Great-Grandfather brought his family from the Northern Berlin to America in 1857, meaning because of the geographical location, there was a possible Jewish connection.  My Cousins mother, of Jewish descent, had suspicions because she had found GESCH in the lists of Holocaust victims.  The results of that test was absolutely positive.  Not only were the GESCH family of Jewish descent but they seemed to be able to pinpoint of the Tribe of Levi.  I don't know how they do that but the presenter of the conference and a DNA expert indicated if the study was tight enough it was possible.  Further study of the Ashkenazi Jews revealed that it is generally true that this group are indeed Levites.

August Frederick GESCH

So classyThe second and newest question was interesting. Why am I showing a DNA match to someone who is one of the children of my Great-Aunts through marriage to my Grandmother, MARY (MARIE) ELIZABETH REBENSDORF DEBUS GESCH's brother GEORGE REBENSDORF? This amazingly strong and loving woman of German Descent,  AMELIA ROTH (VOLZ (FOLTZ)) REBENSDORF, came to America with several children in tow (one an infant) after her husband (Mr Volz (Foltz), also of German descent died in Russia.  Not long after arriving she married my grandmother's brother, GEORGE REBENSDORF.  They blended their two families and had several children together. Clearly, saving a non-parental event that is unlikely, I should not show a DNA match to this person named FOLTZ.

Mary (Marie) REBENSDORF (Debus) GESCH

I posed the question to the presenter and the first question she asked was, "is there Jewish Ancestry"? I said that I had recently found Jewish Ancestry in not only my Paternal Grandfather (as indicated above) BUT ALSO through Paternal Grandmother when it showed up in an actual REBENSDORF close DNA match. The Jewish Ancestry in my Paternal Grandfather is not new news, but finding out that my Paternal Grandmother also was of Jewish descent is new news.  

The Ashkenazi Jewish lines is where we get the Yiddish pronunciation of Hebrew.  This is a group of people who migrated to Eastern Europe (i.e. Germany and from there to Poland and the Ukraine). They are an interesting group that are often plagued with DNA health issues in children and are often known to be brilliant thinkers.  Albert Einstein was an Ashkenazi Jew.  Colleen Fitzpatrick, the Conference presenter,  indicated to me that this group of Jewish people tended to inter-marry, because of their faith, so that it is possible I would have distant matches to just about everyone from the area or this entire Ethnic Group.

 My next task is to get a Y DNA from my Uncle for the Shavlik line and see what happens. Since I already know that Shavlik is a Hebrew name I am anticipating the results will have European Jewish Ancestry in it. My Grandfather, STEPHEN SHAVLIK's father, was from Bohemia near the Turkish Border and his mother was from Moravia. If positive this brings me to three of my four major lines with European Jewish Ancestry. I am also going add my DNA results to Family Tree DNA.

                          August GESCH
                Harvey GESCH
                          Marie REBENSDORF
Jean GESCH Slocum
                          Stephen SHAVLIK
                E'Lonna SHAVLIK
                          Jennie Phoebe GUNTER


I AM THANKFUL that all my ancestors of Jewish Descent had, at one point in time, converted to Christianity, or in-other-words, accepted JESUS CHRIST as the SAVIOR they were looking for.
Messianic Star - Jewish-Christian Families-Star of David with Cross

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