Monday, August 29, 2016

Introducing genealogyDOTcoach

I'm happy to be a part of a new service called genealogyDOTcoach which is launching today; here's the press release with more details!

New Genealogy Service Poised to Fill Critical Gap in Genealogy Industry

CEDAR HILLS, Utah - August 29, 2016 - A new family history service launched today that will fill a critical gap in the multi-billion dollar genealogy industry.  genealogyDOTcoach (SM) is a new online service that matches up professional genealogists (called Genealogy Coaches) with people who want to have all the fun of making family history discoveries for themselves but just need a little assistance from someone they can trust.

"With do-it-yourself sites like and it has become so easy for anyone to start climbing their family tree," says co-founder, Janet Hovorka.  "But, sometimes people get a little stuck in the process.  The traditional option at that point has been to purchase a 10 or 20 hour research package from a professional genealogist.  Many people can't afford that kind of help.  Others are reluctant to do so because they want the joy of making those family history discoveries themselves.  genealogyDOTcoach aims to fill that gap."

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Mapping My DNA--August 2016 Update

I've blogged before about using Kitty Cooper's Chromosome Matcher to figure out which segments of my DNA came from which ancestors.  Now that several more relatives have tested, I've been able to include them in my analysis, filling in some more of the blank areas.  Since the last iteration, some cousins tested without my even knowing/asking, so it was a wonderful surprise seeing them pop up on my list of matches--and integrating them into this analysis.

(Are you reading this and related to me?  Want your DNA to be included in a future blog post?  Contact me!)
Mapping My Chromosomes

So who contributed to breaking out into these particular ancestors?

Sunday, August 21, 2016

My Fifth Great Grandfather. Also My Fifth Great Grandfather. Avraham Vizel: Ancestor Deep Dive

Avraham Vizel was my fifth great grandfather in two different ways.  There is quite a bit written about him in the Yizkor book Sefer Maramaros on the page for his town of Bilovitz (also Kis-Kirva and Mala-Kirva; today Kryva).  Avraham (who was apparently called the very creative "Avrum Bilovitzer") is said to originally be from the province of Galicia, nearby Krakow, where he lived with his widowed mother; he was a descendant of the Taz.  While in Galicia, a prominent man in the village was impressed with him and wanted Avraham to marry his daughter--and promised Mrs. Vizel that she would be given money if this would happen.
Bilvaritz Entry in Sefer Maramaros

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Beth's mtDNA--and a Scandinavian Connection??

Beth is my father's second cousin.  A couple of years ago, we didn't know that she existed--but then I matched her nephew Dave with an autosomal test, and we found that my grandfather's aunt didn't die in the Holocaust like we had thought.  (You can read details of that story here.)  Since Beth is a generation closer than Dave to our mutual ancestors, she was willing to do DNA testing--and they ran both autosomal and mtDNA tests, since her direct female line would bring her to Hinda Diamond, my great-great grandmother.

I expected to see multiple Jewish names in her list of matches.

RootsTech2017, Here I Come!

I've had a talk on basic Jewish genealogy accepted to RootsTech!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Some Rutners Post-Holocaust

A few weeks back, I wrote about my great-grandmother's first cousin Ezra Rutner and his children and grandchildren--most of whom were killed in the Holocaust.  But some did survive, and I found reference to them in some documents newly online and searchable via Yad Vashem's database for the Soviet Extraordinary State Commission (under "Lists of Persecuted Persons").
David Rutner Post-WWII

Thursday, August 11, 2016

IAJGS2016, Day 5

I'll be blogging all week--you'll be able to see all my posts on IAJGS2016 here.

I started off super-early with a bloggers' breakfast.

Then, off to the Chernigov Guberniya BOF, which is the area which includes Nezhin.  The group is going to start a project to transcribe the Chernigov Guberniya records that have been filmed by FamilySearch.

And then I went to hear Vivian Kahn talk about "Hungarian for Family Researchers."
Vivian Kahn teaching basic Hungarian