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Hesse
Tuesday, October 19th, 2010, 02:27 PM
When tracing back the lineage of your ancestors in their European country of origin (i.e Germany, Sweden) , how can you prove that they were ethnically European and that their bloodline does not originate outside of Europe? For example, if you have ancestors from Germany, how do you ensure that they, as well as their parents, and their grandparents, g-grandparents and so on were ethnically of German blood and NOT jews, gypisies, muslims or other peoples of non-European origin? Are there any telltale signs to look for that would indicate one or the other?

Wynterwade
Tuesday, October 19th, 2010, 03:07 PM
I would like to know answers to this as well.

Here is how I see my ancestry. For example, most of my german ancestors are from very small towns and were probably farmers. And they had german sounding names. On ancestry dot com, I've been able to trace most lines back to around 1750 fairly easy but going back further has been a problem for me.

Maybe you have to travel to the towns or to the large city nearby and check the records yourself in person.

Juthunge
Tuesday, October 19th, 2010, 03:21 PM
Well, at that time there weren't really any foreigners of non-European origin around besides Jews and Gypsies, for sure not any Muslims besides those at the royal court. You can distinguish quite easily between Jews and Germans through the parish register of the church, provided they immigrated before the onset of the Jewish emancipation when a lot of Jews became Christian and adopted German names.
It's harder with Gypsies I guess, since they were mostly Christian, but I don't know if they were even added into parish register since they were travelling all the time.

Northern Paladin
Tuesday, October 19th, 2010, 05:49 PM
MT-DNA and Y-DNA testing, they can show whether you belong to a non-European lineage or not.

Æmeric
Tuesday, October 19th, 2010, 08:24 PM
MT-DNA and Y-DNA testing, they can show whether you belong to a non-European lineage or not.

That only shows two lines of descent. Each generation you go back in your family tree the number of ancestoral lines doubles. Mt-DNA & Y-DNA only account for 2 of 64 ancestoral lines going back 5 generations, 2 of 1024 ancestoral lines going back to the 10th generation.

Hesse
Wednesday, October 20th, 2010, 02:41 AM
Here is how I see my ancestry. For example, most of my german ancestors are from very small towns and were probably farmers. And they had german sounding names. On ancestry dot com, I've been able to trace most lines back to around 1750 fairly easy but going back further has been a problem for me.


For my genealogy, I have had very much success with the microfilmed parish records from the LDS Church. Using this method, I was able to trace my family into the 1600's. Didn't have much luck with Ancestry.com, though.

My German ancestors also were farmers (Ackermann) who lived in small towns, in both the old and the new country.

On ancestry dot com, I've been able to trace most lines back to around 1750 fairly easy but going back further has been a problem for me.

If you know the town where your ancestors lived and their religion, then I would highly recommend checking the microfilmed parish records. This should help trace your lineage back further. Most churches in Germany kept records well into the 1600's.

Maybe you have to travel to the towns or to the large city nearby and check the records yourself in person.

With the help of the LDS church, you certainly don't have to! They have microfilmed parish records from various churches around the world which include births, marriages and deaths, and these parish records go well into the 1600's for most parishes. They can be viewed at one of the Family History Center locations, and chances there's one within 50 miles of your location (first you have to order it from the Family History Library, though).


However, I do think there is something specially rewarding about traveling to the city where your ancestor lived that you don't get with researching other ways.

It may not be practical method to go overseas to to research most of the time, but I think it would be very rewarding to visit our ancestral town someday.

Juthunge
Wednesday, October 20th, 2010, 10:05 AM
If you know the town where your ancestors lived and their religion, then I would highly recommend checking the microfilmed parish records. This should help trace your lineage back further. Most churches in Germany kept records well into the 1600's.




In fact they kept them even longer, but most were sadly destroyed in the Thirty Years War, but if you're lucky you could find even older ones.

Hamar Fox
Wednesday, October 20th, 2010, 11:22 AM
To know things like that, you need to know your ancestral nations intimately. You need to understand the ethnic history of the regions your ancestors were from, the ethnic implications of their surnames etc. You need to understand whether their surnames were regional or not. You then need to look into the naming traditions of Jews in terms of how they Anglicised or Germanised their names. You can quite easily find out whether they were baptised or not and whether they and their families were sedentary, respectively ruling out Jew or Romani heritage. If they have what might be a Jew name, e.g. Abraham, then look at the names of their siblings. If their siblings have English or German names, then the odd Hebrew name doesn't mean anything. If ALL their siblings have Hebrew names atypical of ethnic Germans or English in that time period (i.e. not common Hebrew names like Matthew), then you may have a Jewish ancestor, but still not necessarily. You should just research the ancestry of that person in more depth.

kingdans
Wednesday, October 20th, 2010, 11:34 AM
MT-DNA and Y-DNA testing, they can show whether you belong to a non-European lineage or not.Autosomal DNA testing can give you a wider range than just your maternal and paternal lineage. It can give you a breakdown of your genetic background and tell you what percent European you are, what percent African, Asian, etc. It will also tell you which population you match most. So if you're 100% European, and want to know where in Europe most of your ancestry comes from, it will be able to narrow it down to a specific population (English, German, Spanish, etc). But it is expensive. 23 and me's ancestry test is $400!!!:-O

nauthiz
Wednesday, October 20th, 2010, 08:05 PM
It's expensive but well worth saving up for IMO. it's one of my goals. I have such a passion for my ancestors and their lineage.

Northern Paladin
Thursday, October 21st, 2010, 08:03 PM
Autosomal DNA testing can give you a wider range than just your maternal and paternal lineage. It can give you a breakdown of your genetic background and tell you what percent European you are, what percent African, Asian, etc. It will also tell you which population you match most. So if you're 100% European, and want to know where in Europe most of your ancestry comes from, it will be able to narrow it down to a specific population (English, German, Spanish, etc). But it is expensive. 23 and me's ancestry test is $400!!!:-O

$400 is A LOT, but I've spent money on psychotherapy which cost me $500, in other words I've spent more money in the past on things that were totally worthless. This, at least, will shed light on my ancestry, it's well worth it. :thumbup

Hesse
Friday, October 29th, 2010, 05:08 AM
Ok, maybe I should get to know more about my ancestor homeland. These look like some good pointers. Hopefully they will lead to an answer or at least an indication. But there are a few things that would be helpful if clairfied.

To know things like that, you need to know your ancestral nations intimately. You need to understand the ethnic history of the regions your ancestors were from, the ethnic implications of their surnames etc.



By "regions where your ancestors are from", how broad of an area are you talking about? Do you mean all of the country, like for example Germany, certain parts of the ancestral nation, like Prussia or Westfalen, or do you mean narrower regions, like the cities, towns, or districts where your ancestors resided?


I do know a little about the area in Germany where my ancestors lived. They came from an area called "Kreis Borken", which is a district near the Dutch border in Northwestern Germany, which was part of West Prussia at the time, today the location is known as Westfalen. This district included towns such as Rhede, Borken, and Bocholt (these towns held the main parishes), and my ancestors lived in or near these towns.


You can quite easily find out whether they were baptised or not and whether they and their families were sedentary, respectively ruling out Jew or Romani heritage.


As I was searching the parish registers for my ancestors I found that almost all of my ancestors were baptized, but what do you mean by "whether their families were sedentary"? What would be considered a sedentary family?

Hamar Fox
Friday, October 29th, 2010, 07:12 AM
By "regions where your ancestors are from", how broad of an area are you talking about? Do you mean all of the country, like for example Germany, certain parts of the ancestral nation, like Prussia or Westfalen, or do you mean narrower regions, like the cities, towns, or districts where your ancestors resided?

I meant county or province. Jews especially like to concentrate in a few key regions. If your ancestral regions aren't places with a history of Jewish presence, you can relax a bit.

I do know a little about the area in Germany where my ancestors lived. They came from an area called "Kreis Borken", which is a district near the Dutch border in Northwestern Germany, which was part of West Prussia at the time, today the location is known as Westfalen. This district included towns such as Rhede, Borken, and Bocholt (these towns held the main parishes), and my ancestors lived in or near these towns.

You'd probably be better asking Dutch or Germans, preferably nationalists, who have an intimate knowledge of their land and people, about those things. I can only answer in regards to England.

As I was searching the parish registers for my ancestors I found that almost all of my ancestors were baptized, but what do you mean by "whether their families were sedentary"? What would be considered a sedentary family?

A family that stays in one parish for generations. Gypsies roam around and never establish themselves in an area. If your gggg-grandpa and his father, and his father, and his father were born in one town, then he almost certainly wasn't a Gypsy. That's not to say he was a Gypsy if he moved across the county, though. But with things like this, it's just about ruling things out logically.

Hesse
Saturday, November 13th, 2010, 04:28 PM
Another thing I thought of the other day, is that the later ancestor immigration records (ship passenger lists), sometimes record the ethnicity of its passengers, under the column titled "Race or People" (which is sometimes different from their country of origin). Although you rarely see this indicated in the pre-1900 records I know that some of the records after that did.

Does anyone recommend putting some faith into the "Race or People" column in passenger lists, or is it more than often unreliable? Even if it is not to be infallible , can it at least provide a clue in some cases?

Ralf Rossa
Saturday, November 13th, 2010, 05:19 PM
Another thing I thought of the other day, is that the later ancestor immigration records (ship passenger lists), sometimes record the ethnicity of its passengers, under the column titled "Race or People" (which is sometimes different from their country of origin). Although you rarely see this indicated in the pre-1900 records I know that some of the records after that did.

Does anyone recommend putting some faith into the "Race or People" column in passenger lists, or is it more than often unreliable? Even if it is not to be infallible , can it at least provide a clue in some cases?

I had Googled my surname and found one of the reasults to be a child escapee from Nazi Germany to America who was described as Jewish!, so then Iam wondering if "Rossa" is a Jewish name and if Iam partly Jewish!

My family history though, says we fled West Prussia after the first world war to escape the persecution of Germanics by the Poles, and escaped into Germany proper, where my Father was born in Westphalia and selected for the Hitler Youth Elite, I think if we had been Jewish, we would have felt quite safe in the Polish Jewish communities and wouldnt have "escaped" into the Lions mouth.

So no, I wouldnt hold much credence for other families with the same name as yours, being a genuine guide to your own ancestry.

Hulda.Kin
Wednesday, November 17th, 2010, 05:42 AM
I have had some dna tests done through 2 companies so far, 'family tree dna' and 'dna tribes'. My top 'European' tribes matches are Thracian, Belgic and Celtic. My mtdna is H3 specifically Western European. My family finder results attest to being 100% EUROPEAN and my cousin matches come from the UK, Germany, Finland and some balts which I presume are connected to the old Prussians which I have in my ancestry.

My top 3 high res matches are:
Mediterranean (0.16)
Finnic (0.15)
Northwest European (0.13)

I'm glow in the dark white, blue eyes, freckles, slight reddish tint to medium brown hair.. plenty of red heads in the family. I am also 169cm(nearly 5'7") which is taller than average for a female.

I am considering the 23 and me test at some point if they offer something more than what I have gleaned already.

Hesse
Friday, November 26th, 2010, 03:23 AM
You can distinguish quite easily between Jews and Germans through the parish register of the church, provided they immigrated before the onset of the Jewish emancipation when a lot of Jews became Christian and adopted German names.


So then, prior to the Jewish emancipation, (in my case, for Prussia it took place in 1812) all the Jews had Jewish names and a Germanic name was practically unheard of for a Jew? Is that what I'm reading? Or is it that there just weren't semitic christians (i.e catholic, evangelical, mennonites) before that took place?

A least it gives me hope that theres some way of distinguishing between the two races.

Heinrich Harrer
Friday, November 26th, 2010, 04:50 AM
If there's a jewish ancestor 10 generations ago, I wouldn't lose my hair over it. I mean that means that you're only 1/1024 'jewish' (if at all, because it's much more likely that he was already only a fraction jewish in the first place). Maybe those genes are even weeded out completely by now, as with each generation some information is lost and not all the genetic information from both parents is carried on, or else the information would increase exponentially.

I also think it's a little silly how much some people tend to identify with their family name, when that accounts only for a single line in the family tree. So someone in Germany might self-identify as a 'Pole', because he has a polish family name, though the only polish ancestor might be an immigrant 10 generations ago making him 1023/1024 (so more than 99%) german. I mean it's just random which family name survived in the end.

I guess DNA tests will give ever more detailed results in the future about the genetic make-up of a person, seems much more useful to me than relying on old records. And it put's things into perspective if it can show that only 0.1% or less of your genes might be of non-european origin as compared to just finding a non-european ancestor in your family tree and freaking out.

Hesse
Friday, November 26th, 2010, 05:52 AM
I agree, I certainly wouldn't care much if I found ONE jewish ancestor out of 1024 10 generations back.


But I'm saying, how does one determine if ALL of them from 10 generations ago were Jewish or some kind of non-European peoples who selectively chose brown people in their area for all their marriages and avoided the ethnic Germans? That's where my concern lies.

Heinrich Harrer
Friday, November 26th, 2010, 07:28 AM
Wouldn't their religious affiliation be registered then? Isn't much of the old data only available in the form of church birth records? I mean it's unlikely that all of them converted if you're talking about such a high number.

It's just difficult to imagine how this could go unnoticed if they selectively only mated within their own non-european subgroup. Either they assimilate and it's more difficult to find out, or they don't and stick out.

But then again I think genetic tests are the more reliable way to go.

Barreldriver
Friday, November 26th, 2010, 07:36 AM
When tracing back the lineage of your ancestors in their European country of origin (i.e Germany, Sweden) , how can you prove that they were ethnically European and that their bloodline does not originate outside of Europe? For example, if you have ancestors from Germany, how do you ensure that they, as well as their parents, and their grandparents, g-grandparents and so on were ethnically of German blood and NOT jews, gypisies, muslims or other peoples of non-European origin? Are there any telltale signs to look for that would indicate one or the other?

DNA testing. All in all I spent around $2000 for all the various tests I had done (BGA/ancestry percentiles, Y-DNA, mtDNA, Health). Then I had the raw data from those tests observed by a number of projects so I could have a total of 5 different looks at my DNA (all coming to the same conclusion). These solidly confirmed my Northwest European origins.

The paper genealogy can be useful for generations 1-5 for people of my generation, for deeper stuff it gets very hard to confirm due to the nature of records and such and a lack of consistent photographic evidence to compare against the generations. DNA is the only real reliable way to go.

Hesse
Saturday, November 27th, 2010, 04:24 PM
Wouldn't their religious affiliation be registered then?

At least that 's what I'd like to think.

So in the event a Jew or Muslim was recorded in the Catholic register (I heard it sometimes happens), it would also have been recorded within the records as like an additional note or something?

I hope so. There should have to be some distniction. It is truly misleading when a person who is assumed to be among the ethnic German population turns out to be a racial other, because I like to think of the Christian churches in Germany historically as racially pure.

Isn't much of the old data only available in the form of church birth records?


Thats all there is that I know of. The problem is, often they give very little information besides the name and birthdate of the individual and their parents. The recent records were more detailed but they get less and less in information the further back in time you go and at one point it becomes guesswork at best.

And you do run into uncertainty when tracing back generations. For example, the problem I've noticed is, when you find your ancestor located in a birth record with their parents, the next step is to hunt for the marriage record of the parents, and after that find their birth records.

But when you look for the parents, and you think you found one that matches the name there's really no way to know that that's the real parent and not just a different person with the same first and last name. With that in mind, you might end up researching a family tree that isn't yours, or maybe doesn't even exist!

DNA testing. All in all I spent around $2000 for all the various tests I had done (BGA/ancestry percentiles, Y-DNA, mtDNA, Health). Then I had the raw data from those tests observed by a number of projects so I could have a total of 5 different looks at my DNA (all coming to the same conclusion). These solidly confirmed my Northwest European origins.

The paper genealogy can be useful for generations 1-5 for people of my generation, for deeper stuff it gets very hard to confirm due to the nature of records and such and a lack of consistent photographic evidence to compare against the generations. DNA is the only real reliable way to go.



And yes, I have thought about doing one of those DNA tests to give my ancestry more validity and be certain my ancestors weren't racial others. I really feel that I need to somehow be able to prove my ancestry, because I need to stand up and prove wrong to people who don't see me as German because my family is mostly fair skinned, blue eyed and dark haired.

The only thing that is holding me back though, is the fear of finding out that my German ancestors werent even European, but were all racial others, like they were all sub saharan Africans or Iranian or something. O devil, that would be worse than finding out I had cancer.

1-2% of something else is negligible and not the end of the world, and probably natural due to the diaspora that took place in history but I'd hate to find out that my German ancestors not even European but were all sub-saharan Africans or something of the like. Then I would no be longer able to identify as German whatsoever, or feel a connection to the earthly gods. And the thought of finding out you're black, O devil, that would be really, really gross. Makes me sick just thinking about it.

That's why I'm somewhat nervous about it. That's why I'm trying to get as much as I can out of the paper trail before I dabble with something that holds the final gospel answer which nothing on earth can disprove.

Heinrich Harrer
Saturday, November 27th, 2010, 05:06 PM
Do some people really question your german ancestry just because you have dark hair? I mean I can see how someone who looks Italian would stick out compared to the average german, but dark hair alone is pretty common in Germany.

And if you can trace back your ancestry to people actually living in Germany: I don't think there were any subsaharan africans or iranians living in Germany in the past. Of course the jewish possibility remains. But to me it sounds unlikely that noone in your family would know if they were all jewish.

Well, if you really want to find out, you have to overcome your fear anyway - whether you use old records or dna tests. And considering the perhaps vague nature of old records, only a DNA test would probably give you the peace of mind you're looking for. Good luck with the results. :thumbup

Hesse
Saturday, November 27th, 2010, 05:35 PM
Do some people really question your german ancestry just because you have dark hair?

I guess that's just an assumption I make. One time though, someone thought I was Italian becuase I had dark hair, but that's all I can recall. Most times people estimate me to be more Anglo Saxon than that.


...but dark hair alone is pretty common in Germany.

I know that's true, but is it among the real Germanic Germans, and not the Turkish/Muslim population that lives there? I usually think of the dark hair in Germany as belonging to outsiders, but I may be wrong.


And if you can trace back your ancestry to people actually living in Germany: I don't think there were any subsaharan africans or iranians living in Germany in the past. Of course the jewish possibility remains. But to me it sounds unlikely that noone in your family would know if they were all jewish.

It certainly gives me some hope. Definitely sounds more promising than I had previously thought. I was scared of the racial others there who might have became part of my family tree.

Heinrich Harrer
Saturday, November 27th, 2010, 06:03 PM
I know that's true, but is it among the real Germanic Germans, and not the Turkish/Muslim population that lives there? I usually think of the dark hair in Germany as belonging to outsiders, but I may be wrong.

Of course Turks have dark hair, but they have a lot of other visual features that distinguishes them from us germans. A common dark haired Turk looks nothing like a dark haired german.

But I was just talking about the ethnic german population. Even before the first Turks arrived in the 60s, dark hair was already pretty common within the german population. Most people probably have a variation of brown hair, with fewer people having blond hair and some black or red hair (this varies a little from north to south, with blond hair being more common in the north than in the south).

Juthunge
Saturday, November 27th, 2010, 08:05 PM
Especially in Southern Germany dark hair is very common. I don't think your hair is that dark anyway, judging by your photos, but even if it was there's no problem with it.
You absolutely wouldn't look out of place in Germany neither facially nor pigmentationwise, I can assure you. That's not a sign of foreign ancestry.

Barreldriver
Saturday, November 27th, 2010, 08:22 PM
And yes, I have thought about doing one of those DNA tests to give my ancestry more validity and be certain my ancestors weren't racial others. I really feel that I need to somehow be able to prove my ancestry, because I need to stand up and prove wrong to people who don't see me as German because my family is mostly fair skinned, blue eyed and dark haired.

The only thing that is holding me back though, is the fear of finding out that my German ancestors werent even European, but were all racial others, like they were all sub saharan Africans or Iranian or something. O devil, that would be worse than finding out I had cancer.

1-2% of something else is negligible and not the end of the world, and probably natural due to the diaspora that took place in history but I'd hate to find out that my German ancestors not even European but were all sub-saharan Africans or something of the like. Then I would no be longer able to identify as German whatsoever, or feel a connection to the earthly gods. And the thought of finding out you're black, O devil, that would be really, really gross. Makes me sick just thinking about it.

That's why I'm somewhat nervous about it. That's why I'm trying to get as much as I can out of the paper trail before I dabble with something that holds the final gospel answer which nothing on earth can disprove.

I had similar fears when I first tested as I too am a dark haired individual with light eyes and complexion however these traits are common among all Europeans and our darker hair pigment is of a different strain that that of other peoples, I did, like you are wanting to do, an extensive paper trail before I did my DNA testing and did the DNA testing to further validate my traditional genealogy which was a more economical approach, you just have to build up to it (both financially and morally). It all takes time, nothing to really rush especially with the economic status of today's world. Good luck with your searching!

Hesse
Sunday, November 28th, 2010, 07:55 PM
Would an ancestor's occupation (beruf, stand), be a telltale sign of their ethnicity? Or is it usually meaningless when it comes to determining their ancestry? Because that is sometimes included within the church register.

I'm thinking that certain racial other minorities may have been given different occupations than the ethnic Germanics of the land, or perhaps they didn't work at all. Perhaps the Jews might have been exceptionally rich and lived in the big towns whereas the small villages were relatively pure and exclusively inhabited by Germanics. But I may be wrong on this.

Heinrich Harrer
Sunday, November 28th, 2010, 08:24 PM
I think you said you can trace them back until the 1600s? Then the Jews perhaps still lived in Ghettos depending on the region:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_ghettos_in_Europe
Jewish ghettos in Europe existed because Jews were viewed as that they were foreigners due to their non-Christian beliefs in a Renaissance Christian environment. As a result, Jews were placed under strict regulations throughout many European cities. (..)

Residents had their own justice system. Around the ghetto stood walls that, during pogroms, were closed from inside to protect the community, but from the outside during Christmas, Pesach, and Easter Week to prevent the Jews from leaving during those times.

In the 19th century, Jewish ghettos were progressively abolished, and their walls demolished, following the ideals of the French Revolution.

As for the profession, didn't Jews often work as moneylenders and in similar professions?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_banking
Jews were ostracized from most professions by local rulers, the Church and the guilds and so were pushed into marginal occupations considered socially inferior, such as tax and rent collecting and money lending, while the provision of financial services was increasingly demanded by the expansion of European trade and commerce.

That quote was about the middle ages, so I don't know how much that changed over time.

Hesse
Sunday, November 28th, 2010, 08:51 PM
Thank you very much for this. The area my ancestors lived in, the Münster area was in the light brown (.5-1%) of the Juden map on Wikipedia, leaving at least a 99% chance that they were NOT jewish. And that was in 1881. That figure probably was even fewer in earlier times, because the jewish population in Europe historically increased stedily over the years, up until WWII, of course.

Now all I have to do is locate where the ghettos were..

genius
Sunday, November 28th, 2010, 09:50 PM
peasants were pretty pure, and still are. The city dwellers are the most mixed (via Roman, Jewish etc.). Almost no Jews were working on farms in the country side. They traveled around trading things and worked in the cities.

Oski
Monday, November 29th, 2010, 07:39 PM
Autosomal DNA testing can give you a wider range than just your maternal and paternal lineage. It can give you a breakdown of your genetic background and tell you what percent European you are, what percent African, Asian, etc. It will also tell you which population you match most. So if you're 100% European, and want to know where in Europe most of your ancestry comes from, it will be able to narrow it down to a specific population (English, German, Spanish, etc). But it is expensive. 23 and me's ancestry test is $400!!!:-O

Its $99 today due to cyber monday!

I'm doing it.

Hammer of Thor
Monday, November 29th, 2010, 11:44 PM
Its $99 today due to cyber monday!

I'm doing it.

Thank you so much for posting this!! You definitely getting a rep point. I just ordered my test as well and I'm already getting excited.

Hammer of Thor

Barreldriver
Monday, December 13th, 2010, 06:58 PM
Now's the time to hop on 23andMe or Decodeme with the advent of the RHHcounter tool, this generates Chromosome Mosaics gauging admixture as far back as 100 generations by measuring HET or HOM segments (if you have no segments (just random hits) or have segments 1cM or less you can state that you've got no foreign admix as far back as 100 generations, glad to say I made the cut).

Oski
Tuesday, January 25th, 2011, 01:33 AM
Paternal Haplogroup:R1b1b2a1a1*

"R1b1b2a1a1 is most commonly found on the fringes of the North Sea."


Maternal Haplogroup:U5a1a1

"U5 is common in Norway."

"Northern European"

"Europe 100%"

-23andme


:thumbup

Rächer
Tuesday, January 25th, 2011, 11:36 AM
In reply to Geius' post:This is true in every country.

Stanley
Friday, June 10th, 2011, 05:22 AM
This is embarrassing, but I could use someone's help on this matter.

I found out my great grandparents' parents were from Germany. I had previously not been aware of this, because I always had thought and been told my mother's side of the family was 100% Irish. I only just now found out because my mother had filled out a form for a medical genetics appointment and had to list the countries where her ancestors came from, and while for 'mother' she had written 'Ireland', she had 'Ireland, Germany' under 'father'. Later in the form it listed the name of my "German" ancestor and so I looked up the surname online.

I couldn't find much information on the surname, but from ancestry.com I found that most of the immigrants with the surname to America were from Germany. However, German was not listed as an origin for the surname (although ancestry.com isn't foolproof of course). Neither was Jewish listed, but I did find two famous people (pre-World Wars) with the surname, who were Jewish and from Germany.

How can I find out if my great grandmother was actually Jewish? I could PM you the surname in question if it would help.

Any help is appreciated. I'm more than a little worried right now.

Sybren
Friday, June 10th, 2011, 10:09 AM
AnEndingAscent,

I recommend just old-fashioned genealogical research. Well, on the internet then:

Ahnenforschung (http://ahnenforschung.net/fernabfrage/)

If you type in the names here, you can then click on any of the links, which will then have automatically searched on those names/locations. If you find links, you will probably find out if they're Jewish or not i think.

I hope you're not too worried.

You could also PM the names to me and i will have a look for you. Genealogy is a hobby of mine ;)

Hesse
Friday, June 10th, 2011, 03:30 PM
You could also PM the names to me and i will have a look for you. Genealogy is a hobby of mine ;)

AnEndingAscent,

I would do the same thing. Just PM the name to me, and I will look into it.

Ralf Rossa
Friday, June 10th, 2011, 04:07 PM
This is embarrassing, but I could use someone's help on this matter.

I found out my great grandparents' parents were from Germany. I had previously not been aware of this, because I always had thought and been told my mother's side of the family was 100% Irish. I only just now found out because my mother had filled out a form for a medical genetics appointment and had to list the countries where her ancestors came from, and while for 'mother' she had written 'Ireland', she had 'Ireland, Germany' under 'father'. Later in the form it listed the name of my "German" ancestor and so I looked up the surname online.

I couldn't find much information on the surname, but from ancestry.com I found that most of the immigrants with the surname to America were from Germany. However, German was not listed as an origin for the surname (although ancestry.com isn't foolproof of course). Neither was Jewish listed, but I did find two famous people (pre-World Wars) with the surname, who were Jewish and from Germany.

How can I find out if my great grandmother was actually Jewish? I could PM you the surname in question if it would help.

Any help is appreciated. I'm more than a little worried right now.

I have the same query and would appreciate the same offer of help please, I found a Rossa in the list of Jewish children shipped off to the States to escape the retribution of the Nazis.

Stanley
Saturday, June 11th, 2011, 06:06 AM
Now that my head is more clear, I think I overreacted to my situation.

According to worldnames.publicprofiler.org, the surname is fairly common in Luxembourg, where according to my genealogical research my great-grandmother's parents were from. It is a common Jewish surname, but I believe in my case it is of French origin (which ancestry.com did list as a possible origin).

Also according to my research, they were Catholics, which makes sense in the context of Luxembourg, and also explains how she came to marry into an Irish Catholic family. Even the sole fact that they immigrated to the American Midwest in the late 1800's to farm should negate Jewishness, one would think. I'm still going to consult with relatives and do more research, as I can't be fully sure of anything yet. I know I've asked a couple of you to look into this matter for me, but feel free to not do so now; although, I would still greatly appreciate better genealogists than I trying to find out what they can.

:)