Would YOU, a person with DNA-research skills, be willing to help me?

+3 votes
In Watching "Finding your Roots" on PBS this morning, one person of the three who are featured had a missing person in her tree. The DNA geneticist, CiCi Moore (spelling!) decided that DNA was the only positive tool to use. She did find information leading to the woman's forebears.

Here's what NEEDS DOING: My father (b. Rudolf Berg) didn't know who his father was. His mother knew, but kept her silence. I think he was embarrassed about it (this came up in the 1950's when I was in high school in California). I truly want to find out who my father's father was. He was probably accurately described as "a German Jew," living at the time in Karlsruhe or Frankfurt am Main, DE.

His mother Anna Berg was genetically German. Her mother and brother had died early. Anna immigrated to the US alone via some money from a Schmid relative in Germany or possibly the Schmid woman who had immigrated before her to the US. (These Schmids are not known to me, but separately Anna and later her GM Rosa had visited one of them when she arrived in New Haven, CT, to start anew. Anna married a Robert Hilse in America, after 4 years of her new country.)  

I can give more details if you are interested in working on this (and perhaps I'll add something later here that could be helpful.)

I do need your help. I'm not wealthy, but would be able to pay someone something.
WikiTree profile: Roberta Burnett
in Genealogy Help by Roberta Burnett G2G6 Mach 2 (24.2k points)
retagged by Susie MacLeod

4 Answers

+4 votes
There is the DNA Project here at WikiTree (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Project:DNA). The folks there is willing to help, and they really know how to interprete the DNA-stuff
by Jelena Eckst├Ądt G2G6 Pilot (184k points)
+4 votes
Hi Roberta,

Having only just discovered one half of my family myself I know how hard this can be. I'm sure there are people on here willing to help. I'll update your tags so some people who are in the know will see your question. If you don't hear from anyone in the next few days feel free to message me.

Susie :-)
by Susie MacLeod G2G6 Pilot (177k points)
+7 votes

Roberta, I'd like to forewarn your that finding your father's ancestors and relatives will be extremely difficult, given his apparent Jewish heritage. I've been helping a friend online with his discovery that his father was 100% Ashkenazi Jewish and it is a very complicated situation because of the endogamy within smaller Jewish communities. Everyone on that side of his appears to be much more closely related than one would expect from typical European or North American populations. 

What I would suggest for now is testing yourself (and any siblings or cousins on that side) with additional companies: 23andMe and Ancestry DNA. In addition, transfer your DNA data over to MyHeritage. With each additional company, you increase your odds of finding closer family members. I see that you've tested with Family Tree DNA, however their database is the smallest (circa 1 million), whereas 23andMe is ~5x larger and Ancestry DNA is ~10x larger. MyHeritage is based in Israel and might have more Jewish or European customers, so transferring your data there and paying for their DNA features would be wise. 

If you test with Ancestry DNA, send me a private message. I can help you by creating a network graph which is a useful tool for sorting out how people are connected to you. 

by JN Murphy G2G6 Mach 6 (60.4k points)
0 votes

If this were a US thing, it would probably have a decent chance of getting a decent idea pretty quickly. But from what I hear, DNA testing hasn't really caught on in Germany - maybe they've mostly figured out that they "came from Germany"! wink So that might be a problem.

Maybe the "German Jew" thing is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, maybe the Jewish ethnicity will show up in your ethnicity percentages, and you could at least have a decent guess whether that part of it is true (if that's your only Jewish roots). On the other hand - as another answer explains - the endogamy issues could make it hard, even if you do find some matches.

So this might e an uphill battle, but stick with it! You never know when some especially-useful match will suddenly appear!

Good luck!!

by Frank Stanley G2G6 Mach 3 (38.7k points)

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