How DNA discovery of birth father led to uniting five half-sibling is focus of March 27 JGSI talk:
“Ich bin ein Berliner: (Re)uniting 5 Half-siblings from 4 Different Mothers” will be the topic of a presentation by genealogist Michael Tobias for the Sunday, March 27, 2022, virtual meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois at 2 p.m. CDT. Register/RSVP for the Zoom session by clicking the button at left.
A separate members-only discussion session will be held at 1 p.m.
In this online presentation, which is free and open to the public, Michael Tobias will describe the process that began in July 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom when a woman asked for help in identifying her newly-discovered (via DNA) Jewish birth father. She could not imagine the story about to unfold.
“In the next three weeks, following the DNA trail and building family trees for each of eight significant DNA hits on three different websites, her ties to four half-siblings were identified, all sharing the same father but with four different mothers,” Michael said. “To be certain of the connections between the DNA matches and the half-siblings, it was necessary to use the JRI-Poland database to create family trees going back to the late 1700s. In the process, the accuracy of the DNA-estimated family relationships could be compared with the true family relationships and the impact of any endogamy could be analyzed.”
Michael Tobias is a co-founder and board member of Jewish Records Indexing–Poland (1995-); vice president of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain (JGSGB; 2019-); Honorary Research Fellow – Genealogical Studies, University of Strathclyde (2020-); and former vice president of programming for JewishGen Inc (1995-2018). He was database matching consultant for the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims.
Michael was awarded the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies Lifetime Achievement award in Washington, D.C., in 2011. He was awarded the OBE (Order of the British Empire) for services to the Jewish community in the Queen’s 2021 New Year’s Honours List.
The Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping members collect, preserve, and perpetuate the records and history of their ancestors. JGSI is a resource for the worldwide Jewish community to research their Chicago-area roots. The JGSI motto is “Members Helping Members Since 1981.” The group has more than 300 members and is affiliated with the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.
JGSI members have access to useful and informative online family history research resources, including a members’ forum, more than 65 video recordings of past speakers’ presentations , monthly JGSI E-News, quarterly Morasha JGSI newsletter, and much more . Members as well as non-members can look for their ancestors on the free searchable JGSI Jewish Chicago Database.