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How can I find out if I have Jewish ancestry?

How can I find out if I have Jewish ancestry?

Posted: 1120169313000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1120243240000
Surnames: Schwab
Hi, I've just started looking into my history and I was curious to know if any of my relatives are Jewish. On my dad's side, many relatives came from Germany with the last name Schwab. On my mom's side, everyone is French Canadian, so I'm guessing there isn't much Jewish there. Could someone tell me a basic starting point on how to find this out? Thanks.

Suggestions for Research

Posted: 1121021413000
Classification: Query
Hello Mel -- I would suggest that you start out your research as anyone would, ie. start with your immediate present-day family and work backwards from there. Talk to any family members who are still living and get as much family info as you can. Usually, the oldest female members are the keepers of much family lore. They tend to pay the most attention to who married who, when so-and-so died, where that family member lived, etc. In talking to family members, ask if they have photos and documents. If they do, ask if you can have copies made.
In talking to relatives in this way, you may be lucky to find that you can gather family details which go back a hundred years or more.

Once you've learned all you can from family, you will be ready to check censuses, civil records of birth/marriage/death, immigration records, religious records, etc in order to find out more details. For most genealogists, this is not an easy or fast process. It's working step by step, back in time, through the generations -- gathering a clue here, a detail there and fitting them together.

Don't worry too much if family was Jewish or not Jewish. Just learn as much as you can about parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and so on *as individuals* and how/where/when they lived. If you have Jewish ancestry, you will find it out naturally as a result of this research.

Hope this is helpful. Good luck and regards, Andrea (admin for Jewish Roots board)

Research Comments & Question

Posted: 1121185038000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1153504781000
I have tried to help several people but have found they have lots of info and even web sites but never mention it -thus someone does the entire research again.
on the other end there are those that do nothing-and want us to do it all for them.
you gave an excellent answer to the above person -hope he follows through. Is there any way to remove a message once one has found info they need?

Thanks for Your Comments

Posted: 1121710079000
Classification: Query
Hello Bob -- thanks for your comments. The suggestions I posted can be learned from any book on amateur family history research. They are basic starting points which all amateur genealogists would be wise to follow. Unfortunately, though, it seems that many people do not take the time to learn "the basics" before starting their research. Too bad, really, because they may then end up wasting time (theirs and others) and gathering lots of genealogical info which may well turn out to be wrong!

You also asked if it's possible to remove a message once the needed info has been found. Yes, messages can be removed if a request is made to the Board administrator by the person who posted the original message. Click on Links & Announcements near the top of any Board to find out the e-mail address of the administrator of that Board.
However, rather than removing a message, I think a better approach would be to attach a reply to the original message, adding new info/details which have been found. This way, anyone who connects to your research or your family will find both messages and be able to reply. If a message is removed, there is obviously no way for anyone to find your research and contact you if they have a connection. Hope this answers your question. Regards, Andrea (admin for Jewish Roots Board)

Re: How can I find out if I have Jewish ancestry?

Posted: 1168388328000
Classification: Query
Hello Meliara,
I wonder if you have found any Jewish ancestry, and am also curious about whether I might have any. The closest that I've found, so far, is that one of my mother's aunts married a man whose father was Jewish. That is from a Canadian side of my family.

Re: How can I find out if I have Jewish ancestry?

Posted: 1168720903000
Classification: Query
the status of being jewish with exception of conversions
follows the mother's line of descent. recently some jewish denominations are considering the son of a jewish father as jewish but not universally accepted.
Perhaps your distant cousins may be genetically associated to jewish people but if they do not practice the religion in any manner they would not be.
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