Bubby’s Long Lost Cousins

My grandmother was from Warsaw, Poland, and so were her parents. My mother had written down the names of her grandparents and their siblings, and only their mothers.  Even with this limited info, until several years ago, I couldn’t find any ancestors or descendants in various databases, including JRI Poland. Continue reading “Bubby’s Long Lost Cousins”


Ashkenazi Salmans

The origin of my surname has always been something of a mystery. Unlike other branches of my family, the Salmans have been largely untraceable. No vital records have been found from the town in Poland whence they came, Hrubieszow, nor from neighbouring towns in the Lublin Voivodship. Continue reading “Ashkenazi Salmans”

Genetic Origins of Ashkenazi Jewish Pfeffers

Pfeffer means pepper in German. Variant spellings are Pfefer, Feffer and Feffer. It is not known how exactly my Pfefers got this name, but legend has it that it derives from a 17th-century German baron named Von Pfeufer/Pfeuer. The Cohens or prominent Jewish townsmen who worked for this baron were given the Pfeffer name. My family has always spelled it with one F, as records attest. Continue reading “Genetic Origins of Ashkenazi Jewish Pfeffers”

To test or not to test? FTDNA vs. 23andme

Many people ask me with which company to do ancestral/genealogical DNA testing. This all depends on what exactly you are looking for and how much you are willing to spend. As I’ve tested with and, I am comparing both. Eventually, when I get around to testing, I will include Ancestry and National Geographic. Continue reading “To test or not to test? FTDNA vs. 23andme”