DNA-The Next Big Gold Rush?

By |2017-05-29T18:05:24-07:00May 29th, 2017|

The discovery of gold at Sutters Mill, CA in 1848 promised untold wealth for those who had the resources and stamina to outlast the competition.  At the dawn of the California Gold Rush, there were no laws governing property rights; prospectors depended on a system of staking claims to protect their discoveries. Early prospectors did well, earning many times [...]

Who Was Joseph Smith?

By |2016-01-14T16:23:54-08:00January 14th, 2016|

The early life of Joseph Eugene Smith is a complete mystery.  Joseph's son Morton and Morton's daughter Karen have researched Joseph for over 20 years, yet they still don't know who he was.  Hopefully by reading his story, someone may come forward with new insight into Joseph's so far impenetrable history. Joseph Smith's Death Certificate, 25 December 1973 [...]

DNA Pilot Study on Missing Identity Holocaust Children – 2013 IAJGS Conference

By |2014-05-09T20:13:58-07:00May 9th, 2014|

In August 2012, I was invited to give a lecture at the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies in Boston, MA, on our pilot project to identify two missing-identity child survivors of the Holocaust.  Please enjoy the video of my talk that describes our progress as of late 2013.   We have come some ways since and continue to [...]

Who Am I? What is My Name? Part V – Gertrude and Sonia's Escape

By |2014-03-07T17:20:04-08:00March 7th, 2014|

Pawiak Prison Gertrude and Sonia Preiss-Spiro's names are listed on the transport to Auschwitz of 141 women from Pawiak prison in Warsaw on 24 August 1943.  Pawiak prison was originally used by the Polish judicial to incarcerate criminals, but after the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1969, is was converted into a German [...]

Who Am I? What is My Name? Part IV – Wolfgang and Adele's Eyewitness Account

By |2013-10-26T01:10:08-07:00October 26th, 2013|

Margarete & Emil Schoessow Family (About 1922). From left to right, Erna, Herbert, Margarete (mother), Margarete (daughter),and Charlotte. Their father Emil is not pictured because he was killed in 1917 during World War I. Charlotte Schössow Rebhun was the oldest of four children of Emil and Margarete Schössow from Berlin.  Charlotte, like her friend Gertrude [...]

Who Am I, What is My Name? Part III – Gertrude and Sonia Spyra

By |2013-10-17T23:19:34-07:00October 17th, 2013|

Gertrude Spyra and Charlotte Rebhun, Warsaw, about 1942 A mystery within the mystery of Pnina's identity is the fate of Gertrude Spyra and her daughter Sonia. As the parties responsible for smuggling Pnina from the Warsaw Ghetto, Gertrude and Sonia may have left behind clues about Pnina's parents. Perhaps the Spyras wrote letters [...]

Benjaman's 23 and Me Matches

By |2010-12-09T22:36:13-08:00December 9th, 2010|

Benjaman Kyle is the adopted name of an amnesiac who was found near Savannah, GA in August 2004.  (See his Wikipedia page for more details.)  Since recovering from a severe beating that left him unconscious, he cannot remember who he is.  Benjaman took a 23andMe autosomal DNA test earlier this year, hoping to discover close relatives, [...]

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