I’ve been analyzing information from all my relatives’ who have graciously DNA tested for me. My paternal side has been very easy to trace, my maternal grandmother’s family however, has been difficult at best. Her family lived in the Skulsk and Warzymowo, Poland area. With vital records that I have located on her family, immigration information from her siblings who came to the United States, and a few obituaries that mention the family in Poland, its apparent that her family moving around very frequently. Toss a dart at that area of Poland and they were probably there. Two pages of village/town transitions.
I recall as a child my grandmother telling me her family traveled to Germany. I vaguely recall her mentioning Berlin as well, but I don’t recall the purpose of the trips. My family has no knowledge of any connection to Germany save for those few stories passed down.
Both my mom and her brother did genealogy DNA testing for me. I’ve noticed numerous autosomal matches to both that have family with very similar surnames to my maternal grandmother’s line. I’ve noted three changes in that family surname in the records I have on them. It was slight, but its following suit and is starting to help form the theory I’d had that part of my grandmothers family line was from Germany. Other than a hunch, I really had very little to go on. In comes DNA testing!
The advanced features on 23andme DNA tests, gives you a breakdown of where your chromosomes comes from. My X chromosome matches, the majority of them are coming from none other than Germany. Interestingly enough on 23andme, I also found out I have a large assortment of matches that have Ashkenazic Jewish ancestry, which is totally new to me! No one in my family, close or distant cousin has any knowledge of Jewish ancestry. To our knowledge we’ve always been Roman Catholic.
So utilizing an X-DNA inheritance chart-Male focus person, I entered what I knew of my family tree. (see chart below)
A male only gets one X- chromosome passed down from his mother, simple enough. A female receives one X- chromosome from her mother and one from her father. So I charted everything I knew.
My maternal grandfather came from Olesnica, Poland. He would have received his X- chromosome from his mother, Julianna Strzelecki and she would have received hers from her mother Antonina Ksen. The Ksen surname appears to have originated from Russian, Ukraine or Belarus.
I don’t have much to go on with the Lukasz Strzelecki’s wife Klara as of yet, but most of those records also originated from the Olesnica area. These towns are located towards Slovakia, Ukraine, & Belarus. Neither side is really matching the X- chromosome information I have.
My maternal grandmother, Helen Hasinska, her mother Walentyna Chabecka was born in Warzymowo, and her mother before her Katarzyna Witowska was born in Kalisz, with family in Byton, Poland. While I don’t have much to go on currently, this also is not really not matching the X-chromosome information. I also have reason to believe this part of the family came at some point from eastern Poland.
When I looked at my maternal grandmother Helen Hasinska father side, it started to take shape. Helen’s father was Michal Hasinski, born in Raciecin, Poland. Michal’s mother was Dorto Nejman. Again, not much to really go on, however when I did some research on the Nejman surname I found this: “Nejman Name Meaning Polish and Jewish (Ashkenazic): Polish form of German Neumann.” I’ve always wondered about this surname. It didn’t really sound like it was of 100% Polish origins, although that’s just an assumption.
The X- chromosome matches and the stories passed down are starting to have some merit. As well the recent discovery of Ashkenazic Jewish starts to fall into place.
Right now my theory is that my X- chromosome is inherited off of my second great grandmother’s line, Dorota Nejman which seems to have originated at this point from somewhere in Germany.
This might fluster some people, but to me this is a lead that I can’t overlook. It fits with my past theory and gives me something to go on relating to my grandmothers line. Now I just need to find a more information on my second great grandparents. I found a good amount of Nejman surnames linked to Parafia Broniszewo (pow. koniński) so we shall see what transpires.