Happy Accidents

Last week I decided to find out if Nesquehoning, PA has a historical society. My father’s side of the family lived there for a long time. For most of them, it was their final destination from the old country. 

I couldn’t find any mention of an official historical society, but I did find this: http://nesquehoning.us/index.htm

I had been there before, a long time ago. But, for some reason, I never noticed that there were pages and pages of pictures, newspaper clippings, etc.

I have spent so much time looking through these things now, and I’m not even close to done.

So far, these are a few of the things I have found.


In the back row, Mike Kulis is my grandfather’s brother.




In the first row, Dorothy Eremus is my grandmother.


And the following articles are about my grandfather.







I still have about 9 or 10 pages of newspaper articles to look through, besides all the other pages I haven’t browsed yet. 

I was hoping I might find a picture of my grandfather as a child- but unless it’s labelled I’m not sure I’d be able to recognize him. The youngest picture I’ve seen of him is actually his Army photo.

So I’m unbelievably excited, and left to my own devices I wouldn’t fulfill any obligations for the next few days. I’d just sit here poring over these old articles and photos.

I feel like I just dug up buried treasure!

Tip for the day- google town names and and historical societies. Maybe you’ll get lucky- you never know!


DNA Update (Hooray-I’m a Jew Again!)



Recently, I wrote a post about my DNA results from ancestry.com. The other day, I received an e-mail from ancestry stating that they had updated the results. As a result, and for reasons I don’t quite understand, my ethnicity has changed….dramatically.

The set-up for the entire results page has changed, definitely for the better. It seems to be more user-friendly and also offers a lot more information regarding ethnic history and migration patterns. It also looks much nicer.



So looking at my previous results, you can see some big changes.

Previously I was:

46% Eastern European

8% Central European

24% British Isles

16% Finnish/Volga-Ural

6% Person/Turkish/Caucasus.

I’m definitely relieved about actually being genetically Jewish because that was pretty weird on my head. Also this guy



was my 2nd great grandfather, Samuel Robinowitz, and I think he looks Jewish. Considering one of his sons was a rabbi, there definitely had to be some sort of short circuit somewhere when it came to my DNA results.

While those results have clarified some things, they’ve also opened up new questions. Where did my British Isles ancestry go? Where the heck did the Iberian Peninsula come into play? Who was from Scandinavia? And, most importantly, just how far back in time do these results reach? 

According to my family tree, the ancestors who lived in the British Isles were there for quite some time. Before that, and I’m talking way before- like 800+ years before, they came from France. 

So there’s a lot to think about. I’m trying to guess as to whether the Scottish ancestors originally migrated from Scandinavia- which would probably have the most historical evidence, or was there some Roman Empire interplay- which would also make sense.

I read some of the info that they provide regarding the update. They talk about how they check your DNA forty times and then take your ethnic percentages from the average of the forty tests. I don’t really understand how they would come up with different numbers in each of those forty tests, but I don’t understand that much about DNA testing.

I wish they would explain what time periods the results might trace back to, but I don’t know if there’s any actual way for them to determine that.

I would definitely recommend the updated results over the old version. It paints a clearer picture because of all of the extra information they’ve added.



***I haven’t had the chance to post recently as I’ve had family visiting. Now that some of them have left, I hope to have a little bit more time on my hands. I’ve recently made some interesting discoveries, by random accident, and can’t wait to write about them.