The Woolf Pack – DNA tests to Reveal Jewish Ancestry

During the Covid19 pandemic in the UK I was approached by several people whose recent DNA tests had revealed Jewish ancestry (typically an unknown Jewish birth father). This talk will give a brief overview of DNA testing and will cover one such case. I will provide an overview of the steps taken in under 2 weeks to construct a family tree of over 800 individuals including over 40 DNA matches and identifying the Jewish birth father. In the process the accuracy of the DNA-estimated family relationships could be compared with the true family relationships and the impact of any endogamy could be analysed.

You can find the handout here.


Michael is a co-founder and Board Member of Jewish Records Indexing – Poland (1995-); Vice President of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain (JGSGB 2019-); Honorary Research Fellow – Genealogical Studies, University of Strathclyde (2020-); Former Vice President, Programming of JewishGen, Inc (1995-2018); Database matching consultant to the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (2000-2006). Michael was awarded the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies Lifetime Achievement award in Washington in 2011 and he was awarded the OBE for services to the Jewish Community in the Queen’s New Year Honours List 2021.

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