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Monday, April 3, 2023


I come from an endogamous tribal heritage. What is endogamy? It means marrying within a narrow tribal or social group. 

Now we can argue if this practice is healthy from a genetic standpoint, probably not I would think unless there is a decent supply of slaves, converts or conquered people around and mixed in, in order to not limit the gene pool.

Now I have friends who have married first cousins and as far as I know, that didn't occur in my tree but it is obvious that most jews are related to each other and you don't have to look real hard to find the connections. 

The Kevin Bacon rule, in this case if bacon was kosher.

But you can't change the past and you are the genetic hand you are dealt. I tried to break the chain. My first wife was a Baptist but it just didn't take. 

So I like to play a little game.

I call it name that jew. And you might want to refer back to this blogpost to see how the game works. I stick a name in Geni and see how we are related. I had one strikeout, Lou Reed. Oh ya, and Barry Friedman.  I will live. But with Leslie being related to Joey Ramone I think we are cool on those counts. Anyway I did a couple more searches the other day and came up with these connections:

I've got the hipster beatnik thing pretty well covered, Ram Dass (Richard Alpert) and Allan Ginsberg. Both from my dad where most of my connections derive from. But there's more. Danny Kaye, Zero Mostel, Moshe Dayan, Golda Meier (through Leslie), even that a-hole Netanyahu, they are all mishpucha, although some more removed obviously than others. Not even shirt tail, tallis tail we will call them. 

Moe Berg, famous baseball player and spy? Cousin. Ditto Herzl, the father of Zionism. And you wonder why they think we control the world.  What a mishpucha! I know what you are thinking - Herzl Shmerzl, what about Morey Amsterdam? Bingo. Well, honestly, not to me but he is related to my wife and that counts. I am related to way more famous people than she is but I try not to rub it in. She does get more of the entertainers, like Mel Brooks. She gets Picasso and the Roosevelts, I am stuck with that turncoat Mahler.

Talk about the ultimate networkers. Am I forgetting an interesting yid? If so, let me know and I will see if they are family or not.

But they probably are. And forget about Rod Carew and Sammy Davis Jr. I won't even try.

This one sort of tripped me out.

Through my Raimi cousins, fellow Wyszkowers . One of them, Sam, directed Spiderman. Dr. Goldberger was a very interesting fellow.

Endogamy. The ultimate insider game. 

Obviously, many if not most of these connections are very loose and convoluted. But they are still interesting to me both in a historical and familial way. We all connect. if you tried this, no matter your origin story, likely the same thing will happen.

The Jefferson / Hemings connection is so interesting to me. See here and here.

Julia Ann Isaacs, daughter of German Jewish merchant David Isaacs and Nancy West, a free woman of color, lived with her family on Charlottesville’s main street until 1832, when she married Eston Hemings. About 1838 they moved to Chillicothe in southern Ohio, where Hemings led a popular dance band.

At mid-century the Hemingses made a fateful decision. They and their three children, John Wayles, Anna, and Beverly, left Ohio for Madison, Wisconsin, changing their surname to Jefferson and living henceforth as white people. 

Eston Hemings Jefferson (May 21, 1808 – January 3, 1856) was born into slavery at Monticello, the youngest son of Sally Hemings, a mixed-race enslaved woman. Most historians who have considered the question believe that his father was Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States.[1] Evidence from a 1998 DNA test showed that a descendant of Eston matched the Jefferson male line, and historical evidence also supports the conclusion that Thomas Jefferson was probably Eston's father.[1][2][3][4] Many historians believe that Jefferson and Sally Hemings had six children together, four of whom survived to adulthood.[5] Other historians disagree.[6]

Jefferson freed Eston and his older brother Madison Hemings in his will, as they had not yet come of age at his death. They each married and lived with their families and mother Sally in Charlottesville, Virginia, until her death in 1835. Both brothers and their young families moved to Chillicothe, Ohio, to live in a free state, where Eston Hemings earned a living as a musician and entertainer.

In 1852 Eston moved with his wife and three children to Madison, Wisconsin, where they changed their surname to Jefferson and entered the white community. 


depgrl said...

Are you related to the actor Sam Raimi?
Love the Geni six degree of separation tool!
Moshe Dayan was Egyptian, therefore not related to most Ashkenazim!
Cousin Tara of the Grosbard clan

depgrl said...

My mistake, I just read Moshe Dayan was indeed of Ukrainian Jewish ancestry, though most Dayans were Egyptian (like a high school friend).

Moshe Dayan is your third cousin once removed's husband's first cousin's wife's sister's husband's sister's husband's nephew.

→ Shirley Pfefer
your mother → Avrum Pfefer
her father → Szia Pfefer
his father → Symcha Majer Pfefer
his father → Szymon Pfefer
his brother → Beniamin Pfefer
his son → Chaja Wajnberg
his daughter → Perl Wlodawer
her daughter → Jankel Wlodawer
her husband → Chaia Wlodawer
his mother → Baruch Eisenberg
her brother → מאיר איזנברג
his son → שושנה איזנברג
his wife → Malka Slusarevsky-Ram
her sister → Zeev Slusarevsky-Ram
her husband → Batia Dayan
his sister → Eliyahu Dayan
her husband → Shmuel Dayan
his brother → Moshe Dayan
his son

Blue Heron said...

Sam Raimi is my third cousin.His grandma was Simcha Grossbard's daughter.