Why Did My Father Know That His Grandfather Had an Uncle Selig?
Twenty-three years before Israel Pickholtz began doing serious genealogy, his father sent him three bits of family information. One was that Israel’s great-grandfather had an uncle Selig. This information was very important in Israel’s research over the last two decades, research that was helped along by traditional sources and more recently by genetic genealogy.
But even as he progressed in his research, Israel could not shake the question: “Why did my father know this?” Israel says, “My father was eight when his grandfather died and they never spoke much. No one else knew about Uncle Selig, not even the older cousin who lived with great-grandfather in the same house. My father himself did not recall how he knew.”
Did it even matter? Israel tells the story of his great-great-great-uncle, what he learned about his family, and why now he thinks he knows how his father knew. And yes, it matters.
This program is free and open to the public but does not include museum admission.
To register, or for information, contact JGS Pittsburgh President Steve Jaron at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Israel Pickholtz, a native Pittsburgher, has lived in Israel for 45 years, currently in Jerusalem. He has done serious family research for over 20 years. His flagship work is the Pikholz Project, a single-surname project to identify and reconnect all Pikholz descendants.
Alongside his work as a professional genealogist, taking clients in Israel and abroad, Pickholtz became heavily involved in genetic genealogy in 2013 in order to tackle a specific family challenge. He manages test kits of over 120 family members.
In 2015, he published is book on genetic genealogy “ENDOGAMY: One Family, One People,” available online. Since the publication of his book, he has spoken before over 50 genealogy groups and societies, including the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies conferences, the Ontario Genealogical Society Conference, RootsTech, the Guild of One-Name Studies (London), the GRIP Wednesday evening program, and the Yad Vashem/Central Zionist Archives “From Roots to Trees” series. He is a member of the Israel Genealogical Society, the Guild of One-Name Studies, and assorted research groups.
Pickholtz is a two-time participant at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh. You can read his blog online.