Jewish Genealogy Society of Maryland meeting

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Date(s) - Sunday, February 26, 2017
1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Pikesville Library


Speaker: Lara Diamond
Title: “Real-World Examples of the Frustrations of Endogamy”
Date and Time: Sunday, February 26, 2017, 1:30 p.m.
Location: Pikesville Library’s meeting room, 1301 Reisterstown Rd, Pikesville, MD

Please join us on Sunday, February 26, 2017, for our next program: “Real-World Examples of the Frustrations of Endogamy,” presented by Lara Diamond.

If you have Jewish ancestry and have taken a DNA test, you’ll have noticed that you have a lot of matches that are predicted to be relatively close matches―but to whom you can find no geographic or surname similarities. That’s because Jews are an endogamous group. All of us descend from a small group of ancestors who lived hundreds―and even thousands―of years ago, making us seem much more closely related than we are.

Individuals with endogamous ancestry get many more matches than testees in the general population―including false-positives. This talk shows why endogamy makes genetic genealogy more difficult and will give real-world examples of why false-positives happen and depict how endogamy looks in practice. It will also give some strategies to show how genetic genealogy successes are still possible when you’re from an endogamous group.

Lara Diamond is President of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Maryland (JGSMD) and has been researching her family for over 25 years, since she was too young to have a driver’s license and had to rely on her mother as a chauffeur. She has traced all branches of her family back to Europe and most multiple generations back in Europe using Russian Empire-era and Austria-Hungarian Empire records. Most of her research is in modern-day Ukraine, with a smattering of Belarus and Poland. She recently took over running JewishGen’s Subcarpathia SIG and, in addition, runs several town-focused projects to collect documentation to assist all those researching ancestors from common towns. She blogs about her mostly Eastern European research at

The program is free for paid members and $5 for non-members (applied to membership fee when a visitor joins JGSMD) after their first meeting. Refreshments will be available. Please check our web site at for late updates and for the time, location, and program of future meetings.