In my blog of the 24th September 2016 I carefully explained how, after all my efforts at convential research yielded no answers, I turned to DNA analysis to find out whom my ancestors were prior to 1800. This strategy yielded great success and though I was able to determine my ancestry with absolute certainty, the identity of the 3 generations (GGF04 to GGF06) between 1700 and 1800 (the “brick wall”) remained unresolved and I hypothesized from available information whom they might have been.

To my great satisfaction the truth has now revealed itself – and my hypothesis, although logically derived, is incorrect.

My blog of the 30th October 2016 describes the reunification after an 80 year separation as a result of the Shoah. Consequent to this meeting one of my new found cousins informed me that their uncle Kurt Wiener had in the latter 1900s intensely researched the WIENER family and that his documents were in the possession of their cousin. Immediately I set about contacting her and she confirmed that this information was in fact true but that it would take her some time to find the papers.

A few weeks ago she phoned to tell me that she had found the papers and they are now in the mail to me. She did however email me a copy of the tree that Kurt had drawn up and which clearly depicted the generations for whom I had been searching so desperately over the last 40 years.

The first names were similar to what I had but this was to be expected as they were named according to the Jewish tradition of taking on the names of deceased ancestors – however, they were cousins to the ones I had assumed to be my ancestors and of course they had different spouses. I correlated this information with grave listing of Hamburg’s historical Konigstrasse Jewish Cemetery with what uncle Kurt had written

This document is the keystone to the final and accurate establishment of my Levite paternal lineage from about 1440 to present time, a period almost spanning some 600 years. I don’t believe that many other Jewish families have managed to similarly trace their ancestry. Interestingly the earlies ancestor to be names Eliyahu was Gaon Eliyahu Oettingen born in about 1550 and the last one to date is my son Elian whose Jewish name is Eliyahu, named after my grandfather Eliyahu.

Of course with this discovery come additional tasks – I now have three more brances of the family to research, the spouses of the 3 newly discovered Wiener ancestors. There are the well known SPANIER and WARISCH families from Hamburg and the AHRON family. I am working on them.

I believe that this is an important lesson to all those researching their roots. Never give up looking for the truth. It is out there somewhere. Keep searching, be persistent, patient and optimistic. Follow all leads – many lead to blind alleys but eventually you will find the avenue to the truth. And that makes it all worthwhile.

I hope soon to post a research blog on how my surving distant cousins and myself have traced our common ancestry combining the results into some very interesting charts.

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