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Sharon,

I love this exploration of your ancestry! I’m currently tracking the maternal and paternal sides of my family, coming up short in many places, but am having much more luck tracing my husband’s paternal history – also Ashkenazi, via Lithuania. (Russian Czars kept good records, I have to hand them that bit of credit.)

DNA testing alternately attracts and repels me – I want to know, but privacy issues! – so I haven’t decided whether or not to take the plunge. Did you research how or where your results could be used in the future?

Joaquín may make more sense than it appears. It is the Latin version of the Hebrew name Yehoyakim, also spelled as Joachim in some records. I hope that tidbit helps solve the mystery.

Now, to find out my maternal great-grandfather’s Spanish surname…I wish DNA testing could help with that!

This piece obviously provoked some thoughts. Thank for sharing your story!

Kathy