Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Suddenly Seymour

Getting Down to Tachlis: Yes! Abq Jew is sure that you, his loyal readers, fondly recall Little Shop of Horrors - the sad yet entertaining tale of Seymour Krelborn, Audrey, Mr Mushnik, Orin Scrivello (see Little Shop of Dentistry, of May 2017) and, of course - Audrey II. 

Suddenly Seymour

Well, this blog post is not about that. No, this blog post is about Seymour Tachlis, Abq Jew's long-lost and just-found ... relative. But let's start a little closer to the beginning.

Abq Jew told his story of Finding Old Grandad in February 2019's Blood, Spit & Years. In which Abq Jew stated:

It's a long story that barely anyone knows, but Abq Jew's father, of blessed memory, was semi-adopted. Which is to say: the wonderful lady whom Abq Jew always called Grandma was; but the very interesting character whom others always called Bing and whom Abq Jew always called Gramps was not.

It is only through that semi-adoption that Abq Jew's father acquired the current family name; therefore, except for our small branch of the Tree, we are not related to anyone else with that name.

But we are related - by blood! - to Abq Jew's biological grandfather, whom Abq Jew shall here and henceforth call Robert Beachwood.

The family hasn't heard a peep out of Mr Beachwood since he and Grandma split up in the 1930s. And, of course, nothing from any other of the Beachwoods, who may or may not have been aware of Abq Jew's father's existence.

As also stated, Abq Jew has had his DNA up on 23andMe, MyHeritage, and other websites - for years, with plenty of results. But after attending a webinar with genealogist Jennifer Mendelsohn, Abq Jew decided to spit into the tube for Ancestry, too - Ancestry has by far the largest database.

And then - 

Male Profile

Abq Jew discovered, suddenly, Seymour. Tachlis.

Now, Abq Jew saw that Seymour Tachlis (you know that's not his real name, don't you?) hasn't looked at Ancestry for over a year. So Abq Jew posted a question for members of Tracing the Tribe, a Facebook Group which noted Jewish genealogist Schelley Talalay Dardashti administers.

Here's a question: I've got a relative, let's call him Seymour Tachlis, who just turned up on my AncestryDNA Matches.  
We share 295 cM (4%), with the longest segment being 84 cM. Ancestry says that puts him in nominal 2nd Cousin territory.  
Oh - I haven't got the slightest idea who Seymour Tachlis is or how we could be related. Have Ancestry and I got this right? Now what do I do?

Down to tachlis

Abq Jew received several dozen responses, and learned that -

295 cM (4%) is a lot of shared DNA.

Second Cousins (it could also be 1st Cousins 2x Removed, or a variety of other relatively esoteric full- and half-relationships; for now, let's stick with plain vanilla) would typically mean that -

  • One of Abq Jew's two parents and one of Seymour's two parents were 1st Cousins.
  • One of Abq Jew's four grandparents and one of Seymour's four grandparents were siblings.
  • One of Abq Jew's eight great-grandparents and one of Seymour's eight great-grandparents were the same person - the Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA).

By examining Ancestry's list of Abq Jew's and Seymour Tachlis's Shared Matches, it was clear to Abq Jew that he and Seymour are very probably related via Abq Jew's father's Beachwood branch of the family. 

Alas, they're the side that (mostly) doesn't talk to Abq Jew

In the meantime - Robert Beachwood, Abq Jew's grandfather and the most likely of Abq Jew's relatives to be involved in this mystery, was one of eight siblings. One of those siblings, Boris, was Robert's identical twin. With (according to most sources) identical starting DNA.

Robert and Boris Twins

Great. Now Abq Jew is looking for two of his close relatives,
who both seem to have vanished sometime in the 1930s. 

So - back to 2nd Cousins. We are making progress! It now appears that -

  • Abq Jew's father and one of Seymour's two parents were 1st Cousins.
  • Abq Jew's father's father and one of Seymour's four grandparents were siblings.
  • Abq Jew's father's father's father or mother - Abq Jew's great-grandfather or his great-grandmother -  and one of Seymour's eight great-grandparents were the same person - the Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA).

Has Abq Jew mentioned that, as luck and research would have it, he knows the names of his father's grandparents - and even the names of his father's great-grandparents? Well, he does!

I Knew That

So, Abq Jew hears you, his loyal readers who have stuck with him so far and are therefore reading this - how about Seymour Tachlis? He's got a 61-person Family Tree on Ancestry! What does Seymour know?

First - Seymour knows that his father was Billy Tachlis, Junior. And he knows that his grandfather was Billy Tachlis, Senior. Abq Jew astutely observes that this Sr-Jr naming pattern is not common among us Jews. 

Therefore - since (of course) any ancestral member of Abq Jew's family must have been Jewish - let's leave Billy and jump right over to Seymour's mother's side of the family.

Yep. Good old Rhonda (not her real name), may she live to 120 (she's 83 now). Who was married to Billy Tachlis, Junior when Seymour was born. And who sometime thereafter married a guy named Johnny Carson. Really. NOT. 

So - who were Rhonda's parents? Who were Rhonda's people?

Oooh Interedting

Seymour Tachlis - remember him? - claims that his mother's father was Henry Ford. Or something like that. And his mother was Clara Jane ... well, Ford. But before Clara Jane was a Ford, she was a ......?

Well, Seymour and Abq Jew and Clara Jane's gravestone agree that Clara Jane's father's name was Abraham. Seymour claims that it was Abraham Ezrokovitz, whose wife was Esther Ezrokovitz. 

But based on the research Abq Jew has done, Abq Jew believes that it was Abraham Rosenthal, whose wife was Esther Rosenthal. And Esther's father was Jacob Ezrokovits. 

The records are far from clear, and there seem to be extra people wandering around Seymour's Tree. At the same time, there are people - like Henry Ford's people - who are missing.

Please Tell Me More

Abq Jew would love to tell you more - but he doesn't know any more. 

Any or all of Abq Jew's assumptions or presumptions could be wrong. Or AncestryDNA's calculations may be off by a half- or full generation or so.

However - Abq Jew figured that Seymour Tachlis must surely know more - so Abq Jew has been trying, via a number of different methods, to get in touch with Seymour. After all, we've gotta have stories to share!

God loves stories

DNA never lies, but it sure 
doesn't tell the whole story. 

That was a couple of weeks ago. 
It's still been over a year since Seymour has looked at Ancestry. 
There have been no messages; no calls; no notes; no letters. 

Audrey II

So - why hasn't Seymour contacted Abq Jew?
What's going on here? 

Well, there's an entire plethora - indeed, a veritable bolus - of reasons why Seymour might not want to / be able to talk to Abq Jew. For example -

Seymour is no longer with us. Seymour is in the hospital.
Seymour is on a long vacation. Seymour is in prison.
Seymour is on the lam. Seymour is on his way to Stockholm
to receive the Nobel Prize. Or just maybe -

Extended Warranty

Seymour doesn't want to talk to Abq Jew
about his car's extended warranty.

Yes, this is the fun part of genealogy ....

Einstein Genealogy

More to follow, Billy Nader!

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