Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Cracking A Brick Wall

As I indicated the other day, my research on my own family has stalled in recent years. So I decided to use some of my down time here at GRIP 3 to do some research.

Since I am in a DNA class, I decided to try to locate a particular person, Kay Trebonyak. She is my top match on FamilyTreeDNA, but I have no idea of who she is, other than that we are related on my mother’s side and we are definitely some sort of cousin.

Actually, FamilyTreeDNA suggests that we AR 2nd-4th cousins. We match on 93 cMs with the longest common segment of 23 cM. We are unquestionably related. Given what I have found out about her, I suspected that she was related through my maternal grandmother, whose family were from Galicia.

I have been searching for her for years, to find out her maiden name, so I could figure out how she is related to me. The reason that I need her maiden name is that her DNA comes from her parents, not her husband, so that relationship doesn’t provide direct evidence of her own lineage.

She is in her 90s, and I don’t have an easy contact. The woman who managed her test, Lydia Cherep Becker, must have been a nice person, based on her obituary and memorials, but she is obviously unavailable to help me.

I created a private tree for her husband’s family, hoping that it would help me find some clue about her maiden name. I even created a Google alert for her name.

Revisiting her husband’s information, I located on Find A Grave Joe Trebonyak’s gravestone. 

There it is! Kay Cherep Trebonyak’s maiden name!

I came up with a quick and dirty search on the Chereps, and find that Lydia Cherep Becker was her niece.

Now I can trace her lineage, and in light of this information, I can interpret some of Lydia Cherep Becker’s online posts about her own research.

Also, and most excitingly, our most recent common ancestors was born in Galicia. So researching her family helps me to find out about who our common ancestors were.

So now I have a second line to research, which can help me to learn more about my family.

So in terms of the common metaphors, I don’t want to call this breaking through a brick wall. Instead, I have cracked a brick, and will keep prying until the wall comes down.