Snyder/Gouline/Highstein/Bass - 2022 New Year Genealogy Letter

Happy New Year Family,

This past year, I found 4 new ancestors on the Snyder branch, thanks in part to a cousin Sherry Meyer reaching out to me about a David Shnayder in my tree. I believe he is the brother of my 4th great-grandfather. The new additions are all from Vilijampole is a town just east of Kaunas along the Nemenus river that had a Jewish population of about 3000 people at its greatest. Sadly, the Matzeva from the cemetery were all removed and all that remains is a single memorial marker. Carol and I visited here in 2018.

The additions are: Chaya Shnayder - A new 3rd great-grandmother  Beyla Shnayder - A new 5th great-grandmother  David Shnayder - A new 6th great-grandfather

My paternal line now goes out 8 generations to the mid-1700’s. My paternal-line now staying with myself reads as Yitzhak Zelik ben Yashua ben Yitzhak ben Yashua ben Shmuel ben Zelik David ben Mortkhel ben Gershon ben David. All of whom are in the Y-haplogroup G-M201 as my Y-DNA indicates.

I had my Y-DNA tested on the recommendation of a fellow Genealogist who is advising me on some of my research. The G Haplogroup represents 10-20% of Jews. Earlier this year, I asked Jay Gouline to test his Y-DNA to help in my quest to find Jacob Gouline's ancestral past. I'm hoping that I can convince one of Arye Galon's male descendants in Israel to likewise test their DNA to confirm a relationship. Maybe I'll have more luck in 2022. Jay and other male descendants of Jacob are in the E-M35 Y-haplogroup which represents another 18-20% of Jews.

I'm continuing to teach Introduction to Jewish Genealogy classes. I'm now a regular co-presenter in the Spring and Fall for the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington (JGSGW) and am co-coordinator for all their workshops. We are planning to revamp all the classes in an attempt to appeal to a broader audience. I'm also getting invitations to speak based on word-of-mouth. Earlier this year I spoke to the Middlesex Chapter of the Brandeis National Committee where I highlighted Jeanne Gouline Highstein and Ida Gouline Glass who were members and Chair of the Baltimore Chapter. The connection between my family and the group was well received. They have in turn recommended me to the Jewish Women International, Middlesex Chapter, where I'll be teaching in February. My favorite slide is where I tell them that the best reason to do Family Genealogy is because it's a mitzvah for your parents, siblings, children, and cousins.

I'm also exploring new ways to do genealogy research, in March I'm co-presenting Using Facial Recognition Tools for Genealogical Research with Scott Genzer. Here is the abstract:

Photographs have always been a genealogical challenge because, unlike more conventional sources such as vital records, they do not impart clear data. Most often we simply attach the picture to our trees and then leave it there. Often some of these photos include unknown relatives or friends who it would be useful to identify. Starting in 2019, Scott began using facial recognition via artificial intelligence / machine learning methods to identify unknown people in photographs using large libraries of passport-like images currently available online. Since then, Scott has been creating custom collections of photos for genealogical research. Michael, using Scott's techniques, has created a town-based collection of 800+ images in support of his volunteer work with the Kremenets District Research Group. Michael has since replicated this process for other towns. This presentation will be a detailed demonstration of this technique and discussion of the commitment required.

Here is a link to the website I set up for use by KDRG researchers:

As of this writing, I've documented 95 direct ancestors, going back up to 9 generations. My tree has 3842 people, including ancestors, their cousins, and links to cousins who have helped me expand my ancestry. For those interested in following my research, I continue to post messages to my blog: If you subscribe, you can see my pondering in near real time.

As always, I'd like to reiterate that if anyone has or plans to do DNA analysis, I'd appreciate your sharing with me as it helps in validating my research and often helps in tracking down cousins who may have genealogy information to help me out. Lastly, if anyone wants to do a Zoom share of my research, I'm more than happy to walk you through pieces of our shared family history. Just send me a request.

Love to all, and please be safe as we enter our 4th year in the time of COVID,