During the Covid19 pandemic in the UK in July 2020 a woman asked for help in identifying her newly-discovered (via DNA) Jewish birth-father. She could not imagine the story about to unfold. In the next three weeks, following the DNA trail and building family trees for each of 8 significant DNA hits on 3 different websites, her ties to four half-siblings were identified, all sharing the same father but with four different mothers. To be certain of the connections between the DNA matches and the half-siblings, it was necessary to use the JRI-Poland database to create family trees going back to the late 1700s. In the process the accuracy of the DNA-estimated family relationships could be compared with the true family relationships and the impact of any endogamy could be analysed.
Michael is a co-founder and Board Member of Jewish Records Indexing – Poland (1995-); Vice President of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain (JGSGB 2019-); Honorary Research Fellow – Genealogical Studies, University of Strathclyde (2020-); Former Vice President, Programming of JewishGen, Inc (1995-2018). He was Database matching consultant to the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims. Michael was awarded the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies Lifetime Achievement award in Washington in 2011. He was awarded the OBE for services to the Jewish Community in the Queen’s New Year Honours List 2021.