Summary and Conjecture
after nearly three years of research
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Late this summer will mark three years since a few of started exchanging information on our Pikholz families, an exchange which resulted in a decision to try to identify and reconnect the descendants of all the Pikholz families.  We now have an e-mailing list of 80 people and I update about forty Israeli descendants with periodic letters in Hebrew by post.  Some of you are very involved - in research, in financial help and in encouragement.  Others are silent partners.

In some of the families, we have made tremendous progress in working backwards and in others we have discovered new relatives.  A lot of ground has been broken with records from European archives, particularly AGAD in Warsaw which has many vital records for the period 1859-1899.  Jacob Laor and I have worked hand-in-hand with non-Pikholz researchers to gain access to additional records without overtaxing our limited budget.  One of our most important resources has been JRI (Jewish Records Indexing) Project, a systematic indexing of AGAD's Galician records.  More recently the All Galicia Database at Gesher Galicia, has provided additional indexed records.

At the same time, we have found new information in the Ellis Island records, records of Mandatory citizenship records here, Yad VaShem records, Vienna Jewish community records and assorted other databases.  We have also used cemetery records and our web-site includes some two hundred twenty graves of Pikholz descendants and spouses (with about fifty more in preparation).  It has been my intention to establish a proper memorial to Holocaust victims of Pikholz descent on the website, but I have not been successful in getting sufficiently organized.  (There are some four hundred and I am surely undercounting at that.)

And in recent years, we have added DNA to our toolkit and that has enabled us to merge what we had previouslyt defined as separate families. I discuss much of that in my book and conclusions developed later.

I (finally!) feel safe in saying that we have reached the point where most new information gives us more answers than questions. Most but not all.

We started our project with a general sense that all Pikholz are probably related and that the town of Rozdol was the source.  In time we discovered the large number of Pikholz descendant who came from Skalat and it became clear that these were either two separate families or two distinct branches of the same family.  The Rozdolers seem to be descended from one Pinchas of Rozla who we believe died on Rosh HaShanah 1825.  The Skalaters, on the other hand, seem to go further back, with at least half a dozen Pikholz from Skalat who were born before 1800.

In my own mind, it is clear that Pinchas of Rozla was not a part of the Skalat Pikholz clan.  But his wife Sara Rivka might have been.  I would like to think that we will find a death record for her, perhaps showing that she came to Rozdol from Skalat, bringing the Pikholz name with her. That has been pretty much confirmed by DNA analysis - both to show that the Skalaters came from one male line, as did the Rozdolers (though we also show that these two are not the same) and in a GEDmatch "Lazarus" analysis that confirms to my mind that this is one family.

We have also learned, using Y-DNA that before we were Pikholz, we were Spira and that our male line lived in Spain or Portugal, probably leaving Iberia before the Inquisition of 1492.

Names and connections marked in green are conjecture.
Names, dates and connections marked in red are unconfirmed but with evidence
Non-Pikholz spouses are in Italics
Hyperlinks to "Families" are underlined
Leviim are marked 
The Skalat Families
The Rozdol Families
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