Ester Peony, this year’s Romanian Eurovision representative, is 98.4% Balkan… and 1.6% Ashkenazi Jewish! We found 874 relatives of Ester’s from 42 different countries all around the world, from Brazil to the United Arab Emirates to Japan. One family member in Germany has over 2,000 relatives listed in his MyHeritage family tree.
Ester was born in Romania, but at the age of eight, her family immigrated to Montreal, Canada. It was there that she discovered her passion for music and jazz. Four years later she returned to her homeland to attend the Dinu Lipatti High School of Art, where she studied classic singing and guitar. In light of her DNA results, it’s no wonder she felt called back to complete her education and launch her music career there; love for Romania runs through her veins.
Ester has several relatives listed on MyHeritage. One of them is her great-aunt. Through Smart Matching with the family trees of other users, we found a historical photo of the family. On the right side of this old photo, we see Ester’s great-grandmother, Maria Cojocea (born 1919) and Ester’s great-aunt, Genovita Cojocea, when she was young.
The family name Cojocea is common not only in Romania, but also in Spain, Canada, Moldova, United States, Ireland, Belgium, Netherlands, Australia, and France. Ester Peony has DNA matches in every one of these countries.
One branch of Ester’s mother’s family immigrated to the USA from Romania. Ester’s great-uncle, Ion Cojocea (born 1944) lives, with his family in Portland, Oregon. Ester has 276 DNA matches in the United States.
Her maternal great-grandparents, Maria Cojocea (née Chitu, born 1919) and Ion (born 1919) had a large family of at least 8 children.
What does Ester think of her results?
“One of the things that surprised me most was the 1.6% of Jewish origins I have. I am so very happy to find out about this as I know that many of the biggest achievements of humanity in arts, science, education and overall progress were given to us all by members of the Jewish community.”
“Receiving the MyHeritage test and finding out what your roots are is such a joy,” she adds. “It makes you so much more aware of who you are and how diverse humans are. It is a great opportunity to find out so much about yourself and your family tree. At first I was so surprised about the old photo of my great-aunt and great-grandmother! I was like ‘Where did these guys get this photo from?’ Is has been such a great experience, I’ve told all my friends about it! Thank you!”
Ester caught up with Eurovision.tv to discuss her MyHeritage results. Watch her interview here: