Angelina: A Close Match on My Mother’s German Latvian Side

When I was out in the State of Washington visiting with my daughter and granddaughter, I came upon a close DNA match for my family. Her name is Angelina and I found her results at MyHeritage.

Here is the summary of the match between my Mom, Gladys and Angelina:

MyHeritage made a guess that these two could be 1st cousin once removed or 2nd cousin. Angelina’s DNA is managed by Georges in Switzerland.

Here is my mom’s tree on her paternal side where she must match Angelina by DNA:

If Angelina and Gladys are 2nd cousins, that would mean that their common ancestors would have to be Rathfelder/Schwechheimer or Gangnus/Lutke. That narrows it down to two choices. Seems simple.

If My Mom and Angelina Are 1st Cousins Once Removed

It is possible that Angelina could descend from this family:

Further, if this was the case, Angelina may descend from one of the daughters of Johann Heinrich Rathfelder. That would be Erna Auguste, Caroline Antonie or Marie Otilie. My reasoning is that if she had descended from a male Rathfelder, then the child would also be a Rathfelder and that Angelina probably would have known that. Unfortunately, I don’t have the information for any of the marriages above except for the last two children: Alexander and Leo.

Comparing the DNA

Here is how my mother’s DNA and Angelina’s DNA match up:

Using DNA Painter, I have painted in Angelina’s DNA matches on my mother’s chromosome map:

The above map just shows my mother’s paternal matches. I called the medium green “Unknown Latvian Ancestor” until we figure out who that ancestor is.

Here is a partial Rathfelder tree with DNA matches that I have identified:

I see that I forgot to add Inese to my Mother’s DNA Painter Map. I’ll add her now:

Between adding Angelina and Inese, that brings my mom from 32% paternally mapped to 40% paternally mapped.

Adding in Assunta

My mother also matches Assunta by DNA. Assunta appears to be the niece of Angelina. I wrote to Assunta previously, but she didn’t know anything about her ancestry. She wrote that she lives in Germany, but her family is from Italy. Assunta expands the DNA matches that Angelina has with my mother on Chromosomes 2 and 11:

Limited Genealogy Options

I am not able to see Angelina’s family tree, but these surnames are listed for her tree:

However, I can’t tell if they are ancestor surnames or descendant or collateral surnames.

Sometimes I do research on a Latvian Genealogy web site:

However, that web site is not working now.

Summary and Conclusions

  • My first guess is that Angelina and Assunta descend from one of the daughters of Johann Heinrich Rathfelder and Marie Elisabeth Laura Gangnus.
  • The second guess is that they descend from one of set of the two sets of parents of Heinrich and Marie.
  • It’s frustrating having such a close match as Angelina and Assunta and not knowing exactly where they fit in. However, the connection has been narrowed down.


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