My Relative Eva and Our DNA Match at MyHeritage

I was checking DNA matches at MyHeritage recently and came across Eva. Here is how Eva matches my mother at MyHeritage:

Eva also has a tree at MyHeritage which is a big help:

As Eva has a Rathfelder ancestor, is from Latvia and matches by DNA, that leads me to believe that we have a common Rathfelder ancestor.

Where Does Eva Fit In the Rathfelder Puzzle?

At first, I thought that Eva’s grandfather Henrihs might fit in here:

My thinking was that there was space between 1882 and 1888. Also that Henrihs could have been named for his father Heinrich. According to Wikipedia, there are quite a few Latvian versions of Henry:

Latvian: Henrijs, Henriks, Heinrihs, Henrihs, Indriķis, Ints, Anrijs, Anrī

Another possibility is the Harry Eduard in the list. I don’t have much information about him. However, that would make Eva and me second cousins, and MyHeritage is guessing that we are 3rd or 4th cousins, so either our DNA match is smaller than usual, or we are related further back. Here is the amount of DNA expected to be shared between 2nd cousins:

The average is 233 cM, but the lower reported range could go as low as 46 cM.

Who was Henrihs Ratfelders Born 1887?

For my research I use mostly:

This website has a list of all Latvians as of 1918-1940.

I don’t see anyone that looks like Henrihs:

I do see Hermanis. He was born 1918-05-14. Hermanis was the son of my grandfather’s brother Leo Rathfelder. Speaking of Leo, he appears three times in the online Latvian database:

This shows correctly that he was born in Riga, but that his ancestry was in Irsu pag. which is the area where the Colony of Hirschenhof was. Interestingly Leonhards’ father’s name is given as Heinrihs. That means that Eva and I have ancestors with both the same first name and last name.

Looking for Zelma Jancevska Born 1907

It looks like there was 20 years difference between Henrihs and Zelma. I couldn’t find Zelma either:

However, I did see  a Zelma Rathfeldere:

Deeper Into the Records of Hirschenhof

It is possible that Henrihs was born in Hirschenhof, so I’ll take a look at those records. Here are the records I need for 1887:

Unfortunately, it seems like the web site is not working properly. I guess I’ll have to try later.

Well, I figured that one out.

Eva’s DNA Matches

Because Eva seems to certainly be related on the Rathfelder side somehow, I’ll add her to DNA Painter for my Mom:

Here is the amount of DNA typically shared between third cousins:

My mother shares 74 cM of DNA with Eva. I share only 28.1 cM with Eva.

Eva’s DNA Matches Shared with My Mom at MyHeritage

These are the matches my Mom and Eva share:

Angelina is a fairly new match and will likely be the subject of my next Blog. My Mom matches her at a high amount. Inese is a descendant of my Mom’s Uncle Leo Rathfelder and lives in Latvia. Edeltraud is a more distant relative. Here is her tree:

Edeltraud has Ludwig Spatz and Emilie Schmidt as being from Hirschenhof. My mother has a Schmidt in her paternal ancestry, so that may be the connection:

Anna was born in Germany, but married and died in Hirschenhof, Latvia.

Stuck for Now

I’ll have to come back to Eva later. Here is the part of my tree that we might both descend from:

It seems like there should be more children born to Johnn Georg Rathfelder above. I only show one son, Johannes. The common Rathfelder ancestor that Eva and I have should be Johann Heinrich, Johannes or Joahnn Georg. I’ve narrowed it down to three generations!

Summary and Conclusions

  • It would seem almost certain that I share a Latvian Rathfelder ancestor with Eva. However, figuring out the genealogy for that ancestor is difficult.
  • My guess is that Eva’s grandfather Henrihs Ratfelders could have been born in the German Colony of Hirschenhof, Latvia. However, the website with those records is not working right now.
  • My ancestor Johann Heinrich is also listed as Heinrihs in the all Latvia online database.
  • Eva’s Henrihs may be the son of my great-grandfather Johann Heinrich Rathfelder, but I don’t have a record of that birth. Alternately, the Heinrich name may be a coincidence or be named after a third Heinrich that I don’t know about.
  • If Eva and I share the ancestor of Johann Heinrich, that would make us 2nd cousins. However, the DNA match levels suggest that we are 3rd or 4th cousins. That would push our common ancestry one or two generations before Johann Heinrich Rathfelder born 1846.
  • I’ll have to wait for more clues before I can figure out the puzzle of how Eva and my Rathfelder ancestry fit together. The answer is out there waiting to be discovered.


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