Finding My Latvian Cousin Raimonds at 23andMe

Occasionally, I check 23andMe to see if I have any matches. The last time I checked I was happy to find Raimonds. Raimonds lists his location as Riga, Latvia. That got my attention as my mother’s father was from Riga.

How Raimonds and I Match By DNA

Here is how we match by DNA:

Under 23andMe’s advanced DNA comparisons, I see this:

Another thing that jumped out at me was the X Chromosome match that Raimonds and I have. This seemed significant. Here are the places on my tree that Raimonds and I could have an X Chromosome match:

This is the tree of my grandfather who was Alexander Rathfelder. As both Raimonds and Alexander were from Riga, it makes sense to start with Alexander’s tree. X DNA is not passed down from father to son, so that rules out the Rathfelder line. As we go back it eliminates the Gangnus and Lutke Lines. However, with intermarriage, these could possibly be added in later back in time.

Raimonds’ Genealogy

I wrote to Raimonds at 23andMe and he was nice enough to write back. Here is what Raimonds told me:

I do see a Carl Heinrich Lutke in my tree. However, based on the X Chromosome inheritance, I don’t think that our DNA match reflects that ancestor. In addition, Raimonds’ maternal Lutke grandfather would have not gotten any X Chromosome from his father. That means that the X Chromosome match could as easily be on Raimonds’ maternal grandmother’s side.

So How Am I Related to Raimonds?

The answer appears to be at the Raduraksti Web Page that has a lot of the Latvian Church records. I think that the records are listed under the Linden Church at that web page. Here is the Linden Church:

Here are two links that are in the right time period:

Unfortunately, I don’ t know what the L (l, v) means. Also the more recent records are in Russian. I also checked the Linden Church in 1890 for Lutke. Here is one entry:

However, this is not Johann.

I then went back a year to 1899:

This appears to be the birth and baptismal dates for Johannes Ernst Lutke. He was the son of Johann Marcus Lutke and Wilhemine Catharine Schwechheimer. I left out the sponsors names from the next page:

Here is a Lutke marriage from 1910:

It seems like this Johann is different than the one above. I read Johann Jacob Lutke married to Emma Maria Apollonia Gempfer.

Here is an 1891 birth to Johann Marcus Lutke:

That is what I found looking through 1889 – 1891 births and baptisms.

Things Are Moving Fast

I got another message from Raimonds:

That means that I can draw a Lutke DNA tree. Here is what I have so far:

I just need to add Raimonds. He has told me who his grandfather’s grandparents were, but who were his grandfather’s parents? Based on what Raimonds says, we should be third cousins once removed.

MyHeritage has an Instant Discovery for me:

Ironically, the hint they want me to use has a photo that I have on my Gangnus web page:

I think MyHeritage wants me to pay them money before I can use their “discovery”.

I did find a tree on Ancestry with a Johann Otto Lutke:

He was born 1879. Raimonds thinks his Johann was born around 1885.

Painting in Raimonds’ DNA Match

I use a utility called DNA Painter to track my identified DNA. I don’t have all the documentation, but Raimonds says that our common ancestors are Lutke and Fuhrmann. Here is part of what I have so far on my maternal side:

This shows that I am 34% painted maternally. Overall (paternally and maternally combined), I am 43% painted. In the key above, I have a color for Lutke/Fuhrmann already, but also one where I wasn’t sure, because I was related to the person both ways. For some reason, Patrick is in the second category and his mother is in the first. I’m not sure if this is a mistake or not on my part. I don’t know enough about Raimonds’ genealogy to know which category he will be in. For now, I’ll put him in the first category also.

Here are the segments that Raimonds has added. These matches don’t currently overlap with existing DNA matches, so Raimonds is in uncharted territory. I didn’t add Raimonds’ X Chromosome match as that is unlikely to be on the Lutke side. It looks like I need to change some colors due to the similarity of the blues of Schwechheimer and Lutke. Once I find out how Raimonds and I are related on our X Chromosome, I will paint that in also.

Here I made the color change and moved Silvia to the more ambiguous Common Ancestor Group:

Overall, this upped my overall painted percentage to 44%:

An Update from Raimonds’ Granddaughter

Raimonds’ granddaughter sent me a family tree showing how our Lutke Lines connect. This information was from someone that Raimonds had gotten in touch with through MyHeritage. This person apparently has done a lot of work with Hirschenhof genealogies. Here are Raimonds’ maternal grandparents:

All I have to do is find Johann Peter Woldemar’s birth in 1881. Fortunately for me, he is on the first page of the Linden Church Register:

Actually this may be the 5th page of the Register for the year. I didn’t see pages 2-4. There is a lot of information here. For some reason the last name is given as Lütken. Before the father’s name is the occupation. But I’m not sure what it is.

Going Back a Generation

This connects with the tree I have for Silvia and Patrick.

I re-typed the Lutke DNA tree:

So it turns out that Raimonds is more closely related to Silvia and Patrick than me. Silvia and Patrick tested at MyHeritage. That also means that some of what I wrote in my Blog about Patrick applies to Raimonds. This also means that I am doubly related to Raimonds like I am to Patrick.

Raimonds and the Gangnus Connection

I don’t want to re-type this tree, but here are two more ways I am related to Raimonds:

The first way is through Johann Jacob Gangnus and Biedermann. This is important because it is at the same level as my Lutke/Fuhrmann match with Raimonds. The second way we are connected is two generations further back, so that connection is not as important as far as the DNA matching goes.

Back to the X Chromosome

Now that I see how we are related on the Gangnus side, I can see how the X Chromosome match between Raimonds and me may have happened:

It actually worked out quite well. Note that between me and Biedermann above, I go male, female, male, female, male female. That is the way I would get the most X Chromosome DNA from the furthest back. Normally autosomal DNA will recombine. However, when a father gives his X Chromosome to his daughter, he only has one Chromosome to begin with. So when Johann Philip Gangnus gave his one X Chromosome to his daughter Maria Elisabeth Laura Gangnus, it was the same one that his Biedermann mother gave him. Also, it is important that I descend from the male Johann Philip Gangnus. Because of that we know that the X Chromosome that he got could only be from his Biedermann mother. That means that the X Chromosome that Raimonds and I share is likely from the Biedermann side. I say likely, because there is a small possibility that it may come from an ancestor of Antonie Elise Marie Schiller. I haven’t looked into that line and Raimonds doesn’t know about that side.

Fixing DNA Painter

Here is some more information on Biedermann:

I took out the entry for Lutke/Fuhrmann at DNA Painter. Now I just have Lutke/Fuhrmann or Gangnus/Biedermann. Now I will need an entry for Anna to paint the X Chromosome match that Raimonds and I have.

Unfortunately, I have pink on pink for Biedermann, but I have painted Biedermann onto the X Chromosome. Notice that this segment overlaps with my maternal first cousin Rusty. That means that this part of Rusty’s X Chromosome must also be from Anna Biedermann. Here is a better color:

Summary and Conclusions

  • I was happy about finding this DNA match with Raimonds
  • It is rare that a X Chromosome match works out so well. So many things have to align correctly in both my ancestry and Raimonds.
  • It is also rare that I am able to figure out who our common ancestors are so quickly – especially with Latvian genealogy. This was due to information I already had plus genealogies that Raimonds was able to get through MyHeritage.
  • I am glad to see that a lot of the Linden Church records are back on-line. These are the records for Hirschenhof residents.
  • If Raimonds uploads his DNA results to Gedmatch.com and MyHeritage, he will find more DNA matches.

 

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