Reinhold’s DNA Match and the Hirschenhof Connection

Reinhold matches my Mom by DNA at AncestryDNA. The match is not huge at 38 cM, but Ancestry shows common ancestors. Here is the first common ancestor tree that Ancestry shows:

I see one problem in the tree in that Reinhold’s grandmother shows as being born in 1970. I’m not sure why. Reinhold’s tree has Veronika born in 1903. Here are other likely common ancestors:

Here are those same names highlighted on my mother’s tree:

The closer three connections are on my mother’s paternal grandfather’s side (Rathfelder). The further connection is on my mother’s paternal grandmother’s side (Gangnus).

Let’s see if I can find all these people on Reinhold’s tree. He is two generations removed from my mother for six of the common ancestors and one generation removed for Niclas/Riedel.

The Rathfelder/Bittenbinder Connection

I have Biedenbender rather than Bittenbinder but I am sure they are the same. Here is Reinhold’s tree:

This couple are the 5th great-grandparents of Reinhold. I could check on Reinhold’s tree, but I have no reason to doubt it. According to Reinhold’s tree, his paternal grandmother Veronika Simon was born in Riga in 1903. My grandfather Alexander Rathfelder was born in Riga, Latvia 10 years earlier in 1893. This was a tumutuous time and place to be born. Veronika’s mother was born in Hirschenhof, Latvia in 1880. This was a German Colony in the heart of Latvia. These Germans tended to intermarry with each other within that Colony.

I name both Rathfelder and Biedender as the DNA shared between Reinhold and my family only came from one or the other of the two. It would be difficult to find out from which side the DNA came from or even if the DNA shared is from either as there are so many other possibilities.

Mertz/Muth Connection

Again, from Reinhold’s tree:

Reinhold’s fourth great-grandparents were Gustav Mertz and Anna Maria Rathfelder, but we are connected throught the parents of these two or at Reinhold’s fifth great-grandparent level.

Gangnus/Muller Connection

I’m glad that Reinhold built such a good tree. This is a bit of a who’s who in my mom’s Hirchenhof genealogy. This is on Reinhold’s Spengel line. Interestingly, my mom’s grandmother was a Gangnus, but this Gangnus is on my mom’s paternal grandfather side.

What’s more, if I have my genealogy right, my mother had two Gangnus 3rd great-grandparents named Gangnus. I have that Philipp Julius Gustav Gangnus and Philipp Jacob Gangnus were brothers.  Philip Jacob was on my mother’s Gangnus side.

One Generation Back to Niclas/Riedel

It is less likely that the DNA match is on either of these two people, but it is still possilble:

On Reinhold’s tree, this couple is on his Simon side. In my mother’s tree, this match is on her Gangnus grandmother’s side.

Adding Reinhold to My Rathfelder DNA Tree

This is a tree that combines DNA matches with genealogical matches. This is what I have now:

Reinhold is a 4th cousin twice removed, so he will be two levels below Astrid and Ingrid:

Reinhold’s name did not get centered for some reason.

A Merz/Muth DNA Family Tree

This is a new tree for me:

Turns out I can copy and paste from the previous tree, but the formatting is a bit odd. Reinhold’s tree has a birth date for Johann Peter Mertz at the top, so I borrowed that from there. As far as I know, Reinhold is the first one who I have found that shares these two ancestors of Merz and Muth.

Gangnus/Muller Tree

Unlike the Merz/Muth Tree, I already have an extensive Gangnus tree:

Rienhold should come in on the left side with Philipp Julius Gustavis Gangnus.  He descends from Sophia Gangnus born in 1783:

This gets a bit complicated the way I have it. I don’t think that Ancestry picked up the fact (if I have it right) that Reinhold is a 4th cousin twice removed and 5th cousin twice removed on the Gangnus Line. This tree is quite robust. There are many branches which in my view is desirable.

Niclas/Riedel Tree

This tree is also a first:

This tree also has the good type of branching in three different generations that I like to see.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Reinhold matches my family by DNA and by many common ancestors.
  • From what I can tell, Reinhold shares at least 10 common ancestors with me and my family.
  • I added Reinhold to my Rathfelder/Bittenbinder and Gangnus/Clausing Tree
  • I created a new Merz/Muth and Niclas/Riedel DNA Tree to show the relationship between Reinhold and my family.
  • It is no surprise that Reinhold has DNA matches with my family considering all the common ancestors we share.


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