A Z17911 STR Tree

Previously, I wrote a Blog on a STR Tree for Hartleys that were likely Z17911’s. In this Blog, I would like to look at others that have tested to be Z17911 or are likely Z17911 due to STR patterns. Since my last Blog, a lot has been going on in the little area of Z17911.

Z17911 in the L513 Tree

Z17911 is a small group under the L513 Group. L513 is a group under L21 which is a part of R1b. The L513 Tree is presently bursting at the seams:

One of the larger branches of L513 is S5668. That takes up about 2/3 of the lower left of the tree above. Here is a blowup of the Z16357 Branch of S5668.

At the time that I wrote the last blog, Merrick and Thomas were in the same location under an unnamed SNP. Now it has been named as BY11573. The placement of Merrick and Thomas below Z17911 was a result of my Big Y Test. Now Bennett has also taken a Big Y and found to be BY1157.

Enter Jared Smith on the Z17911 Scene

Jared Smith has been a large contributor on the Z17911 scene of late. He tested positive of Z17911 recently and has ordered a Big Y test. He is not to be confused with the Z16357 Smith above. Jared has developed an excellent web page called The R-Z16357 DNA Project. Jared has also created a discussion list for Z16357. Here is Jared’s updated version of the Z16357 Tree:

The part that I am most interested in is Z17911 and BY11573.

My First Attempt at a Z17911 STR Tree

First I took the 15 people listed as having STR results at the FTDNA L513 project. There are 6 that have tested positive for Z17911. There are an additional 9 that the administrator has put into a JM STR Cluster. The administrator figures that based on the STRs, they should also be Z17911’s. According to the administrator, Mike Walsh:

“You can see the “J” people 390=25,26 458=18,19 449=31 446=14. I would call this the “J” STR signature.”

I looked at the significant STRs for the 15 known or suspected Z17911’s and got this:

This was just for the first 37 tested STRs. I have the STR names at the top. I have the mode for L513, S5668 and Z17911. I tried to group the YDNA testers by patterns in their STR values. The GD is the Generational Distance. That means that the Phillips are closer to the Mode and Bullock and Bennett are furthest away. That would mean that Phillips should have the oldest pattern and Bennett the newest.

Here is the tree I built based on the above:

My intention was to have the oldest STR groups branching at the top and the newest branching nearer the bottom. I note that when I built my STR Tree for the Hartleys, I did it the opposite way.

The Problem with my first Z17911 STR tree

The tree was OK based on the way I did it. However, it did not account for one very important thing:

The STRs should account for the fact that the BY11573 SNP derives from Z17911. SNPs are the anchor and STRs may vary. Maurice Gleeson has promoted this type of analysis. In the old days, there were not as many SNPs. Now, due to Big Y type testing, there has been a tsunami of SNPs and it is now possible to incorporate them into STR analysis. When I added the SNPs to my STR chart, I noticed something interesting:

It took a while to see it, but I saw that all the BY11573 men had 13 or more for DYS439. All those who were Z17911 and not positive for BY11573 had a DYS439 of 12. Then I decided to sort my chart by DYS439:

Next I changed the DYS439 Mode for Z17911 from 13 to 12. This created a new oldest line of Gilroy. If DYS439 is the break between Z17911 and BY11573, then Phillips is now in the older, more signature BY11573. The results of a pending Phillips Big Y test will tell us for sure soon whether Phillips is BY11573 positive or not.

More SNP Structure

Jared Smith built a more  detailed SNP tree here based on recent testing information:

Here is the Z17911 part I’m interested in:

I would expect that the STR tree would follow the SNP tree. Here is a simple SNP/STR Tree with a few signature STRs that I have added in on the left top and bottom:

What if DYS439 = 12 is Z17911 and DYS329 = 13 is BY11573?

The Z17911’s I’m talking about are negative for the SNP below of BY11573. Until more testing comes in, that is the out on a tree limb assumption I’m making. Based on that and some other Hartleys that have had the YDNA tested, here is a spreadsheet for Z179111 positive and BY11573 negative people.

This Chart does not show DYS439 as these are all of the above have a value of 12. In the Chart above, I note a Gilroy/Goff/Smith signature of DYS391 = 11 and DYS576 = 16. That leaves the Hartley signature as DYS391 = 10 and DYS576 = 17, 18. I went back to the older S5668 Mode to get a feel for the overall direction of the STR mutations.

Z17911 STR Tree

Here is the tree I drew from the above STRs.

I tried to learn how to make these trees using two different methods, so it gets a bit confusing. In this method, only two lines are allowed to come out of each box. I like that method, but it required me to put in a Hartley Ancestor box under the West Yorkshire Hartley Ancestor box. On the bottom line, Gilroy probably has the oldest Z17911 signature. The Hartleys on the right have the newest signatures. Actually Wm. Hartley going up has the most STR changes (7), so I suppose he would have the most recent STR signature. Jared Smith has noted that I am positive for the SNP A11130, so it will be interesting to see if this is a defining Hartley Family SNP or not. Above I made a guess on the West Yorkshire and Lancashire Hartley split based on the knowledge that one of the Hartleys has West Yorkshire ancestors and that I on the bottom right have Lancashire Hartley ancestors.

Some BY11573 Patterns

I’m not ready to build a BY11573 Tree yet. However, I did note some BY11573 patterns.

Interestingly, most of the places where I found patterns were on the BY11573 positive people shown in darker blue above. If I were to draw a 37 STR BY11573 Tree at this time, it would just include those above highlighted in blue. The actual list of names was taken from Jared’s website and includes other names.

Next Steps

Next we wait for pending tests to come in and others who may decide to test. We are also awaiting analysis of the Bennett Big Y test from Alex Williamson at the L513 Page of the Big Tree.

Beth’s Hartley DNA

In this Blog, I will be looking at Beth’s autosomal DNA. That is the DNA that she got from both her parents. However, I am more interested in Beth’s father’s mother’s DNA as she was a Hartley and the DNA that we share would be Hartley DNA.

Hartley Tree of DNA Testers

Here are those closer relatives that have had their DNA tested and uploaded to Gedmatch.com:

Here Hartley is shown as green and Snells are shown as yellow. The DNA testers are in gold. Any DNA that the four DNA testers have in common will belong to James Hartley and Annie Snell. However, it will be difficult to tell which. Any DNA that Patricia and Beth share could also belong to Charles Nute which Jim and my family will not share. Here is an example of that on Chromosome 1.

Here is a photo believed to be Mary Hartley with her sister Nellie:

Hartley and Nute DNA On Chromosome 1

This is a Chromosome browser from Gedmatch.com showing where Beth shares DNA with Heidi (1), Joel (2), Sharon (3), Jim (4) and her first cousin Patricia (5). Is the DNA that Beth and Patricia share Hartley DNA or Nute DNA? To find that out we can look at Patricia’s DNA browser. If she shares DNA in this same area with Heidi and Jim, then it will be Hartley DNA.

The above Browser shows Patricia matching Beth (1), Jim (2) and Joel (3). This means that the DNA that first cousins Beth and Patricia share in Chromosome 1 is Nute DNA. If I were to map Patricia’s maternal Chromosome 1, it would probably look like this:

This shows that Patricia got her green DNA (matching Jim and me) from her Hartley maternal grandmother and her pink DNA (matching Beth) from her Nute maternal grandfather.

First Cousins Vs. Second Cousins

First cousins share two grandparent as their most recent common ancestor. Second cousins share two great grandparents and get their shared DNA from one of them. The first cousin DNA matches will be larger in general. The second cousin matches will tend to be smaller.

First cousins

As shown above, first cousins will share the DNA from two of their grandparents. In the case of Patricia and Beth, those two grandparents will be maternal grandparents. The catch is, that when two first cousins match each other, they won’t know which grandparent they match on. They just know that it will be one or the other. In the example above, we did know which grandparent matched because of other second cousin matches.

second cousins – Two common Great grandparents

Second cousins have as their most recent common ancestors two of their great grandparents. But again they won’t know which great grandparent they are matching on.

The best way to identify which great grandparent the gold people match on would be to have a third cousin that is only related on the Hartley side OR the Snell side. I don’t know of anyone in this category right now, so I’m a bit stuck. I would like to figure out which DNA is which. The main reason is that I’m stuck on the Hartley genealogy. I know that Greenwood’s father was Robert, but before that, I’m not sure. If we could find another Hartley relative going back then it might break down the Hartley brick wall.

Any Other Way To Separate Hartley DNA From Snell DNA?

There is one main difference from James Hartley and Annie Snell above as it relates to their DNA. James was born in Bacup, Lancashire, England and Annie was born in Rochester, Massachusetts. All of James ancestors would also have been born in Lancashire. On the other hand, all of Annie’s ancestors that would produce matches go back to Colonial Southeastern New England. That means that if we find a match that is from England and has no ancestors in the United States, there would be a good chance that that DNA match was through the James Hartley side.

Beth’s X Chromosome

First, let’s look at my family. There is  no Hartley X Chromosome sharing with this group because the X-DNA does not travel from father to son.

Second, look at Beth compared to Jim:

Beth got one of her X Chromosomes from her dad. This was the same X that he got from his mother Mary. Jim got an X Chromosome from his mother. She got it from James Hartley b. 1862 and Annie Snell. So Beth and Jim have James Hartley and Annie Snell in common.

These pieces of blue where Beth and Jim match represent DNA that they share from James Hartley and/or Annie Snell.

How do Patricia and Beth compare by X-DNA?

Next we will look at Patricia and Beth. They will share X-DNA with their grandmother Mary Hartley. Beth’s dad got no X-DNA from his Nute dad, so Beth and Patricia will only match on Mary Hartley.

Note here that Beth and Patricia share some X-DNA from their grandmother that isn’t shared between Jim and Beth on the left side. They also share a longer segment at the right hand side than Beth and Jim shared. However, Jim and Beth shared a segment from 123 to 138M that wasn’t shared between Patricia and Beth.

Let’s See How Patricia Compares With Jim

The only comparison left is between Patricia and Jim.

I compared the three comparisons and came up with a bit of an X Chromosome map. In the first match between Beth and Patricia, I have that match in red. On the very right there are three matches, so I have that as great grandparent 1. We don’t know which great grandparent it is – just that it is the same one. On Jim’s map, it is his grandparent 1. Going from right to left on Jim’s map, he changes from getting his X-DNA from grandparent 1 to grandparent 2. However, Patricia and Beth continue to match on great grandparent 1. In the middle there are no matches, so we can’t tell what is going on. Also the two reds and one blue on the left may actually be two blues and a red as we don’t know how they match with the segments on the right.

Beth’s Hartley (and Snell) Chromosome Map

If we look at all the matches Beth has with Jim, my siblings and me, we will have a map of her known Hartley (and Snell) DNA:

I didn’t use the DNA shared between Patricia and Beth as they are first cousins. As such, they will share Nute and Hartley DNA and it will not be as easy to tell which is which. So second cousins are good for these maps. The red is in the bottom part of each chromosome. That represents the paternal chromosome. We have not mapped any of Beth’s maternal chromosome. If Beth were to look for Hartley or Snell matches, it looks like her best bet would be on Chromosome 12.

For comparison, here is my Chromosome Map.

On my map, the blue corresponds to Beth’s red Hartley DNA. We seem to share a stretch of Hartley DNA on Chromosome 1. But where Beth has a long stretch of Hartley DNA on Chromosome 12, I have none.


The Frazer/McPartland Connection: Genealogy and DNA

It all started around 1850 in Ireland when Owen McPartland married Ann Frazer. Owen (or Eugene in the Latin) was Roman Catholic. Ann was from a traditionally Church of Ireland Frazer family. Perhaps this caused waves. Perhaps Owen and Ann had to go out of the area to marry. At any rate, this couple produced offspring and we have the DNA and genealogy to prove it today.

Frazer/McPartland Genealogy

I’ll start in 1901.

This enumeration is for the small Townland of Derreenagan in the North of Roscommon. By this time Owen McPartland has died and left his wife Annie with her son John and their young family. Annie is said to be 78 at the time, so we suppose that she was born in 1823.

Who were the parents of Annie Frazer?

This is a common question that genealogists are always asking. I have two candidates:

This is from a compilation of vital records from Michael of the Frazer study group. These two Frazer girls were born very close in time to each other. I don’t know much about James and Margaret. Richard Frazer born around 1777 was believed to have a son – probably the eldest – named James. Then the Archibald I have above was probably the son of John Frazer born around 1775. Both these families were from the Archibald Line of the Frazers.


Here is a map of Derreenagan -where the  McPartlands lived:

Derreenagan was in the historical Frazer area. Frazers lived in the surrounding Townlands of Derrycahel, Derreentunny, Shanvoley, Cleragh and Aghrafinigan.

Griffith’s valuation

This Valuation published about 1858 for Derreenagan is important due to the lack of an Irish Census for that time period.

Here we see Edward Frazer as the major occupant. Next to him is Patrick Partland who I take to be a McPartland. William Frazer was the only lease holder for this Townland. He and Edward Frazer were likely brothers from the James line of the Frazer family.

Here is the Griffith’s Valuation Map showing Derreenagan:

Alexander Frazer lived in Shanvoley. Edward Frazer should have the largest house in Derreenagan based on his assessment. I’m not sure where Patrick Partland lived.

McPartland genealogy: Shuffle off to buffalo

One of our Frazer researchers, Joanna, writes:

I have found a couple of baptismal records in Aghanagh Parish (Catholic records) Ballinafad Co Sligo – for Catherine Jane bap 27 Oct 1860 parents Eugene McPartland and Anna Frazer.  Eugene is apparently Latin for Owen.  Also a John McPartland – same church bap 23 Feb 1866 parents Eugene McPartland and Elizabeth Frazer – either she was Anna Elizabeth or there was another marriage to another Frazer in the meantime. 

A review of Ancestry Trees shows:

  • Mary Ann a daughter of Eugene and Ann may have died in Buffalo, New York
  • John McPartland (above b. 1866) had sons James and Patrick who died in the Buffalo. [I have mentioned a Patrick and a James above. Could these be hints for the parents of Owen and Ann?]
  • John had another son Eugene who died in San Francisco
  • Catherine Jane (Jennie) McPartland is the daughter of Owen. Her great granddaughter matches Joanna of the Frazer DNA Study group. Jennie also lived in Buffalo.

Here is a McPartland partial family tree:

The two on the bottom left have taken DNA tests. I didn’t follow the tree down on the right as I don’t believe that this line has tested for DNA. The bottom two McPartland/Frazer descendants are 3rd cousins to each other.

Now, the Frazer/McPartland DNA

I have previously blogged about the X match my two sisters have with Karen. Karen descends from the Maryann McPartland Branch of the family. Karen matches my two sisters by more X Chromosome DNA than her own brother. However, there is a reason for that. Karen’s brother Chris gets no X Chromosome from his dad Walter – only a Y. The match that Frazer descendants have with Karen is through Walter. Karen’s X Chromosome that she got from her father is the entire X Chromosome that he got from his mother Agnes. That helps to explain the large X Chromosome match between Karen and my sisters.

Above are Karen’s X-DNA matches with her mother, my sisters Heidi and Sharon and her brother Chris.

Here is the route of Karen’s X-DNA:

The red arrow indicates that Karen’s DNA from Walter is the same he received from Agnes.

Here is a possible way Heidi and Sharon got their X-DNA from the Frazer side:

Note that the route is a bit longer. Also it goes from Frazer to McMaster and back to Frazer again. Imagine that Margaret Frazer (circled in the bottom right of the image above) had a brother who had Ann Frazer. This could account for the X-DNA match between Frazer and McPartland. Another interesting thing is that Sharon got one X Chromosome from her dad which is the same that he got from his mother. Let’s take it one step further. My grandmother also got an X DNA from her dad which is the same X-DNA that he got from his mother. That should mean that my sister Sharon has a chance to get a large chunk of X-DNA from her 2nd great grandmother Margaret McMaster – which is apparently what happened.

Non-X, Autosomal DNA matches

Here are some of the other matches between the McPartlands and the Frazers:

Jonathan is Joanna’s brother. He is in a small Triangulation Group with Chris and his 2nd cousin Betty – a Frazer descendant. A Triangulation Group (TG) is a sure way of knowing that those in the group have a shared ancestor. However figuring out who that common ancestor is can be difficult.

In the blue area above, there are small matches between Karen and Chris on the McPartland side and Jane, Melissa, Charlotte and Judith in the Frazer DNA Study Group. Charlotte also has an X match along with Sharon, Heidi and Karen, tying the four of them together. It should be noted that some of these common matches may not be Frazers, but spouses of Frazers.

In the green is a larger TG between Karen, Paul and Sharon. Paul is Sharon’s second cousin once removed. That means that Sharon’s second great grandparents are the same as Paul’s 1st great grandparents: George Frazer and Margaret McMaster.

Finally, we see some good matches between Karen, Chris, and Prudence. Prudence descends from Edward Frazer who is believed to have lived in Derreenagan. OK, what was going on in Derreenagan in the 1800’s?

Here is part of the James Line working tree for the Frazer DNA Project:

This is quite a busy chart. Charlotte and Madeline both have X matches to Karen. Edward Frazer who lived in Derreenagan is circled above Prudence. Most of these circles go up to Archibald Frazer b. 1751. I’m not sure how Judith fits in. Probably through James Frazer at the top or a Frazer spouse’s Line.

I don’t have Jane on this Chart as she is on the Archibald Line – a different chart. I’m not sure how Melissa fits in. I had a note that she may be related to Margaret Frazer.

So, Where Are We?

The above genealogy and DNA have given a lot of food for thought:

  • My genealogy summary left me looking at two sets of parents for Ann Frazer that appear to be on the Archibald Line of the Frazers
  • The DNA matches seem to favor the James Line of the Frazers (Jonathan, Joanna, Betty, Charlotte, Madeline, Judith and Prudence)
  • If the match is through a collateral Frazer spouse, then that could account for both lines. Unfortunately, many of the Frazer spouses names are missing
  • The largish match between Prudence and McPartand descendants Karen and Chris looks suspicious given that Prudence’s ancestor probably lived next to the McPartlands.
  • Further, there was a Patrick Partland in Derreenagan. He could be the father of Owen/Eugene McPartland.


My First 1st Cousin DNA Results: Part 3 – The X Chromosome

In my first Blog about Cousin Rusty’s DNA matches, I discussed some maternal matches. I also looked at how first cousin DNA matches worked. In my second Blog about Rusty, I looked at the more complicated matching of nephew to aunt. In this Blog, I would like to look at the X Chromosome.

Here is how Rusty matches my family on the X Chromosome as shown in the Gedmatch Browser:

These are his matches with:

  1. Mom
  2. Sister Heidi
  3. Me (Joel)
  4. Sister Sharon
  5. Brother Jonathan

Here is an X Chromosome Map produced by M MacNeill before my brother Jonathan’s DNA results were in. He made this using our raw DNA results.

The blue is the maternal side where there are matches with Rusty. The red is what my sisters inherited on the Hartley side. MacNeill did not designate the blue by grandparent. The choices for maternal grandparents here are Alexander Rathfelder and Emma Lentz. Let’s try to figure out which is which.

Speaking of Emma and Alexander, here they are with their five children:

Rusty’s mom is the girl on the left and my mom is the girl on the right.

The X Path

The X Chromosome follows a particular path from our ancestors. The rule is that the X DNA never travels from male to male. So that means that two males in a path will break the X chain. Here are my top picks for X Chromosome matches:

The matches in the browser were through the green people up to Rathfelder and Lentz. Judy has the potential to match on the Lentz/Nicholson side. Joshua could also have shared X, though he is further down the ladder. Carolyn could match on the Nicholson side.

Carolyn’s Nicholson X DNA

I’ll look at Carolyn’s X DNA matches.

She matches:

  1. My Mom
  2. Sharon from 106672721 to 113198089 (7.056 cM)
  3. Jonathan from 139830607 to 143171128 (11.542 cM)
  4. Judith
  5. Joan

Based on Sharon’s small match, I would initially say that the darker blue is Lentz and the lighter is Rathfelder on the MacNeill Map. However, the problem with that theory is that I should match Carolyn also in that area. If I reduce the match level, I do have a match there with Carolyn:

Mapping Jonathan’s X

In order to be sure, we need to map Jonathan’s X. He has a larger X match with Carolyn than Sharon does – even though it looks smaller on the browser. Here is some previous X Mapping I had done for my sister Sharon (S), me Joel (J) and my sister Heidi (H).

It looks like I had already guessed that orange would be Lentz. Recall that Sharon’s (S) match with Carolyn was 106-113 and mine was 109-113 within the orange segments. When I compare Jon to his siblings, it looks like he has 3 crossovers:

As we are only looking at Jon’s maternal Chromosome, we are looking at the blue areas on the Chromosome Browser where he matches his siblings and the non-blue areas where he does not match his siblings.

This was pretty easy. I started on the right. Jon matches all his siblings, so that has to be green. Going from right to left, the segments alternate between green and orange. The only ambiguous part is on the left hand side where Heidi has a small orange Lentz segment. However, if I lower the thresholds for Jon’s match with Heidi, I get this left side match which clears up the ambiguity:

Gedmatch normally has a SNP cutoff at 500, but apparently they have not lowered that for the X One to One match and must still have a 700 SNP cutoff.

Now back to Jon’s match with Carolyn. I had noted above that it was at position 140 to 143. That just fits in to Jon’s Lentz mapped orange segment as shown by the red arrow below:

This confirms that yellow should indeed be assigned to Lentz. That means that green has to be Rathfelder – the only other maternal grandparent.

Now I’ll bring Rusty back into the picture with his matches to my family:

  • Rusty’s match with my mom is line 1
  • Heidi is line 2. You can see her Lentz indent on the left of her match with Rusty.
  • Joel is line 3. You can see the space left by Lentz in the middle of my large match with Rusty
  • Sharon is 4. Her match with Rusty stops at her Lentz (orange) segment
  • The newly mapped Jonathan is 5. He matches Rusty on his green Rathfelder segments.

So would we be able to guess Rusty’s X Map?

Rusty’s X Chromosome is either mostly or all Rathfelder. The part I’m unsure of is between 120 and 140 cM. The reason that I think that it might be Rathfelder is because Carolyn matches Judith and Joan in that segment and Rusty does not match any of those three by the X Chromosome. However, as Carolyn’s Nicholson matches go back at least another generation, that is not proof.

Looking at the ??????? Gap

I’m curious as to what is happening where Rusty and my mom don’t match. The answer to this goes back a generation. Alexander Rathfelder’s parents were Rathfelder and Gangnus. My mom and Rusty’s mom had two different X Chromosome maps showing how they got their X DNA from their grandparents. However, on their paternal side, their Rathfelder father gave them a full X Chromosome unchanged from his mother Maria Gangnus.

Here is Maria:

So due to the fact that Rusty’s mom and my mom both have the same paternal grandmother DNA on the entire length of their X Chromosome, that means that Rusty cannot have Rathfelder aka Gangnus DNA from 120 to 140. If he did, then he would have to show a match to my mother.

The result of our little thought experiment is that Rusty has to have Lentz DNA. Here is a possible scenario of what could have happened. This shows Rusty with his maternal grandparents. Then we see Rusty’s mom and my mom with their X Chromosome grandparents. Maria Gangnus is Alexander Rathfelder’s mother and Emma Lentz’s parents are George Jacob Lentz and Annie Nicholson.

What we know for sure is that Rusty’s mom and my mom both had a full X Chromosome from their paternal grandmother, Maria Gangnus. The only place for there to be difference is on my mom’s and Rusty’s mom’s maternal X Chromosome. Suppose that Rusty’s mom got her DNA from her maternal Nicholson grandmother and my mom got her DNA from her maternal Lentz grandfather. That would be why Rusty’s Lentz DNA would not match my Lentz DNA or my sibling’s Lentz DNA. We only got the X DNA that we received from our mothers and these mothers got DNA from different maternal grandparents in this location. We now know what Rusty’s X Chromosome map looks like. We don’t know what our mother’s maternal X DNA looks like. We only know they had DNA from different maternal grandparents from 120M to 140M.

First 1st Cousin DNA Results: Part 2 – Trying to Explain Aunt/Nephew Matches

First, Another Look at First Cousins

In my last Blog I took a first look at my 1st cousin, Rusty’s DNA. I went into some detail on how he matched on a few of the lines we have in common. I looked at how Rusty compared to me and my siblings on Chromosome 16. Here is a visual summary of that comparison:

The first image is a chromosome map of the DNA that my 3 siblings and I got from our four grandparents. The red and yellow grandparents are the maternal ones shared with Rusty. The second image shows Rusty’s matches with me and my 3 siblings. Note that the long segments shared are similar to the Lentz segments on the left and the Rathfelder segments on the right. Note that as Rusty and my siblings are of the same generation, we share the same long segments with our grandparents. From this, I was able to create a maternal Chromosome Map for Rusty.

As there were a lot a matches, I would assume that the DNA profiles of my mom and Rusty’s mom were somewhat similar to each other on Chromosome 16.

Rusty Compared to His Aunt – My Mom

In the above example, the common ancestors of Rusty and me are our two maternal grandparents. When I compare Rusty and my mom, I will be looking at two different generations.

Here Rusty and my mom share the same common ancestors as me and my mom. However, do Rusty’s and my mom’s shared segments represent my mom’s parents’ or my mom’s grandparents’ DNA?

Does rusty share DNA with my mom’s grandparents (his maternal great grandparents)?

My thinking is that when I compare Rusty to my mom the DNA compared goes up a generation from when I compare Rusty to myself and my siblings. Here is Rusty again at Chromosome 16 compared to my mom:

My mom has a full Lentz and a full Rathfelder Chromosome from her parents. Yet there is a place in the middle of Chromosome 16 where Rusty and my mom do not match. That makes me think that we are comparing my mom’s grandparents with Rusty’s great grandparents. Let’s assume that to be the case. That means we need to bring in another generation.

With what we know of Chromsome 16, Rusty and my mom must share all of the same Lentz next generation up. That would be either Jacob Lentz or Annie Nicholson. The same must be true for the Rathfelder side from position 56M to 88M. However between about 50M and 56M Rusty and my mother must get their DNA from different paternal grandparents of my mom.

a look at chromosome 10

Here is the way I have mapped my mom’s chromosomes using Kitty Munson’s Chromosome Mapper:

The DNA match in purple is my from my mom’s Nicholson only side. It is mapped to William Nicholson and Martha Ellis who were the parents of my mom’s grandmother Annie Nicholson.

First, let’s look at my mom’s matches on Chromosome 10. I had discussed this Chromosome in my previous blog also.

#1 is mom’s match with Carolyn which maps to the Nicholson side. #2 is mom’s match with Rusty. #3 is a small match with Catherine which I’ll ignore for now.

Here are Rusty’s matches:

#1 is Carolyn. #4 in my mom. 2, 3, 5 and 6 are me and my siblings – not so important for this comparison. #7 is Linda (Nicholson descendant) and #8 is Catherine (Rathfelder descendant).

A possible explanation of a maternal aunt/nephew match

I have to admit that this gets a bit confusing.

When we compare my mother to Rusty, we are looking at my mom’s maternal and paternal chromosome. However, the match to Rusty is all on his maternal chromosome. Conceptually, I think that it would look something like this.

The top showing my mom has her 4 grandparents on her maternal and paternal chromosomes. I don’t know how my mom’s paternal side might look, so I made something up there. My mom’s four grandparents are equivalent to Rusty’s 4 great grandparents, but those 4 great grandparents are all on Rusty’s maternal Chromosome. So they are cramped in to a smaller space.Said another way, Rusty’s maternal DNA is alternating between Rathfelder and Lentz. However, that Rathfelder grandparent may be broken up further to two great grandparents of Rathfelder and Gagnus. Likewise the Lentz grandmother may be broken up to Lentz and Nicholson great grandparents.

In the first segment, my mom has Nicholson DNA due to the match with Carolyn. Rusty has a Rathfelder match in that segment. However, as my mom doesn’t also match Catherine in that segment, it must be from a different Rathfelder. My mom’s grandparents were Rathfelder and Gagnus. So here my mom has either one of those grandparents’ DNA and Rusty has the opposite. That is why I have blue for my mom there and green for Rusty.

A final note is that the last small segment match that Rusty has with Catherine cannot be right. Or it cannot be Rathfelder. That is because Rusty’s DNA is alternating  between Rathfelder and Lentz. The last segment has to be Lentz, so there is no room for Rathfelder DNA there. On the other hand, my mother’s #3 match is with Catherine, which is a Rathfelder match. She has room for that match along with her Nicholson match as she has a maternal and paternal chromosome to match on.


  • In a 1st cousin match, the DNA from my two grandparents are compared to the same DNA that my first cousin got from those same two grandparents
  • In a nephew/aunt match, the great grandparents of the nephew are compared to the grandparents of the Aunt
  • The aunt, however, has her 4 grandparents’ DNA on 2 chromosomes
  • The nephew has his 4 great grandparents’ DNA On only one chromosome
  • Those 4 great grandparents have to fit within the appropriate alternating grandparents of the newphew

The Segmentology Blog, Segments: Bottom-Up explains it well. Here is an image from that Blog:

In my example above, this Segmentology image would be like Rusty’s maternal DNA. In Rusty’s grandparent look, his maternal DNA alternates between Rathfelder and Lentz. However, in his great grandparent look, the DNA may be split up between the parents of those grandparents within the crossovers of the grandparent look.

For my mom, I am just looking at her grandparents. However, there will be two lines of grandparents: maternal and paternal for her. Also the crossover points will in most cases be different than for Rusty as he got his DNA from his mom – my mom’s sister.



My First 1st Cousin DNA Results

Not too long ago, I was at a car dealer with my wife picking up her new car. I checked my email on my phone and was surprised that I had gotten an email from FTDNA saying that my mom had a new close relative. I checked and it was my first cousin on my mother’s side, Rusty. I have been looking at DNA for quite some time now and have written over 100 Blogs, but this was my first 1st cousin DNA results. As a first cousin Rusty’s DNA matches are comparable to mine on my mother’s side.

Rusty on the Family Tree

Here is the family tree on my mother’s side with those that have had their DNA tested:

Rusty matches on my mother’s side. This includes the Rathfelder (blue), Lentz (yellow) and Nicholson (red) families. As Rusty got different DNA from his mom that my 3 siblings and I got from my mom, he will have some of the same and some different matches with all those that have tested so far.

Rusty’s 1st Cousin Matches

I’ll look at my matches with Rusty first as they are more straightforward than his matches with my mom. At least we are both in the same generation. Rusty matches me at 1,164 cM as reported at Gedmatch which is also on the high side for a first cousin. Here is how my matches with Rusty look like on the FTDNA browser:

By the looks of it, Rusty and I light up about half of the positions of the chromosomes.

Why do Rusty and I match as we do?

I like to look at DNA matches in terms of grandparents. That is because I have tried to map all my ancestral DNA to my four grandparents. For example, here is how I have used a visual method to map to my 4 grandparents on Chromosome 10. I am using Chromosome 10 as it comes up later in this Blog:

I will assume that I did the visual phasing correctly. I have the raw data to check, so it can be corrected later if it isn’t 100% right. My sister Sharon is in the first row, Heidi in the second, I’m in the third row and my brother Jon is in the fourth row. The numbers at the bottom are the rough positions of the crossovers. My siblings and I will match Rusty on the blue and purple segments only (maternal side). Looking back up at the FTDNA browser above for Chromosome 10, it shows that I match Rusty at three segments. It is clear that the third match must be a Rathfelder segment match as a little more than half of my Chromosome 10 is mapped to Rathfelder on the right side.

Let’s see how Rusty matches with me and my siblings on Chromosome 10.

This points out an error in my original visual mapping. Based on these matches with Rusty I should be able to correct my Chromosome Map. First, this shows on the right segment, that Rusty matches me (#4) and not my three siblings. That means that my three siblings will have different DNA than me on the maternal side. Note above that difference is not reflected in my Chromosome Map. I have purple Rathfelder mapped to all my siblings on the maternal side. Previous work that I’ve done has shown that my three siblings have a small Rathfelder match at the right end of this Chromosome and I do not. That match is between 132 and 135M. I take that to mean that my yellow segment match above with Rusty must be on the Lentz side and not the Rathfelder side. So, back to the drawing board.

Checking my laptop, I see that I had done a raw DNA analysis on Chromosome 10 in the past. I went back and checked the raw data and found that I had missed my last maternal crossover. I just added that one in to get this corrected Chromosome 10 Map.  The map format below was developed by M MacNeill [prairielad_genealogy@hotmail.com].

The segment that I had missed was the yellow Lentz portion of DNA to the right of my Chromosome. A few points from comparing the Chromosome Map above to Rusty’s matches with the map:

  • Chromosome 10 was heavy on Lentz DNA for me and my 3 siblings (yellow vs. Rathfelder brown)
  • As a result, Rusty only matches me and my siblngs on Lentz DNA
  • Other Chromosomes would likely yield Rathfelder DNA
  • By comparing Rusty matches to my family to all my family’s Chromosome maps, I could create a spotty Chromosome map for Rusty on some chromosomes and a more complete one on others (see below)
  • Rusty’s match with me was helpful in finding a crossover I had missed on my Chromosome 10 Map on the maternal side.
A simpler Chromosome (16)

Perhaps this example is clearer. I will show my visual phasing map followed by Rusty’s matches to my siblings:


  1. Heidi
  2. Jon
  3. Joel
  4. Sharon

Unfortunately, the order of my siblings is different in the two representations. I am the only one in the same relative position in both representations. A few observations:

  • Rusty’s inherited DNA from his maternal grandparents lined up well with the my family’s inherited DNA on the maternal side.
  • Rusty’s matches with me and my siblings confirms the visual mapping that I have done for me and my siblings on Chromosome 10
  • Rusty appears to have two large segments of DNA on his maternal side. The larger one on the left is from the Lentz side and the slightly smaller DNA segment on the right side of Chromosome 16 is from our shared Rathfelder side.
  • Rusty’s crossover from Lentz to Rathfelder DNA appears to be at the abrupt end of his first bunch of matches to me and my siblings at about 49.7M.

This figure is a likely representation of Rusty’s Chromosome 16 on his mother’s side. That means that any matches he has on Chromosome 16 in the red part before position 49.7M will be on his Lentz side and any matches he has in the yellow part of Chromosome 16 will be on his Rathfelder side.

Rusty’s Aunt Match

According to the ISOGG web page, Rusty should match my mom (his aunt) and my 3 siblings and me as follows:

This is a visual show of how Rusty matches my mom:

He lights up the browser pretty well. At FTDNA he shows a match of 2,085 cM. This is close to what Gedmatch shows at 2,160.6 cM. Both of these matches are over the reported average of 1744 cM for an aunt/nephew relationship.

Rusty and Rathfelder DNA

Rathfelders are difficult to find. So far, I have found one other person that tested at AncestryDNA who I have been able to link up to the Rathfelders. I wrote about that Rathfelder match in two Blogs. Here is a link to the second Blog. As best as I can tell, the person I found has the following link to Rusty and my family:

I find it unusual that a couple would give the same name (Johann Georg) to two of their sons. Also to make life confusing, the father, Hans Jerg, was also known as Johann Georg. The chart above shows the person I found (Astrid) as a 4th cousin to my mom and a 4th cousin, once removed to my second cousin Catherine, my family and 1st cousin Rusty.

A Rathfelder Triangulation Group

Here is how Astrid matches my mom and Rusty on Chromosome 17.

Astrid, my mom and Rusty are in a Triangulation Group as they all match each other at least in the green area above. Assuming I have the genealogy right, this points back to an early Rathfelder ancestor:

This shows that the shared Chromosome 17 DNA came from Hans Jerg Rathfelder and his wife. This couple were among some of the early settlers of Hirschenhof which was a German colony in Latvia.

Rusty’s Lentz and Nicholson DNA

I only have one distant cousin, Al,  that matches only on the Lentz line. This person does not match Rusty at standard thresholds, so I’ll be mostly looking at Rusty’s Nicholson DNA shown in red below.

On the chart above, Judy and Joshua descend from the Lentz and Nicholson sides. Joan, Linda, Carolyn and Nigel descend from Nicholsons. That means that any match Rusty has with those on the red lines should be a Nicholson match.

Rusty’s oldest Nicholson dna

Rusty matches my mom and Nigel on Chromosome 1. This represents the DNA he got from John Nicholson who was baptized 1765 and his wife Sarah Staniforth.

The browser above shows Rusty’s DNA match with my mom (#1) and Nigel (#2). My mom and my family had a large match with Nigel. So large, in fact, that some on the ISOGG Facebook Page questioned whether that large match could be possible. Here is my Blog about Nigel. Rusty has a more moderate level DNA match and forms a Triangulation Group between himself, my mom and Nigel.

William Nicholson dna

Our shared ancestor, William Nicholson moved his family from Sheffield England to Philadelphia around 1869. Rusty matches Carolyn, Joan and Linda on quite a few Chromosomes. So if I was to map Rusty’s Chromosomes, wherever he matches these three I would map that DNA back to William Nicholson and his wife Martha Ellis. Here is a typical match that Rusty has with my mom (#1) and Joan (#2):

The green segment on Line 2 represents Rusty’s match with Joan and DNA that he got from William Nicholson and his wife.

Chromosome 10

Here is an interesting situation where Rusty matches his 2nd cousin once removed Carolyn (#1) for a longer segment (in orange) than his Aunt – my mom (#2):

The green segment is Rusty’s match with Linda (#3). Linda and Carolyn are both cousins on the Nicholson side. What does this mean? Let’s see how Carolyn matches my mom. In the places where she matches my mom, there would be triangulation:

Here, my mom matches Carolyn in the same segments where Rusty matches my mom. That leaves the blank on Line 2 above between the blue and yellow segment. Why doesn’t Rusty match my mom in the blank spot? Note that above and below on Lines 1 and 3 that has to be Nicholson DNA due to those Rusty is matching. Here is how I see it.

My mom got her DNA on her maternal side from her Lentz and Nicholson grandparents. In the area that Rusty doesn’t match her by Nicholson DNA, my mom must have Lentz DNA.

a Closer look at Chromosome 10

Here is a closer look at some of the closer Nicholson and Lentz relationships:

Here is how the DNA tested people above match each other by the numbers on Chromosome 10:

In the above spreadsheet, the three sections in gold are Triangulation Groups.

Summary and Further Study

Well this Blog wore me out a bit, so I’ll stop here. There is quite a bit to a first cousin’s DNA:

  • I found that Rusty had above average matches to me and my siblings. In addition, he had above average matches to my mom.
  • I looked at how Rusty’s match helped correct an omission I had on my Chromosome 10 Map.
  • Based on my maps, it should be easy to tell what maternal grandparent line Rusty’s matches are when they match with those on my family’s Chromosome Maps.
For Further Study
  • I may look more into what makes up an Aunt/nephew match with Rusty and my mom.
  • I’d like to look at Rusty’s X Chromosome matches.
  • Anything else that happens to come up as I’m blogging