Three New Latvian Matches at MyHeritage

I was pleasantly surprised recently to get three rather close DNA matches to myself and my family on my mother’s side. The three Latvian matches are Normunds, Elina and Zanda. Normunds is the father and Elina and Zanda are the daughters. These three matches are on my Rathfelder side.

Adding the New Matches to My Rathfelder Tree

I keep a combination genealogy/DNA match tree. This is what I have so far for the Rathfelder tree:

I need to add the three matches under Vera:

this shows that my mother and Vera are first cousins. that means that my siblings and I are 2nd cousins with Normunds and 2nd cousins once removed with Elina and Zanda. I have this photo of Vera from my cousin Anita:

How We Match by DNA

For some reason, I can’t see the detailed DNA results for Normunds or Zanda. I do see results for Elina:

DNA Painter

This information can be added on to my DNA Painter profile. This is how it looks now:

This shows that I am ‘painted’ overal 52%. This means that I have identified 52% of my DNA by known matches. On the representation above, the paterrnal side is the top part of each chromosome and the maternal part is the bottom of each chromosome. Here is just my maternal side:

This shows that I am painted 45% on my maternal side or a little less than half.

When I add Elina, this gets my maternal side up to 47%:

That also raised my overall ‘painted’ level to 53%.

Normunds DNA

At first I couldn’t see the specific matches for Normunds’ DNA but Zanda made the corrections, so I can now see his results. Here they are:

I’m interested to see how this will have an effect on my DNA Painter Profile. A second cousin is usually the best person to have for a match because they represent the DNA of one grandparent  – in this case, my grandfather Alexander Rathfelder. It turns out that there is no overall effect for Normunds. This is perhaps because he overlaps with other Rathfelder matches. There was a difference, but not enough to bring the painted percentage up overall or on the maternal side.

Here is Chromosome 15:

This would indicate that Carolyn’s match is spurious. She matches at 8 cM and a certain percent of small matches are inaccurate or false matches. The other orange matches all have Henry [Heinrich] Rathfelder and Maria Gangnus as common ancestors.

Here is what MyHeritage shows between myself and Normands:

This turns out to be more than average DNA for 2nd cousins to share:

This study shows that 229 cM would be average.

Normunds and Gladys Rathfelder

As Normands has as much or more Rathfelder DNA than his daughters and as my mother has more than her children, I’ll look at the match between Gladys and Normunds:


Normally, I don’t paint my own first cousins’ matches. This is because a first cousin normally just distinguishes between paternal and maternal side. However, for my mother, it looks like I painted hers:

Here the blue color is Rathfelder/Gangnus (1st cousins). This is just my mom’s paternal Rathfelder side. Also I usually have a lighter color for closer relatives, so the more distant, darker color relatives can shine through. My mom is currently at 40% painted on her paternal side and 35% painted overall. Let’s see if Normunds makes a difference.

Here I changed Rathfelder/Gangnus DNA to a more subtle yellow. This got my mom painted up to 44% on her paternal side and 37% painted overall.

Normunds adds some new DNA to my mother’s profile on Chromosome 1:

On Chomosome 2, Normunds overlaps with Angelina. I am not sure of her ancestry, but from her DNA, it is clear that she had ancestors from Latvia::

On Chromosome 7, Normunds has an overlap with Rudi:

Rudi has ancestry going back to 1723.

However, when I check MyHeritage, there are other possible relationships to Rudi. This one is called Theory 1:

This relationship would be on my mother’s paternal grandfather’s side, whereas the previous relationship would be on my mother’s  paternal gramdmother’s side.  Plus, I don’t know if I have checked out these different relationships. Altogether, MyHeritage has 4 Theories. It would be beyond the scope of this Blog to check them all out. The bottom line is that I thought that the match with Rudi on Chromosome 7 would give me more definition as to where the match that my mom had with Nornunds came from. However, in this case, due to intermarriage in the Colony of Hirschenhof, it is not clear.

Perhaps Normunds match with my mom on Chromosome 17 will tell us something:

Normunds has a partial overlap with Astrid and a complete overlap with Otis. This is giving a mixed message perhaps also:

Otis’ ancesetry goes back to Schwechheimer (1772) and Gangnus (1780). Astrid goes back to Rathfelder and Biedenbender. Otis has uploaded his DNA results to Gedmatch. If Normunds uploads his results there, perhaps this will reveal something.

Meanwhile, Astrid shows triangulation with my mom and Normunds at MyHeritage on Chromosomes 17 and 19:

Triangulation means that these people all match each other. That means that I would tend to think that the DNA matches between the three of us represent DNA from Johann Jerg Rathfelder born 1752 and his wife Juliana Biedenbender born 1755. Here is Gladys’ DNA profile on Chromosome 19:

Astrid’s Genealogy

In order to sort this all out, I will need to take a closer look at Astrid’s genealogy. Here is what MyHeritage shows:

Ancestry shows this relationship, which I have assumed was right:

The W Rathfelder is Wilhemina Rathfelder. As I recall in other research, there was more than one Wilhemena Rathfelder. I think that the custom was to name the godchild after the godparent, so that may be the source of the duplicate names. Another confusing thing is that Hans Jerg had two children named Johann Georg:

These two Johann Georg’s were born about 15 years apart. That in formation was from this publication:

Based on the underlining, the first Johann went by Johann and the second went by Georg. The father Hans Jerg was also a Johann Georg.

Checking Astrid’s Tree

The best way to check Astrid’s tree is to build my own tree for her. Astrid has that her mother was baptized here:

At the Raduraksti website, I see this Church:

At this site, I found some information on the Spengle family, but I didn’t see Astrid’s mother or grandmother:

This would take a long time to check, so I’ll just assume the connection is right. My suspicion is that there are other connections than just the obvious ones.

Normunds, Gladys and Eva

I wrote a Blog about Eva here. She is my third cousin. Here is where Normunds, Gladys and Eva triangulate on Chromosome 1:

The theory is that shared amount of DNA comes from either Johann Rathfelder or Rosine Schwechheimer:

In that Blog about Eva, I mentioned this family chart:

Did My Great-Grandmother Have a Second Husband Who Ran Away?

The Gustav Rathfelder family lived in Riga and attended St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. I wonder if the +1918 means that my great-grandfather Heinrich died in 1918. I have that he died before 1921. I put this image out to the Latvian Genealogy Facebook page and got these two responses:

“Abgang” is essentially departure — e.g. the +1918 means that Heinrich died in 1918 (and therefore “departed from” the church congregation). I’ll try to take another look at the rest later.

The note next to Marie’s name (above the +1918) says, “married to a Kroeger, missing”. Her husband (first husband? second husband?) is presumably the one who’s missing.
The fact that one of Gustav’s sons is also named Heinrich doesn’t necessarily mean that he was named after Heinrich, though it’s possible. It was a pretty common name, and names often appeared multiple times in the same family without being namesakes in the sense that we’d think of it.

It sounds like Maria Gangnus Rathfelder had a second husband which would make sense if the first one died. He apparently deserted her if I understand the record correctly.

Concerning the comment on naming, I have seen that a child often had the same name as the Godparent. Here is the birth record for Robert Nicolai:

I take #1 above to be the godfather, Nicolai Rathfelder. Further, I believe him to be Johann Philip Nicolai Rathfelder born 1874 to my great-grandfather Heinrich Rathfelder.

Here is a photo of Marie. I assume that it is during Christmas and that she is with some of her relatives:

Marie is second from the left. She was born in 1856, so she would be quite old here.

Gladys, Normunds and Peter

These three people also triangulate at MyHeritage. That means that they all have common ancestors:

This triangulation happens on Chromosomes 7 and 18. Here is my mom’s DNA profile for those two areas:

These two areas represent ambiguous genealogies. Remember Rudi had about 4 ways that he could match. Also Silvia and Patrick could match on two different lines.

Peter’s Genealogy

MyHeritage shows this:

I can try to build a tree to see if I can get any further. I’ll start out on the paternal side. This marriage record is helpful:

However, this has Oleg’s mother as Emilie Grassman rather than Berta. Social Security has this information:

It seems like Oleg has a sister Vera. Find a Grave has more on Emilia:

My tree so far:

Here we see that Emelia was born in Riga:

This could be the connection that I was looking for.  This is likely Emilie traveling from Lithuania to New York in 1955:

That’s as far as I can get now. The connection appears to be with Emilie Grossman or Grassman. One tree at Ancestry has her parents:

Normunds, Gladys and Deborah

Perhaps I don’t know when to give up, but I’ll look at Deborah. These three triangualte on Chromosomes 1 and 9:

Deborah has a meager tree at MyHeritage:

It turns out that I already started a tree for Deborah. However, I couldn’t easily find anything new. Aparently Brigitta was born in Riga.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I was happy to find out about another branch of Rathfelder relatives in Latvia through DNA matching.
  • Normunds is my mother’s first cousin once removed.
  • I was able to ‘paint’ Normunds on to my DNA profile as well as my mother’s. It would be possible to add him also to my siblings’ profiles
  • In some cases, due to matches with more distant relatives, it is possible to tell where certain portions of DNA matches between my mother and Normunds come from
  • In other cases, it is difficult to tell for certain to intermarriage in the Colony of Hirschenhof where the Rathfelders and their ancestors lived long ago.
  • I looked at some common matches that Normunds and my mother Gladys have at MyHeritage
  • I relooked at the match of Eva. I found the family record kept by the Lutheran Church for Eva’s great-grandparents. He great-grandfather was the younger brother of my great-grandfather. This record gave the death date for my great-grandfather Heinrich Rathfelder. It also suggests that my great-grandmother remarried a Kroeger who went missing.
  • It appears that there could be more research of the DNA and genealogy to pull these families together.





My Mom’s DNA and Genealogical Connection to Katja

I’ve noticed lately that Ancestry has some helpfull Latvian records. So I have been looking through some of my mom’s Latvian DNA matches to see if I can find out how we are connected.

Katja at MyHeritage

MyHeritage seems to be a good place to find Latvian DNA matches. Katja also has a Theory of Relativity with my mom, but I don’t think that it is right:

I have a different genealogy for my mother:

Besides, why would have a Pfief have a Biedermann for a daughter?

Here is Katja’s tree at MyHeritage:

Katja is missing a maternal side and has additional Hirschenhof ancestry on her Lutz side.

Building a Tree for Katja

I will check out Katja’s genealogical tree by building a tree at Ancestry:

When  I entered Wilhelm Georg Lutz, Ancestry gave me hints for his parents. The hint for Wilhelm Georg is from this tree:

I checked the records at Raduraksti for 1895, but those records appear to be in Russian. I’m not sure if the Ancestry suggestion is correct at this point.

Pauline Rathfelder

Next, I will check on Pauline. Here is a record – perhaps baptismal?

Pauline and Emilie appear to be twins. I see Pauline’s mother’s maiden name as Mattheus, but I’m not sure. Here is the record transcription of their marriage:

This Goerge Ludwig seems the right age to have Pauline in 1879:

Based on the DNA matches between Katja and my mother, I expect that the match is on more than one line:

Sometimes many small matches mean more than one pair of common ancestors going back. So likely, some of the DNA matches represented above are from Lutke and some from Rathfelder- or perhaps even other surname.

A Common Rathfelder Ancestor for Katja and My Mom?

It turns out that I already have a Georg Adam Rathfelder in my Ancestry Tree:

However, this Georg was born in 1798:

I also see another marriage for a Georg Adam Rathfelder:

This marriage was in 1818. So this Georg Adam could have re-married in 1839 or had a son Georg Adam who married in 1839. Fortunately, I have a paper which seems to help:

According to this paper, Georg Adam was actually the son of Johannes Rathfelder born in 1796 I think I’ll go with this paper.

Here is what I have so far:

The Johannes in Line A above was the son of Johann Adam Rathfelder and Anna Catharina Elisabeth Rothweiler. I have Johannes in my tree already:

That should be enough to add Katjia to my Rathfelder DNA match tree:

Katja is my mother’s 4th cousin twice removed on the Rathfelder side.

Back to the Lutz Connection

Here were the hints for Katja’s ancestors from Ancestry:

It seems like two possibilities here:

I see a Gottlieb Hermann and a Gottlieb Otto. Here is a third more likely candidate:

Here is a Peter Gottlieb Lutz who married Elisabeth Hauk (maiden name Herman).

Katja’s Family Tree

I have this so far on Katja’s paternal side:

It would take a while to build all the other lines out as far as Hans Jerg Rathfelder and his Bittenbinder wife.

Painting Katja’s DNA Matches to My Mom’s Profile

Here is what I have so far for my mom:

The first line for each chromosome represents my mom’s paternal matches. The Rathfelder/Bittenbinder DNA matches are in red. As I intimated earlier, Katja’s matches with my mom are probably not all from Rathfelder and Bittenbinder due to the nature of where this family lived. They were in a German Colony and married among their own which means that intermarriage of families normally took place.

My mom is 35% painted overall and 40% painted on her paternal side.

By default, DNAPainter adds matches of 7 cM and over. Here are my mom’s paternala matches with Katja added:

Katja matches my mom on Chromosome 4 at 6.7 cM, so that match did not get added. Here are Katja’s specific matches with my mom:

There is no overlap with the matches Astrid has. Astrid and my mom also have Rathfelder and Bittenbinder common ancestors.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Katja matches my mom at Ancestry and has a Rathfelder in her tree
  • I was able to find Katja and my mom’s common Rathfelder and Bittendbinder ancestors
  • Katja and my mom probably match on other ancestral lines
  • I painted the DNA matches Katja has with my mom on my mom’s profile. Those matches were painted to Rathfelder and Bittenbinder even though they may represent other common ancestors.
  • Without a published document that explains some of the complicated Rathfelder relationships in Hirschenhof, it would have been very difficult to figure out the Rathfelder/Bittenbinder common ancestors that my Mom and Katja have.

Visual Phasing My Two Children with the Fox Spreadsheet: Part 4

This should be the final Blog for the visual phasing of my childrens’ autosomal DNA. I will be looking at Chromosomes 19-22 and the X Chromosome sometimes called Chromosome 23.

Chromosome 19

There appears to be a discrepancy at position 46 between the crossover line and where my mother matches JJ. However, as these are smaller chromosomes, any difference will be exagerrated in the view.

I’m not seeing any easy cousin matches on the maternal side.

I had said that the the shorter chromosomes can be easier to solve. There is the other problem that they are so short, that there may not be any identifiable matches on them. I can put in a G3 and G4 on the right hand side of the Chromosome:

I checked Heather at MyHeritage and she has a match with Richard who has all Polish ancestors:

Now that I have this, the G3 and G4’s are not useful:

Heather and Richard have a shared match with Krystyna:

I am showing some progress:

JJ and Richard have a shared match at MyHeritage with Patricia here:

That leaves a small area to fill in on the left side of Chromosome 19:

From a comparison between JJ and Heather, it appears that the first crossover should be at about 5.2M. I’m having trouble figuring out the left hand side of Chromosome 19, so I will leave it as is for now.

Downloading Heather and JJ’s MyHeritage Segment Data

While working on Chromosome 19, I downloaded Heather and JJ’s segment data from MyHeritage. I waited a little while and got an email with the information I was looking for. Heather did have these matches at MyHeritage which appear to go through position 5.2:

However, it is difficult to tell for sure if these are real matches, maternal, paternal or if they in fact clearly straddly position 5.2M.

Chromosome 20

On the paternal side, all but one segment is Rathfelder DNA:

I am having trouble finding DNA matches on Heather and JJ’s maternal side on this Chromosome also.

Now it’s time to get creative. I put a Poland filter on Heather’s matches at MyHeritage. I see a match there with Grzegorz:

Unfortunately, it is rather a small match. Heather and JJ have several small matches in this area. I’ll take a chance and give that segment to Jarek:

JJ clearly has matches that go through position 18:

That is about as far as I can get. However, that is built upon small matches on the left side of Chromosome 20.

Chromosome 21

Here, Heather and JJ have all Rathfelder and no Hartley on their paternal side.

Heather and Jarek-side Richard have this match:

I’ll say that Heather’s match goes through position 41.2.

Heather has a match on the Cavanaugh side with Martha:

That should finish Chromosome 21:

JJ’s match with Martha further confirms the visual phasing:

This Chromosome is further shortened by some unusable area at the beginning of the Chromosome.


Chromosome 22

There are no obvious matches on the maternal side yet:

JJ and Nicholas match:

He is probably on the Jarek side, but I can’t be certain.

Heather’s match with David:

I didn’t see any Polish ancestors on David’s tree. Also, this is a paternal match as my siblings show up as common matches with Heather and David.

I’ll leave Chromosome 22 like this and hope that I get more or find more matches:

I did find this match at MyHeritage between Heather and Krzysztof after filtering for matches from Poland:

Here is another match that Heather has at MyHeritage with Rafal from Poland:

I see now that I should have extended the segments to here anyway:

Now, I’m doing better than I thought I could. I see that MyHeritage shows that JJ matches Rafal, but not on Chromosome 22:

This suggests to me that JJ should have the crossover at 43.9 M:

Heather and JJ’s X Chromosome

Here we have a different situation. JJ has no paternal side to his X Chromosome as these are not passed down from father to son. Heather’s paternal side of her X Chromosome is just from my mom, so her paternal grandmother. That leaves Heather and JJ’s maternal side DNA to fill in: Jarek and Cavanaugh.

Another complication is that MyHeritage does not report the X Chromosome and Heather and JJ did not test at 23andMe. That means any matches will have to be from Gedmatch or FTDNA.

This is what I have for Heather at DNAPainter:

I am not sure why there is a gap in the paternal side as Heather should match her grandmother the whole way.

Here is Heather’s match with Martha on the Cavanaugh side:

The blue portion in the comparison betweeen Heather and JJ on the top row indicates that JJ should match the same on his maternal side. JJ also has a small match with Peter on the Jarek side here:

JJ’s match list shows that he has no X Match with Peter:

So perhaps 6.4cM is below FTDNA’s X Chromosome match threshold. Heather, on the other hand shows no X match with Peter on the FTDNA Chromosome Browser.

Assuming that is a valid match, I get this:

JJ’s Interesting X Match with Ellen at Gedmatch

If this match is correct, then it suggests that my mapping above in incorrect. I would assume that JJ’s match is with either on the Jarek or Cavanaugh side, but not both. Here is JJ’s ancestry where the match can be:

From the right-hand column, there are two Polish lines, two English lines and three French Canadian lines. I have sent an email to Ellen to see if she has family history information.

So how do I interpret the new information? I need to disregard the small DNA match with Peter for now. One interesting thing is that JJ matches Martha on the Cavanaugh side where he doesn’t match Ellen:

JJ’s match with Martha is from about position 9-33 where I have the red arrow pointing to the black region. I take it to mean that both Martha and Ellen match JJ on his Cavanaugh side, but down different branches of the Cavanaugh line. For example, JJ’s match with Martha may be on the Morrow side and JJ’s match with Ellen may be on the Cavanaugh/Warren side.

Here is my guess on how the the X Chromosome should look:

I now have JJ as mostly Cavanaugh due to the match with Ellen.

Heather and Ellen

Here is how Heather matches Ellen at Gedmatch:

Heather has a smaller match with Ellen, but it is still significant. In the area I have mapped as Jarek for Heather, she does not match Ellen, so that is consistant with the visual phasing that I have done above. That means that Ellen should match JJ and Heather on the Cavanaugh line. That would likely mean a French Canadian or English connection.

One Last Step: Heather and JJ’s X Chromosome Segments

I already downloaded Heather and JJ’s autosomal segments at Gedmatch. However, this did not include their X Chromosome segments. I picked the Segement Option at Tier 1 for Heather. The minimum I could pick was 1,000 matches so I picked that. I don’t need a lot for the X Chromosome. I picked the csv download option and then saved the file as an Excel file. I formatted the positions with commas:

Next, I would like to see if Heather has matches that go through the next crossover on the X Chromosome which is at 143.7. However, my download was for all of Heather’s X Chromosome matches: paternal and maternal. I really want the maternal side. For that I have to choose Heather’s phased maternal kit to get the segments. When I try to do this, I get no segments. I assume that when Heather’s phased maternal kit was created, it didn’t include the X Chromosme.

JJ’s matches will already be phased, so I will try him next. JJ has one match that goes through 143.7, but I am not convinced that this match will help me:

One problem is that the SNP count is quite low.

Heather has matches that go through 143.7, but they are mostly on the paternal side:

TX is a match where I can’t tell if it is paternal or maternal. All the other matches are close paternal matches. That means that I will leave the X Chromosome visually phased as is for now:

Summary and Conclusions

  • I was able to visually phase my two childrens’ 23 chromosomes.
  • Some were fully phased and some were partially phased
  • Because I had tested my mother, Heather and JJ were already phased on the paternal side
  • There are more DNA cousin matches on the maternal Jarek side than the maternal Cavanaugh side. This is offset by Martha who is a fairly close Cavanaugh relative to my two children
  • I am interested in DNA matches on the Cavanaugh side due to some confusion in the genealogy. For example, Cavanaugh going back should actually be Warren the way I understand it
  • Visually phasing the X Chromosome is a little different than the others. I found a large Cavanaugh side X Chromosome match to Heather and JJ and wrote to the match. I hope that she writes back so we can find the connection.
  • Some chromosomes may need updating and filling in as new maternal matches are identified
  • Using the Fox Spreadsheet is a handy way to do visual phasing and keeps all the information in one need spreadsheet



Visual Phasing My Two Children with the Fox Spreadsheet: Part 3

In Part Three of this series, I will be looking at Chromosomes 13-18 for my children and visually phasing them to the extent that I can.

Chromosome 13

Here, Heather gets a full dose of her Rathfelder Grandmother’s DNA:

I didn’t see any of the Jarek-matching DNA on the Fox Spreadsheet. I don’t have to open JJ’s FTDNA account each time for his Cavanaugh side match Martha as I aready downloaded JJ’s segments:

Here is where Heather matches Martha:

That takes care of the right half of Chromosome 13:

Heather has this maternal match with Pavel that JJ does not:

It is small, but likely to be real as it is a phased match. This appears to be the correct solution for Heather and JJ’s Chromosome 13:

Chromosome 14

Here is what Heather and JJ’s paternal side looks like:

Heather has a small DNA match with Robert that JJ doesn’t have on the Jarek side:

That is enough to map the left side of Chromosome 14:

The maternal side DNA can move over two lines as those are taken up by paternal crossovers.

Heather matches Peter, a Jarek-side matche, here:

Here is JJ’s match with Peter at FTDNA:

This indicates to me that JJ has a crossover to Jarek at about position 70:

Next, I need to get the position number for the right side of the green FIR.

This is at about 96.6.

JJ has a maternal match with Ashley that goes to about 98:

Heather’s matches do not go that far, so I would give the crossover to Heather:

Other than to JJ, Heather’s furthest out math is at 91.

Chromosome 15

Let’s see how Chromosome 15 shakes out for Heather and JJ:

This shows that Chromosome 15 only has two crossovers and one of those is on the paternal side. It also shows that JJ got a full dose of Rathfelder DNA on his paternal side. Heather and JJ’s match with Jarek-side match Robert shows where the other crossover is:

Here is the finished, simple Chromosome 15:

This tells me that if I was looking for Cavanaugh matches on this Chromosome, I should look at Heather’s match list and not JJ’s.

A Further Check on Chromosome 15

I show that Heather has a match with Jarek-side LeeAnne here:

I had assumed that LeeAnne was on the Jarek side, so something seems wrong. Perhaps LeeAnne is on the Cavanaugh side. When I check on LeeAnne’s tree at Ancestry, I assumed that the Dziura in her family was the Dziuria in my children’s family:

That could mean that LeeAnne could match on the Cavanaugh side? Very confusing. However, LeeAnne’s shared matches at AncestryDNA are clearly on the Jarek side. The only explanation that I can think of is that Heather and JJ have a crossover at nearly the same poine where (going from right to left) JJ goes from Jarek to Cavanaugh and Heather goes from Cavanaugh to Jarek.

Checking Martha on the Cavanaugh Side

I see that JJ matches Martha here:

This confirms that at some point on the left side of Chromosome 15, JJ needs to have Cavanaugh DNA and Heather has to have Jarek DNA, but I can’t figure out where that is.

One More Check

When I check on Heather compared to JJ at Gedmatch with a lower match limit of 3 cM, I get this:

These are just two small matches at the beginning of the Chromosome. These two small matches may or may not be important. I’m tempted to think that Heather and JJ had maternal crossovers at about the same point:

I don’t know where that point was, but it must have been after position 54.3. Here are Heather’s maternal matches:

The crossover is likely between 55 and 60.8. based on Heather’s maternal matches.

Chromosome 16

I hope that this Chromosome goes more smoothly than the last one:

I don’t see any uploaded Jarek matches on the spreadsheet. I have used Peter before as a Jarek side match:

That gets things started on the maternal side:

The 55 above is closer to 54.8. That is cutting it close, but JJ has this maternal match:

Heather’s match with KP ends slightly sooner:

So I will give Heather the crossover at 54.8:

JJ has many matches going through 82, so I will give the crossover to Heather again:

I couldn’t find a clear answer to the two segments on the left of Chromosome 16:

Chromosome 17

Here Heather gets a full dose of Hartley DNA from my father:


A match with Robert on the Jarek side shows that Heather has the first maternal crossover from Jarek to Cavanaugh:


JJ matches Cavanaugh side Martha here:

That means that Heather must match on the Jarek side in that area:

A Little Detective Work to Fill in the Last Part of Chromosome 17

I noticed that on Heather’s list of matches from FTDNA, she has one with a Polish sounding last name:

The match goes through positiion 72.7. I need to know if this is a paternal or maternal match for Heather. I checked Heather’s in common matches at FTDNA and did not see any paternal matches. That tells me that this match is likely on Heather’s maternal side. From what I can tell, this is the right answer for Heather and JJ’s Chromosome 17:

Chromosome 18

I’lll conclude this Blog with Chromosome 18:

This project would have been much more difficult without my mother’s Rathfelder DNA.

Jarek Cousin Robert has a match that goes to position 53:

The match looks like it goes over the crossover line, but I don’t trust the accuracy of it.

Cavanaugh Cousin Martha matches Heather here:

There were no obvious snags in Chromosome 18:

This would be a good Chromosome to look for Cavanaugh side matches – especially on Heather’s side.

Summary and Conclusions

  • It looks like I was able to finish the visual phasing for each of Chromosomes 13-18
  • The smaller higher number chromosomes are generally considered easier to visually phase compared to the longer chromosomes
  • I find it interesting that when I passed my DNA on to my children, I was really passing down my parents DNA to them and combined my children recieved the DNA from their four grandparents.

Visual Phasing My Two Children with the Fox Spreadsheet: Part 2

In my previous Blog, I started working on visually phasing the first 6 chromosomes of my two children. Normally, visual phasing is done with three or more siblings. However, it should not be too difficult to visually phase Heather and JJ’s chromosomes. I have tested their paternal grandmother. Because of that, their paternal side is basically phased.

Chromosome 1

Here is how far I got previously:

It would be helpful to put a few position numbers in at the end of the Chromosome. Specifically, the beginning and the end of the last green HIR would be helpful. The end should be around 216.6M where the last black non-matching area starts:

I’ll call that 215.5. Here is the beginnning of the FIR:

I’ll call that 203.6M.

Segment Search for Maternally Phased Kits of Heather and JJ

Here are some of the results for segment details for the maternal part of JJ’s DNA:

Near the bottom, JJ matches Heather from 237.5M. However, his match with *sly goes past that match to 238.9M. This is a likely indication that Heather has a crossover at 237.5M. Unfortunately, we first need to find out who has the crossover at 203.6.

Heather has this match which I don’t see on JJ’s match list:

Betty likely matches Heather on the Cavanaugh side. Gedmatch indicates that Betty tested at Ancestry, but I am having trouble identifying her test. So it looks like I am stuck, unless I download more match information from FTDNA and MyHeritage for Heather and JJ.

Chromosome 2

Here, I’ve added a few position numbers:

Let’s see what Heather and JJ show around positions 115 and 231M. I couldn’t find anything obvious, so I need to find the end of the first green FIR:

I’ll call that 20.7M. Heather has many maternal matches that pass through 20.7M:

So, I’ll give the crossover to JJ:

Next, I’ll add two more positions:


However, when I do that, I notice a problem with the segment map. I see that this is the result of a missplaced paternal crossover:

It’s a good thing I am checking this. The crossover from Rathfelder to Hartley should be at 83:

JJ shows a match going through 47.7 which is the beginning of the second green HIR:

That means that Heather gets the crossover there:

This is an improvement over what I had. In this case, it helped to check.

Chromosome 3 Check

Here I added some easy position numbers:

I’ll look at Heather and JJ’s maternal matches around position 2 and 168.3M. Heather’s first match goes beyond 3M:

The first position above should have been a 3:

So I am giving the crossover to JJ.

JJ has many matches that go through 168.3:

So I give this crossover to Heather:

Heather and JJ do not have many maternal matches around 183.1, so I will leave this Chromosome as is.

Chromosome 7

Chromosomes 4-6 are in good shape, so let’s check on Heather and JJ’s Chromosome 7:

Here, JJ’s match with his paternal grandmother didn’t quite match up with his crossover point, so I put his grandmother’s match at the closest crossover.

Here, I’ll add Leeanne’s match on the left side of Chromosome 7:

Here is Heather’s match with Cavanaugh side Martha:

This match fills in 2 Cavanaugh segments for Heather:

Due to the HIR and FIR, JJ is Jarek and Cavanaugh below Heather. JJ’s match with Martha brings his Cavanaugh DNA to the end of his Chromosome 7:

Next, it would be nice if JJ or Heather had some maternal matches going through position 80. Heather’s maternal match Charles meets that requirement:

Next, I am focusing in on 56.1:

JJ’s match with the same Charles appears to go through 56.1:

That leaves the very left of Heather and JJ’s maternal side. The next position I am interested in is at 5.7:

JJ has two matches going through that position. That should finish Chromosome 7:

However, it doesn’t. Two segments after the red one above should be red and not green. If there is no match there, then the two Hartley segments cannot be right there. Remember when I guessed on JJ and Heather’s grandmother’s ambiguous match position? I guessed wrong.

Here is the easiest, though perhaps non-scientific way to fix the problem:

I moved JJ’s Rathfelder segment right to 80. I then moved JJ’s Jarek segment left from 80 to 76.3. This is the intuitive, logical solution. By non-scientific, I mean that I didn’t look at all of Heather’s and JJ’s matches in that region to double check the crossovers. The yellow/green/red segment map checks out.

Chromosome 8

Things have been going fairly smoothly so far. Let’s hope they continue that way.

Here are two complications. The first situation has a FIR going into a region with no matches. In order for that to happen there has to be two crossovers. The second arrow points to a region where there appear to be two crossovers fairly close to each other, but the match to Heather and JJ’s paternal grandmother shows as being between the two crossovers.

The start of the FIR is at 101.6:

Using the closest rule, I’ll go with the 99.2 crossover.

I left the little paternal segment blank on JJ’s side as there are two very close changes there. The segment is so small, it doesn’t matter. I will just need to have a HIR there when I am done.

Mat1’s matches give some Jarek segments to Heather and JJ:

This seems to be what the match with Jarek relative Mat1 is telling me:

The next step is to find some more crossover locations for this Chromosome.

Next, I’ll check Heather and JJ to see what their matches look like in the vivinity of 12.9, 72.1, 106 and 137.5.

Downloading Heather and JJ’s Segments

However, instead of looking at each chromosome, I will download Heather and JJ’s segment information for their top 1,000 maternal matches at Gedmatch. I did this, but could not find any easy clues as to their crossovers on this chromosome.

Chromosome 9

Chromosome 9 looks interesting:

For one thing, the Heather and JJ’s matches with their grandmother do not line up with the first crossover I have. I went back and compared Heather with JJ at a resolution of 3 cM:

3 cM is the smallest increment allowed. It is good that the smallest is not 4 as I would have missed two crossovers at 10.2 and 13M. Now this makes more sense:

Matches with Robert point out two maternal crossovers:

It seems like JJ should have a crossover to Jarek at 98.1.  When I lower the threshold for JJ’s match with Robert, I get this:

This is what I expected, so JJ does have a crossover at 98:

That leaves only 4 maternal segments. Here is a match that Heather has with Martha on the Cavanaugh side:

Next, I’ll look at Heather and JJ’s maternal match list at around 133.6M. Heather has a lot of maternal matches that go through that crossover. That means that the crossover must belong to JJ:

Here is what I end up with:

Chromosome 10

Here is my initial interpretation:

Chromosome 9 had to HIRs. Chromosome 10 has a small one shown in green above.

Robert has a small match with JJ:

Robert is on the Jarek side, so Heather must have Cavanaugh DNA in her corresponding maternal segment. Heather’s match with Martha on the Cavanaugh confirms that:


Heather also matches Martha at the right hand side of Chromosome 10.

Next, I am looking for the position number for the beginning of the HIR:

I’ll call that 114.6.

Heather and JJ’s maternal matches at Gedmatch are primarily between 13.8 and 79.2 for Chromosome 10, so I am stuck for now:

Chromosome 11

Here is my start:

JJ’s matches don’t align perfectly with his paternal grandmother. Robert matches Heather and JJ on the Jarek side:

When I put this in, I notice that there is a Fully Identical Region (FIR) going to a non-match. That means that there needs to be an extra crossover there.

Leanne matches JJ and not Heather on the right hand side:

Here is the beginning of the first FIR in green:

I’ll ignore the three yellow lines and call the start of the FIR 57.4M.

Heather has maternal matches that go through 123.6:


Because there is already a paternal crossover at 115.8, I can also move the two Cavanaugh segments to the left.

JJ has two matches that go through 102.5:

Heather would not have a super small Cavanaugh segment at 95.8:

Checking around FTDNA, I see that JJ has a match with Peter, who is in common with Robert and Leeanne from the Jarek side on my spreadsheet:

Thanks to Peter, I can finish Chromosome 11:

Other matches at FTDNA and MyHeritage would also help in completing chromosomes.

Chromosome 12

Here is my starting point with my children’s Rathfelder grandmother added:

I was suspicious of the segment at the right hand side, so I looked at the match between Heather and Gladys at a lower resolution:

Here we see Heather has a small amount of Rathfelder at the end of her paternal side. I don’t see any standard Jarek matches, so I’ll check on Martha on the Cavanaugh side:

JJ has two good matches with Martha:JJ

JJ’s other match with Martha appears to extend to the left of 96.1, but I’m not sure:

Heather’s maternal match with Bryan at Gedmatch clarifies this:

JJ also has matches that go through position 15.3:

In order to get more match information, I will download Heather and JJ’s segment data from FTDNA. The problem with this is that it takes a little work to figure out whether the matches are paternal or maternal.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I have now looked at about half of my childrens’ chromosomes and have done an initial mapping out of their segments, sorting them out to where they got their DNA from their four grandparents where I could figure that out.
  • I found an additional Jarek side match named Peter at FTDNA which helped out on one chromosome
  • I downloaded additional segment information from Gedmatch and FTDNA. The Gedmatch segments are more helpful as I can download just the maternal side segment imformation
  • So far, the detailed segment information from FTDNA has not been helpful as many matches are on the paternal side or small and I can’t be sure on which side they are (or perhaps they could be false matches).




Visual Phasing My Two Children with the Fox Spreadsheet: Part 1

I have made a few isolated attempts at Visual Phasing for my two children. However, I have not used the Fox Spreadsheet up to this point. This spreadsheet is not supposed to work well with the online version of Excel, but I am trying it nonetheless.

Getting Started

I downloaded my two children’s information from Gedmatch in addition to three “cousins” matches. One cousin is my mother. She is the secret weapon as her matches should automatically phase my children’s patermal side. The other two matches were two second cousins once removed. One was on the Hartley side and one was on their Jarek side. I don’t think that I have cousin matches on the Cavanaugh side. If I do, I don’t think that there is a good match at Gedmatch.

I looked at Steven Fox’s intstructions. In order to get a download from Gedmatch, it required my pushing a ‘compare’ button from time to time to get around the Captcha feature at Gedmatch.

Chromosome 1

Here is my start at Chromosome 1:

I’m sure that there could be more hidden crossovers, but I started with what seemed to make sense. I already know that G2 is Rathfelder for my mom, Gladys. Where my children do not match my mom, I assume that they match my dad who I have as G1. There may be a way to go directly to a known grandparent, but I couldn’t figure that out. [I figured it out later by typing the surname into the cell.]

Robert on the Jarek Side

Robert matches JJ here:

As the match appears to go beyond the two crossovers, I will assume that three areas on JJ’s side are Jarek and the same three areas are Cavanaugh for Heather as she does not match Robert there. I’ll use G3 as Jarek and G4 as Cavanaugh. Unfortunately, that has caused a problem:

This mapping created a red region that has gone too far to the left. That means that either:

  1. The crossover should be further to the right, or
  2. Heather may have a small match with Robert in that large red section

If #1 is correct, JJ should be G4 (Cavanaugh) in the larger red section. If #2 is true, then Heather should be G3 (Jarek) in the large red section. I’ll check option #2 at Gedmatch. I can lower the threshold as far as 3 cM. I think I used to be able to go lower:

Now I need to look at the position numbers. Crossover #3 should be a 113M:

Heather has a match with Robert from 110 to 113M. That means that Option #2 is in play and Heather has a maternal crossover at that point.

Problem solved.

More Maternal Side Matches Needed

I added 4 more matches on Heather and JJ’s maternal side and deleted the Hartley cousin:

This added some information for Chromosome 1:

However, because I had not deleted the extra columns to the right of the phasing part, the new matches stretched way out. Mat2 shows a match with JJ and Heather in HIR which cannot be right. When I check where the first FIR goes to HIR it is  just before 15M:

That is about where the match ends between Mat2 and Heather and JJ. Actually Heather’s match with Mat2 ends slightly further than JJ’s, so I’ll assume that Heather has more Jarek (G3) DNA there. However, I see that Robert has a match there also, which may be more accurate:

I guess the more matches, the better. I think that is as far as I can get with Chromosome 1. I just need to change the G’s to real grandparents.

I have one more trick up my sleeve. By searching my old Blogs, I did find a Cavanaugh side match at FTDNA. I have used DNA Painter to represent the matches for Heather:

This shows that my guess for Heather’s first Cavanaugh segment was correct. I just need to figure out how to find JJ’s matches at FTDNA. By going through a bunch of ID’s, I was able to find JJ at FTDNA. I couldn’t find Marti, but found a Martha:

More importantly, here is Heather and Martha using the FTDNA Chromosome Browser:

I would say that Martha and Marti are the same person. As it turns out, the match does not help any further with Chromosme 1.

Chromosome 2

The bottom match is with my mother, so the Rathfelder side.

LeeAnne Match on the Jarek Side

Here, I need to make an assumption. My assumption is that the right side of LeeAnne’s match with JJ and the right side of LeeAnne’s match with Heather represent crossovers. This is due to the fact that these end match positions are so close to the crossover positiions. There is a chance that these could be a coincidence, but I’ll take that chance.

In additions, I see that Heather and JJ match Martha on the Cavanaugh side beginning at 7M. That is where JJ’s match with LeeAnne ends. That ices that crossover for me.

This seems to be as far as I get right now:

The fact that there are so few crossovers on the Paternal side, means that almost all the crossovers are on the maternal side. This makes this Chromosome more difficult to map.

Chromosome 3

Just 21 more to go.

This looks fairly simple unless I am missing something. On the paternal side, it seems like there should be mostly Hartley. The blue match on the bottom represents Rathfelder. I see if I type in the names, I can skip the G1 and G2:

My next problem is that I don’t see any maternal side matches. I was ready to move on, but then checked MyHeritage. JJ matches Richard who has Polish ancestry:

Richard has an Anna Dziura. JJ has a Weronica Dziura:

These two could be sisters. Richard matches JJ on Chromosome 3:

All is not lost. Here is Richard and Heather:

They seem to match on Chromosome 3 in the same way.

Thanks to Robert, Chromosome 3 looks better for my children. This appears to be a mostly Hartley/Jarek Chromosome.

Chromosome 4

Here is what I get using my mother’s match and a Mat1 Jarek match:

Based on the the match of Mat1 with Heather and JJ, I would say that there is a maternal crossover to Cavanaugh to the left of the lowest Jarek on the map:

Also, note that there appear to be close crossovers between JJ and Heather indicated by the small black spaces in the comparison between JJ and Heather at the top of the chart. Heather shares DNA with Martha at the beginning of the Chromosome where JJ does not. This would indicate Cavanaugh DNA:

Also, JJ has a match with Martha here:

A Fully Phased Chromosome 4?

This is what I think is right:

However, one thing I would like to look at is the black break between 40 and 42M. I have no crossover there. I need to check that out more closely. Above, I note that JJ starts a match with Martha at 42M. That could be a crossover. Here is how Heather matches Martha:

Here is a corrected Chromosome 4:

The bottom red, yellow and green bar is helpful in checking to make sure the visual phasing matches with the comparison between Heather and JJ in the first bar above. Heather and JJ’s match with Martha was helpful in mapping Chromosome 4.

Chromosome 5

As usual, the paternal side is easy:

When I compare Robert’s matches with Heather and JJ, it points out a maternal crossover for JJ:

Here is Heather’s match with Martha on the Cavanaugh side:

JJ’s match goes further, so 160M is about the point of Heather’s crossover:

Next, I see that Mat3 has a match with JJ that doesn’t show with Heather:

This is at about 126 to 136M.

Going right on Heather’s bar, I can extend the matches:

This Chromosome is mostly completed except for the left side. There is a way to predict that side also. I just need to look at JJ or Heather’s matches to see which ones stop at the crossover and which ones do not. First, I need to find out where the crossover is. For that I go to the full resolution comparison between JJ and Heather at Gedmatch:

I’ll call that 32.5 M.

I have a list of Heather’s maternal matches that I downloaded in 2019:

The two maternal matches I have highlighted above appear to go through 32.5 M. However, I should also check with JJ’s results. I don’t see that JJ matches the same person. That makes me think that it is JJ who has the crossover at 32.5 M.

So, as I go along, I am remembering some of othe tricks of visual phasing. Here is the merged version:

Also, I have some position numbers as they are useful in mapping. Normally, there are not small isolated segments like Heather has on the right hand side (green Cavanaugh). This might be something to check.

Here is a maternal side match that Heather has:

This appears to pass through 149.7. I don’t see that JJ has a match with this person.

A Corrected Chromosome 5 for Heather and JJ

Chromosome 6

First I adjust the vertical lines and add in some of the position numbers:

Next, I check Heather and JJ’s match with their grandmother:

I see their matches do not line up well with the segment lines I have drawn. I suspect that the place where Heather and JJ both do not match with their grandmother should coincide with the green fully identical region between Heather and JJ. I’ll do a full resolution comparison between JJ and Heather to see where the green area is:

It starts at about 91.4M and:

ends at about 128.2M. These should correspond with these two match with Heather and JJ’s grandmother:

There is a bit of discrepancy between 126.6M and 128.2M.

That phases the paternal side for Heather and JJ:

However, I have no matches for Heather and JJ’s maternal side that were pre-loaded to the Fox Spreadsheet.

Let’s try Martha who matched at FTDNA on the Cavanaugh side;

Martha has two matches with JJ.  The first is roughly 7M to 42M. The second is:

The area above JJ’s green Cavanaugh must be Jarek for Heather as they don’t match at all in that region. The area above JJ’s second green Cavanaugh match must be Cavanaugh for Heather as this is an HIR or Half Identical Region. But first, let’s check on any match Heather has with Martha:

This points out a problem with my original mapping. Where JJ matchd from 7-42M, Heather matches from 4-14M. That means that I missed a segment here:

However, even that does not seem right. When I check at Gedmatch at a resolution of 3cM, I get this:

It’s odd how the comparison changes. [I explain my mistake further below.] Without any Jarek side matches, this is how Chromosome 6 is emerging:

At this point, I could look at Heather’s maternal match list to see where her likely crossovers are.

This 2019 list is a bit outdated. The last two matches are interesting. The last is with JJ and the next to the last goes through that match with JJ. That could indicate that JJ has a crossover at about 149. Here is JJ’s current match with that same person:

Here I added that crossover at 148.7 for JJ:

Using the same logic, I see this on Heather’s maternal match list:

Heather matches JJ from 72 to 135, but matches Sa from 68 to 92. That appears to give JJ a crosover at 72:

Unfortunately, this information is not helpful yet as I need to assign crossovers at 42.7M and 135M first.

Maternal Matches for JJ

I will check on JJ’s maternal matches to see if I can find some crossovers for Heather:

I didn’t realize I had this already and signed up for Tier I at Gedmatch. Oops.

Here I see two matches JJ has starting at 134.7M:

This could indicate a crossover for him at that point. Now that I have Tier I, I will use a utility called segment search and use Heather’s maternally phased kit:


Here Heather has an important match with Jayne that is between 130 and 147M. I’m not sure why the match did not show up on Heather’s spreadsheet as it is 2399 days old. That clinches JJ’s crossover at 134.7:

I can move the Cavanaugh segments to the left as there are already paternal crossovers there. This gives JJ a small Jarek segment which we don’t like to see, but it seems to fit as of now.

That leaves crossovers needed to be assigned at 42.7 and about 72M.

Above, Heather has a match that goes through 72M, so JJ must have a crossover there.

Above, Heather’s match with Sara goes through 68.7 also. Plus JJ would not have such a small Jarek segment. Unfortunately, this has resulted in an extra unwanted crossover here:

Under my original configuration, this was not as much a problem, but when I added the crossover at 14, it is now a problem.

Lastly, I would like to know what is going on at position 167M:

JJ has a lot of matches going through 167, so I will give the crossover to Heather:

Here I tried taking the crossover out at 14, but the segment checker at the bottom was off. Part of the problem was that I forgot to give Heather a crossover at 68.7.

This solution appears to work out. I had made another mistake in that I had the spreadsheet scrolled over so that I couldn’t see the first HIR. Then I added a second crossover that I didn’t need at 14M.

This version looks good, but may need some future adjusting:

There were fewer and smaller Jarek segments compared to Cavanaugh which could explain why there were not many Jarek matches on this Chromosome. It appears that this Chromosome could be a good one for looking for Cavanaugh side matches.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I had some fun brushing up on my visual phasing skills
  • Having JJ and Heather’s paternal grandmother tested made it easy to phase the paternal side
  • Most matches on JJ and Heather’ maternal side are on the Jarek side
  • There was one important maternal Cavanaugh side match at FTDNA
  • It should be possible in most cases to find who gets the maternal side crossovers by looking at JJ and Heather’s maternal match list or by doing a Segment Search on Heather and JJ’s maternally phased kits at Gedmatch.
  • I didn’t utilize this trick for the earlier chromosomes, so I will need to go back and do that at some point.

Painting My Brother Jim’s DNA

For some reason, I have not gotten around to ‘painting’ my brother Jim’s DNA. This is what I have so far for Jim:

I’ve only gotten Jim up to 2% painted overall and that is just on the paternal Frazer side. It would be fairly easy to improve that.

Jim’s X Chromosome

For fun, I’ll start with Jim’s X Chromosome. This is just inherited from his mother. Jim matches our two Latvian cousins Inese and Anita. That DNA had to come from his great-grandmother Maria Elisabeth Laura Gangnus:

That is because Alexander Rathfelder only got X DNA from his mother Maria. I only painted Inese, because I believe that her sister’s match is very similar.

Jim and Cindy

Cindy is Jim’s first cousin. Normally I would not map 1st cousins as it would just give the maternal side. However, Cindy’s father is Bob and he just got his X Chromsome from his mother, who was Emma Rathfelder. It took me a little while to remember that trick. Here is the match between Jim and Cindy:

Jim is now 3% painted:

Back to Autosomal Matches

The fastest way to populate Jim’s chromosomes is by 2nd cousins. He has a lot of Hartley second cousins at Gedmatch. I’ll just go down Jim’s list of matches at Gedmatch.

Jim’s Hartley 1st Cousins Once Removed

Thes common ancestors between Jim and these older cousins go back to Jim’s great-grandparents: James Hartley and Annie Snell. First, I’ll paint in Joyce:

I picked a washed out color for Hartley/Snell as there will be so many of these. Jim is now up to 8% painted. Actually, Jim’s third Hartley match was with a second cousin. Beth brings Jim’s painted percent up to 12%:

2nd Cousin Catherine on the Rathfelder Side

So far, I have only added maternal DNA to Jim’s X Chromosome. That has Jim only 2% maternally painted. Here is the addition of Catherine in a sort of grey:

This has Jim 7% painted on his maternal side and 15% painted overall.

3 More on the Rathfelder Side

Jim is now up to 19% overall:

I haven’t used the grey color before, so this is new.

Kathy, Judy and Carolyn

I haven’t been able to figure out how I am related to Kathy. I’ll leave her out for now. She is likely a descendant of William Nicholson like Judy and Carolyn are:

However, Judy has closer common ancestors in Annie Nicholson and Jacob George Lentz.

Jim is getting more color and I have added a line between the paternal and maternal side in the key. Jim is now mapped at 21% overall.

Pat, Joan and Martin

Pat is a 2nd cousin on my Hartley side. Joan is on the Nicholson side and Martin is on the Rathfelder side. I know how Pat, Joan and Jim are related. I’ll have to look up Martin. I see that he knew little about his father due to the cold war.

Paul, Robert, Michael, Faye and Ken

Robert is on the Nicholson side, while Paul, Michael, Faye and Ken are on the Frazer side. Michael adds another Frazer ancestral couple:

This shows how Michael and I are related as Jim is not at Ancestry. Richard Frazer has an unknown wife. Ancestry has a guess at Mary Patterson. These matches bring Jim up to 25% painted using the online DNA Painter Program:

Here, I’ve sorted Jim’s key into his four grandparent groups:


With not too much effort, I have gotten Jim’s DNA Painter Map from 2% to 25%.







My New Clarke/McMaster DNA Match at 23andMe

I get notifications from time to time from 23andMe about new DNA matches and I don’t usually know how we match up. Recently I had such a notice of a potential 3rd cousin and I did know how we match.

How Zoë and I Match by Genealogy on the Clarke Side

Zoë and I match by McMaster and I later found out Clarke. I’ll start with the Clarke side. This is the tree that I have so far of DNA relatives on my Clarke side:

Zoë descends from Catherine Clarke and William McMaster on the right side of the tree where I am. It turns out that this is an important DNA match, as I have one DNA match on that side who is Melissa. However, she tested at Ancestry which does not show detailed DNA information like 23andMe does. Zoë  tells me that Violet McMaster is a many times great grandmother to her, so I’ll build down her tree from there.

From what I can figure out this is how we connect:

So it turns out that we are third cousins, but it looks like third cousins twice removed. Our common ancestors are Thomas Clarke and Jane Spratt. When I look at my common DNA relatives with Zoë, Stephen shows up from the left side of the tree. He tested at 23andMe also. Ron from the left side of the tree shows up at MyHeritage.

These two are Zoë’s ancestors William McMaster and Catherine Clarke:

Probably taken around 1882. Reverse of picture indicates that they were engaged “about 1881” and married October 5, 1882.

How Zoë and I Match by McMaster Tree

Here is my existing McMaster DNA Tree:

This tree is larger and needs a road map. I don’t need the left side of this tree for Zoë. The left side of the tree is for a branch of the McMaster family that ended up in Canada. The down arrow is where I need to add Zoë’s ancestor William McMaster.

Zoë and I are at opposite ends of this DNA McMaster tree. We appear to be 4th cousins once removed. Our common ancestors are Fanny McMaster and James McMaster. That means that I am related to Zoë by four ancestors and three out of those four ancestors are McMasters.

Adding Zoë to My DNA Painter Profile

This is my DNA map of known matches:

This shows that I have identified 51% of the available spaces on the two copies of my chromosomes (paternal and maternal). Here is my paternal side where I match Zoë:

On this side I am 57% painted or identified. I’ve checked ahead and saw that Zoë adds new information to this map. That is probably because she represents a new relative on my family trees also.

Here is how I match Zoë at 23andMe:

We match on Chromosomes 3 and 17 and twice on Chromosome 7. the question now is which DNA goes with which pair of ancestors? Chances are slightly higher that I match Zoë by Clarke and McMaster than the second McMaster and McMaster relationship. It is also possible that each of the four DNA segments could represent one of our four common ancestors. The easiest way to identify all the DNA would be to create a new category on my DNA map called Clarke 1823 or Mcmaster 1829.

Here is how Zoë shows up on my Chromosome Map on Chromosomes 3 and 7:

On Chromosome 3, Zoë is a new match. On Chromosome 7, she overlaps with Ron. On Chromosome 3, my match with Zoë has no overlap with other matches. Here is my phased map of Chromosome 3:

This is the portion of my Chromosome I got from my Frazer grandmother shown by the red arrow above. She is the one with Clarke and McMaster ancestors. So it would make sense that I would match Zoë on the right side of the paternal copy of Chromosome 3.

On Chromosome 7, I match Zoë in two areas that are close to each other. The first segment overlaps with a match with Ron. Ron also has Clarke and McMaster Ancestry. It is my guess that that segment triangulates between Zoë, Ron and me:

One More Scenario and Another McMaster Tree

Ron is also related to Zoë and me on the McMaster side, but that brings up another McMaster tree:

I must have planned on meeting Zoë or one of her relatives as I left a space (outlined in an orange box). Here I have added in Zoë:

This connection goes back 7 generations for Zoë. So while this connection is less likely than the Clarke connection, it is still a possible connection. I have a quick fix:

I added 1764 to the possible place that this DNA could have come from. Even that designation is not totally correct as the triangulated  match with Ron could not be from the McMaster born in 1829. Even these designations are simplifications as the DNA could have come from the wives of these two McMasters and one Clarke.

Finally Chromosome 17

Zoë’s match is interesting here:


The place where the DNA changes from Barry to Zoe appears to indicate an old crossover from Barry. A crossover is where your DNA changes from one family to another. The simple explanation woudl be that this is a crossover from the Frazer DNA I got from Barry to the Clarke DNA that I got represented from the match with Zoë.

Here is where that split appears in my tree (see above). With the addition of Zoë’s matches:

That put me up 1% on the paternal side. Overall, I am still at 51% ‘painted’.

Summary and Conclusions

  • The ancestors that Zoë and I share belonged to the minority Church of Ireland in  Roman Catholic Ireland. They tended to marry within their faith, but that resulted in the intermarriage of lines.
  • The Clarke line was not related to McMaster as far as I know in Ireland. However, one Clarke sister married a McMaster in Boston (Zoë’s ancestors) and another Clarke sister married that McMaster’s nephew who was a Frazer (my ancestors).
  • I mapped out the different relationships in one Clarke tree and two McMaster trees
  • Due to the relationships involved, the assigning of the DNA to a patricular couple was not easy. There were a possible three couples that this DNA could represent except for the case where the DNA overlapped with Ron. In that case, the DNA could only be from a possible two couples.


Looking at Some New Theories of Relativity for My Wife’s Ellis Side

I had heard not too long ago that MyHeritage had developed some new Theories of Relativity. These are DNA matches where MyHeritage thinks there is a likelihood that the genealogies also match up. I thought that I would write a Blog while this ‘new’ designation was still new, but it took me a bit longer than expected to write this Blog.

My Wife’s Aunt Elaine

I’ll start with Aunt Elaine.

The New part doesn’t jump out, but it is there.

The Theory has Elaine and Isabel as 1/2 third cousins. I’ll check my Ancestry Tree to see if this makes sense. It doesn’t:

I have Abraham’s father as John Rayner. I had this tree in an earlier Blog on my mother-in-law Joan:

Unfortunately, I missed one of Isabel’s ancestors where the red arrow is. Elaine is Joan’s sister. I assume that makes Elaine and Isabel full fourth cousins. I suppose there could be another connection or connections. Here is a corrected tree:

Adding Isobel to DNAPainter

Here is the new Rayner/Watson DNA added to Elaine’s tree

Here is the same graphic for Elaine’s sister Joan who had fewer matches with Isabel:

This match gets Joan up to 41% painted overall from 40% previously.

Elaine and Mervyn

MyHeritage has this for Theory 1:

I can’t figure out how MyHeritage got this connection. Their Theory 2 and three match what Ancetry has:

The next connection is to Dicks also, but a generation further back from MyHeritage’s Theory 1:


I’ll assume that Mervyn’s connection is on the Upshall side. I’ve already added Mervyn to Joan’s DNAPainter Map. I’ll add Mervyn to Elaine’s map:

Mervyn doesn’t overlap with Barbara, but doesn’t conflict with other more recent Upshall matches.

Elaine and Leslie on the Reinhold Line

Next, I need to verify this connection. I see that Leslie appears on Elaine’s ThruLines at Ancestry:

I’ll assume that Leslie’s genealogy is right.

This match gets Elaine up to 28% painted overall from 27%.

Mapping Leslie to Joan’s Map

This gets Joan up another percent to 42% painted overall. Leslie adds some important DNA to Elaine and Joan’s maternal side:

A Reinhold Tree

I’m surprised that I haven’t built a Reinhold DNA/Genealogy Tree. I’ll do that now. In order to do it right, I’ll try building out Leslie’s tree. Here is a birth record for Leslie’s grandfather Leslie:

I got this far with a fast tree, and it seems OK:

Other Ancestry trees has Lydia’s husband as Frederick John Rhynold born 1792. Here is my Rhynold Tree:

I will expect more additions over time.

Back to the Upshall Family with Betty

I would like to check this Theory. There are a few ways to do this. The best way is to build a tree for Betty back to  the commn ancestors. Or I could build my tree down to Betty. Or I could check Ancestry ThruLines. I’ll start with the ThruLines as they are easiest:

Elaine has 4 matches with descendants of Alexander Upshall, so that is a good sign. Here is a late addition for Theodore from 1951:

It turns out I already had Theodore in my family tree.

Betty adds some Upshall/Dicks DNA to Elaine’s Chromosome 6 and confirms some matches on Chromosome 11.

Adding Betty’s DNA to Joan’s DNA Map

Betty’s match is similar in that it adds some DNA to Chromosome 6 and confirms other Upshall/Dicks DNA matches.

Joanne on Elaine’s Paternal Side

This relationship is supported by Thrulines at Ancestry:

Adding Joanne to DNAPainter

This added a new ancestral couple for Elaine and segments on Chromosomes 1, 4, and 12.

The next logical step is to add Joanne to Joan’s DNAPainter profile:

Joanne’s match gets Joan up another percent to 43% painted overall. This is what 43% looks like for Joan:

Edna on the Dicks Line

It took me a while to figure this one out:

Edna also has a Theory 2 with Christopher Dicks who was the father of this Christopher Dicks:

I haven’t been keeping up with my Dicks DNA Project and had Edna already but as per Theory 2:

Here I’ve added in Edna again:

Finally, I’ll add Edna to Joan’s DNAPainter profile. I turns out I had mapped Edna to the elder Christopher. She would be better mapped to the younger Christopher DIcks. I think I can fix that in this screen:

I searched for Edna on Elaine’s match list but could not find her.

Time to Start a Newcombe Tree

However, Alicia and JP are at Ancestry and I see this for JP at Ancestry:

For some reasons, MyHeritage did not pick up these other connections. I’ll go ahead and map Alicia as Newcombe:

Alicia’s results are very similar to Joanne’s. When I look at the shared matches at MyHeritage, I see that Joanne is Alicia’s mother.  That makes sense based on the results. Of course, that means that JP is Joanne.

Elaine and Diann

Diann has a Theory with Elaine on the headachey Dicks side:


This looks good on the surface, but I don’t have Susan so far on my DNA tree and I don’t see a Susan on the Ancestry ThruLines:

Diann would add new DNA to Elaine’s map, so this would be an interesting connection to track down in the future.

Jacqueline Shows a MacArthur Theory with Elaine

Are these charts faded-looking because they are Theories? My shortcut check for Jacqueline’s tree is by using Ancestry’s ThruLines. ThrulLines shows that Elaine has 155 DNA matches on the MacArthur Line, but 51 of those are on the marion MacArthur Line. Elaine has 20 matches on the Ellen Line.

I see that Jacqueline is actually on the ThruLines:

The ThruLines don’t prove the connection, but strongly suggest it to be right. Next, I’ll compare the DNA with other MacArthur matches:

MG is Jacqueline’s mother. Robert is also a theory with Elaine, but he is MG’s son, so would add no new DNA.

Elaine and Josh Have Three Theories

I am leaning toward this one:

The Harriet Rayner Line is well-represented by ThruLines:

I’ll add Josh to Elaine’s DNAPainter Profile:

It looks like there is a possible crossover between Josh and Josheph. That could mean a few things. One possibility is that Elaine’s match with Josh is on the Simmons side. That would be one explaination of why one match ends where the other starts.

Josh and Joan

These two match on Chromosome 4:

I had already added Josh to Joan’s profile, but I had the match from the older Hopgood/Yeo. I’ll erase this match and keep the one I just added.

David and Joan

While I’m on Joan, I’ll look at this Theory:

The good thing about this Theory is that there are not other proposed theories. Ancestry’s ThruLines gets down to David’s grandmother Evelyn:

I would say that is evidence enough for my purposes of mapping David to Joan’s profile:

It appears that I have already mapped David. When I check more on the earlier David, I see this:

I don’t know why David would have had more matches earlier and why they were mapped to MacArthur.

I tried to see if Elaine had a Theory with David, but I didn’t see one.

Joan and Margaret’s Theory on the Ellis Side

Ancestry’s ThruLines get down to John England:

Margaret adds to the confusion on Chromosome 2:

I could not find this match for Elaine.

Elaine and Ron on the Rainer Side

I have found this Theory to be wrong before.  Ron is the son of Isabel who I have mapped already, so I’ll skip Ron.

Elaine and Randy

He is also at Ancestry:

I have already mapped his father, so I don’t need to map Randy. I should be getting to the end of the new Theories. The smaller match Theories are often not as important as the bigger DNA matches.

Elaine and Rachel

Here is an interesting Threory:

A fifth cousin is pretty distant. I looked to see if there were any Ancestry ThruLines and there were not, so I will put this Theory on hold.  So that covers it for ‘new’ Theories for Elaine. There were others that I didn’t discuss as the genealogy didn’t look right. There is perhaps another connection than the one suggested.

Joan and Wendy

These next Theories should apply to Joan only as I am done with her sister Elaine:

This relationship appers to be supported by ThruLines:

In fact, Alicia is mentioned above in this Blog. Wendy looks to be a 2nd cousin once removed to Alicia. I already have Wendy in Joan’s DNA map:

I’ll need to sort out Joan’s Paternal Chromosome 2 at some point as it is quite a mess:

Summary and Conclusions

  • By now, the ‘;new’ designation is going away, so I was right in trying to look at these before that happened.
  • I assume that Ancestry has the largest DNA database. Because of that it is worthwhile to get a second opinion from Ancestry’s ThruLines, to see if these Theories make sense.
  • I was able to add to Joan and Elaine’s maps as to where they got their DNA from
  • There was some conflicting information such as in the paternal Chromosome 2 above. This is due to intermarriage, or incorrect genealogies or both.
  • The first Theories were the best. The Theories at the bottom of the less were less reliable and/or less helpful
  • MyHeritage has a good combination of genealogical trees and DNA matches with detailed DNA information (unlike Ancestry). This makes them ideal for use with the DNAPainter Program
  • Joan is now at 43% painted overall and Elaine is at 30%





My Mother’s Cousin Dotty’s DNA Results

I have been in touch with my mother’s cousin Dotty about genealogy. She is a busy person and has said she would have her DNA tested. That time has come. Dotty tested at 23andMe where I have tested, but the rest of my family has not tested.

Where Dotty and My Mom Connect

I have a tree that shows genealogy for those with DNA matches. Dotty connects on the Lentz and Nicholson Lines. Here is the Lentz connection:

I have another tree for Nicholson and more matches on that side. I think I have the relationships right, but in one of my emails, it sounds like Dotty may be the sister of Judy.

Dotty didn’t make it to this tree but she would be where the arrow is. Here is the corrected tree:

Dotty’s DNA

Dotty has a lot of DNA in common with me as I am her first cousin once removed. What we don’t know right away is if that DNA is from the Lentz side or the Nicholson side. Here is the graphic from 23andMe:

I match Dotty on 17 chromosomes

Painting Dotty Onto My Chromosome Map

I currently am 49% ‘painted’ using a utility called DNAPainter:

Dotty will add more to the light green Lentz/Nicholson DNA. Here I am starting to add Dotty:

Dotty matches on my maternal side. Her matches show overlap with NicholsHeron and Lentz which makes sense. the overlap with Rathfelder doesn’t make sense but may be small overlaps.

Dotty’s DNA

Here is Dotty’s DNA compared to other Lentz/Nicholson descendants:

On many chromosomes, Dotty extends existing matches or adds totally new Lentz/Nicholson DNA.

Can We Tell Which Parts of Dotty’s DNA are Lentz and Which are Nicholson?

In some places I can tell, in others I can guess.

Chromosome 1

Dotty has two segments of matches with me on Chromosome 1. Dotty’s first match overlaps with Robert, so that makes me think that the first segment is from the Nicholson side. It may be that Dotty’s second match is Nicholson also. That is because Molly overlaps with Robert and Dotty’s second match. I think that the fact that Molly overlaps means that her segment is Nicholson.

Chromosome 2

This is just the first part of Chromosome 2:

Because Sarah and her father Robert descend from the Nicholson side, it appears that this could be Dotty’s Lentz side. Dotty’s match starts and the Nicholson matches start. This could be a coincindence or a changeover (crossover) from Lentz to Nicholson in my DNA.

Chromosome 3

Here, my match with Dotty overlaps with my match with Molly, so we can’t tell what side the match is on. However, my guess is that Jereme and Will have matchs on the Lentz side as they appear to form a crossover between Lentz and Nicholson with John and Nicole.

Chromosome 4

Here Dotty is in the Nicholson camp and Jereme appears to be on the Lentz side. Raimonds is from my mother’s German Rathfelder side.

Chromosome 5

Chromosome 5 is pretty well mapped on my maternal side:

Dotty is clearly in the Nicholson camp on this Chromosome. In fact, it looks like I don’t have any Lentz DNA mapped here unless it is between the other matches. Orange is on my Rathfelder side.

Chromosome 6

Dotty appears to better define the divide between Lentz and Nicholson on Chromosome 6:

Astrid on the right is a DNA match with an old Rathfelder Line.

Chromosomes 7 and 8

Chromosomes 9, 10 and 11

Here we can’t tell where Dotty’s DNA comes from. My guess is that it would be the Lentz side as there is no overlap with Nicholson descendants. We would need more matches to be sure.

Chromosomes 15, 16, 17, and 18

Again, it is difficult to conclude whether the DNA is from the Lentz or Nicholson side. I would expect roughly half from each side on average.

Finally, Chromosome 20 and 21

Dotty is in the Nicholson camp on Chromosome 20. Judith could be on the Lentz side. Dotty adds the first DNA match to my Chromosome 21. That covers all the matches I have with Dotty.

Dotty’s Relatives in Common at 23andMe

Dotty and I have a lot of relatives in common at 23andMe:

This is the first page of people that match both me and Dotty. That means that their match should be either on the Lentz or Nicholson side. Closer relatives could be on both sides. Note that there are at least 10 pages of common matches.

Jennifer and Charles and Placing Relatives in Common

These two in common matches are a bit misleading. They are related on my paternal Hartley side. Yet, somehow, they show as related quite distantly to Dotty. I will ignore those two for now. That leaves 8 people on the first page. The top match is Chris. 23andMe makes a guess as tow here these people fit in using a family tree:

23andMe guesses that Chris descends from Nicholson and Lentz. I know Dorothy and Judith’s parents, so I have them correctly in this tree. Jacob Lentz and Annie Lentz had four children. They were William, Stanley, Agnes and Emma. I descend from Emma on the yellow line above (not shown). Dorothy and Judy descend from William. That leaves Stanley and Agnes. I assume that Will and Jereme descend from Stanley. That leaves Chris who most likely descends from Agnes.

I started a spreadsheet of the Dotty and my Relaitives in Common:

Here is my guess where John fits in:

Nicole shows up as John’s first cousin and Alexander shows as John’s first cousin once removed. that means that they all are on the Nicholson side:

That brings up a problem in that there are many Nicholson relatives, but no only Lentz relatives so far at 23andMe. This is typically due to undertesting of DNA by Lentz descendants or what is sometimes called misattributed parentage.

Page 2 of Dotty’s and My Shared DNA Matches

This is what I get for the first two pages of common matches between Dotty and myself:

There are still no Lentz-only matches.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Dotty’s DNA test was a big help in me getting my DNA from 49 to 51% painted.
  • While I have identified Lentz DNA matches from other sources, I didn’t see any obvious ones at 23andMe. However, it is difficult to determine the genealogy from 23andMe in many cases.
  • Many Nicholson descendants have tested at 23andMe and I was able to identify many of those DNA matches.
  • If Dotty uploads her DNA to Gedmatch, I would be able to make some more comparisons.