My Latvian Cousins Inese and Anita

Back in March of this year I wrote a Blog about my Latvian cousin Anita and how we matched by DNA. Since then, her sister Inese also tested at MyHeritage. Anita sent me a photo of her sister on the left and herself on the right:

Here is how we match on our Rathfelder side:

I am in the bottom left box and Anita and Inese are in the lowest box. We both have the common ancestors of Heinrich Rathfelder and Maria Gangnus. I am a second cousin once removed to Inese and Anita and my mother is a 1st cousin twice removed.

My Mother’s DNA Matches with Inese and Anita

Here is how Inese matches with my mother as shown at MyHeritage:

Here is how my mom, Gladys, matches with Inese and Anita:

The most important matches are where Inese matches my mother where Anita doesn’t. That is because this is newly identified DNA areas where we match.

Anita’s Questions

Anita had this question for me:

Me and your mother have 5,1% shared DNA, but my sister has 4,1% shared DNA with Glagys. Does it means that I have more DNA from Rathfelders than my sister has? Or 1% isn’t such a big difference?

That is a good question. I think that it does mean that Anita has more Rathfelder DNA than Inese. Anita and Inese got half their DNA from their father Haralds. They got 25% from Vera. They got on average 12.5% from Leo. My mother is Leo’s brother’s daughter. However Leo and his brother Alexander shared about half of their DNA with each other. That means that if all of Inese’s DNA matched all of Gladys’ DNA they could be up around 6.25% theoretically.

We Get Our DNA From Our Grandparents, But Not Equally

Looking at the image above, Anita matches my mom Gladys on Chromosome 19, but Inese does not. Why is that? That is because we all have a maternal and paternal chromosome. However, on each of those chromosomes we only have room for one grandparent. On Anita’s paternal Chromosome 19, she got her DNA from her grandmother Vera. However, Inese got her paternal Chromosome 19 DNA from Vera’s husband. That is why she doesn’t match Gladys on her Chromosome 19.

In order to answer Anita’s question definitively, we would have to map out all of Anita’s and Inese’s DNA to see exactly how much Rathfelder DNA they got on each Chromosome. They should both have about 25% of their DNA from their grandmother Vera who was a Rathfelder. However, it is possible that Anita has 26% and Inese could have 24% Rathfelder, for example.

That gets to another of Anita’s good questions:

Why me and my sister have only 39,3% shared DNA (44 segments)? I thought that close relatives should share more than 50%, no? Does it means that she for example took more DNA from our mother and me from father? Or almost 40% is a high share?

Here was my answer to Anita:

Siblings are a special case as they share what is called fully identical regions. That means that they can share DNA from the same location from the mother and the father on a specific Chromosome. Perhaps this makes it seem like less DNA is shared. I have 5 siblings tested, so I have plenty to look at! I have 4 of my 5 tested siblings at MyHeritage. They show:

  1. 40.0% (2,898.9‎ cM)
  2. 37.8% (2,738.1‎ cM)
  3. 35.0% (2,534.9‎ cM)
  4. 34.0% (2,462.8‎ cM)

Based on this 40% is pretty high. I share 48.6% with my mother. With my mom, I am only sharing on the maternal side, so there isn’t the same situation as sharing with siblings.

My Match with Inese and Anita

I only got half of my mother’s DNA. Here is how I match with Inese and Anita:

Even though I get half of my mom’s DNA, that doesn’t mean I get exactly half of the DNA that she got from her grandparents. I may get more from some and less from others. Here I didn’t get the DNA that my mom got from her Rathfelder and Gangnus grandparents on her Chromosome 2 and 6 as well as in other places.  However, Inese and I share Rathfelder/Gangnus DNA on part of Chromosome 15 and 17 that I don’t share with her sister Anita.

Painting My DNA

There is a DNA painting utility on the internet that is fun to play with. Using this I can add the extra DNA on my maternal side on Chromosomes 15 and 17.

The addition on Chromosome 17 is difficult to see as it merges with or is covered up by Schweccheimer/Gangnus. On Chromosome 15 the Rathfelder/Gangnus DNA that we share merges into Nicholson/Ellis. These are ancestors that my mom has that are not shared with Anita or Inese. The point where the color changes is called a crossover. That means that is the spot where the DNA that you have crossed over from one ancestor to another.

Inese, Anita and Ethnicity

I usually don’t write about ethnicity. That is because there are a lot of variations in the results. I have tested with different companies and there are some differences in what I have been told. However, Anita had some questions about her and her sister. I know that the ethnicity or where you came from based on your DNA is a very popular part of the DNA testing and people enjoy looking into this area.

Anita has some good questions:

By MyHeritage results I have 28,5% of Balkan region. My mother says that her parents and grand parents came from Russia and EasternAsia, no one she knows from Balkan. From my father side, Vera comes from Rathfelders, also not Balkan. I don’t know nothing about my father’s father, but almost 30% for me sounds a big part. What does it means? 

Here is Inese and my mom compared at MyHeritage:


Inese comes out as 9% Balkan. Note at the top that it says that Gladys and Inese do not have ethnicities in common, but they do share common areas. This is a bit of a surprise. So, for example, Inese and Gladys share a general North and West Europe DNA but Gladys’ is interpreted as English and North  and West European while Inese comes out Irish, Scottish, Welsh and Finnish.

I note that the 10.8% my mom has of North and West Europe is in the area including Germany.

I should note that Germany is a difficult area to determine by DNA. It could be because Germany was a bit of an ancient crossroads. A lot of people lived and passed through there. The Anglo Saxons that came to England, for example, were from Germany. German people also moved up to Scandinavia and other places. My mother also has other German ancestry on her mother’s side that is not related to Anita and Inese.

How Does Anita compare with Gladys?

The results are similar, except for the Balkan. Here Anita shows as 28.5% Balkan. Let’s take the average of Anita and Inese and call them 18.7% Balkan. My guess is that Anita’s father’s father had some Balkan background based on the MyHeritage analysis. However, I also like to look at Gedmatch.

Inese and Me

Even though Inese and my mom share no ethnicities, I do.

We share some Irish, Scottish and Welsh. How is this possible? We share this by coincidence. The 34.5%  Irish, Scottish and Welsh I have was from my father’s side. So this is just a coincidence that we share that heritage. This could not be from DNA I got from my mother as my mother and Inese have no shared ethnicities.

Anita and Inese’s Heritage at Gedmatch

Gedmatch has a lot of tools for looking at what they call ‘Admixture’. However, the documentation of how to interpret the results are often difficult to find. At Gedmatch, I choose admixture and use the Eurogenes program. Here is what Anita looks like:

I see the Baltic agrees with MyHeritage. However, Anita has about 48% North Atlantic. The above uses the K13 model. Apparently the K15 is newer and gives this results for Anita:

This basically broke Anita down onto four quarters with some miscellaneous heritage under 4% each. Atlantic seems a bit vague to me but the North Sea is quite specific. Note that there has been no mention of Balkan at Gedmatch for Anita.

A Look at Oracle

Oracle looks at various other possibilities. It is a bit more interesting as it adds some more specific areas based on an interpretation of the general areas in the pie chart above. Here are the Oracle results for the K15 analysis:

The single population sharing means that if four of Anita’s grandparents were from the same place, where would that place be? Here are the top 20 places. Some of the bottom choices are in the area of the Balkans.

The next option is the top 20 choices if Anita has two different heritages:

In this model, Southwest Russian comes out strongly with some other secondary choices. Now there are some German choices in there. If I were to do the same thing with the K13 Analysis, the results would be different. Also note that Anita’s great-grandfather was German. A great-grandfather represents 1/8 of one’s heritage. That is 12.5%.

Chromosome Painting Anita and Gladys

This is where things could get really wild. I chose the K15 analysis and then I compared Anita with my mom, Gladys on Chromosome 18. This should show what they have in common. Here is how Gladys matches Anita and Inese on Chromosome 18:

Gladys matches Anita between about 7.6M and 57.1M. That makes up a large part of Chromosome 18. Here is the Chromosome Painting:

This is an expanded view of Chromosome 18. Anita’s results are in the first row. Gladys is the second row. The third row is how Anita and Gladys compare with each other. I have an arrow at about 7.5M where Anita and Gladys start to match each other. The third row has blacked out where Anita and Gladys do not match. Where Anita and Gladys match each other represents DNA that they got from Heinrich Rathfelder and Maria Gangnus. Here is the right side of Chromosome 18 up to about 57.1M. After that point Gladys and Anita no longer match each other.

This is difficult to interpret, but it tells me that the ‘German’ match between my Mom and Anita is seen in the DNA in the last row is a mixture of North Sea, Atlantic, West Asian, Eastern European and a bit of Baltic.

Also by comparing Anita to the bottom row, we can see how Anita and my mom do not match. It seems they don’t match on Siberian and East and West Mediterranean among others.

Inese and Gladys Painted on Chromosome 18

Next I want to make the same comparison between Inese and Gladys. I am wondering if I will get the same results.


This image corresponds to the previous image where I compared Anita with my mom. It looks the same. It makes sense as all three match along this part of Chromosome 18. However, the more I look, I see a few subtle differences. In the area before 40, the black part in the bottom row is thinner between Inese and Gladys. That means that in this area, my mom and Inese have a closer match by ‘admixture’ than my mom and Anita. As Anita, Inese and Gladys match each other between 8 and 58, there could be other subtle differences.

Anita’s Question on Germany

In my and sister’s MyHeritage results 60% is Baltic, but nothing from Germany. It means MyHeritage takes into account that Rathfelders were from Baltic region not Germany? Or how?

Admixture questions can be complicated. There are a few reasons for this. Although the Rathfelders were considered German, they had many other ancestors that made up their ancestry that could have been from other areas. The second reason is this. Germany was a bit of a crossroads. Many other people came into what is now the Country of Germany. What I showed above was that the ‘German’ that Anita, Inese and Gladys share shows in DNA form as East Europe, Atlantic, North Sea, Baltic and some other areas in very small amounts. The United States is considered a melting pot where different nationalities have inter-married. This is true also of England which has had different conquerors and different populations moving to that Country. Likewise many people moved into Germany before staying there or moving on to other places.

Summary and Conclusions

  • A comparison between me Inese and Anita shows where I match them both by DNA. It also shows where I match on and not the other.
  • I was able to map the extra DNA where I match Inese and not Anita. Everywhere I match Anita or Inese it represents DNA that we both have from Heinrich Rathfelder or Maria Gangnus.
  • There are many variables in trying to tie DNA to your own heritage or ethnicity. There are also a lot of models and interpretations. As a result there can be different results. In general the DNA is accurate. However, when applied to a specific modern-day country, the results can be erratic.
  • The ethnicity results were accurate for the greater part of Anita’s and Inese’s heritage. However, when it got down to the 12.5% German, the results were confusing. Part of the answer could be in what makes up a Rathfelder or a German.
  • It is a good idea to look at more than one model when interpreting heritage by DNA.

More Schwechheimer Genealogy

My interest in Schwechheimer Genealogy was renewed this year when I found my mother had a good DNA match with Otis. It turns out that Otis and my mother have Scwechheimer ancestry. These Schwechheimers lived for over 100 years in the German Colony of Hirschenhof in present day Latvia. Through some quick genealogy, I came up with this connection:

Unfortunately, there seems to be a problem on Otis’ side at the point of the circle.

More Than One Gerhard Schwechheimer?

Here is the 1847 birth record I found for Johann Georg Scwechheimer.

Johann Georg’s father was Gerhard Schwechheimer. Before Gerhad, there is either a name or an occupation. I can’t make it out. This Gerhard was married to Jacobine Schwechheimer. This is where I likely went wrong. I had this reference:

This is from a book on the Gangnus family. The next to the last born in this large family was Rosine – my ancestor. I assumed that Johann Gerhard was the same as the Gerhard who was the father of the Johann Georg Schwechheimer above.

Then I came upon this Geni tree:

This tree shows that Gerhard’s father was Georg Michael (Ludvig) Schweccheiner. The profile manager, Lāsma, had the following further information about Gerhard:

I am not able to read Latvian, but I do get the impression that this person was from Helfreichshof which was the Colony to the North of HIrschenhof.

However, a spreadsheet I have created based on an online interactive map of the two colonies indicates that Gerhard’s father, Georg Michael Schwechheimer lived in Hirschenhof on farm # 48:

It looks like the Schwechheimers were neighbors to each other.

Jacobine Schwechheimer

That means that if Otis’ ancestor Gerhard Schwechhemer is not the brother of my ancestor Rosine Schwechheimer, then perhaps Jacobine is Rosine’s sister. The Gangnus genealogy above had Jacobine born in 1807. The problem with this date is that it is between two siblings. Those two siblings were born July 20, 1806 and March 18, 1808. That leaves a slim margin for Jacobine to be born. The Jacobine in the Geni web site was born 1810. This would put her between two siblings born in 1809 and 1813, so that gives a little more leeway. I looked in the Linden Church records and did not see a Jacobine Schweccheimer born in 1807.

A New Tree

Here is the new tree:


In this scenario, I am a 4th and 5th cousin to Otis. This would mean that Rosine and Georg Gerhard were married 1st cousins. First cousins marriages were much more common at that time. This tree is an improvement over my previous one as it accounts for both Rosine and Gerhard Schwechheimer the parents of Johann Georg Schwechheimer. I would like to create a web page concerning my Schwechheimer ancestry. I am 1/16th Schwechheimer or 6.25%. It is interesting to think about how little has been known about this part of my heritage. Or put another way, my Hirschenhof ancestors represent one quarter of my ancestry and Schwechheimer would be one quarter of that Hirschenhof ancestry.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Thanks to Lāsma’s Geni Web Site work on the Schwechheimer family, I have a better tree for Otis who I match by DNA
  • More work could be done nailing down marriage and birth records for Otis’ line
  • I am also grateful to the creator of the Hirschenhof interactive map. This map is useful in tracing where colonists lived and the succession of holders of the different farms. This succession results in a geographical genealogy.
  • Next step is to brush up on my internet and genealogical skills and put up a web page on my Schwechheimer ancestors.

Some of My Hirschenhof, Latvia Genealogy

In my last Blog, I looked at Otis’ DNA and genealogy and how it related to my family. In that Blog, I came up with this for our shared ancestry.

[Note: See update to the above here.]

In this Blog, I’ll take a further look at the Schwechheimer and Gangnus families.

Johann Markus Schwechheimer born 1723 Germany

Johann Markus was the first of the Schwechheimer family to leave Germany for Hirschenhof, Latvia. He was born in Altlußheim bei Hockenheim Kraichgau Baden.

Here is Altlußheim:

Altlußheim is on the Rhine River between Strasbourg, Stuttgart and Frankfurt.

According to, Johann Markus had three wives:

From one web page I read, the colonists were for the most part craftsmen, so did not do so well at farming. However, some lived in Jutland for 5 years where they tried to learn farming, but the farming conditions were not good there.

It looks like Johann Markus had Farm 55:

These lists are important as they trace who lived on the land. Usually, the land would be passed down from father to son. Lot 55 was near the middle of Hirschenhof. It looks like there was a bit of a village to the West of Lot 55. Gottfried Scwhechheimer was a schmied which is a smith.

Here are some other Schwechheimers:

Erbe 101 is in the Colony to the North of Hirschenhof. Jacob Schwechheimer came to own this property around 1880.

Three farms to the West was this family:

The Colony to the North was Helfreichshof:

Here is one more Schwechheimer family in Hirschenhof:

A search for Schwechheimer shows some more:

Georg Philipp was from Erbe 55, so he was probably the son of Johann Gottfried.

This Georg Philipp came from Erbe 55 so I assume that he was a son of Johann Markus. All the above came from a useful interactive map referenced here.

I started to extract some of the information from the occupants of the various Lots:

It appears that Erbe 55 was the original Schwechheimer location, so I started there. I didn’t extract the newer information. From this Lot. I gather that the first three listed were three generations of Schwechheimer living at the same location. This is consistent with what I have in my genealogy program:

The question comes after Gerhard. Why did the land not go to a son of Gerhard? Instead the land went to a cousin from Erbe 98. Here is some more information from Erbe 98 in Helfreichshof:

Johann Gerhard Schwechheimer Born 1809

I have above that Gerhard married Anna Charlotte Marz. This information was from a book “Vom Elsass Hinaus in Die Welt” by Gustav Gangnus published in 2003. In my previous Blog, I had Gerhard married to Jacobine Schwechheimer:

Of course, both of these could be true. Gerhard also had a sister named Jacobine. I have their son as Johann Georg. He would have been 11 when his relative Johann Peter took over the farm in 1858. I am interested in Georg and Gerhard as they are the likely ancestors of Otis who I mentioned at the beginning of this Blog. Gerhard was the brother of my ancestor Rosine Schwechheimer born in 1823 and matches my family by DNA.

Anna Charlotte Maria Gangnus Born 1780

Gerhard and Rosine’s mother was Anna Charlotte Maria Gangnus. She married around 1794 at the age of 14! Was this normal in Hirschenhof? She had her first child when she was 15 and her last daughter when she was 44. That is 29 years of childbirth. That also means that I am related to Otis twice on my Gangnus side.

This means that I am a fourth and sixth cousin to Otis on the Gangnus side. That is because I descend from two Gangnus brothers.

[Note: See update to the above here.]

Summary and Conclusions

  • Finding an interactive map of HIrschenhof and her sister Colony Helfreichshof gave some structure to where the Schwechheimer and Gangnus families lived.
  • There is a lot of information on Hirschenhof. However, the parish records are not indexed for the most part and are sometimes difficult to read.
  • These were large families. That means that sorting them out can be a bit of a problem. First names were also reused a lot. In addition, I learned that when someone was baptized they usually took one of the names of their godparent.
  • As shown in the last figure, there was intermarrying in this isolated German Colony.
  • I still haven’ found out who were the parents of the Jacobine Schwechheimer who married Gerhard Schwechheimer (born 1809).


A New Latvian DNA Match – Otis with Schwechheimer Ancestry

Otis, as well as my mom, has Latvian ancestors. He also shows as a match to my mom and other family memebers at AncestryDNA where he tested. At AncestryDNA, Otis shows as the first in the list of probable third cousins by DNA. That means that Otis and my mom could have shared 2nd great-grandparents.

The Known Genealogy

Here is the genealogy of my mother’s dad who was born in Latvia:

Otis tells me that he has Schwechheimer in his ancestry. One of my mother’s great grandparents was Rosine Schwechheimer. Rosine’s dad, my mom’s 2nd great-grandfather was Johann Gottfried Schwechheimer born 1772. However, Johann was married to a Gangnus, so it is possible that Otis and my family are related on more than one line.

Otis’ Schwechheimer Line

Otis has recently looked into his ancestry and updated his tree. Here is his paternal grandfather’s Schwechheimer Line:

In order to get back to Johann Schwechheimer, on my mom’s tree, I need to go back over 100 years from Otis’ grandmother Antonija. That could be difficult.

Otis’ DNA

I’ll look at Otis’ DNA and then get back to the genealogy. Otis kindly uploaded his DNA to There I can see his first 8 matches are with my family:

  1. First Otis matches my mom
  2. Then my two first cousins
  3. Then me and my four tested siblings

This is how Otis matches my mom at Gedmatch:

Otis also matches my 2nd cousin Catherine:

Otis matches my newly discovered (through DNA) 2nd cousin, Anita from Latvia:

Otis, my mom and Anita all match on Chromosome three, which is a likely triangulation of DNA. Triangulation by DNA is strong evidence of a common ancestor.

AncestryDNA’s Shared Matches

AncestryDNA has a helpful utility called Shared Matches. The first unknown shared DNA match between Otis and my mom is Valdis. Valdis’ mom was Klara Schwechheimer born in Hirschenhof. That is where my mom’s father’s side was from.

This adds evidence that the match between my family and Otis’ is on our Schwechheimer lines. My mom and Otis have about 29 Shared DNA Matches at AncestryDNA. I note that my mom’s great-grandmother Rosine Schwechheimer was one of 15 children, so this may help explain some of the matches.

Back to the Genealogy

My favorite source for Latvian genealogical research is:

It would make sense to try to find Antonija Schwechheimer:

Otis has her born 3 Mar 1884 in Latvia. I looked through the HIrschenhof Parish records of Lipkalnes for that time period and did not see Antonija.

From there I went to the Raduraksti List of Latvian Inhabitants. There I found two Antonija’s but they had the wrong birth years:

The elder Antonija had a father named Georgs. Perhaps this Georgs was a brother of Otis’ Antonija. The elder Antonija did not have a birth place listed, but her place of origin was listed as Irsu which is another name for Hirschenhof. I also found different spellings for Schwechheimer. On a different page of records I found two children of Georgs Schwechheimer:

They would have been born in Hirschenhof around the time that Antonija would have been born.

Here is the record for Alexander:

I must say the handwriting is quite impressive. It looks like Alexander’s father was Johann Georg married to Anna Charlotte Müller. These are the prime suspects for Antonija’s parents at this point.

I did find another version of the birth records and found this:

That means that Antonija was baptized Margarethe Antonie on 26th (sechsundzwanzigste) February 1884 and born on the 20th (zwanzigste) of the same month. That means that I was on the right track with the parents.

Finding Antonie’s Grandparents

Now that we have Antonie’s parents, we need to find her grandparents. The best way to find this is through a marriage record for Antonie’s parents. Fromholds was born in 1878 according to Raduraksti’s List of Latvian Inhabitants. That means that I should start looking for a marriage before this time.

It appears that Antonie’s parents married in 1871:

I found this in an index a few times, but I couldn’t find the actual wedding record. The full records apparently are not available online.

Anna Charlotte Muller

Anna Charlotte was born in 1850. Her father was Ludgwig Muller. He may have had another first name. Anna Charlotte’s mother was Margaretha Hormann.

Johann Georg Schwechheimer

This is probably Otis’ Johann Georg:

I say probably, because there was another Johann Georg born in 1853. This is where a marriage record would come in handy.

This Georg had two Schwechheimer parents: Gerhard and Jacobine. [However, see below where a different wife to Gerhard is proposed.]

The tree is looking better:

Under this scenario there is a double chance of matching Otis on the Schwechheimer Lines.

More Schwechheimer Research

My next step is to look at Gerhard and Jacobine Schwechheimer. I didn’t see their marriage record at Raduraksti. I would expect Gerhard to be born in the 1800-1827 era. Turns out I have a Gerhard in my own tree at Ancestry.

That is enough to get me back to where I wanted to be. Gerhard’s parents were Johann Gottfried Schwechheimer born 31 January 1772 and Anna Charlotte Maria Gangnus born 1 April 1780. This reference was from a book written by Gustav Gangnus in 2003.

A Schwechheimer/Gangnus Tree

I had called this a Schwechheimer Tree but the common ancestors to the tree are actually Schwechheimer and Gangnus:

Here Otis and I are fourth cousins. Otis is a 3rd cousin once removed to my mother. The reason that it is important to have Schwechheimer and Gangnus in this tree is that the DNA that Otis and my family share could be either from one or the other.

[Note: See update to the above here.]

A Few Discrepancies

I should note that I am not 100% sure that I have the right Johann Georg Schwechheimer born in 1847. However, he does appear to be the most likely candidate. For some reason, Johann Georg Schwechheimer was a popular name.

Secondly, my Gustav Gangnus book mentions that Johann Gerhard Schweccheimer married Anna Charlotte März. That means that the record I was looking at may have been wrong or I may have read it wrong. It is also possible that the reference that I have may have gotten the different Johann Georg’s mixed up. Or there may be a third possibility.

Thirdly, as this was a colony, there were only so many families to marry into. There will likely be a matrix of further out relationships which I have not tracked.

Mapping Schwechheimer/Gangnus

Here is my DNA match with Otis:

From what I showed above, it is likely that all or some of this DNA is DNA that Otis and I got from Gottfried Schwechheimer or Charlotte Gangnus. For now, I will assume that all this DNA is from that couple.

I have a profile at There I choose ‘paint a new match’. I copy in the above DNA locations and put in the common ancestors:

Schwechheimer/Gangus shows at the top of the key and the DNA is ‘painted’ in on my maternal side. Those new segments show up on the bottom side of Chromosomes 3, 12 and 17. The color for Schwechheimer/Gangnus is what I would call perriwinkle.

Expanding Chromosome 3

On Chromosome 3, the blue segment overlaps an orange segment. That is fine. The orange segment is my match with my Latvian 2nd cousin Anita. I had mentioned a while ago that we probably triangulated on Chromosome 3. That means that the DNA that Anita and I share, we also share with Otis on that part of Chromosome 3. That means that the three of us get our DNA from that spot from further back in time going to Schwechheimer/Gangnus. Here is an expanded view of the middle of Chromosome 3:

Getting the Numbers Up

I like to look at how much DNA I have mapped. Before Otis, my DNA was 34% mapped overall and 22% mapped on the maternal side. Now I am 35% mapped overall and 24% mapped on the maternal side. For reference, my paternal side is 46% mapped. Here is the whole map:

I now have Schwechheimer in the right section in the key.

Summary and Conclusions

  • There is room for further research. There is some confusion as to who was the wife of Gerhard Schwechheimer born in 1809.
  • I haven’t focused on Schwechheimer Genealogy in the past. This seems to be an area which could use some attention.
  • At some point, it would be interesting to sort out the more distant relationships. I know that I descend from two different Gangnus Lines. Otis like has multiple lines that match mine.
  • I was able to paint in Otis’ match on my chromosome map. This ‘painting’ showed a predicted triangulation between Otis, Anita and myself.
  • Due to some prolific Schwechheimers in the past, there appear to be other matches out there and room for more DNA analysis which will help the genealogical research.
  • I was able to expand Otis’ genealogy and put him firmly in the Hirschenhof Colony in Latvia.

Here is a map of the Hirschenhof Colony:

Wolf’s DNA and Our Hirschenhof Ancestors

I was notified recently of some of my new MyHeritage matches. Some of these matches have been turning out to be very interesting. I was surprised that one of the shared ancestral names was Gangnus. I never see that name in the context of unknown DNA matches. So that piqued my interest.

Wolf’s Many Shared Ancestral Names

Here was one note from MyHeritage:

With all these shared ancestors, it would make sense to look at the closest matches first. All of these names looked valid except for Luther. Wolf matches me on my mother’s side. I have a Luther on my father’s side who lived in Colonial Massachusetts. These names that Wolf has appear to be from Hirschenhof. My Rathfelder and other ancestors lived in this German colony in Latvia. Due to the isolated nature of the area, it appears that intermarrying occurred.

Wolf’s Maternal Side

Wolf has a good tree at MyHeritage. The names I recognize are on his maternal side:

These are the ancestors that I think we have in common. Also Beidermann to the left of the two blank spots. MyHeritage didn’t mention that we have Hammich in common, but the name sounds familiar to me. Also, I have had other DNA matches with Hassenfuss, so I may be related to that name either by direct descent or a collateral family. This helps confirm where those matches could come from. The places we don’t match are on Hassenfuss, and Heusel. The circles are 5 generations from Wolf, so that would be at the 4th cousin level approximately.

My Mom’s Paternal Side

My mom was born as a Rathfelder Here is her dad’s tree:

Perhaps I should have circled the surnames where we don’t match. We don’t match on Rathfelder, Mertz, Muth and Lutz. It looks like I should have circled Schmidt. The last row represents 6 generations from me, so that would be at about the 5th cousin level. By DNA, MyHeritage thinks that we are third to 5th cousin. I would guess it would be more like 5th.

As Wolf was born the same year as me, it seems like I need another generation on his mother’s side. I can create a maternal tree for Wolf, but that will take a while.

A Schwechheimer Connection

Here is part of Wolf’s 6th generation out on his mother’s side:

There are two Schwechheimers, but I am interested in the first one. Here are the details on Wolf’s tree:

Here are two Schwechheimers from my tree:

I have the first Schwechheier as Johann Markus born in Baden. He was a first generation colonist in his family in Hirschenhof. His son was Johann Gottfried. I had that Johann Markus had these sons:

The last one apparently corresponds with Wolf’s ancestor.

Next, I draw a Schwechheimer Tree:

This shows that Wolf is a 4th cousin twice removed to my mother and a 5th cousin once removed to me.

A Look at Wolf’s DNA

At MyHeritage, Wolf and I share 41 cM.

That DNA is shared over four chromosomes in five segments. I suppose some but perhaps not all of this DNA would be Schwechheimer DNA. The fact that we share several segments on the small side could mean that these are for matches that go back a way and it could mean that there is more than one line that we match on. Wolf actually shares a bit less DNA with my mother.

I did not inherit the match my mom has with Wolf on Chromosome 2. I did have a match on Chromosome 15 that my mother did not have. That could mean that the match is on my father’s side, or that it is not a real match. Or perhaps my mom should have matched there. I say it would be better to ignore Chromosome 15.

My Cousin Anita

Anita, Wolf and I form a Triangulation Group (TG). That is when three people all match each other on the same segment. This means that we have a common ancestor.

Here is a chart of DNA-tested descendants of my Latvian great-grandparents:

Rusty, Cindy, and Catherine are not at MyHeritage but have uploaded their DNA to Gedmatch for comparison. That makes Anita and Wolf 6th cousins on this Schwechheimer Tree:

Here is the small area of triangulation as shown on the MyHeritage Chromosome Browser:

The TG is from about position 56 to 60M. My match with Anita is in red and my match with Wolf is yellow above. However, I would hesitate to say that this Chromosome match is from Schwechheimer and no one else.

I mentioned above that I share 41 cM of DNA with Wolf. However, my mother shares 38 cM with Wolf and is a 4th cousin twice removed at least once. Here are some statistics:

My mother and I are both above average for our relationship with Wolf. But as I say, there is more than one line of relationship.

The Biedermann Connection

My 4th great-grandfather Hans Jerg Rathfelder married Juliana Biedenbender. Juliana’s dad was Johann Tobias Biedenbender.

My research shows that Juliana’s older sister was Wolf’s ancestor Elisabeth:

That will lead to a Biedenbinder Tree starting with Tobias:

In this tree, I am actually more distantly related to Wolf as a 6th cousin.

The Niclas Connection

I was curious about the Niclas Connection. I have an Anna Eva, daughter of Johann Jacob Niclas in my tree:

Wolf has a Johann Georg Niclas in his tree. The green leaves are hints in my tree. One of those hints for Johann Jacob is for other people’s trees. There are five trees altogether.  The first tree has Eva Maria b 1757 as a daughter. The second tree is for NIclaus and looks like the wrong guy. The third tree has Johann George and Anna Eva for children. The fourth and fifth trees have just Johann Georg as a child.

Now I need a Niclas Tree:


This is still a 6th cousin relationship for me. The configuration of the tree is the same but the pathways are different.

More Biedermann Research?

Wolf’s tree has an Elisabeth Biedermann born 1856 and married to Johann Georg Heusel.

If the dates are right in Wolf’s tree, Elisabeth had Gustav when she was 15. Here is a possible birth record for Elisabeth:

This looks like an Emma Elisabeth Bidermann born to Georg Ludwig Bidermann and Pauline Alharma? Charlotte geb
Asmus. Born in October 1854. If this is the right ancestor for Wolf, at least she would be 17 instead of 15 when she gave birth to Gustav.

Summing Up

Wolf has a great tree. However, even with a great tree, it difficult to see all the possible places that connections can be made. I was able to make three connections. It appears that there could be more. I would also like to follow up on other leads.

It helped to build out Wolf’s tree at Ancestry. That way his tree was in a format that was the same as mine and made comparisons easier. It also helped to make most recent common ancestor trees to see what relationship we were to each other on the different lines.

Even though I matched Wolf on many Hirschenhof lines, we didn’t match on my two most recent names of Rathfelder and Gangnus. At least not yet.

My New Match with Anita from Latvia

There has been some buzz recently on the genetic genealogy Facebook Pages about MyHeritage and how useful it is becoming. Not too long after uploading my DNA to MyHeritage, a new match, Anita, showed up as my top match. This was MyHeritage’s estimate as to our relationship:

I guessed that Anita was related on my mother’s side as my mom’s dad grew up in Latvia. I wrote to Anita and she kindly and warmly wrote back. Anita lives in Latvia, so she is my first Rathfelder relative living in Latvia that I have a DNA match with.

A Rathfelder DNA Testing Tree

I have had another Rathfelder descendant tested, Catherine. She is even more closely related to Anita. Here are some Rathfelder descendants that have tested.

The Old Rathfelder DNA Testing Tree

This is the tree I have been working with:

Astrid is related, but more distantly than my second cousin Catherine, my mom, my siblings and two 1st cousins. I’ll use a different method to add Anita to the tree:

This chart gives the relationships between each DNA-tested Rathfelder descendant. I am a 2nd cousin once removed to Anita. MyHeritage had me as first cousin twice removed to 2nd cousin once removed by the DNA. They were right.

The Leo Rathfelder’s Line

Anita’s great-grandfather was Leo Rathfelder. Here is my web page on that Line:

Anita descends from Vera. It will be interesting to hear what that part of the family has been up to in Latvia since 1944.

I had asked Anita to upload her results to and she went along with my request. Here is how we match there:

Gedmatch has an estimated number of generations to our MRCA as 3.1. The MRCA is our Most recent common ancestors, Johann Heinrich Rathfelder and Maria Gangnus. I am three generations away from this couple and Anita is four, so that is an average of 3.5 generations away. This means that Anita and I share more than the average DNA for our 2nd cousin once removed relationship. Also I note that quite a few SNPs were used in comparison which is good. The test at MyHeritage is apparently much better than the one at 23andme which does not currently meet the threshold for normal sharing.

The Kitty Munson Chromosome Mapper

One fun thing to do with DNA is mapping. Kitty Munson has an on-line utility to map your DNA. All the DNA I have above will be mapped to Heinrich Rathfelder and Maria Gangnus. Right now my map looks like this:


Heinrich and Maria are a sort of orange color on the maternal (bottom) side of my chromosomes. Anita should make a good contribution to this map. Previously, Catherine’s matches with me contributed to this DNA from these two great grandparents. Catherine has a large match with me on Chromosome 18, so Anita will not add anything there, but she will on other chromosomes.

Here is the new map with my matches to Anita added:

Anita added a lot of DNA to my Chromosome map on Chromosomes 3, 11, 14, 15. 16, and 19.

Anita and the X Chromosome

The X Chromosome is more of a female thing than a male one. I say this because woman have two X Chromosomes and men have one. This is the X Chromosome DNA match that Anita and my mom share:

Gangnus DNA

The DNA that Anita and my mother share is from the Gangnus side. How do I know that? Here is the paternal side of my mother’s DNA inheritance chart:

The maternal side (not shown) does not apply to Anita. My mom inherits X Chromosome DNA from the blue and pink areas but none from the white areas. This shows that at the level that my mom and Anita match each other, the DNA that they share has to be on the Gangnus side. That is because my mother’s father Alexander didn’t get any DNA from his father. He only got a full dose of DNA from his mother Marie Gangnus that he sent down to my mom.

Anita’s X Chromosome DNA inheritance pathway is a bit longer:

Anita got a full dose also of her grandmother Vera Rathfelder’s  X Chromosome from her dad. However, I think that Vera’s X Chromosome would have been a combination of her father and mother’s X Chromosome.

I have mapped out the X Chromosome for myself and four of my siblings:

The Rathfelder part is in green. Lentz is my mother’s mother’s side. That was the part I didn’t show on the bottom side of her X Chromosome inheritance chart. As I mentioned above, all the Rathfelder DNA on the X Chromosome came from Maria Gagnus, so it could just as well say Gagnus instead of Rathfelder. I am on the J bar. I got Lentz DNA from 100 to 140. My mom matches Anita from 114 to 144. That means that I should match Anita from 110 to 114 as my green Rathfelder/Gangnus X Chromosome inheritance starts at 110. When I check gedmatch for an X match with Anita, at first I didn’t get a match. That is because gedmatch sets the SNP level for matching higher than  the other chromosomes. When I lower the SNP level, I get this match with Anita on the X Chromosome:


Anita and Catherine’s Mystery X Chromosome Match

At first, I thought that I had stumped myself with this one, but I figured it out. Anita’s largest X Chromosome match is with her 1st cousin once removed Catherine:

I confused myself by the way I drew the DNA inheritance map:

Here it looks like the X Chromosome is traveling from Leo to Catherine’s father which is impossible. After posting a question to the ISOGG Facebook Page, I figured it out. Obviously Leo had a wife, Lidia Vasiljeva. This DNA was from her. I was focused on the Rathfelder side and forgot the Vasiljeva side that I’m totally unrelated to. So if Anita and Catherine are ever sitting around pondering their X Chromosome match with each other, they will now know that their match is a Vasiljeva match. Mystery solved.

Here is Marie (Maria?) Gangnus.

Other matches with Anita are from Marie Gangnus or her Rathfelder husband and we can’t identify which. Matches with Anita and my family on the X Chromosome would be from Marie’s DNA.

Other DNA Matches

This could be a topic for further research. Gedmatch has a way to look for people that match two other people. In this case, I’ll choose my mom and Anita. When I put these two names into the Gedmatch Utility, I came up with a short list including myself and my siblings.

One prominent DNA match was David. He matched my mom and Anita. This chromosome browser is from the perspective of my mom:

On Chromosome 14, my mom matches #1 Anita, #2 Catherine and #3 David. David tested at Family Tree DNA, so I’ll check there. Unfortunately David has no tree posted at either FTDNA or Gedmatch, so I may write to say hi.

Anita and Astrid

I’m a bit puzzled by Astrid. I had written a few Blogs about her previously. The most recent Blog is here. It seems like the DNA is telling me that Astrid should be more closely related than she is.

This table gives different matches to Astrid. If I have the tree right, then all these people seem to be off by about one generation. At the time I wrote the previous Blog on Astrid’s ancestors, I had thought that the higher matches had something to do with her being related to the Gangnus family also.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I was pleasantly surprised to find Anita through DNA matching. I would like to find out more about her family.
  • I was able to match much more of my Rathfelder/Gangnus DNA thanks to Anita
  • X Chromosome matches that Anita and my family and cousins share is really Gangnus DNA coming through the Rathfelder male line.
  • It is possible that this DNA match with Anita will make it easier to find other Rathfelder relatives.
  • The Rathfelder family has been separated for over 100 years between Latvia, England, and the United State (and perhaps other places). Now thanks to DNA matches and the internet, connections are being made again.


My Mother’s Best Lentz DNA Match

I’ve been in touch with Radelle for a while. First, we were in touch over Lentz genealogy without the DNA part. Some of the Lentz genealogy that I had done in the past was helpful in Radelle finding parents for her ancestor Eliza Lentz. Radelle later took the AncestryDNA test and recently uploaded those results to

Lentz Genealogy

I have made a Lentz tree for those that have had their DNA tested and uploaded the results to Gedmatch. There would be a bigger tree of those who haven’t had their DNA tested.

I’m on the left side of the chart. Radelle is on the right side of the chart. Radelle, Al, and Stephen descend from Eliza and William Andrew Lentz. Note that Al and Stephen’s great grandfather is Phillip Miller Chappell. Phillip Miller is discussed below as the 2nd husband of Eliza who married John Lentz at the top of the chart. Phillip Miller most likely raised the young Lentz family. Judy, Joshua, my mom and her children and my 1st cousin Cindy descend from Jacob Lentz b. 1818. Because Jacob George Lentz b. 1866 married Annie Nicholson, I can’t tell for sure if the matches with Judy, Joshua and Cindy are on the Lentz side or Nicholson side. Radelle and my mom are 4th cousins. Radelle is 4th cousin once removed to everyone else except for Joshua. Radelle is 4th cousin, 3 times removed to Joshua.

I had a difficult time nailing down John Lentz years ago when I was working on Lentz genealogy. I wasn’t sure if there were one or two John Lentz’s in the area at the time. From what I could tell, John died and his wife Eliza married Phillip Miller. Here is an 1877 death notice for Eliza:

Notice that the funeral reception was at Eliza’s daughter in law’s house. Mary A Lentz was my 3rd great grandmother, the wife of Jacob Lentz b. 1818. Eliza was Jacob Lentz’s (b. 1818) mom, so Mary A Lentz his wife was Eliza’s daughter in law. Based on the above death notice, Eliza would have been born about 1796.

Who Was the Eliza Lentz Married to John Lentz and Phillip Miller?

I see that Radelle has a possible name for Eliza:


This record was from Trinity Church, Oxford. According to Wikipedia:

Old Trinity Church, also known as Trinity Church, Oxford, is a historic Episcopal church founded in 1698 in Oxford Township, Pennsylvania, which is now part of Philadelphia

Here is another hint that came up for me at Ancestry. This is from Kensington

This may fit in better as far as the date goes. This would mean that Eliza was married at about age 26. The first marriage, Eliza would have been married at about age 17.

However, having said that, it does appear that Radelle is right as I have that the three sons of John were born before December 1st 1822. Perhaps Elizabeth Refford died in childbirth at the birth of Wiliam Andrew Lentz who was born 13 May 1822. John would have had no one to take care of his young family. So perhaps he remarried Eliza Rihl later that same year. Something to think about. However, then John Lentz died in 1823. Eliza marries Phillip Miller in 1825. If I have my facts right, then the Lentz children were raised by a step mother and a step father.

The DNA Part

I said that Radelle was my mom’s largest Lentz DNA match. Here is how they match at gedmatch:

Their estimated common ancestors are at 4.4 generations based on the DNA match. Their actual ancestors are 5 generations back, so that is a bit more than average DNA that they share. Here are some more matches Radelle has with my family:

Heidi and Jon are my siblings. Gladys is my mom. Heidi got the same match with Radelle that my mom had. Jon and I got less. My two sisters Lori and Sharon don’t match Radelle.

Mapping My Family’s DNA onChromosome 2

I have my DNA mapped. That mapping shows where my siblings and I got our DNA based on how our four grandparents contributed. Any match with Radelle should be on the Lentz grandparent side.

This shows why Jon and I had less than a fuill dose of Lentz DNA from our mom. My mom matches Radelle between 171 and 212M. I have a crossover at 186. That means on maternal Chromosome 2, my Lentz DNA ends at 186M and the Rathfelder DNA takes over. Lori is has all Rathfelder DNA in that area (from my mom’s dad) so she doesn’t match Radellether. Jon has a Crossover at 180M, so he matches Radelle’s Lentz DNA less than I do. Here is a close-up of the area where Radelle matches me and my brother Jon:

We match Radelle only in the yellow Lentz segments. I didn’t show Heidi, but she has a longer Lentz segment than Jon or me in this area of Chromosome 2.

DNA Matches to My Mom and Radelle

At Gedmatch, there is a way to find common matches to two people. I did this for my mom and Radelle. When those matches are on the same segment, that tells me that these people should share the same ancestors. Here is how my mom matches Radelle and four others on Chromosome 2:

#3 had a tree at Gedmatch.

A Lanz/Lantz family may be a link to the Lentz family.

Another Chromosome Map

Kitty Munson has a chromosome mapping utility at her web site. Using my new match with Radelle, I get this:

The new match with Radelle translates to the DNA I got from John Lentz b. 1792 (or his wife who appears to be Elisabeth). That new piece of DNA appears in pink on my maternal side Chromosome 2. This map is different from the mapping I did with Chromosome 2 above that only has my grandparents. This map uses matches from actual people with known ancestry. The DNA match with Radelle pushed back what I had on the Lentz family over 70 years.

Other Matches?

Unfortunately, I didn’t see other matches between Radelle and other Lentz descendants. It may be that the relationships are too distant and the DNA dropped out. However, Radelle matches my mom and three out of five of her children. My mom matches others on the Jacob George Lentz branch. That implies that the DNA match between my mom and Radelle also applies to them:

Here are the chances of matching a specific level of cousin:

Summary and Conclusions

  • Radelle is my mom’s biggest identified Lentz DNA match. This helps solidify the genealogy that Radelle and I have done.
  • With previous Jacob George Lentz descendants matches, I couldn’t tell if the DNA represented Lentz or Nicholson. The match with Radelle would be the first Lentz-only identified DNA match.
  • I was able to add a late 1700’s Lentz DNA segment to my Chromosome map
  • Radelle got me thinking again about John Lentz, Elisabeth and Eliza. I came up with a possible scenario for this family which had the children being raised by two step-parents.
  • Radelle does not match other Lentz desendants by DNA. This may be due to the distance of the relationships. After fourth cousin level, the chances of matching by DNA drops off.
  • I’ll be waiting to see if we find other Lentz DNA matches. These matches seem to be a bit rare.



DNA Results for My Cousin Cindy: Part One

On a regular basis, I go to AncestryDNA to check my new 4th cousin matches. I was surprised not too long ago to find a first cousin match. This match was with my cousin Cindy. When I was younger, Cindy lived in Cherry Hill, NJ. The family moved to Florida and we lost touch a bit. We have been in touch though on and off since then. If I looked around long enough, I’m sure I could find some photos of Cindy as a child. My mom also used to take home movies.

Here is a classic couch photo from the archives:

This looks like Cindy’s brother Rob, Cindy, my sisters Sharon and Lori and me. I was the old one in the group. The four on the right have been DNA tested. We need to get Rob’s YDNA for the male Rathfelder line.

Cindy’s Genealogy

Cindy and I share two grandparents and her dad was my mom’s youngest brother.

I don’t know much about Cindy’s mom’s side. Here is a picture of Cindy’s dad Bob on the left with his two older brothers:

Bob as well as my mom were about 3/4 German and 1/4 English from what I can tell. Rathfelder and Gangnus were from Latvia but of German origin. Lentz goes back to colonial Philadelphia, but before that they were in Germany. Nicholson was from Sheffield, England before moving to Philadelphia around 1870. I won’t get into the DNA ethnicity estimates as they are complicated and not very accurate beyond broad areas of the continent.

Surveying the Previously DNA Tested Landscape

I have a chart showing some of the people that have tested and match on my mom’s side:

I squeezed Cindy into a green box. Yellow is Lentz. Blue is Rathfelder. Red is Nicholson. Orange is for those who descend from Nicholson and Lentz. I also had a DNA match with a Rathfelder descendant. I wrote a Blog on that match here. Eventually, I will split off the Rathfelder Line to make this chart more clear. So I need to check Cindy against all these people. That may be more than one Blog.

Cindy and the Rathfelder Connection

I already mentioned the Rathfelders, so I may as well start there. It turns out I already had a tree. I just had to add Cindy:

Since I did this tree, my sister Lori also had her DNA tested. When I did this tree, I was having a lot of confusion. According to my records, Hans Jerg Rathfelder had two sons named Johann Georg. I also found two Wilhemine Rathfelders. Here is Cindy’s match to Astrid:

For some reason, Cindy matches Astrid on a different Chromosome than my mom, Rusty, and Catherine. As my siblings and I got all our DNA from our mom, I didn’t add our duplicate or less results. So if Cindy were mapping her DNA, that segment on her Chromosome 16 would map to her Rathfelder side. It appears to be DNA that came down from the 1750’s. So Cindy adds another piece to the puzzle of ancient Rathfelder DNA.

More of Cindy’s Rathfelder DNA

To get more of Cindy’s Rathfelder DNA, I just need to compare her to 2nd cousin Catherine:

This is not all of Cindy’s Rathfelder DNA. This is just the DNA that she shares with cousin Catherine. Even though I am calling this Rathfelder DNA, some of it is actually Rathfelder and some should be from Maria Gangnus. Cindy’s number of generations to the Rathfelder/Gangnus connection is 3.3 based on DNA alone. The actual should be 3.0, so she shares a little less DNA with Catherine than average. Actually of Cindy’s 1st cousins, her match to Catherine is about average. Cindy is listed as 4th out of seven on Catherine’s list of 2nd cousins. Cousin Rusty had the highest match, but even his estimate to a common ancestor was 3.1.

Cindy’s X Chromosome

Cindy technically has no Rathfelder X Chromosome. She did get one X Chromosome from her dad, Bob, which you would think would be Rathfelder, but it was actually Lentz DNA from his mom. That is because an X Chromosome is not passed down from father to son. So Bob never got an X Chromosome from his Rathfelder dad. In fact, one interesting thing is that if Cindy’s sister gets her DNA tested, they will have a perfect X Chromosome match with each other on their father’s side.

Here is where CIndy could have gotten her X Chromosome from:

That means that whenever Cindy matches Rusty or my family, it has to be in these circled areas and not on the top part of her father’s tree.

Here are some of Cindy’s X Chromosome matches with:

  1. my mom
  2. Jon
  3. Sharon
  4. Lori
  5. Joel
  6. Carolyn
  7. Heidi

Cousin Carolyn’s X Chromosome Match with Cindy

I haven’t mentioned Carolyn yet. Carolyn shares more X Chromosome with Cindy than my sister Heidi does with Cindy.

Carolyn is my mom’s 2nd cousin and Cindy’s 2nd cousin once removed.  From Carolyn’s point of view, here is how she matches us. #2 is Cindy.

This shows that Carolyn does not match me or my sister Heidi on the X Chromosme. Here is a somewhat messy map I made of the X Chromosome for my family showing from which grandparent we got our DNA:

I am J on the map. S and H are repeated for Sharon and Heidi. I don’t match Carolyn on the X, because I have Rathfelder X on the right side of the Chromosome. That means I cannot match Carolyn there as she would be on my Lentz side. Cindy only has Lentz grandparent on her Chromosome X, so she matches my siblings only where they have Lentz DNA and not Rathfelder DNA. So for example, my sister Heidi had the smallest X Chromosome match with Cindy. That is because at the time of recombination, Heidi only got a tiny bit of Lentz DNA (shown in orange above) at the beginning of her X Chromosome.

Summary of Cindy’s DNA: Part One

  • So far I looked at Cindy’s genealogy and how she fits in to others that are related to her and have had their DNA tested
  • I looked into a match that Cindy had with Astrid that appears to go back to a 1700’s Rathfelder ancestor. Cindy has a different match than other close relatives have with Astrid.
  • Cindy matches Carolyn on their X Chromosome. This represents DNA from Sheffield ancestors Nicholson or Ellis.
  • Cindy’s dad gave her the same X Chromosome that he got from his Lentz mom. That means that Cindy’s paternal X Chromosome is all Lentz. As Rusty and my family are related through our moms, we get both Rathfelder and Lentz X Chromosome. As a result, Cindy only matches us on the parts of our X Chromosome where we have Lentz and not Rathfelder DNA.
  • Cindy matches my mom all along her X Chromosome as my mom got a full X Chromosome from her Lentz mom.
  • In the next Blog, I’ll look at Cindy’s matches with her Nicholson relatives.
  • I may have another photo of Cindy from the archives for the next Blog.


Blaine’s X Chromosome Challenge

Recently, Blaine Bettinger challenged people on his Genetic Genealogy Tips & Techniques page:

Who is your closest X match at GEDmatch, that you didn’t target test? 

Blaine’s previous challenge challenge produced some interesting results and I was running out of ideas, so I thought that I’d try it. Technically, my closest X match is fourth on my Gedmatch list below. That match is my maternal 1st cousin Rusty at 120 cM, but I think that Blaine meant to look for the first match that we didn’t know.

The top six matches are my mom, four siblings and a maternal 1st cousin. I have four matches at the bottom of the list. They all have the same email address, so I assume they are closely related. These are my highest X Chromosome matches where I don’t know how we are related. A good surprise is that the top match Alice has a family tree indicated by a GED hyperlink.

I quickly checked the GED link looking for maternal matches. My mom’s matches are usually German on her dad’s side, or from Sheffield, England. I was disappointed to not see any of those places on the list. I did however see a Pennsylvania name of Faunce. My mom is from Pennsylvania and has a Faunce ancestor.

Here is Alice’s tree as posted at Gedmatch :

Here is my mom’s tree:

If Alice’s tree had a Jacob Faunce, then I would have had a match and Catherine and Elizabeth Faunce could have been sisters. However, it is not that easy.

Back to the DNA

Here is the detailed match I have with Alice:

Here is the results of mapping the X Chromosome to myself and 4 siblings:

My match with Alice was in my Lentz area which leads back to Faunce. I have the bar starting with J. It looks like Sharon and Jonathan should also match Alice on the X. Here is the path that the X Chromosome inheritance could have taken for my mom:

Alice also has a clear sailing path for her X Chromosome. It goes from her mom Rosalie, to her grandmother Alice, then her great grandmother Ida, 2nd great grandfather Anson Hale and finally to Alice’s 3rd great grandmother Elizabeth Faunce. Now that I’ve established a route where there could be an X Chromosome match, I need to get back to the genealogy.

Catherine Faunce and Her Daughter Mary A Baker

It took me a long time to figure out who was the wife of my 2nd great grandfather George Washington Lentz b. 1840. I was determined to find out who she was. The 1910 Census George’s son Jacob Lentz gave me a hint.

Here on Earl Street there were three generations of Lentz. My grandmother, Emma, her dad Jacob Lentz and his mother Mary Lentz. Of particular interest was the fact that an Aunt, Sohpia Kemble was living with them. She was 72 at the time. Next, I go back 10 years to 1900:

Mary Lentz is living with her two sisters in Palmyra, NJ. One of Mary’s sisters is single – Elizabeth Baker. That gives me the maiden name of Mary Lentz. The has an article on Mary Baker Lentz’s mom who was Catherine Faunce:

Here is the marriage record for Catherine Faunce in 1824:

The record reader interpreted Faunce as Fanner.

Elizabeth Faunce

Alice has her ancestor Elizabeth Faunce as the mother of Anson Hale on her tree. Here is Anson and mother Elizabeth in 1860 along with the rest of the family with them at that time:

Here Elizabeth was born in Pennsylvania. I had a lot of trouble finding information on Elizabeth outside of Ancestry Trees. This makes me suspicious that the trees are copying each other. The 1880 Census tells us that Elizabeth’s parents were also born in Pennsylvania. I was able to find a tree Alice put on FamilySearch:

Above, I’m not sure the jump from Pennsylvania to Plymouth, MA is warranted. My understanding is that the Philadelphia Faunce family was originally the German Fans which got anglicized to Faunce.  The Plymouth, MA Faunce was probably always the English Faunce. Another point is that in the 1880 Census, Elizabeth [Faunce] Hale lists both her parents as being born in Pennsylvania.

William Hale and Elizabeth are in Howell in 1850:

Joseph appears to be their eldest. He was born around 1832, so let’s say William and Elizabeth married in 1831. It turns out that may have been a good guess as I find this at Ancestry:

I at least feel better finding a record outside of a Family Tree. Now I feel justified in adding the Faunce surname to Elizabeth. However, note that these two were married in Philadelphia where my mom’s Faunce ancestors lived. From my tree, I have a Jacob Faunce living in Kensington, Philadelphia in 1820. At this time, Elizabeth would have been between 7 and 12 depending on whether she was born in 1809 or 1813.

There were eight people living in Jacob’s house in 1820. Let’s say there were two parents and six children. Of the six children, four were girls. One was under 10, two were 10-15 and one was at least 16. It could be that Elizabeth Faunce was one of these four girls.

Summary and Conclusion

  • My closest non-identified X match is on my Lentz line
  • That X inheritance line could follow back to my ancestor Catherine Faunce in Philadelphia
  • My closest match Alice’s X inheritance line could follow back to her ancestor Elizabeth Faunce who married William Hale in Philadelphia in 1831
  • Alice has a father for Elizabeth who was from Plymouth Massachusetts
  • Based on the DNA and genealogy I believe this Plymouth father may not be correct for Elizabeth Faunce.
  • I am suggesting that Elizabeth Faunce is linked with a Philadelphia Faunce family based on DNA and genealogy.
  • Although I have shown that it is possible for Elizabeth’s father to be my Ancestor Jacob Faunce, I have not been able to prove that by the DNA and genealogy.


Sadie’s Nicholson DNA

Recently, I’ve been in touch with a new DNA relative on my mom’s Nicholson side. Sadie showed up at AncestryDNA as many matches do. Sadie, however, also showed up as a Shared Ancestor Hint. These are good. As long as the genealogy on both sides is good, this shows how you connect to your DNA match by common ancestors.

Emma above is my grandmother and Martha is Sadie’s great grandmother. That makes us third cousins once removed to each other. Speaking of Emma, I found a photo of her online that I hadn’t seen before. My cousin Judy in the chart below had posted it:

Emma is holding her Lentz niece. However, they are both Nicholson descendants. The niece was born in 1918.

Here is how Sadie fits in with some of the other Nicholson DNA-tested relatives:

I’ve chopped off some of my unrelated Rathfelder ancestors on the left. Sadie descends from Sarah who represents a new daughter of William Nicholson and Martha Ellis. Actually Sarah Nicholson is new to this DNA project and the eldest child of William and Martha Nicholson.

Sadie’s Nicholson DNA

Sadie matches me and my 4 siblings as well as my mom by DNA. She matches my cousin Rusty. She doesn’t match Judy and Joshua. She matches Joan and Joan’s sister Linda. She matches Carolyn but not Nigel. The largest Nicholson match that Sadie has is on Chromosome 6:

Here she matches:

  1. Joan
  2. Me
  3. My mom
  4. My sister Heidi
  5. My sister Sharon
  6. My Brother Jonathan
  7. Another Nicholson relative that hasn’t gotten back to me
  8. My cousin Rusty
  9. My sister Lori

It looks like a lot of people, but it could be reduced to Joan, my mom, the other Nicholson relative and my cousin Rusty. That is because my siblings and I got all our Nicholson DNA from our mom. These matches form a Triangulation Group:

The theory says that these four people got their specific matching DNA from either William Nicholson or Martha Ellis. However, because we don’t know which, I’ve circled them both. This doesn’t mean that the other people that didn’t match on Chromosome 6 don’t descend from William and Martha. However, it does give solid evidence that the ones that do match do descend from the couple.

A Chromosome Mapping Side Trip

In Sadie’s matches, I noticed that Sadie had a shorter match with my sister Lori who is #9

This means that Lori likely has a crossover where her match stops around 56M. Here is Lori’s match with Sadie:

It looks like chromosome mapping would go beyond the scope of this Blog, so I’ll address this later. My assumption is that Lori’s maternal Chromosome 6 switches from her Lentz grandmother (whose mother was a Nicholson) to her Rathfelder grandfather at about position 56M.

Sadie’s Nicholson X Chromosome Matches

The important rule about the X Chromosome is that it doesn’t travel down from father to son. That means if there are two males in a line going up from a DNA tester to a common ancestor, then there can’t be an X Chromosome match there. This applies to only Nigel in my chart. Nigel is from a long line of Nicholson males.

Here are Sadie’s top three X matches:

The first match is Joan. I don’t know who the second match is. Probably a non-Nicholson match. The third match is to Judy in the chart above. The pink zero means that Judy shares no autosomal DNA (Chromosomes 1-22) with Sadie but does share a sizeable X Chromosome match. Here are Sadie’s X matches with these two Nicholson cousins on the Gedmatch Chromosome Browser:

#1 is Sadie’s match with Joan and #2 is her match with Judy. Again, we can’t know if this DNA is from William Nicholson or Martha Ellis. This is because Sadie, Joan and Judy descend from daughters of William and Martha. If one of them had descended from a son, then we would know that the X Chromosome they got would have to be from Martha Ellis.

My Chromosome Map

I almost forgot to update my Chromosome Map based on Sadie. This is the one based on all my identified cousins that match by DNA. Kitty Munson developed the software for this:

Sadie shows up on my map as maroon on Chromosome 2 and 6. The 2 is important as I had no maternal match on that large Chromosome prior to the match with Sadie. Here are the specifics of my match with Sadie: