Updating Philadelphia Baker and Surrick ThruLines

In the past, I have looked at some of my Baker ThruLines on my mother’s side. This is my summary on a Baker DNA/Genealogy Chart that I made:

This Chart goes back to some of my 4th cousins on average. However, ThruLines go back to 6th cousins. That means that this chart is undersized.

Here are my ThruLines going back one more generation to an earlier Conrad Baker:

I already have a tree for Ruth’s maternal side:

Ancestry suggests Conrad Baker and Mary Surrick as the parents of Sophia Baker.  I would have to assume that they are correct. All indications are that the tree is correct, though there are few original sources.

Here is a source from the Daughters of the American Revolution:

Here is the extra generation added to my Baker Tree:

Based on this Ancestry Tree, Conrad had many children:

My ancestor was the first wife Mary Surrick who apparently died before 1796. That means that most of the children must have been through Susanne Fraley. Also, according to these trees, this Conrad was bron in New York.

This tree shows that Sophie Baker Andress had quite a few childre also:

This increases the chance of having a DNA match.

Going Back Before Baker to Surrick

I notice that my mother has some Surrick ThruLines:

Why not take a look at some of these matches?

ldclouser has a good tree. Here is her Druck Line going back to Surrick:

Surrick seems to be an unusual surname:

According to Ancestry, there were 6 Surrick families living in Pennsylvania in 1840 and they were found nowhere else in the US. However, the good news it it appears that could narrow down the genealogy.

My own tree does not go back to Philip Surrick, so this may be a good time to amend my tree:

Checking LD’s Tree

One good thing about a rare surname is that the connection is more likely to be real to that surname between two families. Here is Mahlon’s family in 1930.

Here is Bart, to the West of Philadelphia in Lancaster County:

At this point, I should be following Kathryn’s Line. The death certificate and marriage record for Mason Druck has his wife as Katherine or Catherine Smeltzer. Here is a child’s birth certificate:

Here is Catharine in Chanceford, PA in 1900:

Catharine’s father was a cigar manager and her mother was a cigar maker. In the Census, her mother appears to be Lucy, but this obituary has her mother as:

In 1860 Philadelphia, 19th Ward, I find this record:

Here is Catherine who was supposed to be born in 1864 according to findagrave was born probably in 1859.

This Tree at Ancestry for John Smeltzer shows that he had two wives:

The first died in 1893.

This is my tree so far:

According to ThruLines, I am alsmost there. I see a George Surrick in 1850:

He is living in the Richmond Districk of Philadelphia. His father appears to be Philip Surrick. The ThruLines wanted to show Georges father as George and his grandfather as Philip. However, I see what happened. There was more than one George Surrick in Philadelphia. The above was a different, George W Surrick:

He was a ropemaker like his father and he married Anna.

Here is the George that I am interested in:

He is living in Chanceford with the husband of his late daughter Catharine. I don’t agree with the birth date here. I think it should be around 1835.

Here is some more information on George:

This tells us that George was in the Civil War.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I was able to expand my Baker DNA/Genealogy Tree by looking at ThruLines
  • The earliest ancestors on that tree are Conrad Baker born 1764 and his wife Mary Surrick
  • I had thought that I would be able to create a Surrick DNA/Genealogy Tree based on ThruLines, but I was unable to figure out a good connection between Surrick descendants and basically, my mom.
  • I may try again at some point. This would involve extending my known tree out to the parents of Mary Surrick.


More Latvian Theories of Relativity at MyHeritage: Two Levas

MyHeritage is a good place to check for some of my Latvian relatives. Here is what MyHeritage has for Leva:

Leva is a DNA match to me. She shows as a 5th cousin to me also. I think the connection shown is wrong, but that we are connected on the Rathfelder line somewhere. Here is the DNA/Genealogy chart I already have:

It already has a Georg Ludwig Rathfelder in it. Leva must be related to me on that line along with Katja.

Leva’s Theory 2

Theory 2 at MyHeritage appears to be the right one:

Due to the fact that I have already a tree to Gerog Ludwig Rathfelder, this connection looks very likely. Here is the tree I built previously for Katja:

It looks like I had trouble finding a wife for Johannes Rathfelder in the tree.

Here is the birth record for Karoline Adodphine Rathfelder:

Here is the family list with Caroline’s family:

In my tree, Leva shows as 5th cousin once removed:

My tree is different than the MyHeritage Tree:

I have Johann Adam Rathfelder. He isn’t in the MyHeritage Theory of Relativity. I like my tree better.

Leva’s DNA Match

Leva and I share two segments of DNA with each other:

Unfortunately, the segment shared on Chromosome 16 is less than 7 cM. The default cutoff for DNAPainter is 7 cM. I think that the segment on Chromosome 16 is valid, but I will leave it out to be consistant with other matches.

Here is Leva added onto DNAPainter:

Even though the match is small, it changed my Maternal mapped DNA from 47% to 48%. Here is how the match fits in overall with my pateranal and maternal DNA matches:

My match with Leva is there, but gets lost among the many other matches. Overall, 53% of my DNA is mapped by identified matches.

One odd aspect of this match is that my mother does not match Leva. That means that my mother should have had a match and didn’t or I had a match and shouldn’t have.

A Second Leva and My Sister Heidi

My sister has a Theory of Relativity with Leva from Latvia. I mentioned her in a Blog in 2021. Myheritage shows that Heidi has a new Theory with Leva. Perhaps the new one is one of the three Theories. This is the first of three Theories:

Leva’s tree is private, so I will try to build out her tree based on her Theories. I also believe that Leva’s grandfather may be Raimonds who I have written about here. However, he tested at 23andMe, so his results only apply to me. Leva matches my sister and my mother. For some reason, the Theories only appear under my sister Heidi.

I’ll compare Leva’s Theories with what I had on Raimonds


  • Theory 1: Johann Jacob Gangnus 1777/Anna Elisabeth Juliana Biedermann
  • Theory 2: this is the same, but apparently the pathway is different
  • Theory 3: Friedrick Jacob Wilhelm Lutke 1804/Eva Christina Margaretha Fuhrmann


  • Friedrich Lutke 1804/Eva Fuhrmann
  • Johann Jacob Gangnus 1777/Biedermann
  • Johann Georg Gangnus 1704/Anna Margaretha Clausing

The last connection under Raimonds is due to the fact that I have Gangnus on two family branches:

Here I also did not add Raimonds which I should have.

Evaluating Leva’s Lutke Connection

Here is where I have Raimonds:

Leva is two levels below Raimonds.

This agrees with the Third Theory at MyHeritage.

Leva’s Gangnus Connection

I found this record for Emma Eugenie Charlotte Lutke:

She was confirmed in 1928. Her parents are listed as Johann and Antonie Shiller. Here is more information from the Personal Register:

Raimonds are added in at the next to the last column. I have painted this match to my sister Heidi. I will paint the match to my mother.

Painting My Mother’s Match with Leva

Fortunately, I already had a yellowish category for a match where I was unsure whether it was on the Lutke or Gangnus Line. This got my mother’s painted paternal DNA from 44% to 45%.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Leva appears to be a popular name in Latvia as my family has Theories of Relativity with two Levas
  • Both Levas add to the genealogical story from Hirschenhof, Latvia
  • Both Levas fill in missing DNA information for my family.
  • The second Leva is equally related to my family on two lines






Reviewing a Lentz ThruLine

My DNA evidence for my Lentz ancestry has seemed scant. Here is one ThruLine worth looking at:

This depiction shows that I match the descendants of two children of Anna Eliza Glenn. Anna is shown as the daughter of Eliza Lentz, the daughter of our proposed Common Ancestor John A Lentz.

My Mother’s Lentz ThruLines

Before I check the Ancestry, I’ll look at some other ThruLines. It would make sense to look at my mother’s first:

She has better ThruLines from Eliza plus she shows a William Andrew Lentz Line.

Glenn Genealogy

Three Glenn matches support the genealogy of this Thruline through Eliza Lentz. I doubt that the DNA test taken was really for the daughter of Lydia King about as that person died in 2011. This was before Ancestry was doing DNA tests:

Usually, I start from the present and work back. In this case, I’ll start with my tree and work down to the present. This is because the DNA matches look good and the genealogy looks likely. Right now, I don’t have a spouse for Eliza Lentz:

This hint at Ancestry appears to be correct:

The marriage took place 16 February 1840 in Kensington, PA. Here is Eliza in Kensington in 1850 with her boat builder husband:

Here is Eliza’s burial information:

She died three years after my ancestor Jacob Lentz. Here is his marker – also at the Palmer Burying Ground:

This record shows where Eliza was living at the time of her death:

I believe that her brother lived on Frankford Ave.

Anna Eliza Glenn

ThruLines indicates that Anna Eliza Glenn was in the ancestry of my mother’s three DNA matches. Anna Eliza shows as plain Eliza in the 1850 Census above. Here is Ann E Glenn in 1870:

It appears that the census taker missed a lot of information. Also Frances hasn’t married at age 30 at this time.

Here is Elizabeth Glenn Williams’ Death Certificate:

This gets us one step further down the tree.

Starting Back with the King Family Tree

Really, the right way is to start in the present and work back. Here is the tree I am looking at:

I just have to verify that Dolores goes beack to Eliza Lentz. First I am looking at Lydia M (Lottie) King. Here she is in the 1900 Census in Philadelphia:

She is a waitress and her father is a carpenter. That gets my tree looking like this:

The name Liza King is from the Census – though that was not her maiden name of course. Here is a death record from Clara Gavin that names her parents as Sidney King and Anna E Glenn:

Here is some information from the findagrave website:

The next step is connecting Ann Eliza Glenn to her mother who we expect is Eliza Lentz. I believe that I already made the connection with the marriage record I mentioned at the top of the Blog. This record gives no parents for the bride or groom, but I assume that they have the right Eliza Lentz. The location of where she lived compared to her Lentz family as well as to her age at time at marriage seem to say we have the right Eliza Lentz.

Ella, Clara and Lydia

The ThruLines mention Ella, Clara and Lydia:

Lydia was the line I looked at above.

I mentioned Clara in a death certificate above (Clara Virginia Gavin).

Ella is seen on the 1880 Census for Philadelphia:

Ella’s father is on the previous page of the Census.

The William Lentz Connection

Here are my mother’s small DNA matches to descendants of William Lentz:

I will look at Debbie’s connection as she is a fourth cousin. The other matches are fourth cousins once removed. Here is Debbie’s tree:

The tree is small, but goes back to Lentz. I don’t have much information on Harriet Lentz on my Ancestry Tree:

It turns out that I made a tree for Debbie years ago:

This was made before Ancestry had ThruLines. At the time, they were using a concept called ‘Circles’. All I need to do is to add to my Ancestry Tree. Here are Emma and Harriet from my Ancestry Tree information:

Mary and William Davenport

The two William ThruLine Lines above are for William and Mary Davenport. Here they are in the 1900 Census for Philadelphia:

Harriet’s husband Claudius was a saw maker. These children were born in New York according to the Census.

Comparing Lentz ThruLines to Nicholson ThruLines

My mom is part Lentz and part Nicholson on her maternal side. Here is a comparible Nicholson Thruline with a match in the 4th cousin range:

I never doubted my mom’s NIcholson heritage, yet there is only one match going to her comparible 3rd great-grandfather on that Line. It shows that my feeling of not enough Lentz DNA matches was irrational.

Summary and Conclusions

  • All my mother’s ThruLines under John A Lentz born 1792 appear to check out
  • This is satisfying as I thought that there were very few Lentz DNA matches
  • Altogether my mother has 7 DNA matches descending from the John A Lentz Line
  • It appears that the ThruLines are effective at the 3rd great-grandfather level which compares to a match of a 4th cousin.
  • It would be interesting to see how many 3rd great-grandparents even have ThruLines

A New Rathfelder Side DNA Match at MyHeritage

I check my DNA matches at MyHeritage almost every week, but rarely find a match that I recognize. This week I found  a DNA match there who has Rathfelder ancestry. The match’s name is Alans. Here is how we match genealogically:

This is a view of Alan’s genealogy on MyHeritage. The person listed as Private is Alan’s paternal grandmother. The couple in the box are our common ancestors.

My Rathfelder DNA Testing Chart

I have a genealogical chart for those Rathfelder descendants who have had their DNA tested. This is part of it:

Alans descends from Nina Rathfelder who is a sister to Vera. Here is a photo of Nina:

It seems like Alans’ genealogy matches up with mine, so I won’t check what he has. Here I have added Alans to my chart:

Alans is my second cousin twice removed.

Alans’ DNA

Here is where I match Alans by DNA:

The matches are on Chromosomes 3, 5, 7 and 11. I can ‘paint’ those using DNAPainter. These are my maternal matches so far:

My mother was a Rathfelder, so that is why I am looking on the maternal side. My maternal side is 47% painted and I am 53% painted overall. Alans will add more orange Rathfelder DNA to my profile.

Here is Chromosome 3 where Alans has the biggest match:

The orange matches are on my mother’s father’s Rathfelder side. The gree and purple are on my mother’s mother’s side. Otis matches on the Gangnus side. As Alans match align’s with Otis’ match, it appears that the DNA is coming from Schweccheimer and Gangnus. Here is how I match Otis by genealogy:

Assuming I have the genealogy right, this DNA goes back to the late 1700’s. Because the match I have with Alans on Chromosome 7 is just below 7.0 cM, DNAPainter did not use the match. The default cutoff at DNAPainter is 7.0 cM and I match Alans at 6.5 cM on Chromosome 7

Painting Alans’ Match to My Mom

Alans has a slightly larger match to my mom than to me. Alans matches my mom at 68.8 cM. Here is my mother’s paternal side Chromosome 3:


My intention was to use a lighter color for the more recent matches. That is why I used pale yellow for my mom’s first cousins. My mom is painted at 37% overall and 44% on her paternal side, so a little less than me. Here is my mom’s current paternal side:

I changed the colors of my mom’s profile as the yellow did not show up well:

I highlighted Chromosome 3 above where Alans has the largest match.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Alans adds another piece to the genetic genealogical puzzle
  • Alans is the first DNA match relative who descends from Nina Rathfelder, daugther of Leo Rathfelder.
  • Alans does not add a lot of new DNA to my mother’s or my profile, but fills in areas on the chromosome map.


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.





New DNA Match Derek at Ancestry with Possible Ellis Ancestry

I checked recently for unviewed DNA matches at Ancestry with a common ancestor and came up with Derek. He matches me at 15 cM:

Derek has a tree with 49 people, but shows no Ellis ancestry:

However, Derek’s tree shows that his parents were from Sheffield which is where my Ellis ancestors lived. Here is the connection that Ancestry shows:

Derek shows as a 4th cousin once removed to me.

My Shared Matches with Derek

If we have an Ellis shared ancestor, then we should have shared DNA matches with others who descend from the Ellis family. When I check that, there are about 4 people that I know descend from the Ellis family:

Checking Derek’s Genealogy

Derek’s tree does not show a link to the Ellis family. However, I would be interested in checking out Ancestry’s ThruLines:

Derek is the only one showing descending from James Ellis on my ThruLines.

I’ll check out Derek’s genealogy by creating my own tree for him:

This gets me out to about the level that Derek had. Here is William H Pullen in the 1871 Census for Sheffield:

They are living in Nether Hallam and William’s father is listed as a saw grinder. Unfortunately, Ancestry has the surname transcribed as “Gullen’. William’s mother is listed as Emma. She is born about 1839 in Sheffield.

It would be nice to have a marriage record for father William Pullen. Here is a record but it is to a Tattershall:

One Ancestry tree I have shows Emma’s mother as a Tattershall:

That is confusing. Here is another tree:

This tree has the wedding date for Emma and William. I might assume that Emma was previously married. However, this Emma appears to have been a spinster:

Here is where I believe that St Philips Church was based on a current map:

The 1881 Census

The 1881 Census appears to be the key for Emma being an Ellis:

Here we have William Pullings which I take to be the same as Pullen. He is married to Emma. Living with them is father-in-law James Ellis and brother-in-law Harry Ellis.  That should connect Emma to her father James Ellis and Emma to her brother Harry Ellis. That means that this is likely Emma in the 1851 Census:

Here is the 1861 Census showing Emma still single:

The census was taken on 7 April 1861. So, if Emma Ellis is the same as Emma Tattershall, then she could have married later in the year at the end of July.

Conflicting Evidence?

It appears that there is some conflicting evidence. One possibility is that there were two William Pullens. Although, it does not seem that Pullen is a common name, that is possible:

Here are two different people by the name of William Pullen. One is in Sheffield and one is in Ecclesfield. Ecclesfield is 4 miles to the North of Sheffield:

However, for this to work out, I suppose that the two Williams would have had to have married two Emmas. Also possible, but less likely. [Note: Based on conclusions below, the correct William was from Sheffield son of William based on the marriage record between William and Emma Tattershall.]

Are Emma Ellis and Emma Tattershall the Same Person?

Here is a record for the wedding of James Ellis and Caroline Tattershall. Here is an entry from a Sheffield area Newspaper published on 21 May 1842:

This gives a wedding record for James and Caroline. Also we see that James’ wife was a Tattershall. It appears that Emma could have taken on her mother’s maiden name. Here is a timeline for Caroline Tattershall:

If I have things right, this is showing that Emma was born about three years before James Ellis and Caroline Tattershall were married. This brings up the possibility that James Ellis may not have been the father of Emma. That brings up the question of why there would be a DNA match then.

Here is an interesting record:

This baptismal record gives Emma’s full name as Emma Ellis Tattershall. Could this suggest that James Ellis was the father of Emma? I think that this is about all that the records will reveal to me at this time. The rest must be based on speculation. I would guess that connection that Ancestry has would be correct, but it would be nice to see connections through some of the other siblings of Emma. The fact that Emma’s middle name was Ellis in addition to the DNA match suggest that James Ellis was likely her father.

Here is my best guess for the connection between Derek and myself:

Summary and Conclusions

  • Derek and I match by DNA. Ancestry traces that DNA match to possible common ancestors of Charles Ellis and Ann Roebuck
  • Derek and I have shared DNA matches with other Ellis descendants
  • Derek’s genealogy was confusing as his ancestor married an Emma Tattershall not Emma Ellis
  • The record shows that Emma was baptized Emma Ellis Tattershall about three years before her mother Caroline Tattershall and James Ellis married
  • My guess is that James and Caroline had Emma before they were married and married later and had more children. This guess is based on DNA matches and Emma’s middle name of Ellis.
  • I created a tree showing how the two lines got to be about a generation apart over the years.


My Sister Heidi’s Nicholson Match at MyHeritage

I noticed recently that my sister Heidi has a match with Kenneth at MyHeritage. They have a Theory of Relativity that looks like this:

This Theory put Heidi and Kenneth at 4th cousins once removed and the connection goes back to 1765. There are no shared matches between Kenneth and Heidi that I readily recognize. Also Kenneth’s tree is managed by someone else and is private.

Kenneth’s match also is not strong:

Connecting Heidi to Kenneth by Genealogy

I would usually try to connect going from the present to the past rather than the other way round. I see that the manager of Kenneth’s tree is from the UK which is probably a good thing as the Nicholson family was from Sheffield, UK.

I see that this is the Armstrong family in 1901 in Carlisle:

This tends to confirm the Theory at the bottom (more recent) level:

Of course, the Census does not give Mary A’s maiden name. All Ancestry Trees plus a probate record identify Mary Ann as a Lawrence. I’ll just accept the two hints, but the family is still in the Region of Cumberland:

At this point, the road I want to go down is the Hannah Nicholson road, but Ancestry gives me no hints. The 1881 Census has Hannah born in Renwick:

Renwick is quite a hike from Sheffield.

Here is a marriage record from Ancestry:

Here are Hannah and her parents in 1841:

The ‘y’ in the last column indicates that everyone was born in the same county – which would be Cumbria. The connection to Sheffield is not looking good.

Pulling the Plug

At this point, the connection does not seem feasible. The John Nicholson in my tree was married to Martha Jow:

Summary and Conclusions

  • I had hopes that a Theory of Relativity at MyHeritage would lead to an actual connection between my sister Heidi and Kenneth
  • I checked out Kenneth’s tree and his Nicholson ancestors were in Cumbria to the North of England while mine (and Heidi’s) were in Sheffield England
  • MyHeritage did have the confidence as low, and the DNA match was small

A Schwechheimer Match for My Mom at MyHeritage

There used to be an ad for a jam company that said, “With a name like Smuckers it has to be good”. In this case, with a DNA match with a name like Schwechheimer, it has to be a relative. This Schwechheimer match came up as a DNA match for my mom recently at MyHeritage:

The Scwechheimer Tree

The tree is a bit sketchy:

Dates are only given on the maternal side.

I can try to build out a tree at Ancestry to see if I get anywhere.

My Version of the Schwechheimer Match Tree

I like this suggestion from an Ancestry Tree for Kurt Schwechheimer:

I have written to my mom’s Schwechheimer relative in Germany to see if this is the same Kurt that is in her tree.

Meanwhile, I see that the owner of the tree for Kurt Friedrich Schwechheimer is a match to my mother at ancestry.

My Mom’s DNA Match with Karin at Ancestry

This is a modest match. Here is Karin’s tree:

This tree is unlinked, so Ancestry is not working to see where our common ancestors are. I suppose that I could try and build out the Hirschenhof (maternal) part of Karin’s tree. Hopefully, the vital records are not in Russian for that time. Interesting, I already have a Smits tree going. It must be for a relative of Karin:

This is likely for Karin’s brother.

Delving into a Latvian Genealogical Website

The go-to website is https://www.raduraksti.arhivi.lv/. I’ll give that a shot. Here are the Church records for Linden:

However, I think that this is the wrong set of records. I believe that the first Linden below is correct:

Now I am noticing some discrepancies between the two trees above. One has Friedrich born in 1894 and one in 1896. Here is a Schwechheimer record from 1894:

Unfortunately, the record is in Russian. Does Mar mean March?

Meanwhile, I heard from my mom’s Schwechheimer match and Kurt is the same as Kurt Friedrich as I expected.

Looking for Helma Lutz

Entry #32 in the Linden Church records shows an Olga Helma born in 1902:

This entry goes on to the next page:

I’m going to make a guess that this is the correct Helma. This gives us two more names: Johann Jacob Nicolai Lutz and Emilie Friederike Lutz. Here the record keeper was nice enough to put the parents’ names into more understandable (to me) German.

I think that this Johann Jacob (second entry) fits the bill:

Here is the Ancestry transription:

The father’s middle name is abbreviated. Perhaps for Michael.

Here is Emilie Friederike in 1867:

I assume that the right side of the page are sponsors or godparents. The transcription adds the day and month:

Here are Emilie’s parents:

Here the initials before Johann Gustav Lutz are unclear to me. I suppose it could mean that he had been married before?

Above there is a slight discrepancy of the spelling of Gagnus and Gangnus – which is not unusual. I have a book on the Gangnus family which I take to be the correct spelling. It is by Gustav Gangnus written in 2003.

Friederike AKA Anna Friederike Emilie Gangnus

According to Gustav Gangnus’ useful book on page 71 Friederike was born 16 Mar 1843 and Georg Michael Lutz was born 24 Oct 1841:

Looking for Johann Gustav Lutz and Anna Catherine Gangnus

I have Emilie born in 1867. I like this choice for Anna Catharina:

That would mean that Anna Catharina likely was married 1841 or before.

Here is a possibility for Michael:

However this birth was in 1849 and would have Michael at age 18 at the birth of Anna Catharina Gangnus. It seems like given enough time, I could find at least one common ancestor between my mom and this Schwechheimer match, but I will leave this to another time.

Summary and Conclusions

  • A DNA match with a Schwechheimer name is very likely to be a match to my mother
  • Unfortunately, the match’s great-grandparents were born during a time when the birth records were in Russian
  • For Helma’s Lutz’s birth time-frame, the names of the person and the parents were also given in German in the birth records. This was helpful in going back one more generation
  • At the third great-grandparent level, two Lutz ancestors married two Gangnusses
  • Between the Schwechheimer and Gangnus names there are a lot of opportunities to find common ancestors, but those common ancestors have not yet been found.

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.

Browsing Latvian Church Records for Ancestors

For a while, Raduraksti was updating its website, and I was not finding the Church records I used to see for my ancestors in Hirschenhof, Latvia. My ancestors attended the Linden Church in the area:

These appear to be the records:

There should be earlier records. Perhaps they will become available later.

Liepkalnes, Not Linden

I see now that I should have been lookiing at Liepkalnes, not Linden:

That would explain why I was having so much trouble finding people.

Here are some of my ancestors who lived in Latvia:

I see that some death dates are missing. It would be nice to fill some in if I could find them. However, that seems difficult. Perhaps filling in marriages would be easier.

Jacobine Lutke

I see that I don’t have a marriage for my second great-grandmother Jacobine Lutke:

Ancestry has this hint:

Here is the record on the page:

I would say that this looks right. Of course, this is just the summary of the marriage record and not the marriage record itself. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find this record on the Raduraksti website.

Johann Georg Rathfelder Born 1778

I am missing Johann Georg’s marriage record also:

This is a tricky person to research because my memory tells me I had that Johann Georg had another brother by the same name – improbably as it seems:

The other confusing part is that the second Johann Goerg was supposed to have been born 14 years afther the first one. Aslo the Johannes who was supposed the be the son of the first Johann Georg was born in 1819 which would make him of an age that he could have been the son of the second Johann Georg! I would like to find the birth for Johann, but it appears that the records only go back as far as 1824 currently.

Browsing Ancestry Records

I found this interesting record at Ancestry:

I don’t recall seeing this before. This appears to be a personal register for the Rathfelder Family for Saint Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Riga.

From what I can tell, this is a record for the brother of my great-grandfather Heinrich Rathfelder. I have this brother as Georg Gustav Rathfelder:

The above record can at least fill in some family history. I don’t know if the +1918 attached to Heinrich was to mean his death or just his leaving. It appears that Johann Heinrich was named after my great-grandfather. I couldn’t make out the second name for Jakob. There appears to be much other interesting information on the page, but I don’t know what it all means.

A Record for My Great-Grandfather Johann Heinrich Rathfelder

This appears to be a baptismal record:

Sponsors appear to be Gerhard Schwechheimer and a Rathfelder. I see that I can also add this wedding record to my Ancestry file:

I’m having such fun with these records, I’lll look more into Alexander’s siblings.

Johann Phillip Nicolai Rathfelder

This appears to be Nicolai’s Baptismal record:

Again, I take the additional names to be sponsors. However, there appear to be more names than usual. I found this record listed under Marriage Banns:

I think that this is telling me that Philippe Nicolai’s mother-in-law was Wilhemene Rathfelder.

This is my great-aunt Maria Caroline Rathfelder’s baptismal record:

I recognize the last name as Pfief or similar spelling.

Harry Eduard Rathfelder

Here I think I have a mistake and I think I know how it could have happened. Harry is the son of Phillipe Nicolai:

Harry’s Personal Register is interesting:

I don’t understand all the notations. It appears that although he was born in Riga, he was confirmed in Linden. Looks like he married in 1932 and has a swastika near his name. The above record is from the Jesus Church – I assume in Riga.

Erna Auguste’s Baptismal Record

Erna’s great-grandmother was a Fuhrmann. I believe that Ern died young:

I am glad for transcriptions as I would have had trouble finding this record:

Caroline Antonie

It looks like I missed one of her names. Ancestry had her birth year as 1877, but that bumps into Erna’s birth, so I will keep the 1878 that I had. Caroline’s Confirmation Record shows her born in 1878 also:

Johann Jacob Reinhold Rathfelder

I may have too many names here:

I dropped the Reinhold in my family tree.

Robert Ernst

It appears that Robert also died young:

Marie Otilie Hilda

Otilie must have been for her godmother. Marie also died young at 2 month:

Ludwig Artur Wilmar

If I have him right, he would have been my grandfather’s next oldest sibling. I am having trouble finding this person in the Latvian records that Ancestry has. I also cannot remember where I got the original information. I may have to re-evaluate Ludwig. While searching for Johann Heinrich Rathfelder, I finally found him:

The Ludwig name was probably for his sponsor Ludwig Metz.

Leonhard Florentin

Leo was apparently the baby of the family:

He got his name from Leonhard Goldigowsky(?).

My Grandfather, Alexander Siegfried Oscar

For some reason, Alexander’s baptism was at St Paul’s rather than St Peter’s Church in Riga. It looks like Alexander didn’t pick up a name from his sponsor. I see that Alexander’s godmother was Ottilie who was a sponsor for Alexander’s older sister Marie Ottilie HIlda who died young. It also appears that Alexander was born in July not June as I had it previously. Of course, all other records appear to show that Alexander was born in June. I guess I’ll go back to June.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I started out trying to use the Raduraksti website to find the records of my Rathfelder ancestors, but found the Ancestry records much easier to use
  • The death records were especially easy to use as they are difficult to read and go through without being able to search for records.
  • I found that searching in different ways helped. For example, I could only find one of the sons of Johann Heinrich Rathfelder by seaerching for the father
  • I found that one of the sons I had for Johann Heinrich Rathfelder was actually the son of his oldest son Nicolai. Nicolai’s son Harry appeared to have a swastika by his name which I am sure would have been common for Germans in the 1930’s.
  • Finally, I found out that I was looking at the wrong records at the Radurakski website.