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:


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

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

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

These are his matches with:

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

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

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

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

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

The X Path

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

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

Carolyn’s Nicholson X DNA

I’ll look at Carolyn’s X DNA matches.

She matches:

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

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

Mapping Jonathan’s X

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Looking at the ??????? Gap

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

Here is Maria:

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

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

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

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

First, Another Look at First Cousins

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

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

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

Rusty Compared to His Aunt – My Mom

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

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

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

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

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

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

a look at chromosome 10

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

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

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

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

Here are Rusty’s matches:

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

A possible explanation of a maternal aunt/nephew match

I have to admit that this gets a bit confusing.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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



My First 1st Cousin DNA Results

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

Rusty on the Family Tree

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

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

Rusty’s 1st Cousin Matches

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

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

Why do Rusty and I match as we do?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Rusty’s Aunt Match

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

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

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

Rusty and Rathfelder DNA

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

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

A Rathfelder Triangulation Group

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

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

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

Rusty’s Lentz and Nicholson DNA

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

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

Rusty’s oldest Nicholson dna

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

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

William Nicholson dna

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

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

Chromosome 10

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

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

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

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

a Closer look at Chromosome 10

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

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

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

Summary and Further Study

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

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

More Nicholson DNA

I am happy that my Nicholson cousin Joan had her sister Linda DNA tested. Here is my mom’s tree showing people that have tested their DNA:


Linda and Joan share a red box as they are sisters. Most of this tree is on my mother’s mother’s side. The blue is her father’s side. On my mother’s mother’s side, yellow represents Lentz, red represents Nicholson and orange represents cousins that have Lentz and Nicholson ancestry.

Comparing DNA at Gedmatch

When I compare all the people above at Gedmatch, this is what I get for overall matches:


Linda, who recently tested, matches my mom less than her sister does. However, she matches cousin Judy more. The chart also shows that 4 of the people in the group are Nicholsons and not Lentz. One is a Lentz and not Nicholson and three are Nicholson and Lentz. However, our Lentz tester, Albert, had low results – which were consistent with the distant relationship. From the above charts:

  • If Carolyn, Joan and Linda match each other, it may be from a Nicholson or Allen DNA
  • Where Carolyn, Joan, Linda, or Nigel match Joshua, Judy, or Mom, it must be from Nicholson DNA
  • Where Joshua, Judy or Mom match each other only, it could be from Lentz or Nicholson DNA.
  • Where Joshua, Judy or Mom match Albert it would represent Lentz DNA
Looking for triangulation

Next I looked at the detailed matches between all the DNA of the people above. The purpose is to find triangulation. A Triangulation Group (TG) is three or more people that have matches along the same segment of a Chromosome. This TG indicates a unique common ancestor.

Here is a summary of past five TGs I have looked at:


  • Lentz only – Yellow
  • Nicholson only – Red
  • Lentz/Nicholson – Orange
any new TG’s due to linda?

Here are some of the new DNA matches that I downloaded from Gedmatch at Chromosome 5 from about 39M to 84M:


It looks like there should be a TG here somewhere. Looking through my old Blogs, I see that I did previously identify a TG at Chromosome 5. It looks like we have a TG with Carolyn, Joan, Mom and Linda. But what about Joshua and Judy below? I didn’t do a detailed analysis, but the both descend from William Lentz b. 1892 and Clementina Hodder. So their match is likely on the Hodder side.

unraveling chromosome 8

Here is what I have at Chromosome 8 from about 102 to 143M


Here for some reason, we see the number 133 repeated and it is associated with Carolyn. Here is what Carolyn’s Chromosome 8 matches look like on Gedmatch’s Chromosome Browser:


  1. Linda
  2. Judy
  3. Joan
  4. Mom

Note that my mom (4) doesn’t overlap with Linda, Judy, or Joan, but matches with Carolyn up to 133M. What does this mean? I will give a possible explanation.


Remember that a TG represents a specific ancestor. However, we don’t know if it is William Nicholson or Martha Ellis in this case. Let’s suppose that the TG for Carolyn, Judy, Joan and Linda represents Martha Ellis. I have that TG represented in dark circles and lines. That means that before 133M would represent where Carolyn (and my mom) got their William Nicholson DNA that they shared with each other. That relationship I have represented above in light blue circles. The other explanation would be the exact opposite scenario where Mom and Carolyn share the Ellis DNA and the others share Nicholson DNA. In order to know for sure, we would have to have someone who is a Nicholson but not and Ellis or Ellis but not a Nicholson to check.

A less likely scenario would be that the starts and stops at 133M for Carolyn are coincidences.

Updating the Triangulation Group Summary


I didn’t add Linda in every case as sometimes her results were the same as her sister’s results.

Revising Mom’s Chromosome Map

Based on Mom’s new matches with Linda representing William Nicholson and Martha Ellis, here is her new Chromosome Map thanks to Kitty Munson’s software:


I have put mom’s ancestors in chronological order with most recent ancestors on the top. This has made the William Nicholson b. 1836/Martha Ellis segments show up in a better color also.


An Ancestry/Gedmatch Success Story: Lentz DNA

This story starts with a plain genealogy match – just the tree. Al contacted me last April through Ancestry about our possible Lentz connection. I suggested a DNA test. We went back and forth and saw that our Lentz locations, names, occupations and churches sounded familiar. We decided that we had a common ancestor in John Lentz born 1792. Here a portion of my Lentz web page:


Al descended from William while I descended from Jacob. Where I left off with William Andrew, was about as far back as Al had gotten.

Lentz DNA

In early July I noticed that Al had an AncestryDNA match with my mom. It wasn’t large, but it was there:

This was good news, as my Lentz DNA documentation was sketchier than I thought it should be. Maybe sketchy isn’t the right word, but there were some ambiguities. I had trouble nailing down John Lentz as it appeared that there may have been two of them in the same area.

Here is the connection between Al and my mom:


The Lentz side is in yellow. My previous Lentz DNA testers were also part of the Nicholson family (in orange above), so Al was an important link to the non-Nicholson Lentz side. Al is in the bottom left box.

upload to gedmatch

My next step was to ask Al to upload to gedmatch. Sometimes this step is easy, sometimes not. Al had trouble uploading but just recently, I discovered that he had actually uploaded his results. When I checked the results, there was no match between Al and my mom. I had to lower the thresholds to find the match:


The interesting point here is that I would have never seen Al’s match with my mom at Gedmatch, because their match is below their threshold.

yes, but do we have triangulation?

If Al were to match with another person that matched my mom, we would have a triangulation group (TG) which would make this match all the more solid. Fortunately, one of my mom’s first cousins, once removed also uploaded her 23andme results after some initial problems many months ago. I had to lower the thresholds even further to get her match, but it was right where it needed to be for triangulation:


In order to close the loop, Judy had to match my mom at this location. This was not a problem:


My conclusion is that the TG merges in on John Lentz:


Technically, the match could be with John Lentz or his wife Elisabeth, but we will say John Lentz. Further, I am now able to identify the match on Chromosome 14 between my match and Judy as a Lentz match – or more specifically from my mom’s grandfather Jacob Lentz:


Here is Jacob with bow tie and cigar:


How AncestryDNA and Gedmatch Worked Well Together

AncestryDNA told me I had the match. They also provided a way to get in contact with someone with the same ancestry. However, Ancestry says this about the match:


They thought that Al and my mom would have what I would assume to be a 15% chance of having a recent common ancestor or couple (John Lentz and his wife Elisabeth). That is where Gedmatch came in. If I could show that Al, my mom and someone else triangulated, that should significantly up the odds that there was indeed a common ancestor. Due to Al and Judy uploading to Gedmatch, I found that to be the case.

More Lentz/Nicholson DNA and the 1st Cousin, 2nd Cousin Combo Rule

A little over a year ago I decided to test my autosomal DNA at 23andme. I had tried the other 2 testing companies and was curious as to what 23andme was like. Perhaps I would have some more matches that I didn’t know about. The most interesting match that I found was my mother’s 1st cousin once removed. Her name is Judy. I was asked  her if she would  upload her results to for analysis. She tried a few times without success. Recently, she went back and successfully uploaded her results, so now I can write about them.

Lentz/Nicholson Lines

Judy descends from our common Lentz/Nicholson Line. Others that I have been in touch with and have tested for DNA are just from the Nicholson Line. The Nicholson Line is in red. The Lentz line is in yellow. The Lentz/Nicholson Line is in orange. From my early school days, I recall that if you mix yellow and red, you get orange. Judy and Joshua are on the orange line. My mom shows as green, but for the purposes of this Blog, can be considered orange also.


The bottom row indicates people that have had their DNA tested. There is also a further out line of Nicholsons that I don’t have included here.

I haven’t identified anyone yet who is only from the Lentz Line.

Here is Judy’s match with my mom at Gedmatch:


comparing cM’s for first cousin once removed

Their total match of 269 cM is actually on the low side for 1C, 1R. Here is a Bettinger study showing the average DNA shared between 1st cousins, once removed as being in the 400 cM range:


Not to be outdone by Blaine Bettinger, I also looked at some of my own family relationships to see how they compare:


So with just 8 people, I came to the same conclusion on the average amount of DNA that 1st cousins, once removed shared. Blaine took thousands of people to come to his result. Another side point of interest is that my brother Jon shares over 150 cM more with my dad’s first cousin (583.7 cM) compared to what my sister Sharon shares with my dad’s first cousin (421 cM).

Chromosome Mapping for Mom

Judy’s new DNA results update my mom’s Chromosome map in many of the red areas below:


More About Judy’s DNA

Based on the tree, we can see a few things.


  1. If Judy matches Joan or Carol, that means the DNA has to be from the Nicholson side.
  2. If she matches my mom and no red people, then the DNA could be from Lentz or Nicholson.
  3. If Judy matches just Joshua, the DNA could be from Lentz, Nicholson or from the wife of William Lentz.
  4. If she matches my mom plus Joan or Carol, the match would be from the Nicholson side. If Judy matches Joshua plus Joan or Carol, the same should apply. However, this would have to be a triangulation group.
Judy’s Nicholson (or Ellis) DNA

William Nicholson

Here is an example of Judy’s Nicholson DNA. She matches both Carol and Joan who are not descended from the Lentz family.


These 3 are also in a triangulation group (TG) which means they match each other on Chromosome 13. Here is what that TG looks like on a family chart:


The same segment of DNA from Chromosome 13 has come down to these 3 women. We know that the DNA was from either William Nicholson or Martha Ellis but we don’t know which. So when I said that this was her Nicholson DNA, it could really be either Nicholson or Ellis DNA – but not both.

In addition, like the next example below, Joan and Carol can know something else. They can know that the 51.4 segment that they share on Chromosome 13 is with Carol’s grandmother, Nellie Nicholson and not with Nellie’s husband. Before this match with Judy, they wouldn’t have known this.

a fine distinction on the Nicholson DNA

Here is an example of case #4 above where Judy matches both Carol and my mom, forming another triangulation group on a portion of Chromosome 18:



Again Mom, Judy and Carol all Share this specific segment of either William Nicholson or Martha Ellis. There is something else interesting about this chart. Judy and mom share that same DNA from Ann Nicholson. Usually when Mom and Judy match, they wouldn’t know from which of the couple the DNA came from. In this case their Chromosome 18 match came from Annie Nicholson.

That means Judy and my mom could assign that part of their DNA to Annie Nicholson. Also I could modify the Chromosome map for my mom that I did earlier in the blog. I think that I will do that.


On Chromosome 18, what I had as red is now in yellow. That means that the information is more specific. Interestingly, the orange on that Chromosome would also be from Annie, but because of who was matched to get to that, we say that it would be from one of Annie’s parents. It gets a little confusing. So at the point where the bar goes from yellow to orange, we are seeing further into the past when we see the orange part.

The practical part is that whenever someone matches my mom’s maternal side on that portion of Chromosome 18, she will know that it is a Nicholson (or Nicholson ancestor) match and not a Lentz match.

What about me?

I wonder if I share any of this Annie Nicholson DNA. Here is how Judy matches my brother Jon and 2 sisters Sharon and Heidi on Chromosome 18:


Below is a chromosome map that I updated now that my brother’s  DNA results are in. This indicates the DNA that my 3 siblings and I got from our 4 grandparents. The maternal side is in orange and green and the paternal grandparents are shown in purple and blue. My brother Jon’s yellow match with Judy above is within the orange area of the bottom F bar below. Sharon’s green bar match with Judy above corresponds to the second orange segment below on the S row. Heidi’s blue bar match above corresponds to her second orange (Lentz) segment below on the H row. I match my mother’s father’s Rathfelder side for most of Chromosome 18. That is shown in green in the 4th bar below (J row). So I didn’t inherit any Annie Nicholson DNA here where my 3 siblings did.


This method maps to our 4 grandparents, so Nicholson is not shown. Annie Nicholson is one of my 8 great grandparents. However, we now know that two of my sisters’ and my brother’s orange bars came from our great grandmother Annie Nicholson by way of her Lentz daughter.

Judy’s Lentz (or Nicholson) DNA

Speaking of Annie Nicholson, here she is with her husband Jacob Lentz:

Jacob Lentz

Below is another triangulation group from Chromosome 1 that Judy is in with my mom and Joshua:


Here is the family chart again:


This time the DNA may be from either Jacob Lentz or Annie Nicholson – but not both. This same segment of DNA came down 2 generations to my mom, 3 to Judy and 5 generations to Joshua. We might guess that this is Lentz DNA. That is because there are no Nicholson only matches there, but we don’t know for sure.

The Rule of the 1st and 2nd Cousin Combo

In two of the examples above, there was a 1st and 2nd cousin combo – including a triangulation group.

In the first case, Carol and Judy are 1st cousins, once removed. As such, they couldn’t tell which grandparent’s DNA that they shared (Nicholson or Nicholson spouse). Enter my mom as Carol’s 2nd cousin. She is further out relationally and they match on the Nicholson Line at Carol and mom’s great grandparent level. This identifies Carol and Joan’s DNA as coming from the Nicholson side. How is this helpful? Now anytime that Joan and Carol match someone on that same segment, they will know that the match has to be along the Nicholson Line going up through the Nicholson ancestors. This narrows down the possibilities a lot.

The rule: In a triangulation group between a 1st cousin and a second cousin, the second cousin will be able to identify which grandparent the 1st cousins share.

I’m sure that is why it is said that it is important to test second cousins. The reason that I haven’t come upon this situation before is that this combination hasn’t come up on my father’s side. I have results of my father’s first cousin’s DNA and my own 1st cousin’s once removed, but no second cousins to compare.

Summary and Conclusion

  • Cousin Judy has been helpful in filling in my mom’s Chromosome map
  • Judy’s DNA results will also be helpful also as I fill in my siblings’ and my own chromosome maps.
  • Judy’s results have partially phased the DNA. That means, for my mom she can tell at least for one area, not only where she has a maternal match, but also that it is a maternal grandmother match (Nicholson).
  • I had thought that there would be a way to identify some of the Lentz DNA. However, I don’t see a way without finding a Lentz cousin who doesn’t descend from the Nicholson side. This would have to be a second cousin or further out.
  • Once Nicholson DNA is identified, it is more likely that the remaining non-Nicholson DNA could be from the Lentz side. However, that is not sure, it just represents more than a 50% likelihood.