A New DNA Match-Predictions are Predictions and It Will Help Me Sort

My matches at  AncestryDNA continue to go up as the result of their DNA sales in late 2017.

That’s good as it helps me to sift out the matches I already had.

One new match was a predicted fourth cousin with a cousinship range of between fourth and sixth cousins. That’s starting to get fairly far back in my matches and I’m probably never going to figure out all my matches in that range–particularly those who really are fifth and sixth cousins. It’s worth recalling that:

  • first cousins have parents who were siblings
  • second cousins have grandparents who were siblings
  • third cousins have great-grandparents who were siblings
  • fourth cousins have great-great-grandparents who were siblings
  • etc.

That’s not taking into account individuals who were half-siblings, double relationships, etc.

This match shared 68 centimorgans of DNA across 5 segments. I can’t see on the AncestryDNA results screen how big each of those segments actually is and those shared centimograns is what is being used to predict our relationship.

The submitter had a small tree going back to their grandparents. Fortunately I recognized one of those surnames as the married name of my great-grandfather George Trautvetter (1869-1934)”s sister–Helena (Trautvetter) Ensminger. It did not take long to connect Helena to the submitter’s tree. The submitter was a great-grandchild of Helena–making us third cousins.

Determining who this new match is will help me to sort my other matches. While there are limits to how much it will help, it will help me quite a bit. There are now four descendants of my gg-grandparents,  John Michael and Franciska (Bieger) Trautvetter who have have been identified in my  AncestryDNA results:

  • me–a great-grandson of their son George–through his daughter Ida
  • match1–a grandson of the their son George–through Ida’s brother
  • match2–a great-granddaughter of their son George–through Ida’s sister
  • match3-this match–through George’s sister

This new match helps me quite a bit in sorting my matches–because this match does not also descend through son George and his wife. George’s wife, my great-grandmother, has significant New England ancestry, probably forty first cousins (many of whom I cannot trace), and an unknown grandmother. This means that many of the matches of matcth1,  match2, and I are people I cannot figure out quite yet–but who are probably related through George’s wife because me.

And then there’s people match1, match2, and I share that are actually related through George’s mother, Franciska.

This is where the new match3 comes in. Match3 does not descend from George’s wife because match3 descends from George’s sister. Match3 will help me sort out my matches because match 3 is connected one generation earlier to me.

Which for me is really great as tracking some of the family of Franciska was one of my DNA testing goals.

Of course, shared matches with match3 are not just probable relatives of  Franciska, they are probable relatives of her husband John Michael as well. I need to keep that in mind.

Fortunately, three descendants of John Michael’s first cousins have been identified in my AncestryDNA results already.

This method is not full proof. I could have DNA matches to descendants to Franciska that are not shared matches with match3. But it is a start.


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