DNA connection but no connection on paper

+8 votes
I have a DNA connections to a families with surnames of Brenner/Schaller/Marquardt originally from Hesse and eventually Brownsville, MN area. The closest DNA match is at 180cM and 99 cM. I have other matches that lead back to the Marquardt ancestry but "on paper" I'm not finding a link to my known families. I've tried building out the connections trees and found connections to each 'mystery' back Marquardt ancestral couple from Hesse but that doesn't help solve how they're related to me. Suggestions?
in Genealogy Help by L. Harrington G2G6 Mach 1 (10.1k points)
Sometimes when I can find no connection it is because it isnot through a paternal surname but an unknown maternal surname. So frustrating when they have private at random places in their trees as that may hide a connectionpoint.

5 Answers

+3 votes
by Kitty Smith G2G6 Pilot (588k points)
+4 votes

Have you tried the Leeds method to help work out which part of your tree they're connected to? Are there any locations in your tree that you have in common with these matches' trees?

Sharing 180cM suggests quite a close relationship (by my standards) – you could share great-grandparents.

by Katie Fuller G2G6 Mach 3 (34.8k points)
I have tried the Leed's method but due to my late father's parents were first cousins (he was born in 1915 - his paternal grandmother and maternal grandfather were siblings) I cannot separate out the great grandparents. My Ancestry DNA results forms one big cluster for most of the second, third and a portion of the fourth cousins since my grandmother was one of twelve.  I can be fairly sure that this doesn't stem from my maternal side because of my mother was a WWII war-bride from Liverpool. I know I have some endogamy on her side because her grandfather (1835-1918) was from the Shetland Islands.
Oof - that sounds complicated!
+3 votes
I know it's a pain to get other DNA test takers to fit into your tree.  Most times on Ancestry no response to DNA matching on thrulines.  Try to fit a few pieces in on FamilyTree if they have shared their tree.  I agree you should not need to go back farther than your GGGrandparents.  I say 2X Great Grandparents because of seeing your double shots of DNA from others in your tree.  Also try to fit your GEDMATCH people into your tree.  Again some matches are pretty close.  You may get lucky, or you may need to wait for that one person that makes all the pieces fit.  Perhaps your mystery ancestor was a child given up for adoption from the lines you are looking at.   Build their tree, it may just inlay into yours..
by Kirt Fetterling G2G6 Mach 1 (16.0k points)
+4 votes

I did a quick check using Tier one at Gedmatch of others on Wikitree that match you.  The first two both are also X matches which I thought was interesting.

While you are thinking about this problem you might consider trying to work out the connections to the 9 individuals on Wikitree that do match you.  No guarantee that you will find what you want but you may be able to eliminate some lines.
by Philip Smith G2G6 Pilot (311k points)
Phillip Smith, how does one find wikitree matches? I'm willing to check on any possibility even if it doesn't directly lead to the answer of this question.

Here is how to find your autosomal dna matches in WikiTree (who are also in GEDmatch):


Here is how to find your X chromosome matches in WikiTree:



Peter has provided an answer.

I simply use the Tier One One-To-Many DNA Comparison Beta, and then sort the report on the GED Wikitree Column.

It does cost $10 per month for Tier One but you can cancel it after one month if wish.  I find it well worthwhile.
+2 votes
Because you have endogamy, total cM counts will be inflated. So the 180cM match is maybe more distant than would be expected without endogamy. 3rd cousin would be reasonable, maybe.

If you and that match have very developed trees, say back through 3rd-great-grandparents, then I’d guess there is an NPE. It could be either in your match’s line or your own. If your match doesn’t have the same endogamy as you do, it may be easier to detect an NPE in their side. I don’t know if there’s a tactful way to ask them if there is a great-grandparent they haven’t found any matches to yet, but it may help to have an answer to that question.
by Barry Smith G2G6 Pilot (240k points)

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