How do I use my DNA test results to confirm my direct lineage to Martin Luther?

+5 votes
WikiTree profile: Martin Luther
in Genealogy Help by

3 Answers

+20 votes
Best answer

You cannot use your " DNA test results to confirm [your] direct lineage to Martin Luther". 

Simply put, that is too many generations past to have any substantial amount of autosomal DNA based on the statistics of inheritance. Generally, we only do an "easy" confirmation up to the level of 3rd cousins. After that, a more rigorous approach is required. Specifically going into Autosomal Triangulation:

At least three distant cousins (each one related to each of the others more distantly than third cousin) must share the same segment of DNA that is at least 12 cM. 

The other problem here is that you would need to rule out other possible shared ancestors. As Luther died over 400 years before most people alive today were born, that gives us about 16 generations. That equates to having 33,554,432 ancestors at that distance... many more than the population of Europe. Consequently, you would have pedigree collapse and you would very likely be related to multiple other people, including Martin Luther, many times over! 

So we have two problems:

  1. You can't rule out other ancestors as the source of the DNA
  2. It is very unlikely that you have enough shared autosomal DNA to qualify for a reasonable proof of descent.

If you're interested in DNA and WikiTree, I recommend starting here:

by anonymous G2G6 Pilot (133k points)
selected by Sherrye Woodworth
+11 votes
The Association of Luther-Descendants (in German Lutheriden-Vereinigung) edited 2017 a book about all direct descendants of Martin Luther and Katharina von Bora. I have that book because a direct descendant appears in one of my sidelines. If you want, you can pm me your real name and I can check if you appear in the book.
by Jelena Eckstädt G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
I was messing around on, and it looks like I am related to Martin Luther as well. I would be interested in seeing if you could find a descendant of mine in the book as well.
There is no name "Norris" mentioned in the register of the book. On the other hand, there is one little branch that is only sparsely expanded in the book, because it seems to have some newly discovered descendants.
Hello Jelena Eckstadt,

Thank you so much for responding to Descendents of Martin Luther.

I have a 13th Cousin Match John W Hansen

I have a 10th Cousin 1x removed Summer Aston Hansen (Suzanne Hansen Aston)

Off the top of my head a woman named Jennifer  LBZM-KVX is a match

EHumpers LVW3-FCD with his grand parents LC2Z-9DB and his great grandpa LCRN-58R and his great grandmother LCRN-5CF

Family Search connected me as Dr Martin Luther as my 13th great grandfather.  

Otto Elsing Wohlmann Wollman L8J2-KH2 (1865-1950) Great great grandfather from Chemnitz, Saxony, Prussia is a descendent via related to Marie Clara Concordia Wollmann Lindner and Georg Otto Camillo Lindner (LCCG-JXK)

Erich Hugo Wohlmann Wehlmann Wohlmann 1892-1969) of Alseben, Salzlandkreis, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany is my great grandfather

*Martha Margaret Gertraude Elisabeth Hermi Franzika Wehllmann 1919-1975 my grandmother from Sigmaringen, Baden - Wuttemberg, Germany

*Horst Peter Wehlmann DesRochers  1941 - 2019 My Father from Garmisch Parkenkirchen, Germany

*Jennifer Hope DesRochers Webster 1964 - Present from LosAngeles, California, CA

*Morgan Nicholas Webster is from Anaheim, Orange County, California, USA born 1989 (son)

*Austin Derek Webster is from Anaheim also born in 1991

Thank you for searching, Jennifer
Hello Jennifer,

Sorry, but I didn't find any surname you mentioned and who is connected to the profiles you mentioned on FamilySearch in the names summary of the Luther-book.
+5 votes
There was a Y-DNA tested direct paternal line descendant of Martin Luther’s brother who had his YSearch ID in WikiTree.  He had not joined WIkiTree and his information was lost due to GDPR.

It is possible he could be found and encouraged to upload his Y-DNA results to, and then encouraged to join WikiTree and add his mitoYDNA ID to his DNA Tests page in WikiTree.  The Y-DNA results of any other testee who belongs to that (Luther) direct paternal line could be used to confirm (i.e. to make firmer) the father/son relationships back to their most recent direct paternal line ancestor.
by Peter Roberts G2G6 Pilot (645k points)

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