Monday, July 31, 2017

First Direct Line Lutter DNA Match

My father tested his DNA at  He spit July 12th and the results appeared today- a quick turn-around time.

I am already tested at  I cannot test my mother because she has passed.  (Ancestry does not accept file transfers from other testing companies.)

To my delight, someone with the Luther surname appeared among the matches.  This is a first.  The amount of shared DNA places him in the second to third cousin range.

No family tree.

Ancestry has a function to check for close cousins in common.  This Luther cousin matches a woman who appeared among my DNA matches two years ago.  This woman is a descendant of Alexander Lutter of Chicago.  A man named Alex Lutter witnessed the marriage of my great great great grandparents, Herman Lutter and Clara Uhl, in 1888 in Newark, Essex County, New Jersey.

Herman Lutter's father was Wilhelm Lutter, based on the marriage records of Herman and his brother, Otto (who used the surname Luther).  That is the end of the Lutter line traced to date- the shortest in my family tree.  Herman was from Scheibe (renamed Neuhaus) in Thuringia (Germany).  (Herman and Otto's mother's name varies.)

This DNA connection could break down that brick wall.

Let's hope he answers my message.

Monday, July 10, 2017

My Heritage Offers an Ethnicity Estimate

Most people who ask me about DNA testing are interested in finding out their "ethnicity."

"Do your family tree instead," I tell them.


First, you do not carry DNA of all your ancestors.

Second, your DNA is not a proportional representation of your ancestors beyond your mother and father.

Third, your results will vary from company to company and over time.

Fourth, modern-day political boundaries of countries do not represent a homogeny of inhabitants now or throughout history.

Three months ago, I uploaded DNA files to My Heritage because it was free.  I am looking for relatives to fill in missing leaves and branches of my family tree.  So far, my mother has two matches in the second to fourth degree cousin range, but neither has responded to my inquiries.

Today an email signaled the arrival of My Heritage's Ethnicity Estimate.  The spinning globe with music, supposedly from the area of origin, is eye-catching and unique.  I could not reproduce the spinning globe here, so I created some screen shots.  It seems that the spinning globe function is limited to five regions.

The beginning of my spinning globe ethnicity display

The end of my spinning globe

Greek is new to me.  The beauty of my situation is that I can compare my ethnicity results with my parents.  From either parent I can inherit all of a particular ethnicity, a portion, or none.

Neither of my parents is Greek, according to My Heritage.  We've done this before with Family Tree DNA and 23andMe.  Some of the purported ethnicities do not line up with my parents.

The remaining ethnicities for my father do not include Greek.
His Baltic and Scandinavian are not reflected in my estimate.

My mother.  I currently describe her as three quarters Irish and one quarter Russian.

My maternal grandmother's first cousin (O'Donnell/Joyce branch) came up 100% Irish.