I last wrote about an AncestryDNA match who was a descendant of Samuel and Judith (Wolf) Snyder, a possible cousin through Jacob and Catharine (___) Snyder and/or Jacob and Magdalena (Brey) Wolf. This post is about what I learned by mining our Shared Matches.
Besides my mother, I share four matches with this cousin, who for simplicity’s sake, I’m going to call “E.” Let’s call these four match #1 – #4. According to Ancestry they all match within the 4th through 6th cousin range. That means we share 3rd through 5th great grandparents as common ancestors.
Since I’m looking to prove a match to either Jacob and Magdalena (Brey) Wolf and/or Jacob and Catharine (___) Schneider, I would need to match these individuals through one of the following lines:
- Jacob Schneider & Catharine (___), 5x great grandparents
- Henry Schneider & Sarah Wißler, 4x great grandparents
- Joseph Schneider & Judith Deischer, 3x great grandparents
- Conrad Wolf & Catharine Yeakel, 5x great grandparents
- Jacob Wolf & Magdalena Brey, 4x great grandparents
- Joel Wolf & Elizabeth Krauss, 3x great grandparents
- Conrad Brey & Maria Magdalena Klein, 5x great grandparents
If the generational estimate is off, a match might be through the ancestors of either Jacob Schneider or his wife Catharine or Jacob Wolf or his wife Magdalena Brey. I have only determined ancestors for Jacob Wolf and Magdalena Brey, so a Snyder connection would be more difficult to figure out.
Match #1 has a large online family tree, but it does not share any family members with mine. Match #1 and I share 22.6 cMs on two DNA segments. Our shared surnames are Snyder and Walker. Snyder might connect with E, but Walker would connect to other maternal ancestors.
Match #2 has a small online family tree, but it is private. We share 22.4 cMs on one segment.
Match #3 also has small online family tree, but again, no family members in common. We share 20.5 cMs on two segments.
Match #4 does not have a tree associated with their DNA results, but does have a small online tree. It only goes back a couple of generations and does not include any of my known relatives. We share 20.3 cMs on two DNA segments.
Building Out a Family Tree
Match #4’s tree was the smallest and included both dates and places. Since I could easily see the possibility of a quick connection, I started with her tree. I added the people in her tree to my own, using the “Save to Tree” function, and started building out their family trees. Since my maternal ancestry is all eastern Pennsylvania, I paid more attention to those family members who were born in and around that location.
Before too long I reached Emma Caroline (Stout) Hallowell. Emma was born 7 November 1864 and died 24 December 1948 in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.1 She was the daughter of Jesse Stout and Amanda Yeakle. Upon seeing the Yeakle surname, I knew I had found the right line.
Yeakle (aka Yeakel, Jäckel, Yeagle) appears in my family tree numerous times. It’s a well-known, Schwenkfelder surname from the Perkiomen region. Luckily, my ties to this community come primarily through one line, making it relatively easy to trace. I also have a resource I can turn to for this family—the Genealogical Record of the Schwenkfelder Families.2
Amanda (Yeakel) Stout, Emma’s mother, was born in November 1833 in Springfield Township, Montgomery County and died 31 October 1904 in Whitemarsh Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.3 She was the daughter of Jacob Schultz and Lydia (Brey) Yeakle.
Since E may match me on the Snyder and/or Wolf family lines, seeing Lydia Brey was a “happy-dance” moment. Jacob Wolf’s wife was Magdalena Brey, daughter of Johann Conrad and Maria Magdalena (Klein) Brey. Lydia (Brey) Yeakle’s father was Philip Brey, a son of Johann Conrad and Maria Magdalena (Klein) Brey. This makes Match #4 and I 6th cousins through the Brey line.
Match #4 also matches me through Jacob Schultz Yeakle. He was born 16 October 1802 and died 30 May 1863 in Springfield Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.4 He was the son of Isaac and Regina (Schultz) Yeakle. So, we are also 6th cousins through Andrew and Charlotte (Yeakel) Schultz, Regina’s parents.
Regina (Schultz) Yeakle’s sister Christina married George Krauss. Their daughter Elizabeth Krauss married Joel Wolf, son of Jacob and Magdalena (Brey) Wolf. This couple is my gateway to the Schwenkfelders. Any connection I have to this community can be traced through them.
Since we match on two segments, it’s possible that match #4 and I share both a Brey and a Schultz/Yeakel DNA segment. E and I also share two segments, making it possible that we share both a Wolf/Brey and a Snyder segment. Or it could be Yeakel and Wolf segments as both surnames appear multiple times in Jacob Wolf’s ancestry. Only more analysis will tell.
What does this mean regarding my family connection to E? Based on my identifications of match #4’s ancestry, I think that my case for Judith (Wolf) Snyder being the daughter of Jacob and Magdalena (Brey) Wolf is stronger.
If the relationship is true, E and I would be 4th cousins once removed. According to the Shared CM project the average shared DNA for that relationship is 20 cMs with a range between 0 and 57 cMs. E and I share 24.5—just about average.
I’m still looking for a paper trail to document Jacob’s children. But I think the DNA analysis may be pointing to one of them.
- Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Certificate of Death #109067 (1948), Emma C. Hallowell; online, Ancestry, “Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1963” (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 May 2017); citing Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Pennsylvania Department of Health, Records Group 11, Series 11.90, Harrisburg. ↩
- I have the book, but you can also find it online through Ancestry if you have an account. ↩
- Samuel Kriebel Brecht, editor, The Genealogy Record of the Schwenkfelder Families, Seekers of Religious Liberty Who Fled Silesia to Saxony and Thence to Pennsylvania in the Years 1731 and 1737 (New York : Rand McNally & Co., 1923), page 1265. ↩
- Brecht, The Genealogy Record of the Schwenkfelder Families, page 1261. ↩