Following an X match in the Etne farm books


Having just received the Etne, Norway local history books (bygdebuker) for Christmas, I have spent countless hours looking at my ancestors in them. Naturally I have been trying to think of even more ways to use these books.

An idea that came to me was to look at my Dad’s one-to-many X matches at and see if I could find a match where I could follow the lines and connect them to Dad’s maternal grandad via those books


The largest X match he had with an unfamiliar name and email was to *k for 26.8 centimorgans (cMs) and it included a small autosomal match of 6.3 cMs. This seemed promising so I used the user lookup function on my GEDmatch home page and was delighted to see that she had uploaded a GEDCOM.


The GEDCOM number is clickable from the lookup result and it takes you to a page listing the individual. Of course what you really want is the pedigree to quickly scan for relatives in common and there is a button for that at the top of the page. Better is to use the compare 2 GEDCOMs feature from the home page to compare your match’s GEDCOM to your own. Works great if you both have deep trees but I had no luck with that for *k.

Next I clicked on the pedigree button at the top of her individual listing in the GEDCOM which took me to her pedigree page. Nothing jumped out at me and most of them were from Germany.


Since this is likely a match from the 1700s or earlier, I changed the number of generations from the default of 5 to 8 and clicked submit. Then I used the browser search on this page for the word “Norway.”


I found a Lars Alvaldsen Stole born in Etnesjøen, Hordaland, Norway on her pedigree. Right place but wait it is his son she is descended from and X cannot go through two males. Perhaps his wife Anna Sjursdatr is also from Etne? First I checked on Lars.

Although there is no farm Stole there is an Etne farm called Stødle and there was indeed a Lars Alvaldson born the right year who emigrated to America after living at farm Sørheim (1).


Stødle chuch, Etne, Norway in 2015

Over to farm Sørheim where I see him married to Anna Sjursdotter born on that farm to Sjur Jonesson and Anna Sørensdatter (2). Yes this is them. Right names and dates. Now to walk them back and find the match on Anna’s line

I used for the next step because so many Norwegians are already there. I went up her tree from farm to farm in the books until I found an ancestor already in that world collaborative tree. Then I built down to Anna and back up, merging into people already on the tree until GENI told me that the profile I was on was my second cousin four times removed. Now I knew I had the link.

So I went back to Anna Sjursdtr’s profile and let GENI tell me the relationship. I confirmed that it was a valid X inheritance line for both of us. Plus I checked the husbands of our common ancestress and *k and I are each descended from a different one so this Anna, born in 1729 is the presumed source of our matching X DNA, since there are no other connections in the 1700s or more recently.



My common ancestress with *k

So *k who shares this 28cM of X with me and Dad is my half 6th cousin. Our Etne area trees are both complete back to this generation and a few more but I still need to triple check that there is no other possible X path in genealogical time. Another task is to check some of the other people in my Dad’s master spreadsheet who overlap our X here and see if they are also descended on this line.

I plan to download a GEDCOM to send to *k and I also will add it to because of the great DNA features there.

On to the next X match tomorrow unless I need to get some paid work done … yes this is my idea of fun!


1) Etne-soga by Ståle Dyrvik, vol IV “Folket. Stødle sokn” Stødle p 173 item 46j
2) Etne-soga by Ståle Dyrvik, vol IV “Folket. Stødle sokn” Sørheim pp 198-9 item 34

16 thoughts on “Following an X match in the Etne farm books

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  1. Hello. I am wondering if you would also pursue the X match of 22 cM with no autosomal? Does no autosomal match mean it’s invalid?
    My brother has one of 36cM, which is why I’m asking.

  2. This article convinced me that I MUST upload a gedcom to GEDmatch. I do have a few deep lines that are sourced and it may help someone along the lines.

  3. I have an atDNA match of 1801 cM’s with 63cM’s on the X chromosome. She is insisting she is my half sister. My known half sister and I are a slightly higher atDNA match but share 168 cM’s on the X chromosome, we share the same mother.
    Wouldn’t we share more DNA on the X if we were paternal half sisters? I think she is my aunt, rather than sister.

  4. Hi Kitty,

    I have another XDNA question. This seems to be the most confusing for me…
    The story is my mother and her sister did not share a father so I understand that would mean they only shared X from their mother and that X would likely be different for each of them.
    The next generation
    Maternal Uncle #1’s daughter shares 89 cM on the X to maternal aunt above.
    I share 15 cM’s X to my maternal aunt.
    Maternal Uncle #1’s daughter doesn’t share any X with me.
    Maternal Uncle #2’s son doesn’t share any X with me.

    Shouldn’t some of my grandmother’s X DNA be shared between 1st cousins?
    Son # 2

  5. If you remember that a man does not pass X to his son this becomes easier. So maternal uncle’s son would not share X with you from your grandparents. Look at the chart at the bottom of this article
    The fact that his daughter shares no X with you is just the randomness of DNA recombination assuming that the 15cM you share with your maternal aunt is in a different location than the 89 cM she shares. if there is some overlap then try lowering the defaults when you compare.

    • From the “kommune” for Etne. Someone on the Norwegian Genealogy Facebook page gave me the email for them. Contact yours. Warning, shipping is very expensive!!

  6. Can any of these websites help if you are adopted. I recently receive my DNA from Ancestry and uploaded it to Gedmatch but I have no idea where to go from here.

    • There is lots of help for adoptees at including online classes. Also I am doing an adoption workshop at the upcoming SCGS jamboree.

  7. Hi, I was just wondering where the Etne farm books can be ordered from? I also have ancestors from there and have hit a brick wall with my research and am hoping these books might point me in the right direction. Thanks in advance 🙂

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