So what is the opposite of the saying when it rains it pours? How about the sun is not only shining but there are rainbows!
When you keep extensive spreadsheets that include the common ancestor for segments of DNA that triangulate, you sometimes have quick success with a new DNA relative.
I recently shared my Norwegian 3rd cousin’s kit with Shelley on 23andme. She has a large X match with him that I am still working on. His maternal side from Rogaland is not related to me that I know of.
Naturally I always compare a new DNA relative to everyone else possible. I was surprised to discover that she shares a small bit of DNA with my Dad and my brother that triangulates with a known fourth cousin and her sister. Synchronicity … these are the same cousins mentioned in my previous post about my X segment from Ve and Fatland.
Etne Fjord, Ve farm at very distant left hand side
So I emailed Shelley and told her that she shares a small (6cM) segment that we know comes to us from our ancestor Aamund Bjørnson Tvedten (Ve) 1772-1842 so perhaps we share one of his ancestors. She replied back, all excited, wow my great-grandmother is Anna Wee (Ve).
Hans Martin Gunderson
The randomness of DNA inheritance always amazes me. My Norwegian-American father seems to have inherited more DNA from his Skjold grandad, “Dada,” than his Wold grandma, “Mormor.” Dad shares more than the expected amount of DNA with 3rd and 4th and double 4th cousins on his Skjold line. Of course this could also be explained by the slight endogamy in the area they come from, Etne, Hordaland. By comparison, Dad shares no DNA with a Wold 3rd cousin once removed and only a small amount with her mother. He shares more with a few other Wold cousins but it tends to be less than the expected amount with the more distant cousins on that line.
Recently I found two new Skjold cousins via DNA testing, Maria and Irene.
On Ancestry.com, a 3rd cousin match appeared for my brother which turned out to be a real 3rd cousin, a Gundersen relative who is descended from Dada’s sister Margareta. Her son who immigrated to Brooklyn, Hans Martin Gundersen, is pictured on the left.
On 23andme.com, I found a new 3rd-4th cousin on Dad’s list, who was found to be from another branch of our Holland relatives. The Hollands descend from Dada’s Aunt Mette (see my post with her portrait). My father’s newly found 3rd cousin twice removed shares 1.10% of her DNA with him: 4 segments totaling 84cM. This is on the high side, more like a second cousin once removed (click here for the article at ISOGG about the expected amounts of shared DNA).
So read on for the details of how I figured out the actual relationships with my new cousins.
The other day I got an email from Katy, a new close cousin match for my Dad at family tree DNA, a 2nd to 4th cousin. I went and looked at where she matched Dad and saw two quite large segments, 34.47 cM and 18.87 cM. So I added those segments to Dad’s master spreadsheet and saw that the smaller one overlapped an 11.9 cM match with a known 3rd cousin on my WOLD line. But he was tested only at 23andme so I could not compare them. However because I am tested at both, as well as Dad, I could use the comparison with me to determine if they matched each other (see my post on alternate triangulation) and yes we all matched. So I wrote Katy back that she looked to be related on my WOLD line and she replied oh yes, my grandmother was a Wold!
My great-great-grandparents Jorgen and Anna Wold
Her grandmother was the granddaughter of my great-great-grandparents whose pictures are shown above. So they are her gg-grandparents too, making us 3rd cousins and my Dad her 2nd cousin once removed. I had received these photos from another 3rd cousin some time ago. My family no longer had those pictures. One delightful thing about finding new 3rd and 4th cousins is that they often have photographs and stories of ancestors that are new to you.
Back in the late 1800s our Norwegian ancestors and relatives came here in droves; about 80,000 Norwegians came before the Civil War and even more afterwards. Partially it was economic conditions in Norway but mainly it was due to the population pressures from improved medicine. The practice of dividing the farm among your boys does not work so well when you have ten children most of whom are now surviving to adulthood. So emigration to America was the solution for many.
Most of my relatives, like many Norwegian immigrants, settled out in the northern midwestern states: Illinois (Kendall County), Iowa (Story City), South Dakota and Wisconsin. However, my own ancestors stayed in New York. The ship’s carpenter Monsens and my g-grandfather Henry (Halvor Hans) Skjold settled in the Norwegian section of Bay Ridge in Brooklyn, NY. Hans was known as Henry H. Lee in this country. He was the embodiment of the successful immigrant story (see this newspaper article ) making it big with his harbor businesses.
Two of his sisters, both named Anna, kept to more traditional endeavors and headed to Kendall County, Illinois with their husbands and children and farmed. We are in touch with the Stevenson descendants who have a yearly reunion in July in Illinois. We always wondered about the descendants of his aunt Mette Tvetden Haaland, his dead mother’s half sister. She went to Wisconsin with her eight children and her husband Sjur who tragically died soon after arrival along with the baby. My Stevenson genealogist cousin and I had long since given up on finding her descendants. But along came DNA testing and suddenly I had some good matches in Dad’s 23andme account with the surname Holland, could it be? Why yes!
A long time ago I received an email from the husband of a possible cousin wondering if his wife’s WALD family was the same as our WOLD family. Naturally I suggested a DNA test and the results just came in. Yes she is a member of our WOLDs and is descended from my gg-grandfather Jørgen Oleson Wold via my g-grandmother Maren Wold’s brother Carl (Charlie) Wold. Below are the faces of four generations of my new 3rd cousin once removed’s ancestors.
Now for the details of how we used autosomal DNA testing to confirm this …