Wednesday, November 18, 2015

My Great-Great Grandmother's Name--Back to a Mystery (And It's DNA's Fault)

In earlier posts, I discussed how in trying to discover the maiden name of Hinda Diamond, my great-great grandmother, I first discovered a document that had it as Christ--but I soon had a moment of epiphany and tied "Cousin Sam" mentioned in a letter written by my grandfather's first cousin to the Schmul Kreiss who emigrated to America with my grandfather's aunt and two cousins.  Schmul became Samuel Krise in America and lived in Detroit where he had three daughters.  I suspected that my great-great grandmother's maiden name had been Kreiss.

In September, I received an email from a woman named Lisa, who had found my blog posts--and who was a great granddaughter of Sam Krise.  And her grandmother is still alive.  Well, channeling Israel Pickholtz, I realized this was the perfect situation for DNA testing!  With my hypothesized relationship and the clues given in the aforementioned letter, Sam was likely a first or second cousin of my grandfather--definitely close enough for my father's, uncle's and probably my autosomal DNA to match.
Schmul Kreiss (Sam Krise)'s Ship Manifest (line 26); 1913

Lisa's grandmother was tested on Ancestry, on which only myself and my paternal uncle have tested from this part of the family (most of our kits--including my own and this uncle's) are on FamilyTreeDNA.  So I logged in, hoping to find a new close relative--and neither myself nor my uncle match Lisa's grandmother.

I do, however, match a grandson of Sam Krise who had tested, but the match is only 6.1 cM across two DNA segments, so that's lost in endogamous noise.
My DNA Match with Sam Krise's grandson

I match this grandson as a "distant" cousin, with a possible range 5th-8th cousins.

Lisa will be uploading her grandmother's DNA to GedMatch and FTDNA so that I can look more closely at how much DNA is actually shared.

So while when I published my previous post on the Krise family, I was pretty confident that my great-great grandmother Hinda's maiden name had been Kreiss/Krise.  Now, not so much.  But perhaps the services which allow for more close analysis of DNA segments will clarify things....  Stay tuned!

Note:  I recently joined Twitter.  Feel free to follow me (@larasgenealogy).
Want to get future blog posts emailed to you automatically?
Enter your email address:


  1. It was so weird reading this. We are not related, but I also have a great great grandmother whose maiden name was Hinda Diamond. She died in "the Old Country."

    1. That is odd! Are you sure you're not related? Where in the old country did your Hinda Diamond live?

  2. 6.1 centamorgans shared across 2 DNA segments is a lot more distant than 5-8th cousin for an endagomous population like ours. :) I share 91.03 cm with my 4th cousin. FTDNA suggested that we were "5th to distant" cousins.
    -Mindie Kaplan

    1. I know. But ancestry is new to offering this sort of thing, and they don't account for endogamy like FTDNA does. That's why I'm hoping once the raw data is transferred to FTDNA and GedMatch, I'll have more insight.