Sunday, January 17, 2016

Suttlemans, Settlemans, and DNA

Earlier, I'd looked at the Settleman family, which claims to be related to my Suttleman family.  The naming patterns seemed to back up their story--Pesachs and Efrayims in both my Suttleman and this Settleman family.  Mr. Settleman also remembers meeting some of my grandfather's half aunts and was told they were cousins.  We were guessing that he would be a second or third cousin to my grandfather.  So Mr. Settleman took a DNA test to put the questions to rest.

His FamilyFinder (autosomal) results are back.  I had hoped/expected that known Suttleman descendents would be near the top--but they were not.  But how well did they match?
Mr. Settleman's matches with known Suttleman Descendants

Four Suttleman descendents (plus myself) have tested.  Two (George and Ina) are grandchildren of Yechiel Suttleman, my great-great grandfather and would also be at the assumed second/third cousin level to Mr. Settleman.  Two (Marvin--my father--and Sid) are great grandchildren of Yechiel Suttleman and would be another generation removed.

Mr. Settleman had a decent match with George, but Ina didn't match Mr. Settleman at all.  My father showed as a very distant cousin--and my Uncle Sid didn't match Mr. Settleman at all.  And since all of these individuals are from 100% Ashkenazi Jewish backgrounds, there's the whole problem of endogamy factoring in as well--perhaps George is related to Mr Settleman through his mother's side.

One more of Yechiel's grandchildren's test results aren't in yet, so perhaps those will be more informative.
Mr. Settleman's Segments in Common with George and Marvin--No Overlap at Chromosomes 18+

As can be seen above, there's only one segment of reasonably large length that Mr Settleman has in common with George, on chromosome 17.  Is this Suttleman DNA?  Or another common ancestor further back?  The smaller segments shared by my father and George can be attributed to endogamy--or perhaps from Yechiel Suttleman.  Isn't endogamy fun?

Mr. Settleman's y-DNA is still being processed.  A direct-male line descendent of Yechiel Suttleman has already tested, so that comparison can immediately disprove a connection (should there not be a match) or add another point towards the view that the Settlemans and Suttlemans are the same family.  So more to follow!

Note:  I'm on Twitter.  Feel free to follow me (@larasgenealogy).

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  1. Doing genetic genealogy without endogamy is like playing minor league baseball.

  2. Israel, as a baseball fan, and as Jewish genealogist learning to play in the deep waters of DNA testing, I can't express more strongly how I much I love that statement!

  3. Using DNA for researching Ashkenazi Jews is so frustrating. It's like panning for gold in a river where there is none---you pull up silt and rocks and at best fools' gold. Or at least that has been my experience. I hope you have better luck with the Y-DNA!