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Riehle Y-Haplogroups

Photos reflect a
Y-DNA lineage
with births from
1833 to 1918

We are attempting to get a better sense for the commonality and diversity of the various Riehle lineages through an assessment of Y-DNA from these lineages.

While autosomal DNA (atDNA) dilutes over a limited number of generations, Y-DNA and mt-DNA remain distinctive over hundreds of generations. Many of us attempt to track our mtDNA as well as Y-DNA back as far as we can, but since this site is focused on a specific surname and since surnames in our culture have generally been passed from father to son along with the Y chromosome, tracking Y-haplogroups among Family Segments has relevance to the focus of this website.

We all understand of course that not all Riehle Y-DNA will be the same. Surnames only came into common use in Germany in the later middle ages and came from many sources including place names, references to a parent’s given name, occupations, accomplishments, offices held, physical appearance, etc. Moreover in Germany surnames only became firmly and legally hereditary in the 19th century, so prior to that time a man might assume a surname similar to others in use if it seemed a good fit, or those around him might reference him with a descriptive name, assigning it to his children in subsequent church records.

Although we do not know the source of our surname, it may have been borrowed from the Old French “riuler“, from Latin regulāre, “to regulate or rule”. Its use in Baden (along the Rhine, adjacent to France) might support this. Another source speculates a similar association. Regardless, this works as an example of how names might have been assumed back in the day as various local leaders might have adopted the name from other such leaders in the region with no hereditary association. Of course surname lineages may also vary from genetic lineages due to adoptions, unmarried mothers abandoned by fathers, wives unfaithful to husbands, pronunciation drift, spelling differences (in church records for example) or other anomalies that can creep into a family line over hundreds of years.

Whatever the history of the name within a particular lineage, it has been carried forward as a representations of that lineage and remains with us today. As we attempt to identify Riehle haplogroups we can hope to learn more about the genetic history of each such lineages, going back to the time of the adoption of the name within that lineage, and then millennia beyond. Of course we also look for any haplogroup commonality we might find across and within our various Family Segments.

So we are attempting to tie the various results from Y-DNA testing to Riehle Immigrant Ancestors or other broad family identifiers and would like help from our readers to do this. More data will yield  better insights, so please do not hold back just because there may already be results for your ancestral line.  We have already identified centuries old commonality within lineages as well as anomalistic difference. More testing and confidential sharing of key information will help us learn more about the history of our surname.

For anyone who participates in this exercise, please be assured that nothing will go into this table without your review and approval. As you can see from the content below, participant names and recent ancestry are not disclosed.

Y-HaplogroupInformation Including Immigrant Ancestor or Similar Family Ties
(With deep subclade detail available on request)
We now have distant Riehle cousins (6th cousins, once removed) from the Wagshurst line showing closely matching, deep subclade results within the E-V13 haplogroup. A Riehle from the line of Clemens Riehle is matched to the line of Felix and Leonhard Riehle. The lineages have their MRCA (most recent common ancestor) in Mathias Riehle, born 1697 in Wagshurts, Baden. Various Autosomal DNA matches link to other Riehle family members back through their respective lineages, providing evidence of continuity for many Wagshurst descendants. Such descendants are in Ohio, New York, Indiana, Kentucky, Arizona, California, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Ontario and other parts of the US and Canada. No doubt others can be found in the Baden region of Germany.

Update: A Riehle with male lineage roots from an area approximately 17 km southwest of Offenburg, Baden, who had generously agreed to do Y-DNA testing, has shown E-V13 results, with the only close matches being the two Wagshurst Riehle men discussed above. Additional analysis may tell us more about the “Wagshurst” subclade and when and where it derived verses other closely related Swabian subclades of E-V13.
R1a-CTS1211This Y-DNA haplogroup has been identified in a man with the Riehle surname who traces his genealogical male ancestry to Benedict and Johannes Riehle. Johannes (b. Wagshurst in 1756) is confirmed as E-V13 via the lineages connecting the E-V13 testers discussed above. Accordingly, the results shown here suggest a Y-DNA discontinuity. Use the Comment section below for more information and mark “Confidentil”. Notwithstanding this possible discontinuity, CTS1211 is now clearly well established as a Riehle Y-Haplogroup across a number of states.
R-S6168 A deep subclade of L21, aka R1b1a1a2a1a2c, aka R1b-M529This Y-DNA is from a genealogical descendant of Bartholomew Riehle (via son Andrew) of Offenburg, Baden, with descendants in Ross County Ohio, Farming Minnesota, North Dakota and elsewhere. Available statistics indicate however that this haplogroup has over 80% identification to Irish ancestry with nearly all the rest Scottish and English, so additional Y-DNA testing is required.
R1b1 – Over 99% likely to be Haplogroup
R-M269, aka R1b1a1a1a2
This is another, older, less precise reading of simply R1b1 from another Bartholomew Riehle genealogical descendant (via his son Ferdinand). This older, less specific reading is a parent-clade of R-S6168, discussed above. This cannot however be viewed as strongly corroborative as most men of German ancestry with the R-M269 designation are in the R1b1-S21 subclade (see below) and few are R-S6168. Additional Y-DNA testing is required.
Possible atDNA link to E-V13There is autosomal DNA evidence (from one segment with very low cM) suggesting an all male connection between a Bartholomew Riehle descendant (via his son Henry) and a man with E-V13 Y-DNA from the Wagshurst line. This connection requires stronger verification, ideally through Y-DNA testing.
aka R1a1a,
subclade of R-M420 (R1a)
This haplogroup assessment comes from a descendant of Joseph Riehle Sr. who immigrated to Lafayette Indiana from Baden in 1854. Male siblings of Joseph also settled in Lafayette as well as in Kansas City, MO. An estimated 99.7% of documented test-subjects in this haplogroup are in subclade R-M417 which appears to have originated well north of Baden with its greatest numbers in Scandinavia, Poland and Russia as well as Germany. More testing from this line is needed.
R1b1-S21, aka R-M405, aka R-U106, aka R1b1a1a2a1a1From a Riehle in Germany near Stuttgart (Württemberg). This haplogroup is held by about 19% of men in Germany. We encourage other Württemberg Riehle or other German Riehle descendants to participate.

Riehle.Net is now also working with Family Tree DNA where we have established a Surname Project: “Riehle of Germanic Europe”. You can work with us through either site to explore our common and diverse Y-DNA connections.

So come on Riehle boys, help us out with this! Please reply below with your information or get tested with Family Tree DNA, 23andMe or another testing services that include haplogroup information. Please contact us (below) to discuss testing services or costs. All responses will be kept confidential unless and until you agree to allow related content to appear.

Sons of the Legion ?
Exploring the migration of an E-V13 subclade into Swabia

Riehle Y-DNA Research Project at Family Tree DNA

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Richard M
Richard M
October 5, 2023 5:18 pm

Interesting… I’m I-M253 and [theoretically] a descendant of Clemens via Francis Albert and Clarence Edward. Have you heard from any other I-M253 Riehles?

Richard M
Richard M
October 9, 2023 11:35 am
Reply to  Nick

Ah yes, good point. I’ll blame overtiredness for that one.