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Bartholomew Riehle – a Descendant of the Wagshurst Riehle Family?

Recent atDNA results link a Wagshurst Riehle descendant to an apparent descendant of Battholomew Riehle. Bartholomew emigrated from Offenburg Baden in the 19th century. With no known ancestral connection, can we firm up a genetic link between the two Family Segments? Perhaps we can with your help.

Since doing the Ancestry.com DNA test we’ve had some interesting revelations but of particular interest is an atDNA (autosomal DNA) match reviewed recently suggesting the Wagshurst-based Riehle line and the line of Bartholomew Riehle may connect back as recently as 1720. 

Unfortunately the referenced family tree associated with this match needs to receive further verification and we have not been able to get a response when messaging the individual concerned.  That said, the information available suggests these two lines of the Riehle family may have both originated with an ancestor born in Baden between 1670 and 1720.

George L. Riehle
(1884–1963)

The DNA match and related tree connect a Riehle male from the Waghurst line (the Riehle.net editor and author of this article) through a male descendent of George Lawrence Riehle who was the son of Henry Riehle and grandson of Bartholomew Ferdinand Riehle (1794–1876). Bartholomew was born in Offenburg Baden and emigrated to the US in or around 1832, settling first in Ross County, Ohio and later in Stearns County, Minnesota. His son Henry ended up purchasing the farm in Ross County when Bartholomew moved on to Minnesota and Henry’s son George later moved to Indiana where our match is located.

The earliest Bartholomew ancestor we have been able to identify is Jacob Jonnes Riehle (1720–1768) who was Bartholomew’s grandfather. Our best available information indicates that Jacob may have also been born in Offenburg which is about 19 km south of the smaller town of Wagshurst.  The extent of the atDNA match (i.e., the identified cM count) suggests the ancestor common to both lines may have been either Mathias Riehle (b. 1697) or his apparent father Johannes Riehle (b. 1674), both born in Wagshurst where they lived their entire lives. Masthias could be Jacob Jonnes’ father or Johannes could be his grandfather. While we have good Y-haplogroup evidence that Mathias did in fact have the same Y-DNA as his many identified descendants, such evidence is not available beyond his generation such that it is possible his Y-DNA might have been inherited anomalistically via someone other than Johannes. If so, an unnamed common ancestor to the line of Bartholomew and Jacob Jones Riehle as well as to Mathias might explain the trail of DNA evidence.

Sorting out the specific relationships is a larger issue but our first step is to confirm a DNA connection.

The indication of a possible genetic connection suggested through atDNA testing is interesting but, given the limited information available from the existing genetic match, it would be more reliable with further validation. Moreover, since current information suggests all male-male lineages (including the Riehle surnames at each generation on both sides), if the lineage associated with our Bartholomew match is accurate it virtually confirms Y-haplogroup continuity between the two Family Segments. Confirming that lineage or else finding other evidence (atDNA or Y-DNA) thus becomes the challenge. However, given the timelines for the connection, another atDNA match would be very weak or undetectable and so unlikely despite our one apparent match. To be more specific, the existing match is only 8 cM (centimorgan). Given the weakness of this connection, consistent with a relationship of 7th cousin or greater, other such distant cousins may well have no identifiable common atDNA segments even if they share a common ancestor. Of course Y-DNA retains continuity over a far greater number of generations such that the combination of a Y-DNA match in addition to our one distant atDNA match would be significant.

We are hoping to get cooperation of Riehle family members to confirm these connections through a second match.  Aanyone with an all-male lineage back to Bartholomew, especially via George and/or Henry Riehle who has done or is willing to do 23andMe or other Y-haplogroup testing could provide valuable input.

While less likely to meet threshold cM levels for an atDNA match, any descendant of Bartholomew Ferdinand Riehle, but especially a descendant of George Lawrence Riehle and/or Henry Riehle who has done AncestryDNA or 23andMe testing would be of real interest. 

If you are a descendant of Bartholomew Ferdinand Riehle and already have DNA test results please take a quick look for matches as follows:

  • AncestryDNA: Search on names with Riehle, Wening, Chambers, Broerman and Dorse. (If you have a match on any of these Ancestry.com names please let us know.)
  • 23andMe: If you have a match to Nick Riehle or Dennis Riehle please let us know or if you are a male with surname Riehle and an E-V13 Y-haplogroup designation please let us know.
  • Other DNA Test Programs: If you are a male with surname Riehle and an E-V13 Y-haplogroup designation please let us know.

If you have test results as indicated above, or have the described ancestry and might be interested in doing DNA testing, please contact us below to discuss. We may be able to help with the cost of testing. Your response will of course be kept confidential.


See also Riehle Y-Haplogroup DNA


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