Many records give Magdalena’s surname as Rochette, but I have found not one shred of evidence as to that or any other surname, nor can I find where the information about the Rochette surname originated. So call me stubborn, but until there is some sort of proof, I’m not using it. I will say one thing though. Philip Jacob Miller was Brethren, as were his parents, and it’s very likely that his wife was also from the Brethren community – and there was no Rochette in the Brethren community or even in the same county. And yes, I’ve personally checked the records.
Philip Jacob Miller and wife Magdalena had two sons, David, who my newly found cousin descends from, born in 1757, and Daniel, who I descend from, born in 1755. My cousin and I had “met” on 23and Me a year or so ago, but since she was not at Family Tree DNA, she could not join the Miller-Brethren surname project and I couldn’t compare her results to those of other known Miller descendants. The Miller-Brethren DNA project focuses on the Miller families who were members of the Brethren (or similar) religions – and yes – there was more than one genetic Miller family – even in the same county and congregation. They even moved cross-country together, yet they were not all from the same Miller ancestral line. Y DNA busted that assumption years ago, but it was not at all what we expected to find!
When I received a note from my cousin that she had taken advantage of Family Tree DNA’s (almost) free transfer opportunity, I was thrilled, because we could then compare her to the rest of the clan.
In the Miller-Brethren project, we have three other cousins, all of whom descend from Daniel Miller in one way or another, that my cousin matches. Her best match is to my mother with 82 shared centimorgans and next, with me at 64.
You can see the comparison on the chromosome browser, below, at the default thresholds. Green is my mother, orange is me and blue is cousin Herbie who descends from another son of Daniel Miller. You can see that there is a very large chunk of DNA on chromosome 14 where we all match. A fourth cousin, shown in pink, also descended from Daniel, does not carry this segment of DNA on chromosome 14.
Dropping the threshold to 1cM produced more matching segments, but still no pink on chromosome 14, so clearly our pink cousin did not receive any Miller DNA on chromosome 14. However, we can attribute a huge chunk of chromosome 14 to Philip Jacob Miller and wife, Magdalena. This segment is quite large, a total of 48cM and 12,894 SNPs.
A second very interesting match is on the X chromosome. It’s fairly large too, a total of 11.84cM broken into three segments. You can see that both mother and I match my cousin on the same X segments – obviously from Philip Jacob Miller and Magdalena. Right? Wrong. Wrong. Very wrong.
If you’re scratching your head about now, you’re not alone. Keep reading…
Do you ever just get a sense that something isn’t right? A second sense that you need to check again? Well, in genetic genealogy, never assume. After I thought for just a second, I decided to grab my X chromosome map, because something just didn’t seem right. So glad I did, because Philip Jacob Miller and Magdalena are NOT on the X inheritance path of my mother (and therefore not me either) so the X match CANNOT come from them.
Using Charting Companion software, I can easily see, in pink and blue, who my mother’s X chromosome comes from in her lineage. You can also see that Philip Jacob Miller isn’t on the X path, and neither are his descendants for two downstream generations – not until David Miller’s wife, Catharine Schaeffer, brings her X to the game. So, the X match cannot be through this Miller line.
So, where did it come from?
In addition to this chart, I also sent an X chromosome pedigree chart to my cousin. She looked it over, and made a discovery.
Moving to my grandmother’s X chart, because the print is too small to read if I add another generation on my mother’s chart, you can now see Maria Magdalena Weber.
Maria Magdalena Weber was born in 1724 in Mutterstadt, Germany to Johann Martin Weber and Maria Magdalena Schunck.
As it turns out, my cousin has another ancestor Eva Maria Weber, born in 1709, someplace in the Phalz portion of Germany, first found in Oley, PA. Now, it turns out, that Oley, PA is also where some of my other ancestors lived. The DeTurks, Hochs and Deharcourts married into the Schaeffer family who migrated to Montgomery County, Ohio and married into the Miller family. And yes, for those who are wondering, the Schaeffer line IS in my X path and yes, there are brick walls there that need to fall.
Looking back at the first fan chart, Catharina Schaeffer is the wife of David Miller, son of Daniel Miller, son of Philip Jacob Miller and Magdalena. Yep, it’s a small world. And truth is stranger, sometimes, than fiction.
So, is our common ancestor a Weber? And if it is a Weber, is it from the Mutterstadt Weber line, or is it a mystery person from Oley, PA – a brick wall that hasn’t fallen yet?
We don’t know.
We’re still working on it.
Now all I need is a tool to find every other person who matches me and my cousin on that same X segment and see who their ancestors are.
Webers or Oley, PA people, or both????
Or are they one and the same?
Webers who are from Mutterstadt and who went to Oley, PA and…
would it be…
could it be…
possible that I descend through that line twice????
Oh, my head hurts.
The genealogy Gods certainly have a perverse and twisted sense of humor.
The lesson here is never assume. Just because you have positively identified your common ancestor with a match, and proven it with triangulation, doesn’t necessarily mean that is your ONLY ancestor that you share with that match. You know what assume does.
Among other things, it gives you a headache.
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