So, when AncestryDNA became available, I again asked my mom and dad to provide a sample and I also participated. When I first received my results, I feared I had discovered that I was not my parents' child because I had always thought I was primarily German. My results, though, were:
- 55% Great Britain
- 22% Ireland
- 11% Scandinavia
- 3% Europe West (German, French, etc.)
- 2% European Jew
- 2% Iberian Peninsula
- 1% Italy/Greece
- 1% Europe East
- 3% Caucasus
Only 3% Europe West which included Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein! But, lo and behold, my father -- my Ritterhouse father -- whose grandfather was full-blooded German, was 49% IRISH and only 11% Europe West!
I was starting to doubt my grandmother's fidelity, but fortunately, there is another useful component to the AncestryDNA. Matches are made to cousins who have also tested their DNA with AncestryDNA. I have been able to find connections to many of my 200+ cousin matches.
|Rosena Kramer Ritterhouse Vandorn|
Cousin Jim explained that back in the late 1970s, in his quest to learn more about his paternal grandmother, Emma Kramer (who was born in Pekin, Tazewell County, Illinois) he located the obituary of her father, John (Johannes) Kramer who died in Pekin on September 30, 1915. From the obituary he discovered that John was born in Haueda, Germany.
Hooked on genealogy and wanting to learn more, he was able to eventually visit Haueda several years ago. They stayed in a Bed and Breakfast in Haueda for a couple of days. It was actually the lady who owned the B & B who told him John's birth name was probably Johannes Cramme. She then contacted a man in Wuppertal, Germany. This man, whose name was Hans Heinrich Cramme, drove the 100 plus miles to Haueda that evening to visit his "long-lost cousin". Hans spoke no English and they spoke very little German, but with the generous help of a local lady, they were able to communicate some. Hans presented them with a book that contained all his research in the Cramme family. The book, of course, is written in German, a language in which our cousin has a severely limited vocabulary. Cousin Jim kept in contact with our German Cramme cousin Hans for some years, but believes he may no longer be alive since he has not responded for awhile.
Next post I will write more about the Cramme family and the German village of Haueda.