I’ve felt kind of down about the Johnston side of the family. It is a huge family and some people are just complete dead ends and I can’t find any records on them. So I’ve decided to try to find another branch of my mom’s family tree and I think my mom might be part of the Kunz family. First I downloaded AncestryyDNA helper like friend suggested.
- Added the AncestryDNA Helper Extension for Chrome. *You must use Google’s Chrome internet browser* This is what you’ll see now when you log onto AncestryDNA. New buttons!
- Run a full scan. (This took over 24 hours)
- Download DNA match’s ancestor list
This list was so overwhelming – I didn’t know what to do with it at first. There are so many names… ah! I decided to go back to a 3rd cousin match that didn’t have any connection to Johnston (that I could see).. I recorded the surnames of their 2nd great grandparents…
Here’s where that massive list came in handy. I just went down the list of last names.. Some of the names that were on this particular 3rd cousin match was Grona, Keller and Kunz. Grona only had a few hits and those hits were pretty much from the 3rd cousin match I had taken the name from. So I crossed that name off. I moved on to the next name. Keller – same only a few hits. But Kunz had a many hits and from multiple DNA matches. This is where it got kind of exciting.
Working off of my downloaded list of DNA match’s ancestors, I made a list of people who had Kunz as their last name and their birth and death years. Any time I saw that name more than once, it got a check and I would record who the DNA match that had that ancestor in their list.** This is important – I’ll explain later. So I went down the list and I kept seeing the name Peter Kunz born in 1811. I think 5 different people had that same person in their family tree as a direct ancestor. But now I have to figure out how the DNA matches are related to one another.
If they are brother and sister or mother/child, father/child – of course they will have the same people in their direct ancestor list. I took each DNA match (I only did 4th-6th cousin matches) that had Peter Kunz as a direct ancestor and added them to the family tree I created earlier when I was expanding my mom’s 3rd cousin match. Luckily, the matches I found that had Peter Kunz in their family trees, were related as 2nd or 3rd cousins to one another. EEK!! Is this making sense?
So now comes the tedious work… Starting from Peter Kunz, I’m making a HUGE Kunz family tree trying to find my mom’s maternal grandparents. I know her maternal bio grandfather was born in 1904 and died in 1964 (+/- 1 year) and her maternal grandmother was probably born around 1918. (I have no info on her paternal grandparents so hoping to find them is useless. Yes I know there is a chance this is the paternal side of the family. )
About the Peter Kunz Family
– Based on my limited research, it seems that they moved from Germany in 1954 to Gillespie County, Texas. Below is a list of his children. The names in bold are direct ancestors of my mom’s DNA matches.
John Kunz 1837 – 1897
Katharina Kunz 1839 – 1923
Anna Maria Kunz 1839 – 1865
Peter Kunz 1842 – 1912
**Anton Kunz 1844 – 1899 (2 DNA 4th cousin matches)
Anna Josephina Kunz 1845 – 1906
**Margaretha Kunz 1848 – 1900 (1 DNA 3rd cousin match)
William Kunz 1848 –
Christian Hubert Kunz 1850 – 1852
**Wilhelm Kunz 1854-1932 (1 DNA 4th cousin match)
I’m methodically going down each of these people and adding all of their children and their children’s children to the family tree. There is a really exciting pattern in this family… None of them have moved out of Texas. Now, I haven’t finished the list yet so I’m not 100% positive that the entire family still lives in Texas.
BUT – This could be a huge break in the search… remember that letter I mentioned before? The letter written by a young mother who stayed at the same place my mom’s bio mom stayed before giving birth? Well, in her letter, she listed a girl named Jane who was from Texas as another young mom. Could Jane from Texas be my mom’s biological mom? That’s a pretty big leap… I’ll let you know if I find anything else in my research of the Kunz family.
If Peter Kunz is one of you direct ancestors and you have information on the Kunz family, please contact me.
Any tips? This is a time-consuming and head-spinning job and I could use any advice you want to give.