Friday, September 2, 2016

Traugott Lange's Descendants

As I write this post I administer seven DNA tests, have four in the lab being processed and have five kits on order. I'm still learning how to use DNA to effectively enhance my family history research, but what I have learned so far has been a big aid to increased understanding of my ancestors.

Of my four grandparents, the family history we knew the least about was my maternal grandfather, Gustav Lange, who was born in Zamosty, Russia (now in Ukraine); immigrated to Winnipeg, Canada, in 1911; married Wilhelmina Schalin in 1915; settled in Prince George's County, Maryland, where they owned a farm; and had nine children, who are now all deceased.

Mom's pedigree chart; image courtesy of

Before Mom died, she took a DNA test and her results were unsurprising. The three matches with hints she did have were with her children -- my brothers and me. She was inordinately tickled to say we were proven by science! I was able to figure a few more relationships using her DNA matches. All were from her Schalin family, the history of which is well documented in a book entitled Our Schalin Family, 1770-2003, by Lucille Fillenberg Effa.

One of Mom's matches recently led to several breakthroughs in the Ludwig branch. Caroline (Ludwig) Lange was Mom's paternal grandmother. (Ludwig Breakthrough: DNA and Chocolates) Earlier this week a new match led to more discoveries about the Lange family.

Snippet of the master spreadsheet I maintain of all the DNA tests I administer;
the new match is highlighted; created using Microsoft Excel

What was interesting about this match was that it was the first one my brothers and I had on Mom's side of our family tree that wasn't also shared by Mom. If my brother had not tested, I could never have made the relationship connection. Another critical finding aid was the Lange family bible an aunt gave me earlier this year. Because of that bible, I knew one of Grandpa Lange's brother's was Traugott Lange. He went by Fred T. Lang when he and his family moved to California in the late 1920s.

The DNA test named A. L. shared no common ancestor. However, the shared geographies were Russia/Ukraine and Winnipeg so I suspected this was a match on Mom's side of the tree. As I looked through the pedigree of the person who took the test, the name Fred T. Lang jumped out at me, as well as his son, Peter Charles Lang (1919-2007). A. L. was the great grandson of Traugott Lange/Fred T. Lang. How exciting!

When Traugott and his wife, Katherina Magdalena Hirt, moved from Winnipeg to the U.S., they settled in Los Angeles County, California. Many of their descendants still live in the county. Thankfully, California is a fairly open state regarding public records so I was able to put a name to A. L. and learn more about him and his siblings. As they are all living, that's all I will reveal here.

Diagram illustrating the relationship between my brother and his new Lange/Lang
DNA match; created using Microsoft Powerpoint

3 Sep 2016 Update: Today the DNA test named A. L. matches with my Mom and me as well my brother mentioned in this post. I must have discovered the A. L. match when it was very new and results were still populating.

Lange Family Bible Unlocks the Life of Traugott Lange
Ludwig Breakthrough: DNA and Chocolates


  1. What a great find through DNA! I haven't made too many breakthroughs yet, but it's been good to confirm lines

    1. I've been quite lucky in my DNA research. It helps to have your tree a built out as possible plus I have so many people who have tested it just makes it easier.

  2. Great find! DNA really makes genealogical research more complicated, but so much more exciting too.

    1. I have 11 Lange first cousins and five of them have agreed or already taken a DNA test. I'm hoping for more discoveries like this one.