I am planning a DNA project to solve a genealogical mystery for my SCHREINER ancestry, and I would be delighted to include other SCHREINER (and variant spellings) families.
My great-grandfather William Henry Schreiner was orphaned at a young age. He didn't know much about his background, but I believe I have traced him to a John Shriner, who was present at the 1850 census in Elkhart County, Indiana, alongside his brother George. John and George are related to the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Shreiners, descendants of Hans Adam Shreiner who came to America from Germany in the early 1700's.
John Shreiner disappears from the Elkhart County records after 1850, but then there is a marriage record in 1852 in Cass County, Michigan (just a few miles across the state line) which might be for the same John Shreiner. I suspect John's first wife died and John remarried a widow, Mary Ann (Zeek) White. John and Mary Ann had a son Leroy (I later learned he went by the name Isaac Newton Leroy or I.N.L.), and then John died. The families were separated, my great-grandfather moving to Barry County, Missouri, and Leroy moving to Washington state.
After many years of research, I located a male-line descendant of Leroy. This makes it possible to do a Y chromosome DNA test to confirm our theory that the John of Elkhart County and the John of Cass County are the same person. The Y chromosome (which makes a child a male) is passed down from father to son unchanged for many generations. Thus a Schreiner male from my side of the family should match Leroy's descendant. We have also contacted a person who is known to descend from the Lancaster County Shreiners, and if our theory is correct, all three should match.
Other Schreiner families are likely to have different DNA patterns, since Schreiner is an occupational name (carpenter or cabinet maker). That means that many unrelated families could have assumed the name when surnames came into common use hundreds of years ago. Y chromosome testing could show clusters of Schreiners who are related to each other (or not!), which would give guidance on where to pursue traditional genealogical research. Note that only males with the surname Schreiner (or variant spellings) have the Y chromosome used for this kind of DNA test.
For more background on DNA testing, see the website for Family Tree DNA (FTDNA):
For more background on how other families have used DNA testing, check out some of the hundreds(!) of other surname projects listed on Chris Pomery's web site:
FTDNA offers a discounted rate for surname projects with six or more participants. I have three lined up for my own immediate personal goals, but this seems like a good opportunity to see how different Schreiner families might be related. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Ann Turner DNACousins@aol.com
GENEALOGY-DNA List Administrator
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