I started working on my family tree long before at-home DNA kits became popular… then dropped it for several years until I moved back to my hometown in 2017.
One thing caught my attention fairly early on: I have Schulte ancestors on both sides of my family. There’s never been any inkling of in-breeding… mom’s side is pretty solidly German. Dad’s side has a few German ancestors, but most of his side came from the UK (and have been in America for MANY generations).
That said, there was no harm in joking with mom & dad that they may be distant cousins due to the common Schulte surname. It would be a fun research goal to try and connect the two sides.
Then I did the 23andMe test… and without thinking things through I got kits for my parents for Christmas one year. They happily played along and sent in their spit samples for testing.
There’s a great benefit to having your parents test: your DNA matches are given labels indicating if they’re from your father’s side or your mother’s side.
Turns out “Both sides” is a label, too.
I’ve reached out to several of my “Both” matches, in hopes of narrowing down possible common ancestors. They all have either not answered, or answered with no helpful information.
In all of my research, I haven’t come across any other common surnames other than the Schultes. I also haven’t been able to connect the two branches yet.
My maternal and paternal Schultes come from Hannover… but as we saw in my post about the Koehneke family, that doesn’t really give us enough information. More research is needed on both sides to try and track down specific ancestral villages, church records, etc.
So the mystery continues for now.