Discovering our Ancestors' Travels and Travails

Sometimes it is difficult to ignore the evidence.

In 2018, Ancestry DNA identified a match, KE, with whom I shared 30 centiMorgans of DNA across 3 DNA segments. KE had a well researched tree, but I did not see how we fit together.

Our shared matches–EL, CB, MM, JW, MB, CS, and TW–were all descendants of my great-grandparents Martin Szczepański and Anna Kalinowska, who immigrated to the United States from West Prussia in 1881, and settled in western New York. I wrote about their place of origin in “Finding Szembruczek,” and of their many descendants. I did not see how we were related from our trees, so I sent a message to KE offering to exchange information.

KE replied quickly. She said that when she did her DNA testing through and 23andMe, she had some surprises. So in some cases she went back to the drawing board on her family search. She was not sure how we matched, but suspected it was on her father’s mother’s side. Her great-grandfather John Carll supposedly was born in Pennsylvania in 1855. She did not have a mother’s maiden name for him. The interesting thing is that his family had three pieces of silverware and a watch engraved with a “K.” She thought his wife’s family, the Hartmanns, were from Prussia.

Ancestry Kalinowski Connections

By mid 2020, KE and I had more Ancestry DNA matches, mostly descendants of Anna Kalinowska and Marcin Szczepański.

One of our shared matches, BLR, was a descendant of Rozalia Klugiewicz. Rozalia‘s parents were Katarzyna Kalinowska and Józef Klugiewicz. I had previously identified another descendant of Katarzyna and JózefSD–in “Finding Common Kalinowski Ancestors in Prussia!Katarzyna Kalinowska Klugiewicz and Anna‘s father Jan Kalinowski were siblings, the children of Wojciech Kalinowski and Anna Szynkowska. This is consistent with our connection being on the Kalinowski side, and not the Szczepański side of the family.

BLR, SD, KE, and I also shared DNA with sisters GT and MF, whose great-great-grandmother was born Ludwika Kalinowska about 1844 and died in Chicago in 1926. We found their family in “Kalinowska from Szembruk, West Prussia: Looking for Common Ancestors” and “Szennato, Szynnato? Szynwałd, Groß Schönwalde! Deciphering Polish/Prussian Place Names.”

Ancestry only reports shared DNA matches when testers share more than 20 centiMorgans, so this is a subset of the people KE and I both match in our shared Ancestry DNA cluster of Kalinowski descendants.

DNA matchRelationship to SMPShared cM with SMP# Segments
GT –31.12
MF –20.81
AncestryDNA matches with Kalinowski ancestors shared with KE and SMP in 2020

DNA Connections to Other Carll Descendants

KE had identified Ada and Ella as daughters of John Carll. After uploading my DNA results to MyHeritage, I learned that I shared DNA with two grandchildren of Ada Linda CarllLC (segments on chromosomes 1 and 10) and CC (segment on chromosome 10).

Another granddaughter of Ella Marie CarllCS–shared 10 cM of DNA with me on Ancestry.

23andMe DNA Connections

In late 2020, I tested with 23andMe to get more matches, and to get more information about my matches. It worked! The amount of DNA I share with KE is higher with 23andMe (0.87%, 64.9 cM) than with Ancestry (30 cM) because 23andMe measures a bit differently and includes X chromosomes in the total cM count. KE and I both trace our shared ancestry through our paternal grandmothers, so this sharing of X chromosome segments makes sense. Our fathers each passed on to us intact the X chromosome they inherited from their mothers.

KE and I share DNA with my known relatives on 23andMe, and we can see the percentage of DNA we each share with these “Relatives in common.”

23andMe “Relatives in Common” between SMP and KE in 2020

Using the amount of of 23andMe shared DNA between KE and my cousins descended from Anna Kalinowska, I set up three hypotheses in the “What Are The Odds?” tool from DNAPainter.

  • Hypothesis 1John was a brother of Anna Kalinowska
  • Hypothesis 2John was a half-brother (different mother) of Anna Kalinowska
  • Hypothesis 3John was a cousin of Anna Kalinowska
DNApainter “What Are The Odds?” with KE’s shared DNA from 23andMe

While Hypothesis 1 is the most likely hypothesis, the other two hypotheses are still possible.

Putting It Together

Our families are definitely related, since our DNA cluster includes more than two dozen DNA matches on Ancestry, MyHeritage, and 23andMe.

  • 4 descendants of John and Matilda
  • 23 descendants of Anna Kalinowska and Marcin Szczepański
  • 2 descendants of Katarzyna Kalinowska and Józef Klugiewicz
  • 2 descendants of Ludwika Kalinowska and Ludwik Kierznowski

Although we do not yet know how much DNA KE shares with my other relatives from Ancestry, this “What Are The Odds?” tree illustrates our tentative relationships. This tree does not show all family members, but illustrates documented and postulated lines of descent to those who tested and matched one another with DNA and is used only to evaluate hypotheses.

DNAPainter “What Are The Odds?” with KE’s shared DNA from 23andMe and other possible relationships

Hypotheses that John was a second or more distant cousin of Anna Kalinowski, are not statistically possible, given the amounts of DNA already identified. Adding more shared DNA amounts and looking at the DNA chromosome segments we share would add more certainty to the hypotheses estimates.

Jan Kalinowski => John Carll?

The most likely possibility is that our common ancestors are Jan Kalinowski and Marianna Nowakowska. Before my great-grandmother Anna Kalinowska was born 27 Mar 1858, Jan and Marianna had a son Jan who was born 11 Jan 1855 in Groß Schönbrück, Graudenz, Marienwerder, Westpreußen, Preußen. It is now Szembruk, Grudziądz, Kuyavia-Pomerania, Poland. Jan is the Polish name; in German he would be Johann and in English, John.

1855 Birth/Baptism register, Kośćiol Sw. Bartłomieja (St. Bartholomew), Groß Schönbrück, Graudenz, Marienwerder, Westpreußen, Preußen

Since other relationships are possible, perhaps the paper trail will give more information.

The Carll Family in America

John Carll (24) and Matilda Hartman (22) were married in Baltimore, Maryland on 17 March 1880 by minister A. Schwartz. Neither had been previously married.

Baltimore, Maryland Marriage Record, 17 March 1880, minister A. Schwartz, John Carll and Matilda Hartmann

Although information from the intervening years is sparse, newspaper accounts in the Baltimore Sun indicate that the Carll family later lived on German Hill Road in the Patapsco Neck area east of Baltimore.

In June 1904, Charles, Fred, and Walter Carl were charged with attacking a United Railways conductor after a night of drinking with their friends.

The Baltimore Sun, 24 Jun 1904, Page 12 (excerpt)

In 1904, a market wagon driven by Walter Caroll was hit by a streetcar and in 1905 wagon owner John Carll was awarded $400. Walter was not injured and only received one cent in damages.

In October 1906, John Carll sold his personal property–livestock, machinery, and household effects–from the Biemiller Farm on German Hill road near Mount Carmel road in Baltimore County.

The Baltimore Sun, 1 Oct 1906, Page 11

Most of the Carll family moved to California. In 1910, they lived at 220 Stockton Road in Sutter, Sacramento, California. John and Matilda‘s children Charles, Frederick, Guy B., Matilda, Ellen, and Ada were with them. Walter had married in Baltimore in 1907. John was not with the family and likely had already married.

1910 census, John and Matilda Carll family, Stockton Road, Suttton, Sacramento, California

Matilda Ann Carll died in 1914. It appears that her son Frederick filed a petition for letters of administration, although the newspaper account in the Sacramento Star misidentified him as Matilda‘s husband. It also incorrectly gave her six sons and two daughters, while her obituary and other records show her with five sons and three daughters.

Retired farmer John Carll died 18 Aug 1931 in the home of his daughter Ada Carll Tofft. He was predeceased by his sons Guy (1918) and John (1931).

The Sacramento Bee, 19 Aug 1931, Page 11

The next step is to find the actual records–marriages, births, deaths, probate, and land records. DNA results can only take us so far; following the paper trail for the parents and children will help solve this puzzle.


  • Ancestry,, DNA results for SMP.
  • My Heritage,, DNA results for SMP.
  • 23andMe,, DNA results for SMP.
  • Jonny Perl, “What Are the Odds?” DNA Painter, ( March 2021).
  • LDS Family History Library, “Szembruk (Grudziądz),” database, Kościół rzymsko-katolicki. Parafja, Family Search ( accessed 18 July 2020), Jan Kałynowski; citing Germany, Preußen, Westpreußen, Groß Schönbrück – Church records;
  • Maryland State Archives, series MSA CM206, Record of Marriages, ( accessed Mar 2021); mdsa_cm206_6.pdf, page 94.
  • “Eight Held For Court,” The Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, Maryland), 24 Jun 1904, Page 12.
  • “Two Wagons Smashed by Cars,” The Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, Maryland), 12 Jan 1904, Page 7.
  • “Jury Awards John Carll $400,” The Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, Maryland), 6 Jun 1905, Page 9.
  • “Closing Out Sale of Personal Property,” The Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, Maryland), 1 Oct 1906, Page 11.
  • 1910 Federal Census, California, population schedule, Sutter, Sacramento, California, enumeration district (ED) 0133, Page: 7A, John Carll; digital images, (online : accessed 4 March 2021); Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910.
  • “Matilda A. Carll,” The Sacramento Star (Sacramento, California), 22 Dec 1914, Page 5.
  • “Court News,” The Sacramento Star (Sacramento, California), 30 Dec 1914, Page 4.
  • “John Carll, Retired Farmer, Passes Away,” The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, California), 19 Aug 1931, Page 11.

Comments on: "More Kalinowski DNA Relatives!" (2)

  1. Ann Raymont said:

    This was fascinating! The WATO tool is fun, isn’t it? I’d love to see this as a presentation at a conference or event one day; though maybe it’s too complex to cover in an hour?


  2. […] More Kalinowski DNA Relatives! […]


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