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Happy Father’s Day

It’s Sunday, June 19, and that’s Father’s Day in the United States.

And since it also falls on DNA Sunday here at The Legal Genealogist, I’ll join in with lots of other folks today showing off what I can show off about the YDNA signature of my family — the kind of DNA that my father had, that he received from my grandfather, and he from my great grandfather and so on back in time.1

But — alas — not very far back in time, for me.

Oh, I know the YDNA signature of my father, Hugo Hermann Geissler, who was born in Bremen, Germany, in 19212 and died of a massive heart attack in January 1994. He was not yet 73 years old.3


(Left to right: Hugo Hermann Geissler, 1921-1994; Hugo Ernst Geissler, 1891-1945; Hermann Eduard Geissler, 1855-1933.)

And I know who his father, my grandfather, was — Hugo Ernst Geissler, born in Bad Köstritz in what is now the German state of Thüringen in 1891.4 I didn’t know the man — he was dead before I was born.5

And I know who his father, my great grandfather, was — Hermann Geissler, born in Ossig in what became Sachsen Anhalt, Germany, in 1855,6 and died in Gera, Germany, in 1933.7

And that’s where the paper trail runs cold. Hermann’s baptismal certificate doesn’t list his father at all; he was given and kept his mother’s surname throughout his life.

The closest YDNA match to any of my brothers — other than my other brothers — is a genetic distance of seven at 67 markers. Our statistical odds of having a common ancestor with that man don’t reach the 50-50 mark until roughly 13 generations ago. If you figure 25-30 years per generations, we’d be looking somewhere between the early to mid 1600s. In Germany. A country where few people do DNA testing.


Happy Father’s Day.


  1. ISOGG Wiki (, “Y chromosome DNA tests,” rev. 17 May 2016.
  2. Bremen Standesamt, Geburtskunde Nr. 2888, Hugo Hermann Geissler (5 July 1921); Stadtarchiv Bremen.
  3. Utah Department of Health, Death Certif. No. 143-94-000152, Hugo H. Geissler (19 Jan 1994); Office of Vital Records and Statistics, Salt Lake City.
  4. Kirchenbuch Bad Köstritz, Taufregister Seite 69 Nr. 21 aus 1891, Baptismal Record of Hugo Ernst Geissler (digital image in possession of the author).
  5. Illinois Public Board of Health, Death Certif. No. 1145, Hugo Ernst Geissler (13 Jan 1945).
  6. Evangelische Kirche Ossig (Kr. Zeitz), Kirchenbuchduplikat, 1799-1874 (Staatarchiv Magdeburg); Taufregister 1855 nr. 4, Hermann Eduard Geisler; FHL microfilm 1335488.
  7. Sterbeurkunde (death certificate) Nr. 645 (1933), Eduard Hermann Geisler; Stadtarchiv Gera.
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