The Genographic Analysis


Explore your own genetic journey by participating in the landmark Genographic Project, sponsored by National Geographic and IBM.  You will receive a DNA analysis including a depiction of your ancient ancestors and an interactive map tracing your genetic lineage back to its African roots.  While doing so, you can also contribute to our analysis of the origins of the original Riehle ancestors and the Riehle name. Although no one of us can be certain that our descendency from the original Riehle ancestors is unbroken, the accumulation of data from many Riehles may be able to provide a clearer view of where the name and family originated.

Who can participate?  Anyone can participate in the National Geographic Genographic Project but only males with the last name Riehle can usefully contribute to our objectives for the Riehle Genographic Analysis.  Moreover, if you have any breaks in your chain of male Riehle ancestry, your participation will cloud the results of our analysis. An adoption among your direct line of male ancestors or the Riehle name being passed to one of your ancestors from his mother's family would be examples of breaks in your male Riehle ancestry.  Please understand that there is no judgement being made here; we are all Riehles whatever our family history.  However, as should become clear from the discussion below, this analysis is attempting to trace Riehle male chromosomes back to common, ancient ancestors in order to better understand the origins of the family name.  Accordingly, if the Riehle name has been attached to your male lineage more recently, your participation will point us in the wrong direction. Of course many of us will have breaks in our ancestry that we are unaware of, possibly going back hundreds of years, but please help us by participating only if you have no reason to suspect such a break.

My name is Riehl (or Reel, Riley
or something similar); can I participate? Yes, if you wish. It will be interesting to see if we have a Y-chromosome connection.  Also, if you are a Riehle but you know the name was changed from something similar by one of your ancestors, please be sure to tell us as much as you can about the change.

My family never left Europe; can I participate? Yes, your participation would be particularly interesting as you probably have less ambiguous links with your family's geographic origins.  Please see the comment at the bottom of the page at this link.

What is the process?  Working directly through the Genographic Project Website, you will send a sample of your DNA for an analysis of the Y-chromosome. (This of course is your male chromosome, which was passed down directly from your father and to him from his father, etc.)  This is an absolutely confidential process in which your DNA sample is identified only by a participant identifier that you use to access your results.  Those results characterize your Y-chromosome within a "haplogroup", for which certain migratory information is available at the Genographic Project Website.  Each of the haplogroups is labeled with a three digit code and that code is all you need to provide for our Riehle analysis, along with your name, email address and as much information as you can give us about your Riehle ancestral line.  We would especially be interested to know where in Germany your family originated.  We would not however need your participant identifier, which is the only link to your DNA sample.

Will my privacy be protected?  Millions of individuals share any specific haplogroup and Riehle.Net will have no access to any genetic or DNA related information except your haplogroup code.  While we will need to understand whatever you can tell us about your ancestry and European origins, absolutely no information about individuals will be released.  For more information on privacy within the National Geographic Genographic Project process, please see their Q&A section.

Will this cost anything?  Unfortunately, it will. Riehle.Net is funded almost entirely by its editor, who has also paid for his own Genographic Project analysis.  We cannot fund the cost of your Genographic analysis, which will be $99.95.  The vast majority of those that participate in the National Geographic Genographic Project do so because of their interest in their own ancestry.  Tieing this information in with our Riehle Genographic Analysis is an additional benefit for which there is no additional charge.

What will Riehle.Net be able to determine?  Any of us with a genetic link directly back to a founding male Riehle ancestor will have a common haplogroup code.  However it is difficult to estimate how many of us will have such a common link or even to be certain that we will see statistically valid evidence that one specific haplogroup is that of our founding ancestor.  It would be great if we see the vast majority of participants with the same haplogroup code but it would also be interesting if we see a pattern of haplogroup codes that link us back to specific European towns or regions. 

How will I found out the results of the Riehle Genographic Analysis?  We will eventually publish the results of our analysis on the Riehle.Net Website.  The common or frequently occurring haplogroups will be identified.

I would like to participate; what do I do next?  Simply go to the Genographic Project Website, learn more about the project and, if you are still interested, purchase your sample kit.  Once you get your results, send us your haplogroup code by email.

If you have other questions, please email us for more information.