Gauss/Gaus/Gausz Y-DNA Project - Results

Summary of results
Now with ten results (eleven in the table, but one person is duplicated), only two participants show a likely relationship.

The following table shows the probabilities based on a 12-marker test of each pair of participants having a common ancestor within 24 generations, or, if we assume 25 years per generation, then since about the year 1400.


Most pairs have a negligible chance, three pairs have about a 15% chance, one pair has a 35% chance and one pair a 69% chance.  Even with a 69% chance that still means a significant 31% chance of not having a common ancestor within the last 600 years. In the case of the pair with the 35% chance, this actually reduces to 9.48% if the 37-marker tests are compared, but of the two with the 69% chance one has only had a 12-marker test so no finer comparison is possible.

Three of the ten are Haplogroup I, which tends to be more prevalent in Northern and
Eastern Europe, three E, which seems to be rare outside Africa, and the remaining four R, which is more prevalent in Western and Eastern Europe.  In southern Germany, where there is the greatest concentration of the surname Gauss, about 58% of men are Haplogroup R, 18% I and 8% E.

If we exclude 241953, who is known to have a female Gauss link, then assuming the remaining nine of us are male ‘Gausses’ back to the dawn of surnames, then it is clear from the results that the name has multiple origins and that we are not all descended from a single individual. Given that so far only two out of the nine appear to be related there are likely to be considerably more than nine distinct Gauss lineages.  In fact (if my statistical analysis is right!), to have a greater than 50% chance of picking nine persons at random from different lineages, from a large pool of individuals of each lineage, and getting only one match would require in excess of 54 lineages.  (To clarify this, supposing there were only 10 lineages, then the chance of picking randomly one person from each of 8 with no duplicates, would be only 2%.  In other words, there would be a 98% chance that at least two of the eight would be from the same lineage.)  This suggests that there could well have been more than 50 individuals with the surname Gauss from whom all present day Gausses are descended.

With this conclusion of a multiple origin, comes the need for a multiple origin of the surname.  The most plausible meaning of ‘gauss’ is that it is the Swabian dialect word for ‘goose’ and as such perhaps became the surname of numerous gooseherds in the area.

41340: The descent back to Florian Gauss runs through many generations living in Württemberg and is well documented, though of course there could have easily been an illegitimacy or adoption which is not recorded as such.

47931: Has an origin in
Baden, Germany.

48102: Stephen Gauss is known to have come from
Croatia, and the closest matches on the Y Search database are also mainly from Slavic Eastern Europe. This suggests that his surname was either a Croatian name which happens to have been spelt the same way as the German name (there were 10 families with the name in the area at the time), or that an emigré German adopted a Croatian boy, either knowingly or through illegitimacy.

57430: Does not know much about where his ancestors came from, other than from

60363: Has an origin in Felldorf, Württemberg, Germany.

148416: Has an uncertain origin, probably English or German.

179594: Has an origin in Baden, Germany.

211434/N88454: Has an origin in

241953: Has an origin in
Württemberg, Germany, but through a female Gauss.

N123942: Has an origin in
Germany, but location uncertain.

6 June 2014)