DNA-NEWBIE-L ArchivesArchiver > DNA-NEWBIE > 2008-06 > 1213342149
From: "Michael L. Hébert" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA-NEWBIE] Brick wall ? is dna the way to go
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 2008 02:29:09 -0500
DNA may be the only way of ever solving situations like this. Of course, it
may require some extensive testing but I think it is solvable. On the face
of it, since Grace let John go at age 4 after Jeffery left, it doesn't seem
like Grace was John's mother and probably Jeffery not his father. Of
course, it is hard to know all of the realities of these situations and how
things came about and why. Sometimes, it is only the DNA that holds the
Putting some last names to your situation, let's call your wife's maternal
grandfather John Doe Sr. If I understand things correctly, he would have
four possibilities for parents (three of the possibilities include Paul Doe
and sister Grace Doe) with a descendancy as follows:
1. Paul Doe = unknown female
2. unknown male = Grace Doe
3. Jeffery Buck = Grace Doe
4. unknown male = unknown female
John Doe Sr. = Mary
John Doe Jr., Ann Doe (living), Frances Doe, others (deceased)
Your wife would be the daughter of one of John Doe Sr. and Mary's daughters.
My first target for DNA testing would be Y-DNA testing (at least 37 markers)
for John Doe Jr. (your wife's uncle I presume). His Y-DNA will be key in
eventually uncovering John Doe Sr.'s paternal lineage (Doe, Buck, or other).
It would be important to not only get his DNA tested, but also to preserve
his DNA for future testing. You may get lucky and get a match with other
Does or Bucks who've already tested and thus establish Paul or Jeffery as
the likely father, or you may match some other line which could lead to new
avenues of research. You could also try to find a known son of Paul Doe (or
a son of one of his sons) to test and compare. Since Jeffery Buck had only
2 known children, both daughters by Grace, you would have to track back and
find some Buck male related to Jeffery to test and compare. If John Doe Jr.
won't do the testing, then one of his sons or a son of one of his deceased
brothers could also be tested.
Regarding mtDNA, it is probably not going to be of much help in finding out
if Grace Doe was John Doe Sr.'s mother. John Doe Sr. would have inherited
his mother's mtDNA, but he would not have passed it down to any of his
children who would all carry their mother Mary's mtDNA. Grace's proven
children by Jeffery and the later husband may or may not have been siblings
(either half or full) of John Doe Sr. who in fact has no proven siblings of
any kind at this point.
There is also the possibility of solving this using autosomal DNA testing.
If Grace was the mother of John Doe Sr., then John Doe Jr. and Ann Doe (both
living) would have inherited approximately 1/4 of their autosomal DNA from
Grace. There would then be the possibility of kinship testing using known
descendants of Grace through her marriage to Jeffery or the later husband.
This can be a little more imprecise than Y-DNA or mtDNA testing, but it
could definitely give you the likelihood of Grace being John Doe Sr.'s
mother. With this type of testing, it would be best to get both John Doe
Jr. and his sister Ann Doe tested. The more autosomal DNA data that can be
gathered, the better the kinship prediction.
I would personally recommend Family Tree DNA for your testing situation
because they can do three things for each of the testees: provide the
necessary Y-DNA testing, preserve the DNA for several years, and they offer
autosomal testing which could be used for kinship analysis (although they
wouldn't necessarily provide that analysis, it is not too hard to get help
with and figure out).
Good luck in your quest.
Sent: Thursday, June 12, 2008 11:07 PM
Subject: Re: [DNA-NEWBIE] Brick wall ? is dna the way to go
Hi Joyce and Joan
Thanks for your replies
Using the names Joyce has given I will try to put the tree to you
John married Mary and had a fair few children. There is still a son John Jnr
and daughter Ann living. Ann has a daughter Annie and a son James and a
grandson Jimmy and Samuel and granddaughter Annabel and Julie from both her
children. And John Jnr has 2 sons Gregory and Jacob. Of the deceased sons we
have grandsons Alistair, Noel, Henry, Donald, Roger, Jonathan, Gabriel and
What I am trying to establish is Johns links to his parents.
Two options for the father are Paul or another man Jeffery. Paul's sister
Grace also comes into the calculations as John's mother. Grace and Jeffery
married in the same year that John was born, but he beards his mothers
surname. There were also 2 sisters born of this marriage. When John was
about 4 Jeffrey disappears without a trace and a couple of years later Grace
remarries and has sons and daughters of that marriage. The two girls from
the previous marriage also stayed with her and their foster father.
John at about age 4 is placed in the care of a family and a few latter this
care was transferred to another family.
Paul the other potential father moved on westward and married and had a
family some born another state and then they returned to the state where his
At some stage John travels with his eldest daughter Francis (he can either
not read of at best the most rudimentary) so taking the daughter who could
read and write makes sense. The visit the house where Grace and her second
husband and family lives. Francis believes this is John visiting his mother.
The visit does not go well and John and Grace were quickly ushered out the
kitchen door. John apparently vowing never to have contact with her again.
At some stage there was a letter from a member or members of John's family,
but because of the contents his wife Mary destroyed to letter without
informing him of it or the contents.
The man John lists as his father as Arthur, who may have been the head of
the second family that cared for him, as he always thought of them as his
family and was treated by them as a family member.
I have details of Paul, his father and siblings arriving in the state, but
have not as yet tracked down and descendants.
>From my understanding of dna and what you have said the YDNA from John's
male direct line descendants and that of direct male line descendants of
Jeffery's should be able to prove or disprove if Jeffery is John's father.
Now with the mt DNA am a little confused of the line link that needs to be
taken to prove or disprove who his mother is. Assuming that it is Grace it
would have to be mt DNA from the sisters and half sisters of John, or direct
female link to younger generation wouldn't it? But what mt DNA would it have
to be from what male line to prove this also?
Nelda thanks for the link. I will see if I can make sense of it.
|Re: [DNA-NEWBIE] Brick wall ? is dna the way to go by "Michael L. Hébert" <>|