GEN-MEDIEVAL-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2000-01 > 0948765119
From: "John P. DuLong" <>
Subject: Re: False fathers - Not the Real Dads
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2000 01:51:59 GMT
I bet many genealogists have experienced the loss of claimed ancestors when
new research contradicts previous findings. I know it has happened to me.
When this has occurred I have always looked on it as an exciting opportunity
to do more genealogical research. Of course the best case in which this
happened was when I found that Fr. Tanguay, an esteemed nineteenth century
French Canadian genealogist had made a mistake identifying the parents of
one of my Miville ancestors. The corrected lineage lead back to Catherine
Baillon and eventually to many links with noble and royal families.
However, I have also lost some wonderful links when my friends and I found
that Catherine Baillon is not descended from the Bournel de Thiembronne
family and thus the de Croy family. She still descends from royalty, but
the lines leading back to Charlemagne are a little less exciting than
through the Croy family.
As for the false fathers dilemma, this is something many scholarly
genealogists have discussed in the past. Noel C. Stevenson, _Genealogical
Evidence_ (Laguna Hills, CA: Aegean Park Press, 1979), pp. 1-10 discusses
this problem and refers to it as "adulterine bastard problem." Of course he
wrote before the age of widespread DNA testing, but the legal consensus was
that the child born to a married couple should be considered legitimate.
Ever since I read Stevenson years ago I have reconciled myself that
genealogy can only study legal descent and not biological descent. This is
really not an issue for me anymore.
After four or five generations I am more concerned with my social
inheritance than my genetic inheritance. Decisions that my ancestors made
to move to North America and than the United States over 100 years ago have
more of an impact on my life than whether or not that ancestor was truly my
genetic ancestor. Whether or not he is a genetic ancestor is irrelevant to
me, he brought his children with him and he raised them, that is what
counts. So what if the "real" father stayed behind and never took a role in
raising the children.
In most cases, it is my understanding, that genetic disorders that
do not show up within four or five generations will unlikely show up at
all (unless you have the misfortune of carrying a rare recessive disorder
you meet a similar person). I believe that in most cases geneticist only
evaluate the last four or five generations for most of their parents.
I do know that some geneticists do trace back many more than five
generations to locate common ancestors with genetic conditions. In some
cases they can identify the couple who brought the disease over to the new
world. However, this couple might have hundreds of thousands of
descendants, but only a small proportions of them, in most cases, still
carry the diseased gene. I know that in research on Qubec genetic
disorders I always pay attention to see if I might descend from one of the
original couples with the disease. So far, I have not noticed any trace of
the genetic disorder in my immediate family. In the genetic lottery we have
come out winners. Or is it that I am not descended from the diseased father
because of an adulterine bastard?
John P. DuLong, Ph.D.
Acadian and French Canadian Genealogy
959 Oxford Road
Berkley, MI 48072-2011
|Re: False fathers - Not the Real Dads by "John P. DuLong" <>|