Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2009-05 > 1242818956

From: Robert Stafford <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Confidance rating
Date: Wed, 20 May 2009 06:29:16 -0500
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In-Reply-To: <F0B930217ECF4988B5F396AE79A66104@DonPC>

I have run across similar problems with the term non-paternity event, since
many assume that it means an out-of-wedlock birth. One term I like better is
non-paternal surname (NPS) to refer to a surname other than the biological
father's. I suspect that other events are about as likely as "granny's late
baby" or "duped daddies" in an intact agrarian family, except possilby
during times of war with a brutal enemy.

A very likely reason for an NPS is an informal adoption before the 1900s.
The father may have died and the mother remarried. The mother may have died
and the children placed with a sister or neighbor. Both parents may have
died on the trail, where cholera and other diseases were a big problem and a
member of the party may have adopted the children. In such cases, it was not
uncommon for the child to assume the step-father's surname.

I would approach people with the question of whether there was a reason for
the name change and list the accepted reasons. This will not offend the
Victorians. However, the Oprahians may respond with any suppressed stories.

Bob Stafford

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