Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2009-05 > 1242828737

From: "Diana Gale Matthiesen" <>
Subject: [DNA] NPE
Date: Wed, 20 May 2009 10:12:17 -0400
References: <97F5E8243FEA4556ADF3C6307EE74B7B@DonPC><><D28CF7F1ADD74D4AA3061F79F14C44B8@DonPC><26EA362E78224BE09A8AD4B5A9FD005D@HP><F0B930217ECF4988B5F396AE79A66104@DonPC><>
In-Reply-To: <>

I don't believe people assume an NPE means an out-of-wedlock birth. I certainly
don't. It just as likely means an undetected adoption or an undetected
stepchild (failure to detect the prior marriage of a spouse).

The problem with coining your own acronym (NPS) is that people won't know what
you mean by it, unless you explain it every time you use it, which rather
defeats the efficiency of using an acronym. NPE is well-entrenched and widely
understood, desirable traits in a technical term.

We've discussed alternate acronyms for NPE on the list before (search the list
archive on NPE). No other acronym has yet succeeded in supplanting NPE. If
"non-paternal event" bothers you, perhaps the workaround is to forget the
meaning of the words and just think of NPE as the letters, "N-P-E." How often
do you think, "single nucleotide polymorphism" when you type or say, SNP?


P.S. "NPS" would not work if the biological father is of the same surname as
the paper father.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: On Behalf Of Robert Stafford
> Sent: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 7:29 AM
> To:
> Subject: Re: [DNA] Confidance rating
> 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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