Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2010-02 > 1265060815

From: "Lancaster-Boon" <>
Subject: [DNA] unexpected close matches - NPE terminology
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 2010 22:46:55 +0100

Hi Tim

I think I am more on the side of something like "surname discontinuity". In
practice in any case, I write out my explanations in words, and never use
the NPE acronym. I think jargons and acronyms have a role to play in life,
but they should be used when they have a reason for being used, i.e., when
they improve communication and understanding.

In practice I have NOT found that people understand how wide the range of
options are for why a male line may have picked up a new surname or dropped
an old one.

So in practice as an admin I go out of my way to explain possible scenarios
from the beginning AND NOT to use quick and easy terminology, which in
practice people often really do take as a sign that what you "really mean"
is cuckoldry, assuming only the least likely worst case. (Jargon is
sometimes used for euphemisms, so this is understandable.)

Of course you are right that some of the ways that surnames are changed over
are traceable and known. But recording these is exactly the point, and the
aim. Often people have lost tough with an old family story, which they can
then go out and dig up. That is the kind of thing many people want from

I have experienced some very happy examples.

Best Regards


From: "Tim Janzen" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] unexpected close matches - NPE terminology
Date: Sun, 31 Jan 2010 17:49:36 -0800
In-Reply-To: <>

Dear Drew,
I don't think "surname discontinuity" is a good term because it
doesn't cover situations where the surnames change, but where there wasn't
an adoption or infidelity.


I think that lay people catch on
to the true meaning of the term fairly quickly as well if serious genetic
genealogists use the term correctly in their discussions with lay people.
Tim Janzen

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