GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2011-08 > 1313179243
From: Marianne Granoff <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] exact match at 67
Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2011 14:00:43 -0600
I am speaking as someone who does a lot of genealogy, not as a DNA
expert. NPEs are not really rare. An NPE ("non-paternal event" or
"non-paternity event" as it is known to genealogists) is described as
anytime a child grows up with a surname other than their biological
father's surname. About 10% of children have had this happen over
the last 1500 years, on average. There are various reasons for this,
and from a genealogist's point of view - the morality of the mother
is not usually at issue.
First - the death of one or both parents was much more common in the
1600s, 1700s, and 1800s. One of the most common reasons for an NPE
is that the mother married again upon the death of her husband either
after the child was conceived but before the child was born, or when
the child was quite young, and the child was raised with the
step-father's surname. I have seen this one many times. If both
parents died, a young child might be taken in by a relative or even
by a neighbor and raised with that head-of-house's surname.
Fostering was also a reason for such surname changes long
ago. During tribal times, a woman whose husband was killed might
claim the surname of a powerful chieftain to afford her young
children more protection. Informal adoptions were much more common
in the past than people consider. Most people do not want to
consider NPEs among their ancestors because they usually think of
unfaithful wives and/or illegitimate children first. Those
particular reasons are pretty far down on the list of reason's for
NPEs as far as I can tell.
A 67/67 match indicates that the two individuals have a common
ancestor. I would look for the likely NPE. Look for an older
husband and young wife. Men often fathered children into their 70s
and 80s. A second or third wife with young children generally had to
re-marry fairly quickly when her husband died. She often had no
other means of support. She frequently married a widower who had
recently lost his own wife in childbirth. The new couple usually
continued to have more children as long as the woman was of child-bearing age.
I do not think a 67/67 match with someone of a different surname is
"rare". I think you just have to look harder for the common ancestor
- and the likely NPE.
My two cents.
Marianne Manley Granoff
Munley / Manley Surname Project
At 07:49 AM 8/12/2011 -0400, you wrote:
>Thank you for your thoughtful response to what's apparently a lengthy
>email. I appreciate your taking the time with it.
>The key question was
> >> How common is it that two persons who have seem to have no relatively
> >> recent common ancestor, and don't share the same surname, would still
> >> get a 67/67 match? Is it "happens all the time" or is it a fairly
> >> uncommon occurrence?
> > That should be extremely rare.
>This is what I was really looking for.
>The reverse of that is to say that if you find a 67/67 match then
>you've probably (not "extremely rare") found someone who shares a
>relatively recent common ancestor with you---even if you don't share
>the same surname.
>When I look at different YDNA projects I find that most have at least
>a few "non-surname" matches---usually not very good matches. Someone
>(a good number of someone's, it would seem) thought that there was a
>real possibility that they might find their ancestor in some surname
>project that didn't match their own surname. All they had to do was
>find some very close matches, and there's a reasonable shot that
>their ancestor is in one of those lines. From your perspective
>above, this is a reasonable approach. Which was one of the things I
>was looking for.
> > As for The Niall question. Well, if you really believe that all were a
> > descendant of Niall, that means that Niall was a common ancestor
> > but not
> > necessarily the most recent. But that really isn't useable for a prior
> > because the information comes from the same DNA data.
>Whether or not Niall was the common ancestor, the fact remains that
>lots of men in Ireland carry the Niall signature. I don't think I'd
>describe Niall as a "relatively recent common ancestor", given that
>he flourished c450AD. Given a large, insular, population, its likely
>that some of Niall's descendants adopted the same surname
>independently of each other. In this case, there would be a lot of
>"founders" of various lines, sharing the same surname. Having a
>close match in these circumstances, might simply be an artifact
>driven by the fact that the population was dominated by Niall YDNA
>signature. In otherwords, a close match here might not signify a
>relatively recent common ancestor, but simply reflect the deeper
>Niall related ancestry.
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|Re: [DNA] exact match at 67 by Marianne Granoff <>|