ROOTS-L ArchivesArchiver > ROOTS > 2005-08 > 1125354055
From: "Kith-n-Kin" <>
Subject: [ROOTS-L] re "PATERNAL DISCREPANCY "
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2005 15:20:55 -0700
Well, I chuckled when I first read this, but upon further reflection, I have a serious problem with the
whole construct. Seems to me these guys should be held accountable if they are the active father, whether
or not the bio father. -- a family is a family is a family -- and if he walks like a father, acts like a
father, seems to me he is a father.
But, as to genealogy! We are studying Family History! We are not studying some Linnaean taxonomy. We are
studying a rather specific form of sociology, not biology.
"Back in the day" when a genealogist got some biiiiig prize for being related (that is genetically) to the
King of Whatzit, it was "assumed" that all children were born on the correct side of the blanket, and
looks not withstanding, that the putative father and bio father were always the same.
Now-a-days, most of us (I think) subscribe to the principles that we want to follow the "real" family line
wherever it takes us. Although the genetic line may be important, especially when it comes to disease
entities, the "characteristics" that we applaud in our ancestors could be assumed to be passed down via
the family culture, not "inborn".
So, from the perspective of *my* family tree, the DNA issues only arise when we come to "unknowns" -- and
we hope it works!
For example, one Francis Graves, "said to be" son of Thos. Graves of Jamestown, has recently been shown to
be probably not the son of Thomas. He was always an asterisk in the family and local histories because
there was no direct evidence of him being a son, but, there was no one else in the neighborhood to attach
Well, now, if this proves out, we have to go further and look for that next generation. This is a problem?
Not for me -- just one more challenge to add to my growing collection.
Now, if said Francis were, by other evidence such as a will, identified as a son of Thomas, but the DNA
said otherwise, you can believe I wouldn't do a thing to my database -- except note the results -- he
would still be the identified ancestor.
One thing to remember, especially in these really long lines, is that the discrepancy could occur anywhere
along the line. But, if say five of six widely separated descendants of Francis all show the same
markers, so can be pretty clearly tied to Francis, and these markers differ from other groups of
descendant "cousins", you do have a pretty compelling case for looking for another line.
On another note, one of my lines ends abruptly in Pennsylvania about 1830. May come from a line in
Virginia, or a line in New York, or may have just gotten off the boat between 1820 and 1830. If we could
get enough males of this family to pony up some cells, we could probably put together at least some
I fail to see the "pseudo" in this, especially as the technique is becoming more and more sophisticated.
Pat (in Tucson)
Nosco vestri atavi est ingredior intellego vestri ego
(To become acquainted with your ancestors is to begin to comprehend your self)
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