Skip to comments.DNA can reveal ancestors' lies and secrets
Posted on 01/18/2009 3:36:53 AM PST by decimon
In a search for their ancestors, more than 140 people with variations of the last name Kincaid have taken DNA tests and shared their results on the Internet.
They have found war heroes, sailors and survivors of the Irish potato famine.
They have also stumbled upon bastards, liars and two-timers.
Much of it is ancient history, long-dead ancestors whose dalliances are part of the intrigue of amateur genealogy. But sometimes the findings strike closer to home.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Hey! Some folks are proud to have members of Congress in their family!
Hadn't thought of that. Guess the Congresscritters make the cutthroats and thieves look better.
I, personally, am in favor of finding out as much as possible - and then gently probing relatives to determine if they really want to know.
Giving some thought to, say, European history, gives thought to endless wars, plagues and famines. And a generally high mortality rate among both moms and dads. Leaving aside the hanky-panky, there must have been many informal adoptions and second or third marriages. So what's in a name?
I have often wondered if some cheating going on wasn’t revealed in the DNA search of family trees.
I found that a distant cousin had deserted his position (at least according to the official paperwork of him housed at the Natl. Archives) at the end of the Civil War and headed off to Texas. I sent this info off to a current member of that branch who was also researching him....She quit writing to me.
That's as with people claiming to recall past lives. Always a glamorous past life. Never a coward or the guy who cleaned the stables.
A interesting program.
Should be. But there could be surprises for anyone. For instance, someone of English heritage might actually be from Slavic immigrants to the UK. A simple name change does the trick.
Dude! You're OLD !
The date of the alleged desertion and the official end of the war were so close that possibly soldiers were just saying “let’s go home”....but,we’ll never know.
You are right, though. People for the most part want to think only the best of their forebearers.
True. My DNA is tired and cranky.
I thought of that when I read your post. An official discharge may have been seen as an unnecessary formality.
Unfortunately, part of that 4% roadblock is my surname at the 5g level (approximately 1775). About 18 months ago, I participated in the FTDNA study for my surname, and have not had much luck yet. There have been some great success stories, but not in my case yet.
For those who may be interested here are some key bullet points about using DNA testing for ancestral research:
1. DNA testing can only be used on direct Paternal and Maternal lines. meaning it can only used for linking father's fathers's fathers......etc., and mother's mother's mother's........etc.
2. The premise of paternal DNA testing is that the "Y" DNA remains unchanged from father to son. People who use this system compare the markings of their Y DNA in the report, and find matches. There are some pitfalls. I know of a couple of cases where proven, 3rd cousins, were 3 markers off. What happens, and is a problem, is there are a number of markers that more apt to mutation than others. The proprietors of the test are not in agreement with this, but given the realm of statistical probability, you can't rule anything out.
3. As the article states, all bets are off if there say there is what is known as a paternal mishap within the family line. Also, if there were any adoptions in the direct line, that will deem the test inert. Adoptions were not documented back past say a 100 years ago.
4. Haplogroups- Without any good links for me (yet), I felt the test still provided me some good information. If you do test, make sure that you include getting your Haplogroup tested. I found mine was R1b1c, which is very indicative of Scotland and southern England, which is what I expected.
5. Cost?- Avoid the 12 marker test all together, it won't tell you hardly anything. The 37 marker test is your best bet, and I think it's a couple hundred dollars. The 67 marker test I think is about $100 more, and is only good (IMO) if you have some matches, and need further verification.
One eyed, one horned, flying purple people eater kind of cranky?
Adoptions were not documented back past say a 100 years ago.
That's been my thought. After wars, plagues, etc. there must have been many orphans. Maybe people would then just take in some kid or maybe a religious official would arrange for that. There would be few if any records of these adoptions. Makes sense to me, anyway.
And then there are the rapes that accompany societal upheavals. And the prostitution for survival.
My kangaroo won't be tied down cranky.
Probably the most dramatic, was a little old lady, who new to tracing her ancestry. I found her grandmother listed in the 1880 census as "ad-daughter". Which translated to adopted of course. The lady slung her three ring binder at me, and accused me of lying to her as she stormed out. Bottom line, is if you get into this hobby far enough, I guarantee that there will be at least one bit of unpleasantry (if you are in that frame of mind).
Of the I have much more pleasure of seeing the people who I have helped. I helped one gentleman find his grandfather who he had been searching for off and on during his whole life. His comment was "I am dying of Luekemia, I had given up hope of finding out what happened to him". I teared up, and knew that my help was worthwhile.
You are right there. But probably the biggest generator of orphans back then was disease. If both parents died, the children usually went with an Aunt, Uncle, Cousin, or very good family friend.