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Old 08-09-2017, 10:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzy_q2010 View Post
I spent the weekend looking at matches at Family Tree DNA. I was able to find the common ancestor for several lines that go back six generations or more. To me, that implies a remarkable degree of fidelity down our respective lines for me and the person I match to.
But what about all the other matches where you cannot find a common ancestor? Granted, most will be related through ancestors who are too remote to be discovered, but a certain proportion are related through extra-marital relationships for which no documentation exists.
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aries63 View Post
But what about all the other matches where you cannot find a common ancestor? Granted, most will be related through ancestors who are too remote to be discovered, but a certain proportion are related through extra-marital relationships for which no documentation exists.
Sure, there will be those. We will never be able to figure those relationships out.

I really did not make my original point clear. The thread title should have been "what can DNA tell us about fidelity".

I was trying to say that if two trees have a common ancestor back seven, eight, nine generations or more, in order to have that common ancestor there must be a remarkable degree of fidelity in the descendants of those two lines from that particular set of ancestors - specifically, fidelity from the women in that line. The men may have often fathered children outside their marriages. The women did not (unless it was with a relative of the husband from his direct male line). The other thing is that many out of wedlock children were acknowledged even if never legitimized.

I have just compared my tree with a rather remarkably complete one that goes back to the Middle Ages, and yes, there is data from that time on births, deaths, and marriages in Europe, in this case, England. From that tree I can find only two sets of common ancestors, one going back about twelve generations and one about twenty two generations.

Are there possibly lines where we are related that are in gaps in our trees? Possibly, but in that case geography makes it unlikely, unless it was also many, many generations ago.

Also, most of the time when I cannot find a common ancestor it is because the matching person either does not post a tree or has a very incomplete tree.
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Old 08-09-2017, 06:29 PM
 
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Autosomal DNA is difficult to use to confirm very distant relationships. Y-DNA studies are the best for revealing NPEs. According to a page at the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG):
"The rate of non-paternity events has often been quoted to be around 10%, and while this figure is now deprecated, there is no widespread consensus on a better substitute."

https://isogg.org/wiki/Non-paternity..._rates_of_NPEs

I am in a Y-DNA project where we have 8 men tested and all match, sharing a known common ancestor of unknown origin, who died in the US in 1838 (my 3rd great-grandfather). Recently we had a match to someone born in England with a surname spelled with one less letter. We have been unable to connect the genealogies, but we know that there was "fidelity" in both American and English lines going back to an unknown ancestor after surnames were in use. But I have proven other lines through unmarried women and husbands who strayed.

Last edited by aries63; 08-09-2017 at 06:40 PM..
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:36 AM
 
375 posts, read 970,004 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aries63 View Post
...

I am in a Y-DNA project where we have 8 men tested and all match, sharing a known common ancestor of unknown origin, who died in the US in 1838 (my 3rd great-grandfather). Recently we had a match to someone born in England with a surname spelled with one less letter. We have been unable to connect the genealogies, but we know that there was "fidelity" in both American and English lines going back to an unknown ancestor after surnames were in use. But I have proven other lines through unmarried women and husbands who strayed.
Seems like this would only verify fidelity with relatively unique surnames, or maybe surnames with the origin confined to a small geographic area. The majority of surnames in my tree are occupation based, it's safe to assume that when the convention of surnames was first established those would have been shared by thousands of unrelated people.
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yarddawg View Post
Seems like this would only verify fidelity with relatively unique surnames, or maybe surnames with the origin confined to a small geographic area. The majority of surnames in my tree are occupation based, it's safe to assume that when the convention of surnames was first established those would have been shared by thousands of unrelated people.
No, when you have a Y-DNA match with the same or similar surname, then there is a shared common ancestor. It's not enough to have the name without the DNA match. Y-DNA has helped thousands of people with common (and less common) surnames figure out which line out of many is theirs.
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Old 08-20-2017, 10:31 PM
 
Location: CA--> NEK VT--> Pitt Co, NC
379 posts, read 313,552 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzy_q2010 View Post
When I find an expected third to fifth cousin with a common ancestor much further back I always look for another common ancestor. I have some lines that go back to early CT where the same families intermarried a lot. Any matches I have with that crew can end up with us being cousins nine different ways.
That's exactly right. I have a couple of family branches that developed in highly endogamous areas of the country and yes this is exactly the assumption I make as well.
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Old 08-20-2017, 10:44 PM
 
Location: CA--> NEK VT--> Pitt Co, NC
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I didn't realize my grandfather's father was a child born of an affair until I asked my aunts why the records showed my 2g-grandfather married to another woman who had a child 3 mos after my great-grandfather was born. Funny how that story never came up, but apparently they all kind of lived happily ever after with everyone knowing each other, living in the same neighborhood and taking care of each other's kids. It was kind of wild.

That was dad's side. On mom's side, my 2g-grandmother was born out of wedlock. Her conception appears to be youthful indiscretion. No cheating. Her parents were unmarried and 15-16 years old. Court records show her father confirmed his paternity. Both parents went on to marry others and stayed that way unto death.

I have made some cousin connections on 23 & Me that make me wonder about fidelity in generations prior to that, but nothing that I can prove at this point. It does however seem to make the most sense.

Almost no divorces or multiple, concurrent marriages in my family. Some shady stuff in some of the cousin lines, but nothing special otherwise in my direct lines...yet anyway.
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Old 08-22-2017, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Illinois
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On a line or so were some slave owners who weren't exactly faithful to their wives...
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Old 08-23-2017, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA, USA
1,059 posts, read 608,029 times
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All;

Remember, a non-parental event (NPE) does not always indicate infidelity, though in many cases, this is so. It could also be a child who was switched at birth (mistakenly or otherwise), or from an adoption, which was more common before abortion became legal.

Before abortion became legal, young girls were sent to live with "aunts" or placed into "homes for unwed mothers" (these were not uncommon) until the baby was born. These babies were generally given up for adoption. Occasionally, they would surface as the child of the grandmother.
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