Author Topic: Could DNA testing help discover father of my illegitimate Grandmother?  (Read 2348 times)

Offline River Tyne Lass

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Could DNA testing help discover father of my illegitimate Grandmother?
« on: Wednesday 06 December 17 12:04 GMT (UK) »
My maternal side Grandmother was born illegitimate in 1895.  Could DNA testing possibly lead to finding out who her father could have been - possibly through cousin matching?  Is this something I could do or would a  brother be needed to do a test?

I find the topic of DNA advice a bit mind-boggling ::)  to understand so I am hoping that someone might be able to answer this question in a simple way.  I have been wondering for a while if this type of thing could be of help.  Can anyone enlighten me? :)
Conroy, Fitzpatrick, Watson, Miller, Davis/Davies, Brown, Senior, Dodds, Grieveson, Gamesby, Simpson, Rose, Gilboy, Malloy, Dalton, Young, Saint, Anderson, Allen, McKetterick, McCabe, Drummond, Parkinson, Armstrong, McCarroll, Innes, Marshall, Atkinson, Glendinning, Fenwick, Bonner

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Offline Ayashi

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Re: Could DNA testing help discover father of my illegitimate Grandmother?
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 06 December 17 12:24 GMT (UK) »
If you are really really lucky you might be able to find shared matches between known cousins and other "unrelated" people around that point if you have multiple testers but getting something precise is probably unlikely. You would need to have a large number of testers for a start and secondly even the dna isn't that specific.

In my case, I have a few illegitimate children in the family.

My 2xgt grandmother had the middle name Uglow and we believed that the father was likely to be a brother of the aunt by marriage. DNA later showed that we have a lot of matches in the Uglow family. It is either the aunt's father or one of her brothers that is the guilty party, but although I may eventually be able to rule out the father (none of his wife's family appear to have tested as yet :/ ) I will likely never know which of the brothers was responsible.

My grandfather's mother, who was married with four children, ran off with the lodger and then had a baby. The lodger was on the birth certificate as the father and the child took his name, but either man could have been the father as far as we know. DNA later proved (although to be honest from photographs we already had it well pegged!) that her husband was the father.

My 2xgt grandfather was also illegitimate, but in his case there is no target to compare him to. He has no father on his birth certificate, nor on his christening or marriage. I cannot look into the ancestry of the candidate or candidates and find matches. In other words, he's a black hole. If I can find known cousins descended from him that would give me a point of reference with "shared matches"- if someone who cannot be linked to my tree has DNA in common with him, then I will know they are related to either him or his wife. If I have known cousins who are descendants of his wife's ancestors then I can further narrow down if a particular unknown match is related to her or him. I should add though that Ancestry's shared match function is pretty unreliable. I can't see that you would get a false positive though. I await the day when I have enough people tested to make this kind of investigation possible.

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Offline River Tyne Lass

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Re: Could DNA testing help discover father of my illegitimate Grandmother?
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 06 December 17 13:47 GMT (UK) »
Many thanks Ayashi, for your speedy and clear answer.  Oh, well never mind, who knows what new advancements may be made with DNA in the future.  It was very interesting to read about your own ancestors stories.

I guess many of us will have several ancestors or more who were then termed as 'illegitimate'.  No father was provided on my Grandmother's birth certificate and I have been unable to find any baptism record either.  She seems to have been brought up as her own Mother's sister.  However, a school admission record I found listed her previous school as having been in an area where her birth Mother moved to after marrying and having more children.  This makes me suspect for a time at least she may have lived with my Great Grandmother (her birth mother).  On her school admission record and marriage entry her Grandfather was named as her Father.

Thank you for taking the time to explain things.  I sort of expected that finding out the answer may not be possible yet but just wanted more clarification from someone (like yourself) who understands the DNA business a lot better than I do.  I appreciate your speedy response too. :)
Conroy, Fitzpatrick, Watson, Miller, Davis/Davies, Brown, Senior, Dodds, Grieveson, Gamesby, Simpson, Rose, Gilboy, Malloy, Dalton, Young, Saint, Anderson, Allen, McKetterick, McCabe, Drummond, Parkinson, Armstrong, McCarroll, Innes, Marshall, Atkinson, Glendinning, Fenwick, Bonner

Offline shellyesq

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Re: Could DNA testing help discover father of my illegitimate Grandmother?
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 07 December 17 02:06 GMT (UK) »
I think it's possible if you get lucky. 

You could do it, or if your grandmother has any living children who are willing to test, it's best to test the older generation as they will have more of the unknown man's DNA than the next generation. 

Offline River Tyne Lass

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Re: Could DNA testing help discover father of my illegitimate Grandmother?
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 07 December 17 07:12 GMT (UK) »
Thank you for your post, shellyesq.  Unfortunately, the last of my Grandmother's children (my Aunt) died a few months ago in her late 80s.  I would not have been able to ask her about this as unfortunately she had dementia for many years.

I am not giving up however, as who knows in the future, DNA techniques may develop even further. :)

Conroy, Fitzpatrick, Watson, Miller, Davis/Davies, Brown, Senior, Dodds, Grieveson, Gamesby, Simpson, Rose, Gilboy, Malloy, Dalton, Young, Saint, Anderson, Allen, McKetterick, McCabe, Drummond, Parkinson, Armstrong, McCarroll, Innes, Marshall, Atkinson, Glendinning, Fenwick, Bonner

Offline rlw254

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Re: Could DNA testing help discover father of my illegitimate Grandmother?
« Reply #5 on: Monday 11 December 17 03:43 GMT (UK) »
This is another scenario where testing a male from your grandmother's line could be very helpful. If you have any living uncles, or if there are any male cousins from an uncle, a YDNA test could point in the right direction for a surname match.

Offline brigidmac

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Re: Could DNA testing help discover father of my illegitimate Grandmother?
« Reply #6 on: Monday 11 December 17 06:51 GMT (UK) »
Short answer ..yes ..if you carn do good detective work
I already knew who birth father  of my grandmother was because her mother took him to court to pay

But finding descendents of his sister's in USA who shared DNA with my mum on Ancestry tests has confirmed that great grandmother didn't lie about paternity

Have you checked to see if there are any court records ? In 1900 they were called Affiliation orders .parish transcripts called them bastardy orders

I nearly missed my grandma's baptism record in church lists  because her mother was listed as Lottie Roberts not Charlotte.
Alsoon birth cert the baby girl had father's surname as her middle name
By the time she was baptised the mother had obtained maintenance payments so gave baby Maisie a different middle name which she used at school .

Good luck
Roberts,Fellman.Macdermid MCDERMID McDiarmid Gardner Jones ,Bloch,Irvine,Hallis Stevenson ,McKay

Offline River Tyne Lass

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Re: Could DNA testing help discover father of my illegitimate Grandmother?
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 12 December 17 10:16 GMT (UK) »
Thank you rlw254 and brigidmac for your advice and suggestions.  Unfortunately, my Grandmother had only one son - my uncle - and he died several decades ago now.  His son is also now deceased. 
My Grandmother was born in South Shields, which was then part of Durham, in 1895, and as far as I am aware no affiliation orders would now exist.  However, if I am wrong then I would like to know about this as I would definitely explore such as avenue if it was possible.

You are fortunate, brigidmac that a court record exists and so you have been able to get closure about  who your great Grandfather was. 

I have tried all the Church of England Churches in South Shields without avail when looking for a baptism.  I would think it would surely have been considered quite important at that time for a baby to baptised and if only I could find out where -  perhaps her father might be named.

This was lucky that you did not miss out on finding your own Grandma's baptism.  A similar scenario happened to me when I was looking for my Grandmother's school admission record.  I had looked at a particular book and found nothing.  I closed the book and was just about to hand this back to the archive staff when a strong thought suddenly occurred to me that I needed to look again.  On the second search I found my Grandmother's name, her exact date of birth and the name of her Grandfather under the parent or guardian column.  Too many coincidences for this to have been anyone else but my Grandmother.  She was age 12 at this time.  It was also recorded that her previous school had been in a different named area and I know that this area was where her birth mother was living.  One intriguing thing was that the address recorded at the South Shields school was not the address of her maternal grandparents and family.  I did detective work on who lived there at that time and found that a widow and her family were long time residents at the address given.  I did wonder if one of the widow's sons may have been responsible for fathering my Grandmother and that she may have housed her as she was a possible Grandmother - but on checking one son was too young and the other died before Grandmother would have been conceived.  So I suspect Grandmother may have just boarded with the widow and family as a lodger perhaps.  It is all such a mystery!  I do hope somehow, someway, I may be able to get closure on this brickwall mystery eventually.

Thank you both again - I really appreciate that you have both made an effort to try to help by offering possible helpful and advice and suggestions.  This was very kind. :)
Conroy, Fitzpatrick, Watson, Miller, Davis/Davies, Brown, Senior, Dodds, Grieveson, Gamesby, Simpson, Rose, Gilboy, Malloy, Dalton, Young, Saint, Anderson, Allen, McKetterick, McCabe, Drummond, Parkinson, Armstrong, McCarroll, Innes, Marshall, Atkinson, Glendinning, Fenwick, Bonner

Offline brigidmac

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Re: Could DNA testing help discover father of my illegitimate Grandmother?
« Reply #8 on: Tuesday 19 December 17 01:02 GMT (UK) »
I would not have found the court order myself but a lovely lady at Cheshire records office checked to see if anything existed and then I paid for it .

It's worth asking the relevant records office for help on something like this and despite it being all computerised I like to phone with my queries first .

Good luck
Roberts,Fellman.Macdermid MCDERMID McDiarmid Gardner Jones ,Bloch,Irvine,Hallis Stevenson ,McKay