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General => The Common Room => Topic started by: Ayashi on Friday 25 January 19 09:27 GMT (UK)

Title: DNA Non Paternal Event
Post by: Ayashi on Friday 25 January 19 09:27 GMT (UK)
My mother did her DNA on Ancestry a while ago and we ended up with a 3-4th cousin who we couldn't link with the family. She is no longer online but her daughter, who also did DNA later on, has been in communication with me. She's given me no indication that she knows the link either.

With several other DNA matches, I knew that she had to be connected to a particular couple in my tree. While I knew that an illegitimacy or NPE was probable, I expected it to be further back so was admittedly a little flippant about it.

It isn't. With a new DNA match we realised where the link is. The original match's grandmother must have had an affair with her sister's husband- her own mother was not fathered by the man she has on her tree as her grandfather.

Having already sent a message asking her if she'd had any contact with the new DNA match, who had not contacted me at that time, I decided to wait and see if I got a response before trying to tactfully say that we had found a skeleton in the closet and giving her the option of me telling her what it was, or of satisfying ourselves that the link was found and being otherwise in ignorance of it. After all, the man who "fathered" her was the one who shaped her life, not brother in law. I knew that if I was right, the new match would come up as a 2nd cousin and probably let the cat out of the bag. The daughter did come online, may well have read my message, but did not reply, making me wonder if the penny did drop.

The new match did eventually contact me and she had messaged the mother, not the daughter, so won't get a reply. She confirmed to me her ancestry and that the mother is a second cousin- she also theorised that the only brother of her ancestor was the link but as far as I'm aware has not worked out what happened with him. If she sees the daughter's tree, which is public, she also might realise.

Her subscription ran out today so I don't think she had time to message the daughter. If she says "Are you related to Uncle X?" that would be a dead giveaway.

Basically, I'm wondering if I should tactfully say anything or not. With two DNA cousins aware of what happened, a third not far off, and with others in the future potentially following what is now an increasingly obvious link, I suddenly feel like I should at least give her some warning before someone walks into it.

Any advice?  :-\

Ayashi
Title: Re: DNA Non Paternal Event
Post by: Ayashi on Saturday 26 January 19 21:55 GMT (UK)
I'm considering sending this, but it still seems so badly worded. I'm dreading sending anything in case her response is really bad.

~

Hi [Name]

I want to apologise in advance for the fact that tact is not my strong point and this is somewhat of an awkward conversation. You might even have already realised; in which case it might also be a redundant conversation and I will understand if you want no further discussion about it.

The fact of the matter is that we think we've worked out where our link is, but unfortunately the theory does involve making an accusation that you and your family may find uncomfortable, upsetting or offensive.

I wanted to give you the option of either hearing that theory, in which case it would then be in your hands who else it goes to or not, but what is said cannot be unsaid and you may prefer the suggestion isn't made in the first place. Alternatively, I am happy to satisfy myself that a solution has been presented to an aggravating mystery and will simply move on to other mysteries and focusing on other areas of interest. Either way I will respect that decision and either one is perfectly valid.

I was planning to mind my own business until such time as you might enquire more to me, especially about [New Match], when I would consider sending a message such as this. I've done so now because my concern is that you may sooner or later be told about it either way. [New Match] is already following the same path of enquiry and has attempted to contact your mother. When she eventually renews her subscription I think she will contact you. Since she hasn't realised the full implications of what she'd be suggesting I think she will unintentionally lack discretion and I didn't feel that I should explain to her. At least saying something now gives you the option of either hearing it first or of sending her a pre-emptive message that you are no longer interested in researching this DNA match.

I hope 2019 has been good to you so far and I wish all the best to you and your mother.

Regards
[Ayashi]

 :-\
Title: Re: DNA Non Paternal Event
Post by: Mart 'n' Al on Saturday 26 January 19 22:51 GMT (UK)
My advice, late in the evening, after a bottle of wine, is that it is all so long ago that nobody can really be upset if you send it. You've been pleasant, tactful and yet to the point. I think you should send it and make sure you send any replies that you get onto Rootschat.  Most people exploring their family history come across some surprises.

Sleep on it for 48 hours and see what other advice you get. Then send it anyway.

Martin
Title: Re: DNA Non Paternal Event
Post by: Mike in Cumbria on Sunday 27 January 19 00:45 GMT (UK)
I wouldn't use the word "accusation". How about "suggestion"?
Title: Re: DNA Non Paternal Event
Post by: Ayashi on Sunday 27 January 19 07:43 GMT (UK)
Thanks Mart. It isn't really that long ago- the child fathered by the wrong man, my original match's mother, only passed away a year or two ago. The two children legitimately fathered by him have also passed away, but there is the chance that they had children not on the tree who might be upset. Some people can get defensive about their ancestors no matter the distance, because of course they must all be perfect angels. This is a pretty close on though, in living memory for some. On a side note, the marriage of the supposed parents did end after the one child, so it may not come as a complete surprise.

I don't know Mike... I'd say pointing out that your ancestor and her brother in law got too friendly is a definite accusation. I've also used "suggestion/suggesting" twice later on, but I'll consider the point and ponder on alternatives.
Title: Re: DNA Non Paternal Event
Post by: Guy Etchells on Sunday 27 January 19 07:58 GMT (UK)
I am sorry but I disagree and would not send such a message.

If you are going to send a message make it simple and to the point accepting the new information, rather than such a long winded message that seems to be saying there is some dramatic life changing event that will be revealed.

Apparently some people have assumed that two other people have had sex which resulted in a child this happens everyday. Accept it or move on, the tests available do not prove the parentage of any child, they only suggest the possible parentage, common DNA tests cannot even disprove parentage only suggest the connection may not be accurate.

People read too much into DNA tests and should always keep in mind the case of Lydia Fairchild.
DNA testing was supposed to prove she was not the mother of children she had given birth to.
It was only after the birth of her third child (observed by a court official and a resulting observed DNA test) that the truth was revealed and she was the genetic mother of her children.

Cheers
Guy
Title: Re: DNA Non Paternal Event
Post by: Ayashi on Sunday 27 January 19 08:13 GMT (UK)
Guy- while I appreciate the point about being long winded, "accepting the facts" is something I'm perfectly able to do, but don't you think this would be an impactful thing on their family? Suggesting that they should just get over it sounds rather cold and doesn't accept that it is an up close scandal on their side involving people close enough to them to remember. There is a very good possibility that it would make them upset.

As far as I'm concerned from shared matches they are guaranteed to be related to me at a specific point in my tree, which we've all always known about. With her tree as it is, there is no link. The brother in law is definitely related to us. I'm not sure why you would bring up a chimera case when I'm talking about adultery between a woman and two unrelated males.

While I understand that some people would advise me to steer clear of talking about it with my cousin, I don't think your reasons are well stated. Sorry.
Title: Re: DNA Non Paternal Event
Post by: Gadget on Sunday 27 January 19 08:46 GMT (UK)
I'm inclined to agree with Guy.

I would not send a letter. It is really for them to discover, if they wish, what you believe you have found.

Gadget
Title: Re: DNA Non Paternal Event
Post by: Guy Etchells on Sunday 27 January 19 09:11 GMT (UK)
Guy- while I appreciate the point about being long winded, "accepting the facts" is something I'm perfectly able to do, but don't you think this would be an impactful thing on their family? Suggesting that they should just get over it sounds rather cold and doesn't accept that it is an up close scandal on their side involving people close enough to them to remember. There is a very good possibility that it would make them upset.

As far as I'm concerned from shared matches they are guaranteed to be related to me at a specific point in my tree, which we've all always known about. With her tree as it is, there is no link. The brother in law is definitely related to us. I'm not sure why you would bring up a chimera case when I'm talking about adultery between a woman and two unrelated males.

While I understand that some people would advise me to steer clear of talking about it with my cousin, I don't think your reasons are well stated. Sorry.

I was not suggesting the person you are writing to should just get over it but rather you and those who you think may contact that person.
We as researchers do not know the situation the the "parents" were in the may have been childhood sweethearts and spilt apart or they may have been ships in the night or a thousand and one reasons why they had sex.
We do not know and it does not matter, DNA suggests they had sex that resulted in a child the paper trail states the father was someone else. Neither record proves the fact, we are frequently finding out that DNA is not as "accurate" as first thought, therefore all we can do is record what is shown and not read more into the information or jump to conclusions.

You have seen something in the DNA and jumped to a conclusion, have you tested both males again to see if there is any discrepancy I am guessing not.

Why should it be an impactful thing for the family the child is still the same child, the dad is still the same dad only the biological father is in doubt.
We live in the 21st century not the 19th century, such Victorian hypocrisy and attitudes should be resigned to the dustbin of history, I am not particularly religious but the phrase "The son will not bear the punishment for the father's iniquity" comes to mind, some seem to glory in punishing the children for their parents actions.

There is no scandal but that in the minds of small minded people who cannot accept that people do not always comply with their marriage vows. That is between only three people the two men and the woman it is of no business of anyone else.
You could argue that it is the child's business as well but that would depend on whether the mother knew she became pregnant by the other man, she probably did not.

You asked for advice, I gave mine based on a lifetime of family history research which has lead me to develop an open mind.

Cheers
Guy
Title: Re: DNA Non Paternal Event
Post by: chris_49 on Sunday 27 January 19 09:44 GMT (UK)
There are always two sides. Some years ago I posted asking for advice on a similar matter - but I was a third cousin and there were two first cousins who knew the family and were better placed to decide.

One was against the idea, the other said that she would wait until she got all three sisters (in their sixties) in the same place and in the right frame of mind to accept that "your mother had a daughter during the war while your father was a POW - she was adopted but I know about her and can put you in touch". as far as I know that hasn't yet happened.
Title: Re: DNA Non Paternal Event
Post by: coombs on Sunday 27 January 19 19:36 GMT (UK)
I agree with Guy, DNA is not infallible and is in its infancy. I would take any Ancestry DNA results with a heap of SAXA salt.

Contacting them is only something you can do, but I would personally probably not contact them.

It is easy to say "biology is nothing" but imagine how some would feel if their beloved great grandad (who was a war hero and a successful doctor for example) was not their grandmothers/grandfather's biological father. Some people have identity crisis's when they find their beloved relatives are not blood relations.

Title: Re: DNA Non Paternal Event
Post by: Sloe Gin on Sunday 27 January 19 21:02 GMT (UK)
I would not take it upon myself to broach the subject. 
Either they will work it out for themselves, or another researcher will prompt the discovery. 
You have solved the mystery to your satisfaction, and I would leave it there.
Title: Re: DNA Non Paternal Event
Post by: Ayashi on Sunday 27 January 19 21:11 GMT (UK)
Yeah, I'm thinking at the moment that I probably won't, but re-evaluate if she should approach me first.

In my own tree I seem to be getting people all descended from the same couples with other areas a complete black hole. Am I getting no results because descendants haven't tested or because there's another skeleton in the closet? Who knows.
Title: Re: DNA Non Paternal Event
Post by: Biggles50 on Sunday 04 October 20 15:30 BST (UK)
In our area or research DNA deals with probabilities.

In your case I do not see what gain you would benefit by transferring your deductions to A N Other.

The recipient on the other hand is quite possibly going to be upset by the news.

I would just document your deductions in your tree and let sleeping dogs lie.

Title: Re: DNA Non Paternal Event
Post by: Ayashi on Saturday 10 October 20 21:06 BST (UK)
Biggles, this was nearly two years ago.

As it happens, I didn't send her any further messages, nor has she sent any back to me.
Title: Re: DNA Non Paternal Event
Post by: charleighcollin on Saturday 10 October 20 21:14 BST (UK)
That's a shame - don't take it personally.

What an interesting story, though, that you have found! Really brings these 2D photos of our ancestors to life when you find out something like that, doesn't it?

Title: Re: DNA Non Paternal Event
Post by: sarah on Sunday 11 October 20 15:29 BST (UK)
Quote
Biggles, this was nearly two years ago.

Most folk receive replies on post upto 17 years old and most are delighted, I know I would be.

Regards

Sarah
Title: Re: DNA Non Paternal Event
Post by: Biggles50 on Sunday 11 October 20 22:34 BST (UK)
It is weird.

I generally only look at threads in New Replies and Unread Posts.

Not sure how I picked up on an old post.
Title: Re: DNA Non Paternal Event
Post by: coombs on Sunday 11 October 20 23:12 BST (UK)
I agree with Sarah, an original thread can be 2 years old or 20 years old, and if added to after laying dormant for decades, it can be very helpful.
Title: Re: DNA Non Paternal Event
Post by: Romilly on Monday 12 October 20 10:05 BST (UK)
I agree with Sarah, an original thread can be 2 years old or 20 years old, and if added to after laying dormant for decades, it can be very helpful.

I agree...

I still live in hope that one day someone will find one of my Posts about my elusive paternal Grandfather, - and tell me who he really was!!

Iíve been Posting about him on here since 2005, but still no nearer... :o

Romilly  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: DNA Non Paternal Event
Post by: Ruskie on Monday 12 October 20 10:14 BST (UK)
I agree too in nearly all cases. However this request by Ayashi was asking if she should contact someone and how she should word her message ....  said message c/would have been sent years ago, so too late for advice.  ;D

It is always a thrill when someone joins rootschat to make contact if they have ancestors in common - and it happens fairly regularly.  :)
Title: Re: DNA Non Paternal Event
Post by: Romilly on Monday 12 October 20 15:00 BST (UK)
I agree too in nearly all cases. However this request by Ayashi was asking if she should contact someone and how she should word her message ....  said message c/would have been sent years ago, so too late for advice.  ;D

It is always a thrill when someone joins rootschat to make contact if they have ancestors in common - and it happens fairly regularly.  :)

Yes, - I agree! Very heartening...
It happened to me on my maternal side. I was contacted on here by a 3rd Cousin in Western Australia. No such luck on my problematic paternal side though:-(
Romilly.