illigitimate+DNA

Discussion in 'Illegitimacy' started by Annie1893, Sep 6, 2014.

  1. Annie1893

    Annie1893 New Member

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    I have been searching for my Fathers father for many years. My Father was born in 1893 in Dundee Scotland. His name was David Milne Gardner. He was 3 years old when his Mother became pregnant again, this time she married. But my Father was not brought up with the family. On his birth certificate it just has his Mothers name Maggie Gardner. She was not poor and was well educated.
    My question is could it be possible that my Fathers father was also the father of the rest of the children 5 in all. With DNA being very popular would it be possible for me to find out through DNA if her husband was my Fathers father. Which members of the family would have to give samples. I really dont know how it works. I am close to one of my half cousins but none of the rest of the family.
     
  2. arthurk

    arthurk Well-Known Member

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    DNA testing is a constantly-evolving field, and I may not be up to date on it now. However, one of the commonest tests is the yDNA one which looks at direct male lines.

    For this to work in your case you would need to compare a male descendant of your father (eg your brother or one of his sons) with a direct male descendant of Maggie's eventual husband. So if you don't have any brothers, or if Maggie's other children were all girls, it's not going to work.

    If you can do this comparison and the DNA matches, there is a very strong probability that your father's father went on to have further children with Maggie. If there isn't a match then he probably didn't, but the possibility of any of the children being the product of an extra-marital affair means this conclusion can't be so certain.

    As I said, DNA testing is becoming ever more sophisticated. What I've written reflects my understanding from a few years ago, and while I'm sure it's still basically correct, I don't know whether any of the newer kinds of test would work if there wasn't a direct male line.

    Incidentally, do you know where the Milne in your father's name comes from? It's quite common for an illegitimate child to be given his/her father's surname as a middle name, so if you can't identify a Milne anywhere else in the family, this could be an important clue.

    Arthur
     
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  3. Blackmogs

    Blackmogs Moderator. General Dogs(cats)body. Staff Member

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    Good point Arthur, in my various families that middle name can be either the father's or the mother's.
     
  4. Annie1893

    Annie1893 New Member

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    Thank you Arthur, So my half cousin is the daughter of one of the sons, she in turn has two sons, so could it be done through one of them. I would have to get one of my 3 brothers sons to do it for our side.

    As for the Milne that was the name of my Grandmothers Grandfather , he had sons one of whom was called David Milne after his Grandfather.
     
  5. arthurk

    arthurk Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately not. It needs to be an unbroken male-only line, so if any of your half-cousins is male, it could be done through him (or through one of his sons). The thing about this kind of DNA (yDNA) is that only males have it, so if there's a female in the line of descent it won't work.
    That would be fine (but not much use if there isn't a suitable male in the other line). Hopefully someone more up-to-date than me might be able to say if any of the newer kinds of test would help. Don't hold your breath on this, though - I'm not at all optimistic that it would, but I don't feel able to give a definite answer at present.
    Bang goes another theory :(

    Arthur
     

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