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"Paragraph on How to Encourage Senior Citizen Uncles to Learn About DNA ??

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  • "Paragraph on How to Encourage Senior Citizen Uncles to Learn About DNA ??



    Hello. I have two, different reasons for attempting to encourage two of my senior-citizen uncles to take DNA tests. They are two KERR brothers, one about 80 and not in the best of health, one around 70. They do not have a real interest in their family-tree.

    Before I get started on my story, I'd like to ask if anyone could offer two paragraphs on WHY my uncles should participate in DNA research - which I could copy and mail to them ! I'd like the paragraphs to be written in laymen's terms - which would allow "an older person in not so great health" to understand -- and consider.


    One reason is that I cannot trace their KERR and HENDERSON (cousins married) ancestors past 1790 in Sligo, Ireland. I can't even find out the names of those ancestors' parents. My research shows that they were in Ireland from at least 1780's and up to their departure for Canada in 1823. But, my uncles (and late aunts) INSIST they are Scottish, and NO ONE is going to tell them any differently.

    I'd like to be able to find out whether my KERR's and HENDERSON's were originally from Scotland (in 1700's).

    The second reason is much more important. Their mother was reportedly a "foundling" on the streets of Boston, MA, in 1889. However, my research shows that this might have been a "family story" used to cover up a few (many) "family secrets." My "educated guess" is that either her Adoptive Mother or her Adoptive Mother's married birth-daughter somehow "got pregnant" in the summer of 1888 in CT - and without the benefit of their respective husband.

    If my "guess" is correct, then my grandmother would go from being a "foundling" with no family-tree to speak of --- to being descended from the MANCHESTER and TOMPKINS families of the MA/RI border - and thus from "the Mayflower" -- and from the DEXTER and ALLEN families of the early MA/RI border. (Also involves a CLARK man who "parachuted down" from "outer space.")

    This "search for the truth" has been going on for about 100 years. And, I wondered what the chances were of "DNA tests" from one or both of my uncles would show that their mother was definitely blood-related to the woman who adopted her.

    ----

    To make a longer story a little shorter, John and Mary (CLARK) DEXTER, strangely left their life-long home in CT to move to MA -- right around the same time that a baby girl was born. She was reportedly "found" in MA, but I suspect she was born in CT and brought to MA. John and Mary were in their late 50's when they adopted the little girl, then 3, near Boston. They had had 3 daughters of their own, but two died as children. Their married daughter was around 30, married with one son, and still living in CT.
    Unfortunately, Mary died in 1899 and John placed the girl in an orphanage in Boston. A few years later he went to the Tewksbury State Hospital and died there.

    For several reasons I believe that John was estranged from his birth-daughter, but his adopted daughter seems to have remained in contact with him until his death. (I have no clue whether my grandmother ever saw her much-older adoptive sister again, but she did see the sister's adult son after she became an adult.) (This adoptive nephew had a son who did a complete family-tree for his YOUNG family - and almost left out information about the DEXTER's.)

    ...


    I've been doing genealogy for 10+ years, but only 5 years with the Internet. I started out on a one-name study on KIDDER, but with the Internet I started researching all names on my tree. Most of my ancestors came to the MA Bay Colony in the 1600's. But, two sets of ancestors came to Canada in the 1800's and then came down to Boston, MA, in the late 1800's.

  • #2
    I can't write a letter for you, but I can make a useful suggestion. There are a number of carefully selected relatives of mine that I wanted to get tested -just for the record; every lineage eventually becomes untraceable as you go backwards in time.

    How did I deal with it? I knew that it would be a waste of time to persuade them to order a kit & pay for the test. I offered to pay for the test & in cases where they lived within a few hours drive of Kansas City, MO, let them know that the reported address would be c/o me: thus insuring a level of anonymity that goes beyond what even Family Tree DNA is offering.

    A concern that I encountered was that Health Insurance companies would get a hold of this data. With only a name -not an address or SS#, it was obvious that they could not be individually identified. There haven't been any problems yet.

    A little over half agreed to do the test.

    If you can't come up with the funds to pay for their tests, pass around the hat to your other relatives that care.

    Timothy Peterman

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    • #3
      Dna testing is such a powerful tool, albeit with some significant limitations. It can be frustrating that you can only test for essentially two lines yourself.

      However, you are fortunate to have access to family lines with living, known relatives with your needed surname, particularly ones you already have relationships with - that is definitely critical in this issue.

      My paternal grandmother's surname family immigrated 5 generations before mine from Ireland. However, there is only 1 living male individual with her surname - and I have traced the entirely family in the US, my dad's ~78 year old 2nd cousin. Fortunately, my dad has held a relationship with his sister for 50 years so it was fairly easy for my dad to make introduction (over phone of course). I knew that he had done his own genealogy research years ago and my had several phone calls, and email exchanges sharing information. Ultimately my dad asked him if he would perform a DNA test kit(we paid for it) and he agreed. (I'm anxiously awaiting results, there was oral tradition that family changed its name so I am quite curious if he has matches with "old", "current", or neither surname.) My dad explained to him some of the basics, and I have emailed him some basic details(ie. 60 minutes video, haplogroup maps)...not sure how much of it he has taken it, but I am very grateful.

      Ultimately, how you will approach this is a personal decision based on your desire, financial position, amicability of your family, etc. I believe(perhaps someone can confirm), that if you do a 12-marker test on a sample now, you can upgrade to a full 67-marker results later without an additional sample. Based off your 10 years of research I suspect you already have an idea about possibility of other cousins with your surname. However, if there are open branches it does hurt to search again - I know this is difficult and can be costly if you want to succeed in this.

      On another note, I also have Kerr ancestry, my Kerrs immigrated from Scotland to New Jersey 1842/1843 time frame. Kerr is definitely a Scottish name, generally on Scottish border, although it is of course likely that your Kerrs intermixed with non-Scots in Ireland or this side of the Atlantic. I have never heard of non-Scot(or Scot-Irsh) Kerrs. Non-paternal events, name changes do happen of course.

      Regarding Scot-Irish, the last major immigration wave from Scotland to Ireland took place in aftermath of the Glorious Revolution(~1690-~1693) so I would presume that your Kerrs were in Ireland for about 4 generations. County Sligo is an interesting origination, the Scot-Irish population was always fairly small there.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by jcarney78
        Dna testing is such a powerful tool, albeit with some significant limitations. It can be frustrating that you can only test for essentially two lines yourself.

        However, you are fortunate to have access to family lines with living, known relatives with your needed surname, particularly ones you already have relationships with - that is definitely critical in this issue.

        My paternal grandmother's surname family immigrated 5 generations before mine from Ireland. However, there is only 1 living male individual with her surname - and I have traced the entirely family in the US, my dad's ~78 year old 2nd cousin. Fortunately, my dad has held a relationship with his sister for 50 years so it was fairly easy for my dad to make introduction (over phone of course). I knew that he had done his own genealogy research years ago and my had several phone calls, and email exchanges sharing information. Ultimately my dad asked him if he would perform a DNA test kit(we paid for it) and he agreed. (I'm anxiously awaiting results, there was oral tradition that family changed its name so I am quite curious if he has matches with "old", "current", or neither surname.) My dad explained to him some of the basics, and I have emailed him some basic details(ie. 60 minutes video, haplogroup maps)...not sure how much of it he has taken it, but I am very grateful.

        Ultimately, how you will approach this is a personal decision based on your desire, financial position, amicability of your family, etc. I believe(perhaps someone can confirm), that if you do a 12-marker test on a sample now, you can upgrade to a full 67-marker results later without an additional sample. Based off your 10 years of research I suspect you already have an idea about possibility of other cousins with your surname. However, if there are open branches it does hurt to search again - I know this is difficult and can be costly if you want to succeed in this.

        On another note, I also have Kerr ancestry, my Kerrs immigrated from Scotland to New Jersey 1842/1843 time frame. Kerr is definitely a Scottish name, generally on Scottish border, although it is of course likely that your Kerrs intermixed with non-Scots in Ireland or this side of the Atlantic. I have never heard of non-Scot(or Scot-Irsh) Kerrs. Non-paternal events, name changes do happen of course.

        Regarding Scot-Irish, the last major immigration wave from Scotland to Ireland took place in aftermath of the Glorious Revolution(~1690-~1693) so I would presume that your Kerrs were in Ireland for about 4 generations. County Sligo is an interesting origination, the Scot-Irish population was always fairly small there.
        I have some Carneys on my family tree. I was always told that they came from Ballinasloe, County Galway, Ireland but it looks like first they moved to Liverpool, England and then came to Westerly, Rhode Island, USA. Supposedly my GG Grandfather Carney had a brother that went to Australia.

        Comment


        • #5
          Its ironic that I know relatively little of the ancestry of my own surname (Carney) but I know more about my other branches.

          My Carney ancestor immigrated to US ~1858 as an orphan child probably from England with both of his parents probably born in England. Seems odd for a supposedly Irish person with Irish surname.

          I've skipped the Y-DNA for myself (for now at least) as there are few results for my surname and, with limited money to spend on genealogy, am focusing on some other surnames.

          Comment

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