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An onion in a petunia patch

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  • An onion in a petunia patch

    My brothers 67Ydna....... at the 67y level he has (0) perfect matches, (2) at the genetic distance of 1, (8) at the genetic distance of 2 and so forth. All but two of these matches have different surnames. The different surnames are among the genetic distance of 2.
    As I proceed to the 37 and 25 matching levels there are many more different names in the lists.
    His/our surname doesn't match any of these.
    I've done the genealogy back to1609 and have a very good paper trail , meaning no hiccups with birth dates of all children in each generation.
    Could this results mean only one thing a NPE or "Non-paternity event"? I'm at a lost to think this is so based on my paper trail!!!!!!
    I've just purchased and not yet received an upgrade to Y111 and R1b-M343&M269 Backbone SNP Pack. I was hoping this might shed some light on the subject.
    I've been working on finding someone with our surname to take a DNA test, the problem is I personally know all living in the USA with this name and no one has offered to help. I'm now looking in Canada and I've not been successful as of today.
    Does anyone have an explanation as to what is going on.............

  • #2
    Without further information, I don't think you can conclude that there is something amiss with your pedigree. Rather, it seems at least as likely that there is just nobody out there who has tested yet, who is directly related to your patrilineal line, unless perhaps the one or two possible matches with different surnames. But surnames have not always been immutable, even in the British Isles. It is entirely conceivable either that related families happened to choose different surnames whenever those became fashionable where they lived, or else that a surname was changed for some reason that made sense at the time.

    If you browse through the various surname projects, you will see that in some cases, almost everyone who tests ends up being related, while in others, there are evidently dozens of genetically unrelated families that have the same surname. There are also examples of the converse situation, where multiple surnames share the same Y chromosome pattern. Surnames seem to have been adopted gradually, and at least in some areas they were not always passed from father to child in the way we understand them today. It seems to me the history of how surnames came to be used and then came to be permanent, is reflected in the patterns we see in the surname projects.


    • #3
      I don't think you have enough evidence to jump to the conclusion that there was an NPE. You need to wait for more matches to show up.

      It did happen to me after 10 years of careful research and lots of money spent, But my cousin had quite a number of matches all sharing the same surname at a GD of one (my cousin had a mutation in a rather rapidly changing marker which accounted for the difference), and only a couple with different surnames and high GDs. I felt really bad for a couple of days and then got curious and started researching.

      You could try doing Family Finder tests on several relatives to verify the line. That gets iffy after the closer generations though.


      • #4

        OMG!!! you two made me feel much better about my papertrail. I belong to a very large genealogy society - 1500 members - the head of the Familytree DNA program tells me that because of the results my brother and I received it has to be a NEP.
        Believe me I've been trying to find matches on our DNA sites to prove it, but all I come up with is my grandfather and his sister are siblings for sure.
        The name is French-Canadian and is extremely rare.
        You've given me hope and I thank you for this.
        In the last two days I've frantically been looking and found someone - who uses facebook - with the same last name and know that he is related; unless adopted. This morning I've sent a PDF file to him of his line for proof. I hope this goes well with him and he agrees to do his DNA. I've offered to pay maybe this will work.


        • #5
          The mention of French-Canadian surnames raises the issue of "dit" names or "alias" names, a phenomenon that could obscure actual relationships. Well into the 18th Century, there was a strong tradition in French-speaking areas that a family might be known by two or more interchangeable family names. This practice can be traced in feudal documents back at least into the 14th Century and probably before that. In brief, when a couple had no male heirs, or when there came to be so many descendants of one family in a small village that it was difficult to keep track of them in ordinary speech, or for any other reason that escapes us now, alternative surnames were attached to people. Sometimes the alternative name is clearly from the maternal line, sometimes it is an occupation, a physical trait, or a nickname, sometimes it is a toponym (a place name - but rural places were sometimes named after the people who lived there as well, and then the same name bestowed on an unrelated family who happened to settle there later!). The alternative names were entirely interchangeable. One of my ancestors in French-speaking Switzerland was sometimes known as Louis Reymond, at other times as Louis de Geneve, at other times as Louis Billiard (this name from his wife, who was the sole heir of her father), also Louis Reymond dit de Geneve, Louis de Geneve dit Billiard, etc. The names could be used in legal documents singly or in any combination. Over the generations, provable descendants of a single family might end up with several possible family names -- and the system might continue into succeeding generations, as when one of the sons of Louis de Geneve was known as Pierre Billiard alias Favre and sometimes just Pierre Favre. Sometimes the original family name stuck, sometimes one of the aliases replaced it entirely in one or more branches of the family. The result is that there may be several different surnames in use by the 19th Century, for families clearly related through the paternal line a couple centuries earlier.

          French-Canadian records are full of "dit" names, but sometimes an earlier "dit" name or alias has been dropped. It is entirely possible, therefore, that some French-Canadian families having different names today might actually be closely related because of changes of the family name, rather than intermarriage. Just another reason genealogy is so much fun!


          • #6
            Dit names

            I know what a dit name is and understand it can appear anywhere in ones line. The name has changed ever so slightly from 1609 to 2017. I've found no edvidence of any dit name even in 1609. My ancestor Genu came to Quebec in 1720. - rather late - for immigration from France. Fortunately for me in his marriage records it stated exactly where in France he was from. With the help of the Archives of Seine-Maritine, Normandie I was able to find more bmd documents of my family back to 1609. The name was the same except a letter S found at the end was eliminated. I was fortunate to find the contract and found the spelling to be the same and it stated he was from Cournaille, located across the water from Cornwall, England. I have searched in this area and found a few documents with my name, but no direct link.
            Just to let you know at the 67y level 80% of the matching names are listed as Cunningham. I join the Cunningham project and was listed among the R1b haplogroup. My matches are stunningly the same except for one marker. This is why I think I did the right thing to order the 111ydna upgrade and the snp's.
            Also I've studied the Cournaille , France and Cornwall, England areas and found a Cunningham did indeed marry a female Genu back in 1475 near La Rochelle, France As you might agree this was a very long time ago and the records are just not there so I can only piece historic pieces together and assume. I don't like to assume.
            Thank you your help. do you think my ordering the up grade might help?