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Non Parental Event
Posted by: Raleigh Seay, Jr. (ID *****7091) Date: September 23, 2010 at 04:19:28
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DNA is helpful in finding our ancestors, because the DNA test measures the Y chromosome, which is passed on from father to son. Thus, those males who have similar or identical DNA are related to each other. This line is broken, however, when there is a non parental event, such as an adoption, taking in a child, remarriage, blended family, child born out of wedlock, etc. We are finding that a non parental event is much more common than originally thought. When you consider the time period of the 1800's and earlier, on the frontier or somewhere in the hinterlands of Europe, where you would rarely if ever see a priest, preacher or church, where marriage or baptism would be difficult or impossible, then you can see how improbable it would be to have an unbroken line of DNA, and where a non parental event would be, if not normal, certainly not rare. In this scenario, DNA is virtually worthless in determining ancestry.

In the case of the SEAY family in America, we know of several non-parental events and, where that has occurred, the DNA is useless in determining SEAY ancestry. The first thing you have to do is come to grips with the fact that your family is your family, not your DNA line. If you have taken the DNA test and your DNA does not match other SEAYS, this does not mean SEAY is not your family, it just means that you probably have a non parental event that has altered the DNA.

Let us suppose for a moment. Suppose there were a non parental event -- one or more -- in the early years of the SEAY family in Virginia, mid to late 1600's to early 1700's -- what effect would this have on our analysis of the SEAY DNA today? And the answer is that it would render a good part of it useless in determining our ancestry. I conclude, therefore, that DNA is not the absolute determinative that I thought it would be, but is simply one tool to help us discover our roots. Someone once said, "If you don't know where you came from, you don't fully know who you are." Amen. Sandy Seay, Orlando

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