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Grossvater
04-09-2013, 03:02 AM
While comparing family trees with fellow Anthrogenica member History-of-things awhile back, we discovered that he and my wife share some ancestors in Eastern Kentucky. However, they don't seem to have inherited any common DNA. My odd question:

If one has common paper trail ancestors with someone yet no shared DNA, can one still claim them as a relative?

Baltimore1937
04-09-2013, 04:21 AM
While comparing family trees with fellow Anthrogenica member History-of-things awhile back, we discovered that he and my wife share some ancestors in Eastern Kentucky. However, they don't seem to have inherited any common DNA. My odd question:

If one has common paper trail ancestors with someone yet no shared DNA, can one still claim them as a relative?

If the tree is accurate, most people would consider them relatives. The way I look at it is if those ancient ancestors on my tree, whether I know who they were or not, if they hadn't done the things they did, then I would not be here.

I also have ancestors who were in Kentucky shortly after Daniel Boone opened it up for settlement. The most direct ones moved on up into Indiana when that was opened up for settlement.

AJL
04-09-2013, 02:40 PM
Baltimore is correct: if the paper trail is good you are cousins no matter whether you match. If they're a fourth cousin the odds of having inherited measurable common DNA is 50%, and if third, 90%. So unless they're supposed to be a third cousin or closer and there's no shared DNA, I would chalk it down to probabilities rather than mistakes. (For example, I have a fourth cousin I don't match, but my mother does -- her third once removed -- while I have inherited other chunks of DNA specifically attributable to ancestors at the 5th-to-10th cousin levels.)

geebee
04-09-2013, 03:15 PM
For myself, I start from the premise that we are all relatives. So I don't see a reason to determine whether someone is a relative -- if they're a human, they are. Rather, I see my "mission" as one of just figuring out where on my tree someone fits. (Or it could also come down to where on their tree I fit.)

One of my fantasies is that someday my tree will be large enough to include everyone living. Hah! As if I would live long enough myself to do that, even if I were willing to put in the time, could find the necessary records, etc.

The downside, of course, of knowing everyone else is related to you is sometimes you have to say, "He's in my family tree?!" But I figure if everyone else has to have me in their tree, I can include them, too. :)

(And all of this keeps me from fretting too much over the fact that only for a tiny fraction of my Relative Finder matches have we been able to determine our relationship.)