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Thread: DNA reply from a "Mayflower" lineage society

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by C J Wyatt III View Post
    I think some of the members are scared of DNA because they may lose their bragging rights.

    Jack
    DNA testing does introduce a paradigm shift in genealogy. For the first time, it introduces hard scientific evidence to support the lineage. Traditional genealogy relied on faith in a lot of aspects (Faith the husband of the mother was the father of the child; Faith a person gives accurate and truthful information when Birth, Marriage & Death Certificates are created; Faith the clerk did not fabricate or make mistakes in his recordings; etc.)

    Human nature is to resist (and even fear) change. The greater the change, the greater the resistance/fear. In the end, I do believe the GSMD and family societies will embrace DNA testing, but it will take time, and patience.

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  3. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by blinketyblink View Post
    I've got one mayflower line (at least) as a descendant of the Compact signer, Edward Doty. Personally, I was put out when I discovered this, all that WASP respectability doesn't sit right with me somehow.
    If DNA could get me off the hook I might appreciate it. lol
    I don't believe the pilgrims were all that "uppity". IMHO, it was the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay which personify the WASP mentality rather than the Separatists.

    The Pilgrims initially struggled and faced severe financial hardships in order to send the Mayflower over. They originally had two ships, but one proved un-seaworthy for the trans-Atlantic trip and had to go back to England. Roughly half of the passengers were "strangers" and not members of the Separatists congregation. This large percentage of "outsiders" forced the original pilgrims to originally grant non Church members equal rights. There was no distinguishing the "Saints" from the "Strangers" on the Mayflower Compact. It was only after Plymouth Colony had basically "turned the corner" on their financial struggles (and were well on their way to paying off their debt) as well as a large influx of their church brethren, that the Colony became more intolerant of outside viewpoints.

    Additionally, the arrival of the Quakers in the Colonies contributed towards this new intolerance. While Plymouth Colony was no longer financially strapped, they still had to compete with a number of English (as well as French & Dutch) Colonies, and to a somewhat lesser extant, competing with the Native Americans as well. The Plymouth leadership felt the need to have unity of purpose to survive this competition, and not be "swallowed up" by their much larger Bay Colony neighbors. The Quaker belief of everyone being equal and following your own inner light threatened this unity, and (in theory) their survival.

    I do personally descend from both "Saints" and "Strangers" as well as some of the Quakers. I try to look at all of the possible viewpoints in order to honor all of my ancestral lines. Yes, mistakes were made, but that simply is part of being human.
    Last edited by Wing Genealogist; 08-16-2016 at 02:26 AM.

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  5. #13
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    I do believe, in time, even autosomal DNA testing may be accepted by the GSMD. For instance, there are currently a number of possible Mayflower lines where their is not enough "traditional" evidence for the GSMD (General Society of Mayflower Descendants) to accept the lineage. Some of these lines may be able to be validated using mtDNA testing, and (at least in theory) they may possibly be able to use autosomal DNA to validate as well. DNA testing the remains of Mayflower Passengers (or some of their early descendants) would go a long way to making many more of these lines testable.

    I do understand their are VERY mixed feelings regarding disturbing the remains of our ancestors.

  6. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saetro View Post
    MacGregor clan accepted DNA as proof some years ago.
    Hence conclude that Mayflower descendants are apparently able to post posthumously!
    At my instigation, the Wing Family of America, Inc. [WFA, www.wingfamily.org] developed a DNA policy even before we had our first result (mine). We decided DNA evidence could only be used to INCLUDE someone, never to EXCLUDE someone.

    The Board had a long discussion about what constitutes "family" and the consensus was that family was BOTH your genetic/biological line AND the persons who raised you.

    We also developed a policy where breaks in the genetic line (NPEs) are not to be PUBLICLY published, or released, but details could be privately shared with affected members (at the discretion of the Genealogist [myself]). This last part I still struggle with. It is impossible to know in advance whether someone would be interested in knowing the truth, or would be ashamed of the past. Even privately discussing this with some folks have caused them to have hard feelings towards me. OTOH (on the other hand) I have had other folks who have thanked me for pointing out their "dual" lineage and openly embraced both their genetic line and their "adopted" line.

    I can well imagine the GSMD (General Society of Mayflower Descendants) may want to take some different views on these issues. I cannot see anyone trying to fraudulently join the WFA (as their is nothing to gain by that). Some folks do feel they may have something to gain by creating false lineages to Mayflower families (or at least make leaps of faith that their Rogers, Fuller, etc. lines must have come from the Mayflower family). I can see the GSMD not accepting non-genetic/biological lines and publishing the results of such discontinuities. At the very least, the time is overdue for societies such as the GSMD to develop policies and standards around DNA testing, rather than being a proverbial ostrich with its head in the sands ignoring solid evidence.
    Last edited by Wing Genealogist; 08-16-2016 at 02:29 AM. Reason: correct hyperlink

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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Grossvater View Post
    I'm a Mayflower descendant from Stephen Hopkins but I've never joined any genealogy societies. What are the benefits? Is it just for the bragging rights?
    Maybe you get your choice of venison or a turkey drumstick on Thanksgiving?

    Do the Mayflower groups count Anne passengers, or just Mayflower?
    I just found out yesterday that I seem to be descended from three passengers on the Mayflower [Francis Cooke, John Cooke (his son) and Richard Warren] and three on the Anne [Richard's wife, Elizabeth and their daughter, Sarah; and Francis' wife Hester le Mahieu].

    If correct, my dad is walking around with Elizabeth Walker and Sarah Warren's MtDNA. That matrilineal DNA line stops with him, though. All I've got is autosomes.

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  10. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dewsloth View Post
    Maybe you get your choice of venison or a turkey drumstick on Thanksgiving?

    Do the Mayflower groups count Anne passengers, or just Mayflower?
    I just found out yesterday that I seem to be descended from three passengers on the Mayflower [Francis Cooke, John Cooke (his son) and Richard Warren] and three on the Anne [Richard's wife, Elizabeth and their daughter, Sarah; and Francis' wife Hester le Mahieu].

    If correct, my dad is walking around with Elizabeth Walker and Sarah Warren's MtDNA. That matrilineal DNA line stops with him, though. All I've got is autosomes.
    The GSMD (General Society of Mayflower Descendants) and all of the State societies only accept Mayflower passengers. There are other lineage societies, such as the National Society Sons and Daughters of the Pilgrims (NSSDP) For the purpose of this Society, the term “Pilgrim” denotes any immigrant who settled before 1700 within the territory which began the forty-eight contiguous states of the United States of America without regard to religion or place of origin.

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    Thanks! At least the Fortune and Anne families weren't on a sinking Speedwell if it had gone down out of reach of rescue/return.

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    DNA testing as a tool not a holy grail. Automosal testing I'm with in a few generations of George Soule, regularly get matches down stream from Susannah Soules line in Rhode Island. Establishment of those lines affirms other research as I look at it.

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  15. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pegasusphm1 View Post
    DNA testing as a tool not a holy grail. Automosal testing I'm with in a few generations of George Soule, regularly get matches down stream from Susannah Soules line in Rhode Island. Establishment of those lines affirms other research as I look at it.
    You are absolutely correct. DNA testing is only a tool. Much like any tool, when used correctly it can be of great assistance in one's research. Also, just like any tool, it has its limitations, and can be misused.

    My point of this discussion is how it is a disservice for a Mayflower-based family association to reject using a useful tool. the technology is proven, as long as used correctly.

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    Mayflower and colonial period are very well documented. If one can establish their family genealogy tree, combined with DNA. Its really a no brainier. Mayflower is a great case study for science.

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