There are no two ways about it; non-paternity events happen and have happened forever. I am a haplogroup enthusiast and also insist on trying to prove every ancestral line with DNA, which means not only testing the recent ancestry with autosomal but also using y-DNA and mt-DNA to researching families identify all ancestors’ haplogroups. Using the surname and haplogroup projects and all the autosomal tools, today we can have true and exact ancestries and history that is our own biologically.
Of course, also have on one’s tree those who reared us, and I even have honored a few of the family friends’ families who were instrumental in our lives. Not just my own, but his, theirs, as well as mine. The families grow exponentially.
I reject the idea of any stigma about any birth relationship for any reason. Period.
The search must be matter of fact, no emotion, but how do you tactfully ask a prospective tester, “do you have any reason to think you are not really the son of X?”; “Do you think you might have been adopted and not the son of X?” Or any other delicate issue of birth question.
There is no easy way. And, you cannot use looks. I recently wanted an autosomal test for a family (who must remain anonymous) that looked so much like the person I was helping and had a 37 for 37 y-DNA match. They never did the test, but we later found the real dad elsewhere. The caution here was they are one of the R1b lines and it was so easy to be wrong. In the end the MRCA for all three was quite recent and all of them were non-paternity events sometime over the last 200 years.
There is no way to rely only on autosomal DNA to identify every ancestral line – you must use the y-dna and if for nothing but the joy of it learn at least a few of the mt-DNA haplogroups of ancestors also. There might be little genealogy from mt-DNA but there is happiness in following your haplogroup across the world back to Africa.
This all means every ancestry needs all the siblings and half siblings researched and all their descendants.
The genetic family tree of all the world, I hope this happens and I hope it is all used for goodness.
The insistence on biological descendants serves inheritance and society requirements, but when I think that some of the rules came because a king or religious entity did not want power to be built among families and not because there was any issue of 1st cousins marrying, I wonder how many people’s lives were ruined, emotionally or in society, because of a non-existent problem spread for selfish purposes.
Un-think is my motto.
And, enjoy your families research with new and expanded people. From my childhood introduction to ancestry with both sides of my family, through to the digital searches beginning in the last and the new century finding cousins near and distant gives not only the photos and family bibles spread around all families but also now the chance to locate people who carry the families’ DNA signatures.
You must have male descendants of two 2 TWO – sons of any patriarch.
These charts are from the trees of Ancestry.com
You cannot test a man and claim any – not any – patriarch through the results of the man’s y-DNA test. If you want the genetic signature of any male ancestor, any patriarch, born any time, and you cannot test the man himself – you must test two of his sons – or male-line descendants of two different sons of the patriarch in question.
You can use this method of proving male line families with the y-dna and the y-DNA can take you back much further than any research the autosomal can offer for identifying families. But you must still use both.
The next question: But is the person with this proved genetic ancestral line related to you and this is where the magic of autosomal DNA can help – BUT use caution.
If you want to use distant relatives for proving any of your lines, you must triangulate with near relatives and prove that an autosomal distant relative is really a relative – moreover is really related via the family you think they are related to you on; They might be on your mother’s side but maybe not; maybe from your dad’s side. Distant matches are simply iffy – see blog on triangulation.
Remember pedigree collapse and how many people have overlapping ancestral lines; you can be related to a person two ways, or have lots of small amounts of shared genes. In fact, some is just DNA noise and two people may be more distant than previously thought or sometimes not related at all.
Not all 4th-to-distant cousins should be guessed at.
Tree matching is risky – if there are two to multiple incorrect trees – you can have false results being created from falsified trees.
To be really sure, a chromosome browser can show you exactly which chromosomes two people match on; then you can identify families who share the same genes on the same chromosome segments.
Research all siblings of all ancestors and all their descendants.
Use y-DNA (on two lines) to identify direct male descendents of the patriarchs of your families (also locate the female-line descendants for any of your mothers), then use autosomal DNA make sure you are related to the testers. If everything matches you will have a family tree not just written in stone but in DNA – and you can bet the farm on it.
See in contents the Jean Manco tribute and her preserved site – there is a link at the bottom of her page and you and search where your haplogroup(s) are in archaeological digs around the world.
Also see her Building History webpage and let’s continue to support Jean Manco
The man that started it all
And a really wonderful site for learning about your haplogroups once you have them.