DNA Matching Question

Discussion in 'Health and medical' started by BobPeters, Feb 26, 2004.

  1. BobPeters

    BobPeters Guest

    Hi, All.

    My mother is involved in a question that is causing her quite a bit of concern.

    While a young American soldier, her brother was stationed in Great Britain during the latter part of
    World War II. While there, it is likely (but not exactly certain) that he impregnated a young
    English woman. He then shipped back to the US, she married (someone else) and had a son. She has
    always believed that my mother's brother (my uncle) is the father of that son. He never had any
    contact with her again.

    A couple of years ago, the woman tracked down my uncle and my mother via the internet. My uncle
    refused (and continues to refuse) to have any contact with her, but my mother has corresponded with
    her several times.

    The son has raised a family of his own and isn't particularly involved in all this, but *his* son is
    on a quest to try to find out who really is his biological grandfather. He has asked my mother if
    she would be willing to supply a sample of her DNA so that he could attempt to match it to either
    the son or grandson's DNA.

    Obviously, there are all kinds of potential emotional (and maybe even legal or financial) traps in
    all of this, but my mother really does want to know if *she* has other relatives in this world. My
    uncle is ill, probably won't live too much longer, and has made it very plain that he wants nothing
    to do with any of this. He also doesn't have much in the way of assets (nor does my mother, if that
    could matter at all), so I don't think things like paternity claims really enter into this.

    My question has more to do with the mechanics of DNA testing than all of the emotional baggage.

    Would a DNA comparison between this son/grandson and what would theoretically be his aunt or great
    aunt be conclusive at all? Would the DNA of a sibling (my mother) to the possible father (my uncle)
    provide sufficient matching to give any kind of definitive answer to this young man? Is there enough
    liklihood of useful information to bother pursuing this?

    I've tried asking a few people this question and the answers have been all over the map. I've tried
    Googling the subject and I think my knowledge of genetics is so abysmal that I can't even interpret
    what I'm finding on the net.

    Can anyone give me an answer or opinion?

    Thanks in advance.

    Bob
     
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  2. Nona Revers

    Nona Revers Guest

    [email protected] (BobPeters) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Hi, All.
    >
    > My mother is involved in a question that is causing her quite a bit of concern.
    >
    > While a young American soldier, her brother was stationed in Great Britain during the latter part
    > of World War II. While there, it is likely (but not exactly certain) that he impregnated a young
    > English woman. He then shipped back to the US, she married (someone else) and had a son. She has
    > always believed that my mother's brother (my uncle) is the father of that son. He never had any
    > contact with her again.
    >
    > A couple of years ago, the woman tracked down my uncle and my mother via the internet. My uncle
    > refused (and continues to refuse) to have any contact with her, but my mother has corresponded
    > with her several times.
    >
    > The son has raised a family of his own and isn't particularly involved in all this, but *his* son
    > is on a quest to try to find out who really is his biological grandfather. He has asked my mother
    > if she would be willing to supply a sample of her DNA so that he could attempt to match it to
    > either the son or grandson's DNA.
    >
    > Obviously, there are all kinds of potential emotional (and maybe even legal or financial) traps in
    > all of this, but my mother really does want to know if *she* has other relatives in this world. My
    > uncle is ill, probably won't live too much longer, and has made it very plain that he wants
    > nothing to do with any of this. He also doesn't have much in the way of assets (nor does my
    > mother, if that could matter at all), so I don't think things like paternity claims really enter
    > into this.
    >
    > My question has more to do with the mechanics of DNA testing than all of the emotional baggage.
    >
    > Would a DNA comparison between this son/grandson and what would theoretically be his aunt or great
    > aunt be conclusive at all? Would the DNA of a sibling (my mother) to the possible father (my
    > uncle) provide sufficient matching to give any kind of definitive answer to this young man? Is
    > there enough liklihood of useful information to bother pursuing this?
    >
    > I've tried asking a few people this question and the answers have been all over the map. I've
    > tried Googling the subject and I think my knowledge of genetics is so abysmal that I can't even
    > interpret what I'm finding on the net.
    >
    > Can anyone give me an answer or opinion?
    >
    > Thanks in advance.
    >
    > Bob

    You should look into Y-chromosome DNA profiling if there is presumed definite male-male line. Look
    on the genealogy groups for advice on this. Otherwise for general multilocus DNA profiles, each
    generatiuon dlutes kinship by 50% and using non-direct blood-line profiles you end up with the
    situation that no link can be conclusively shown to exist and at the same time not conclusively rule
    out a link

    What they aren't telling you about DNA profiles and what Special Branch don't want you to know.
    http://www.nutteing2.freeservers.com/dnapr.htm or nutteingd in a search engine

    e mail [email protected] (just one dot)
     
  3. Nona Revers

    Nona Revers Guest

    Or rather on rereading your piece, mitochondrial DNA testing for the female line. But equally try
    the genealogy groups for more info.
     
  4. bae

    bae Guest

    While it may be possible to determine with a very high (but not 100%)* level of confidence that man
    A is *not* the father of child B, it's almost never possible to have similar confidence that a
    particular man *is* the father of a particular child. If all you have to work from is more distant
    relatives, accuracy suffers considerably.

    If the curious grandson can persuade his father, his father's mother, and his father's mother's
    husband to be tested, he may be able to find out how likely it is that his father's mother's husband
    is his grandfather. He may get an answer amounting to "almost certainly no" but the best he'll get
    in the other direction is a percent probability. Note that UK and US labs may make different
    estimates of probability because one factor is the ethnic diversity of the relevant populations. If
    the probability isn't high enough to satisfy him, he'll just have to take his grandmother's word on
    the matter.

    From an "Ann Landers" point of view, I think it's unfortunate that all this trouble is being
    stirred up, just to satisfy curiosity, when those directly involved settled it all to their mutual
    satisfaction perhaps 60 years ago. It's hard to tell from here how much of this is being driven by
    the grandson, the grandmother, or your mother, but I feel sorry for your dying uncle getting
    dragged into it. It sounds like your mother has made a friend, whether or not she's the mother of
    your cousin. Perhaps they can expand their correspondence to other topics, and your mother can
    decide whether or not to accept the her new friend's word that she may have a nephew and
    grandnephew in England.

    * (Note that while paternity testing services may make it sound simple and definite, the advent of
    paternity testing has demonstrated yet again that biological systems are seldom simple and
    straightforward. It seems that genetic mosaicism and chimerism are more common than once thought:
    paternity testing has sometimes shown that the biological *mother* cannot be the genetic parent of
    her children. And while it adds to the emotional distress of the situation, people do edit their
    memories unconsciously, and after 60 years it's possible that the grandmother could have edited
    out other candidates for the paternity of her son. Those were frightening, desperate times in WWII
    Britain, and many people did things they would never have considered under more normal
    conditions.)

    In article <[email protected]>, BobPeters <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Hi, All.
    >
    >My mother is involved in a question that is causing her quite a bit of concern.
    >
    >While a young American soldier, her brother was stationed in Great Britain during the latter part
    >of World War II. While there, it is likely (but not exactly certain) that he impregnated a young
    >English woman. He then shipped back to the US, she married (someone else) and had a son. She has
    >always believed that my mother's brother (my uncle) is the father of that son. He never had any
    >contact with her again.
    >
    >A couple of years ago, the woman tracked down my uncle and my mother via the internet. My uncle
    >refused (and continues to refuse) to have any contact with her, but my mother has corresponded with
    >her several times.
    >
    >The son has raised a family of his own and isn't particularly involved in all this, but *his* son
    >is on a quest to try to find out who really is his biological grandfather. He has asked my mother
    >if she would be willing to supply a sample of her DNA so that he could attempt to match it to
    >either the son or grandson's DNA.
    >
    >Obviously, there are all kinds of potential emotional (and maybe even legal or financial) traps in
    >all of this, but my mother really does want to know if *she* has other relatives in this world. My
    >uncle is ill, probably won't live too much longer, and has made it very plain that he wants nothing
    >to do with any of this. He also doesn't have much in the way of assets (nor does my mother, if that
    >could matter at all), so I don't think things like paternity claims really enter into this.
    >
    >My question has more to do with the mechanics of DNA testing than all of the emotional baggage.
    >
    >Would a DNA comparison between this son/grandson and what would theoretically be his aunt or great
    >aunt be conclusive at all? Would the DNA of a sibling (my mother) to the possible father (my uncle)
    >provide sufficient matching to give any kind of definitive answer to this young man? Is there
    >enough liklihood of useful information to bother pursuing this?
    >
    >I've tried asking a few people this question and the answers have been all over the map. I've tried
    >Googling the subject and I think my knowledge of genetics is so abysmal that I can't even interpret
    >what I'm finding on the net.
    >
    >Can anyone give me an answer or opinion?
    >
    >Thanks in advance.
    >
    >Bob
     
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