There is a certain occurrence in genetic genealogy called a Non-Paternal or Non Paternity Event. This is a break in the ancestry of a personâ€™s Y chromosome and surname. A person named â€œSmith,â€ for instance, might have a Y chromosome that is clearly â€œJohnson.â€
A non paternal event can occur when an adopted male takes the surname of his adoptive family, or a male child takes his step-fatherâ€™s surname, or a male child takes his motherâ€™s surname (undoubtedly there are other circumstances as well).
When a break in the Y chromosome is suspected or confirmed, it is possible that the break might have occurred 1,000 years ago, 100 years ago, or with the testeeâ€™s birth.
An article in The Atlantic titled â€œWhoâ€™s Your Daddyâ€ addresses the â€˜unintended consequences of genetic screening for disease.â€™ Or, in some cases, the unintended consequences of testing for genetic genealogy. The author, Steve Olson, recently underwent genetic genealogy testing:
â€œA scientific officer at a genetic testing company knew that I was interested in genealogy, and he had offered to run my DNA through a sequencer. A few weeks earlier, Iâ€™d swished mouthwash inside my cheeks, sealed the mouthwash in a tube, and mailed the tube to the company.â€
The results of Mr. Olsonâ€™s (when I say that name out loud, all I can think of is â€˜Little House on the Prairieâ€™!) test revealed that his DNA was what he predicted it would be â€“ of Scandinavian descent.
However, as Mr. Olson points out, this doesnâ€™t always happen. The article cites Bennett Greenspan, of Family Tree DNA, as stating that â€œany project that has more than 20 or 30 people in it is likely to have an oops in it.â€ This aligns well with the traditional belief that anywhere from 5 to 15% of men are not the actual biological fathers of their children. Following this out 10 generations, there is a 40% chance of a non-paternal event!
Along the same lines, a recent article was published on the Wall Street Journals â€˜informedreaderâ€™ blog titled â€œAs DNA Tests Spread, So Do Nasty Paternity Surprises.â€ The article cited Steve Olsonâ€™s piece in The Atlantic.
I must admit, I have a deep understanding of this issue and the effect it can have on tested individuals. I have a solid paper trail to
My first thought was a non-paternal event. I even asked my Mom whether my dad was actually my dad (I was 99.9% joking, of course)! I was so proud of my German heritage, and here I was faced with the possibility that I wasnâ€™t German at all.
However, after a few months, new results showed that other people belonging to the unique subclade of R1b1c also originated in the same area of
Thanks to Hsien at EyeonDNA for her help!