I’ve learned a few things about DNA since I last wrote.  First (and most startling), Joseph Scott of Baltimore or wherever (my great-great-great grandfather) is NOT related to James Scott of Campbell County, Virginia.  We differ on four out of twelve markers tested.

Secondly (but most easily corrected) I really ordered the wrong test.  I ordered two tests from the company I used due to cost– I covered the cost of the Campbell County Scott’s test (since it was my idea) and the best I could afford was two, 12-marker tests.  But in reading up on it since, 12 markers are not sufficient for genealogy (for the most part).  Oh, I don’t mean that there’s a possibility James and Joseph are related after all–4 out of 12 misses is huge, and dismisses them as relatives at all.  BUT, 12 out of 12 matches with another family means only that we might be related with 50% probability within 14 generations.

Once I received my Dad’s DNA results, I plugged his values into the Scott Family DNA Project and saw that he was an 11/12 value match for an Elijah Scott family (SC 1795).  And entering his values manually into Ancestry.com’s DNA database gave us a host of 12/12 matches– with lots of last names, only one of which was Scott–a Scott family from England.  So, I know something and nothing.  My father and I want to know more, so this month we are purchasing another DNA test– the 46 marker test available from Ancestry.com.

But hang on, what has happened here?  What about the Bible that was supposedly seen, and the Campbell County Scott family researcher who knew things about my family that were not in the public domain?  I’ve been wracking my brains to find an explanation.  Here are some thoughts:

  • the DNA test could be inaccurate because of an unknown adoption or infidelity in either Scott line.  That could be partially resolved if one of Benjamin Franklin Scott’s descendents take the DNA test as well– it would be helpful to know if the descendents of Eliza Jane and Joseph Scott both carry the same Y-DNA.  But that would only tell us that no infidelity occurred on OUR side, and doesn’t address the possibility of adoption somewhere in either line.
  • James Scott and Joseph Scott could have been half-brothers with the same mother, but different fathers.
  • The connection between the families was not through the Scotts at all, but the Maddox women had a connection (cousins if not sisters?)

The eyes see what they see.  For 10 years I have worked under the assumption that the Scotts of Campbell County were related to the Scotts of Baltimore.  I leave you with two photos– the first of John Gordon Scott (Joseph Scott’s son) and the second of William Peerman Scott (James Scott’s son, courtesy of Janet Scott White).  I still see a resemblance.

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