Father was "unknown" in wiki tree but now we know it's 1 of 3 brothers

+2 votes
Originally, when I uploaded my gedcom 2 years ago, I had 2 NPEs in my tree. One who we already figured out but did not include and 1 where we had a completely unknown bio-father.

1. The NPE that we know and can verify with several DNA matches was in 1918. My grandma's bio-father. All Parent and children have passed. Would this be an appropriate time to add the connections and add some of the DNA verifications?

2. The unknown father, when I uploaded the gedcom, it created an "Unknown" and a surname that we had several matches. With some help with a distant match, we were able to place some of the closer matches that we couldn't identify before. These matches isolated a single family unit due to a recent immigration. The previous surname ended up being a maternal surname. We have been able to isolate a family unit are until to determine which of 2 brothers is the bio-father. The grandma's family is huge so LOTS of DNA matches but none in this family unit or their descendants. All brothers, their wives and some of the children have passed away. We located a couple of the children but they are not responding to us. Do we leave the unknown profile as a "dead-end" so should we connected the unknown the the family unit basically showing as an extra child? This one occurred in the 1940s.

Both NPE's occurred before their marriages.

in WikiTree Help by Jennifer Cote G2G Crew (530 points)
edited by Jennifer Cote
For no. 1 if you have determined the actual father, I would say yes, link him in as parent with all the evidence you have which supports this. I did that for my step-nan when I worked out her bio father using DNA, then found additional documentation to put him in the same place the year before her birth. I also added the bio parents of a child my great grandparents adopted in 1902, even though her mother went on to marry and have further children whose descendants were not best pleased that I had made the relationship public (on another site).

For no. 2. This is tricky - I have an ancestor born 1837 and can work out her father was one of 3 brothers who lived next door to her mother and maternal grandfather who raised her. However I can not be certain which brother it was, so for the time being I have just linked the possible fathers in the Bio, until I can find evidence as to who the actual father was. As I created profiles for the family, I can connect them later. If I had an unknown profile, I would not connect to the likely parents until I had further information (just in case the bio father was actually a nephew rather than a son).

I hope that makes sense!

1 Answer

+7 votes
This is a topic that I have very different opinions on than some other Wikitreers. I am an NPE born much more recently than of your ancestors. I am linked on here to my biological father and his entire family, despite how my various cousins may feel about it. I have a philosophical belief that every human being has a right to their identity and to a place in their biological (and adoptive, if applicable) families. Now, our family members can choose whether they want to interact with us -- that is their right -- but to exclude any human being, regardless of the circumstances of their birth, from the family tree is, to my mind, the ultimate genealogical sin. It is unforgivable to me to deny a human being their identity on the basis that "your existence is unacceptable/inconvenient to me personally".

When people cry about so-and-so's feelings, my retort is that we all will experience many emotions in our lives. Some of them are complicated and difficult emotions. No one can assure you that your emotions will never be hurt; that your world will never be rocked; that your family will always have the same familiar shape that you assumed it would.

My take is that I would always link people to their correct biological parents and explain the circumstances, if necessary, in the biography.
by Jessica Key G2G6 Pilot (256k points)
Totally agree. It is not about condemning behavior, it is about your right to know about your biological family.You are just as much a branch of that tree as they are.

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