Ethics/Policy Guidance on including Children outside the "Known Family"

+5 votes
My Father was the product of a Relationship between a Mr Elms and my Grandmother. Mr Elms was married and had Adult children of his own.

Mr Elms, his 3 daughters and my Father have passed. This information captured on Family Search website.

I have traced the Elms family tree down to the daughter level and can only locate one child born in 1945, that was adopted by the family. Not sure if she is alive but it's unlikely. The reason I went to this level was to establish if their were any living relatives who could contribute to my research into my biological Grandfather. I was also doing this to establish if there were any objections to recognizing my Father as an Elms descendant,

Besides the relationship between Mr Elms and my grandmother being extra marital it was also across the racial lines. These two facts very embarrassing in South Africa although not uncommon especially in 1928 when he was born.

As a young man, my father did attempt to change his Surname from His adoptive fathers name to Elms. He did the application but was threatened with bodily harm. I estimate that this was around 1940-1944. The person that threatened him was probably the husband of one of the Elms daughters.

My question, is it acceptable to show my father as a descendant of Mr Elms, given the fact that with the exception of Mr Elms senior this information may not be known to all famIly members.

The source of my information is my fathers living half sister(s).
WikiTree profile: George Elms
in Genealogy Help by Errol Nicholson G2G2 (2.4k points)
In consideration of living family and ancestry, I'm wondering what sourcing details and profile listing options I have for biological relatives that were identified through a DNA triangulation process search?  So far, privacy and potential embarrassment hasn't been an issue.  Even back many generations, this could potentially be an issue to living relatives.

As DNA identification becomes more exact and accepted, all of us will be faced with these situations.  Almost no ones recorded paper lineage over hundreds of generations will prove entirely accurate.  I have several direct ancestry brick walls that may be bridged through DNA and prove to be surprising.  Another issue will be retaining the historic accepted ancestry lineage, while identifying the biological reality.

Please comment /answer

1 Answer

+2 votes

It is acceptable to show your father as a descendant of Mr Elms.  Include what evidence you have.

If you are male then you should have Mr. Elms' Y chromosome.  I recommend you order the Y-DNA37 test from Family Tree DNA.

by Peter Roberts G2G6 Pilot (613k points)
edited by Peter Roberts

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