Can we prove or disprove Joseph Razey son of Malcolm MacLeod of Brae?

+2 votes
214 views

The parentage of Joseph Razey (Razee, Rasey, Racy) 1728-1790 (NH) has been the subject of vigorous debate for decades. Complicating matters were two Joseph Razey’s of Massachusetts, believed to be unrelated, one who went to Rhode Island and the other to New Hampshire (who may have originated in NH). DNA testing has definitively debunked the long-held theory either was the son of Malcom MacLeod of Raasay Scotland.

As early as 1920s-30s, long before DNA testing, Prof Wm Gurney (Univ of Chicago and President of the Sons of the American Revolution Illinois Assoc) suggested a different theory that Joseph of NH was the son of Malcolm MacLeod of Brae and Katheryn McQueen. This line of investigation has been further developed by David Guy Harden. One particular website owner (angrily in red font) denounces the entire concept and claims MacLeod of Brae never came to the New World but Gurney and Harden believe there is written documentary proof to the contrary. Harden also addresses the DNA questions.

I would welcome some opinions on the work of Gurney and Harden. The basic underpinnings of this are on Joseph’s profile (more detail available via email on request). What testing would be necessary to prove/disprove the MacLeod of Brae/Joseph Razey connection via DNA.

Neither Malcolm MacLeod of Brae nor Katheryn appear to be in WikiTree at present.

WikiTree profile: Joseph Razey
in Genealogy Help by T Stanton G2G6 Pilot (179k points)

2 Answers

+1 vote
 
Best answer
Anything back more than 4 generations will require a Y test for males or a MtDNA test for females.  These tests only follow a single line back.  So you would only get direct Razey ancestors from the Razey line.  If MacLeod is a step father you will not get him.  If he is an uncle by marriage you will not get him.  If he is a grandfather by marriage to a Razey woman you will not get him.   The MtDNA works the same way from child to mother to grandmother etc for one specific line.  

If you have several people who relate via Autosomal DNA (which goes back accurately about 4 generations) you can sometimes deduce a relationship but it is calculated relationship.  

DNA can more easily disprove a relationship than it can at times prove one as sometimes you get it down to one of several sons...  

And it is dependent on who has tested.  If the right people have not tested you will also get nothing.

I would work out both paper trails and see who among the descendants have taken DNA tests and see what kind of matches you are or are not getting. Then decide who needs to test.
by Laura Bozzay G2G6 Pilot (652k points)
selected by Susan Laursen
+1 vote
You’ll need to further specify the written documentary evidence that proves or even suggests that Malcolm Macleod went to America. There is no mention of it in Samuel Johnson’s book that I can find.
by Gordon Macleod G2G Crew (300 points)
Please see the profile. I believe I have a PDF of Harden’s work based on Gurney if you are interested.
Thanks for your reply. I’d be very interested in that PDF thanks. Though I’m really just interested in the specific reference, for e.g. the page number of Johnson’s book where it is stated that Malcolm Macleod had recently returned from America in 1773, I’ve read the book and can find no such reference.

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