Confirming Paternity with DNA--Did I do this right?

+5 votes
I'm trying to confirm that my maternal grandpa is my mom's biological father. I am certain that he is; however, he died in 1993. I had my mom DNA tested as well as my cousin, who is my maternal uncle's daughter. Since my mom is her full aunt as confirmed by DNA, does this confirm it enough that I can say my mom and grandpa's relationship is "confirmed by DNA?"
WikiTree profile: Petrone-19
in WikiTree Help by Tanya McLauchlan G2G3 (3.3k points)
retagged by Eowyn Walker

1 Answer

+2 votes

Hi Tanya,

Just FYI we can't see your mother's profile. She appears to be a living non-member of WikiTree (since her profile is Unlisted), so she would not have a DNA test entered here. Is your cousin a WikiTree member with their DNA test entered here? Per the DNA Confirmation help page, "It's also recommended that at least one of the test takers enter their DNA test on WikiTree, and set their profile's privacy level as Private with a Public Family Tree or higher."

If not, do you match your first cousin sufficiently on GEDmatch or another site based on the DNA Confirmation criteria? If so, since your DNA test is entered here, you may be able to do the confirmation through your match with your cousin.

Also, I noticed that in your DNA confirmation statements for your parental relationships, you mention the names of your mother and brother with links to their profiles. Since they both appear to be living non-members of WikiTree (Unlisted profiles), you should probably remove their names/links and just leave their relationship to you in order to protect their privacy.

Also, since you descend directly from your father, I believe that he is the MRCA for your relationship to him. Same for your mother - I believe that she would be the MRCA in your relationship with her.

EDIT: Assuming that at least one of the above aunt/niece or first cousin DNA matches/relationships meet the WikiTree criteria for confirming 3rd cousins or closer, I believe the WikiTree policy for 3rd cousins or closer is to mark all relationships up to the MRCA(s) as "confirmed with DNA" and provide the corresponding confirmation statements on the profiles. So in your case, I believe that you would mark the relationships between your mother and both of her parents as "confirmed with DNA" and add the confirmation statements to your mother's profile.

by Rick Peterson G2G6 Pilot (143k points)
edited by Rick Peterson
Thank you for your response! I changed the privacy level of the living relatives (although they don't particularly care). If you don't mind, would you please take a look again and make sure nothing private is showing?

I did enter my mother's DNA test before the privacy rules changed, so it is entered on here. My mother has exactly zero interest in DNA or genealogy.

I'm not sure I understand the rest of your answer. Does that mean that yes, my mother's and first cousin's aunt/niece relationship or my relationship with my first cousin does prove my mother's relationship as my grandpa's daughter?
Hi Tanya,

It appears to me that you've successfully removed your living (Unlisted) relatives' private info from your DNA confirmation statements.

Your mother's auDNA test information does not appear on your profile nor on your maternal grandfather's profile. Since she is a living non-member (Unlisted), this is as expected. There should not be any DNA tests entered for her on her profile. When the privacy rules changed, my understanding is that any DNA test information that existed on profiles of living non-members should have been automatically removed, and the profile privacy for living non-member profiles should have been automatically changed to Unlisted.

My understanding is that you could invite your mother to join WikiTree as a Family Member and enter her own DNA test info on her profile. She could also add you as a profile manager, if you're not already the PM.

But at this point, your auDNA test info is the only DNA test that appears on your maternal grandfather's profile. My understanding is that a "confirming" DNA match for your mother-grandfather relationship would need to include your test, since no others appear on his profile. If you have a sufficient auDNA match with your first cousin (your mother's niece, that you've mentioned has been tested), or another relative 3rd cousin or nearer, you may be able to use such a match to mark the relationship between your mother and her father as "confirmed with DNA".

If you do have a match with your maternal-side 1st cousin, and the expected average DNA sharing amounts and the estimated/predicted relationship range provided by the match site supports that relationship that you've documented via traditional genealogy, then my understanding is that you should be able to use that match to "confirm with DNA", the following child/parent relationships:

  • Between you and your mother
  • Between your mother and her father
  • Between your mother and her mother

And you'd need to add the corresponding confirmation statements on each of the children in those relationships, as you've done with your other confirmations.

If the other matching individual were also on WikiTree, they could also confirm their path to the grandparents similarly.

I have had the following people in this line DNA tested:

  • My mother
  • My father
  • My maternal grandmother
  • My brother
  • My maternal first cousin
So I have my mom's relationship to her mother confirmed between the two of them.
As for the DNA tests, I didn't know that they were removed, because it still says that my mom's DNA has been tested on her profile. My mom won't enter her DNA test because not only does she not care about DNA or genealogy, but she doesn't even really understand the internet or how it works, lol. 
Pretty much everyone who had their DNA tested for me was because I wanted it and I was interested and I paid for it. Other than that, they have no interest whatsoever.

You already have a good number of close relatives tested - and your grandmother's test gets you 2 generations further back than your test in that line for matches!

I'm not sure about your mother's DNA test - seems like that might be a bug, if it still shows on her profile. But I'm not seeing it propagate to her relatives.

For relationships that you've already successfully confirmed with DNA (such as between you and your mother, and your mother and her mother), I'd still suggest adding to your confirmation statement for those relationships the additional match info between you and your first cousin. First, it's an additional source supporting the relationship (can never have enough sources!), and second, it will show the continuity/complete path from you through to your MRCA grandparents (at least to you and others on your mother's TL - no one else sees her profile since it's Unlisted).

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