Friday, September 19, 2008

DNA a potential aid in solving Raynor mystery?

I was just thinking about it now as I was sitting here looking at my family tree. As with all small founding communities, there was a lot of intermarriage among just a few families in early Hempstead, so I have no less than three generations on my family tree where there is a Raynor marrying a Raynor. About 8 generations back, though, on one branch it comes down to a single couple, Jacob Raynor, and his wife, Rebecca Raynor. Jacob's parents are disputed at best, unknown at worst. It is through his wife, Rebecca, that I connect myself to the larger Raynor family tree on that branch. But it is to Jacob and his father and grandfather that a y-DNA test would connect the Raynor men in my family - my mother's brothers and their sons (my cousins). I can connect myself to the larger tree through other male Raynors, but they are the fathers of daughters on my line. Jacob is the mystery, and an exact match to someone else would guarantee with 95 percent accuracy that you are related within 11 generations, which means if my cousin matched exactly to another Raynor who could trace his paternal genealogy that far back (and lucky for me, most of the Raynors can), then at best, we might be able to narrow down which of a few individuals might be Jacob's father. At worst, we could definitely connect Jacob to one of Freeport founder Edward's sons, which would be proof at least that Jacob is part of this interwoven tree.

On that note, my male Raynor cousin has offered to take the y-DNA test. He has his own family tree up now. It seems he has gotten the genealogy bug from his father. I'm starting to become convinced that an interest in genealogy is either genetic or its contagious.

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