GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2001-01 > 0980261165
From: Richard Gethmann <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] A message from a skeptic
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2001 09:46:05 -0500
Richard has indeed pointed out several errors in his message, which I think I
can clear up.
First of all, concerning Prince Phillip of England and the remains of the
What was found in the graves in Siberia included a family unit, consisting of
both parents and three daughters. The age of the remains, their location and
the ages of the people at the time of their death was consistent with them being
the Romonov family. This was confirmed by DNA testing of the mitochondria.
Prince Phillip was the great grandson of Alice of Hesse (who in turn was a
daughter of Queen Victoria). This relationship of Phillip and Alice was through
maternal lines. The Czarina of Russia was the daughter of Alice. Thus, they
should share the same mitochondria.
DNA testing showed that Phillip and the mother had identical mitochondria.
The mitochondrial DNA of the father was compared a sample of mitochondrial DNA
taken from the remains of the brother of the Czar (who had died before the
Revolution and whose grave had not been tampered with), and they matched.
Thus, taking all of the evidence together, one can be certain beyond a doubt
that the remains found in Siberia were the remains of the Romonov family.
By the way, as a footnote, mitochondrial DNA testing also showed that the person
claiming to be the Romonov daughter Anastasia was a false claim, her
mitochondria did not match that of Phillip.
Concerning Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings.
Jefferson has no living male descendants, but there were living male descendants
of his uncle (his father's brother). When the Y chromosome sequences from these
males were compared with that of two lines claiming to have descended from Sally
Hemings & Thomas Jefferson, there was a match with one line, but not the other.
Which proves what? It "proves" that these two lines share a common Y chromosome
and a common male ancestor. It could have been Thomas Jefferson, or it could
have been another Jefferson male. Who it was a topic for the historians to
decide, molecular biology can not answer that question.
I hope this clears up these two points.
I would also like to offer some thoughts about using DNA as a tool for
genealogy, but I will save those for a later posting.
> I recently posted an announcement about GENEALOGY-DNA-L on the
> soc.genealogy.methods newsgroup which elicited the response below. I'm
> forwarding it to this mailing list with the permission of the author Richard
> Pence, a cyber-friend of mine who is skeptical about the role of DNA testing
> in genealogy. I'll post some comments of my own later in a separate message,
> but I'd like to see a variety of opinions posted. Richard has subscribed to
> GENEALOGY-DNA-L but will stay in lurk mode for a while (unless of course he
> can't resist a good discussion).
> Ann Turner
===== begin text of Richard Pence's message posted to soc.genealogy.methods:
When you have eliminated the impossible,
whatever remains, however improbable,
must be the truth
A. Conan Doyle
|Re: [DNA] A message from a skeptic by Richard Gethmann <>|