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From:
Subject: Re: [DNA] A message from a skeptic
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2001 10:54:33 EST


Richard Pence wrote:

> First, an earlier message in today's mail from this NG referenced an
> article on the topic of DNA and the "family historian." This
> article, apparently by a noted UK genealogist, gave an overview of
> where we are on DNA testing and analysis. It also demonstrated
> clearly the high level of misinformation on DNA that is out and
> about.
>
> The author said that Prince Philip was a "descendant" of the last
> Czar of Russia (I don't think so, am I wrong?) and that testing his
> DNA and others against bones and other remains found in a mass grave
> in Russia "proved" that those in the grave were the Czar and his
>

My apologies to the mailing list -- you are missing some of the context here.
Richard is referring to a message on soc.genealogy.methods which listed a URL
with a short blurb by/about Alan Savin:

http://www.geneanet.org/chronic.php3?lang=en&news=CH15

Richard is correct about Prince Philip, who is a grandson of Tsarina
Alexandra's sister Princess Victoria of Hesse (Nature Genetics volume 6 1994,
pp 130-135). Alan Savin's book "DNA for the Family Historian" explains this
research more fully.

As for the word "prove" -- I myself prefer the word "confirm" (in the sense
of strengthening or making evidence firmer), but I've been called for using
that word, too, as the dictionary gives "prove" as a synonym. Other words
would undoubtedly be more appropriate -- my dictonary mentions substantiate
and corroborate, which take more syllables but do convey the meaning better.
I regard DNA as another form of evidence, to be weighted along with
traditional historical and genealogical evidence.

More later...

Ann Turner


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