My grandfather left England at the age of 7. Didn't know who his father was except for the last name. I think I have found his father as he was working at the same place as grandfathers mother and as he has the same first name as my grandfather. Grandfathers name is XXXXX XXXXX there are no other Williams in his family line. How can I prove whether the person I found is his father?
Have death certificate of person who I think is his father. . . Death is consistent with information grandfather was told by his mother
Hello,Welcome and thanks for your question. When was your grandfather born and where in England?
Grandfather was born 9 Apr 1875, Gillingham, Kent, England. His parents were not married and the story goes that his father died a few months before he was born. All he was told was his father's last name. . . Eaton. His mother worked on Her Majestys DockYard in Chatham, Kent, England. There is an Eaton by the name of William Eaton who worked there also and had a son, William Eaton who was a sailor and also worked at the dock. The son is two years younger than my Great Grandmother. The son died at the Fort Pitt Hospital which is located and was used by sailors at the Chatham docks. His death was in December 1874 and my grandfather was born in April 1875. Grandfather's name on his birth certificate is "Willie" and he later changed it to "William" As there are no other "William's" in his family line I looked for a William Eaton.
Thanks for the additional information. Let me think on this for a while. Just reading this through a couple of times, I don't see any way to "prove" it beyond a shadow of a doubt.
I am wondering if DNA could be used. . I have some research on the Eaton line and could probably trace it to within a generation now living in England. Is that a possibility?
You beat me to it! I was just getting ready to type my thoughts back to you.
DNA would be the only way to prove it since there is no documentation. Of course, that would presume that the father had other male children besides your William and that their current descendants could be found to compare with the male descendants of your William.
You have done an amazing job of sleuthing out the putative father. A professional could not have done any better.
So, am I to understand that DNA could only work if Grandfather had a brother? A cousin wouldn't work. . . or the cousin's line?
It would help pinpoint that it was the same family, but not prove he was the father.
Do you remember the controversy about whether Thomas Jefferson fathered the children of the slave Sally Hemings? The same problem existed there. Thomas Jefferson had no sons. They used DNA from Thomas Jefferson's uncle. The DNA results were that the claim could not be substantiated one way or ther other. Twenty-five men alive at the same time carried the same Y-chromosome, and any one of them could have been the father.
Still, the Monticello foundation has welcomed descendants of the Hemings family, since some one(s) of the Jeffersons was/were the father(s) of Sally's children, whether it was Thomas Jefferson himself or not. Here is a synopsis from Monticello: http://www.monticello.org/site/plantation-and-slavery/thomas-jefferson-and-sally-hemings-brief-account
Thank you for the information. One other question. . . . when you do use DNA I understand that it would be the male line. . . my uncle's son? This is my mother's line so my brother would not be a choice for the DNA? I would like to try the DNA and see if there is a match on the Eaton line I have found even though it would not be a direct match. What do you think?
Y-DNA is only in the male line since girls are XX with no Y chromosome in their sex-chromosome makeup. Mt-DNA traces the maternal line. Both men and women receive Mt-DNA from their mothers. Men are XY with one sex chromosome from father and one from mother.
Researcher and genealogist for past 30 years
Thank you for the information. I think I will just go ahead with more research on this line. . . . perhaps someday there will be a way to prove my assumptions. If I have more questions now I know where to get help. Thanks again!