Re: parents as "cousins" on #dna


I think we have to be careful comparing results of testing companies. Unless you test most of your cousins with all the companies, there's no way of knowing which is better. You certainly can not just go by which turns up more documentable cousins. There are all sorts of reasons why someone might turn up as a cousin without you really having a clue as to how they relate. Endogamy is one, but just the fact that surnames churn over frequently, especially with women upon marriage makes it hard to even identify someone with a branch you already know of. Also, adoptions, informal and formal. I'm also discovering that a significant number of men on my tree (several percent)  especially those who were about 30 in the 1950's or early 1960's, had children out of marriage. Also, at least in one case, relatives back in Poland converted to Catholicism in the 1900's (making them unrecognizable as relatives just by given names and surnames...except that their names now were very Polish looking, so that clued me in....). 

Just as anecdote, I did discover that a 4th cousin of my father was a known client of his! They had a laugh over that. But that's the only case in my tree. Though I do see some endogamy among relatives, I haven't see any with my direct ancestors.  And though one test long ago before some chip changes and algorithm changes, my parents showed as cousins, I don't think they do any longer. Considering my genealogical details, it seems very unlikely that they are closer than 6th cousins, but I'd guess 7-10 is more likely to be correct for them and most Ashkenazim. For the few with documentable distant rabbinic lines, I can see that a few 15th cousins married, but they may very well have cousinhoods that are closer than the ones I can document. 

Steve Bloom
Central Virginia

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