Adopted children on your Family Tree? #general

Evelyn Filippi

I have been reading all the posts and I don't believe there is a wrong or
a right way to do a tree.

I have one part of my family that I couldn't get much info on. The relative
I contacted wouldn't give me any information because it was too painful for
her to talk about it with all the sisters and brothers she lost >from the Nazis.
So I left her alone as much as I wanted the info. I never got it.

I also contacted another relative for any more info and she asked her Father
who told her to ask me he wouldn't talk about his family with her and what
he went thru.
I had gotten most of the info >from his wife.

I do not put x spouses in unless their are children involved. I don't see
the point. This is a family tree not a who is sleeping with whom tree. I
don't put people living together, or love partners or pets.

What I find interesting someone else might not. I like medical information
for instance my 2 sons are color-blind so I researched that and found out
they got the magic gene >from me since its passed on thru the mother and
started asking and found a few more relatives that also were color-blind.

I have also found Rabbis, Political Science Professors, Soccer players,
Designers and Gamblers, Business People, etc.

Its my Tree. I didn't know I had rules until I read what other people wrote
but I guess I do.

Evelyn Filippi
New York

Barbara Zimmer

Dear Genners,
The question of adoption and where to place "adopted" children on a family
tree has many meanings. Here is another scenario >from my family (with all
names changed).

Minnie married Max Braun and had one son, Louis. Minnie divorced Max and
married Sam Schwartz. Sam "adopted" Louis, and Louis's full name was
changed to Isaac George Schwartz. Minnie and Sam had two children who were
half-siblings to Louis/Isaac.

None of this created any problems until Sam's cousin Morris died intestate.
In a search for heirs, the first version of the paperwork did not include
the information that Isaac George Schwartz, "son of Sam Schwartz" was not
the blood descendant of Sam Schwartz. All the pertinent paperwork had to
be resubmitted with the correct information, and each of the direct
descendants finally received their share of the estate.

On my tree (on my computer) I have included the information about Minnie's
first marriage to Max Braun and his later marriage to another woman. In
addtion, I have included data on Minnie's later marriages (without issue)
after Sam Schwartz died. I prefer to include all the data, since it is my
private tree.

Barbara Zimmer

Sally Bruckheimer <sallybruc@...>

A genner wrote: "If we are conducting genealogical research, the research
necessarily, and by definition, must only be concerned with genetic

Genealogy is the story of your life and your family not molecular biology,
not, by definistion concerned with genetic relationships. You are falling
for the DNA testers ploys. Genealogy is not kidney transplants, but it
involves in-laws, adoptees, everybody in your family and affecting your family.

What if you found out that a ggrandparent was actually raised by people who
were unrelated, perhaps, to her biological parents, as one of mine was? Do
I stop because there is nobody to DNA test? No, it is an interesting
situation and major influence on her life. Her 'mother' in NYC left her a
fortune when she died, so she must have loved her, but DNA testing probably
would show no relationship at all - if you dig them up and find something
testable. So sorry, you have no DNA in common, so we forget you exist?

A cousin of mine took several DNA tests and got lists of people who were
supposedly related closely, but he never could figure out how most were
related. And some people who had also taken tests and are closely related
(by genealogy) aren't on his list. Should he leave the DNA-unrelated off
his tree? And should he include little trees for the DNA-related when he
doesn't know how they are related? It was a famous, well-respected DNA
testing company, by the way.

I am trained as a geneticist, and I can tell you that DNA testing is a far
different thing >from proving relationships for people not very closely
related. You can prove paternity, but when you get even a little farther
away, it gets very, very complicated very fast.

If we only depended on DNA testing, we would have to DNA test everybody, as
you never know if somebody was actually switched with another baby in he
maternity ward. Perhaps I was switched? My 35 years of genealogical
research would be 'a waste of time', as my DNA was not theirs? No! I am the
product of my family, my upbringing, and all that influenced me growing up,
as well as my DNA, that family and that upbringing is genealogy. My family
is the product of their families and their lives, and if I were genetically
unrelated, they are still my family. If somebody was adopted, that includes
them as well.

Genealogy is not DNA testing, but family relationships.

Sally Bruckheimer
Piscataway, NJ

A. E. Jordan

In a message dated 3/14/2012 12:29:44 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
Ema609@... writes:
I have been reading all the posts and I don't believe there is a wrong or
a right way to do a tree. ....... Its my Tree. I didn't know I had rules
until I read what other people wrote but I guess I do.
I purposely started the other line about if and when you leave someone off
a tree .... but as I said in that other posting and felt important to
repeat here is that I agree with Evelyn Filippi.

This is each person's individual hobby and there are no rules. Someone
people set out to capture every fact and every person who is even remotely
attached to the tree. Some only want specific branches or whatever.

Its your tree and its your time going into doing it .... so enjoy and be
proud of what you do and don't let anyone else tell you are not doing it

Allan Jordan

Meron Lavie

As in many aspects of life, here too - in DNA testing, discretion is the
better part of valour.

When I took Genetics 101 in college (somewhere around the Jurassic period,
according to my children), I expected to be given the famous PTC testing kit
so that I could test all my family and trace the inheritance pattern of the
dominant gene which enables certain people to taste the presence of the
chemical PTC.

However, the professor announced that starting that semester, he was no
longer giving out the kits. We asked him why not. His explanation was that
in the previous year a student had taken the test home over spring break,
and when she returned was clearly distraught and seriously depressed. She
discovered that she could taste PTC, but that neither parent could. As PTC
sensitivity is dominant, this meant that her "father" could not possibly
have fathered her. After a few days, the student returned home to confront
her mother with the act of adultery she had uncovered, replete with the use
of epithets which do not bear reputation here. Well, to make a long story
short: it turns out not only that her father did not father her, but her
mother did not mother her, either. She was adopted, and her parents had
intended to keep it secret forever.

I have passed on DNA testing for close relatives...

Meron Lavie
Oranit, Israel

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Lisa Lepore <llepore@...>

In my family, my mother was adopted. If I were to leave out her adopted
side of the family, all the people who were the family I knew and grew up with
would not be in my tree. That doesn't seem right to me.

Our families are what they are, so I include everyone - adopted, not
married, non-traditional,as well as the criminals, or otherwise not upstanding

But, I have never published my data on line so I haven't run into requests
from relatives who don't want certain information published. I do think we
need to respect their wishes as far as public information goes, but I would
keep all information in my own records, because they are the facts.

If someone is researching health issues, it is probably best to keep a
totally separate tree that only includes blood relatives who could pass
on these illnesses. In my case, I would include only my mother in a tree
for health purposes.

My 2 cents,
Mendon, MA
# 110233