GENMSC-L ArchivesArchiver > GENMSC > 1996-09 > 0842367601
From: "Leonard M. Keane" <>
Subject: Re: Same sex "marriage," etc etc
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 1996 15:00:01 GMT
In <> "R.
Leutner" <> writes:
>You have said some very harsh things about one of the most thoughtful
>helpful frequent posters in this group. I will not comment further.
>obviously feel very strongly about some issues.
>You did, however, ask for some corroboration for what you consider to
>wildly exaggerated statistic regarding rates of error in paternity
>attributions. You might take a look at the much-cited _Albion's Seed_
>David Hackett Fischer, which for the period ca 1700-1750 notes
>pregnancy rates as follows for the cultural regions he has studied:
>Massachusetts/Greater New England, 10-20%; Virginia/Tidewater South,
>20-40%; Delaware Valley/ NJ, PA,DE,Northern MD, 5-15%;
>Backcountry/Southern Highland 40%.
>Now there are those who consider Fischer something of a sort of
>neo-conservative re-revisionist, but I haven't seen much fault taken
>his basic facts. Granted, the prenuptial pregnancy rate does not say
>anything directly about the kinds of ambiguity in paternity that Tom's
>cited study addresses, but these numbers certainly do suggest that
>was in the places cited rather of lot of premarital romping going on.
>It doesn't seem at all unlikely to me that in the context of a
>pregnancy rate in double-digit range, sometimes as high as 40%, there
>could easily be an "error" rate of 5% as to paternity of first-born
>children, if not often as high as 30% (I think we will all grant that
>Weimar-era Hamburg--I believe you are simply wrong to talk about Nazi
>times in this context--might have been a little on the disorderly
>And that 5% cumulated over even a few generations really does
>our claims about "biological descent" to an unknowable degree.
>These facts & speculations have not much at all, of course, to do with
>whatever it is that bugs some people about recording non-traditional
>information in their family histories, but that's another set of
>Iowa City IA
I can understand David's irritation. It's no secret though that there
has been for some time a concerted effort to modify the traditional
goals of genealogical research to accomodate unorthodox alternative
You are quite right that the cited figures, whether misleading or not,
have nothing to do with << whatever it is that bugs some people about
recording non-traditional information in their family histories, but
that's another set of issues.>>
I do want to make my own position perfectly clear, as it may have
gotten buried in the muddle.
I am absolutely in favor of recording all non-traditional information
in family histories. In fact, I think a "family history", rather than a
"genealogy" is a better term for the records in such cases because of
the very definite (properly so)implication that a genealogy
incorporates biological relatives.
What I am unalterably opposed to is including non-traditional
information (i.e., for purposes of this thread, "same-sex marriages")
OR traditional alternatives to childbearing (i.e., adoption) in either
a genealogy or family history without very carefully noting the facts
so as to avoid ANY suggestion that adopted children or associates in
non-traditional arrangements are geneticaly linked with any prior
generations *if such is not the case*. There is nothing at all wrong
with writing a history of social inter-actions within non-traditional
groups. But that is NOT genealogy.
|Re: Same sex "marriage," etc etc by "Leonard M. Keane" <>|