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 DNA Jam?sons - We're Not All Related

Not all Jamesons (regardless of any spelling variations) are actually related to each other, at least not by blood lineage. We know this to be fact, not just because we are too often unable to connect each other by traditional methods, but because modern genetic testing proves this without any question or doubt.

In the absence of definite knowledge it is easy to assume everyone with the same (or similar) surname is somehow connected to one original person. This is provably not so and particularly not so with the many different Jam?son families. Anyone can assume any surname, and sometimes, as is the case with the patronymic surname Jameson (son of James) the surname can be created spontaneously, even contemporaneously, without the slightest regards to any connection whatsoever. This is the case with our particular family. Furthermore, this is easily provable. This does not mean that anyone you meet with the surname Jam?son is not related (we may not know enough about his/her history and genetic profile to determine that), but it does mean that anyone with the surname Jam?son may not be related.

Those who are related are then grouped as a family (actually families within a greater family). Thus, there are several different unrelated family groups, each using the same Jam?son surname. Each is unique and each is descended from totally different original people(s). This is not a case of hyperbole or hubris, this is a statement of fact and is scientifically provable. Furthermore, this is not unusual just to Jam?son families, most families using the same surname are not actually related to each other, particularly those with patronymic, occupational, or typographic surnames.

Most people do not know the original person who first used the surname Jameson in any particular and unique Jameson family, nor are they ever likely to with any kind of certainty. It probably happened in the thirteenth or fourteenth century, and he was most likely a son, usually the eldest son, of someone named James. It should be noted that this would not be the earliest person with that specific genetic profile, and therefore not our earliest ancestor. This would also tell us that there are likely many more people out there with our exact same genetic profile, therefore technically family, but with entirely different surnames. This, by the genetic definition of family, presumes a hugely expanded group - almost beyond comprehension, with totally different surnames. This is an unexpected and entirely bewildering way to envision our particular family. Therefore, for our purposes it is much more acceptable to consider our family as those of us with the exact same genetic profile, using the surname Jameson.

Modern genetic testing can prove lineage, at least by the direct male descendancy. The YDNA chromosome is passed from father to (all) sons, identically. Therefore, incredible as it may seem, any Jam?son family, at least all of the males with the Jam?son surname directly descended from another male within the same family have that exact same (allowing very minor mutations) YDNA chromosome as each other for thousands of generations. One big genetic family. This is easily and affordably testable. Unfortunately, because the YDNA is not passed down from father to daughter, and no other genetic material is passed reliably for more then one generation, this line of provability is only available with male descendants.

So, any Jam?son family can be defined as those men with the provable YDNA profile and any woman who can be shown to be related to any male with that YDNA profile by other acceptable means.

YDNA test results from our collection of Jam?son families can be found here.

Criticism of this "genetic" genealogy is that it is heartless and cold and does not embrace the culture and nuance of an actual family. However true this might be, it can be said it is no less true or fundamentally any different then more traditional methods of genealogical information gathering, nor does it exclude anyone from gathering any other data or materials that make up a proper genealogy or family history. What it does do is convincingly prove inclusion, and at the same time it is a whole lot more accurate and definitive. Furthermore, it is basically similar methodology, just different - science.

As it turns out, genetic testing now shows there are already several totally different Jameson family groups and so far, these all fall within two distinctly different general Haplogroups. This at a time when we are still new to genetic testing and perhaps less then .05% of those with the surname Jameson have been tested. It is in fact, safe to say there are probably more people with the surname Jam?son who are not related to each other then there are those who are related to each other.

Each particular Jameson family is indeed a unique, distinct, independent, stand alone, Jameson family. Each have its own beginnings and our own history. There are many families with the surname Jameson, most however, are not related.

Click HERE to learn more, or to get involved with our DNA project.