Possible Non-Paternity Events
- It should be noted that in about 5% of cases results turn up a "non-paternity" event. There
are numerous possible explanations for this, including:
1) In the challenging circumstances within which many of our ancestors lived, widowed
women with children or who were pregnant often remarried, sometimes to survive. The new
father would informally adopt her children, who would take the new father's name.
2) Natural disasters, diseases and the like have often orphaned children, who were then
taken in by neighbors or friends and took the new family's name.
3) Surnames in some areas, such as Ireland, underwent great instability due to political and
cultural changes. Individuals would alter their surname to better suit changing
4) Sometimes a male even assumed his wife's last name when it improved his chances of
inheriting his wife's family's estate