HEMINGS, THE CARR BROTHERS (JEFFERSON'S NEPHEWS), AND DNA
>Is there any evidence that would identify one of Jefferson's nephews (Sam >Carr) as the culprit? I have heard that Jefferson made a comment that >somewhat identified his nephew as the person who had sex with Sally >Hemings. My understanding is, the Y chromosome identifiers are passed on through the male descendants only. The Carr nephews were children of Thomas Jefferson's sisters, so they would not carry the identifier. It may be that some other kind of DNA testing might show that some of Sally Hemings children were fathered by one of the Carr's, but I don't believe that was looked into. Apparently, there were rumors circulating that one of the Carr nephews was the father of Sally's children, but I know of no other evidence, and the recent investigation apparently rules them out for the descendants of Eston Hemings. Some of Sally's male descendants did not have the "Jefferson" Y chromosome, and there is no telling who the father of that male child of Sally's was. >From a political standpoint, Jefferson was better off in denying or >ignoring the accusations than if he had incriminated his nephew. There are so many other factors that enter in, it is difficult to say. As a rule, Jefferson did ignore, as he said, "the thousands of calumnies." But if, in fact, he did identify his nephew as the father, he may have been speaking in confidence to a close friend, where different rules might apply. I am sure he did not say one way or the other for public consumption. Best wishes, Eyler Coates
>i do think it likely that thomas jefferson was the father,even though i read >with interestyour side of it. it is certain that thereis no way of proving it, >short of proving jefferson's own DNA. i do not understand why someone cannot >be related to another person without the involvement of the Y chromosome. > Thanks for stopping by the website. My feeling is that Thomas Jefferson was far too great a man to call him a liar and a hypocrite on such slim evidence, especially since that evidence can easily be interpreted as not to implicate him. But each person must make up their own mind about such things. The Y chromosomes are a part of the genetic heritage that a person passes on to their progeny. If these links are not present, then that is proof positive that the person in question is not the progeny of the reputed foreparent. But in the Hemings-Jefferson case, there are about twenty-five people who had the same DNA markers, and could have been the father. That does not tie it down specifically to Thomas Jefferson, and making him the father gets to be just speculation, not based on scientific proof.
Table of Contents