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The last time I went to a Jewish Genealogical Society convention, there was a lecturer about genetics. Much of the information was similar to what Elan has posted. Interestingly, this lecturer said that a few percent of these genetic tests end up showing a "false paternity," i.e., that someone's father or grandfather really wasn't, biologically speaking. Then again, maybe someone was switched at birth in the hospital. ;)

Such situations don't necessarily come from infidelity. A hundred years ago or more in Europe few people were born at a hospital. They could rarely be switched. But mortality rates were high, during child birth and afterwards. Many children ended up as orphans. They may have been adopted and in many cases were never told. If a mother died her children were often raised by aunts and uncles as their own. If a father died his wife would remarry and the children considered the step father their own father. The grandchildren never knew there was a different biological grandfather.

I've discovered that my great grandmother lost her mother when she was four years old. Her father remarried and had seven more children. I doubt that my great grandmother remembered or was ever told who was her biological mother.

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