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Article

The Ghost of the ‘Y’: Paternal DNA, Haunting and Genealogy

School of Health and Society, University of Salford, Salford M5 4WT, UK
Genealogy 2020, 4(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy4010003
Received: 15 October 2019 / Revised: 15 December 2019 / Accepted: 16 December 2019 / Published: 27 December 2019
Based on a personal family history experience, in this paper, I consider the way in which genealogical DNA testing is revealing family secrets, in particular paternity secrets, which would previously have remained unknown via ‘traditional’ methods of genealogical research. Reasons for the displacement of these invisible fathers from the records are discussed, and the power of genealogical DNA testing to bring them into focus is examined. Such discoveries may disrupt and unsettle, causing people to think differently about the fathers and grandfathers with whom they have grown up or have believed to be part of their personal histories and, for some people, may challenge their sense of identity. Beyond personal identity issues, in this paper, I draw upon ideas about ‘ghost-work’ to suggest that these experiences have some of the features of hauntings and that the ghostly fathers who break through may speak to us about social realities and structures, beyond the confines of linear time. View Full-Text
Keywords: family history; hauntology; genealogical DNA; paternity secrets family history; hauntology; genealogical DNA; paternity secrets
MDPI and ACS Style

Scholar, H. The Ghost of the ‘Y’: Paternal DNA, Haunting and Genealogy. Genealogy 2020, 4, 3. https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy4010003

AMA Style

Scholar H. The Ghost of the ‘Y’: Paternal DNA, Haunting and Genealogy. Genealogy. 2020; 4(1):3. https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy4010003

Chicago/Turabian Style

Scholar, Helen. 2020. "The Ghost of the ‘Y’: Paternal DNA, Haunting and Genealogy" Genealogy 4, no. 1: 3. https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy4010003

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