There are 4 thoughts on “A Welcome Introduction”.

  1. Thank you for your insightful article on the work done by Brian and Laura Hales.
    You write that Sylvia Sessions Lyon’s daughter “is the best candidate for a child conceived by Joseph in plurality.” I was wondering if JSP (or TaBu for that matter) comment at all on DNA testing done with regard to alleged descendants of Joseph Smith via plural marriage? My understanding (from a recollection of articles I have read on the matter in the last few years) is that all instances of DNA testing (thus far performed) on descendants of supposed Joseph Smith plural offspring have shown that he was not the father of any of the children who have been historically claimed to have been fathered by him (particularly children Fawn Brodie had claimed he fathered). I believe these tests focused primarily on supposed offspring from claimed polyandrous unions–as in the case with some of Brodie’s claims. Obviously, the prophet may well have fathered some children with his plural wives, but I am unaware that any such paternity (either from a polyandrous union or any other plural marriage configuration) has been proven by modern science. I could be way behind on any new developments, but these are my recollections from testing done in the last few years.
    I would be curious to get your thoughts on the matter. Thanks.

    • A good question.
      Most (all?) of the genetics work was done by Ugo Perego.
      With male lines, it is relatively easy to rule in/out descent from Joseph, because we know what his Y chromosome was, and this is handed on intact.
      Josephine Lyons, however, requires the use of autosomal DNA, which recombines. It is also complicated by the fact that there was some intermarriage in the family line, and so that clouds the picture. Her DNA, if I understand it rightly, is _consistent_ with being a descendant of Joseph, but not smoking gun, 100% certain either. So, we may never be able to do better than that with DNA.
      The other 2 children that remain live possibilities died in infancy, so we’ll never be able to DNA test their descendants, since they didn’t have any.
      This article here summarizes the current state of the art, I think, and has some links to further info if you’re interested.
      http://en.fairmormon.org/Polygamy_book/Children_of_polygamous_marriages

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