SKENE-L ArchivesArchiver > SKENE > 2002-09 > 1033177806
From: Steve <>
Subject: Re: [SKENE-L] Jonathan Skeen book clarification, Baptismal Record, DNA
Date: Fri, 27 Sep 2002 20:50:06 -0500
References: <3D94C963.firstname.lastname@example.org> <000501c26680$00c6a2a0$4780c241@drs>
Thank you for your response. I was aware of the recent findings about
Matthew, but your post made me take another look at my reasoning about
the DNA. I had been thinking that Matthew was a direct descendant of
the Skenes of Skene, but that's not the case.
Besides Matthew, there were at least 3 other Skene immigrants to
America: Gov John Skene; Charles, b 28 Nov 1682, a merchant who went to
Virginia (pg 120 of "Memorials"), and Robert, b July 1677 Dyce, d 1736
MD (m. Mary ?). All 3 were descended from the Lairds of Skene through
different lines, based on WF Skene's "Memorials." In other words, they
had a common ancestor about 1500 AD. The living male descendants of
John, Charles & Robert are unknown, as far as I know, so cannot be
tested, but Matthew's descendants in NC apparently were tested. They,
I'm told, only matched 4 of 12 "DYS" markers on the Y chromosome with
descendants of Robert, Joseph, & Jonathan of PA, who matched 12/12 with
one another (that doesn't mean their common ancestor was the Deputy
Governor, though - John wasn't the only early Skene in the Philadelphia
area - see below).
A 12-marker test is done by Family Tree DNA (who now have a 25-marker
test). Oxford Ancestors only does 10 (I had mine done by them because I
wanted their "Viking" test - turned up "yes", but that doesn't tell us
anything about the Skeens, because I'm a Skeens on my mother's side).
This is what Oxford's brochure says about identical matches: "When two
people...have an identical Y-Line signature it is very likely that they
had a common paternal ancestor (CPA) in the recent past. However, it is
not certain because the same DNA changes can occur on occasion in the
Y-chromosomes from unrelated lineages. However, this is uncommon."
Numbers of generations back to a common paternal ancestor can be
determined using a chart called a "Poisson Distribution," a mathematical
graph. If the "Matthew" Skeen families & the "Robert/Joseph/Jonathan"
Skeen families really only matched 4 of 12 DYS markers, that means 8
don't match - that's at least 8 mutations, which occur at an average
rate of 0.2% per generation. Again quoting the Oxford brochure, "Beyond
three mutations, the chance of sharing a common ancestor in the past
thousand years becomes vanishingly small." A thousand years ago, around
1000 AD, is before the first Skene was even recorded.
In other words, if the two sets of Skeen families in America only share
4/12 markers, that's as good as saying 'not related at all,' at least in
the sense of not sharing a recent (within 1000 yrs) common paternal
ancestor. Matthew apparently was not a direct male descendant of the
Skenes of Skene anyway -- note that WF Skene puts that line (Skene of
Ruthrieston) in an Appendix, since he had not 'ascertained the
connection of those families with the Skenes of Skene'. IF Jonathan was
a direct male descendant of Gov John, then the DNA test has as good as
proved WF Skene's reasoning in putting the Ruthrieston Skenes (Matthew's
ancestors) in a separate category.
I wasn't aware of the facts you give about James of Montgomery Co -
that's very interesting.
Let's say for the sake of argument that THIS Jonathan was ours: Records
of Christ Church, Philadelphia: Baptism Sept. 7, 1718 Sheen (Skeen),
Jonathan, son of Mercy.
Who is Mercy? James's wife? If James was around in 1721, why was he
absent from the 1718 baptism of his son Jonathan? Or is Mercy actually
Mary, known to be the name of the wife of Robert Skene (1677-1736)?
Robert was a distant cousin of Gov John, is mentioned in "Memorials" and
was in Philadelphia for a time, before later going to Maryland. Robert
was a descendant of Alexander Skene, 11th Laird, through his son
Patrick, while Gov John was the 11th Laird's descendant through the 11th
Laird's other son Gilbert. If Robert is the Robert below (and it seems
reasonable he was), it looks like he was in some trouble with the Law -
was that why Mercy is listed alone on Jonathan's baptism record?
The Burlington Court Book of West Jersey:
1698 (Walter pleads not guilty). Walter Pumphary presented as before
appears at the Barre, and upon the presentation of Arthur Cooker
information, Mary Skene appearing not as evidence against him, Walter is
required to give bond and appear next Court for Indictment.
1707. Martha Dummer versus Robert Skeen; ordered that special bayle be
given in to the Action per the Defendant, and that he remain in the
custody of the Sherrif till it be given in in both Actions.
From Wills: Abstracts, Book C : 1705 - 1714: Philadelphia Co, PA:
BADCOCK, THOMAS. Philadelphia. Pewterer.
January 2, 1707/8. March 9, 1707/8. C. 76.
Cousin Alexander Badcock. Friends Thomas Paschall of Philadelphia.,
Nicholas Rosogens and his wife, MARY WIFE OF ROBERT SKEENE (emphasis my own)
Overseer: Cousin Henry Badcock of Philadelphia.
Witnesses: Martyn Jervis, Francis Cooke and William Lee.
-- OR was Mercy a widow of a son of Gov John? If so, who? From Gov
John's will, he seems to have had 6 kids. We know the names of Alexander
(no sons), Katherin, Lilias, & Christian (daughters) - so who were the
other two? Matthew's been eliminated. Was James one? It seems to me that
John Skene of Barbados may have been Gov John's son:
I am not at all certain that John of Barbados was John & Helena's son,
but it seems possible. It is known that they had a total of six
children. The chronology is not impossible: Gov. John Skene's will was
proved in New Jersey in April 10, 1695, and mentions Alexander plus five
other children. The first baptism listed below is on November 8th of
that year, 7 months later.
Baptisms recorded in Barbados (where Alexander Skene lived before going
to South Carolina):
November 8, 1695 John son of John Skeen and Ann Bowler
December 26, 1696 Mary dau of John and Eliza Skeen
December 24, 1714 ____ son of John Skeene
September 28, 1722 Edward aged 12 yrs son of and Elizabeth 16 yrs dau
of John Skeene
April 6, 1777 Amelia and Charlotte Muloto dhn of John Skeene
(Source: Barbados Records Baptisms 1637-1800, Geneological Publishing
Co., Inc., Baltimore 1984)
One problem is the names these families used: Jonathan, Peter, and
Joseph seem very different from the types of names that Gov John's
family used. But, naming fashions do change. One thing about the James
as Jonathan's father idea is that Jonathan did have a son named James,
but apparently not a Robert. If someone could turn up a marriage record
of James Skeen to a Mercy, that would help!
It does seem DNA is the way we'll solve this, doesn't it?
Doug Skeen wrote:
>You're information on the DNA evidence and the Skeen DNA project results is
>correct, but I disagree with your conclusions and here's why....
>Matthew Skeen is not a descendant of Dep. Gov. John Skene.
> It's been determined recently (Phyllis Miller & others) that Matthew Skeen
>of Augusta, VA was born in Scotland and hails from a different branch
>(Midlothian) of the family than that of Dep. Gov. John Skene. The fact that
>Matthew resided in West Jersey in the early 1700's was the basis for the
>theory of his possibly being a son of John Skene but the recent findings in
>Scotland have proven this to be incorrect.
>In my opinion, the DNA (12 on 12 Y match) results you are referring to could
>help explain the exact opposite to what you are concluding about the origins
>of a "noble" Jonathan Skeen line..?
>Examining the historical record, there were a good number of established
>Skeen families in Montgomery, Chester, and Lancaster Counties of PA in the
>mid & late 1700's. At face value, this may or may not have meant anything
>to us in recent years, but now with the DNA results showing a definite
>connection between the descendants of these families, it seems more likely
>each had a common ancestor on American shores a generation or so earlier.
>What evidence says this ancestor was not John Skene?
>Afterall, John's widow Helena and children moved to Philadelphia after
>selling the West Jersey plantation. Mention of Skeen births and deaths
>begin appearing in the Christ Church record as early as 1710 and again in
>1718. This is the same church where Jonathan later married in 1754.
>I don't know who Jonathan Skeen's father was but James Skeen of Skippac
>Creek in Montgomery County owned a farm in 1721 that was bounded by a farm
>owned by a Rees family.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Steve" <>
>Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 5:10 PM
>Subject: [SKENE-L] Jonathan Skeen book clarification, Baptismal Record, DNA
>>Thank you to everyone who responded about the Jonathan Skeen book. It
>>looks like some researchers have mixed up both info & sources. Tammy
>>Singleton's name has been associated in various files with Jonathan's
>>alleged parents, and she has written me she had nothing to do with the
>>"Descendants" book by Jerry Evans, nor with the other Skeen info I
>>mentioned in my previous post.
>>Next question: Carlisle Skeen posts that the 1827 death date for
>>Jonathan is correct (thank you for that info!). So the Jonathan of PA
>>who m Susannah Rees died in Russell in 1827? Does anyone have a
>>transcription of his death record? He would have been almost 100 years
>>old. Where was Jonathan in 1820? The 1820 Census for Russell Co, VA
>>lists only 2 45+ y.o. Skeen males - Peter & Jonathan Sr (AKA "Jonathan
>>Rees") --- can anyone clarify that?
>>And IF our Jonathan was THIS Jonathan: Records of Christ Church,
>>Philadelphia: Baptism Sept. 7, 1718 Skeen, Jonathan, son of Mercy. --
>>then he would have been about 110 in 1827!
>>I've been told that DNA tests have established that Jonathan's
>>descendants have a 12 of 12 match with the descendants of Robert &
>>Joseph Skeen of Chester Co, PA (all early 1700s), but only a 4 of 12
>>match with the descendants of Matthew Skene (who m Jannetje Titus). That
>>would seem to me (if the above is correct, and my understanding of
>>Y-chromosome results is correct) to indicate that the Jonathan line is
>>not neccesarily of the "noble" Skene line at all, but may descend from
>>"commoner" Skeens who inhabited the parish of Skene --- opinions?
>>I asked this question some time ago, and the silence was almost an
>>answer in itself - are there ANY proven male descendants of Dep Gov John
>>Skene? His son Alexander apparently only had daughters (there were
>>several posts indicating this quite some time ago).
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