One could ask, “why does it create such controversy”? Well, simply because the results of DNA analysis may differ from those obtained by genealogists and historians, who have painstakingly researched some family trees. As more and more people today are turning towards genealogy to learn all about their ancestry and family history, often the results will not match with the oral traditions which have been transmitted by the elders, sometimes, for many generations. Of course, we all know that oral tradition can be way off sometimes, as the memory has a tendency to colour certain life events as time goes by; but we also know that there’s always a grain of truth behind it all. As genealogists, we learn to pay attention to certain details which are part of ones family history, while taking for granted that it might not be exactly as we’ve been told. Nonetheless, it can be disconcerting to some not to get the answers they are looking for, particularly for people of known Native ancestry. Although most parish records are quite accurate, some are missing years of data, for various reasons, such as floods, fires, thefts, etc… And because of the politics of assimilation which were put in place by the authorities during a particular period of our history, some details have not been included in certain vital records, making it more difficult to properly identify people of Native origins.
As DNA testing has become more affordable, more people are turning towards it as a mean of confirming or denying what they have been told for years. For some, the results are proving what they’ve been told by their elders or other family members, but those results do not necessarily concur with the facts known to genealogists and historians. Needless to say, that such cases might create controversy in the genealogy world, as not everyone is ready to accept that DNA results can sometimes change the course of history, as we know it.
The case we are presenting today is one of those where the DNA results and the genealogy do not concur, and for obvious reasons, are not well accepted by some genealogy and history experts, as you will see. Is this a case where the DNA results or the established genealogies of the participants are not accurate? We will leave the conclusion up to the readers …
yDNA versus mtDNA
A great deal of information is available on the Internet regarding DNA testing. It's not an easy subject and can be rather technical. Therefore we will give you a very short explanation in regards to yDAN and mtDNA testing, as it applies to the subject of this article. 
mtDNA or Mitochondrial is passed directly from mother to daughter. It does not change from one generation to the next. It is also transmitted by the mother to her sons, but cannot be transmitted by the males to their offsprings. Therefore, both males and females can have their mtDNA tested. Which is why it is such a worthwhile tool in providing information relative to the origins of our first ancestors, particularly when vital records are missing or have been destroyed as is the case in Acadia.
yDNA on the other hand is passed from father to son, and is never transmitted to the females. Therefore, only males can have their yDNA tested.
Whatever the results, mtDNA and yDNA testing will provide the necessary proof one needs to confirm, without a doubt, the ethnic origins of their ancestors.
Keith Doucet, from Louisiana
Keith was born and raised in Louisiana, a descendant of the Doucet family of Acadia. It was a commonly known fact in Keith’s family that they had Indian ancestry. And he had always just assumed that it was from Louisiana. In 2006, he started researching his family’s genealogy, hoping to learn more about his Indian ancestry, but he was not able to research very far on his own.
That same year, he connected with a cousin from Louisiana, living in Indiana at the time, hoping to find the answers he was looking for, as they shared a common lineage. To his surprise, the information he received on a few of his Native lines turned out to be all Mi’kmaq from Nova Scotia. In 2008, he joined the Amerindian Ancestry out of Acadia online group. A member of that group, Tom McMahon, helped him to complete his direct paternal genealogy research. Like many Doucet descendents, Keith’s paternal line takes him to Germain Doucet, born c. 1641 in Acadia. He later posted his lineage on the group’s web site, and the administrator of the group suggested a yDNA test, as the group had already been looking for a male Doucet/Doucette to do so.
He agreed, thinking that his results would be European (R1b1b2), like other known descendants of Germain Doucet, Sieur de Laverdure. He was surprised when his results came back as Haplogroup C, later refined as C3, which is “possible” Native American. Just to make sure, he asked a brother of his deceased grandfather, if he would accept to submit his DNA for testing purposes, which he did, and his results came back the same as Keith’s. So they then decided to have his mtDNA tested, which came back as Native American (A2f). At which point Keith decided to go for broke, and have the subclade test performed, and he was resolved to Haplogroup C3b, which has been identified as Native American. There was no more doubt. The elders had been right all along.
Haplogroup C3b (yDNA)
For the time being, we will not attempt to discuss at great length the meaning of the yDNA Haplogroup C3b, leaving that subject to the experts. A follow up article will be published after the additional yDNA testing of ten new participants, all descendants of Germain Doucet ca 1641 and his sons, has been completed and all pertaining genealogies have been verified. Suffice it to say that the C3b P39 subclade is found in several indigenous peoples of North America, including some Na-Dené, Algonquian or Siouan-speaking populations.
Controversy leads the way…
Bearing in mind that the group in question is a private group, Keith was rather surprised when he was contacted by none other than Lucie LeBlanc Consentino, administrator of the Acadian GenWeb and group administrator of the Mothers of Acadia mtDNA Project, who had heard through the grapevine, of his DNA results. At her request, he submitted his genealogy, and later on, the maternal genealogy of his great-uncle, which she of course verified. Nonetheless, she continued to claim their DNA results had to be wrong. Obviously, those results are not a match to the information listed for Germain Doucet (b. 1641) in Stephen White’s “Dictionnaire Généalogique des familles Acadiennes”, therefore raising some questions.
So either Keith’s genealogy is incorrect, which is always possible, even though it had been verified by a few genealogists so far, or there must be a broken link in the paternal line leading up to Germain Doucet, Sieur de La Verdure, as previously established by renowned genealogists and historians. Obviously, it raised a lot of questions, and opens the door to some speculations regarding the children of Germain Doucet and those of his unknown wives. Therefore, it became necessary to get other Doucet descendents tested, in order to compare their results and genealogy to Keith’s results. He then founded the Doucet DNA Project with that purpose in mind.
At this point, a third Doucet(te) male descendant accepted to be tested. This time, it was George Doucette from Halifax, and his results were identical to Keith’s. He graciously gave us permission to publish his genealogy. At the time of this writing, another participant on the Doucet DNA Project, who wishes to remain anonymous, also tested C3b Native American. Bearing in mind that the four participants who tested C3b, are all descendents of Germain Doucet c. 1641 in Acadia, and all share identical yDNA results. They are as follows:
#171928 Jean Baptiste Doucet
#194117 George Doucette
#140590 Keith Doucet
Keith Doucet’s yDNA results are identical to the other three participants. They are as follows:)
PANEL 2 (13-25)
PANEL 3 (26-37)
*Also known as DYS 394
**On 5/19/2003, these values were adjusted down by 1 point because of a change in Lab nomenclature.
When the aforementioned yDNA results were presented to Stephen White, author of the “Dictionnaire généalogique des familles acadiennes” and the expert on Acadian history, he simply replied that it meant nothing! Three identical yDNA results stating that their common ancestor, Germain Doucet, born 1641 in Acadia, is of Native origin, while it has been established that his father is in fact of European origin, should certainly raise a red flag for anyone who knows anything about genealogy and DNA. Needless to say that Keith was very disappointed by that turn of events.
Up to now, eleven Doucet descendents participated in the Doucet DNA Project. Four of them tested C3b (Native American) and the other seven tested R1b (European). Unfortunately, the present group administrator of that project has refused to give us, as well as Keith, access to the genealogies of its participants, having granted exclusivity to the Acadians experts previously mentioned; it is therefore impossible to study and verify the genealogy results leading to the ancestors of each participant. So for the time being, and for the purpose of this article, we will have to rely solely on the DNA results as presented by Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) on their public web site.
In order to get a better understanding of those DNA results in relation to their respective genealogies, here’s a partial summary as provided on the web site of the Doucet Surname Project - Y-DNA Classic  at the time we were preparing this article for further study.
We note that the four participants of cluster 01 are all descendents of the same ancestor, in this case, Germain Doucet, born c. 1641 in Acadia. While the other participants as shown in clusters 02 to 06 are divided as follows: four are descendents of Germain Doucet born c. 1641, two are descendents of his brother Pierre Doucet, born c. 1621, and the other participant is of unknown origin, meaning that his genealogy has not been provided. Herein the problem lies… Simply put, based on the above mentioned results, it is obvious that we are looking at conflicting results of the ancestor, Germain Doucet c. 1641; he cannot be of European origin as well as of Native American origin. You are either one or the other…
The problem runs much deeper than it would appear at first glance. An analysis of the various marker results of the seven participants who tested R1b (European), as posted on the FTDNA website for the Doucet DNA Project, shows a much more intricate picture, and we quote:
“ The seven Doucet participants who have tested and belong to Haplogroup R1b constitute, at present, 5 clusters: namely, [#146653] [#178359, #212760, #N41445] [#203487] [#121693] [#206660], meaning five independent lineages.”
What does this mean in laymen terms, for those of us who don’t know much about DNA and its technical aspects? First, let’s have a look at the basic results of those seven participants…
Because we are limited as to the size of a page, we could not include in our histogram, the other columns to the right, showing results of additional testing, which are worth looking at, in order to get a better understanding of the subsequent analysis provided by the Group’s Administrator on their web site. Therefore, we would strongly recommend to the readers who are interested in this subject, to visit the Doucet Surname Project – yDNA web site hosted by FTDNA. It is well worth the read and we highly recommend a visit to their web page: http://www.familytreedna.com/public/Doucet/default.aspx?section=yresults.The DNA results of the seven participants found in clusters 02 to 06 belong to Haplogroup R1b (European) show some slight differences. Although to us, it seems not that much of a difference, the variations of the marker results are of great importance, as you will note in the detailed analysis presented by their group administrator. For the purpose of this article, we will give you a quick summary of what those results mean in terms of Doucet ancestry, to us genealogists.
We quote: “The marker results of Participants #146653 (Pierre c.1621), #178359 Germain c.1641), #212760 (Germain c.1641) and #N41445 (Pierre c.1621), show that they share a common ancestor of European ancestry. But the marker results for Participant #203487 (Germain c.1641), also of European origin, do not match those of #146653 (Pierre c.1621), #178359 (Germain c.1641), #212760 (Germain c.1641) or #N41445 (Pierre c.1621)”.
Interestingly enough, we learn that the marker results of Participant #203487 (Germain c.1641), show 16 mismatches out of 37 markers, and is indicative of an extremely distant paternal relationship, going further back than the 1600’s, therefore proving that he cannot be related to Participant #146653 (Pierre c.1621) within a time frame of 400 years…! Hence the resulting presentation of the seven Participants as 5 clusters shown above as 02 to 06 inclusively, meaning 5 independent lineages, as previously quoted.
And here we thought that when in doubt, “where ancestral lineage is concerned, DNA testing (either mtDNA or yDNA) provides the proof all serious researchers have long needed”. Obviously, in this case, not only is DNA providing us with some proof as to the existence of Native ancestry in the Doucet family tree, which means a lot to most of its descendents, but those results brought forth another set of problems entirely, which needs to be addressed. We certainly cannot say that “it means nothing…” and simply ignore them with a wave of the hand !
To begin with, the genealogies of all the participants in this Doucet DNA project have to be looked at objectively, and verified independently by a team of qualified genealogists, for possible clerical errors. Once that is out of the way, it will be easier for the experts in Acadian history to dig a little deeper for additional answers to explain the vast difference in between the DNA results and the genealogy results of the Doucet family out of Acadia.
Following the rebuttals handed down to Keith, at the suggestion of his friend Tom McMahon, one of the collaborators on the Catherine Pillard mtDNA Project, Keith decided to publish his DNA results and those of the other participants in this project, for the benefits of other Doucet descendants, who might be facing the same quandary. As more Doucet descendents get their DNA tested, their results combined with their genealogy will eventually help resolve this mystery, as it stands today. The Amerindian Ancestry out of Acadia DNA Project has accepted to get involved, by offering free DNA testing to ten additional candidates who will qualify by providing the proper genealogies leading directly to sons of Germain Doucet, ca 1641. For the time being, let’s have a look at the genealogy of the participants who tested Native American, and who have accepted to go public.
The genealogies were provided by the participants, and have been verified, up to a point. For the generations found in Acadia, prior to the Deportation, the information was taken from Stephen White’s Genealogical Dictionary of Acadian families; after the Deportation, the information was found on the microfilmed parish records or publications available on-line at Ancestry.com, available on-line to members only, and on the web site of FamilySearch.org, available free of charge to everyone.
According to Stephen White, Germain Doucet, Sieur de La Verdure, a native of Couperans or Conflans en Brie, France, was married about 1620 to an unknown wife (or wives). There are three children born between 1621 and 1625, listed as: Pierre b. abt 1621, Marguerite b. abt 1625 and an unnamed daughter, date of birth unknown, married to Pierre LeJeune dit Briard around 1650 in Port Royal.
The fourth child, Germain, is said to be born c. 1641, based on the various census: 1671 (age 30), 1686 (age 45) and 1693 (age 50), which seems pretty consistent. Given the age difference, it’s quite possible that Germain, born c. 1641, could be the son of another wife. And according to the various marriage dispensations mentioned, they confirm that this Germain, married to Marie Landry, is in fact the brother of the three children previously mentioned. He could be, legally, a brother from a second marriage, therefore their half-brother, if you prefer, but who is his mother? Based on the three yDNA results mentioned in this article, stating that this Germain is of Native origin, while some of the other results confirm that the same Germain is in fact of European origin, we are obviously in the presence of conflicting results. If the latter DNA results are correct as well as the genealogies supplied by the participants, it would stand to reason that there is a missing link leading up to Germain Doucet, ca 1641… Unfortunately, at this point, we can only speculate as to who could be the broken link in this paternal lineage. For now, it will remain a mystery…
There are various scenarios to consider in this mystery, starting with incorrect genealogies due to lack of documentation or clerical errors, adoption, silent assimilation, infidelity, etc. to explain the broken link in this family tree leading up to Germain Doucet, Sieur de Laverdure.
The need for more testing, more markers and deep subclade determination is necessary to determine the origins of the different ancestors who are responsible for the Doucet’s descendancy. Obviously, there is more than one Doucet ancestor in this equation, based on the actual DNA results. And none of them can be properly identified for certain at present, without more candidates and more testing.
Hopefully, this article will peak the curiosity of other Doucet descendents, who will want to find out more about their family history. If enough of them get their DNA tested, we just might find out, some day, who is the broken link in this particular family tree, and the mystery will be resolved.
For those of you Doucet/Doucette decendants (whatever the spelling), who wish to help to resolve the Doucet mystery, contact Keith Doucet via e-mail at Ragin_cajun_keith@yahoo.com, or Marie Rundquist at the Amerindian Ancestry out of Acadia DNA Project.
 Stephen L. Zegura, Tatiana M. Karafet, Lev A. Zhivotovsky, and Michael F. Hammer, "High-Resolution SNPs and Microsatellite Haplotypes Point to a Single, Recent Entry of Native American Y Chromosomes into the Americas," Molecular Biology and Evolution 21(1):164–175. 2004
 Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes, Centre d’études Acadiennes – Université de Moncton 1999 ISBN 0-919691-91-9, Stephen A. White
 http://acadian-genweb.acadian-home.org/frames.html - mtDNA Haplogroups, author: Lucie LeBlanc Consentino
 Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes, Vol. I, page 526 « Doucet »
 Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes, Vol. I, page 527 « Doucet », Notes de S.A. White: ii.; iii; and iv.
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