I love a good mystery, don’t you? Well, the Doucet family has one and it’s a doosey.
Marie’s paper, titled “C3b Y Chromosome DNA Test Results Point to Native American Deep Ancestry, Relatedness, Among United States and Canadian Study Participants,” tells about the project and the findings relative to haplogroup C3b. Her raw data is available within the project. The Native American people involved are the Mi’kmaq and ironically, while we have found several Mi’kmaq men who carry haplogroup C3b, we haven’t found any carrying the much more common Native American haplogroup Q1a3a.
The Acadian people were French and settled in the eastern-most region of Canada beginning in 1605 in Port Royal, Nova Scotia. They mixed freely with the Native people and intermarried. Beginning in 1710 and continuing until 1755, when they were forcibly deported, they were in conflict with the English government and refused to sign an oath of loyalty to England. The families were highly endogamous. Today, if you discover you descend from an Acadian family, you will discover that you descend from many Acadian families. I have one cousin who figures out that he and I are related 132 different ways.
The map below shows Acadia just before the Acadians were deported.
Marie’s paper shows that 6 different families with different surnames carry haplogroup C3b and all are related within 16 generations, or between 400 and 500 years. Many are, of course, related much more closely.
The Doucet family is represented by 8 different males who all tested as haplogroup C3b. They descend from various sons of Germain Doucet, born in 1641. Germain was always presumed to be the son of the French founder, Germain Doucet, born in 1695 in France, the commander of the garrison, Fort Royal.
Hmmm, this is known as a fly in the ointment. Indeed, the original descendants of Germain Doucet (1595) who had tested carried haplogroups of R1b1a2, clearly European, just as we would expect. But then, there was another Doucet test and he was discovered to be haplogroup C3b.
Keith Doucet, the man who tested to be C3b, and Marie subsequently wrote about their discovery and the process they went through to find other men to confirm that DNA result in a story titled “Confirmed C3b Y DNA Results Test the Heritage of Cajun Cousin Keith Doucet.”
This of course, raises questions, none of which can be readily answered. Doesn’t every genealogy find raise at least two new questions? Well, this one raises a few more than two.
The other son of Germain Doucet (1595), Pierre tests to be R1b1a2, while “son” Germain (1641) tested to be C3b. Obviously, these man cannot both be the genetic children of Germain Doucet (1595) and unless a Native American Mi’kmaq male made their way to France sometime in the distant past, Germain (1641)’s father was not from France and was not Germain Doucet (1595).
We know that Germain Doucet (1595) arrived in Port Royal in 1632, was noted as the commander in 1640 and returned to France in 1654 after Port Royal fell to the English, leaving at least two of his 4 children who had married in Port Royal.
So what happened? Here are some possibilities.
- Germain Doucet (1595) and his wife adopted an Indian child and named him Germain Doucet
- One of Germain Doucet’s older daughter’s had an illegitimate child and named him Germain Doucet, in honor of her father.
- Germain’s wife became pregnant by a Native man.
- A Native person adopted Germain Doucet’s name out of respect. When Native people were baptized in the Catholic faith, they were given non-Native names.
So, through Marie’s project and hard work, we’ve solved one mystery and introduced yet another.
If you’d like to take a DNA test, click here.