Thanks for your input concerning the Piatt Family DNA Study.To respond to your suggestions:
(1)Actually the name in France may have been LaFleur.Rene' Piatt dit LaFleur or Rene Piatt alias LaFleur is in the official documents of early New Jersey.So we have to hold open the idea that Piatt (or a variation in spelling) or LaFleur may bave been the name in the country of origin, presumably France.
(2) "Non-paternity events" as they are euphemistically called account for some 5% of births according to some accounts.In my own family (not Piatt) the names of the fathers of those children born on the wrong side of the blanket 130 years ago were preserved, thankfully.It is a consideration certainly, but so far no one has been booted out of the family because of DNA results.
In addition to the immigrant Rene Piatt alias LaFleur in NJ c 1670, we believe a separate origin for Joseph Pyatt of NC (Warwickshire, England according to his Rev. War pension application) and an English origin for the South Carolina Pyatts associated with Allston.Just look at the 1881 census for England.There are about 820 entries for Pyatt and variations in spelling.It would be foolish to think that none of those Pyatts came to the US.And I know of one African American Piatt, Jacob Piatt who died in Butler Co OH around the 1880s, who served in the Civil War and who had been a slave on the Ryle plantation in Boone Co KY.His pension applicated stated that he changed his name from Ryle to Piatt during the war.
So far our participants have acknowledged the possibility that there may be surprise results.But their eagerness to know has outweighed any concerns about surprise.
(3) Yes, there is a possibility that DNA could resolve the John of France issue.We have participants who are reasonably well documented back to Rene.Should we have a participant who is a descendant of John "of France" who matches the others, well there is a very strong suggestion that John "of France" was a descendant of Rene or had a close common ancestor with Rene as the others had.Should the John "of France" participant be a non-match we would seek another descendant of John "of France" to rule out a non-paternity event with the first descendant.If the second descendant of John "of France" is a non-match, then we would conclude that John of France and Rene did not share a common ancestor.
I have tried to track the story of John of France and find that it is told only in the lines of the Five Revolutionary Brothers, and then not in every one of those lines.Have you seen the suggestion that the mother of John of France was Eloise du Four?I was pointed out some time ago the similarity between the phrases "Eloise du Four" and "alias LaFleur."
Any male Piatt by any spelling is welcome to participate in the DNA study.The larger the study, the more we will know.If you would like to e-mail me privately with your earliest known ancestor or two and their locations I'd be happy to see if there would be the possibility of a connection.We do have Pyeatts in the study.You can reach me at:
Everyone, be sure to look at the 17 February 2003 issue of Time Magazine with it's nearly 20 pages of special report on DNA.