This is just a "cautionary word" to everyone out there, that I've seen evidence of many y-DNA test participants unwittingly provide “error-laden” ancestral line information to the project, which in turn, "throws off" many unsuspecting, yet actually-related, members of the public. Indeed, the farther back a test participant goes with his ancestral line, the higher the possibility that he will lead others astray, unwittingly, with his “line of conjecture”, rather than “fact”. Speaking of facts, over the last several years, I've seen this issue of errant ancestral trees being submitted by test participants as being a "growing" problem, and in turn, effectively derailing or confounding several of those ho visit y-DNA websites quite often, in hopes for any leads associated with a given surname in their family.
For example, although there has YET TO BE solid proof of John Bowen (bc 1740s/50s; d 1826, present-day Craig Co./then-Botetourt Co., VA), being the son of a Henry Bowen - OR even tied in with the Moses Bowen line, for that matter, we STILL see this “conjecture” posted all over the net, and sadly enough, on this y-DNA project web site as well. And so “why” is this “conjecture” included on a y-DNA website – where accuracy, if anywhere, is paramount? Aren’t people aware of the issues that errant and misleading data can cause, and realize “this” of all web forums, is “not” the place for conjecture, but rather “accuracy” (only)? As an example:
1. The John Bowen I’m referring to (i.e., the father of Mary, and father-in-law John Lafon,) "didn't even have" a son named "Henry" – which, if “his” father had been named “Henry”, would have completely defied the heavily-adhered-to early American frontier tradition of naming one’s eldest son (or at least one of them) after one’s own father. Again, this is a tradition that we’ve all seen adhered-to most all pioneer families during the early years of this country. Instead, the John Bowen I’m speaking of had three sons – namely William, James and Hugh(a). No “Henry”.
2. Secondly, "the John Bowen" I'm speaking of has long been exhaustively researched and proven NOT to have been the JOHN Bowen (II or III), from the Moses Bowen line - i.e., a brother of Reece Bowen, etc., as many an inattentive researcher continues to purport him to be. So unless one Bowen family had "two" sons named "John", then I guess you're "barking up the wrong tree", as they say.
3. Thirdly, for most of his adult life, "this" John even lived at somewhat of a great distance away from those in Moses Bowen’s line of descendancy, in that “this John” resided for most of his adult life along the Craigs Creek area, of present-day Craig Co., VA - which was part of Botetourt Co., VA until 1851.
4. Fourthly, and for the moment, he seems to have only had family ties with those living in and around the Craigs Creek (Botetourt/Craig Co.) or Giles Co. area, and not with any Bowens in Rockingham, Augusta, Rockbridge, Tazewell or Russell Counties, VA. In fact, his son-in-law, John Lafon, was purportedly born in western NC c 1775 (possibly Guildford Co.), and apparently migrated up to the present-day area of Clover Hollow in Giles Co., by at least c 1797, at which time he married John's daughter. Further, records show that in 1811, "this" John even sold John Lafon him and his wife (John's daughter) some land he had preciously owned in the Clover Hollow area f Giles Co., although I've seen this deed either mis-recorded, or mis-transcribed as a "John Brown".
5. Fifthly, I’ve even seen that some have tried to tie him into a German line (e.g., "Bohn/Bohne/Bone” lines), a Bourne line, was tied in with Daniels Boone’s line or possibly even had NC roots. But all of that is merely conjecture, no matter how enticing. And that’s the problem: it’s “speculative” information, which is detrimental to, and has no valid place on, a y-DNA project website
So what’s the point? Well, that the accuracy of data “input”, as well as “output” on this type of website should be paramount. That accuracy, professionalism and certitude are a few of the most critical and salient aspects of this y-DNA service, yet we still see rampant examples of “speculative”, in nearly every project results table. Consequently, the errant info provided can be grossly misleading to those who follow the results on y-DNA website, and result in an actual, distant cousin (who sees their ancestor in your provided line) tied in with an INCORRECT earlier ancestor, and thus “mis-directed from the very “truth” this project is here to provide for serious family historians. Indeed, “this” project results table is CLEARLY not the place for one to preen and/or propagate 300 years worth of genealogical data – without realizing (or caring that) that the earliest few generations submitted are likely errant, in some way, and essentially based on nothing more than “conjecture”, rather than a stream of supporting historical documents.
Now this commentary is not meant to be an undue, or mean-spirited jab of any particular submitter’s information, but rather it’s merely to suggest that EVERY y-DNA project administrator, henceforth, should provide a clear and legible note/caveat/suggestion, on their respective web pages, which would instruct ALL participants to ONLY submit data that has been thoroughly researched and confirmed, personally. This project should, instead, remain “facts-based and oriented”, no matter how much that may crimp the style of, or limit the time to the most-distant ancestor for a prospective participant. So, if your data’s in doubt, just don’t provide it. It’s that simple. Better “no” data, than “bad” or “errant” data –at least in this case. In fact, I’ve already noted how a reckless “copy-and-paste” special, has already needlessly and negatively impacted two other y-DNA projects I’ve been “keeping tabs on”. That we need to “prevent” (or at least severely restrict) the propagation of “tainted” (i.e., conjecture-based data) from ever entering any y-DNA results table, as again, the consequences can effectively lead many in the public astray from their “actual” immigrant ancestor, and instead, with their errant one you might have provided. “YES”, the y-DNA testing results should eventually “wash out”, or “rise to the surface” in the end, but in the interim it can, again, induce many an unsuspecting researcher to either give-up on, or redirect the direction of their genealogical investigation in an incorrect direction. Seriously, no one needs the needless, intermediary “wild goose” chase that speculative data can send someone on, as some of those poor researchers may not happen to visit this site again for months – and who knows how far off the beaten path they could get by then? Indeed, this type of carelessness really does provide a dis-service to everyone out there – including the “reckless” submitter themselves, shall we say.
So please don’t allow yourself to come across as one of those “sloppy, dime-a-dozen, copy-and-paste, weekend-warrior", pseudo-genealogist” types that we’ve all seen on the internet, from time to time, and resist the urge to preen by throwing out "300 years worth" of unsubstantiated lines of connection out there for all to see, and potentially "get stung by". . Instead, and instead, let’s all show some sense of restraint and judiciousness – at least with respect to “this” website.