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Re: Orcutt = Urquhart ?? DNA Testing Says NO WAY !!!
Posted by: Joel Thomas Orcutt (ID *****4952) Date: September 08, 2003 at 20:10:14
In Reply to: Re: Orcutt = Urquhart ?? DNA Testing Says NO WAY !!! by Glen Cook of 960

Mr. Cook,

I am very much obliged to you on behalf of myself and all other Orcutts for your input in
our Orcutt genealogy/family history. It’s encouraging to know it’s interesting enough to
draw outside, unrelated folk to actually participate! I pretty much understand what you
are saying, but perhaps some small measure of clarification as to where I stand at this
time, if I might.

>>>> “As a bystander...” Some coincidence! I was trying to remember where I had
seen your name, or if perhaps we had exchanged e-mail at some time, as it seemed very
familiar to me, then I remembered....Glen Cook is one of the names I saw on the
sponsorship list for Clan Urquhart...small world, huh?

>>> “That Mr. Orcutt's DNA sample and that of the Urquhart sample to which he
compared his do not match may or may not mean that Urquharts and Orcutts are

Actually my DNA was compared with ALL the samples listed on the Clan Urquhart DNA
samples listed on the project page, and has been positively determined to match none of
the Urquhart men’s DNA. (As it is the Clan Urquhart DNA project I assume at least
some of those test results reflect Urquhart DNA!) The fact my DNA does not match any
of theirs may not mean that no Orcutt is related to the Urquharts, as you say it obviously
hasn’t proven that, but what it does mean is that, (even in the event that any Orcutt is ever
proven to be related to the Urquharts), that the former statements, such as “ as an Orcutt
you are already a member of Clan Urquhart...”, and “The name Orcutt is a derivative of
the name "Urquhart" ,..” and, “All Orcutt's are "URQUHARTS" from Scotland.”, are
patently false statements, and should rightly, and conscientiously never be repeated, as I
am obviously an Orcutt, have concise, positive documentation from myself back to
William (1) Orcutt to prove it, and I am proved unrelated to the Urquharts by both good
solid genealogical research, and now DNA testing.

Certainly the next solution you mention, which is one I would not be surprised to see
raised in regards to my DNA test results showing no relationship at all to the Urquharts;
>>>> “One cannot assume that all of a single name have a single genetic derivation ......
First, fixed surnames are a relatively recent occurrence, particularly in parts of Scotland.
Secondly, it was common in Scotland to adopt the name of the local laird/chief/region.
Third, the same surname may be adopted by more than one group. The Cook DNA testing
has shown many different groups. Clearly, we are not all related. OTH, some of us are.”

At first glance this sounds plausible, and is of course totally logical in it’s premise. Not all
persons bearing the same surname are related genetically, for various reasons. There may
well be some Urquharts that aren’t genetically related to other Urquharts, some Cooks of
the same scenario, as you mention, and if we accomplish an Orcutt DNA project I
wouldn’t be at all surprised to find some Orcutts that aren’t genetically related to some
other Orcutts, as it’s possible due whatever reason. But the fantastic leap you are
suggesting in regard to the Orcutts goes much too far beyond the initial, (and logical),
premise. It takes a leaping , (not mere jumping), of conclusion to arrive to a point of
saying Orcutts could be Urquharts, but not genetically related to some other Urquharts, i.e.
the Urquharts that have been tested in the Clan Urquhart DNA project. What’s wrong
with this theory, or assumption? The fact there are no documented incidences of any
Orcutts having ever been known to bear the Urquhart surname. No, not one. We cannot
then say they carried the same surname, but were genetically unrelated.
I believe anyone coming after the DNA test results have indicated no relationship and
offering a weak, unsubstantiated, (and yet another unprovable theory!), might well expect
that it will be just as quickly summarily dismissed.

The goal of having some Orcutts participating in the Urquhart DNA testing was to
establish if there is a relationship, as we already know all too well there is no provable
way to connect the Orcutts to the Urquharts otherwise. As I, and the Orcutt/Urquhart
theory advocates clearly understood, the DNA testing was for all the marbles. I rolled the
dice, like anyone else might have, and of course had no way of knowing what the test
might reveal, but I did know that there is absolutely no documented proof of any kind that
connects the Orcutts to the Urquharts, (other than someone at some time having said it was
so), and that fact wouldn’t change, regardless of what the testing revealed. Good solid
genealogical research had gone in to it, precept upon precept, line upon line, and as it has
proven out, it’s hard to beat following the tried and true methods. If the test results had
indicated a DNA match I would gladly have accepted those results as proving a
relationship between myself and the Urquharts, but the fact is it went the other way.

The call to be DNA tested as a result of having no other means of proving an Orcutt/
Urquhart relationship was made by persons advocating Orcutt=Urquhart. They asked that
Orcutt males step up and be tested, so I did, in totally good faith. I was tested at my own
expense, but when the test results showed “no relationship” there was a question raised
by one Orcutt=Urquhart advocate as to the accuracy of the test, thus I, at my own expense
of course, was tested again. The results were carefully compared to the Urquhart DNA
project test results and no match was again indicated. There is nothing else I might do to
help in addressing the issue. At this point I haven’t a dog left in the fight.

I sincerely, and firmly believe that no one is more qualified, or knowledgeable enough to
determine, or decide for me any aspect of either my genealogy, ancestry, or family history
than I myself am, and would just as sincerely hope no one would attempt to do so. There
is no ego in that statement. People that know me know I have spent a lot years involved in
Orcutt genealogy in general, and several of the past years devoted entirely to early Orcutt
origins. No offense intended towards anyone, but I will be the person to make the ultimate
determinations in regards to my Orcutt genealogy/family history. This determination I
make in light of good, well founded, totally solid genealogical research coupled with
reliable DNA testing........Orcutt doesn’t equal Urquhart, at least not in my case, for

Sincere thanks
Joel Thomas Orcutt

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