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Tip 15: MPE in the Line?

Sometimes you find that pieces don’t fit together. When that happens, you may have a misattributed parental event AKA MPE in the line.
MPE is an unexpected parent. Suppose that John marries Susan when she is pregnant. And the child is brought up as his. My relative’s father was born too soon after the marriage. My relative has a half aunt relationship to his supposed aunt. He also is 1/4 Jewish but the entire family is Irish. After a little search, I found close DNA links to a man who died in WWII right before that aunt married. So my relative’s grandfather was a pilot in WWII and went down over Africa. His girlfriend, who was pregnant, simply married someone else and he must have known she was pregnant because the child was born a couple of months after they married. That is an MPE.
Some guys are just nice that way. I also had a case where the child was adopted out because after a short time, the husband realized he just could not do it. He had been in a POW camp in Germany when she got pregnant by his cousin. I would imagine he had a lot of issues from that. This would have been an MPE.
Just because a child was born in wedlock does not mean that the legal father is the biological father.
There are more of these than you might think. I was contacted by a person looking for his father. He knew who his mother was. His father was not her husband. The whole family knew that. She died right after his birth, and no one knew his father. I found his father very easily. But in doing his tree, I realized he had matches to both his paternal grandparents’ families. But on his mother’s side, he had lots of matches to his grandmother, but none to his supposed grandfather. This said MPE to me. So in looking around in the matches, I discovered a set of matches to a family who was living in the same area as his grandmother at the time she was born. Another MPE.
This is just something to keep an eye out for when you are doing these searches. When pieces don’t fit, this is something I keep in mind.
June Byrne

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