Title: Family Trees and How They Branch
Fandom: Stargate SG1, Stargate Atlantis
Pairing: Nothing Overt
Word Count: 938
A/N: Well, we wanted to know how many branches there were in an ATA carriers family tree. When I went looking to see how that could work? This is what you get.
“One thing we have always been curious about was the large numbers of ATA carriers who are of largely Celtic extraction,” Daniel Jackson reported. The screen behind him showed a number of names, most of them classically Irish or Scottish, the rare name that didn’t fit that was highlighted in red.
“And what have you found, Dr. Jackson?” Jack O’Neill asked carefully. He had been the start of the project and he wanted to know what his lover had come up with.
“As you know, most of the early peoples in and around Europe settled somewhere and stayed put. They lived, married, had children and then died within a very small geographical area. We have evidence of one family having been in the same basic area for over nine thousand years, so families settling in for the long haul is fairly normal.” The archeologist explained, carefully giving the background information for his report. “Over the centuries, many families within an area would have been bound together with ties of blood and marriage, forming the first clans and eventually more.
“The O’Neill’s, to use the General’s well-documented family as an example, had several prominent families within the clan as a whole rise to become royalty in Ireland. They were contemporaries with the Tudors and supported the fight for independence, with various degrees of success. Over the generations, the royal members married into and out of, other prominent Celtic families of the same economic classes. Under that level, the O’Neill’s and their multitude of related clans did the same. Since the Catholic Church and then the Church of England held sway through much of the land, one of the prize tenets was to record everyone at their baptism, confirmation, marriage, and death. We thus have an extremely detailed record to fall back on to aide us in our searches.”
Daniel changed the slide to show a copy of a census from the mid-1800s, the name O’Neill highlighted in yellow. “I know this is all deeply boring, so I will try to keep it short… On the local level, most of the people we would call ATA carriers today look like they have very broad family trees,” another click showed a detailed genealogical chart. “But when we started tracing what we could of where the strongest expressions of the ATA gene showed up, we found that what we thought was a broad tree was, in fact, rather narrow.”
Another click and the tree changed to show only last names. There were a lot that repeated themselves. O’Neill obviously, but also, O’Kelly, O’Keefe, MacShane, Johnsons, an occasional Sheppard, Sweeny, Lamot, and MacNeil were the most common. And most of them had small asterisks beside the names. “As you can tell, there were a lot of marriages within the families listed. Each asterisk is for a confirmed ATA carrier. Most, if not all of those people, had ATA positive children and we know that it takes two copies to have someone be active. These families have multiple people with various levels of strength to their expressions of the ATA genome, but very few members without it at all. The ones who don’t have an active ATA expression can trace their ancestry to recent marriages from outside the traditional Celtic clans. And they all seem to carry the genome as a recessive trait that can be turned on with the gene therapy.”
Daniel clicked his remote again and a new family tree popped up. Instead of showing O’Neill as the patronym, it was titled, Sheppard. Jack leaned back at studied the information on the screen. “Looks like Sheppard and I are related after all. Right, Danny?”
“Yeah, you are,” Daniel nodded and changed the view again. Sheppard’s family tree was tied into the O’Neill one and Jack traced where everything met up. “From the looks of things, the Major’s parents could both claim admittance to the Clan O’Neill and get in purely on the basis of their genealogies. Even though they aren’t from obviously related families, the Major’s mother being an O’Kelly and his father a Sheppard, the ways the families tie together supports the theory that this is why his expression of the ATA genome is so intense. He got it from both sides of the family. In an almost pure form, straight down the lines.”
“Jesus,” Jack muttered before rubbing one hand over his mouth. When Sheppard had wondered how deeply his family tree had forked, the General had laughed, but he wasn’t laughing now. The back hollows of the most rural parts of the planet had nothing on his family for inbreeding. At least they hadn’t gone as far as the Hapsburgs, but they had sure come close! “And me?”
Daniel waved his hand at the family trees on the screen. “Your mother’s maiden name was McShane, right?” Jack nodded once. “She was from a sept of the O’Neill’s who took the name MacShane in honor of an ancestor. They mostly dropped the name in favor of the Anglicized Johnson, but McShane is still a recognized name in Ireland. Your dad was of the Tyrone sept and from him, you are related to the current Clan head. He is a fifth cousin, once or twice removed I think. Anyway, in you, the same thing goes, the families married within each other and well…”
Waving his hand at the mess on the screen before them, the archeologist let the family history stand as an answer.
“So my family tree forks, but it forks in ways that circle back into itself?” Jack asked carefully.
“Yeah, it looks like it,” Daniel agreed.