Courtney/Haun Family |
Betty Duke's Claims |
| DNA Controversy | Documentation | Photographs | In Conclusion |
Here are the results of the DNA tests matching Jack Courtney, Lee Haun
and Harold Haun, and the email that I received from Dr. Prinz, with the
results of the study by the forensic mathematician.|
Blood and other physiological fluids and tissues contain polymorphic ("many forms") genetic markers which can differ from person to person. These genetic markers are inherited, that is, pass from generation to generation and can be used to compare biological samples from different sources. Genetic markers occur because of changes (mutations) that occur in a person's hereditary material, DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid).
Alternative forms of DNA are called alleles; they are found at the same location of the DNA (locus, plural loci) on homologous (matching) chromosomes. An individual can have a maximum of two different alleles at a particular locus, one on each homologous chromosome. A group of two alleles from the same locus constitutes a type.
Several different loci may be analyzed simultaneously using a technique known as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This technique allows small amounts of DNA to be amplified; after amplification, the alleles present in the sample are identified.
One set of polymorphic loci that may have been tested are STRs that are located on the Y chromosome. All male individuals have one copy of the Y chromosome, therefore the PCR result for male DNA will be the appearance of one allele per locus. Females possess two X chromosomes and no Y chromosome. Therefore, female DNA will not display alleles for the Y specific STRs. The combination of Y STR alleles is inherited from father to son, and should be identical for all male relatives of the paternal line. The combination of all STR alleles on one Y chromosome is called a haplotype.
Y chromosome specific loci tested in this case:
DYS19, DYS390, DYS389 I, DYS389 II, DYS391, DYS392, DYS393, DYS385 
A7.1, A7.2, C4, H4, A10 
DYS434, DYS435, DYS436, DYS437, DYS438, DYS439 .
 Kayser et al. (1997) Int. J. Leg. Med. 110:125-133,141-149.
 White et al. (1999) Genomics 57:433-437.
 Ayub et al (2000) Nucl. Acids Res. Vol 28, No 2.
Y chromosome SIR typing was done with the following results:
Except for one allele at the DYS385 locus, all of the Y STR alleles determined for Harold and Lee Haun and Jack Courtney are identical. Based on these results, it is more likely that the one difference is caused by a mutation, than that it reflects a difference in origin of the Y chromosome. Therefore it is concluded that Harold and Lee Haun and Jack Courtney are likely to have a common paternal ancestor.
Samples received and disposition:
Oral swabs from "Jack Courtney," "Harold Haun," and "Lee M. Haun" were received on 3/13/2000. The swabs were discarded after DNA typing was complete. The DNA extracts will be retained in the laboratory.
Subj: Relationship Haun/Courtney
Date: 7/24/00 5:58:27 PM Central Daylight Time
Dear Mrs. Reynard,
I will not be able to give you a percentage number. We are dealing with two hypotheses here:
Given the DNA rests, what is the likelihood that
1.) Jack Courtney and the Hauns have a common paternal ancestor (they are related) or
2.) they do NOT have a common paternal ancestor (they are unrelated).
Normally the occurrence of a difference in the DNA types would have meant that the two families are definitely not related. The facts that the two profiles are rare, that mutations have been described for DYS385, and that there are three generations that passed on either side of the family caused me to conclude that the dice is no exclusion of relatedness but likely to have been a mutation.
I consulted a forensic mathematician and using the mutation rate and the number of generations, he calculated a likelihood for the above hypothesis. His conclusion is:
"The data is a hundred or more times more consistent with 'related' than 'unrelated.'"
This statement cannot be translated into a percentage, since several parameters, e.g., prior probability, are unknown. It is not a simple paternity test and the test subjects are several generations removed from each other.
I hope this information is helpful for you.
Department of Forensic Biology
Office of Chief Medical Examiner
520 First Ave.
New York, NY 10016
phone 212 447 2618
FAX 212 447 2630
This is part of a page from the 1880 census in Morris County, Kansas. On her website, Mrs. Duke still claims that James Wilkinson, a known member of the James Gang, was listed as living in the home of JLC's parents, the Hauns. This particular census taker used first initials and last names for some entries. On line 30 we see Haun, A. Jackson. Then his wife, D. Dillon. (Her middle name was Dorthulla.) Listed next is their son, Robert. On line 33 we see a partially legible surname that may or may not be Wilkinson. This individual, whose first initial is "E" is a 13 year old female. She is clearly identified as a ward of the Hauns. The next line indicates the same surname and a given name of James. This fierce desperado, "a known member of the James Gang," is eleven years old and is also identified as a ward of the Hauns.
This account of the death of Andrew Jackson Haun was written by James L. Courtney. On the cover sheet he wrote, "Paw came to see me Sep 28, 1882 & he left for home Oct 13 on Friday. J. L. Courtney."
On the second page he wrote "Paws Death. November the 15 1882. Died in Kansas in Moras Co. He was borned in East Tenesse and moved to Misouri in 1852 and he professed Religion in 1852 and was Licensed to Preach and in 1864 he moved to Miami County Kansas and in the spring of 1867 he moved to Moras Co Kansas and lived there until his death. His funeral preached from the 2 Timothy 4 Chapter and Vs 7, and 8. Preached January the 28, 1883. Hymn 568, Methodist hymn. I would not live always & ask not To Stay." Does this sound like Jesse James describing the life and death of his father?
The person who corrected the date is not identified.
This is the letter that JLC received from his cousin, J. R. Andruss in 1887. It was marked as an exhibit and was used as evidence at Mrs. Duke's exhumation hearing.
Here are four excepts from the transcribed diary of JLC. They show the brand markings that Max Courtney so faithfully recorded.
Here are four examples of James L. Courtney's signature. The first is seen in a document he signed when he entered the Union army when he was aged 17 years and 3 months. The second and third examples are from a family record document he prepared. This record documents his marriage and the births of his children. The fourth example is the signature on his will which he signed in 1934. I think the most distinctive thing about his signature is the small loop at the top of the "s" in "James."
This Easter card, signed "Your Mother," was sent from Parkerville, Kansas in 1913. Keep in mind that Jesse James' mother, Mrs. Zerelda James, died in 1911. This document was also an exhibit at the exhumation hearing in Falls County.
Now let's talk about that "J James" signature. Because of copyright laws it can't be reproduced here. The first sample is taken from a genealogy primer that illustrates how various occupations might appear in old style handwriting. I have drawn a line around "Innkeeper."
The other handwriting sample is taken from Reading Early American Handwriting by Kip Sperry, published by Genealogical Publishing Co. This letter was written January 13, 1874. The body of the letter starts "I have read with more than common interest..." Compare the two uppercase "I"s with with the first "J" in the supposed J. James signature.
That second supposed "J" in "James" is unique. Nothing like it was found in the books on handwriting examples or in the cattle brands records. The rest of the surname James does not remotely resemble the characteristic handwriting of James L. Courtney. In fact, the last letter looks more like an "n" than an "s."