Thursday, 24 September 2015

DNA never forgets, so they say

Convicts Esther Salamon Spencer and Thomas Stubbs had 9 children together:

Mary Anne (1801 - 1860)
Thomas (1802 - 1878)
Sophia (1803 - 1803)
Cecilia (1805 - 1896)
Elizabeth (1807 - 1888)
Annie Esther (1809 - 1837)
George (1811 - 1838)
John Emery (1812 - 1836)
Godfrey (1814 - 1814)

We are lucky enough to have photos of Thomas (Jr) and Cecilia from the 1860s or so.

Thanks to recent information supplied by Matiu in New Zealand, we now know that George married a Maori chief's daughter and fathered two sons, Wiremu (meaning William) Te Kakakura Parata, and Hemi.

This photo is of Wiremu.

I am amazed by the resemblance between Thomas and his nephew Wi Parata, especially around the brow area. I'm even more amazed by the photos of two living descendants, David and Steve. David is descended from Cecilia, and Steve is descended from Mary Anne. 

David and ancestor Thomas have the same cleft in their chin.
Steve looks similar in the brow and eye area to Thomas and Wi Parata.
Steve and Thomas were born 150 years apart, but the DNA shows through in their family resemblance. I think they could easily be brothers, going by their looks. Like Steve, I'm also descended from Mary Anne, but none of the men in my family look similar to these men. It's funny how DNA flows down the line, but seems to deviate around leaving its mark in some faces and not others.

Photo of Thomas Stubbs from the State Library of Victoria
Photo of Cecilia Stubbs from relative June in WA
Photo of Wi Parata from New Zealand History
Photo of David from his wife Barbara in NZ
Photo of Steve from Maree in Tasmania


  1. Brilliant pictures Janelle, they are all so similar. I've done a collage of one male line in my family and the similarities are there but not as strong as these gentlemen!

  2. Thanks, that's an interesting article, Janelle. I see there's a photo of a younger Wi Parata on Wikipedia, lifted from The National Library of New Zealand where, in fact, there is a third photo, along with images of correspondence written by him. You've probably seen all these already.

    1. Thanks Roger. I've seen the photo, but not the letters. Looking forward to reading them. :)

    2. Hi Roger, I'm having trouble finding the letters on the NZL website. Are you able to point me in the right direction? Thanks :)

  3. Kia Ora
    My 3x greatgrandfather is Wi Parata...just recently i asked my Koro=grandfather ( Tama Parata) for a DNA swab hoping to discover his Stubbs background...this morning finding your blogs i think i may have the answers for already..
    I'm happy to share photos etc.

    Kind Regards
    Carmen Sinclair de Parata - you'll also find me on facebook

  4. Kia Ora
    My 3x Ggrandfather is Wi Parata..just recently i asked my koro=grandfather his name ( Tama Parata)for a DNA sample to discover his Stubbs background, but erm this morning after finding you i think i may have the answers...
    Koros results are expected in mid feb.

    Im happy to share what i have
    Kind regards
    Carmen Sinclair de Parata ( also on FB)