Several additional samples were gathered to serve as controls in this study and to address potential paternity questions. Thomas Woodson, who was mentioned earlier as possibly the first child born to Sally Hemings, was an African-American whose first known appearance in the documentary record is from a deed issued in 1807. He moved from Virginia to Ohio where he lived as a successful farmer until his death in 1879. His descendants now number over 1400 and are scattered across the United States (Murray and Duffy 1998). According to Woodson family tradition, he was the oldest child of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, born in 1790 shortly after Sally returned to Monticello from France (Monticello 2000). While there were no supporting documents for the claim of Thomas Woodson's family, Dr. Foster collected blood samples from five of his living descendants to help confirm or disprove this family tradition.
Another important set of samples for testing was gathered from direct male line descendants of Samuel and Peter Carr, who were Thomas Jefferson's nephews, the sons of his sister. According to Thomas Jefferson's grandchildren Thomas Jefferson Randolph and Ellen Coolidge, Samuel and Peter Carr were the fathers of the children of Sally Hemings and her sister (Monticello 2000). Dr. Foster collected three blood samples from living descendants of John Carr, the grandfather of Samuel and Peter Carr.
Finally, five male descendants from several old-line Virginia families around Charlottesville were sampled to serve as control samples. These controls were tested to provide a 'background' signal with the idea that potential similarities in the Y chromosome tests due to geographic proximity needed to be eliminated (Murray and Duffy 1998).
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