Today one of my mailing lists brought this video to my attention. So I don't spoil it, watch it first, then read my comments below. The first minute or so doesn't matter much, but the rest is fascinating!
Sir Paul Nurse is a top geneticist. Where did that Maxime name come from I wonder? Has he tested at 23andMe and FTDNA to find his birth father? Apparently he still has not discovered his birth father (see news article from Dec 2013 here)
I find it interesting to hear the story of his daughter asking questions of his "mother" for a school family tree project. Some of my readers may know that a school project is how I started my lifelong affair with genealogy.
He stated in a 2010 article that he is "probably quite a good genealogy project for someone". Oh yes, indeed!
The article also states "When he first told me the strange take a year ago ... Sir Paul had just started to have DNA samples tested - his own, and some from the family of a well-known British musician who had links with his sister. Those tests drew a blank."
I'm guessing these were not the type of autosomal DNA tests that are common today.
So, what would I advise Sir Paul Nurse to do if he were to contact me and ask me to help him find his father? (yeah, OK, not likely to happen, but ...)
Firstly, I would advise him to take a Y-DNA test at FTDNA. Some people believe that a male has about a 30%-40% chance of discovering the surname of his father by this test.
Next, I would advise him to test at 23andMe, and transfer his data to FTDNA.
Then comes the genealogy part, which I would do while waiting on the results from 23andMe and FTDNA.
First, I would start with building a tree back to the 4th great grandparents at least on his mothers side. Then find all the descendants of each of those 4th great grandparents.
Then, when the DNA matches come in, work on building a tree out to the 2 generations past the suggested relationship, and then all descendants of each of those ancestors. Repeat for each match.
Look for matches that are in the same segment and match each other in that segment. Those will all have a common ancestor.
Some notes on what I found doing a quick look into his family tree:
Paul states in the video that his "sister" Miriam was 18 years and 1 month older than Paul. This is not what I found.
I found Paul to be born Feb 25, 1949. I found records that indicate Miriam was born 13 Nov 1929. This may present yet another problem, as it appears Miriam's parents married in the 3rd quarter of 1929.
Miriam's parents were apparently Maxime William J Nurse (1908-2002) and Cissie Irene White (1910-1992)
Cissie Irene White does indeed appear with her maternal grandparents in the 1911 Census of England. They are living in Great Snoring, Norfold, England. Which of the daughters, Hannah or Lily was the mother is not yet known.
In the 1901 and 1911 Census of England Robert's wife is Charlotte, but in 1891 his wife is Frances. Apparently Robert White married Charlotte Beck in Great Snoring, Norfolk, England on 30 Dec 1893.
Frances is likely the Frances Munels/Munell who married Robert White in 1884 at Great Snoring.
Robert White was likely the son of James White and Susanna Wright.