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  1. Dear Aya,

    I have been reading with interest you articles about Jean Laffite and his journal. I have a suggestion on how you could authenticate the journal, although indirectly. You could have one of the male Laflin descendants take a Y-DNA test, along with a direct male descendant of Pierre Lafitte. A match would establish that the male Laflin was a direct male-line relative of the Lafitte family – proving that Jean really did escape and settle in St. Louis. This would support, if not confirm that the journal was authentic.

    I would be glad to tell you how to do this. DNA testing for genealogy is quite popular. A typical DNA test costs about $150 per person. You would definitely need to test two people (one Laflin, one Lafitte), but it would be to your advantage to test another Lafitte as a kind of insurance policy. If the first two don’t match, it might be due to an illegitimacy or an adoption in the family. So it would be a good thing to have a third person tested from a different Pierre Lafitte family line as a backup.

    I can explain more about how to do this if you want to write me at colleen@identifinders.com. I will also be glad to talk to you on the phone. I live in Southern California, but I am from New Orleans. I grew up hearing about Jean Lafitte and Dominique Yu. One of my good friends Diane Burkett tells me she is Pierre’s five times great granddaughter.

    FYI, in Jan 2012, I posted a quiz on my website http://www.forensicgenealogy.info relating to what was supposedly a treasure map by Jean Lafitte. Of course, I made it up and our readers caught me at it. But they had a lot of fun finding all the discrepancies, and I learned quite about about Lafitte at that time. (See http://www.forensicgenealogy.info/contest_337_results.html). I am presently writing an article for GAMES Magazine based on that puzzle. In my research, I came across your articles on the controversial journals, which I found very interesting and has inspired me to write you.

    DNA testing has the potential of authenticating the journals. Perhaps the Lafitte Society would be willing to cover the cost.

    Colleen Fitzpatrick PhD
    Identifinders International

    • Thanks, Colleen, for your comment and your suggestion.

      It is not clear that there are any living Lafflin heirs to test, and many people believe that John Andrechyne Laffite was an imposter who got the journal from one of the real heirs, such as Jules Jean Laffite, who died leaving no heirs surviving. But on the other hand, if we could locate the grave of Jean Laffite in Alton, Illinois, I suppose it might be possible to get a DNA sample there.

      • Yes that would be a great find. Curios as a cat. Why is there so little material on the details of such a historical period?

        • Hi, Chuck. Thanks for your comment. I think that it is not so much that particular historical periods are obscure. Rather, certain aspects of the events of those periods are kept hidden. But we aim to uncover as much as we can and encourage you to do the same!

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