Genealogy is affected by forgeries, fakes, and frauds. Numerous fraudulent genealogies are known to exist and can be found in any major genealogical library, online or off.
"Armchair historians, family-tree climbers, and professionals are all among the guilty. Many are well-meaning folk who "just got carried away" by imagination, enthusiasm, or inexperience. Others are, yes, quite calculating in their deceit."
As a result genealogy reseacher, Carmen J. Finley, warned that it is important to track down the original records cited in compiled genealogies. Carmen said,
"Serious genealogists know not to believe everything in print. Honest mistakes happen. The accuracy of published record abstracts depends on many factors... Even more difficult to detect can be the misguided alterations and deliberate deceptions by seemingly sincere authors who tamper with evidence or manufacture it outright. No researcher really wants to consider such a likelihood."
The Horn Papers[edit | edit source]
The Horn Papers were records of western Pennsylvania, southeastern Ohio, western Maryland, and northern West Virginia from 1765 to 1795. For more information, see:
- Arthur P. Middleton and Douglass Adair, "The Mystery of the Horn Papers," William and Mary Quarterly, 3d ser., 4 (October 1947): 409-45; report proving the Horn Papers were a hoax.
- W. F. Horn, The Horn Papers: Early Westward Movement on the Monongahela and Upper Ohio, 1765-1795 (Scottsdale, Penn.: Herald Press for the Green County Historical Society, 1945); published copy of the Horn Papers.
- Jane A. Leavell, "The Horn Papers," Jane's Story Page (http://littlecalamity.tripod.com/Genealogy/Horn.html: accessed 10 December 2009); includes a bibliography.
Gustav Anjou[edit | edit source]
Gustav Anjou is perhaps the most famous author of fraudulent genealogies. Many of his works are available online and at reputable libraries like the Family History Library.
For more information about Anjou frauds, consult these sources:
- Gordon L. Remington, "Gustave We Hardly Knew Ye: A Portrait of Herr Anjou as a Jungberg," Genealogical Journal (Utah Genealogical Association) 19, nos. 1-2 (1991). Identifies Anjou's real identity.
- Harold Oliver,ed., "More Fraudulent Lineages," America's First Families (http://web.archive.org/web/20120721013946/http://personal.linkline.com/xymox/fraud/anjousbu.htm: accessed 15 October 2013). Contains a list of 305 Anjou genealogies. See also "Genealogy Frauds" on the same website (http://web.archive.org/web/20120905105335/http://personal.linkline.com/xymox/fraud/fraud.htm: accessed 15 October 2013).
- Robert Charles Anderson, CG, FASG, "We Wuz Robbed! The Modus Operandi of Gustave Anjou," Genealogical Journal (Utah Genealogical Association) 19, nos. 1-2 (1991). Describes the manner in which Anjou fabricated genealogies.
- Wikipedia contributors, "Gustave Anjou," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gustave_Anjou&oldid=572101969: accessed 15 October 2013).
Additional Articles about Fraudulent Genealogies[edit | edit source]
- Finley, Carmen J., Ph.D., CG. "Checking the Authenticity of Cited Documents: A Finley-Hess Hoodwink in Colonial Pennsylvania." National Genealogical Society Quarterly. Vol. 87 (1999): 295.
- Goodwin, Aaron. "Genealogical Fraud." NGS Monthly: Methodology, News, and Views, digital newsletter. https://ngsmonthly.ngsgenealogy.org/genealogical-fraud/ : accessed 11 December 2020. Members only. Fraudulent claim regarding Tobias Bickel parentage.
- Gormley, Myra Vanderpool, CG. "Grafting Family Trees." RootsWeb Review: RootsWeb's Genealogy News. Volume 3, number 17 (26 April 2000). Archived on Internet Archive. https://web.archive.org/web/20000829143928/http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/review/20000426.txt : accessed 11 December 2020. Includes links to several other sources.
- Oliver, Harold. "Genealogy Frauds." America's First Families, website. Archived on Internet Archive. https://web.archive.org/web/20130318110642/http://personal.linkline.com/xymox/fraud/fraud.htm : accessed 11 December 2020.
- Pylant, James. "Watch Out for Fake Family Trees." GenealogyMagazine.com. https://www.genealogymagazine.com/fake-family-trees/ : copyright 2002, 2004, 2015, accessed 11 December 2020. Reverend W. Twyman Williams exposes fraudulent French ancestry of Chrétien DuBois. Gary B. and Elizabeth Shown Mills discover fraud. And George L. Nichols concludes Leon Nelson Nichols work is fictional.
- Wild, Ron. "Beware of Fraudulent Genealogies." Family Chronicle, website. Archived on Internet Archive. https://web.archive.org/web/20121120042936/http://www.familychronicle.com:80/Fraudulent.html : accessed 11 December 2020. Citing print edition, January/February 2001. Lists multiple fraudulent genealogists, including Anjou works.
References[edit | edit source]
- Gary B. Mills and Elizabeth Shown Mills, "Hoodwinks, Tomfoolery, and Fakelore," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 87 (1999): 259.
- Carmen J. Finley, Ph.D., CG, "Checking the Authenticity of Cited Documents: A Finley-Hess Hoodwink in Colonial Pennsylvania," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 87 (1999): 295.