Let's see what others in the genealogical history business have to say about the Medieval lines of ascent. I would strongly suggest reading the entire commentary by ProGenealogists the official Ancestry.com research firm. Their comments in part say, "The interest in tracing noble families has been high. However, because of sources that are difficult to use and the large number of people interested in these families, there is a lot of duplication and errors in this work" The site goes on to say:
When tracing medieval genealogies one should be aware of some areas where difficulties and errors are found. Difficulties and errors that you will want to be careful of include:
You should be especially careful in the following cases:
- Accepting undocumented pedigrees as truth.
- Separating fact from fiction.
- Unverified or incorrect pedigree links.
- False information.
- Genealogies back to Adam.
- Ancestry of Colonial American Families.
- Fabricated lineages.
- Lineages through illegitimacy.
Here is one last quote, "Most claims to the British noble class in America are unfounded and unsupported by evidence. If you have a connection to royalty through a colonial North American immigrant ancestor, you should look carefully at the documentation for that connection."
The commentator is correct that the Richardson book is considered a mostly reliable source, however, that book points out that royal lines can only be established for about 185 individuals who emigrated from the British Isles to the Colonies in the 17th Century. The book traces the descents of Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou who died in about 1151. By the way, here is the citation to the 2004 edition, the 2011 edition is just now for sale.
Richardson, Douglas, Kimball G. Everingham, and David Faris. Plantagenet Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families. Baltimore, Md: Genealogical Pub. Co, 2004.
I will go back to one of my own posts in January, 2010 and re-quote an article in The Ensign Magazine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for February, 1984, Robert C. Gunderson, Senior Royalty Research Specialist of the Church Genealogical Department wrote a short article entitled "I've heard that some people have extended their ancestral lines back to Adam." He states,"In thirty-five years of genealogical research, I have yet to see a pedigree back to Adam that can be documented. By assignment, I have reviewed hundreds of pedigrees over the years. I have not found one where each connection on the pedigree can be justified by evidence from contemporary documents. In my opinion it is not even possible to verify historically a connected European pedigree earlier than the time of the Merovingian Kings (c. a.d. 450–a.d. 752). Every pedigree I have seen which attempts to bridge the gap between that time and the biblical pedigree appears to be based on questionable tradition, or at worst, plain fabrication. Generally these pedigrees offer no evidence as to the origin of the information, or they cite a vague source."
By the way, in my comment about Charlemagne in my last post I did not say that documenting a line to Charlemagne was impossible. However, any pedigree that goes beyond 1500 must be considered with caution. You might want to check out the International Society of Descendants of Charlemagne. They have list of gateway ancestors that will get you back to Charlemagne. Or if you still insist, try The Society of the Descendants of Charlemagne.
Boy, I am way off my point however. Back to the records. Inevitably, on every single line of your genealogy, you will run out of records sooner or later. Now, here is the point: Don't give up. Most genealogist's lines end long before the records run out. But on the other hand, don't get so caught up trying to latch onto royalty that you neglect your real family history.
When you reach an end-of-line, you just might want to check to see if it corresponds with some end-of-record situation. I recently did some research for a friend, which I probably already talked about, but the point was that his family tradition had the person born in a place and at a time before the place was even part of the U.S. It was still unsettled Indian Territory. Possible, but likely a mistake.
Now really, back to the records. But I will have to do that in Part Four.