But each time this happens, I am forced to go back through the process of analyzing whether or not I want to get into the Middle Ages thing or not. If I were to believe the lines on New.FamilySearch.org for my family, my own lines go back into the dim, dark ages. Oh well, its time to go through the whole thing again.
Let's get some definitions going here. The most common definition of the Middle Ages is that time period from around 400 A.D. to around the artificial cut off date of 1500 A.D. My rule of thumb, is that record accuracy begins to decrease and the difficulty of researching the same increases about 1550 A.D. For example, written English is considered to be Middle English (i.e. Chaucer) until around 1500 A.D. Gutenberg printed his first Bibles in the 1450s. If you are going to do genealogical research any time before 1550 A.D. then you will need to learn Latin and how to read Middle English handwriting. See the Script Tutorials, Resources for Old Handwriting and Documents. You may also want to look at paleo.anglo-norman.org. Why do I mention this? Because almost none of the people who I talk to who claim to have their "genealogy" back beyond the 1500s have ever tried to read any of the documents or do any original research. They have simply copied out someone's genealogy from a book and called it their own. In fact, very, very few of the people with these extended pedigrees have even looked at the books. They have just copied some one's pedigree chart on which they found a name in common with someone in their own.
I am going to be blunt. This is intellectual dishonesty.
It may be harmless intellectual dishonesty, but it is dishonest. It is dishonest to claim you are descended from such and such a king living in 900 A.D. when you have no idea who that person was or how you could possibly be related, based solely on finding a convenient pedigree that ties into one of your supposed ancestors.
Now, all the real Medieval scholars out there, don't come back and tell me how your lines are validly proved and that some people really are related to the Kings of Europe and elsewhere. Yep, that is true. Kings had children just like the rest of humanity, and if you want to claim kinship, be my guest. But when do you stop" With Charlemange? With Adam?
I admire anyone who spends the time to learn to read handwriting from any period of time before 1700 A.D. I further admire anyone who learns enough history and early language to translate the old records into modern English. I just don't happen to know very many people who can do either. But don't boast to me that your mother's genealogy goes back to Adam!
If you have spent some time compiling such a genealogical line back to Adam, thanks for your effort. But please read some of the articles and publications of the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy. I will quote from the description of one study:
Please focus on the statement, "This has enabled many traditionally accepted relationships to be challenged." Are you aware of the challenges? Do you know what they are talking about? If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.Medieval Lands presents narrative biographical genealogies of the major noble families which ruled Europe, North Africa and Western Asia between the 5th and 15th centuries. The approach is to verify all information against primary source material, quoting relevant extracts in the original language. This has enabled many traditionally accepted relationships to be challenged. The territorial emphasis and wide scope allow innovative conclusions to be drawn about the comparative development of the nobility in different geographical areas.