Recently, a number of different people have been ‘excited’ to see how far their lineage will take them. Some claim their records go all the way back to Adam. Others say Jesus and in Jesus, the son of Mary and Joseph. Others say Charlemagne.
I hate to break it to you, but I just don’t buy it. And, does it really matter if you’re related to someone famous? Don’t those ordinary folks who crossed the ocean from Germany to Ontario, Canada and cried when they saw the state of their new home matter just as much as Richard the Lionheart? To me, because I know what family history truly is, Phebe Zumstein matters more to me than any king of England.
As I share in my book, 21st Century Family Historian, your lineage to these famous people is more than likely false.
Ouch! How can I say that?
Well, here’s an excerpt from my book:
As migrations across Europe and to the new world occurred, many people held on to their recorded heritage. Other families lost their lineage records as they migrated. Often, individuals seeking to re-establish their heritage would hire professionals and if they were lucky, the professional would compile an accurate lineage. In the past, several of these compilations were fabricated out of whole cloth. Far too often, these heritage books would link a person to Charlemagne or other historical hero when there was no such documented evidence.
As more and more lineage works were discovered to be fraudulent, genealogical proof became important. Thus, when genealogy was taught, the need to find documents verifying facts was stressed.
I’m related to a railroad pattern maker from
Columbus, Ohio. He may not be famous, but
he means a lot to me.
I really hate to break it to folks that they’re work isn’t done all the way back to Adam and Eve. I hate to tell them that their trees probably include references to Norse Gods, thus it’s probably also fabricated. No one wants to hear that.
When I hear such things, I gently remind folks that the pattern maker from Columbus, Ohio who appeared to have overcome alcoholism matters more to me than how far back my line can go. I also suggest that their grandparents, great-grandparents, and 2x great grandparents should matter more than the famous folks from the 15th century. Family history is about our stories.
If you are truly related to royalty, great. Make sure you record the stories of your closest royal blood relatives that no one knows so the direct descendants can know the person behind the title. If you are like the vast majority of the world, you’re perfectly normal but that doesn’t mean your story isn’t important.
Go ahead and have fun seeing how far back your line goes. Have a laugh and brag a bit, but don’t be disappointed if it turns out to be false.