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Old 12 November 2017, 08:10 AM
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BrianB BrianB is offline
 
Join Date: 03 March 2000
Location: Camarillo, CA
Posts: 3,541
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Neat article. Thanks for sharing it.
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Originally Posted by Cervus View Post
My mother has a gigantic book that traces her family back to Adam and Eve. (There are not enough eye-rolling smilies for that.)
That's awesome.
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The story we were told is that my mother's family were Mormons and kept "extensive records", whatever that means.
The LDS (Mormon) church has very extensive genealogical records due to their belief in baptism of the dead.
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Basically, I think what happened is that once her family tree ran out of hard evidence in the 1800's, someone tacked on the lineage of every royal family in Europe (with historical figures like Charlemagne and Christopher Columbus thrown in) and then added every Biblical figure in there just for the hell of it.
You're spot on here. My degree is in history and when I was in college we studied what were and were not historical records and what was and was not history. Many of my fellow students were sadden to learn that genealogy isn't history and family trees aren't historical records.

In fact, one of the things I learned about was that in the 19th Century there was a cottage industry for creating family trees that tied you to famous historical figures. You could, for example, ask for a family tree that shows you're a direct descendant of England's King Richard I or George Washington. No matter that neither had any children -- you would get that family tree. So, you're probably right it was all tacked on in the 1800s.

And like you, I've also have had to deal with this although the claims weren't quite so dramatic. My mother asked me to research some places that were built by people who allegedly were our ancestors. I was happy to provide the info she wanted because she really enjoys genealogy. However, I felt a bit guilty that I bit my tongue when she brings up the subject of family trees.

Brian "direct descendant of William Adama" B
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