Fraudulent Genealogies

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Genealogy is effected by forgeries, fakes, and frauds. Gustav Anjou is perhaps the most famous author of fraudulent genealogies. Numerous fraudulent genealogies are known to exist and can be found in any major genealogical library, online or off. For more information, consult these sources:<br>  
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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.
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<blockquote>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.<ref name="NGSQ87">Gary B. Mills and Elizabeth Shown Mills, "Hoodwinks, Tomfoolery, and Fakelore," ''National Genealogical Society Quarterly'' 87 (1999): 259.</ref> </blockquote>
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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,<ref name="NGSQ87_295">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.</ref>
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<blockquote>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. </blockquote>
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=== The Horn Papers  ===
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The ''Horn Papers'' were records of western Pennsylvania, southeastern Ohio, western Maryland, and northern West Virginia from 1765 to 1795. For more information, see:
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*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.<ref name="NGSQ87" />
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*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.''
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*Jane A. Leavell, "The Horn Papers," ''Jane's Story Page'' ([http://littlecalamity.tripod.com/Genealogy/Horn.html http://littlecalamity.tripod.com/Genealogy/Horn.html]&nbsp;: accessed 10 December 2009); includes a bibliography.<br>
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=== Gustav Anjou  ===
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Gustav Anjou is perhaps the most famous author of fraudulent genealogies. For more information about Anjou frauds, consult these sources:<br>
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*Kathi Reid, "[http://www.genhelp.org/?p=4 Caveat Emptor! Family Tree Forgeries]," ''Genealogy Help, ''genealogy blog ([http://www.genhelp.org www.genhelp.org]&nbsp;: accessed 22 October 2009); documents the discovery of a Gustav Anjou genealogy in her own family.
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*Harold Oliver, [ed.,] "[http://personal.linkline.com/xymox/fraud/fraud223.htm Fraudulent Lineages]," ''America's First Families'' ([http://personal.linkline.com/xymox http://personal.linkline.com/xymox]&nbsp;: 5 October 1998, accessed 22 October 2009); citing Robert Charles Anderson, CG, FASG, "We Wuz Robbed!" ''Genealogical Journal ''of the Utah Genealogical Association 19, nos. 1-2 (1991); lists known Anjou fraudulent genealogies among the holdings of the [[Family History Library]] by call number or film number.<br>
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Other frauds:
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*Myra Vanderpool Gormley, CG, "[http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~jcat2/myraarticle.html Grafting Family Trees]," ''Pierce Mothershead Family Ties, ''Jo Ann Miller ([http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~jcat2 http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~jcat2]&nbsp;: accessed 22 October 2009); citing ''RootsWeb Review: RootsWeb's Genealogy News'' 3, no. 17 (26 April 2000); archived online (www.rootsweb.com).<br>
  
*Kathi Reid, "[http://www.genhelp.org/?p=4 Caveat Emptor! Family Tree Forgeries]," ''Genealogy Help, ''genealogy blog ([http://www.genhelp.org www.genhelp.org]&nbsp;: accessed 22 October 2009); documents the discovery of a Gustav Anjou genealogy in her own family.
 
*Myra Vanderpool Gormley, CG, "[http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~jcat2/myraarticle.html Grafting Family Trees]," ''Pierce Mothershead Family Ties, ''Jo Ann Miller ([http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~jcat2 http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~jcat2]&nbsp;: accessed 22 October 2009); citing ''RootsWeb Review: RootsWeb's Genealogy News'' 3, no. 17 (26 April 2000); archived online (www.rootsweb.com).<br>
 
*Harold Oliver, [ed.,] "[http://personal.linkline.com/xymox/fraud/fraud223.htm Fraudulent Lineages]," ''America's First Families'' ([http://personal.linkline.com/xymox http://personal.linkline.com/xymox]&nbsp;: 5 October 1998, accessed 22 October 2009); citing Robert Charles Anderson, CG, FASG, "We Wuz Robbed!" ''Genealogical Journal ''of the Utah Genealogical Association 19, nos. 1-2 (1991); lists known Anjou fraudulent genealogies among the holdings of the [[Family History Library]] by call number or film number.<br>
 
 
*Oliver, "[http://personal.linkline.com/xymox/fraud/fraud.htm Genealogy Frauds]," ''America's First Families''; several more articles in addition to "Fraudulent Lineages."<br>  
 
*Oliver, "[http://personal.linkline.com/xymox/fraud/fraud.htm Genealogy Frauds]," ''America's First Families''; several more articles in addition to "Fraudulent Lineages."<br>  
*James Pylant, "[http://www.genealogymagazine.com/watoutforfak.html Watch Out for Fake Family Trees],"''GenealogyMagazine.com'' ([http://www.genealogymagazine.com www.genealogymagazine.com]&nbsp;: accessed 26 October 2009); 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.<br>
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*James Pylant, "[http://www.genealogymagazine.com/watoutforfak.html Watch Out for Fake Family Trees],"''GenealogyMagazine.com'' ([http://www.genealogymagazine.com www.genealogymagazine.com]&nbsp;: accessed 26 October 2009); 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.
*Ron Wild, "Beware of Fraudulent Genealogies," ''Family Chronicle ''([http://www.familychronicle.com/Fraudulent.html www.familychronicle.com/Fraudulent.html]&nbsp;: accessed 26 October 2009); citing print edition, January/February 2001; lists multiple fraudulent genealogists.<br>
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*Ron Wild, "[http://www.familychronicle.com/Fraudulent.html Beware of Fraudulent Genealogies]," ''Family Chronicle ''([http://www.familychronicle.com www.familychronicle.com]&nbsp;: accessed 26 October 2009); citing print edition, January/February 2001; lists multiple fraudulent genealogists.
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*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.
  
 
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[[Category:Fraud]]
 
[[Category:Fraud]]

Revision as of 05:39, 11 December 2009

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.[1]

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,[2]

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

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.[1]
  • 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

Gustav Anjou is perhaps the most famous author of fraudulent genealogies. For more information about Anjou frauds, consult these sources:

  • Harold Oliver, [ed.,] "Fraudulent Lineages," America's First Families (http://personal.linkline.com/xymox : 5 October 1998, accessed 22 October 2009); citing Robert Charles Anderson, CG, FASG, "We Wuz Robbed!" Genealogical Journal of the Utah Genealogical Association 19, nos. 1-2 (1991); lists known Anjou fraudulent genealogies among the holdings of the Family History Library by call number or film number.

Other frauds:

  • Oliver, "Genealogy Frauds," America's First Families; several more articles in addition to "Fraudulent Lineages."
  • James Pylant, "Watch Out for Fake Family Trees,"GenealogyMagazine.com (www.genealogymagazine.com : accessed 26 October 2009); 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.
  • 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.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Gary B. Mills and Elizabeth Shown Mills, "Hoodwinks, Tomfoolery, and Fakelore," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 87 (1999): 259.
  2. 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.