As we go about the task of finding our Ancestors and adding them to our Family Tree we should always stop and ask ourselves “Do you really belong here?” Our goal should not be having 100,000 people in our tree or to be able to claim Royalty in our line or to claim we have traced our linage back to 400 AD. Our goal is to develop an accurate, well documented Family History.
I recently saw a documentary put out by the Smithsonian Channel about the Scottish Hero William Wallace. We all remember the epic movie of Brave Heart Starring Mel Gibson. The William Wallace portrayed in the Movie was taken from some writings of a man called “Blind Harry” who wrote his account 172 years after Wallaces’ death. Most of what we believe about Wallace is untrue and the Smithsonian showed documentation to prove it. It also provided proof that although William Wallace had gotten married he never had any children because his wife was murdered shortly after their wedding. 172 years later, a Scottish family paid “Blind Harry” to include their names in the story of Wallace and to link his linage with theirs. Today there are multitudes of people who proudly display William Wallace in their family tree. Most never ask the question “Do you Really Belong Here?”
I understand that the farther back you go, the more difficult it is to actually “prove” a relationship to ourselves. I just think we need to stop and not rush to add a person to our line just because someone else did. If there is no proof or documentation it would be wise to add a note saying “unproven relation but it is still being researched” to those we add without it. Not only will you have a point of reference as to where to start researching , it also gives future generations an honest accounting of their History.
I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.