GEN-MEDIEVAL-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2001-05 > 0989744362
Subject: Re: Burke's overkill?
Date: 13 May 2001 08:59:22 GMT
>I agree, sadly in part, that for a
>pedigree to be regarded as true, it must come from an accepted source or
>otherwise be supported by contemporary evidence--which is usually scanty or
That is understandable, but the evidence we ask for is not that foreboding, but
reasonable. If there is some reason to believe that a pedigree in the first
century after the Conquest does not disagree with possible evidence, one might
point that out. It is just that usually the pedigree fails in much later
generations, where there would be ample evidence to support it.
The desire to trace a male line back to the Conquest was so strong that we see
in Joseph Foster's various works (Yorkshire Pedigrees, Lancashire Pedigrees,
etc.) a completely fabulous origin and descent for most of the families and
surnames he traced. Those pedigrees, (less trustworthy than what appears in
Burke) run for several centuries (without any maternal matches) without ANY
DATES OR PLACES, let alone a shred of documentary evidence. It is not that we
disdain pedigrees that have no evidence, but that if one is interested in
historical context, it is nice to have a date or a place or a document or
One eventually learns it is better to be able to trace lines back to reality,
though the myths that had been propagated (e.g., Anglo-Saxon chronicles and
Welsh stories about Arthur) do have some intriguing story lines reminiscent of
Just my opinion.
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