Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2002-04 > 1019802657

From: "Todd A. Farmerie" <>
Subject: Re: Walter Aston of Virginia and his Ancestry
Date: Fri, 26 Apr 2002 00:30:57 -0600
References: <>, <>, <>

Douglas Richardson wrote:

> (Stewart Baldwin) wrote in message news:<>...
> If Mr. Reed had made his case, Walter Aston would already have been
> removed from the Plantagenet and Magna Carta books.

In all of them that have appeared since his disproof was
published? Doesn't seem like a large number of books to me.

> Mr. Reed has
> alleged there are two Walter Aston's, yet he found evidence for only
> one. To prove his case, Mr. Reed must provide evidence that two
> Walter Aston's existed. Whether there are two Walter Astons or not, I
> can not say. However, we know that the Walter Aston in question went
> to the New World and that the only Walter Aston in New World records
> is the Virginia man. This matter deserves further study before the
> immigrant's alleged ancestry is withdrawn.

This is not the standard applied to other immigrant origins/royal
lineages. If an ambiguity arises, then the connection is
downgraded to the level of 'possible but not proven'. This is
what has been done, for example, with the Great Migration entry
for Robert Abell, even though it has not been proven that there
are two Roberts, there is ambiguity.

In fact, since when is it required that a novel placement be
established, with formal proof, before new data is allowed to
call an existing interpretation into question? Had Mr Reed's
document been known at the time this connection was originally
being proposed, the unity of the English and Virginia men would
certainly have been questioned. Why, then, should the line be
given the benefit of the doubt (in fact, the benefit of ignoring
the testimony of this contradictory document) simply because this
document was not found until later. The burden does not fall on
the person finding a novel piece of data to prove an alternative
lineage. Rather, the existing paradigm must be questioned every
time new data surfaces, and if in the presence of the new
document, the old interpretation becomes problematic, then the
burdon falls to those who favor the old connection to refute the
new contradictory data.


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