Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2009-09 > 1252123003

From: Christine Czarnecki <>
Subject: Re: Society Of Genealogists (London)
Date: Fri, 4 Sep 2009 20:56:43 -0700 (PDT)
References: <><h7rq2o$pm8$><><><><>
In-Reply-To: <>

Your bones picked with the professional genealogists aside, I would like to bring up the issue you raised about lines going through acknowledged bastards.

Certainly as you well know, a marriage license guarantees that a child born within wedlock is automatically thought to be a child of the married couple.  Of course, we all know that this is not necessarily the truth.  What is it called, "a paternity event?"

I would expect that a man, then or now, would not acknowlege a bastard unless he knew that the child was his.  Perhaps he kept his mistress with him night and day or safely sequestered away between visits.  In any regard, I do not think it more likely a man of noble or royal birth would acknowlege a child he in any way suspected was not his.  His word would hold more weight in any regard.

Robert "le Diable," Duke of Normandy, had nothing to gain by acknowleging his two children by the daughter of a local tanner.  Not exactly an adventageous match, and he didn't even bother to marry her.  But there we get William the Conqueror and his sister, Adela of Normandy. 

Would you not say he certainly thought he was their father?  Is there more you need to believe this?

----- Original Message ----
From: binky <>
Sent: Friday, September 4, 2009 4:29:20 PM
Subject: Re: Society Of Genealogists (London)

You people have turned the joy of genealogy into a hate-filled,
despicable exercise in turf-mania.  I won't be buying your books,
Douglas---the last two I bought were enough.  Your incessant posts are
just constant advertisements, aren't they?  Apparently your last books
were inadequate, so we need more (or as you would say, there's been
advancements in the field).

And Nat---$50.00 an hour for a DAR application?  Are you dusting it
for fingerprints?  Are you exhuming a grave?  DAR is more than willing
to help people with their apps, but maybe your clients would rather
have you do it---that's OK, but unless they just have a box of
tintypes to go on, they don't really need you.

What you people are mainly interested in is making a buck.  It's a
business, isn't it?  Why does GPC publish a piece of crap like
"Royalty For Commoners"?  Why do they crank out one edition after
another of "Royal Descents"?  When the "improvements" are usually just
more bastard lines, that mislead more people into thinking they have
royal ancestry?

It's an absolute fact that there is no acceptable genetic evidence any
medieval royal bastard was the biological offspring of a monarch (or
anyone else for that matter), yet your "Plantagent Ancestry" contains
a host of bastard lines.  Those people didn't even have simple blood
typing technology, much less DNA technology, and you, with no shame at
all, sell a book claiming to link people to royalty through bastard
descents.  Doesn't that bother you?  What happens when you reader
finds out those descents are swamp gas?  But you have no problem going
on this board and claiming a royal line that passes through two
bastard generations.

And your response is--well, we just use whatever evidence is available
for the period.  But you know that evidence isn't proof of paternity,
it's just evidence of reputed paternity.  No modern court would accept
such evidence, even by a "(Civil) preponderance of the evidence"
standard.  The dumbest redneck today would demand some kind of
paternity test.  In other words, if you took this evidence into court,
they'd throw it out.  We're smarter than our medieval forebears.  They
used to think the world was flat.  If you made a map showing the world
was flat and sold it and if anyone complained, you said, "Well I have
a source for that," do you think that's acceptable?  Obviously those
people flew by the seat of their pants.  What do you think your
erthical responsibilities are to your reader?  There's a source for
everything---it doesn't mean those sources are adequate.  But you'll
say, "Well everyone knows the world isn't flat."  And everyone knows a
mention of a bastard child in a writ or chronicle isn't proof of
paternity, too, and you know it, as well.

Both you and Gary Boyd Roberts list descents from King John's alleged
illegitimate daughter Joan and her husband Llywelyn of Wales.  And
yet, not only is there no real proof that Joan was John's daughter,
but it's been known for some time it's questionable that these
children were Joan's because the Welsh didn't have the same standards
of legitimacy as their English neighbors.  Is this stuff being
corrected in your new books?

I don't think moderating a board like this is the answer.
Unfortunately, royal genealogy has been the ruin of more than one
reputation.  At one time Wurts and Browning were thought to be
authorities, too.  Now they're ridiculed.  Why GPC published "Royalty
For Commoners" I can't understand, because it's a shameless ripoff of
Wurts.  I think Roberts is headed for the same heap.  His book is a
masterpiece of smoke and mirrors.  What's going to happen when some of
those Hollywood celebrities he loves find out their "royal lines" are
a royal flush?

I couldn't make a living this way.  That someone will buy something
doesn't mean it should be sold.  But the truth is, genealogy is the
world's second oldest profession, and many times, like the first, it
involves screwing people.  What concerns me, and the reason for my
posts, is that occasionally some innocent wanders in, and before you
know it, they've purchased a book, been told their line is crap (so
they'll hire someone to straighten it out), treated like sh*t, and
then kicked to the curb.

So every now and then I'll drop in on you guys, just to keep you a
little off balance.  It pisses you off, but it's a lot of fun.

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