Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2013-01 > 1359501657

Subject: Re: Thomas Bye - Margaret Davis
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2013 15:20:57 -0800 (PST)
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On Monday, January 28, 2013 6:49:15 PM UTC-7, John Higgins wrote:
> On Jan 28, 5:23 pm, hsone <> wrote:
> Thomas Bye and Margaret Davis left children in Pennsylvania from which there are many descendants which if I recall correctly include the actress Katherine Cornell. Unfortunately the illustrious ancestry presented in Arthur Edwin Bye's book on the Bye Family does not hold as there is no proof offered or found that the Margaret Davis who married Thomas Bye in London was the same woman as a Margaret Davis of the Devonshire family. It is believed that Bye simply found two women of the same name and decided that they were one person without any proof or documentation.

> > Gary Boyd Roberts finally removed this descent from his work and this is no longer in any of the recent editions of RD600. There are other errors in the ancestry as presented in Bye's book so it should be used with great caution as a source.

I have not pursued this in depth, but read what another's researches turned up a few years back:

Peter Ray GenForum (Bye) 09/08/00:
It has always bothered me that the internet and the Mormon IGI and Ancestral File are filled with so much inaccurate data (though the "extracted records" in the IGI are generally accurate and extremely valuable). Seldom, however, have I found a book published in the last fifty years so filled with foolishness (and worse) as Arthur Edwin Bye's "History of the Bye Family." I went to a great deal of trouble a few years back to see if I could confirm Bye's assertions about the parents of both Thomas Bye and Margaret "Davis," and spent a number of hours examining his extensive papers and notebooks at the Historical Society in Buckingham, Pennsylvania. The English ancestry (even parts of the American family) in Bye's book and notebooks cannot be confirmed and is HIGHLY UNLIKELY! His sources are often confused and inaccurate and the unpublished material he left behind in some cases contradict what he published. The CRUCIAL memorandum he mentions on page 233 of his book was "lost" long ago, according to one of his sons (whom I contacted some years ago), and a check of Bye's sources shows that Margaret Bye may not have been a Davis at all, and was certainly not descended from the circumnavigator John Davis. In general, Bye's book and the material in the notebooks show a man who was more obsessed with finding noble, royal and otherwise important lines far more than one who was after genealogical accuracy. He may have been a fine art historian, but he was a disaster (and quite possibly a fraud) when it came to the genealogy of his family. On the other hand, the History of the Bye Family is remarkably well written and provides some good insights into the English families it deals with. Too bad they weren't Bye's (or our) ancestors!

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