Richard Warren

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Mark Spitler m_spitler@comcast.net

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Oct 31, 2022, 7:57:31 AM10/31/22
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taf

I am hoping that someone will see where I am going with this . Just for arguments sake I would like to reverse your point . One of my progenitor families (the Lymans) claim to be descended from royalty . I am pretty sure that is not true based on the research that has been done by others. Could the point that you made about TAG possibly helping to enable the Richard Warren theory be reversed ? I don't want to start anything with TAG . They are fantastic ! Years ago they basically shot down the Lyman family's claim about Richard Lyman's origins . I agree with them . There is something very fuzzy about the genealogy that the Lymans lay out . My point is (not so much for the Lyman family) that just because something is printed in a very respected magazine , shouldn't there be a very diligent search , instead of just relying on one (very respected) opinion ? M.S.

Will Johnson

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Oct 31, 2022, 2:20:47 PM10/31/22
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On Monday, October 31, 2022 at 4:57:31 AM UTC-7, Mark Spitler m_sp...@comcast.net wrote:
> taf
>
> I am hoping that someone will see where I am going with this . Just for arguments sake I would like to reverse your point . One of my progenitor families (the Lymans) claim to be descended from royalty . I am pretty sure that is not true based on the research that has been done by others. Could the point that you made about TAG possibly helping to enable the Richard Warren theory be reversed ? I don't want to start anything with TAG . They are fantastic ! Years ago they basically shot down the Lyman family's claim about Richard Lyman's origins . I agree with them . There is something very fuzzy about the genealogy that the Lymans lay out . My point is (not so much for the Lyman family) that just because something is printed in a very respected magazine , shouldn't there be a very diligent search , instead of just relying on one (very respected) opinion ? M.S.

Each genealogist, has the responsibility, to review the relevant documentation, and come to their own conclusions.
Even "there is not enough evidence"

taf

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Oct 31, 2022, 2:26:56 PM10/31/22
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On Monday, October 31, 2022 at 4:57:31 AM UTC-7, Mark Spitler m_sp...@comcast.net wrote:

> I am hoping that someone will see where I am going with this . Just for arguments sake I would like to reverse your point . One of my progenitor families (the Lymans) claim to be descended from royalty . I am pretty sure that is not true based on the research that has been done by others. Could the point that you made about TAG possibly helping to enable the Richard Warren theory be reversed ? I don't want to start anything with TAG . They are fantastic ! Years ago they basically shot down the Lyman family's claim about Richard Lyman's origins . I agree with them . There is something very fuzzy about the genealogy that the Lymans lay out . My point is (not so much for the Lyman family) that just because something is printed in a very respected magazine , shouldn't there be a very diligent search , instead of just relying on one (very respected) opinion ? M.S.


Several points in response:

1) TAG isn't the journal involved in the Richard Warren case. It is the one involved in the other case I mentioned (dating from the 1980s).

2) There is an inherent bias to all scholarly publishing, because proposing something novel is more exciting than saying a theory someone else proposed isn't true, because by its very nature a disproof is about things (in the case of genealogy, connections) that are not true and hence less interesting than things that (purportedly) are true. It is always harder to publish a disproof, let alone simply a critique of a 'proof' for being insufficiently supported but not necessarily untrue.

3) Even if one manages to get such a critique published, there is a bias among the broader community of 'ancestor collectors' who want to extend their tree, not trim it, and who are thus more willing to favor a weak proposal that gives them more names over a strong refutation that removes names. This is particularly the case if it involves a cherished connection (e.g. a royal line, or simply a connection to an ancestor someone has taken to heart).

4) Feeding into this is a parellel bias in the online genealogical presentations, where it is easier and more visible to show a connection than to represent that a proposed connection is false. Particularly with the crowdsourced ones, there just aren't enough careful genealogists active with them to keep all of the other hacks from adding back a bad connection. I once tried to suppress a few false connections on one of the crowdsource online pedigrees, and finally had to give up because I would no sooner clean up one of them when the next naive editor would add it back and it was taking multiple hours every day to address just a handful of entries. Blank 'parent' fields are just begging for someone to add a name, and there is no way to enter in the 'parent' field 'this person's parentage is unknown, no matter what you have in your personal ancestor-collection'. And something like Ancestry's 'hints' actively push such material - if any single person puts a connection into their personal tree adding a generation where everyone else prudently stops, the presence of a name in that one overrides a blank field from a thousand other pedigrees incorporated into Ancestry's master tree from which they generate the hints they actively push on everyone else.

5) "just because something is printed in a very respected magazine , shouldn't there be a very diligent search , instead of just relying on one (very respected) opinion ?" Yes, there absolutely should, but that is not the way most genealogy (or schoalrship in general) has ever worked. Most scholarly work involves the application of specialization, in the case of genealogy this being specialized knowledge of the people and sources involved. Someone without this knowledge is unlikely to be able to have the tools to adequately evaluate the conclusions, which they tend to take at face value. When the material is being abstraced for a larger compilation (for example Roberts' X00 immigrants volumes) there is simply too much material being collated to ever independently evaluate it all, and the compiler is at the mercy of the conclusions of the original scholars. It takes another scholar with overlapping expertise (and free time) to give a well founded evaluation, and if they come down on the negative, they often can't get it published unless they put forward their own poorly-supported alternative, so the original proposal stands by default.
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