Scotch-Irish-L Archives

Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 2001-01 > 0980410813

From: Charles Clark <>
Subject: Re: [Scotch-Irish]
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 21:20:13 +1300
References: <> <000c01c0868e$70d725c0$03000004@h8k1x8>

Paul McAfee wrote:

> Well, now
> I thought this was over but it is not, apparently. Edward is not having a
> bad day -- it was that awful message full of the kind syrupy BS that makes
> genealogy look bad. Edward's comments were right on and if someone had
> their precious feelings hurt they ought to go where the standards are lower.
> As they say in Texas, if you can't run with the big dogs then stay on the
> porch.

Slow down a bit, Paul, and gain a little bit of distance on the issue. Fact is,
both points of view have merit in this case.

A century or so ago, genealogy was largely of this kind, full of the syrupy
nonsense that had little to do with reality, in fact was designed to deny
reality if reality was unpleasant. Genealogy was mostly about gaining social
advantage by cosying up to one's social betters, and the syrupy stuff seems to
have been what worked best. I've certainly got some of it in the "received"
versions of some of my family history. And sorting out the sheep from the goats
is a long and frustrating business.

But while this sort of stuff should not be taken at face value (we all know
that) it shouldn't be thrown out either, because if it was written a century or
so ago, then it is history in its own right.
If some of the syrupy stuff, codswallop or not, was written by my gggf (which it
was) in 1870 or thereabouts, then I should preserve it as is and treat it as
part of a study of my gggf, while acknowledging that it has little value in
finding previous generations and may in fact be misleading (it is).

So we should attempt in this case to have our cake and eat it too.
's only error was in not properly marking the material as
being taken from an old source.

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