Saturday, March 21, 2009

Fake Family Histories - Watch Out

Hello All -

As part of my new series on helpful hints in family history and genealogy research, I wanted to focus on the fake genealogies that are out there lurking about.

One of the main famous culprits is Mr. Gustav Anjou. He did many fake family histories for well to do clients, charging thousands of dollars. I have even come across his work in doing my own family research - even saw it reproduced by an unsuspecting person in an online forum about 3 or 4 years ago. This is very dangerous, especially now with so much information found online - rootsweb, familysearch, genforum, etc.

Please be very careful in doing your research. If you come across anything by Mr. Anjou as a source for any information found on your family be very doubtful of the accuracy of it. Don't even use it, in my opinion - find things that can back it up. If you are working in your local library or state archives and you look at previously written family histories that have been produced check the sources they used.

Here are some helpful websites that deal more in detail of this problem.

Here is an example of Gustav Anjou's research found on a website at
(Note that the author of this website even states how suspect the information is, which is very responsible on their part in my opinion).

Fordyce History and Genealogy By Gustave Anjou for Samuel Fordyce, Esq., St. Louis, Mo.

Editor's Note: Most of the information found in this document is not documented and it is generally considered to be suspect if not fabricated by the author.

The Irish and American Genealogy of the Fordyce's of Greene and Washington Co.'s Pa. compiled by Gustave Anjou for S. W. Fordyce, Esq.

This family is really of Italian origin, as the name itself indicates -- Fordyce -- man of the South, although some authorities claim that the name means -- man of wisdom -- as Forsyth means a man of peace, Forlong -- a man of the sea - Sforza (Duke of Milan, man of force, con. Fortis, strong, whence Le Fort, the strong.

It appears that at an early period in Scotland and the Fordyce of Gast and Culsh, Co. Perth, have long occupied a prominent position, intermarrying with the best families. Among the latter branch we find many judges, and men of prominence, as e.g. Arthur Dingwall Fordyce, LL.D., Judge of the commissary Court of Aberdeen; Sir John Fordyce, Lieut. Gen., William Fordyce, Member of Parliament for Co. Aberdeen; David Fordyce, Author of dialogue concerning education in 1745; Dr. Geo. Fordyce, F.R.S., author of several medical works during 1794, both of London, etc.

It is likely that all these Fordyces had a common origin, although it has not ben possible to properly connect them.

The Irish branch of the family, with which we have to deal, evidently came over from Scotland, settling, as did many other Scotch-Presbyterians in the Province of Ulster, from which many families later on emigrated to the New World.

The progenitor of the Irish family of Fordyce, from which descend all the Fordyce's of Washington and Greene Co.'s Pa. was one
I. Hugh Fordyce b. in Drumasole Co. Antrim, Ireland, in 1527. marrying July 3, 1552, Mary Conyngham, of Kilbirnie, Co. Ayr, Scotland, daughter of Patrick Conyngham, of that ilk and this would tend to indicate that Hugh, himself, or his father, had come from Scotland, presumably from Ayrshire. What his father's name was we do not know, as yet. (Conyngham Coll. 69) Children: Mary, Sarah, Martin of whom presently, Hugh, John.

II. Martin Fordyce b. February 20, 1557, married March 21, 1599, Sarah Bryson of Clogh Co. Antrim. (Clough Records 11. 5) Children: Martin, John, Samuel of whom presently.

III. Samuel Fordyce b. May 19, 1602, marred October 1, 1631, Abigail Gallagher. Children: Samuel, Abigail, William, John of whom presently, James.It was during Samuel's time that the first blow was openly leveled at the permanance and prosperity of the Presbyterians in Ulster Province in 1631. Ministers were suspended from the exercises of the ministerial functions. Even the Fordyces had to remove to another country to find peace. In 1635 the entire country was pronounced duly forfeited to the crown, patents to land were subjected to rigorous examination, and many had to take out new patents. Among the latter was Samuel Fordyce, who was fined 200 pounds. (McLeland Papers. B. 89.)

IV. John Fordyce b. Nov. 8, 1643, married April 7, 1668, Mary daughter of Hugh Bane whose son Hugh Bane emigrated to Washington Co., Pa., in 1784 in company with Samuel Fordyce and his children. (There seems to be an error here as other records show some of the Samuel Fordyce children were born in Morris County, N. J. Of whom later, in this genealogy) Record of John above. Bane's Children: Mary, John, Hugh, Peter of whom presently.

V. Peter Fordyce b. May 8, 1680 in Amroy, Antrim, Ireland, married first in August, 1700, Mary France. Marriage license, Ulster Province. Children: High, of whom presently, John, James, who emigrated to Nova Scotia, Descendants settled in McLain Co., Ill.

VI. Hugh Fordyce married Jan. 4, 1732, Amelia Souter Hervey, (Souter Coll. Gen'y Mss. A. 52) Children: Samuel of whom presently, Jas. Hervey, Isaac and Justus left no descendants. (Note, N.L.F.: The above record of the three brothers of Samuel does not seem correct according to New Jersey records.)

VII. Samuel Fordyce b. Oct. 17, 1734, in Amroy, Antrim, Ulster Province, Ireland. Married, Feb. 4, 1755, Elizabeth Huggins of Clogh, Antrim, Ulster Province. (McLeland Coll. XXI, 163.) He emigrated in 1784 the wife and children to the new world where he had from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, March 30, 1796, a warrant of land consisting of 200 acres in Washington Co. Pa. Pa. Archives, 3d S., Vol. XXVI, p. 558. Children of Samuel Fordyce and Elizabeth Huggins:
1. James b. Nov. 8, 1756.2. Catherine b. Aug. 23, 1757.3&4 Mary and Elizabeth, b. June 7, 1758.5. William b. March 22, 1759.6. Abraham b. Jan. 3, 1760.7. Samuel b. Dec. 1, 17608. Abigail b. Sept. 7, 1765.9. Jacob b. Nov. 16, 1763.10. John b. Sept. 16, 1765. -- Sept. 17, 1775, Family Bible. McLeland Coll. XXI. 163 All mentioned in their father's will.

Note - N.L.F.: Another child, Isaac, was not mentioned in father's will. Howard L. Leckey, in the Tenmile Country and Its Pioneer Families, and a Bible in the possession of Mark Headley, Garards Fort, descendant of Mary Fordyce, and Headlee, give the birth of Mary and Elizabeth Fordyce and their younger brothers and sister as having been born in Morris Co. N. J. Strykker's New Jersey and the Revolution. has a record of Samuel, Isaac and Abraham having served in the Revolutionary War. It would seem that they emigrated to America before 1784.

VIII. For the family of John, tenth child of Samuel, and Elizabeth Garard Fordyce see Life and Times of Rev. John Corbly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If anyone found the records by Gustave Anjou, they should cremate them because Anjou is a crook. Anjou is the Alfred Weiss of genealogy (Explanation: Alfred Weiss was a conman of the Fleischer studio!)