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Old 05-16-2016, 11:50 AM
 
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According to the Geni website, I just found that I can go back to my 24th great-grandfather in England in the year 940!
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Old 05-16-2016, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
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Originally Posted by Chava61 View Post
According to the Geni website, I just found that I can go back to my 24th great-grandfather in England in the year 940!
You really shouldn't go by other people's trees as they can be unreliable. Particularly, going back that far is generally only possible if you can legitimately link into royalty/nobility (and there are a lot of false links to royalty too). Unless each generation is documented with primary sources, you shouldn't trust the information.
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Old 05-16-2016, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Orange County, CA, USA
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How far back? Well, I had a genealogist research my line- he is working on confirming it. My background- I am Taiwanese-American- born in the US, my parents are from Taiwan. My father's side of the family has been in Taiwan for 8-9 generations and we have a family tree for this. Prior to that, my paternal ancestor came from the Zhangzhou area of Fujian Province, China. Thus, with the information I provided of my family line in Taiwan and his discussions with the clan association and members, and official, he had to piece together information. He was able to list all descendants of Chen Yuanguang or also known as Tan Goan-kong, a Tang Dynasty Official and General in China who supposedly founded Zhangzhou, Fujian Province, China. He lived from 657 to 711. (See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tan_Goan-kong) I would be the 42nd descendant of him supposedly. But, this is not totally concrete. There are various sources that draws shows descendants. I take it with a grain of salt. I know my ancestral line in Taiwan for 8-9 generations is fairly accurate. But, if you go more than 1,000 years like this, I will take it with a grain of salt since there could be some errors/fabrication or adoption that occurred.
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Old 05-16-2016, 01:58 PM
 
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1651 (no other info other than name) Born in Wales, married 5-4-1681 in Newbury, Mass. Complete family tree since then.
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Old 05-16-2016, 02:07 PM
 
Location: In a chartreuse microbus
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Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
You really shouldn't go by other people's trees as they can be unreliable. Particularly, going back that far is generally only possible if you can legitimately link into royalty/nobility (and there are a lot of false links to royalty too). Unless each generation is documented with primary sources, you shouldn't trust the information.
While I agree with you that other people's trees can be unreliable, it's possible that some of us who aren't royalty have ancestors that are recorded from a thousand years ago.
I recently found one who fought alongside William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings. His loyalty earned him property, and he is mentioned in the Domesday Book. The spelling has changed of course, but I believe the connection is legitimate.
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Old 05-16-2016, 03:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
You really shouldn't go by other people's trees as they can be unreliable. Particularly, going back that far is generally only possible if you can legitimately link into royalty/nobility (and there are a lot of false links to royalty too). Unless each generation is documented with primary sources, you shouldn't trust the information.
My own family tree based on a family tree book goes back to 1640 (when the ancestor came to America from England) and that was documented. Since it is the same family name and is well known one that is based on some master profiles (in Geni means they are documented), I believe that the information is reliable (and some of the people are British nobility as in knights/sirs).
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Old 05-16-2016, 05:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sirron View Post
While I agree with you that other people's trees can be unreliable, it's possible that some of us who aren't royalty have ancestors that are recorded from a thousand years ago.
I recently found one who fought alongside William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings. His loyalty earned him property, and he is mentioned in the Domesday Book. The spelling has changed of course, but I believe the connection is legitimate.
PA2UK generalized a bit, but royal ancestry usually is assumed to include noble ancestry since they are heavily intertwined. Most likely if you trace back to someone confirmed at the Battle of Hastings you tie into the same interweb of noble/royal ancestry and it all ties down to a gateway ancestor somewhere. Not only are they some very bad genealogies for claimed gateway ancestors, but much bad ancestry leading to them. This doesn't mean anyone's genealogy is wrong, but I think it is a great caution. In fact most people with significant colonial American ancestry likely have a gateway ancestor somewhere, though finding a paper trail that's legitimate is often the hard part.

I have one documented line to a gateway ancestor that stands with a high confidence level, I have found probably 100+ lines in trees that link to my ancestors that lead either incorrectly to a legitimate gateway or to a claimed gateway that hasn't been properly confirmed (or both). I'd say it's probably well over 100 though I haven't kept count. That means more than 99% of the gateway links I've found in my own ancestry research have been wrong... so I think it's good to caution people who might be knew to looking at other trees.
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Old 05-16-2016, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
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Originally Posted by Chava61 View Post
My own family tree based on a family tree book goes back to 1640 (when the ancestor came to America from England) and that was documented. Since it is the same family name and is well known one that is based on some master profiles (in Geni means they are documented), I believe that the information is reliable (and some of the people are British nobility as in knights/sirs).
Lineage books can have errors or be falsified too. Even if the book lists all it's sources, you should check each source yourself to be sure it's reliable.
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Old 05-16-2016, 06:33 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
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If you can believe everything (big IF) one line goes back to a land transaction in 1295 with the named ancestor...so maybe circa 1275. A couple concrete and reliable lines go back to the 1500s. A lot of others just to 1800.
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:02 AM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
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My take on royal ancestry is that probably every person in the USA has quite a bit because royals often had lots of children, so as you go back in time many generations it's highly likely that you're descended from them. Nearly everyone of Western European heritage is likely descended from Charlemagne for example. I figure my ancestors are a mix of royal and peasant. Proving royalty on a family tree is different and I agree that someone with a royal line on their tree should take things with a grain of salt. Often royals would stretch the truth to show relation to a past great person to gain legitimacy. And obviously you're hoping that everyone had the biological father they claimed to have. If you go back really far the concept of biological parents itself wasn't there. Alexander the Great worried greatly about whether his real father was Phillip or Zeus.
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