Why We Should Beware of Tracing Our Line Back to Adam and Eve

posted in: Family History, Genealogy | 0

I have seen the statement “I can trace my line back to Adam and Eve” more times than I care to admit.  Or, someone will say “I can trace my line back to Noah and from there it’s easy to get to Adam and Eve.”

However, I am always weary and leery of such genealogies.  Tracing our family history is about research and accurate information and not gathering a bunch of names and dates.

Genealogies tracing all the way back to Adam and Eve are filled with errors
Genealogies tracing all the way back to Adam and Eve are filled with errors

So why should we beware of tracing our line back to Adam and Eve?

  1. Is this researcher concerned only with adding as many names and dates as possible? This is something we need to ask ourselves and consider
  2. Resources—are resources supplied to prove each connection and information
  3. Lack of Resources—the farther back in time we go the more difficult it is to find resources on our ancestors. The easiest lines to trace by far are those of the Royal family and some nobles.  However, going back to some of the earliest kings one does reach a stopping point.  The oldest European royal genealogies only date back to the sixth century and others do not even go back that far.
  4. Bridge the Gap—sometimes we may know of a relationship through a specific line, but finding the names to connect that relationship is not always readily available due to the lack of records. It is always possible that we may suppose an individual’s parentage when that individual might be a grandparent or uncle instead.  We strive to find answers to bridge the gap without documentation or proof.
  5. We are all related—we all know that we descend from Noah and one of his three sons. Going back from Noah, the Bible supplies the genealogy of Noah back to Adam and Eve.  DNA has confirmed that we all relate back to a genetic Adam and Eve.
  6. Fabricating information—some researchers make up or fabricate names and information to reach back to Adam and Eve. There are even stories of well-known genealogist who have fabricated information.  That was a lot easier to do before the internet age, but with the internet age it is much easier to spread erroneous information.
  7. Questionable information—some of the information provided may be questionable even if it’s not fabricated. Family legends can change and grow over the centuries, especially if it is an oral tradition.

What errors have you found in your genealogy research?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.