I think it is time to move Peter and Maria Noblett to Disproven Existence

+11 votes

In 1995 the United States Post Office office of Consumer Protection obtained an injunction against Halbertson's Publishing Company.  The company had previously provided genealogies for families and much (most) of what they were selling was fake.

The line of the Peter Noblett family was created at WikiTree and while some of the profiles are related to real people, others are made up, some are conflated, and the whole line is a big mess.

Since this question was brought up in April, 2018, no sources to prove Peter or his wife Maria have been provided.  Based on the fraud of Halberts and the thorough research that has been conducted, I propose to move Peter to the Disproven Existence Project.

For some background on the previous G2G discussions you can read here: Questions surrounding the lineage of Noblett: Peter Noblett as father of Francis, Richard, William, & John

RJ Horace wrote a brilliant reply that really sums up the situation.  It is very humorous; I recommend that everyone read it: 

So where does the trouble start?  The John Hyndman Noblit "Collections" book looks sound, though it's just bits that don't add up to anything.  There's a lot missing - coats of arms are shown for a lot of families all over France.  Genealogies are mentioned...

WikiTree profile: Peter Noblett
in Genealogy Help by SJ Baty G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
edited by SJ Baty

Marne, France, Birth Index, 1528-1907

Name: Magdeleine BERTRAND
Birth Date (Gregorian Calendar): 22 févr. 1655
Birth Place: Avize
Father: Martin BERTRAND
Mother: Nicole BERTRAND
Household Members:
Name Age
Magdeleine BERTRAND
Source Citation: Centre Généalogique et Héraldique de la Marne

This book is in Ancestry and the North Carolina Historical Society collection. It's mentioned above


in the North Carolina Archive


Maybe disconnect, but the people did exist cool

there are other records but I gotta stop for a while

foooooooooood ! !

today's dinner  boned chicken diced with apple, grape, mushroom, roma tomato in a light raspberry vinaigrette

Later, my ladies kiss

yep, they did exist. Chances are they never met though. Thanks Eddie! Enjoy dinner... Wish you could save us some.

Wow Eddie, thanks!

This is really a lot to digest and it may take a week or two.

Regarding the disposition of the profiles of Peter and Maria, there is something to take into considertion, Disproven Existence profiles come in three flavors:

1.  Made up profiles that are completely fabricated by the writer(s).
2.  Made up profiles that borrow facts from real life people.
3.  Real people who are inserted into bogus or incorrect genealogies (whether intentional or just due to "bad genealogy").

In the latter case (#3), we disconnect the incorrect relationships and put a section on both profiles explaining that they were previously connected, that the connection was in error, and they shouldn't be connected again.  The names of the disconnected family members should be hyperlinked in the section.

In case #1, a profile like "Lord Baltimore, 3rd Emperor of Atlantis" is simply project badged and it is made known that this profile is fabricated.  We put these profiles into the project rather than merge them away because the "source" of the profile is still out there on the internet in a published family tree.  The chances are that another GEDCOM download will come in the future and Lord Baltimore's profile will be created again.  Instead, if the GED importer is offered, "Do you mean this Lord Baltimore?" they will see that the profile already exists.  They might even learn that the GED they downloaded isn't quite as accurate as they thought.

And finally, we come to #2 - those profiles that were fabricated but borrow real facts from real profiles.  Were the birth and death dates, marriage dates, and other details of Peter and Maria entered when the profiles were first created (at Wikitree or before) or did someone fill in the blanks later after discovering documents like those you have posted here?  Or, were the fake profiles created using information from real people in order to give them some validity; if someone does a cursory search they will see documents for people with the same names and assume the profiles are real.

The distinction between #2 and #3 is an important one because in the second example, the profile is still made-up but has similar properties to a real person whereas #3, a real person is just incorrectly attached.

And that is the challenge, to determine if Peter and Mary are incorrectly attached to this line or if there were meant to represnt two different people and merely have borrowed attributes.

Imagine that if someone created a profile for a man named Abraham LIncoln.  This person is the father of 9 children and he was born "about 1810" in Illinois and by the 1870 census he can be found no more.  So his profile reads, "Abraham Lincoln, born about 1810 (uncertain), in Illinois, died before 1870."  And then, after a Sourcerer or 4th cousin comes finds a name match adds a source and later, someone adds a birthday of 12 February 1809 and a death date of 15 April 1865.

Should this new profile now be merged into President Abraham LIncoln's profile?  It should not, the dates should be taken off and a === Disambiguation === section should be added that explains that the two men are not the same.

And this will be the work with Peter and Maria, to determine if their profiles are conflated with real profiles or if the real profiles were inserted into this fantasy line.  A lot of the records here are for England whereas the fantasy Noblett Huguenots migrated from France to Ireland before coming to America.

Either way, the docs you have provided will save a lot of time, I'll look them over and will  post my opinon as to their profiles.  Thank you for your assistance!

The book most often cited in the American Noblett genealogies is John Hundman's 1844 "Genealogical collections relating to the families of Noblet, Noblat, Noblot, and Noblets, of France : Noblet and Noblett, of Great Britain : Noblet, Noblett, Noblit and Noblitt, of America : with some particular account of William Noblit of Middletown Township, Chester County (now Delaware County), Pennsylvania, U.S.A."  But I don't think that many who cite it on their family trees today have actually read it because it refutes the facts they are using to source the profiles in their trees.  While RJ sums it up much more eloquently than I, this book basically says:

1. A lot of people by the name Noblet (or some varition thereof) lived in France.  A lot of names and families are listed but no chronological list from the American migrants back to William the Conqueror (something common in Noblet online genealogies).

2. A lot of people are listed as migrating from France to Spanish Holland and to England, Wales, and Ireland.

3. William Noblit (Noblet/Noblett) and his presumed brothers are listed in Pennsylvania and a lot of records and documents about them.  For all intents and purposes, Hyndman tells their story completely separately from any families in England or in France.  The leap from Pennsylvania to England or France is made later, presumably from the publication created by Halberts.  Hyndman makes no note of Peter Noblet nor his supposed wife Maria Godfrey and he makes no claim as to the 4 American brother's parents.  But these online connections to Peter regularly show Hyndman as validating these links.

Addressing each of the sources:

1710 Poll of Peter Noblett in Chigwell, Essex, England.  
- no evidence that this is Peter Noblett [Noblett-19] who fled from Franch to Ireland.

1677 baptism of Marie Godfrey in Sherborne, Dorst, England
- the WT bio for Maria (Godfrey) Noblett [Godfrey-951] has her born in Ireland.  While searching for her will I found that this name is quite common in England.  No doubt, of the tens of thousands of Hugeuenot refugees who came to England and Ireland, there are probbly dozens of women with the name Maria/Marie Godfrey.  No evidence that this source matches [Godfrey-951].

Probate of Marie Godfrey

- I found 4 records for a burial of Marie or Maria Godfrey using the 1723 date in this source:

9 Oct 1723 in London
6 Jan 1723 in Middlessex
6 Dec 1723 Somerset
no date Somerset (possibly duplicate of above record)

These are only the results for 1723, there are many more for 1722, 1724, etc.  Any of these could be [Godfrey-951] if our profile represents a real person.

1715 burial for Peter in Chigwell
- our Peter supposedly died in Ireland

1739 Will of William Noblett
- William is one of the 4 supposed brothers who can be verified by the existing records - his profile will not be affected by this effort.

1715 will of Peter in Somerset

- I don't have access to Ancestry.com library, if you can post these pages it would be useful.  Our Peter supposedly died in Ireland.

1703 death of Peter in France
- our Peter supposedly died in Ireland

Jacques Noblett and Catherine Bertrand
- I don't have access to this link

Jacques Noblett
- same

1655 birth of Magdeleine Bertrand

- looks like a sister of Catarine Bertrand

"This book is in Ancestry and the North Carolina Historical Society collection. It's mentioned above"
- please see my notes above about Hyndman.  I've just re-read many chapters of this book and from the line that lists Jacques Noblett, husbnd of Catarine Bertrand, Hyndman shows Jacques' son as Charles but no mention of a Peter.

Jacques and Catarine exist but no mention of son Peter.  Peter's supposed wife Maria Godfrey doesn't register at all in a search of Hyndman.

We are back at square one, no proof of either Peter or Maria when viewed as one of the three variants (#1, #2, #3) of a disproven profile prospect.

I'll leave this post open for some time and continue researching.

An excerpt from the lineage, likely created by the fraudulent company Halberts:


21.  Gabrielle NOBLET was born in 1649.  He died in 1703.  Gabrielle migrated 
to England.

He was married to Caterine BERTRAND in 1669.  Caterine BERTRAND was born in 
Gabrielle NOBLET and Caterine BERTRAND had the following children:

	+22	i.	Peter NOBLET (born in 1671).


22.  Peter NOBLET was born in 1671.  He died in 1719.  Peter moved to Ireland in 1694. His so-journ constituted a period of less than thirty years before his four sons decided to migrate to the English Colonies in America.  That brief period of residence in the Emerald Isle in no way labels the Noblitt family forebears as being Irishmen.  The ancestral heritage of their Norman-French lineage remained unbroken during an extended period of 650 years.

He was married to Marie GODFREY in 1698.  Marie GODFREY was born in 1677.  
Peter NOBLET and Marie GODFREY had the following children:

	+23	i.	John NOBLET (born in 1699).
	+24	ii.	Richard NOBLETT (born in 1701).
	25	iii.	Francis NOBLETT was born in 1703.
	+26	iv.	William NOBLIT (born in 1704).

No evidence has yet to be found, or ever has been posted at WikiTree that the four sons were the children of Peter and Mari.  The French records for Jacques show a son Charles but no Peter.  Searches in  England and Ireland for Marie/Maria Godfrey, born in 1677 reveals many (many) records who could all be her if the lineage above was real.  No returns from Ireland, only England:

Marie Godfrey
Baptism  5 Oct 1677
Sherborne, Dorset, England

Mary Godfrey
Birth 23 Apr 1677
Baptism 3 Jun 1677 Saint Giles Cripplegate, London, London, England

Mary Godfrey
Baptism 4 Jun 1677 Wiltshire, England

Mary Godfrey

Baptism 20 Aug 1677
West Hanney, Berkshire, England

Mary Godfrey

Baptism 4 Apr 1677
Essex, England

Mary Godfrey


30 Apr 1677
Kings Walden, Hertford, England

None of these are likely her as we are looking for a record in Ireland.  Ireland is a bit of a black hole for records in the 17th and 18th centuries.  If we cannot find this record online today then it is even less probable that Halberts had access to it in the 1980s-1990's.  Most likely, they picked a date out at random.  And if the date was 1678 or 1676, there are plenty of Maria Godfreys we could find a record for these years.

I posted documents. My apology if you don't find them relevant to your question. Sometimes, folks aren't happy with what I find. It's about time for me to take a hiatus from wikitree for a while. Maybe a couple weeks, month, don't know. Again, sorry I wasted your time.

Be well, be safe, God bless
Eddie, don't mistake my pragmatism as ingratitude.  Thank you very much for your work on this.  I would feel much less at ease if no one answered my post, I put them in disproven status and some years from now, someone posted sources and I had egg on my face.  You threw up some good selections and challenged me to (again) research this line and validate my opinions.  

No researcher or scientist ever conducted an experiment and then cried when others challenged his findings.  You can either prove your thesis or you can't.  The records you posted made my case stronger and challenged me to go and find even more records to prove or disprove.

There is nothing to say to that but thank you for your time and work - it makes the case stronger, it makes WikiTree stronger.

And in a worst case scenario, some Gedcom importer in 2, 5, or 10 years, who is thinking, "Maybe there is a record for Marie," will stumble upon this thread and will see that we didn't just slap a template on these profiles willy-nilly but instead we did the research work and made a good case (for or against) their inclusion in the project.
There are pending merges on these profiles. And Peter Noblett/Mary Godfrey are still connected to the global tree through "descendants". Is it time to move forward with this?

1 Answer

+5 votes
Best answer

I see we already have a category for the Halbertson Publishing Company Fraud.  Bravo!

by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (364k points)
selected by SJ Baty

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