Douglas Richardson Magna Carta vs Magna Charta John S. Wurts?

+1 vote
Hi! I have just been given an extensive tree that is 104 generations, starting with Aedd Mawr. One of the main sources of the earliest part is the Magna Charta John Wurts books.

I see there is a group for the Douglas Richardson Magna Carta. What is the difference, and does that mean John Wurts is not a good reference? Thanks!
in Genealogy Help by Tricia Appell G2G Crew (670 points)

1 Answer

+6 votes
Best answer
They are not comparable at all.  John Wurts book is decades out-of-date. It is generally poorly researched and contains hundreds of errors (at least).  It also does not provide sources.

Richardson's books are very up-to-date and are written using modern research methods and standards.  They are continually improved and Doug is aware of all published articles.  Much of his work relies on original sources and quality secondary sources which he provides in footnote form under each biography (though inline citations would be more useful).

Wurts is not considered a good reference and I would not use it for anything when there are so many better resources (including Richardson) available.
by Joe Cochoit G2G6 Pilot (216k points)
selected by Darlene Athey-Hill
Thanks Joe!

My relative who did the tree died in 1949, so perhaps that was the best she had to work with at the time. You can see the newspaper write up on her feat, at the time, "one of the longest genealogies in the world", and that her research was checked and accepted by the National Society of the Magna Charta Dames.

That said, would you (or anyone reading this) be interested a small project to compare and correct any mistakes? Wurtz vs Richardson? I am way too new to this and don't have the skills or any confidence to try to handle Aedd Mawr BC 1300 down to Constantine the Great,(b265-d 306) for example! Also the Caesar line, the Cymbaline/King Cole line, Royal Saxon line, it is quite a work of art and years of dedication. Surely that exists somewhere? And it would be interesting to see where/why Wurtz was wrong... I will happily send the pdf chart to whoever is interested! Thanks for any help. I would love to honor this woman's dedication and amazing work by having it updated to reflect what is now known.



You're dealing with legends, myths, and fiction.  As Joe mentioned, the Wurts book has hundreds (if not thousands) of errors.  Pre-1500 researchers here on Wikitree have their hands full trying to source and sort out the tens of thousands of unsourced profiles/families that were uploaded prior to restricting access (lots of gedcom junk).  Your best bet if you are trying to prove a line is to slowly work your way up your tree and add reliable sources to each generation.  You will find that the further back you get, the harder it is to find reliable sources (the book you mention isn't reliable).  Here's the Wikitree page with a list of some reliable sources:  Pre-1500 Resource Page (

Tricia, this would not be a "small" project at all. It would be an enormous one. I recommend you start with your own most current ancestors and work your way back slowly. If your gateway ancestor is in one of the trails already approved by the WikiTree Magna Carta Project, you can compare the WT profile  yourself with the work your relative has done. If a badged trail does not yet exist on WikiTree, you will have an opportunity to learn how to source these profiles using your relative's work as suggestions that you can follow up on. It is rewarding work, but very time-consuming.
Thanks Darlene!
Thanks Jen!

I had just naively assumed that the pedigree charts from famous people, like Aedd Mwar down to say, Constantine the Great, or William Shakespeare, had already been well established and proven somewhere... and that it could be  just be compared with that part of her tree.

Never mind, I am not going to go anywhere near that. I'll just hand around the bottom low hanging fruit where I am comfortable!

Thanks again,


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