Please project-protect PGM immigrant William Lyon so the alleged parents don't keep getting attached to him [closed]

+6 votes
I thought this profile was already project-protected, but today I discovered that the supposed parents had been reattached. I think the profile adequately explains the situation.
WikiTree profile: William Lyon
closed with the note: Request has been completed
in Genealogy Help by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
closed by John Atkinson
PPPd as per request
Has something changed in "project protected profiles"?  I was told that project protection only prevented a profile from being merged away.  But if the profile had open privacy level, it could still be edited by anyone, including adding or removing parents or children.
Hi Daniel, added protection to PPP profiles, that includes protecting the parents (or lack of parents) came in earlier this year.  See here

3 Answers

+5 votes
Is it worth attaching the parents and marking them as uncertain?  Anderson does say that 'it's not impossible'.

If the decision is to keep the parents unattached, then does there need to be a change in his birth date and place.  Just putting in a year and changing the place to just England might avert some confusion?
by John Atkinson G2G6 Pilot (440k points)

Thanks for pointing out the discrepancies in the birthdate. I tend to focus on the biography sections of profiles and forget that the the data fields are the only parts some people read.

The genealogist who attached that birth record and parents to this William Lyon was Albert Welles (see Category:Albert Welles Fraud). Those parents are one link in a dubious lineage concocted to "prove" English aristocratic origins for an American family. That same aristocratic line has recently been propagated again in an e-book entitled "A Most Remarkable Family" -- ( is the page about this man). Given that the assignment of that birth record to this man came from a notorious perpetrator of fraudulent genealogies for sale to vain and gullible Americans, I'd personally prefer not to blandly accept it here.

+5 votes
I just looked at a UK source ( for William and found a digitized image of the September 1635 list of persons with a license. He's there, aged 14, but highly unusually seems to have no obvious connection with the names before and after. I decided then that he might well be an orphan.

Looking at the purported parents I found that William died in 18 Feb 1634 - but that is what we would call 1635 as the new year wasn't deemed to start until Lady day (25 March) so just a few months earlier. However his wife Anne apparently died in 1638 spoiling my theory ... until I noticed the Biography had 1634 and the note "According to Hewitt Anne and her husband both died in London in 1634".

Of course this is circumstantial but it seems likely that William was the son of William and Anne and travelled alone to the Americas aged 14 as a result of being orphaned. I completely agree with John Atkinson that simply marking the parents as uncertain is sufficient.

It seems strange to be so concerned about a probably correct parentage while allowing the clearly incorrect "Histon" as a birthplace to stand.
by Matthew Fletcher G2G6 Mach 9 (95.2k points)
edited by Matthew Fletcher

Thanks for pointing me to that ship's list, Matthew. It's a beautiful image. I added a link to the image at Category: Hopewell, second voyage of 1635. The transcript of the passenger list that is also linked on that category page is clearly incomplete.

The name Wm. Lyon is clearly readable on that list, but I wish I could decipher more of the names to get some sense of who his fellow passengers were.

Yes it's difficult but it's possible to see surnames repeated even if they're illegible.

I do appreciate you just want everything properly sourced but there are far worse profiles than this one for making unwarranted assumptions. I'm inclined to think the identification of his parents is probably correct, more so if it could be determined that his mother did indeed die in 1634. It's not just that his name and age agree, it's the fact he's from the London area and might well have been recently orphaned, which would explain his journey apparently without family members.

This particular profile is included in the Puritan Great Migration project, which relies to the extent possible on the recent exhaustive research and documentation by a project team headed by pre-eminent American genealogist Robert Charles Anderson. This William Lyon is the subject of a 3-1/2 page profile in The Great Migration series produced by Anderson and his team. The PGM project typically accepts Anderson's conclusions unless there is new information or research that contradicts him. These parents were originally proposed for this man by a notorious fabricator of genealogies and Anderson called William "Origin Unknown" and dismissed these parents with the words "no particular reason to believe...," so I feel like there is insufficient evidence for those parents to be attached to William. And, yes, there are far worse profiles here, but this is one that has solid research behind it and shouldn't have to be contaminated by fanciful or fabricated embellishments.

Thinking about records, I realize that I've not seen the Heston birth record that apparently was originally assigned to this man by Albert Welles and that was republished in "The Lyon Memorial" in 1905, and it doesn't look like Anderson's team saw it either. Anderson cites the The Lyon Memorial. Searching at FindMyPast and FamilySearch and, I do find other children named William Lyon who could have been age 14 in September 1635:

There's no dispute that William emigrated without anyone else named Lyon. My comment about the other names on the list was related to trying to figure out how he was connected to them. A book published in 1917 (page image from Google Books) gives the name "Heath" for the family listed ahead of him and identifies them as being from Nazeing, Essex, and settlers in Roxbury, Massachuetts. Since William Lyon's home in New England was in Roxbury, Massachusetts, which seems to have been a tight community of exceptionally pious people from Nazeing, Essex, it's reasonable to infer that he embarked in company with the Heath family and settled with them in Roxbury.

But maybe there are some other people on the boat who are connected to him in some other way?

+1 vote

At FindMyPast, I don't find any of the reported records for the births, marriage or deaths (nor existence) of either of William Lyon's purported parents (William Lyon and Anne Carter). I do find other records from that time period in Heston, St Leonard, Middlesex, including records for some people named Lion or Lions. What's the chance that records exist that aren't indexed on FindMyPast?

by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
OK you've convinced me! I had no idea we were up against deliberately fraudulent genealogies :(
I also had no idea until I reviewed the cited sources today in order to respond to comments here. I knew that the supposed parents were a link into a questionable aristocratic lineage, but when I read the cited sources earlier the name Albert Welles hadn't yet become a red flag for me.

But I do wonder about my inability to find the Heston records for William and Ann (Carter) Lyon. It's hard to believe that the records cited by Albert Welles were totally fabricated. Is it possible that there are two parishes in Heston, but only one set of parish records has been indexed?

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