William Sargent; Can we remove these parents please. [closed]

+1 vote
Robert Charles Anderson in his Great Migration Bio for William Sargent states that his origins are unknown. There is no proof that he was born in Bath or that his parents have been identified.  Unless one of his multiple profile managers has proof of this parentage I would like to see these parents removed. thanks
WikiTree profile: William Sargent
closed with the note: Issue resolved
in Genealogy Help by Jeanie Roberts G2G6 Pilot (127k points)
closed by Jeanie Roberts
I think the provenance of the statements on his profile need to be found first. Is it wishful thinking or something new since Anderson?

This is the source of the current information:

William Sargent, the immigrant ancestor, was born in England, about 1600. The latest investigation points to the probability that he was theWilliam Sargent who was baptized in the Abbey Church, Bath, England, June 28, 1606, son of Richard and Katherine (Stevens) Sargent. There is a tradition that William was born in 1602. As the father-in-law of Sargent, Quartermaster John Perkins, came from Bath, it is probable that this record belongs to the immigrant, William Sargent, of Salisbury, Massachusetts. 

This is from :William Richard Cutter, Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts, Volume 2, (Boston: Lewis Publishing Co., 1908) 863.

Cutter also mistakenly places John Perkins from Bath instead of HIllmorton. Clearly Anderson is the better choice. 

Anne, It is all on the profile.  Jeanie has provided better and more recent sources, including the Anderson's Great Migration biography.  A search of NEHGR and TAG show no new information.  There are no better sources  on the profile.  Let's disconnect and get on with fixing another bad profile.

If anyone wishes to challenge Anderson's statements, it is incumbent on them to provide the source.  Right now, the only sources are 100+ years old and have not stood the test of time.  

First, I absolutely agree that if the current information came from a Cutter book, (rolling my eyes and sighing,) that without a better source, the parents should go.


Am I blind? Am I missing something? Are there cobwebs in my head? :-) All I see on the profile is the statement supporting the current parents - He was the son of [[Sargent-240}Richard Sargent]] and Katherine Stevens, whom Jeanie wants to disconnect.

I don't see on the profile - a new biography or even a statement by Anderson that the parents are unknown.

So....are you saying that I need to rewrite to bio prior to jettisoning the incorrect parents. I was rather hoping one of his nine profile managers might do it, but if none respond I will certainly rewrite the bio and add the correct sources.
I guess not necessarily. I usually do. But I do think the profile should have some explanation on it: - what's wrong with the current parents, why the information is suspect, where the new information comes from (which you told me was Anderson). I would add a disputed origins section (of some kind) at the top of the profile, so that people looking at the profile have a clue.
My point was the only thing supporting the current parents are the 100+ year old sources such as Cutter and Savage, and of course ancestry.com trees.  Jeannie put her reasoning and improved sources here.

When the parents are disconnected, then she can re-write the biography including the new source.  I don't think she had to re-wriite the biography ahead of time.  As always, there will need to be a discussion in the biography of old errors in print to help prevent the reattachment of the incorrect parents.
When jettisoning parents, I think it's very important to acknowledge that there are different theories on the parents and explain why the parents identified by Cutter (or the Ancestral File, etc.) are not being accepted. Everybody has access to Cutter, but relatively few have access to Anderson, and many family history enthusiasts are unaware of the issues with sources like Cutter. Telling people their information is wrong -- or simply pretending their information doesn't exist -- will not prevent them from re-adding it. But if you explain, most people will accept your good information.

Ellen, I absolutely agree.  I think you know I write very detailed error sections citing the incorrect sources, explaining why they are wrong, and providing the correct information with sources.

Jeannie, I would not count on the Profile Managers to re-write the biography.  Go for it, be BOLD

Ellen - no worries about Jeanie or Joe - they have written some of the very best PGM material here. Trust that they will always get it done properly in the end. And it will be a superlative work of art. The edit request is just so she can first get merges completed because many folks will refuse to merge if unproven parents are attached.
Joe I completely agree with you. There is no reason to have the entire biography done before you remove a parent or a child if you are planning on merging several profiles and intent to do a diligent discussion of the facts and sources of the profile post-merge. In many cases with duplicate profiles each have a source you want to keep in the end but they are not consolidated. Merging them first in that case puts them all of the on one page where you can sort them all out into a cohesive story. I think composition pre- or post- merge should be up to the PGM editor to fit their workflow. We don't need to micromanage how this is done. As Mao said - who cares what color the cat as long as it catches mice?

2 Answers

+2 votes
Well it appears the said profile is being worked by a project. I'd reckon the project has pretty good evidence to support their facts on this person. Perhaps you could put a comment on the profile with a sourced link that would confirm your theory.

Please check former question link below


However could be a different William Sargent
Best of luck
by Steve McCabe G2G6 Pilot (362k points)
edited by Steve McCabe
The Puritan Great Migration Project has nothing to do with the creation or maintenance of this profile.  It is using old out-of-date sources, and there is no reason to delay fixing it.

The sources provided by Jeannie trump everything on the profile.  The parents need to be disconnected and the biography rewritten.
Thanks Steven - PGM relies on the most current peer-reviewed journals and primary evidence of the time of the immigrant. Most of the genealogies published in the 1800's are full of holes. So we always try to use the most recent research available to correct profiles. Unfortunately most of this research is still under copyright and so it costs money to access it. Most members subscribe to AmericanAncestors which gives them access to The Great Migration, NEHGR, TAG and TEG as well as vital records, probate records and deeds. These are the primary tools most of the PGM members use. So it is always good to start there and then look back at older sources to fill in missing pieces and point our previous errors. I'm just saying this so you get a basic idea of how we generally work. If you can afford to subscribe to AmericanAncestors you will find very high quality sources there. Good luck with your reserach!
0 votes

Thanks for bringing this up Jeanie, the removal of these parents was long overdue. I added a disputed Origin section. 

On a side note in PGM you do not require a leader to approve the disconnection of parents of the immigrant profile unless the profile is project protected. Best practice is to put on the very top of the profile == Disputed Origin == and cite at least one quality source and post a note to G2G. But approval is not required and the bandwidth does not exist to give approval to every relationship edit. Best practice is to create an internal link to the unproven (or disproved) parents like this [[Sargent-168|Richard Sargent]] before removing them so they can be examined and restored if the removal is found to be in error. Giving folks a couple of days to refute the edit is nice once you post to G2G. But with the high quality of research done by PGM members that nearly never happens. If you have a high quality source like The Great Migration you can disconnect them within a couple of days without confirmation. So go for it. We have a lot of disconnecting to do.   

Disputed Origin

According to The Great Migration Directory: Immigrants to New England, 1620–1640 published in 2015 the parents and origins of this person are not proven.[1] There is no compelling evidence he was son of Richard Sargent and Katherine Stevens. They should be removed as parents.

This family has been treated extensively in for example in Mary Lovering Holman, Ancestry of Charles Stinson Pillsbury and John Sargent Pillsbury ... 2 vols. (Concord 1938) 661 and in 1931 by Mary Walton Ferris in Dawes-Gates Ancestral Lines 1:486[2] But neither of these authors made a claim to his English ancestry. However, David Webster Hoyt in The Old Families of Salisbury and Amesbury Massachusetts, 3 vols. (Providence, R.I., 1897-1919) 310-11[3] stated that Somerby concluded that this William Sargent and William Sargent of Charlestown were brothers and sons of Richard Sargent of London who supposed the second William to be dead while he was in Virginia and gave the same name to a second son William of Amesbury. No evidence is cited for this narrative. Robert Charles Anderson in 1995 in Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, 3 volumes (Boston 1995) 1630+ writes:

  • "The convoluted affinity proposed by Hoyt among William of Amesbury, Richard of London, and ghostly William of Charlestown strains all credulity [Hoyt 310-11]."

Anderson proceeds referring to NEHGR 150:181-90 where it is shown that Theophilus Shatswell of Haverhill named "my brother Wilyam Sargent" implied that Theophilus Shatswell had married the sister of William Sargent. Anderson concludes:

  • "The most likely remaining solution is that Theophilus Shatswell married a sister of William Sargent."

Thus we have at least a clue to the identity of one of his siblings that perhaps may give us a clue to his English origin some day.[4][5] Therefore as of 2015 the position of the Great Migration project is that the parents of William Sargent have not been proven.


  1.  Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Directory: Immigrants to New England, 1620–1640 (Boston, Massachusetts. New England Historic and Genealogical Society. 2015) 296: Sargent, William: Unknown; 1632; Ipswich, Newbury, Hampton, Salisbury [GMB 1630-33; HmTR 44; NeTR 8; SyTR 5].
  2.  Mary Walton Ferris in Dawes-Gates Ancestral Lines (n.p., 1931) 1:486
  3.  David Webster Hoyt, The Old Families of Salisbury and Amesbury Massachusetts, 3 vols. (Providence, R.I., 1897-1919) 2:310-11
  4.  Robert Charles Anderson, The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony, 1620-1633 (Boston, MA: NEHGS, 2004) 1630+
  5.  Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins (Boston, MA: NEHGS, 1995) 1630+
  6.  See Source: Anderson: Great Migration Begins
by R B G2G6 Mach 3 (39.7k points)
Thank you Roland for diving in there and fixing it. Now I just need to get him merged with the other William Sergants out there.
I am always so impressed by your work Jeanie.  

Can you post the links to the other merge targets?
You could probably close this thread since the issue is now resolved so it doesn't show up on the to do list for PGM.
Not sure how to make them links but they are:



Good 'ol PGM - we gotta have four copies of all of them immigrants don't we? I can see why you want to merge first and ask questions later in this case.

What I often do it make the vitals identical on all the profiles and then copy and paste the same biography to all of them even if the biography isn't complete before the merge. It is a little extra work but most of the time it prevents me from getting a response like "these are not identical and it requires a lot more research..." from an admin who has no clue who the person is and won't let you merge them. But do it however it works for you.
I synced up the vitals on the other three and the biographies. No one should object to a merge at this point.

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