Leader PGM Remove parents of Edward Bangs (1591 - 1679) (Project Protected)

+4 votes

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 John Bangs and Jane Chavis. They should be removed as parents.

In 1931 Mary Walton Ferris in Dawes-Gates Ancestral Lines 2:61[2] states that the family name is first found in Norfolk and later in Essex and extensive research has been done in England. Previous claims of this family in Chichester, Sussex were in error. Two baptisms for an Edward Bangs were found one of which was 28 Oct 1591 in Panfield, Essex toJohn Bangs and Jane Chavis. He was grandson of Richard and Margaret Bangs, and great-grandson of Thomas or William Bangs. But Mary Walton Ferris proceeds

  • "Though no documentary proof has been found positively identifying Edward1 of New England with the Edward above, the significant fact that Edward1 Bangs, in his will of 1677, called himself eighty-six years old, establishes his birth-date as 1591; he named his eldest son "John" presumably after his father, and he was called "Mr." as was his presumed grandfather, Richard, who was a sheriff of Norwich in 1596 to which office he was elected their number by the mayor and alderman."

To sum her arguments that these two men are identical boils down to:

  1. Year of birth
  2. The title of "Mr."
  3. Identical names

But she concedes there is no documentary proof positively identifying Edward1 of New England with the Edward of England.

Robert Charles Anderson in 2004 in The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony, 1620-1633 writes:

  • "Mary Walton Ferris argues that the immigrant to Plymouth was the Edward Bangs baptized at Panfield, Essex, on 28 October 1591, but she does not present all the evidence, and the evidence which is printed is not sufficient to prove the origin [Dawes-Gates 2:61]."[3][4]

As for using merely evidence of year of birth and name to show a Great Migration Immigrant is identical to a man of the same name in England? This is not acceptable evidence in any peer-reviewed journal or by any fellow of the American Society of Genealogists. FASG members have stated this in print ad nauseum. So that is not sufficient evidence to include anything more than an internal link to the suspected parents for further research purposes or to satisfy curiosity. So what does that leave us? The remaining factor is that he was called "Mr." in New England and that his grandfather was doubtless called "Mr." Note the Mary Walton Ferris did not say that his grandfather was called Mr. and cites no evidence that he was. But she says he was probably called "Mr." Anderson implies that this is the weakest of possible arguments in isolation or in combination with age and name does not even begin to show these two men are identical. The presumption that his supposed grandfather was called "Mr." is in no way compelling. The burden of evidence is on the person making the claim. And so we can not presume that the claim is valid. Is it improbable? No it is certainly possible we must concede. But an exhaustive search of records in England has already been made and nothing compelling has surfaced to date.

Therefore as of 2015 the position of the Great Migration Project is that the parents of Edward Bangs have not been proven. And if we wish to record Sargent genealogy to the standards of the Great Migration Project we must view this association as merely interesting. 


  1.  Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Directory: Immigrants to New England, 1620–1640 (Boston, Massachusetts. New England Historic and Genealogical Society. 2015)
  2.  Mary Walton Ferris, Dawes-Gates Ancestral Lines (n.p., 1931) 2:61
  3.  Robert Charles Anderson, The Pilgrim Migration: Immigrants to Plymouth Colony, 1620-1633 (Boston, MA: NEHGS, 2004) 23-29
  4.  Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins (Boston, MA: NEHGS, 1995) 88-91
WikiTree profile: Edward Bangs
in Genealogy Help by R B G2G6 Mach 3 (39.7k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith
I figure he had a daughter called Elinor who married John Adams.
You should post this as an answer instead of a comment so I can +1 you for it :)
Excellent argument, Roland.

Terrific comment RJ.
RJ, What's the evidence for daughter Elinor? She's not mentioned in the will of Edward Bangs.
That is RJ's dry humor.
It's clearly time for me to go do something else. I totally missed that (and still don't quite get it...)  Let's go see what's on the spinning wheel....
He's making fun of "throw against a wall and see if it sticks" style of genealogy used to connect the immigrant to these parents. The case is weak It is beyond weak it is laughable. You may as well propose a daughter Elinor who married president John Adams. Because it would be equally absurd. That we have to write such detailed rebuttals to weak arguments has a bit of absurdity to it which is humorous to our fellow researcher RJ. But I get why we do it.
Sorry, it was more tangential.  The case for John Adams's wife being Ellen Newton is that she was the only woman called Elinor north of the Potomac.  But 3 people in Edward Bangs's household seem to be among the many that we don't know the names of.

1 Answer

0 votes
It's been 8 hours without a response from leadership.

Roland, you're going to have to read:




and then make your case for why we shouldn't keep the parents and mark them as Uncertain.

Personally, I'm with you. I'd detach them. But there are others including Leaders and Chris W who feel that we should keep such connections and mark them as Uncertain.

The problem I have is: when do we have enough information to make a successful case for detaching?

*I* think you've made the case. But I'm not a Leader.
by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (775k points)
Clearly since I am being flagged by a leader of PGM it is very likely I will be banned for criticizing the way PGM is being run. If I do get locked out I request that all my contributions and G2G posts be deleted permanently.

And I offer this in support of Joe for whom I have the deepest respect. His edit should be accepted immediately by the management of PGM even if I should get banned. The leadership's opposition to facts is astounding. 


See top of this page:


Thomas Clapp represented by this profile was son of Nicholas Clapp.


From page 88-91 of Joseph Neal Ancestry published 1945 by Walter Goodwin Davis:


“The will of Nicholas Clapp of Venotry in the County of Devon was made on his death-bed March 12, 1681, and proved on March 29, 1681. He gave to the poor people of the parish of Sidbury 10s. and to the poor of Venotry 3s. 4d. To Jane Clapp, Thomas Clapp, Barbara Clapp, Radagond Clapp, John and Ambrose Clapp, his children, fourscore pounds each from the profits of his lands and tenements in Venotry, to be paid at the rate of nineteen pounds a year. If any child died before time of payment, his share to be equally divided amongst the others. He made arrangements for prepayment if any of the four youngest children "shall be willing to putt themselves to any arte or trade. To Elizabeth, his wife, a feather-bed performed (i.e. furnished), six pewter dishes, potts and a middle pan of brass, a chest, two coffers and the use of other household stuff for her life. To son Thomas, his third best pot of brass. To each of his daughters Jane, Barbara and Redagon, a brazen pan. To his son Nicholas Clapp, a pewter dish. Residue to Richard Clapp, his eldest son and heir, to whom he gave his lands and tenements in Venotry. Executor: son Richard Clapp. Overseers: his sons-in-law Francis Pile and Hercules Searles, to each of whom 21s. Witnesses : Nie Putt, Wm Winter, Christopher Whitmore.”

“Children…. Thomas3 Clapp … born in SIdbury, co. Devon about 1609… In 1630.. went to New England..died in Scituate Apr 20, 1684”


The earliest comprehensive account of this Clap family was Ebenezer Clapp's The Clapp Memorial. Record of the Clapp Family in America ... (Boston, MA: 1876), pp. 91-94. Brief mention was made in 1889 in NEHGR 15:255 (1861) and NEHGR 43:429 (1889). Mary Lovering Holman prepared The Scott Genealogy . . . (Boston 1919) p 22, 229 and Ancestry of Colonel John Harrington Stevens and his wife Frances Helen Miller (n.p. 1948) 1:280. In 1959 Edith Bartlett Surnner produced Edith Bartlett Sumner, Descendants of Thomas Farr of Harpswell, Maine, and Ninety Allied Families (Los Angeles 1959) 61-641. In 1945 Walter Goodwin Davis published an account in The Ancestry of Joseph Neal, 1769-c.1835 (Portland, Maine, 1945) 87-93. In 1992 a brief mention was made of Thomas Clapp by Gale Ion Harris in “Captain Richard Wright of the Twelve-Mile Island and the Burnhams of Podunk” in The American Genealogist 67:38. In 2001 Robert Charles Anderson, George F. Sanborn Jr. and Melinde Lutz Sanborn produced account in The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635 (Boston, MA: NEHGS 2001) 2:76-81. According to Robert Charles Anderson all of these accounts were superseded by the study of the Clapp family by Dean Crawford Smith and Melinde Lutz Sanborn in The Ancestry of Eva Belle Kempton, 1878-1908, Part IV: The Ancestry of Linda Anna Powers, 1839-1879 (Boston, MA: NEHGS 2000) 114-195. Anderson should know as he is editor and peer reviews the NEHGS publications and Melinde Lutz Sanborn was co-author of the Great Migration series. This is the most comprehensive study of the Clapp family ever published and includes extensive records from England. What does this study conclude? Thomas Clapp was son of Nicholas Clapp. Per PGM policy unless other more recent peer reviewed sources are presented we go by Anderson’s judgement. No other sources exist. Therefore the father of this profile should be changed to Nicholas Clapp.[1][2][3]


Robert Charles Anderson and Melinde Lutz Sanborn in The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635 (Boston, MA: NEHGS 2001) 2:76-81 link write:


"A second group of Clap siblings... came to New England: NICHOLAS CLAP {1637, Dorchester}, THOMAS CLAP {1638, Weymouth}; John Clap, who was in New England by the 1640s; Prudence Clap, wife of our Edward; Barbara Clap, wife of JOSEPH WELD {1635, Roxbury}; and Radigon Clap, who rnarried John Capen, son of BERNARD CAPEN {1633, Dorchester} Joseph Neal Anc 88-89; Scott Gen 227-30; Stevens-Miller Anc 1:278). Another sister, Jane Clap, was almost certainly wife of JOHN ALDERMAN {1634, Dorchester} {GM 2: 1:20-23}."

Note these were all the children of Nicholas Clapp per Melinde Lutz Sanborn in Kempton Ancestry: Nicholas Clapp named his children in his will: James, Thomas, Barbara, Radegon, John and Ambrose [Inquisition indented taken 2nd May 9 Charles [I][1633] of Nicholas Clapp died 12th March 7 Charles [1631/2] also Richard and Nicholas son and next heir were "24 years or more" on 2 May 1633. i.e 1609 or later. Thomas Clapp in Plymouth Colony Deed 4:176 deposed aged 69 in 1678 i.e. born 1608. Thomas died 20 Apr 1684. Thomas m/1 Jane ___ b say 1617 d bef Jan 1556 m/2 Abigail (Wright) Sharp b abt 1623 d btw 28 Nov 1702 (will) and 13 Feb 1707/8 (proved). Jane was mother to his six children. John Clapp in 1655 named in his will his brother Thomas Clapp and his children Elizabeth, Prudence, Samuel and "the rest of his children." [Suffolk Probate 1:111]. Thomas rec'd legacy from his father Nicholas 1631 and sailed 1637,Hingham lists 13 Mar 1638; Sidbury, Devon, England 5 Jun 1644; Transcription of Will and Inventory p 134-137


From Kempton Ancestry page 132 published in 2000 written by the co-author of The Great Migration and peer reviewed at NEHGS by Anderson:


"THOMAS1 CLAPP (Nicholas(A) Richard(B)), presumably born in Sidbury, Devonshire, England, about 1608; died in Scituate, Mass., 20 April 1684; married first say 1637 JANE __, born say 1617, died before January of 1656[/7?] when her husband is known to have remarried, kinswoman of Joan (Upham) Martin of Rehoboth; married second after January of 1655 and before 15 January 1656[17?]76 ABIGAIL (WRIGHT) SHARP, born in England about 1623 died between 28 November 1702 when she wrote her will and 13 February 1707[/8?] when her will was proved,79 daughter of RICHARD and MARGARET (__) WRIGHT.

Citations: Plymouth Colony Deed 4:176; Walter Goodwin Davis, The Ancestry of Joseph Neal, 91; Suffolk Probate 3:67,; Suffolk File #5400; Plymouth Probate #10242; Suffolk Probate 4:228; Scituate YR 2:397.

JOHN1 Clapp (Nicholas(A) Richard(B)), born say 1616; died in Dorchester, Mass., between 11 July 1655 when he wrote his will [Suffolk Probate 1:111] This very interesting will made when he suffered from "sicknes & great weakenes of body," named his wife, "my dear and loving brother Ambrose Clap [clearly still in England from the context of the will]", "my dear brother Richard Clap in England"; "my loving brother-in-law Edward Clap", "my loving cousins Richard and Elizabeth Clap children of my brother Richard Clap"; "my loving cousin Deborah Clap, daughter of ye said brother"; "my loving cousins Nathaniel, Ebenezer, Sarah and Hannah, brother Nicholas' children"; "my loving cousins Elizabeth, Prudence, and Samuel Clap children of my brother Thomas Clap"; "ye rest of his [Thomas'] children"; "my cousin John Capen"; "my dear and loving cousins Roger Claps children"; "my brother Nicholas, my brother Edward and my cousin Roger Clap."


Jaime: "So unproven parents don't get detached, they get marked uncertain."

Jaime, that's just wrong.  In PGM, unproven/undocumented parents get detached.  This is why there is so much junk on the internet and so much junk on ancestry.com.  We can't get rid of all the past mistakes.  The PGM project has a tremendous resource in Anderson's Great Migration series which gives us a high-quality, peer reviewed resource developed by the nations top professional genealogists. Can there be mistakes?  Can there be changes?  Certainly there can, but you better have a high quality source, or a well-reasoned argument before we go against the research of Anderson.  

We don't keep unproven parents on a profile just because somewhere, someone, at sometime put the connection in their personal file, and just maybe they might be right.  Genealogy is really an evidence based science.  Perhaps, we can't always prove everything with 100% certainty, but you need to provide evidence, and you need to provide sources, or it is just not true.

As Joe says - that's why we have a disputed origins section with internal links to the removed parents on PGM profiles. That way they can be easily reversed if a mistake is made. But that's not the key problem. The key problem is the basic principles of the scientific method are not being followed here as Joe said. I am a scientist just like Robert Charles Anderson and we look at the evidence. It really is that simple.

The plan really was to start an alphabetic review of all English origins for PGM. Start with A in Anderson’s Great Migration Directory and work to Z. Then look up all possible sources and compose the best possible discussion of different origin theories. I had the idea of making this into a project page. Keep the outstanding edit requests on the page. That way leaders could review the page when they had time and link it to G2G discussions to see all evidence presented. And the request wouldn’t scroll down and get lost.

But as I will possibly be banned by tomorrow I am thinking of starting a non-wikitree PGM project instead. That will coordinate edits between all the “world trees” like Wikitree, GENI, Werelate and FamilySearch. The goal would be to produce the most accurate and robust genealogy available for PGM New England Ancestors including publication post-Great Migration series. You would be welcome to join the project. You can find me on Ancestry, GENI, Facebook or wherever. I will be around.

Joe - to answer your question above this is a direct quote from Jillanie. She has the power to process your nearly six month old request but simply will not do it even faced with the best evidence ever published to date:

I, Jillaine, didn't break any rules, did not go around PGM leadership. I am a PGM project coordinator (not leader) and therefore I have sufficient access to add/detach parents from PPP'ed profiles.  Any project coordinator does.


Clapp-29 remember 

Actually, Roland, I don't think anyone outside the tech team can tell who flagged a question or response.  It could have been anyone; it could have been different people flagging different comments.

Making unsubstantiated accusations like that doesn't help make your case.
I don't know who is flagging your messages, Roland. It's not me.

Joe, as a project coordinator, I do have the technical ability to detach/attach parents on PPP profiles.

Among other things, Leaders are responsible for ensuring that wikitree-wide policy is being followed.  Yesterday, I was informed by two Leaders that the Wikitree policy for use of the Uncertain tag relative to Unproven parents was re-asserted by Chris W and other Leaders. I can guess why that topic has come up again. I'm sure you can, too, Roland.

In any case, whether I agree with this wikitree-wide policy or not, any project Leader or coordinator is supposed to follow that policy and guide others to do so as well. Hence my post above of the links to the Uncertain policy.  Roland, if you were a PGM Leader or coordinator and you did not follow this policy, you would risk losing your Leader or coordinator role. If you blatantly disregarded it, you would risk losing access to wikitree altogether.

I gave up my Leader role and its associated access "powers" two years ago over this very issue-- the use of Uncertain. That resignation included stepping down from active leadership of PGM because at that time, I felt like you do, Roland, that leaving unproven parents attached was bad genealogy. Like you, I was furious and I was also horribly sad, because, like you, I am committed to accuracy and I could not in good conscious promote  a policy that was contrary to that commitment.

Unlike two other Leaders who resigned in protest over the same issue, I chose not to leave wikitree completely.  I dialed back my participation radically. Over the last two years I have calmed down about Uncertain and have even seen where it can be useful, although I still disagree with Chris W's implementation of it as it affects PGM practice.

About a year ago, I started upping my involvement in PGM because I saw it needed help. I was granted coordinator status which had, since I'd initially resigned, been given the ability to attach/detach parents on PPP profiles. But that's all it can do.

At this moment in time, my commitment to helping PGM get stronger in the long run is running neck and neck with my commitment to accuracy. Ironically, dear Roland, and as much as I don't want to give your recent behavior any credit for accomplishing anything, it was your haranguing of individuals involved in the project -- which was not at all respectful -- that lit a fire under me.

I'm working hard in the background right now with a few others to put some systems in place.  You've seen evidence of this in the recent improved tracking of g2g threads by PGM volunteers because you were right-- many have fallen through the cracks. And we have also prioritized tracking more closely PGM profiles that contain Disputed Origins.

AND (I assume) because of your own behavior -- that single g2g post of a gazillion disputed origins profiles requesting parent detachment (Sheesh, Roland, that was just a not-well-thought-through strategy!) -- has drawn our collective attention AWAY from improving profiles and once again getting into responding to your personal attacks and unproductive rants.

I wanted you involved in this effort to revive PGM. But no matter what I want, you don't have a snowball's chance now.  Joe does, at least he did as of yesterday.

You can choose to work to support PGM or you can continue to attack it. I choose the former.

That said, when I get a chancE, I will start a thread about refining the Disputes about Uncertainty page because I don't feel we have sufficient guidance to know what to do in certain situations. Like the situation that started this thread.
Why do you Jillaine always refuse to answer my questions about the merge and parents detachment of Clapp-29. That is what started this dispute. You claim to be trying to improve PGM and tracking PGM failures now. What what is the status of Clapp-29? Why will you not answer that? That has nothing to do with Chris W's uncertain relationship issue. It has to do with solid evidence showing a relationship does not exist. It has to do with almost six months of no cooperation from Chris Hoyt a PGM leader. You see that is why I don't think you should stay on as leader because your omission here about this topic is frankly a way of not being honest with me and everyone else on PGM. You will not address key problems like this no matter how many times I bring them up with you. I don't think it is disrespectful to ask someone to resign if they are not doing there job. You have the means to fix Clapp-29. You have the mandate to fix Clapp-29. You have the evidence to fix it and yet you refuse to even discuss it. Why is that? If that is what you are calling disrespect than yes I am disrespectful because you, Chris and Vic are not doing your job. I don't think this is disrespect - I think there is a problem and it has a solution and the three of you are not willing to proceed to the solution so you need to go.
OK I put the question on a separate thread:


So let's see how long this stays one your PGM queue.

Jillaine I get that you don't like me. I'm fine with that. But it isn't me or Joe that has been stone walling merge requests and valid parent removal requests for the last couple of years. And I'm not talking about the situations like the one above where it is a possible but not proven case. I'm talking about requests based on facts that are conclusive according to Anderson. The three PGM leaders are stone walling PGM members and that is causing us to be unsatisfied with your performance. It really is that simple. It isn't a mater of disrespect. It is a matter of you three not being willing to work with other members and complete simple tasks as requested. And you say that I am unfit to be leader because I don't stay quiet and keep my head down and just deal with stone walling by the three of you is absolutely absurd. If anything it shows I have the leadership skills to take on difficult situations. You know that I have tried for years to get the three of you do to the right things via private messages and nothing has come of it. I get nothing but complete contempt from Chris Hoyt specifically. And it is unacceptable and pushing it under the rug is not working.  This isn't communist China were we don't have the right to question our fearless leaders - this is the free world and the leaders of this project are making everyone is the project miserable. It is time for the three of you to be replaced.
Thanks for placing the Thomas Clapp in its own thread (although I thought it had one). It's much easier for us to track individual threads.

Roland.  Like many other volunteers here, I have a full time job. I don't have 24 hours a day to devote to Wikitree. I am also not the only individual personally responsible for making sure every single PGM g2g post is resolved. That said, I'm actually trying to help the project put something in place that does.

You have clearly pointed out that there is a lack of capacity on the PGM project, and I'm really really really trying to help with that right now. You continuing to beat us over the head with how ****** we are is not helping one iota. It's hurting.

And, actually, I *do* like you, Roland. Just not today.  (Actually, I liked you a few minutes ago in another post...)

So. WHEN I get a chunk of time to review your initial post above, AND review Joe's Clapp dilemma (oh that did not come out well...), I'll have something to say about it, unless someone else gets there first.

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