Komnenos and Toledo fantasy on WikiTree

+6 votes
331 views

WikiTree is perpetuating a myth regarding the Komnenos and Toledo families.  Please see the post by Todd A. Farmerie (co-owner of soc.gen.medieval).  Todd has written extensively on these families over the years, and is aware of all the primary documents written in both English and Spanish.

Below is a post from Todd.  What I am proposing is following his suggestions and disconnecting the bad line with deletion of these fantasy profiles.

Please see this thread on SGM:

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/soc.genealogy.medieval/6QBKwbtESec

Todd writes:  “Following up on this, the source provides two lines of descent from Pedro Komnenos.  The line in the descent is the dividing line between fantasy and reality - everyone above the line is, more or less, invented. 

Line 1: 
1. Pedro Komnenos 
2. Melen Perez Komnenos 
3. Este Rodrigo Melendez Toledo 
4. Garcia Rodriguez Toledo 
5. Diego Garcia Toledo 
6. Pedro Garcia Toledo 
7. Juan Perez Toledo 
8. Garcia Toledo 
----- 
9. Juan Garcia Toledo 
10. Diego Garcia Toledo 

Note the ridiculous use of Toledo as if it was a surname, rather than just the place they lived.  Generation 9, Juan Garcia de Toledo was the first member of the family to routinely use a toponym (in Toledo, everyone is de Toledo, so they only began to call themselves that when they started to interact on a more national level and copied the usage of the other great families of the realm).  Before that they just used name/patronymic. With his son Diego Garcia de Toledo, we see the first patronymic/toponymic combined surname in this family.  Diego's father was Garcia de Toledo because he was son of a Garcia, and he was from Toledo.  The son was Garcia de Toledo because his father was.  It is not coincidental that generation 9, Juan Garcia de Toledo, is also the first person int he whole list who actually existed, unless you count Garcia Toledo in generation 8 - as I said, you know from the son's patronymic that his father was named Garcia, and was from Toledo, but this isn't really a person's name, just a placeholder. 

Noteworthy cluelessness 1: "3. Esta Rodrigo Melendez Toledo" - Esta is the Spanish word for 'this' - someone has copied a sentence that began "This Rodrigo Melendez, and not realized that the first word was not part of the name.  This is directly equivalent to the Anglian Collection Wessex extension that converts the heroic Scef into Sescef because they didn't recognize in Se Scef the Anglo-Saxon 'This Scef'.   

Noteworthy cluelessness 2: "6. Pedro Garcia Toledo" as son of 5. Diego Garcia Toledo.  At this time - indeed for another century, the Toledo gentry used strict patronymics.  A Pedro Garcia, by definition, was son of a Garcia. 

As I said though, generation 9 is the first in the list that hasn't been made up (and to be clear, I am not blaming the page compilers here - some of these people were made up by historian Salazar y Castro in the late 17th/early 18th century, or even his predecessors. 

Line 2: 
1. Pedro Komnenos 
2. Suer Perez Toledo 
3. Pedro Suarez Toledo 
4. Gutierre Perez Toledo 
5. Pedro Gutierrez Toledo 
6. Fernan Perez Toledo 
7. Pedro Fernandez de Toledo y Illan Illan 
----- 
8. Gomez Perez Palomeque 
9. Fernan Gomez de Toledo 
10. Pedro Suarez de Toledo and Gomez Perez de Toledo 

Again with the surname silliness, only worse.  Number 7 is called, in full, "Pedro Fernández (Toledo) de Toledo Y Illan Illán formerly Toledo aka de Toledo".  I won't dwell on this, because he didn't exist anyhow.  Generation 8 is the first one here who actually existed, unless you want to pluck generation 3 out from above, since that was the name of the true father of 8. Gomez Perez (not Palomeque).  Someone has taken the modern convention of linking the father's and mother's surnames to form a dual surname and apply it to a period when they didn't use surnames at all, then got confused and thought that the (apocryphal) maternal surname, Palomeque, was actually the sole one.  In reality, there is no evidence he used anything but his patronymic - he was simply Gomez Perez.  Likewise his son Fernan Perez has not been found with a toponymic. 

taf”

WikiTree profile: Pedro Komnenos
asked in Genealogy Help by Joe Cochoit G2G6 Pilot (154k points)
retagged by Isabelle Rassinot

4 Answers

+2 votes
Generally, files can't be deleted in WikiTree.  And with fantasy people it may not be a good idea because if the profile were to disappear, a well meaning soul might just add it back in.  So what I always recommend is to keep the fantasy profile, label it as a fictional person, and in the profile describe what makes it fictional.  Categorize it under Fictitious Profiles, and since people who never existed can't have parents, spouses or children, de-link the profile from any others, again explaining it in the profile.  That way there's a record of what happened, why the connection is wrong and it's there to keep it from being added back in.
answered by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (216k points)
Yes, I have seen this suggestion before, and to me keeping fictitious and legendary people on wikitree is just bad genealogy.  I would rather they were just deleted – it’s not that hard.  As in this case, it is embarrassing and does not make wikitree look like a serious site that cares about sources and accuracy.  The first true historical person will be profile protected, so that the mistake cannot be repeated.  I would rather they were just deleted – it’s not that hard.

We are having a very hard time getting serious, and knowledgeable genealogists on SGM to take wikitree seriously, because of this sort of junk.  Now that one of the world’s experts on a subject and family has bothered to critique a family line, we should follow it.
The pre-1500 certification should be a pretty good barrier against the re-creation of pre-1500 fantasy genealogies.

IF it happens, re-creating the fantasy part of a genealogy like this should be reason enough for badge removal.
+2 votes

Isaak Komnenos couldn't have been the father of Pedro, even if Pedro existed.  I've said that before, 

I'm  not a medieval historian who has gone through the records meticulously.  Certain things here don't make sense.  I'm all for using the right people and the right records.  Pedro has to be detached from his supposed parents.  Isaak was a real person and had wives in eastern Europe and had not travelled to "Spain."

Start with generation 8 if that's where the records begin in Spain.  The first seven can be labelled fantasy if you wish. 

I may be descended from the Toledo's, but my not descended from the Byzantine Emperor who abdicated his throne and I doubt any Spanish people are or were.

answered by David Hughey G2G6 Pilot (214k points)
+2 votes
It's time to revisit this.

Joe, I'm afraid that the suggestion of deleting fictitious profiles, no matter how absurd, ridiculous and damaging to the reputation of WikiTree will never be accepted. I tried several times and always met with strong opposition (and also support, but any opposition is enough to prevent the suggestion going through).

With that in mind, I suggest:

1. disconnecting both bad lines.

2. Roping off all the fictive "ancestors" currently above Gomez (items 1 to 7 in line 1, since line 8 may be kept as a place-holder, and items 1 to 7 in line 2, with the possible exception of #3, with spouses and collaterals, if any), making them Disproven and if possible having them managed by the Disproven Existence project.

They would at least be disconnected and appear with a clear message that they are fancy, which takes care of part of the problem.

This is my formal request for moving these profiles into the Disproven Existence category.
answered by Isabelle Rassinot G2G6 Pilot (194k points)
Is there a disproven existence category? At least if we have that, plus a policy that they must never connect to the real tree, we can act like when we are deleting them when we place them there.

I find it very difficult to fathom this policy though. I think the argument Jack mentions above is the only one I've ever heard, and to be honest it is an extremely weak argument.
Here's the category:

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Category:Disproven_Existence

And the project space:

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:Disproven_Existence

I also think that retaining fictive profiles does not prevent them from being created again, especially as with all the name variants and unprecise dates duplicates will not always be suggested (the work currently being done on Sagas is a good example of this). Pre-1500 certification is a much better tool to prevent their re-creation.
Good. Now that I think of it though, what I would use more often is a "disproven" link template. I think the most common type of custom-made info box I see at the top of articles is about some particular other profile which keeps getting re-attached. (Such a message box with a nice colour is by the way the answer to the concern of Jack.)

You know the ones...

NOTE: This profile has been disconnected from [[King Arthur Earl of Norway]] after careful consideration, even though it was in Burkes of 1865. It should not be reconnected. Please discuss on G2G if you think new evidence should be considered.

...or...

NOTE: [[Jill Smith]] has been disconnected as a daughter because research has shown that she is a niece. Please read the explanation on her profile.

A template could standardize these a bit and give them also a bit more force? (There are key words that would fit in most cases: has been disconnected because; please read explanation at; Please open G2G discussion if you think.)
+2 votes
Isaac was up for adoption so I adopted him. The whole kit and caboodle was unsourced so as a temporary measure added a few Wikipedia sources. Detached Pedro leaving links. He can easily be re-attached when the source turns up.
answered by C. Mackinnon G2G6 Mach 9 (95.6k points)

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