What to do with a poorly sourced book?

+17 votes
I just came across several profiles using this book as a source.  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7074545-the-jesus-presidents.

The first descriptions of the book on Amazon and Google had me a little concerned....but the review on this website really made me want to share this information.

I am going to post for the US Presidents Project that this is a "Do Not Use" reference, but, then, I thought I should share this with the total membership.
in The Tree House by Robin Lee G2G6 Pilot (712k points)
lol, have read Holy Blood Holy Grail, which this is obviously an offshoot of, most likely unauthorized by original authors.  While HBHG book was basically presented as a research adventure, it actually tied in with other books/documents that deal with the subject.  And did have some comment in it about it being somewhat speculative in conclusions, if I remember correctly.  Years since I read it.

I finally found the answer I recalled to another question - [click here for original post]:

There are errors in all published genealogies, but some are more notorious for their errors than others. A few of the more notorious (mostly affecting American genealogy) are featured in the Frauds and Fabrications category.

answered Mar 16, 2016 by Ellen Smith G2G6 Pilot (356,640 points)

3 Answers

+18 votes
Best answer
Maybe we should have a list of 'do not use' books. :) I can think of a couple that should be never used in relation to European royal families.
by John Atkinson G2G6 Pilot (482k points)
selected by Robin Lee
Some of these false sources, have a large amount of correct well, known information that masks when they go off into fantasy.The Forgotten Monarchy of Scotland is one interesting example - I suppose the title itself should be a good clue.

I really like John's idea. It does not have to be all inclusive list, but could start with a list of most common bad sources cited here at WikiTree (with sources explaining why/how they have bebunked. that page could then be linked in the Research notes section of a profile explaining when not to to do to the profile in question..

For example, as I understand it much of the pre-MacAlpin Scottish history is probably bunk, but it is sprinkled with people that are known to exist from records, connecting the to a single linear set of ancestors is where it apparently becomes fictional. While not an expert here, I believe there is academic research behind these well known early Scottish royal pedigrees being an product of competitive Scottish nationalism at a time when English sources were citing a deep pedigree of the English Kings.
All books contain good and bad.  Complete Peerage has a lot of errors in it.

Then you've got all those family books that start with a fantasy about the background of the immigrant - the Earl's son captured by pirates and sold into slavery.  Then they list all the descendants.  They might be valuable at the American end.
+9 votes
Hi Robin...I say post away! This is obviously fictional facts...I guess we can now say "alternative facts".
by Brett Rutherford G2G6 Pilot (121k points)
Or on WikiTree, {{Uncertain Facts}}
+2 votes

If people don't know tosh, there's no hope.  Anybody who'd believe this will believe all the other tosh as well.

Preview at



by Anonymous Horace G2G6 Pilot (568k points)
edited by Anonymous Horace
I can't find the website for the guy with the 7th-grade granddaughter who was merchandising descents from King John.  The story is still everywhere, but I can't find where to buy the stuff.  Either he's not paying Google enough or he's gone out of business.
@ RJ  http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/genes-seventh-grader-bloodlines-42-43-u-s-presidents-link-back-king-john-england-article-1.1129452

And I have a new member every month that tries to use this and Geni data to "fix" Wikitree.   I know the New Netherlands project runs into these issues all the time with the Van Buren ancestry.  The US Presidents project is going to undertake marking the profiles where the "ancestry is proven" incorrect on the Geni site.

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203 views asked May 10, 2018 in Genealogy Help by Robin Lee G2G6 Pilot (712k points)

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