Family trees that defy logic....

+13 votes
Just a random rant here.

I was looking through some of the trees on for my ancestor, Joseph Sively/Zievly.  Born about 1720 in Germany (probably)

I find it funny that a person born in Germany would have parents, named George Washington Sively and Mary lamb.   Not to mention George Washington Sively, was born at least 50 years before the famous George Washington, whom I presumed he was named after, retroactively.

But it gets better.

A lot of these trees, have Joseph, born in Germany, but have his parents born in Virginia.  

So let me get this straight, they were born in Virginia, moved to Germany, had a child and then back to America.

And here's the kicker, A lot of the same trees, have George Washington Sively's father, born in 1627 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

A quick check of Wikipedia, would indicate that the town wouldn't be founded for at least 200 years after that.   

What a feat, being born in a town, some 200 years before it was even founded.

It's not just this family, but I have some others, where the tree is so horribly mangled, it's not funny.  

Quick example.

Person A, born 1720

Person B. (A's father) Born 1884

Person C (B's father) born 1827

Do they even look at their own trees?  I swear sometimes they don't.

in The Tree House by Craig Albrechtson G2G6 Mach 8 (83.9k points)
edited by Craig Albrechtson
This is why I stay away from family trees.
The only thing I find them useful for is to generate research - and if I can't prove them, then I find it very difficult to take them seriously. And even when I can sort of prove them, I still wonder if I'm finding a circular argument (like saying, LOOK! The Ancestry tree is correct because the unsourced Family Search tree says so, because it was entered from the Ancestry tree... huh?).
Twilight Zone tree for sure

2 Answers

+11 votes
Best answer
I was just working on a profile thinking "what we need is a category called 'inexplicable fantasy genealogy'".
by Anonymous Buckner G2G6 Mach 5 (51.1k points)
selected by Betty Tindle
I once ran across a tree that literally had King Arthur on it.   That would certainly belong in that category.
+7 votes
As we all know, although one might accidently find some good useable data, copies of death certificates, marriage licenses, etc. on Ancestry, 95% percent of it is a genealogical wasteland.  At best it could serve as a road map of sorts to point you in directions where you need to research to trace your ancestry.

How often is a person born several years before his/her parent?

Put some bad info in a family tree and it goes viral,  and everyone rushes to merge your info into their tree.  Things like U.S. and International Marriage Records is one example of a total mess that many people actually use to record marriages in their tree . . . etc., etc., etc. ad infinitum!

GRRRRRR is right!
by EuGene Smith G2G2 (2.4k points)
I  an related to ( not a direct descendant) a  fairly famous painter Joshua Reynolds, he never married and had no known children but that does not stop many people on ancestry from adding one or two wives for him and one or two children. It is the same on my heritage, to their credit on Geni they state categorically that he never married and had no children, when i have asked the managers which sources did they use for such information they say none. When I have pointed out all the sources that say he never married and had no children it is ignored. the most i have ever got out of one of them is i will look at it.

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