Concern about Knowles work

+3 votes

I have been contacted by an Ancestry member who has done an extraordinary amount of research on the Knowles and associated lines, going back to the 1200s for Knowles/Knollys, and even earlier to the 800s for other lines.  He has self-published 3 books on the Knowles line.  He has DVDs full of information which he is willing to share with me.

My problem, and I don't know how to say this delicately, is that I don't know whether I should trust his data.  I have't seen sources.  Furthermore, I note three things that raise a huge red flag for me:

1. The family tree seems to be brimming with various members of European royal families. 
2. The tree goes back an extraordinary distance - to the 8th or even 7th centuries in some cases.
3. The family name of Anjou appears.

Do you see where I'm going with this?  Am I right to be concerned?  I don't want to offend him, and if his work is well sourced it is a gold mine, but I have to wonder if his work hasn't been contaminated by the fabricated genealogies of the infamous Gustave Anjou.

WikiTree profile: Richard Knowles
in Genealogy Help by James Rugh G2G3 (3.6k points)

Gustave Anjou - Wikipedia


Gustave Anjou (December 1, 1863 – March 2, 1942) was a self-professed genealogist who prepared hundreds of fraudulent pedigrees. His first name is ...

Gustave Anjou: An Intriguing Career of Genealogical Fraud | Ancestral ...


Gustave Anjou (December 1, 1863 – March 2, 1942) is an infamous person in genealogical circles. If you haven't heard of him yet, chances are you will at some ...

Fraudulent Genealogies Genealogy - FamilySearch Wiki


Feb 9, 2016 - Gordon L. Remington, "Gustave We Hardly Knew Ye: A Portrait of Herr Anjou as a Jungberg," Genealogical Journal (Utah Genealogical ...

1 Answer

+4 votes
The Knowleses might have been waiting for a dedicated Knowles to dig in dark corners.

But for the aristos, you only have to find one gateway.  For instance, if you're descended from William Knollys, 1st Earl of Banbury, his grandmother was Mary Boleyn, the Queen's sister, and she had mountains of ancestry including about 14 Magna Carta barons etc.

Your gateway doesn't have to be a Knollys.  It's always the mothers who bring in the bloodlines.

You don't have to research this stuff very hard.  You can find it easily on respectable websites.

It's not like it's specific to the Knowles family.  Mary Boleyn has zillions of descendants and cousins.  Her ancestry is very well known.  It's general knowledge in medieval genealogy.

On the other hand, you'll find a lot of solid brick walls demolished if you go looking on less respectable websites, and usually replaced by descents from Rollo.  Or Thor if you keep going.  Sadly people do collect that stuff.  They don't seem to get why Geni knows all about the Duke's son and heir that Complete Peerage doesn't seem to have noticed.

That's just an example.  Your friend might be using a different gateway.  But the situation will be similar.

This aristo stuff is all on WikiTree already, both good and bad.  Needs a lot of work, but lack of information isn't the bottleneck.

(Anjous are to be expected if they're called Geoffrey, Foulques or Ermengarde)
by Living Horace G2G6 Pilot (571k points)

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