Certain sources may need to be ruled out for Catherine Digges

+7 votes

Have these indexed sources been ruled out for Digges-5 Catherine Digges (c. 1654 - 1729)?

* U.S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970 (Military): Catherine Digges Herndon, Birth: York, Virginia 1654, Death: Caroline, Virginia 1729; Civil: 15 Jan 1958 (date of member application approval)

* U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 (Birth, Marriage & Death): Catherine Digges, Spouse, William Herndon, Birth: VA 1654; Spouse Birth Year: 1649, Spouse Birth Place: EN; Marriage: 1677

* [Lineage Book of] Hereditary Order of Descendants of Colonial Governors (Stories, Memories & Histories): Chapter: Addendum, Page number: 332; Title: Hereditary Order of Descendants of Colonial Governors

It would seem that the question can be resolved; that this is not a mere question of whether Catherine Digges existed. Being written out of a will is not proof that someone did not exist. Also, a decision by NSCDA should not be considered an independent and objective ruling on pure genealogy grounds, especially if they provided no back-up justification. Competing societies exist (see Wikipedia) who may offer a different opinion, and one of the above references (though dating back to 1958) appears to indicate that SAR membership on the basis of a descent from Catherine was favorable.

Please advise. Any profiles for which we can reasonably link ancestry ought to be done.


Fann Fann

Additional related profiles affected, at minimum: 

Category: Digges Family at Bellfield Plantation Cemetery, Yorktown, Virginia USA

WikiTree profile: Catherine Herndon
in Genealogy Help by Porter Fann G2G6 Pilot (102k points)

2 Answers

+2 votes

The SAR Application noted  should not be used as a source. SAR will not accept these older applications as proof of ones lineage because of the posible lack of proper souce material.  SAR and DAR changed their requirement in 1986.  However, that is not to say that  the reference used in  this application was bad.  John G. Herndon's book The Herndon Family of Virgina, Vol1 published in 1947 is the source for a lot of the material about the Herndons.  I beleive Ruth Shields's book was used as a reference. This book is a continuation  of John Herndon's book and uses infoamtion from the book.  

The issue of not being named in a will was not uncommon. I have seen that a number of times. This is not a reason to state that Catherin Digges was not the daughter of Edward Digges.   While there needs to be proof of showing a relationship, there also needs to be proof to show that the relationship is incorrect.  A lot of times a lineage society does not accept sometime as proof because the documentation is circumstantial.  In many cases a proof summary needs to be written. John Herndon basiclly does this in his book. 

by Don Drewry G2G1 (1.3k points)
+2 votes

It looks like a recent (2005) edition has been issued that might address the prior entry?

Bernstorf, Mrs. Philip and Mrs. George S. Orton (comp.). Hereditary Order of Descendants of Colonial Governors Lineage Book II, Baltimore, MD: Gateway Press, 2005.

by Porter Fann G2G6 Pilot (102k points)

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