Non-existent Thomas Horton b. 1638 Springfield, Mass. What to do with him?

+5 votes

A 1929 Genealogy named a third son, Thomas Horton[Jr], to the immigrant Thomas Horton of Springfield.

Facts do not support a father/son relationship between the two Thomases.

Thomas Jr. by his children, and the first name of his wife was actually Thomas of Milton and Rehoboth.

What to do with his profile? (with appropriate notes and links etc.)

  • Leave him attached to his incorrect parents (marked uncertain)
  • Detach him from the incorrect parents leaving him so he doesn't get recreated.
  • Detach from parents and merge with Thomas of Milton and Rehoboth

WikiTree profile: Thomas Horton
in Genealogy Help by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)

2 Answers

+2 votes
That looks right to me Anne, thank you.
by Michael Stills G2G6 Pilot (397k points)
Three. Detach and merge.
+4 votes
I would NOT leave him attached to the incorrect parents, as that simply perpetuates bad information.

I would choose between the remaining two alternatives in terms of the prevalence of mis-information elsewhere on the internet.  

If the bad information is NOT prevalent elsewhere, I would merge this Thomas with the Thomas that he really is, and as a result the bad Thomas would disappear.  I would, however, add a note with cross link both to the biography of the profile of "former" parents, and also to Thomas' profile, noting the existence of the false relationship and where it may be found.

If the information IS prevalent elsewhere, then I would keep the profile, documenting both why it is an error and also the source of the bad information.  I would then process it (one week's notice on G2G) as a Disproven Existence profile.  Once the week's notice has past, all links with other profiles would be severed.  The fake Thomas would no longer appear in anyone's tree, but if someone tried to re-create it, they would (hopefully) discover it.
by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (352k points)
Jack makes excellent points.

Since this erroneous biographical information apparently has been circulating for many decades (although it's not clear where it originated), it needs to be acknowledged and refuted in the profiles of the alleged parents and in whatever profile survives for this man. I think it probably makes sense to merge this profile with Thomas Horton of Milton and Rehoboth. The information content currently in this profile should be prominent in the merged profile and in the profiles of his parents (for example, a "Mistaken Identity" section in this merged profile for Thomas and an "Erroneous Child" section in the parents' profiles).

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