Disproven Existence Notice - Guy de Wallingford Legend

+15 votes
The following profiles, with supposed birth years, are documented as legendary and have been categorized with the Guy de Wallingford Legend.  I propose that they be labelled Disproven Existence.  The England Project seems to have taken up management of Wallingford-1, but all three need to be managed by the Disproven Existence Project:
*Wallingford-1 -- Guy de Wallingford (870)
*De-Wallingford-1 -- Reynbourne de Wallingford (900)
*Warwick-330 -- Wyeth the Humed (924)

Post-script:  The following additional profiles are added to this note:
*Warwick-667 -- Felicia de Warwick (880)
*De Wallingford-2 -- Siward de Wallingford (843)
*Warwick-666 -- Rohaud de Warwick (850)

All six of these persons are categorized under Category:  Guy de Wallingford Legend.

Reynbourne's suppossed wife Edith of Wessex, and her father Athelstan of Wessex, also play into the legend, but they are not listed here;  they should be researched as part of a review of data about the Kingdom of Wessex.

Any sources which can show that any of these persons were real persons would be most welcome either now, or at any time in the future.
WikiTree profile: Guy de Wallingford
asked in Genealogy Help by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (251k points)
edited by Jack Day

6 Answers

+5 votes
Neat work, Jack - thank you.
answered by Isabelle Rassinot G2G6 Pilot (242k points)
+3 votes
This should be a very good antidote to his re-creation.
answered by Eva Ekeblad G2G6 Pilot (278k points)
+2 votes
It might help to add the surnames to the categories for the question and in the question title in the event of a future researcher doing a search. In the main question, the legendary dates that are faked could also be indicated.
answered by Fann Fann G2G6 Mach 2 (25.9k points)
That's why the link is provided as well as the LNAB's of the other two profiles.  Once a week has passed without objection and they are awarded Disproven Existence status, they are all categorized with Disproven Existence.  They won't be hard to find!  And links to all of the severed connections with both fake and real people are to be included in the biographies.
One can't deny that putting the subject name in the question and a category tag would add value for indexing purposes. In fact, it would be a helpful aid and distinguish the question from others that otherwise appear indistinct. Thoroughly vetting the process should be the goal, not obscuring the topic.
Good points.  I've added names to the various Disproven Existence notices I've posted.  Hope that makes things simpler to follow.  Also added conjectured birth years to the names in the current notice.
0 votes
This may not be popular, but quite frankly, it isn't disproven, just discredited. It is stated on wikipedia and quoted, that the earliest sources believe the story, at least at its core, to be true, and I don't see any explanation as to why the earliest sources had to be wrong. Now, having said that, I also can't see any great evidence to explain the existence of this profile. Copying profiles from Ancestry & etc, just doesn't cut it. Who ever made the profile should have at least provided demonstratable evidence from original sources. Can we at least get to the point where we can see what the original sources said about this person.
answered by Benjamin Molesworth G2G5 (5.3k points)
Since the person existed only in legend, there are no original sources that would talk about him.  If you read the biography, however, there is a specific account of the legend from beginning to end.  Including the slaying of dragons and winsome maidens.  Lovely story, something a troubador would win applause for singing in a royal court.

One thing we're contending with now is that in WikiTree's early days, a LOT of pre-1500 material was uploaded with enthusiasm but no sources for their material.  But we generally don't delete profiles on WikiTree once they've been created, so those that have been researched but can't be documented as real people, are labelled Disproven.  But even then, if someone turns around and finds documentation that the person did in fact exist, no problem, the label is removed, the connections to other real people are made -- and the new documentation is very carefully added to the profile.  That's the theory -- we haven't had a case of this yet.
Finding sources is a difficult task at the best of times,  and in this instance particularly when the sources are very early, and don't provide sources themself. I know books like Foxes book of Martyrs and James Usshers Annals of History refer to sources that are no longer available. I tend to think legends usually have some basis in fact. Particularly when they mention parents and children. There seems to be a strong tradition in making fictional stories about real characters, such as Macbeth, and King Arthur and Robin Hood. The best we can do is decipher the earliest sources.
Just like Henry VIII I've seen his round table, but do we really believe in King Arthur?
I don't know. I've read speculation about King Arthur being this king or that king. I really don't know. But I tend to think that it is likely that stories were created about real people, who possibly achieved a little, but for the sake of morale in the country, the stories become inflated and more exciting. But who knows. I don't.
Wikitree is a genealogy site not a repository for mythical heroes. There probably was a real person behind many of the legends but the profiles should still be removed.

Mathew, WikiTree is a genealogy site and we do hope it becomes better and better as a thoroughly sourced, well documented genealogy site each day.  But genealogy is history, and history is not only about what happened, but about what people believed happened, so there will always be a gray area of uncertainty between facts and beliefs about facts.

In the case of King Arthur, what is historical is that we have a significant history of beliefs about King Arthur and writings about those beliefs.  In WikiTree we have two features which help us deal with things like this -- first, we don't delete profiles once created, and secondly, we have free space profiles where we can discuss all of these things.  So for King Arthur we have a King Arthur project where several of us have tried to identify the historical writings and characters associated with King Arthur.  We don't create new person-profiles for people we can't document -- and the documentation standards for creating new pre-1500 profiles are high -- but this can give some context and background for person-profiles that already exist, some for people whose actual existence cannot be proved, and others who we know really existed, but various stories have circulated about them which probably didn't happen.  

The King Arthur project was worked on before the Disproven Existence project started, and sooner or later the person-profiles involved will be looked at from the perspective of whether the people involved can be proved to have existed in history.  I'm sure some will end up marked Uncertain Existence and others will be marked Disproven Existence.  This will not affect the reality that they formed part of stories about early Britain which people believed for centuries and which had an impact on subsquent British history.

Very well put Jack Day.

I'll give a different example. Two well known stories about George Washington. George Washington cut down a tree, a Cherry Tree. And George Washington crossed a river on Christmas Eve and surprised the English. Two different stories.

The story of George Washington surprising the English on the night of Christmas Eve, is in the records of the American and English armies. It is in George Washington's personal diaries. It is recorded elsewhere as well.

George Washington cutting down a Cherry tree, is a popular story, found all over the place, but the earliest record of the story is about 100 years after George Washington, in a newspaper, written by a children's fiction author.

Both stories have become legend through the years, but the sources help us to decide whether they are true or fictional. Quite frankly I think both stories could be included in his profile, as long as it is specified that one is a fact recorded in history, and one is a story fabricated about him years later.

The thing is, the fictional story doesn't make George Washington a fictional person. He still existed. Now George Washington is easy, because he is recent history, and the fictional story of George Washington only exists, because there was a real George Washington.

The question then becomes, going back further in time, are these fictional stories also based around real people, and can we find any sources that point to them as real people. The fictional stories can be included, so long as they are kept in the context of how and when stories had developed around these people in years following. The difficulty, is getting back to the earliest sources, and discovering if any of the information is true.
+3 votes

Hi Jack

The England Project has no problem with the Disproven Existence Project taking over this profile. No-one had contacted us about it so just send a message to the project and we can change it over.

Thanks for all your work on this profile smiley

answered by Vivienne Caldwell G2G6 Mach 2 (23.1k points)
point of clarification: I've been working under the assumption that the topical project (in this case England) would manage disproven existence profiles because they're more familiar with the content/topic/era, etc. And that the DE project would only manage in cases where there is no topical project to do the managing. Has that changed? Or was I always misinformed?
It hasn't changed as far as I know. Sometimes the project that the profile would have fit in does not wish to manage the profile.

The important point is that such profiles are project managed so that we are sure they are monitored.
Hi, Jillaine -- I agree with Isabelle -- the important thing is that an appropriate project manage it.  I personally am a member of enough overlapping projects that sometimes it's not clear to me which project I'm acting on behalf of!
+2 votes
Jack not so long ago I placed some relevant sources on the profiles of his supposed descendants Warwick-147 and Warwick-24. There are some nice old illustrations available online. See references to the Rous Roll for example.
answered by Andrew Lancaster G2G6 Mach 7 (70.2k points)
Thanks, I'll check.  Added to my "to do" list!

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