Is the ancestry of Robert Paddock an Anjou fabrication?

+8 votes

Robert Paddock's parents Jean Paddoc and Jane Jenning are completely (by pre-1700 standards) unsourced. They lead to a long line of ancestors that goes as far back as 1300, the only source being a dead link, apparently to an online family tree.

Why do I think they might be Anjou?

- It is odd that someone with such an un-French name as Paddock (I tried all the different spellings that appear in the Paddock ancestry and none of has been recorded once in France since 1891, except Paddock, which appears only after 1941) would have been assigned origins in France

- The mother's name is Jenning, and Jenning, Jeanninge, etc, is a name that has been used by Anjou for invented French ancestors. (See Philippa Jeanninge, from the Tone family, a confirmed Anjou fabrication)

- There is a Bascom in this line, and Anjou has used Bascom elsewhere. (see the category)

- There are ancestors in Bavay and Le Cateau-Cambr├ęsis, both places where Anjou loved to put ancestors.

- There is at least one connection the Jacques family, another listed Anjou fraud, through "ancestors" that appear to be in common.

- One line in this genealogy is Traillour (another faux French name), and Traylor is another genealogy listed as tainted by Anjou.

- A few trademark mentions of convenient documents (see

- See this caveat in Nicholson Ancestry, page 94: "The French part of the genealogy given below cannot be proved or disproved.... the name of Gustave Anjou was quoted.... The name of the French researcher of the French part is not known. ... Some of the documents seem almost too good to be true".

I'm aware of opening a huge can of worms here. I've tried working on Anjou frauds in the past and they're not easy to deal with, with the big numbers of profiles involved and the ramifications into different families. Let's say I'm testing the waters.

(Edit: added link to Nicholson Ancestry - on FamilySearch)

WikiTree profile: Robert Paddock
in Genealogy Help by Isabelle Martin G2G6 Pilot (455k points)
edited by Isabelle Martin
Very concise synopsis and accurate as far as I'm concerned.

Nicely Done.  Regards,

Rick Paddock

Could be proved or disproved by Paddock YDNA testing?

1 Answer

+5 votes
This note replaces my earlier one -- I looked for some additional citations for Robert Paddock and redid his biography in chronological order with inline citations.  This makes it clear that (1) Robert Paddock of New England was a real person;  (2)  His connection with Ireland is quite probable and has good documentation;  (3) The notion that his parents came from France is highly suspicious and has been questioned by very credible people.  Whether or not the parental generation is an Anjou fraud, it appears quite weak, and since they are alleged to be from France, your research in France further weakens any claim to their existence.  I'd be inclined to start the review by slapping the {{Uncertain Existence}} template on them generation by generation going back.

One problem with Anjou is that he would take a line of real people and create a fraudulent connection between them to another line of real people.  So the research on this line going backward would be to identify which of the people in the line are actual real people whose existence can be demonstrated with other sourcing!
by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (367k points)
edited by Jack Day
Actually, my experience with Anjou has been that as soon as he reached France his people are 100% bogus though they are indeed used to make connections with other migrants. Perhaps he was less cautious when creating French (or otherwise non Anglo-Saxon) lines? After all, who would have called him out?

Doesn't work for me :-(
There is also this: (that's the Traylor starting point)
Try this, it seems to have more meat (I did not say sources):
Seems we're getting closer to Anjou by the minute!

I have now placed a paragraph describing the possible Gustave Anjou connection on all of Robert Paddock's ancestors, and placed them all in a temporary sub-category of Gustave Anjou fraud identifying them.  Most of them already carry an Unsourced legend;  now they also carry an Uncertain Existence legend.  With more research they can be placed in Disproven Existence;  meanwhile, anyone encountering them in the course of their own research will see a link on the profile explaining that there is a likely problem.  While it is possible -- even likely -- that all of these ancestors were created out of whole cloth, one of Anjou's objectives as a fraudster was to create a connection to real people via some fake people.  So the possibility that some of the ancestors are real people who can be documented with other sources can't be ignored.

Thanks for doing that, Jack. I suppose once a reasonable attemt to find a real person matching a profile has been made, and failed, we can assert the profile to represent a fake ? It can always be reverted if evidence surfaces later.

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