Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Genealogical Mythology

There has been a resurgence of late of the myth of the origin of Edmond Lewes of Lynn, Massachusetts. I have written of it here before, and it becomes necessary to reiterate the realities of Edmond's origin.

First, there is no evidence to support the claim made in The Lewis Families of Wales and America by Edward Simmons Lewis that Edmond Lewes of Lynn, Massachusetts was the same person as Edmund Lewis, born in 1601 in Llys Talybont, Glamorgan, Wales. Unsupported claims are not evidence. Circumstantial evidence is just a guess, it is not evidence. Edward Simmons Lewis made the claim with no support, therefore the claim is not supported.

There is no evidence to support the claim that Edmond Lewes of Lynn married Mary Carey. This is a completely unsupported claim originally posted in the LDS FamilySearch web site. No documentation is offered, no evidence put forth to support the claim. For all we know, this was made up out of whole cloth. Subsequent research in Parish records throughout Norfolk and Suffolk in England have revealed no evidence of the birth of Mary Carey or any subsequent relationship with Edmond Lewes of Lynn. There is not even a hint or circumstantial evidence that Edmond Lewes married Mary Carey.

There is however ample documentation of Edmond Lewes in and around Ipswich in early to mid 17the Century. And therefore there is no reason to make claims about the origins of Edmond Lewes of Lynn anywhere else in the world until it can be proven definitively that the Edmond Lewes's in and around Ipswich are NOT the same person as Edmond Lewes of Lynn, Massachusetts.

Anyone who makes claims of hints, circumstantial evidence, or who poses questions with no answers are engaged in irresponsible speculative genealogy. This only compounds the problems posed by historical publications that contain information that remains unsupported and that are repeated ad infinitum. Genealogies that make fictitious claims of deep antiquity are unrealistic at best and ultimately irresponsible.