Thursday, October 11, 2007

Tracing Your Family Tree to Adam and Eve. Possible?

This always gives me a chuckle when I hear this from a "family historian." Some genealogists claim that they have extended their ancestral lines back to Adam and Eve. Is this possible? If so, is it necessary for all of us to extend our pedigrees back to them?

From Robert C. Gunderson, Senior Royalty Research Specialist in the LDS Church Genealogical Department in Salt Lake.

"The simplest answer to both questions is No. Let me explain. In thirty-five years of genealogical research, I have yet to see a pedigree back to Adam that can be documented. By assignment, I have reviewed hundreds of pedigrees over the years. I have not found one where each connection on the pedigree can be justified by evidence from contemporary documents. In my opinion it is not even possible to verify historically a connected European pedigree earlier than the time of the Merovingian Kings (c. A.D. 450-A.D. 752)."

Gunderson says, "Every pedigree I have seen which attempts to bridge the gap between that time and the biblical pedigree appears to be based on questionable tradition, or at worst, plain fabrication. Generally these pedigrees offer no evidence as to the origin of the information, or they cite a vague source."

And I firmly agree with Mr. Gunderson. I have been conducting genealogy research for well over 30 years now and I have yet to see a valid, sourced and proven genealogy to anything in this early era.

And this is what I tell my genealogy students: "If it is not sourced, it is not history. An unsourced genealogy should start out as...once upon a time."