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Related to the aristocracy?

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Related to the aristocracy?

Postby ronariker » Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:53 pm

I have come across a suggestion that I am related to the 5th Earl of Findlater and Seafield. I am slightly dubious, as I doubt that a full son of the family would be living on a croft near the family home in Cullen. However, I can believe that there might be a son born on the wrong side of the blanket. The son's name is George Ogilvie (1715-1795) and any number of people are suggesting that he was born to James, 5th Earl and Lady Elizabeth Hay. I know this person could not be the son of Jamie's second wife, as she died without issue. I cannot find anything to either support or disprove this theory. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
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Re: Related to the aristocracy?

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:10 pm

You can only research both George Ogilvie on the one hand and the Earl on the other. As thoroughly as is possible - or until you give up in disgust.

It would be interesting also to try to establish why these people think that the Earl is his father. Surely even the wishful thinkers have some sort of reason? Obviously the later ones are just copying the earlier, believing everything they read. But someone, somewhere, came up with something. For instance, there is a story that my ancestor John Pickstock, who appears in Cheshire in the 1660s, was married in Staffordshire and baptised in Shropshire. In this case, I believe that the original logic was that the earlier events (which are genuine) all refer to someone named John Pickstock, there weren't any other baptisms or marriages obvious and it's such a rare name that any reference to John Pickstock in the same country just has to be to the same guy. (In summary, "We have all the records" and "The name's the same so it must be the same person". Both nonsense.)

In fact, FMP's work on the Shropshire records shows that there was another John Pickstock baptised in Shropshire at the same time, so there are at least 2 choices, while the full version of the Cheshire PRs and BTs (which only came later) shows that the marriage is out of sequence with Cheshire-John's baptisms.

So you may have a similar case, or someone might have used naming patterns to decide the name of George's father (naming patterns? Hah! :evil: ) and the Earl is the only guy of that name in the area... The problem is that if you can't work out their logic, it'll be tricky to demonstrate that it is nonsense. Of course, the Earl might have had an illegitimate son, which is why, if you want to do this, you need to thoroughly investigate him - and that means you'll have to understand what Scotland did with illegitimacy records then.

Good luck!
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Re: Related to the aristocracy?

Postby ronariker » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:28 pm

Thanks, Adrian. You have confirmed what I myself was thinking. I have found a baptism record for George Ogilvie, with father James mentioned, along with the name of a croft. So I am certain that this was not the Earl himself. And I could not find a son named George for the Earl (a legitimate one at any rate) on any of the websites relating to the Earls of Findlater.
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Re: Related to the aristocracy?

Postby carobradford » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:19 pm

One of the major drawbacks of "internet genealogy" is that can become a case of "never mind the quality, feel the width". If umpteen other researchers claim a connection between individuals A and B it is tempting to assume that they must be on to something and that a large number of individuals have examined the available evidence and drawn the same considered conclusion. In reality, it is normally the case that nothing could be further from the truth. One person has made an uneducated guess and others have simply followed on and copied the fiction. As Adrian says, ignore it, do your own research, evaluate the facts and come to your own conclusions.
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Re: Related to the aristocracy?

Postby ronariker » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:55 am

Thanks for confirming my thinking. I have had a few instances of this sort of thing as I've been working on my family tree, and this one just seemed completely out there, despite all the family trees suggesting this was correct. Much as I would love to think there's blue blood somewhere in the family tree, I don't think this is ever going to be the case. All my roots on that side are poor farming stock.
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Re: Related to the aristocracy?

Postby sdup26 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:47 am

Sorry to lower the tone, but I can't resist mentioning an ancestor of mine, rumoured to be related to a member of the aristocracy - cue knowing winks and nods from older family members. Many years later, I started family history research, looked for my ancestor, and found he was born in a pub which was named for the said aristocrat. That appears to be the only possible connection with the rumour, but once it passes into family lore...
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Re: Related to the aristocracy?

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:50 am

:-D

Sent from my MotoG3 using WDYTYA Forum mobile app
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Re: Related to the aristocracy?

Postby Artognou » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:15 am

I've encountered similar situations along the way during my research and it is so frustrating!
You've done the right thing in questioning this, the problem is that there are people who will make an extremely dubious connection with their ancestor to someone of some kind of importance without any concrete evidence, just because maybe they can go and brag about it, laziness, possibly that WOW! factor you get when you do genuinely find an ancestor of historical significance.
It could also be a locational thing combined with a certain surname, because of course, that's evidence to some, such as the Seaton family in my lineage.
The worst thing I have ever seen is when I was beginning to make some progress on my mother's side and it almost seemed that other people "researching" my 4th great grandparents had just invented their births and went back linking them to people who had a very vague nominal resemblance, this went on to the 1600s to someone with the McLeod name and interestingly enough, his parents were about 120 years of age when they gave birth to him!
This kind of sloppiness infuriates me, it's such a terrible disservice to their family and the tree, but to anyone who's new at family research, who could be a distant relative to someone in that tree.
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Re: Related to the aristocracy?

Postby janmlawson » Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:40 pm

If we go back far enough and wide enough, aren't most of us related to royalty or each other?
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Re: Related to the aristocracy?

Postby sparrow » Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:10 am

We had two such instances in my family, both fervently believed in for well over a hundred years. That extended to inserting the aristocratic name as given names.
Both worked on extensively for well over a decade when online resources started to appear.
Both eventually disproved, as much by good luck as anything else.
First case: a single mother included a name in the given names of both sons.It was assumed to be the name of a well known aristocrat.Turned out to be the name of the local squire, who very probably was the father of the two sons.

Second case more relevant.Did George Ogilvie come from the same area as the Earl? Is this the surname of the Earl's family? If so what you are probably seeing is the Scottish custom of claiming in a general sense to be 'of the kin of' someone with the same name.
What I found in my second case was just that.The ancestor, or rather his brother, being down on his uppers at one point, contacted the then Duke (elderly and at that point childless) and asked for 'patronage' as a kinsman.The Duke apparently initially agreed but changed his mind.Whereupon the disgruntled 'ancestor's relative' actually published a pamphlet (of which amazingly 2 copies survived) trying to shame the Duke for breaking his promises.But there was never a suggestion of any more direct relationship than being 'of the kin'.
The (by then thoroughly English) family just imagined further down the track that this must have been the case. Even had documents to prove it, which I now believe the disgruntled relative 'borrowed' from the ducal library on the occasion (so he claimed anyway) that he visited the Duke.We still have some of those, and another branch of the family has other 'evidence'.
So there IS sometimes a story, just not the one that has usually been told.
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