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Beware of the Lord-Seekers.

Beware of The Lord-Seekers.

So we are descended from the great chief Cameron of Lochiel ?

 

Well technically in a manner of speaking, yes but to be fair, so is half of Scotland. There are a couple of caveats to bear in mind here.  Firstly this is the fourteenth Century that we are talking about, and this was sixteen- twenty generations ago. Shall we do the math ? 

In those days virtually everyone had large families, 8-10 kids was by no means uncommon, ok half of them croaked before they got out of a Baby-Kilt but even allowing for this, people had loads of kids, you won't see them all in the family trees, there is not enough space. Do not assume that a tree showing parents with just one offspring means that there were not a half dozen more elsewhere.

Here I am going to make huge under-estimate and say if each set of parents had a mere 3 children, then generation 16 would contain 150 million people, or two and a half times the population of the entire UK now !! So if the guy at the top of the tree was a King, never mind a Clan Chief, and he insisted that each generation should divide his wealth and Crown Jewels equally, that would give about 10p to each person.  Do you get where I am coming from here ? If you go far enough back we all have a chief or King as a worthy ancestor. Personally I like to take the logical next step, cut out the middle guy and claim descent from God.

This only becomes a problem when it comes to amateur genealogists like me, in particular amateur genealogists who live in North America. "Why is that then"I hear you cry ! Let me say now, prior to putting my foot in, where it is not welcome, this is not a dig at the wonderful people across the Atlantic.

 

I have been doing this stuff for years now and I chat to and exchange information with people all over the world, which is half of the fun of doing this. Whilst doing this it is plain that most people are researching their families out of interest and the challenge of doing it. There are however some who are researching in the clear expectation of finding some special ancestor that they can prove themselves to be descended from. Such a special ancestor would be a King, Duke, Lord or some such high-status individual.

Making yet another sweeping generalisation with no evidence, ( Like a Donald Trump election moan ) it does seem that a disproportionate number of such "Lord-Seekers" come from North America. "So what you may think, and I would have to agree, other researchers motivation for their research is of no concern to me, though it can sometimes get a bit comical.

 

Some of these "Lord-Seekers" that I have corresponded with, seem to feel that if they can not find at least one Lord, Duke Chief or King in their ancestry, then the entire exercise will have been a bit pointless.  If one looks at some of these trees, some really ludicrous assumptions, and wildly unlikely connections get made, to bring the 'target person' a bit closer.

 

The thing is , that to research your tree you start with a person whose details you know, like your Mum or Granny and work backwards, generation at a time, confirming every step with primary documentary evidence from national or local archives.  This can take you to some interesting and surprising connections, but you only find that once you have got there.

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