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Bogus Genealogy on Ancestry.com

Replies: 9

Bogus Genealogy on Ancestry.com

Posted: 13 Aug 2008 4:11PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Chapman
An Ancestry.com subscriber graciously provided me with some genealogical info about my ancestors through Isaac Chapman, who died in Orange VA about 1747. Immediately, I praised myself for never buying into that online genealogy site, finding it rife with many ridiculous errors. I compiled it, and present it here. According to Ancestry.com:
___________________________________________________________
Descendants of: Thomas CHAPMAN

1 Thomas CHAPMAN b. 3-26-1690 Charles, MD d. 11-18-1782 Culpeper VA
m. Sarah Cole b. abt. 1718
2 Nathaniel CHAPMAN b. 1712 Pamunkey, Charles, MD
2 Daughter CHAPMAN
2 Ann CHAPMAN
2 William CHAPMAN
2 ? CHAPMAN
2 Isaac CHAPMAN b. abt. 1716 Stafford VA d. 5-22-1746
m. 1739 Culpeper VA Sarah COLE b. 5-1-1718 Culpeper VA d. 1748 Orange VA
3 Isaac CHAPMAN b. abt. 1739 Orange VA
m. 8-15-1811 Rebecca STEWART b. Montgomery VA d. 1840 Lawrence KY
4 John CHAPMAN b. abt. 1750 Old Dominion VA
3 John CHAPMAN b. 1-18-1740 Orange VA d. 12-18-1813 Giles VA
m. 1761 Orange VA Sally ABBOT b. 1744 Culpeper VA d. abt. 1816 Giles VA
4 Nancy Nannie CHAPMAN b. VA
4 Annie CHAPMAN b. 1763 d. 1831
4 Isaac CHAPMAN b. 4-19-1764 d. 5-29-1836
4 George CHAPMAN b. 1766 d. 4-20-1816
4 John C. CHAPMAN b. 1771 d. 1796
4 Sarah (Sally) CHAPMAN b. 8-26-1776
4 Henley CHAPMAN b. 3-26-1779 d. 8- Apr 1864
4 Jemima CHAPMAN b. aft. 1780 d. 1837
4 Elizabeth CHAPMAN b. 3-31-1791
4 Lucretia CHAPMAN b. 1798 Montgomery VA
4 David CHAPMAN b. 1803 Montgomery VA
3 Jemima CHAPMAN b. 1745 d. 1778 m. Murdock McKENZIE
4 Polly McKENZIE b. VA
4 Daniel McKENZIE b. VA
4 Isaac McKENZIE b. 1758 Culpeper VA
4 Margaret McKENZIE b. 1768 VA
4 Elizabeth McKENZIE b. 1770 VA
4 Sally McKENZIE b. 1777 VA
4 Henley McKENZIE b. abt. 1777
4 Mary Ann McKENZIE b. abt. 1778 Giles
4 Baby McKenzie b. 1778 VA
4 Mary Ann McKENZIE b. 1778 Giles
3 Richard CHAPMAN b. 1742 Orange VA
m. 1760 Culpeper VA Margaret ABBOTT b. 1742 Giles VA
4 Abner CHAPMAN b. 1764 Orange VA
4 John CHAPMAN b. 1782
4 William CHAPMAN b. 7-27-1787
____________________________________________________________

Dissembling the information above, we first see:

1 Thomas CHAPMAN b. 3-26-1690 Charles, MD d. 11-18-1782 Culpeper VA
m. Sarah Cole b. abt. 1718
2 Nathaniel CHAPMAN b. 1712 Pamunkey, Charles, MD

which would have made Nathaniel about 6 years older than his mother, Sarah. But, a bit further down her list of progeny, we have:

2 Isaac CHAPMAN b. abt. 1716 Stafford VA d. 1747
m. 1739 Culpeper VA Sarah COLE b. 5-1-1718 Culpeper VA d. 1748 Orange VA

Sarah was very precocious, obviously, bearing one son (Nathaniel) 6 years before she herself was born, then producing another son (Isaac) 4 years later, a couple of years prenatally. But then, she apparently married her own son (Isaac). Later, I’ll note that Isaac was almost certainly NOT a son of Thomas.

Now, this Isaac had another son named Isaac:

3 Isaac CHAPMAN b. abt. 1739 Orange VA d. AL
m. 8-15-1811 Rebecca STEWART b. 1793 Montgomery VA d. 1840 Lawrence KY
4 John CHAPMAN b. abt. 1750 Old Dominion VA

who, when he was only 11 had a son John, whose mother was not to be born for another 43 years.

3 John CHAPMAN b. 1-18-1740 Orange VA d. 12-18-1813 Giles VA
m. 1761 Orange VA Sally ABBOT b. 1744 Culpeper VA d. abt. 1816 Giles VA

Pretty much accurate, except that Culpeper county didn’t exist until 1749, 3 years after wife Sally was born there. But the first child listed:

4 Nancy Nannie CHAPMAN b. VA

doesn’t appear in any other records. John (b. 1740) had a granddaughter named Nancy through his son Isaac (b. 1764), who might be misplaced here. The rest of the siblings check out, until:

4 Elizabeth CHAPMAN b. 3-31-1791
4 Lucretia CHAPMAN b. 1798 Montgomery VA
4 David CHAPMAN b. 1803 Montgomery VA

who were John’s granddaughters and grandson through son George (b. 1766). Incidently, Sally would have been 59 years old when/if she gave birth to David.

Moving onto the Chapman sister, Jemimah:

3 Jemima CHAPMAN b. 1745 Culpeper d. 1778 Giles VA
m. 1760 Culpeper VA Murdock McKENZIE b. 1745 Scotland d. 1805 Giles VA

Again, Culpeper didn’t exist in 1745, and Giles wasn’t formed until 1806. No matter, they’ll say, that’s what the county ended up being. If so, they should probably have Jemimah being born in Rappahannock county, along with brothers Isaac and John. The progeny are pretty accurate until:

4 Sally McKENZIE b. 1777 VA
4 Henley McKENZIE b. abt. 1777
4 Mary Ann McKENZIE b. abt. 1778 Giles
4 Baby McKenzie b. 1778 VA
4 Mary Ann McKENZIE b. 1778 Giles

Wow! At first glance, it’s five kids in 2 years; hopefully twins and triplets! But, looking more closely, we see Mary Ann born twice, again in a county that didn’t exist yet.

On to the last child of Isaac of Orange, Richard.

3 Richard CHAPMAN b. 1742 Orange VA
m. 1760 Culpeper VA Margaret ABBOTT b. 1742 Giles VA
4 Abner CHAPMAN b. 1764 Orange VA
4 John CHAPMAN b. 1782
4 William CHAPMAN b. 7-27-1787

Seems odd to have waited 18 years before having the second son; Margaret would have been 45 when William was born. Actually, John was born in 1760, William in 1762. But Richard, unknown to Ancestry.com, remarried: Susanna CONNELY in 1790. They had Edward (b. 1795) and Thomas.
_____________________________________________________________________

My conclusion: most of what you find in online genealogy is CRAP! While it may get you started, you should NEVER assume that it is correct. Then again, you shouldn’t assume published books are accurate, either. Years ago, I demonstrated that the 1st Isaac Chapman was almost certainly NOT a son of Thomas Chapman - that assumption was based on a terribly flawed genealogical work, George Roberts’ Genealogy of Joseph Peck (1955), lacking any evidence and acknowledging sheer speculation of a lineage of Isaac through Thomas. To this day, however, amateur genealogists pass on the mistaken assumption. Genealogy without documentation is mythology.
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
DrYattz 13 Aug 2008 10:11PM GMT 
lthenderson 15 Aug 2008 1:12PM GMT 
DrYattz 15 Aug 2008 2:44PM GMT 
KAColetti 16 Sep 2008 10:05PM GMT 
DrYattz 17 Sep 2008 12:58AM GMT 
KAColetti 17 Sep 2008 4:10PM GMT 
fairydiva123 18 Sep 2008 5:00PM GMT 
noniedaly2002 10 Oct 2008 9:54PM GMT 
chapmanfamily... 24 Sep 2008 5:41PM GMT 
bypasspa 16 Aug 2008 3:23PM GMT 
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