10 September 2012

It's Online So It Must Be True

This week I ran into someone who had Roman emperors on his tree. He invited others to look at his tree and when people pointed out a few of the numerous errors he claimed it was "all from Ancestry" and "I didn't make that stuff up." No, other people made stuff up and you mindlessly copied it. 
I had initially started this post with the 900+ Nefertiti trees found while writing last Friday's post. But after this run in I decided to switch to Roman emperors instead. The point is the same: It's all online so it must be true. 
So here's the profile that started this. Of course there's more after the jump ;-)

B: 23 Sep 1963
D: 19 Aug 1914
Spouse: Scribonia Libo Octavian Augustus 
              B: 25 Jul 1968
Child:     Julia Augusta 
              B: 39 - D: 15
Father:  GAIUS IV, Praetor of Rome, Governor of Macedonia, OCTAVIUS Rufus
              B: 25 JUN 85 BC - D: 27 JUL 59 BC
Mother:  Atia Balba, of Rome, Caesonia
               B: 85 BC - Aug-Sept 43 BC

ⓑⓐⓡⓚⓘⓝⓖ  ⓤⓟ  ⓣⓗⓔ  ⓦⓡⓞⓝⓖ  ⓣⓡⓔⓔ

Well of course Octavius was born in 1963. He marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Lincoln. Everyone knows that! 
I did a tree search for "Augustus Gaius Octavius" (in the first name field and exact). What follows is a small sampling of the 3563 results. All of which must be true because they're online, right?

  Augustus Gaius Octavius
  Augustus (Gaius Octavius Caesar)
  Augustus Gaius Octavius Julius Caesar Emperor of Rome
  Augustus Gaius Octavius V Caesar, B: 23 Sept 1963 - D: 19 Août 1914
  Emperor Gaius Octavius Augustus 1st Emperor of Rome
  Emperor Gaius Octavius Augustus Emperor of Rome, B: 13 Sep 1963 - 19 Aug 1914
  Gaius Octavius Augustus, B: British Columbia, Canada
  Gaius Octavius Augustus aka Caesar Augustus (1st EMPEROR) of ROME eponym of month August Augustus
  Gaius Octavius Augustus aka Caesar Augustus Augustus, B & D in Rome, Oneida, New York, United States
  Gaius Octavius (Augustus) Ceasar, B: 23 Sep 63 BC - D: 19 Aug 14 AD
  Gaius Octavius Augustus Emperor diRoma, B: 23 Sep 1963 - D: 18 Aug 1914
  Gaius Octavius Augustus Emperor of Rome Father in Law of 66th GGrandmother
  Gaius Octavius Augustus Emperor Rome, B: 23 Sep 1963, Kennebec, United States
  Gaius Octavius Augustus Emperor Rome, B: 23 Sep 1963 - D: Compania, Antofagasta, Chile
  Gaius Octavius Augustus Emperor Rome, B: Canada - D: Ad, Maluku, Indonesia
  Gaius Octavius = Octavian = Augustus Carsar
  Gaius Octavius Thurinus Julius Caesar "Augustus" Emperor of Rome, D: BC (British Columbia)
  Octavianus Augustus

  Atia Balbus Rome, B: 85 BC - D: 43 BC Son born 15 years before her in Poland.
  Claudia Julia Livilla, D: 0031
  Cornelia Cinna Di Roma, B: 0100 British Columbia, Canada
  Livia Drusilla
  Livia Drusilla Julia Augusta Empress of Rome Drusus, B: 58 BC - D: Jun 29 AD
  Livia Drusilla Julia Augusta of Rome, B: ABT 0058 BC - D: 0029
  Livia Drusilla, "Julia Augusta" Princeps Femina, Diva Augusta, B: 30 Jan 58 BC - D: 29 BC
  Livia Drusilla of Rome 
  Marcia DIROMA
  Scribonia Libo, B: 68 BC - D: 1 Jun 16
  Scribonia Magna Crassi, B: abt 72 BC in Empire - D: 16 AD
  Scribonia Rome, D: 16
  Sribonia, D: Y (Source: 2168659.ftw) Seriously, there's a "source" attached for her death in "Y"!

  Caius Octavious IV, "Senator" of Rome ere  &  ATIA Balbus of Rome ere
  Caius (Senator Rome) Octavius  &  PRIVATE
  Gaius Julius Caesar  &  Cornelia Cinna
  Gaius Octavius Governor of Macedonia Consul of Rome  &  Atia Balba Secunda Caesonia Balbus
  Gaius Octavius IV Roman Senator of Rome  &  Atia Balbus of Rome
  Gaius Scribonius Curio DiRoma  &  Aurelia Cotta DiRoma
  Quintus Anicus Faustus Rome  &  Dght Sextus Vibianus Rome
  Sextus Cocceius Severianus I Rome  &  Dght Sextus Vibianus Rome His mother is also his daughter
  Sextus Julius Caesar I Rome  &  Aurelia diRome
  Sextus Julius Caesar I Rome  &  Ptolemy Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator Lagid
  Tribune Gaius III Octavius  &  Ancaria Major

If you can actually trace your family back to a Roman emperor please come forward! Show us this marvelous treasure trove of history you've been keeping from the world. You will be legend in the genealogy community! Finding a line that goes back over 2000 years with sources for every generation? You will be celebrated beyond your wildest dreams. With the large number of trees that have a profile for him someone must have done the research, right? After all, people wouldn't just "make that stuff up."

UPDATE: This is not a sponsored ad. It's just perfect for this post. Thanks, David!

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  1. I just stumbled at your blog while I was looking for some genealogy tips and can't stop laughing :D I must admit I lied in my tree; my great-grandmother's sister drowned when she was five years old, but since I (still) don't have acess to her birth record, I made up her year of birth - 1888. my great-grandmother was born in 1884. I felt this was wrong in many ways, though I'm impatient because I'll get her birth/death cetificate next summer :( but that's a minor incident compared to this! I still can't believe people would trivialise their own ancestry in such a way! pifff....sad.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Professor! Actually guesstimating is a good thing. One of my tips in a past post is to guesstimate dates for an online tree to help narrow searches. So no chiding from me on that point ;-)
      I'm one of the least patient people ever so genealogy is helping me work on that virtue!
      Good luck with your search!

  2. Was there not a river of folks going back that far who kept records? I've seen such a tree that goes back that far . . . and had no idea where they got the information . . . It was, however, running through families who surely could have such information, being vain about their past and/or bankers and such. And You know, with that many generations, a truly numerous persons _are descended from named persons. I write this not as argument, just feedback.

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  3. Even if there *were* good records and evidence that people could use to trace their ancestry back that far, the multitudes are not using them. Witness the Roman Caesar Augustus born in 1963 in Kennebec, Maine; no wait, make that Chile; no, make that Canada! And he died in 1914 in New York; no wait, Indonesia!
    I'd be laughing harder if it didn't get in the way of real genealogy.