22 December 2014

Cousin Mary

This story was making the rounds earlier this year. Since this woman thinks she is a cousin to the Virgin Mary I thought this week would be a good time to re-post it.
 "A Westmoreland County woman claims she is the 64th great-granddaughter of Saint Joseph Ben Matthat Arimathaea, who was the paternal uncle to the Virgin Mary. Mary Beth Webb, of Murrysville, said she began searching her ancestry in 2010 after years of "communicating" with her deceased mother, father and brother."
The reporter doesn't waste any time getting to the full on nuttiness. What was she thinking? Remember when journalists did research rather than just taking dictation? Some basic research, and a little common sense, would have alerted the reporter to the fact that this woman is delusional.
 "Webb emailed [ancestry.com] to share her discovery, and said a spokesperson replied with skepticism. They said, 'Well, that's nice, but you probably made a mistake along the way because that's easy to do,'" Webb said."
No follow-up with Ancestry.com? No quote from a professional genealogist?
No, I'm not going near the whole "I talk to dead people" thing.
Maybe more disturbing than the story itself were some of the responses to it on various Facebook pages/groups. Here are just a few examples:
 Ann: "Whether this is true or not, It's interesting to think about."
 Mary: "Any reason why it should not be true?"
 Jane: "Mary, do you really think this is happening?"
 Mary: "Honestly ? Who knows ? Anything is possible in this day and age - and I DO know people who can make contact with others who have left this world, so I believe it is possible, tho probably not probable."
 "Being a genealogist for 35 years, I say nothing is impossible but can be difficult to prove."
 "There is some sort of quasi-official British genealogical records (Royal?) that do indeed go back to not just some people around the Holy Family but also to personages in Genesis. A fellow researcher showed them too me one day in an LDS family library in OKC. They had some name like Warden or maybe Peerage records?"
 "the records are on Ancestry ..if people cant even be botherd to even look they miss out big time"

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