27 June 2015

The Genealogy of Jesus

Because it can't be repeated often enough...

Rule #4: The Bible is not a source for your family tree.

A few months ago someone made this comment on my Facebook page, "If you believe the Biblical accounts, once you got back to Joseph, the rest is done for you, back to Adam." As always I will not address religious beliefs so we'll skip over the "If you believe" part.
At the time that comment was posted I was listening to a book I read years ago. When I read it I had not yet been bitten by the genealogy bug. As I went through it this time I had a completely different perspective.
"Of all the many thousands of accidental mistakes made in our manuscripts, probably the most bizarre is one that occurs in a minuscule manuscript of the four Gospels officially numbered 109, which was produced in the fourteenth century. Its peculiar error occurs in Luke, chapter 3, in the account of Jesus's genealogy. The scribe was evidently copying a manuscript that gave the genealogy in two columns. For some reason, he did not copy one column at a time, but copied across the two columns. As a result, the names of the genealogy are thrown out of whack, with most people being called the sons of the wrong father. Worse still, the second column of the text the scribe was copying did not have as many lines as the first, so that now, in the copy he made, the father of the human race (i.e., the last one mentioned) is not God but an Israelite named Phares; and God himself is said to be the son of a man named Aram!"
The printing press wasn't invented until the 15th century. That's a few thousand years of transcriptions and translations. To use The Bible as a source you would be trusting a transcription of a transcription of a transcription of a translation of a transcription of a...you get the idea. Most were done by scribes, many of whom were copying things they could not actually read. Those who could read might add or leave out a word if they didn't agree with something.
Of course none of that matters because you cannot get "back to Joseph."
"But..." Nope.
"I saw a tree..." No!
It is just not possible to have a documented line from a living person to anyone in The Bible so please stop.

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18 June 2015

Switcheroo Follow-Up

Monday's post was shared on a number of Facebook pages/groups. After reading the comments I can divide them into three categories. These apply to pretty much every article ever posted on Facebook.
1) Those who read the article and understood it.
2) Those who only read the headline.
3) Those who read the article but completely missed the point.
The first group doesn't need a follow-up to Monday's post. The second group won't read this post either. This post is for the third group. After the jump I'll try to put this is the simplest, clearest terms.

15 June 2015

Subscription Switcheroo

*NOTE: This is written from the perspective of a U.S. resident and Ancestry.com subscriber. I am not aware of any new subscription plans for Ancestry.co.uk, Ancestry.com.au, or any other Ancestry sites.

If you have your Ancestry.com account set to auto renew you might not be aware that Ancestry is "testing" a new subscription strategy. These are subscription options we are familiar with:

You should still see these options if you are a current subscriber. That would lead me to believe that if your subscription is set to auto renew it will renew at the same level. Of course Ancestry hasn't actually said anything about testing a new price plan. Nothing on the community news board. Nothing on their blog. Nothing on the message boards.
Screen caps are included after the jump but if you'd like to see Ancestry's new subscription options for yourself click this link. You may have to log out of Ancestry to view the new options. It's because it can only be seen on certain browsers. Even clearing cookies/cache won't change that. (Stopping myself from going on a rant about Ancestry's programmers here.)
AFTER THE JUMP: What they're willing to tell us