Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy

21/12/2004

Family Legends and Myths

by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, CG
Watching Out for Red Flags Many families have cherished myths and stories about their immigration to America or other pivotal events and people. Sharon DeBartolo Carmack shos you how to determine which family legends are true, and what to do if you prove one false.

“Great-grandma was a Cherokee Indian princess, you know.” At the family reunion or while interviewing relatives, you might hear family stories like this or other lore about your forebears. Nearly everyone has a story that has been handed down about their ancestors. Some of these legends may be quite factual; others are myth. Almost all family stories have some grain of truth, however. Family legends aren’t usually created out of thin air, and that tiny grain of truth may be the clue that leads you to genealogical success. There are many myths that have worked their way into family stories, and perhaps you’ve already heard some of these. Often, they are about ethnic origins or how the family came to America. If you haven’t heard any of these common legends yet, make yourself aware of some of the most common ones, since you may eventually hear variations as you talk with family members.

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