(Note: I originally wrote this post in 2007, and just discovered that I never published it.)
Ok, so I’m side-tracked from my Van Valin mysteries by my Robinson line for right now.
A few weeks ago I got an email asking for my source for the marriage I had recorded for my ancestors Peter Robsinson and Elizabeth Sabin. This opened a flood-gate of memories and remorse for me as to how to proceeded with my Robinson line. When I was still rather new to genealogy I was surfing World Connect to find connections to my tree. One of the first connections I found was to my Robinson line. Oh, and how nice! People were showing that my 4th great-grandmother Lovina Robinson was a descendent of Rev. John Robinson, the pastor of the Pilgrims.
But then there were some problems. One GEDCOM I found skipped a generation, one book I found claimed the descent from Rev. John was a matter of family tradition, but not verified, and much was asserted that no one could prove. No matter, it was in print somewhere, so I meshed it together and it became the new reality for me.
About seven years have passed since then. I look at the internet now, and practically everyone connected to my Lovina Robinson’s kin has that descent from Rev. John. I started poking around and asking questions of researchers, especially at www.revjohnrobinson.com. That site has two articles debunking the commonly reported error that crosses my true line of descent with that of Rev. John.
I am actually a descendent of John Robinson from Salem, a completely different man.
Which just goes to show you should never believe everything that’s printed.
Colonial New England genealogy really isn’t my thing, at least not at this stage of my life. I need to be able to do mundane census searches and the like. So while I’m not going to be out verifying original documents, I do want to remove completely fallacious info from my GEDCOM (which I have). I can accept citing the research of others who actually look at primary records.
There’s one mystery here, though, and that is my ancestor Peter Robinson (b. 1696). He married an Elizabeth, but proving which one is quite difficult. The family story is that she is Elizabeth Sabin, a descendent of Mayflower voyager John Billington. Apparently that woman is known to have married someone else. Still, seems just about everyone (including myself, at the moment) who records Peter records Elizabeth Sabin as his wife.