I was working at the family history library today and one of my coworkers stumbled upon a line of her family that goes back to Adam and Eve through royalty. When she said this, and showed it to me, I instantly became wary.
I'm a person of faith. Don't get me wrong. I believe that there was some sort of Adam and Eve for our race, but I also believe in science that could not be plainly written about in the Bible etc. What makes me wary is how it seems to me that the line jumped from names we all know from the bible directly to the kings and queens of Europe.
I found an example here.
Yes, royalty was much more heavily documented than the likes of you and I, however, we also know the golden rule. He who has the gold makes the rules. In the above example, the poster of the line indicates "NOTE: This lineage is not adequately documented to fully accept as accurate. It is intended for enjoyment only and not to be understood as historically correct." And thank goodness for that.
Royalty has historically tweaked their lineages in order to make a connection to deity. Look at the Egyptian Pharaohs, and the emperors of China and Japan. If we were to believe those lines, the rulers ARE God. Unfortunately these adaptations to family lines are leading people who work on family history today astray. I think many of us would make the connection that maybe some things are missing in this lineage, but there are others who do not and will see it for precisely what they think it is: a link to Adam and Eve.
When I got home this evening I did a little research and it looks like my friend my be a victim of the Springer Hoax. A 19th century scam designed to make money. Where was Snopes.com when you really needed it? What does it say though that this hoax still persists today? Even worse, how many brand new genealogists stumble into this and either think all the work is already done and give up, or still worse, give up when they realize that this is a hoax?
Ok, maybe I'm being a bit dramatic but the point still stands. If someone today, in 2012 can still run into this information on a well-respected genealogy site,how many people's research has this affected? Consider this a warning, if it seems too good to be true, it really might be. Besides that, I don't think anyone has gotten around to indexing Adam and Eve's birth records yet......