Great answers posted already.
Chris asks, "Does it make sense to ignore possible family information because it far too precise for its age?"
Usually it does not make sense to ignore information because it is precise. I usually use the term "detailed"; have entered many sources as below (emphasis added):
Joe Somebody, "WhosYaDaddyFamilyGroup," n.d., ThisorThatInternetSite
(thisorthat.com: accessed: DDMMMYYYY), profile of Joe NoGo, wife Susie
NoGo and their nine NoGo children; detailed information as to XXXX, not further referenced. Personal archival copy as "Somebody-Joe
Just because I create a source record doesn't mean I enter the related family data to my working file. Depending on how much you have already discovered about that family, you may want to follow this little jingle, "If it's a new clue, then it's a to-do."
Chris writes, "I have seen it on several Ancestry.com trees, virtually never sourced ... J Maddox asks argues that this data is most likely fake."
By my brief review of Maddox 2009 notes, the work fell short of proving the Parkes genealogy was "likely fake."
(a) Perhaps frustration?
In the opening comment to the post "Elias Sharpe/Mary Proctor/John Parks/Mary Sharp – Part 1" he writes,
It is unfortunate that the information on this family is largely
undocumented, poorly researched, and in some cases blatantly
fabricated. It is sad that this is handed down to future generations
without any fact checking.
Maddox also adds this important statement of his perspective,
I am not a Parks researcher or a Proctor researcher. I am however, a
Sharpe researcher and have researched the family of Elias Sharpe in
order to eliminate him as a member of my family.
The bold claim about Parkes materials being "blatantly fabricated" may have been written out of sheer frustration.
Proving or disproving genealogical identities or relationship about historical individuals is almost always more work than listing a series of historical sources. Proving third party information is fake or fabricated usually requires even more work.
(b) What information is presented?
The two postings I reviewed were mostly Sharpe research notes. I roughly followed the logic that some of the Sharpe information creates a conflict with some third party information reported "about" Mary (Sharpe) Parkes. (I did not find a summary or otherwise follow the logic about how the collective Sharpe materials disprove the Parkes information, in part or in whole.)
- "...Part 1." The surname "Parkes/Parks" does not appear in the body of the text about the research materials.
- "... Part 2." Mostly Sharpe research; one comment suggesting Sharpe research creates a conflict in the different unsourced Parke genealogies (first call out below). Reference is given to a select group of Parke source materials (second call out below). The work in the King George County sources for 1721-1759 could be better documented--just what was considered the "negative search" and how/what conflict did that create.
- I suspect researchers of the Parkes-Sharpe marriage would work towards a "reasonably exhaustive search." (This may have been Maddox' hope when he posted the material.)
7th paragraph from top, as below (emphasis added):
Now we can move on to King George County. King George County was
formed from Richmond County in 1720!!! By now you should be raising
some serious concerns about the folks who told you Mary Sharpe Parks
was born in King George County in 1715.
5th paragraph from bottom, as below (emphasis added):
Now we get to the Parks/Park/Parkes of King George County. A thorough
study of these Parks names (including the above variations) for King
George County Deeds, Wills, and court orders for the period 1721-1759
reveals of total of two. One is a William Parks mentioned in a March
5, 1735 court order. The other is a George Park on March 3, 1748.
That’s it!!! Each mentioned only once.
Parkes/Sharpe researchers: A clue that should be a to-do
The Parkes family is mentioned several times on the Wilkes County, N.C. GenWeb site and archives.1 Parts/some/all links to the archival work have also been contributed to the FamilySearch Wiki page, "Wilkes County, North Carolina." At the latter link is reference to the Revolutionary War pension file of "Samuel Parks," and links to wills/estates (inc. a John Parks Sr. and a Thomas Parks).
In particular, please see, "Thomas and John Parks Family Bible"; RootsWeb.com, Wilkes County, NC GenWeb Archives; transcriptions/extractions and comments contributed by Rose Parks, 2002, citing a book held by the "Parke/s Society." In relevant part,
A second Parkes bible is listed in the the same archive collection.
Every source has a story to tell; all sources--family trees, historical records, old family bibles--are subject to error and omission.
P.S. In my family, we have vital records from some New England towns that date back to the 17th century. I wish we had a family bible that contained entries so early.
- The archives seem to be the old RootsWeb "archives" from the old "RootsWeb" home page for the GenWeb site.