True Tales of Family History Fakery
6/11/2014
History holds many tales of folks who claimed false ancestral origins. We'll tell you about six of them.
Genealogists keep constant watch for misrepresented ancestries spreading over the internet. But history holds many tales of family history fakery perpetrated without help from the world wide web:
 
• George Psalmanazar, born probably in France in 1679, traveled through Europe claiming Jesuits had abducted him from the island of Formosa (now Taiwan). In a successful book, Psalmanazar described the island as a prosperous place where upper classes lived in underground houses (thus accounting for his pale visage). He confessed his lies in a posthumously published memoir.