The Grandparent Traps
9/1/2004
Don't fall for these family falsehoods! Learn the truth behind eight common genealogy scams and myths.

According to family legend, my ancestor John Howland was the only Pilgrim to fall off the Mayflower. The entertainer Mitch Miller is a distant cousin. And the spelling of my last name was changed from Eisenstadt to Eisenstodt at Ellis Island. All families pass down stories of their collective pasts — some true and some not-so-true. Your job as a genealogist is to separate fact from fiction. To give you a head start, we've identified eight common family history myths. Avoid these beginner traps, and your research will be smoother sailing.

Myth #1