To answer your points:
First, you will notice that the date of my posting to which you are responding is 2 April 1999, a full 9 months before you contacted met "to make amends" after you broke off contact in 1996.
As I see it, our difference of opinion comes from your belief you stated in your message that records have been lost and no longer exist. Specifically you believe the pages from the Lamberhurst, Kent County, England, Church of England parish register from the early 1600s have been lost, and that therefore, we must accept the research of George Riggs Gaither.
The fact is, the records DO exist and can be viewed on Family History Library microfilm 992526. Although many of early pages appear to be loose and detached from the spine, it is clear that from 1600-1640, the dates of relevance to GAITHER descendants, that the recording was continuous and there are NO pages missing. At no time were events not recorded.
Whether the above pages were not found by a member of the John Gaither Descendants when they visited Lamberhurst is irrelevant. There are a number of things that could explain this. The loose pages may have been sent to the Kent County Archives at Maidstone (where the register was microfilmed) by a previous rector before they arrived; the rector with which they visited may have later found the pages; etc. The fact is the records of the ORIGINAL Lamberhurst parish register are on the microfilm and DO exist.
In 1996 I mailed you a photocopy of the 6 Mar. 1634 (1635 on the modern Gregorian Calendar) baptism of John GATER from the parish register. This has also been abstracted by the LDS church and can be viewed at:
by entering John Gater under name, and 1634 under year. You will see Joannes Gater christened 6 Mar. 1634 at Lamberhurst, Kent, England. The entries in the church book were recorded in Latin. If you click on his name you will then see that his parents were Joannes (John) and Mariae (Mary). If you click on "Source Call No." of 992526, you will see it is microfilm of the ORIGINAL parish register from Lamberhurst. The information as abstracted by the LDS is EXACTLY the SAME as what is on the entry on the microfilm, and the photocopy I sent you.
Now, go back to the search page and enter William Gater and 1637. You will see Gulielm. (Latin for William) GATER christened 16 Mar. 1637 (1638 on the modern Gregorian Calendar). By clicking on his name, you will see his parents are also John and Mary GATER. This entry is also taken from the ORIGINAL Lamberhurst parish register.
George Riggs Gaither claimed that the John born 1634/5 was the son of John and JOAN who went to Virginia, while the records clearly show that the parents were John and MARY. He also apparently did not find the entry showing that John and MARY continued to reside at Lamberhurst to at least 1637/8. John and MARY at Lamberhurst between 1635-1638 and John and JOAN in Virginia during the same time are clearly TWO different couples. If you have some explanation of how they CAN be the same, please share it.
There are numerous other ORIGINAL records available on microfilm that are listed in my article that show other errors in George Riggs Gaither's research in England. To accept an incorrect ancestry as listed by George Riggs Gaither is to dishonor our correct ancestors, whoever they may be.
Anyone who publishes (as you did for George Riggs Gaither) must be willing to accept scrutiny of their work, their sources, and acknowledge when not only did they read the records wrong, but the conclusions to which they came were incorrect. I expect people to examine my article, my sources, my conclusions, and if they can provide different interpretations, or show that any of my conclusions are not valid to inform me. If my conclusions are wrong, I will be the among first to say so. My desire is for the truth.
You say to let people have the records and decide for themselves. That is exactly what I wanted to do by having my article published in the "The Gaither Connection," where George Riggs Gaither's article was published. The editor refused to even look at it, saying he would have to check with you first. I have sent a copy of my article going into more depth and covering additional records and mistakes by George Riggs Gaither to EVERYONE that has requested it. To date you are the only person that has expressed disagreement with my conclusions. The ONLY rebuttal you have ever given to my conclusions is to say that the records I listed above and in my article were lost and no longer exist.
Anyone can do the above search of the abstracted records on-line themselves and see they DO exist, and order the microfilm and see the ORIGINAL records. The abstracts above done by the LDS church from the ORIGINAL parish register for their English records extraction program are all read multiple times by different people to insure they are as accurate as possible. These multiple readings by unbiased people have all read the ORIGINAL Lamberhurst parish register exactly as I do and as listed in the above abstracts.
In your message you state:
"The fact is that all of us must go by records in England..." I TOTALLY AGREE!!. The records listed above DO exist. If you can explain how John and wife MARY with a son born in 1634/5 at Lamberhurst and continued to reside there until at least 1637/8 when they had a son William born there, are the same as John and wife JOAN/JANE that left for Virginia only a few months after the above 1634/5 birth, as George Riggs Gaither alleges, I would like to hear it.
If your only argument continues to be that those records don't exist, then don't bother answering. Anyone can do the above on-line search and see that the abstracted records DO exist, and can order the microfilm of the ORIGINAL parish register and see those records for themselves. For you to claim that both the above abstracts done by the LDS Church records extraction program and the microfilm of the ORIGINAL records from which they were taken do not exist is akin to claiming that the world is flat and not round.
Pretending the records do not exist will not make them disappear. If you choose to believe George Riggs Gaither, then you must offer some explanation of how John and wife MARY residing at Lamberhurst until at least 1637/8 can be the same as John and wife JOAN that were residing in Virginia at the same time.
For the final part of your message you state, "George Riggs Gaither claims he DID find those records you say are wrong." I do not say the records are wrong. I say the records are CORRECT and he READ them wrong, as anyone can see from both the abstracts on the LDS site, and viewing the original record on microfilm themselves.
All GAITHER descendants appreciate the efforts by you in identifying members of the family in America. No one is disputing that. What is in dispute is the accuracy of George Riggs Gaither's research in records in England. To show that he made mistakes and what that are is not to say he was not, as you have often stated, "an honorable man." I have never said or implied that he was dishonorable or that his errors were an intentional attempt to deceive GAITHER descendants. He was human, and he made mistakes in his research as everyone does.
To honor our true ancestry it is the duty of all GAITHER descendants who become aware of those errors to not perpetuate them, or allow others to perpetuate them and lead others astray.
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