Alma LaFrance recently wrote to me from the US:
<You write in the Annual Report re the early Beaminster tree…”While this tree is highly documented its origins are surrounded by questions. Famously, a researcher a century ago claimed to have found Eltweed’s baptismal entry in the Beaminster parish registers, but this was later dismissed as a fake. Now, I had not been aware that it was ‘Famously’ dismissed as a ‘fake’. Please let me know by whom and when it was determined to be a fake.”>
Alma, I have to beg humble pie here, and I’m wishing now that I’d (re-)checked at least this part of the 15,000 words in the Annual Report.
I recall seeing, but cannot bring to hand, a paper from someone suggesting the baptismal entry of Eltweed had been inserted after the fact. I remember there was a picture of it too. I do have to hand Col. A’s 18-page pamphlet rebutting any insinuations of forgery. I recall that the suggestion was that the researcher Col A had hired had created the evidence they sought, not Col A himself. Alma, your screen grab from the A A Pomeroy book shows the transcript done by C A Hoppin in 1913. This certainly attests that the entry is there, in the copy of the registers made for Salisbury, the original parish records not surviving. I suspect that I have grabbed the wrong end of the stick here, so my apologies.
More widely, what is not accepted, as far as I’m aware, is the pedigree Col A uses to link Richard back to the noble Pomeroy family. That’s generations 14-17 in vol 3, pp 40-42. You’ll see that there is an absence of dates in this period, only assertions that people “moved” to different places. That whole section seems to hinge on a will in 1531. And although Col A acknowledges a revision since the previous edition, he doesn’t say why or how this change is made, just that Hoppen says so. This strikes me as a bit lax for someone who’d been attacked so publicly.
On page 272 the arbiter Col A finds to comment on the “cause celebre” states that though no particular (ie. specific, documented) line can be shown to link Eltweed to the noble family, it’s basically unthinkable that he’s not. Also see the pages 281-2 on the leap from Totnes to Beaminster. And note that there he’s appluading the original assertion, that Richard’s father was Henry, not John as the 1923 edition now claims, which he then gets around to in pp 300-303, where the evidence is circumstantial.
It may well be that all the details cited turn out to be accurate, and the connection suggested still the most logical, but I will hold off on that one.
More widely, I am hoping next year to go through all the archives we hold, per tree, and write up some details on each. That will allow me to check that all the data we hold is being used, and to note what is asserted by researchers but not documented ourselves. I’ll then need to schedule some time to get to the bottom of this!
Thanks for pointing that out to me!