27 February 2012

And This Is Why You Can't Believe Everything You Read

     I found this article in "The Hartwell Sun," published in Hartwell, Georgia 1920. It references my 4x Great Grandfather, Willis Craft, and his ancestors.  It states that his descendants can trace his family back about 150 years to a Miss Washington, the sister of George Washington. Yes, this article claims that the Crafts of Elbert County are related to our nation's first President. So, is it true?

     According to this article, the information is "said to be authentic and published as a bit of history without the knowledge of the Craft family." Well that doesn't bode well.

     But what about the facts themselves? Did the unnamed Miss Washington marry Griffin Craft?  In this situation, it would obviously be much easier to trace down the tree from George than up the tree from me.  It should be pretty easy to find out who his sisters were and who they married.  Turns out George Washington had only one sister who lived to adulthood, and she did not marry a Craft. Betty Washington married Fielding Lewis and it looks like none of their daughters married a Craft either.

     There could be some hint of truth in the article somewhere. Perhaps there is a Miss Washington in the family tree - just not one with such a famous brother. Or perhaps there is some other connection to the Washington family - through Mrs. Martha Washington's family perhaps?  There has to be some sort of basis for this story. But that could be only that someone wanted to invent a famous connection...

     Even if there is some small smidgen of truth buried somewhere in this story the boldly stated facts are patently false. You just can't believe everything you read.

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