Wisdom Wednesday: Indian Princesses and Self-Delusion

Finding random documents to support what we want to believe is not research.  It’s self-delusion. — Elizabeth Shown Mills

This from a Quick Lesson that ESM wrote about the ever popular family legend about Indian Princesses in the family tree. 1

There is no point in finding a forgotten story if it isn’t true. Everyone who does research or even just casual family history should recite this to themselves everyday.  We want to know our ancestors as they were, not as we would imagine they were.

Footnotes

1. Elizabeth Shown Mills, “QuickLesson 7: Family Lore and Indian Princesses,” Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation & Source Usage (http://www.evidenceexplained.com/content/quicklesson-7-Family-Lore-and-Indian-Princesses : 27 Jun 2012).