If there is one thing that has made a definite impression on me during the last few years of indulging in my interest in history and family history research is that nothing is ever what it seems—well, maybe sometimes it is. I’ve known since I was a teenager that some Scottish history as written by the historiographers is occasionally creative balderdash.

This concept was reinforced on completion of an elective class on historiography in college. It’s really difficult to write an objective account of an event, no matter how hard one applies oneself to the subject it’s inevitable that  subjectivity and personal feelings creep in.

When you start researching family history there are so many surprises along the way, some good and some not so good and not what you would have wished for your ancestors.

My premise finds a measure of validation in the first blog post of a newly launches series by the Findmypast blog about the family trees of the famous. The first article on silent screen star Charlie Chaplin clearly illustrates the point, at least in the area of family history.

The well-known and talented family historian Roy Stockdill takes blog readers on a fascinating journey through time and the mysterious genealogy of one of the greatest creative geniuses of all time.

If you’d like a real treat and an interesting demonstration of how it’s done click on Findmypast.co.uk blog.  It’s free.

I’ve written about Charlie Chaplin three times during the course of the last year and, in retrospect, I really enjoyed his talent as a child and as an adult.

Quite recently on February 23, of this year I posted the following information: New MI5 records released to the British National Archives

On April 5, 2011 I Wrote about Charlie’s 122 birthday as follows: Charlie Chaplin’s 122nd birthday tomorrow, April 16

On July 6, 2011 of last year I wrote this: Silent Cinema Stars Private Information Revealed In Historic Studio Archives Now Available Online at Ancestry.com

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4 Comments on Charlie Chaplin’s Family Tree: Nothing is ever what it seems.

  1. This is such an interesting story. I’ll be checking for the next one. Charlie Chaplin was a genius talent and quite evidently very good looking when he was a young man.

  2. Tiger Lilly says:

    What an interesting story. It does clearly illustrate how family history is revealed piece by piece. The incidents we uncover often yields surprises. Great for beginners.

  3. Roy Stockdill, says:

    Many thanks for your very kind comments on my new blog. It is very gratifying to know that people appreciate it!

    Roy Stockdill
    Genealogist
    Hertfordshire, UK

  4. Tin Lizzie says:

    This is a terrific post especially for beginners. I’ll be looking forward to the next one. I didn’t realize there was so much controversy surrounding Charlie Chaplin but do know he married Eugene O’Neill’s daughter Oona many years his junior.

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