Reference Centre, Planning

Errors in Published Genealogies,
Bridget Rucke

Bridget nee Rucke, who had been born circa 1534, was the wife of John Taylor of Shadoxhurst, Kent, England and this fact is not disputed. What is disputed is the misinformation concerning the identity of Bridget's father, which had been found on the world-wide web during my research into the entirety of the Ruck(e) family in April of 2006. There were, at that time, at least two postings of misinformation - one on the anonymous World Connect Project of RootsWeb, and one in Ancestral File of I believe that the first mentioned instance of error - the World Connect Project information - was made as the result of non-verification of sources used to compile the second mentioned instance of error - Ancestral File [LDS Ancestral File AF88-001492; microfilm #1394496 (being a film containing Ancestral file submission sheets)].

With the passage of time the old World Connect Project has grown and so have the instances of the same erroneous connection found on that web site. I initially discovered the error in Noel Trout's Family History and this is the tree to which my postem was affixed many years ago. It is now firmly affixed to that tree but bears an old and now abandoned email address.

Today, on a simple search for Bridget Rucke on the World Connect Project many results are returned, some with Richard Rucke as her father, but still a disturbing number of results touting Philip Chute as her father. First, is the tree of Hurd Brooks Strange Morrell, which was posted in March, 2007. Next, is Emerson Kowalczyk Family Tree. Others include: The Campbell Family And More; an unnamed tree submitted by "Rick"; an unnamed tree submitted by "Justin"; and, Sage to Adam and Eve whose author has conpounded the error even further by citing as his or her source The Campbell Family and More tree, listed above. While in this last mentioned tree Bridget's father is not specifically noted as Philip Chute certainly the reference is there that Bridget's surname was at one time Chute by the inclusion of that surname in brackets before her surname of Rucke. In all, 8 of the 19 search results for Bridget Rucke contain the error, a whopping 42% of the overall submissions to the World Connect Project!

In all instances the reputed father of Bridget Rucke has been erroneously given as being Philip Chute. Bridget's father was, in fact, Richard Rucke, one time mayor of Rye, Sussex, England. How did this error come about? From my research I discerned that the Mediaeval Families Unit of the Genealogical Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints incorrectly entered the information found in a footnote to the Taylor genealogy that is set out in Burke's Commoners. Page 238 of volume iv of Burke's Commoners states:

"He [John Taylor] m. secondly, Bridget, daughter of Richard Rucke, of Rye, and by her (whose will was dated in 1619) he had issue,..."

The reference to Philip Chute refers to the first wife of the same John Taylor, who was named Elizabeth, "eldest daughter of Philip Chute, of Bethersden,...".

This error was been brought to the attention of the Mediaeval Families Unit and a Post-em Display was added to the information of the World Connect Project. I was informed by the Family History Library that information submitted to Ancestral File by the Mediaeval Families Unit is rarely, if ever, amended. Consequently, this blatant and serious error will continue on in their records and in the records of the uninitiated Taylor family genealogists ad infinitum. A quick search on for Bridget Rucke has produced 32 search results 14, or 43.75%, of which contain and perpetuate the error discussed here.

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