I got into the subject matter from reading a post at the Nutfield Genealogy blog about the Top 40 sites (of which NG is one) as rated by Family Tree magazine. I had earlier run across another site mentioned in the post: (stale pointer to Dick Eastman's Newsletter removed).
As I revisited Eastman's site, I looked at a few posts. One that caught my eye mentioned Adam and Eve. We all have run across family trees that purport to go back that far. Eastman points (stale pointer removed - time limit) to a couple of papers that ought to be required reading. Here, I must add a pointer to one important article: Robert C. Gunderson, Feb 1984 (scroll to the second article on the page). His message is to not go back prior to 1500 (AD, of course).
We can let scholars fill in the pieces earlier than that. However, at this time, the Merovingians (ca 450-752) are about as far back as experts can follow documented sources.
Gunderson also counselled that we ought to fill in our trees as much as possible coming forward.
As an aside, Gunderson quotes Paul (c. 5 to 67) which is where the subject comes in. Look at this page to see various translations of the Biblical text:
What struck me was the "endless" concept used in the context of "genealogies" (showing just how old is the interest in ancestors - who begat whom).
But, we can see this interest even earlier, to wit Chronicles (350-300 BCE). But, even earlier, we had Genesis (written 500s BC).
So, if there was an interest 2500 years ago, what do we know, or have, now that is truly different. Science/Technology comes to mind. Anything else?
Hint: Based upon your world view, you would answer, lots of things. The question is do any of these have anything to add to the genealogists' mixed bag?
05/04/2020 -- It's time to grasp the bullet and lay out the new ideas that are so much wanting. To do that, we have to reflect on the past: Vanity genealogy. Then, we can go forward wisely.
06/23/2015 -- Gosh, a couple of years between posts: Auras, etc. Removed links to stale pointers; updated others.
08/22/2013 -- The start of a look at what was what in early Salem (and New England) as far as Gardner is concerned.