Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Hinkle: not fraud, defrauded.

Some more news of the fraudulent Hinkle genealogy of the medieval Irish Harbisons. Edith Hinkle Harbison was not actually the creator of the fraud; instead, she paid good money for it. The fake genealogy was the creation of Gustave Anjou, one of the great fraudsters of the early 20th century.

'Anjou' came to the US from Sweden in 1890, after doing a little time in the Ikea-furnished big house for forgery, back in the old country (he was the bastard son of a guy called Carl Gustaf Jungberg). He proceeded to infiltrate various American genealogical societies, and then, at a time nouveau-riche Americans were willing to lay out hard money for a bit of class, started producing insta-genealogies for well-heeled families, showing their descent from various crowned heads of Europe. Gustave would charge up to $9,000 for a descent from Charlemagne, though usually it cost only a few hundred for a generic minor nobleman. My guess is that Hinkle was pretty stingy, because all the Harbisons got was a lousy Nottinghamshire village.

He died undetected in New York in 1942, a wealthy man.

I'm still trying to get hold of Anjou's original chart of the Harbison genealogy. I'm sure it's a gas.

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