When I first started researching my wife’s genealogy (Evans family,) I thought I had found her lineage dating back to Robert the Bruce in the 1270s in Scotland and therefore, Robert de Brus, 1st Lord of Annandale in the early 12th Century. However, I had taken one false step in the 1870s in Ohio and when I corrected my mistake, the Gateway Ancestor was gone. No longer was my wife related to Robert the Bruce and Anne Boleyn, but held a much more common (historically speaking) lineage.
I don’t have much care to be related to famous people, but it would make my research a little easier. It would be nice to have part of the research and paperwork already done and just drop our lines in place.
While researching my own family, the Huffs, I was nearing another Gateway Ancestor. This time I caught myself before I let it get too far. For a few days I believed we were descended from William Brewster (via his son Jonathan) and the Mayflower. But due to my previous track record, I wanted to make sure I was correct in lining up our family with such a historic figure. Luckily I rechecked the records and realized that my William Pickett (b.1668 Maryland d. Abt 1710 Maryland) was not the same William Pickett that was the son of Ruth Brewster and John Pickett. The Brewster Pickett died in 1690 at sea and there is no history or paper trail of him having had a family. Also, he would have been born in Connecticut along with all his siblings. My William Pickett married Elizabeth Heathcote and had at least five children, Rebecca, John, Mary, George, and Temperance. Another Gateway Ancestor is gone.
I hope that my daughters grow up to change the world in their own way. And one day, hundreds of years from now, maybe someone researching their family history will discover that Ava and or Lyla are their Gateway Ancestors. I could live with that.