Yes, in genealogy, it's very difficult to change "Possibly" to a documented "WAS".I would like to hear a little more about your Thomas and dau, Harriet. It sounds like you may be a part of our line. There is a possibility that Harriet may have been a Clarkson who married a Clarkson.Since I published "Bonds of Union" in 1980, I have sooooo many lines folding back into themselves, looks like a bowl of spaghetti. You need a roadmap instead of a chart:-) More than one time I found the name written as Clarkston, Clarkson, and Clark .... all within a single document. For a while, I wasn't sure we were talking about the same person ... very confusing.
I do understand that working with offspring born out of wedlock can be too sensitive or unacceptable for some genealogical researchers to deal with.The way I look at it, we are all human.We all have our 'skeletons in the closet'We all have sensitive issues.But, if we let that deter us from our research, we really don't want to know the truth.We have one situation where a group is working on an unmarried female descendant who never married but had almost as many children as if she had been married.To complicate matters, one of her daughters also never married and had numerous children.It is not only a difficult situation to document, but it is sad.From the evidence at hand, it appears these two (mother and daughter) worked out their lives as servants for other people, and in at least one situation, looks like serious abuse.Yes, it happened then, and it still happens today.It is sad.... but truth is truth.We want to know the Truth.
As for the ancient history, I too, have an ancestor who was hanged, but that's where the story differs.Maybe in the person who is telling it. Thanks, Kay Inman