I wonder if anyone told the Rev. Runnels not to quit his day job. Doesn't matter. He didn't quit his day job and was a congregational minister at various places including Orford and Sanbornton, N.H. He was Dartmouth, class of 1853. And he was an 19th century amateur historian/genealogist. Two of his works have come to haunt me. One is the Runnels Genealogy of 1873. The other is the History of Sanbornton. Now, the first problem has been largely remedied if you read my articles:
- William Reynolds of Plymouth Colony and Cape Porpoise, Maine, The New England Historical & Genealogical Register 162(2008):91-2.
- New Hampshire and Maine Descendants of William Reynolds of Cape Porpoise, New Hampshire Genealogical Record 25 (2008): 145-162.
It seems the Rev. Runnels excelled at gathering information. These two works are pretty good so long as you stick to the 19th century and around the time frame that Runnels himself lived. However, once you cross back before the year 1800, forget about it. Runnels couldn't do genealogy. His Runnels Genealogy gives separate chapters to several people, all of whom were related and leaves out how and the immigrant ancestor! He just couldn't figure out how to connect them (two are brothers!) Likewise, his genealogies in the History of Sanbornton should be treated with utmost care for anything that purports to be a line that goes back before the American Revolution.