Gustav Anjou (1863 – 1942) is a famous name in European genealogy – he has faked hundreds of studies for his clients, and many of his works are still, unfortunately, awaiting disclosure.
Anjou was born in Stogkolm. His mother served in the house of Karl Gustav Yunberg, most likely Gustav was born as an illegitimate son. He took on the name of Anjou after having served a prison term for falsification. Generally speaking, Anjou is the middle name of his bride, which also causes association with the royal and noble dynasties of Europe. Having married in 1889, Gustav emigrated with his wife to the United States a year later. In 1942, Anjou died in New York, having survived his wife and child.
Anjou fraud was one of the most arrogant that you can imagine – he did not cheat, but invented the genealogies of his clients from scratch, backing them up with a huge pile of papers, in which not one of the wealthy residents of the East Coast understood. And why, because there were papers, Anjou aroused confidence, spent a lot of time “searching”, and the high-profile titles and famous ancestors found completely satisfied the customers. So he quickly became rich and gained fame.
The essence of his deception was well developed and very effective:
- There are many (many times more than usual in reality) confusing references to early emigrants from Great Britain, mostly of royal origin.
- Extremely confusing family migration patterns across the US.
- Fake documents that were not referenced from the study, but they were listed in the sources as confirmation of the facts from the two points above.
- A lot of quotes (more than the average is used) on real-life documents to trick especially corrosive customers.
Of course, Anjou was very lucky with the lack of the Internet, since in the USA a large number of genealogical documents are now digitized and posted online, and anyone can build their genealogy for several centuries without leaving home, well, of course, to check someone else’s work too.
Good luck in finding.