About Gustav Anjou
Gustave Anjou (December 1, 1863–March 2, 1942) was a self-professed genealogist who has been accused of fakery.
Born in Katarina Parish (Swedish: Katarina församling) in Stockholm, Sweden, Anjou was the illegitimate son of Carl Gustaf Jungberg and his housekeeper Maria Lovisa Hagberg. After serving a prison term in 1886 for forgery, Anjou changed his name to Gustaf Ludvig Jungberg (or Ljungberg), and then began using the alias Gustave Anjou (which was based on his fiancé's maiden name, Anna Maria Anjou). Usually he used the alias "Gustave Anjou," but occasionally he also used the aliases "H. Anjou" and "M. Anjou." Gustave and Anna Maria married in 1889. After emigrating to the U.S. in 1890, Anjou took up residence on Staten Island (Richmond County, New York), and became a naturalized citizen in 1918.
Few if any names in genealogical circles draw the outrage that Anjou enjoys. He presented himself as a professional genealogist, and his services were employed by many East Coast families in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Anjou initially earned a reputation for providing copious amounts of research to back up his findings, much to the delight of his clients. For his "findings," Anjou's services were expensive for the day and he became quite well off.
However, scholarly investigation of Anjou’s findings has revealed flawed research with the intent to defraud. A 1976 article by George E. McCracken is one of the most widely quoted sources on the Internet about Anjou's fraudulent works. McCracken's article also names other authors of "suspect" genealogies, although none come close to Anjou and his activities.
In 1991, genealogists Robert Charles Anderson and Gordon L. Remington wrote companion articles on Anjou in the Genealogical Journal, a publication of the Utah Genealogical Association. Anderson's article. "We Wuz Robbed, The 'modus operandi' of Gustave Anjou" discussed the manner in which Anjou fabricated his genealogies. Anderson wrote:
"A typical Anjou pedigree displays four recognizable features:
1. A dazzling range of connections between dozens of immigrants to New England; for example, connections far beyond what may be seen in pedigrees produced by anyone else.
2. Many wild geographical leaps, outside the normal range of migration patterns.
3. An overwhelming number of citations to documents that actually exist, and actually include what Anjou says they include and
4. Here and there an invented document, without citation, which appears to support the many connections noted under item 1 above."
Remington's article, "Gustave We Hardly Knew Ye: A Portrait of Herr Anjou as a Jungberg," revealed Anjou's true identity through exposing who his biological father really was. Anjou's fakery has also been well documented by the late Donald Lines Jacobus, founder of The American Genealogist.
As a result of this research, Anjou’s findings are not respected in professional genealogical circles. Anjou died on March 2, 1942 at Tottenville, Staten Island, New York, and was buried in Fairview Cemetery (at West New Brighton, Castleton Corners, Richmond County, New York). He was predeceased by both his Swedish-born wife Anna Maria Anjou (Oct. 21, 1860–July 6, 1922) and by his only child.