A hoax in the family does not mean that everything ever written must be disregarded. You will be a better researcher by knowing the problem exists, so that you will recognize it if you encounter it. Published genealogies are excellent resources and handed-down family papers may provide one-of-a-kind clues. They should not be discounted or ignored. In fact, it is critical to acknowledge the hoax in your research and explain how you addressed contradictions and falsehoods. The overall point is to be conscious of what you read and make your own assessment.
As you review family histories and papers, look for:
The Library of Congress has one of the world's premier collections of U.S. and foreign genealogical and local historical publications, numbering more than 50,000 compiled family histories and over 100,000 U.S. local histories. The Library's genealogy collection began as early as 1815 with the purchase of Thomas Jefferson's library.
The subscription resources marked with a padlock are available to researchers on-site at the Library of Congress. If you are unable to visit the Library, you may be able to access these resources through your local public or academic library.