Friday, June 26, 2015

My Washington Post comment on Skip Gates and the Affleck Debacle

Hershel Parker
6/25/2015 10:24 PM PST
Once you start looking into your ancestry you have to accept whatever you find. If you are part Choctaw and Cherokee and if your white ancestors were all here before there was a United States, then you can probably find stories, including some you knew already but had no idea you were kin to the actors in them. Pyle's Hacking Party in 1781, with Robert E. Lee's father one of the participants? Fine, but the young Dr. Pyle who lost his eye that day was married to Aunt Sarah. What did Ken Burns say? "A Tory, a Tory!" And young Pyle after the war went off to Greenville SC with his brother in law my Patriot GGGG Grandfather Henderson and a dozen or so Tory in-laws. This is undeniably strange, but it's undeniable. So a 1907 books says my half-Cherokee Coker cousins "were very dangerous men when drinking"! They were! You don't apologize for what an uncle did, even if as part of his job he drew and quartered a murderer. You look, you find. And you find dozens of joyous stories. Think about Revolutionary veteran Uncle Daniel in western NC at 78 deciding he wanted to visit daughters in Indiana and Illinois and getting on his horse and visiting them! Once he got home he kept applying Gray's Ointment for the misery he got in the cold riding from one daughter to the other, in that flat stretch of land. Or the old half Choctaw woman who hitched up her ox to her wagon in Yalabusha County and set off to find her children in western Arkansas, and did find them. You take what you get and you cherish a lot of it and you deal with slavery when it comes up. Why did Cousin Alexander decide that his slave Paul could choose which daughter to go to? This is part of our history. And now we are not going to take CSA off Grandpa Costner's gravestone. We can't re-write history, but we CAN take down the stars and bars, this week. Gates has to leave the show if it is renewed. No one will ever trust him again, after the kowtowing was followed by the specious explanation. With genealogy, you just don't fool yourself or others. Keep the show, PBS, with a new host and better genealogists. NOT the ones on the Genealogy Roadshow you had on recently.

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