Friday, December 2, 2016

"Inbreeding" as a slur--and comments by Parker and Harris

On the webzine JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION a recent post on a Ten Eyck in the Revolution prompted letters from a woman happy to see a relative celebrated. It was clear that she did not know what I considered the best part, that she was a cousin of Herman Melville's. The author of the article replied using the word "inbreeding" about the Albany Dutch families. I commented, as you see below, but the best part was C. Leon Harris's comment. Some of you know that Leon along with Will Graves is a heroic transcriber of 1832 Pension Applications. I had corresponded with him for a couple of years before he realized that we are Cockerham cousins.

  • Phil, “inbreeding” strikes some of us as a little harsh. Us North Carolina Scots-Irish prefer to say our folks are keeping the bloodlines pure or else that some cousins are on a branch that does not fork.

  • Count me along with cousin Hershel Parker as being among those whose ancestors preferred to play in the shallow end of the gene pool.

  • Am I proud to be called cousin on this webzine? You bet. And as far as we know we are not double or triple cousins.
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