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From: Rod Reese (e-mail him)
Re: Steve Sailer's Column: Two Cheers for Pinker On Genealogy…But What About Race?
I'll add a third cheer. As I am a fan of history for educating us about the past and the present, I am also a fan of genealogy for educating us about who we are in that present.
My hobby is a fascinating detective story.
I descend from the German Palatines and the Swiss founding families of Anabaptism who were the pioneers of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Many of these families had ten or more children. Generally the eldest children had babies before their mother was done.
Some grandfathers are my grandfathers eight or more times over and on different generational levels. Many of my grandparents were third and fourth cousins but probably didn't know it.
The facts I've uncovered about their lives have revealed to me who and what I am.
The connections are strong and undeniable. To learn of my grandfathers service in wars, including more than a dozen who served during the American Revolution creates a bond with American history that you do not get in the poorly taught history classes of the public school system.
To pursue genealogy is to become a researcher with a personal connection and a motivation lacking in most graduate school pursuits.
I've learned who in my family could write, who smoked cigars, what they did for a living, what property they owned, where they went to church and where they are buried.
It's all priceless information that everyone in this "who's your daddy?" society can and should have.