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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: June ::
Representing Incest in Genealogy
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1166  Tuesday, 1 June 2004

[1]     From:   Bill Arnold <
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        Date:   Monday, 31 May 2004 08:02:39 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1153 Representing Incest in Genealogy

[2]     From:   Peter Bridgman <
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        Date:   Monday, 31 May 2004 16:22:58 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1153 Representing Incest in Genealogy

[3]     From:   David Cohen <
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        Date:   Monday, 31 May 2004 11:21:44 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1153 Representing Incest in Genealogy

[4]     From:   Colin Cox <
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        Date:   Monday, 31 May 2004 14:15:44 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1153 Representing Incest in Genealogy


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Arnold <
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Date:           Monday, 31 May 2004 08:02:39 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 15.1153 Representing Incest in Genealogy
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1153 Representing Incest in Genealogy

D Bloom writes, "I'm not sure under what circumstances incestuous
*parenthood* would ever be accepted, and thus ever be more than
speculation on the part of later genealogists."

Gabriel Egan writes "I'm grateful to Bill Arnold for pondering my
question, but I confess I can't see the point of this part of his
answer:...."

OK: I tried to be diplomatic in my first answer, but now will revert to
the wise sage, Bill Arnold.  My first cousin is a professional
genealogist at the NGS, and I have more than some passing knowledge to
say the following on a professional level: you aren't going to get clear
answers.  As Don notes above, in present day times you can go to jail
for such activity as incest, and no genealogist is going to find out the
true facts in 99.99 percent of all cases.  We refer to them as
*skeletons* in family closets.

OK: as stated prior, vertical lines represent descendants and horizontal
lines represent siblings or marriages.  Thus, if someone in any
generation mated with someone in his or her own line of another
generation, whatever, their descendants would be represented by vertical
lines *descending* from them.  Period.  That is, if the facts of such
*matings* are ascertainable.  People lie, and people cover up, but
professional genealogists let the chips fall where they may.  And
sometimes the chips are based on *conclusions* as in the case of the
extended Jefferson family, white and black, descended from Thomas Jefferson.

OK: if one looks at some historical lines of kings and queens in ancient
history, and some recent history, where records are ample and the desire
to show lineages exist to commit charts for publication, whether
ancestral or decendancy, one can find examples of which I speak.

OK: generally, there is a lot of in-fighting in families to keep such
*skeletons* in history's closets, as you can well imagine.  But in the
final analysis, names, dates, and vertical lines are the key, up in
terms of ancestry and down in terms of descendancy.  It is not more
complicated than that.  And the work is only as *Truthful* as the facts
and conclusions are truthful and valid.

Bill Arnold
http://www.cwru.edu/affil/edis/scholars/arnold.htm

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Bridgman <
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Date:           Monday, 31 May 2004 16:22:58 +0100
Subject: 15.1153 Representing Incest in Genealogy
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1153 Representing Incest in Genealogy

 >I remember reading somewhere that Lucrezia Borgia was debauched by her
 >father and brothers, and bore children by them. Were they accepted as
 >regular Borgias? Is that what is being referred to?

For what it's worth, it seems Lucretia was more the victim of 19th
century novelists than of incest.  Her first marriage, before she was
even a teenager, was annulled and her husband declared impotent.  To
protect his reputation and to get his own back on the Borgia clan, he
spread the incest rumour.  After the marriage was dissolved Lucretia was
raped by a friend of her father's while she was staying in a nunnery.
Italian historians now see her as a great patron of the Renaissance and
a strong woman who ran the papacy in her father's absence.

Peter Bridgman

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Cohen <
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Date:           Monday, 31 May 2004 11:21:44 -0500
Subject: 15.1153 Representing Incest in Genealogy
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1153 Representing Incest in Genealogy

 >I'm not sure under what circumstances incestuous *parenthood* would ever
 >be accepted, and thus ever be more than speculation on the part of later
 >genealogists. How would we know? Are there *any* instances where incest
 >(according the modern definition) was ever countenanced or admitted, and
 >thus offspring of such a union presented to the world as such products?

The Ptolomeic rulers of Egypt embraced incest enthusiastically.  You
might want to check out:

http://www.arts.uwaterloo.ca/CLASS/labyrinth/issue79/79ager.html

David Cohen

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Colin Cox <
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Date:           Monday, 31 May 2004 14:15:44 -0700
Subject: 15.1153 Representing Incest in Genealogy
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1153 Representing Incest in Genealogy

Don Bloom asks

 >Are there *any* instances where incest
 >(according the modern definition) was ever countenanced or admitted, and
 >thus offspring of such a union presented to the world as such products?

The Ptolemy familia. Quite a few cases of mother-son, father-daughter,
brother-sister and who knows what else.

Colin Cox
Will & Company

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