Monday, February 26, 2007

Ancestor News

The press is really taking the phrase "digging up skeletons" seriously-

While Mitt Romney condemns polygamy and its prior practice by his Mormon church, the Republican presidential candidate's great-grandfather had five wives and at least one of his great-great grandfathers had 12.

Of course this dates back to the 1800s and has no bearing whatsoever on Romney himself.

And now there's this-

The U.S. Rev. Al Sharpton is a descendant of a slave owned by relatives of the late U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond -- a discovery the civil rights activist called "shocking" on Sunday.

The genealogists, who were not paid by the newspaper, uncovered the ancestral ties using a variety of documents that included census, marriage and death records.

They found that Sharpton's great-grandfather, Coleman Sharpton, was a slave owned by Julia Thurmond, whose grandfather was Strom Thurmond's great-great-grandfather. Coleman Sharpton was later freed.

Thurmond, of South Carolina, was once considered an icon of racial segregation. During his 1948 bid for president, he promised to preserve segregation and, in 1957, he filibustered for more than 24 hours against a civil rights bill.

So the press is not content with digging through a person's past now for material to write about- they now seem to consider what your great-great-grandparents did to be newsworthy too.

On a separate subject it's interesting to note the following - though he became a Republican in '64, the above segregation and anti-civil rights activity of Thurmond took place while he was a Democrat.

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