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Archiver > APG > 2006-08 > 1156720072

From: Ray Beere Johnson II <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Snobs
Date: Sun, 27 Aug 2006 16:07:52 -0700 (PDT)
In-Reply-To: <000801c6ca1c$8edd4a40$040cf445@win2000a141573>

I was aware genealogy had sometimes been
used for unsavoury purposes, but I didn't know
the first issue of the NGSQ advocated eugenics!
When I first became a genealogist, I was naive
and idealistic enough to believe I had chosen a
profession I would never need to feel ashamed of.
It only took me a couple of years to learn
otherwise. While none of this reflects on current
practicioners of the profession, I am most
heartily ashamed of some of those who went before
I hope every genealogical society has
explored the backgrounds of past genealogists who
are now revered, to ensure none of them espoused
such vile ideas. We can't help our past, but we
should ensure we do not continue honouring the
blackest portions of it. Does anyone know if the
various genealogical societies have, in fact,
stripped hounours from those who did not merit
them? If not, I hope we can all agree this should
be done at once to preserve the current
reputation of our profession.

--- Mills <> wrote:
> The very first issue of the NGS Quarterly in
> 1906 carried an essay by the
> society's president, Dr. Joseph G. B. Bulloch
> ("The Problems That Now
> Confront Us") that echoed the nativistic spirit
> then prevalent in America.
> Bulloch, a physician, railed against the
> "degeneracy and decay of modern
> society" and the "negative" influence of
> immigrants and argued that
> solutions to these "problems" lay in wise
> reproductive choices made possible
> by the new "sciences" of genealogy and
> eugenics. (NGSQ 1:39-41)
> The old *Journal of American History* (renamed
> the *Journal of American
> Genealogy* and not to be confused with the
> modern scholarly *Journal of
> American History*) opined in 1909, "It is as
> positive as time itself that
> future civilizations will require by law
> examinations into heredity before
> granting the privileges of entering into the
> serious and sacred matrimonial
> relations, and the basis for these examinations
> will be a perfected system
> of genealogical investigations." (JAH 3:145)

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