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Archiver > CORNISH > 1998-03 > 0890962882

From: "Ken Nelson" <>
Subject: Re: WILLIAMS
Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 20:41:22 -0500

I appreciate your reply. My answer was a genealogical one and aimed
specifically at the question of what it says on a death certificate. I am
from the state of Nebraska and have a sense of pride about the state. I
doubt however that when I die and a birth certificate is issued that my
descendants can expect too much from it as far as place of birth. My
suspicions are that my g-grandfather may have had a lot of pride about his
Cornish heritage, but for sake of simplicity he just said England, when
asked where he was from. So can we tell where a person was from by the
declaration of England on his death certificate. I doubt it.

I have really appreciated hearing of the tension between the Cornish and the
Londoners since I came to this list. It helps me understand some things. And
yet I have a cousin from Wales who is upset when a differentiation between
Wales and England and Cornwall and England is made. So I appreciate your
comments, but for purposes of genealogy, I doubt if too much stock can be
put in someone using Engand as the place of birth on a death certificate.
Again, it means what the writer meant it to mean. And that is ????.......

Let us hope the rugby puts Cornwall on the map.

Ken Nelson

->However, the question of identity is an important one, and to put that in
a context, just think how irate Canadians get when folk here ask them if
the are 'American', or how upset the good folk of New Zealand get if they
are identified as Australian.
>In the case of Cornwall, this IS the CORNISH list, and most of the people
on this list feel a STRONG sense of identity. That sense of identity is
shared - increasingly - by people in Cornwall, and the small minority of
Cornish activists have been finding (all of a sudden, since the closure of
South Crofty mine, ending 4,000 years of Cornish mining) that they are
talking to each other, finding popular support, and receiving national TV
>But this is also a question of culture (and I don't mean 'highbrow'
culture, but the indigenous culture of a race, or nationality). Just like
Wales, Ireland, and Scotland, CORNWALL has it's own language. It died out
over two hundred years ago, but is being spoken again, as people like Anna
learn it again, and Dave Annear promotes it to Cornish people worldwide
through his web site.
>If you had asked a Cornishman where he came from a hundred years ago, he
would maybe have said, 'England'.By the end of the 19th. Century, the
Cornish had lost virtually everything, and the vast wealth created by the
tin mines had already gone up to the English owners, (or sometimes, I regret
to say, been spent by the Cornish owners in London society). But if you had
asked 250 years ago, the answer may well have been (in Cornish) "Cornwall",
and this was fully recognised by the Romans, 1500 years ago, and the
Phoenicians, coming here to trade tin before Christ was even born..

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