Thursday, October 30, 2008

CoG #59: Apathy is foreign to my genes

In conjunction with the US election on November 4th, the topic for the 59th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is: Politics and Our Ancestors.

There have been several lawyers and judges over the centuries, but I have been able to find only one direct ancestor who held a public office. My 9th great grandfather, Barnabas Horton, one of my earliest non-Native ancestors to step foot in America, is described thusly:
BARNABAS HORTON, of Southold, L. L, was born in 1600, at Mowsley, Leicestershire, England, and died July 13, 1680, at Southold, Long Island. His wife, Mary, survived him. He emigrated to America prior to 1640, and settled at Hampton, New Hampshire. As early as 1651 he removed to Southold, and resided there until his death. He held many public offices and was one of the prominent men of Southold. He was deputy to the General Court of the New Haven Colony in 1654, 1656, 1658, 1659 and 1661. In 1663 and 1664 he was a commissioner for Southold. - Source
While he may have been the most recent direct ancestor to entangle himself in local affairs by actually holding office, politics are of great interest to my family, in all branches, and have been for generations. Getting involved in political parties, campaigns, protests, internships on Capitol Hill, voting in every election, and freely and eagerly voicing our opinions, are things my siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents have done. I suspect apathy is foreign to my genes.

During the summer of 1990 I interned on Capitol Hill for Congressman William L Clay of St. Louis. Mostly I opened and helped respond to constituent mail, though I also proofread a couple chapters of one of his books. I also worked two summers at the St. Louis County Election Board, and helped Gephardt campaign in Iowa in 1987-8 while I was attending college in Grinnell, IA.

I will be standing in line to vote at 6 am on the morning of November 4th.

[Image created by footnoteMaven]

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