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Quotes About Genealogy

Quotes tagged as "genealogy" (showing 1-22 of 23)
Orson Scott Card
“Every person is defined by the communities she belongs to.”
Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead

Joan Didion
“The past could be jettisoned . . . but seeds got carried.”
Joan Didion, Where I Was From

Jo Ann V. Glim
“A personal journey is part of the generational relay. Live your legacy then pass it on.”
Jo Ann V. Glim

“We are all the product of things we've never seen and people we never met. In fact, if just one little detail had been changed in their lives, we may not even exist!”
Melanie Johnston

Thomas Carlyle
“History is the essence of innumerable biographies.”
Thomas Carlyle

Rett MacPherson
“Most people get excited over new cars; I get excited over death certificates. It's no wonder my husband worries about my state of mind.”
Rett MacPherson, Family Skeletons

Ellen Goodman
“..what the next generation will value most is not what we owned, but the evidence of who we were and the tales of how we lived. In the end, it's the family stories that are worth the storage.”
Ellen Goodman

Amin Maalouf
“... the pursuit of origins is a way of rescuing territory from death and oblivion, a reconquest that ought to be patient, devoted, relentless and faithful.”
Amin Maalouf, Orígenes

Joshua Ferris
“I had never thought much of genealogy. A lot of wasted time collecting the names of the dead. Then stringing those names, like skulls upon a wire, into an entirely private and thus irrelevant narrative, lacking any historical significance. The narcissistic pastime of nostalgic bores.”
Joshua Ferris, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour

“Nuclear didn't describe families. How could it? Dry physics was not equal to that task. In the twentieth century we needed a biological metaphor, Darwinian in scope, to suggest the gnash and crash of carnivorous life in the family gene pool. But for the 21st century, the new century, I think the metaphors must be chemical. Molecular. In the molecular family people are connected without being bound. They spindle themselves around shared experiences and affections rather than splashing in the shared gene pool.”
Laura Kalpakian, Steps and Exes:: A Novel of Family

Barbara Kingsolver
“Every family's its own trip to China.”
Barbara Kingsolver, Prodigal Summer

Rett MacPherson
“She is my companion on my many genealogical hunts, and I will be forever indebted to her for the knowledge that she bequeathed to me. And I can think of nobody I would rather traipse through a cemetery with, and that says a lot about a person.”
Rett MacPherson, Family Skeletons

“I don't have to look up my family tree, because I know that I'm the sap.”
Fred Allen

Christopher Hitchens
“I have had my mother's wing of my genetic ancestry analyzed by the National Geographic tracing service and there it all is: the arrow moving northward from the African savannah, skirting the Mediterranean by way of the Levant, and passing through Eastern and Central Europe before crossing to the British Isles. And all of this knowable by an analysis of the cells on the inside of my mouth.

I almost prefer the more rambling and indirect and journalistic investigation, which seems somehow less… deterministic.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

Thomas Paine
“The first chapter of Matthew begins with giving a genealogy of Jesus Christ; and in the third chapter of Luke there is also given a genealogy of Jesus Christ. Did these two agree, it would not prove the genealogy to be true, because it might nevertheless be a fabrication; but as they contradict each other in every particular, it proves falsehood absolutely. If Matthew speaks truth, Luke speaks falsehood; and if Luke speaks truth, Matthew speaks falsehood: and as there is no authority for believing one more than the other, there is no authority for believing either; and if they cannot be believed even in the very first thing they say, and set out to prove, they are not entitled to be believed in any thing they say afterwards. Truth is an uniform thing; and as to inspiration and revelation, were we to admit it, it is impossible to suppose it can be contradictory. Either then the men called apostles were imposters, or the books ascribed to them have been written by other persons, and fathered upon them, as is the case in the Old Testament.

Now, if these men, Matthew and Luke, set out with a falsehood between them (as these two accounts show they do) in the very commencement of their history of Jesus Christ, and of who, and of what he was, what authority (as I have before asked) is there left for believing the strange things they tell us afterwards? If they cannot be believed in their account of his natural genealogy, how are we to believe them when they tell us he was the son of God, begotten by a ghost; and that an angel announced this in secret to his mother? If they lied in one genealogy, why are we to believe them in the other? If his natural genealogy be manufactured, which it certainly is, why are we not to suppose that his celestial genealogy is manufactured also, and that the whole is fabulous? Can any man of serious reflection hazard his future happiness upon the belief of a story naturally impossible, repugnant to every idea of decency, and related by persons already detected of falsehood?”
Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

“The story of his great-grandfather . . . was his own story, too.”
Kelly Cherry, The Exiled Heart: A Meditative Autobiography

Susannah Mansfield
“Do try The House by fresh new author, Susannah Mansfield, it's funny, sad and very different, you'll love the characters and the stories.”
Susannah Mansfield

Rex Stout
“You are so engrossed in the fact that you are oblivious to its environment”
Rex Stout, Fer-de-Lance

Vivian LeMay
“He'd viewed the past like Uncle Joseph's grave, an empty hole without life, waiting to be filled in by him. It never occurred to him that Paradis, the Marais Foncé, or the ridge, existed before he had the eyes to see them, or that older people had once been young. Now his eyes were opened and he wanted to understand the past."
Jean Baptiste, The Last Lord of Paradise––Generation Two”
Vivian LeMay

J.R. Tompkins
“History doesn’t move you more than when it’s in the iron of your own blood.”
J.R. Tompkins

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