Friday, August 31, 2007

The Churchill Series – Aug. 31, 2007

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

The last two series posts dealt with two questions: 1) Did Churchill have an American Indian ancestor on his mother’s side; something that, during Churchill’s lifetime, was openly talked about by many and which possibility Churchill was aware of; and 2) What were Churchill’s feelings about the question? The posts are here and here.

On the first question, as so often in genealogical study, there is dispute. I provided citations from two respected sources, one for and the other against the American Indian claim.

And that’s about what I can do on the question. I've no knowledge of my own to contribute.

Now, as to how Churchill felt about the question, he came down on the side of the “fors.” Churchill Centre Associate Elizabeth Snell has said: "Sir Winston, to whose romantic nature the story appealed, was known to believe it, as did some members of his family."

And in Chruchill and America (Free Press, 2003) Martin Gilbert reports, citing a letter he received from one of Churchill's physicians:

In 1960, five years before his death, Churchill told one of his doctors: " ... you may not know it, but I am descended from a Seneca Indian squaw who was an ancestor of my mother." (p.3)[...]
Well, there you are.

I hope you all have a very nice weekend. I plan to take Labor Day off from the series, but I'll be back on Tuesday. I hope you are too.