For starters, Laramie Hirsch is not my name. Some people online know this, and others are able to easily figure this out. But no, Hirsch is not my name. And, in hindsight, I sort of regret taking Laramie Hirsch as my pen name all those years ago, because everyone thinks I'm Jewish. It's funny, but also unfortunate, because I end up beginning with a level of distrust and a lack of credibility in the circles I travel--because the people I talk to don't trust Jews.
The closest approximation to my name I'm willing to give is Michael Cornwallis Barcus. Several people whom I've corresponded with in the past have occasionally seen me end a letter or message with "Mike," and then expressed surprise that Laramie is not my name.
I'm a Traditionalist Catholic, as most readers know.
|My tribe served as the first settlers to Maryland.|
Yet for those folks on the Alt-Right who require more qualifiers, I'm also white. Very white. I'm mostly English, though I'd say I'm 15% or less German, with less than 10% Scottish blood. I have multiple ancestors who fought in the American Revolution, and I'm easily eligible for the Sons of the American Revolution. In fact, I have ancestors who have fought in every American war. I am even the descendant of Missouri slave plantation owners.
However, I also have a touch of Loyalist ancestry. That is to say, some in my lineage actually was rooting for the English during the American Revolution. This line is the one I am most proud of. They trace back to English recusant nobles--the Cornwallis family.
|Cousin Tom took these guys out.|
My 2nd cousin (11 times removed) was Captain Thomas Cornwallis, who advised Maryland's governor and served as captain and chief military officer in 1634. He was responsible for firing a broadside into the Cockatrice and defeating her crew, and engaging in several naval battles over Kent Island against the Puritans who sought to overtake Maryland from the Catholics. He grew tobacco, invested in fur, built the first mill in the colony, and he became a creditor to poorer colonists.
My most favorite ancestor, however, is someone I am directly descended from: Great Grandpappy Sir Thomas Cornwallis.
My 12th great grandfather is more properly known as Sir Thomas Cornwallis, High Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk. He was also a member of Parliament in the 1500s. He was dismissed from office by Queen Elizabeth and forced to retire, due to his status of being an English recusant. It's amazing that he wasn't executed.
|Grandpa, you should have fired the painter.|
I'm sure that I'm related to the very same Cornwallis who attempted to preserve the colonies for England, though I have yet to find my linkage with him. I imagine that particular general Cornwallis to be a 2nd or 3rd cousin, at best.
Not all of my ancestry goes back to posh royal courts and decorated naval captains. Some of my ancestors were quite rugged frontiersmen.
My 4th great grandfather was George A. Barcus, an English frontiersman. A Methodist minister who built one of the first Methodist churches in Indiana, he once wrote:
In all probability our children, or children’s children will yet be scattered beyond the Rocky Mountains, I suppose it is no great difference where we are scattered are where we lay down and die if we are so happy as to die with our Jesus in our arms to recline our fainting heads upon his loving breast and their breath our lives out sweetly...
Should I live till the first of May 1846, I shall have lived out my three score and ten years, and although I have been blest in ten thousand instances, yet may I not say the most of my life has been sorrow and trouble and oft times vexation of spirit. But we sometimes sing there’s a better Day a coming I often contemplate the time is near at hand when I with my friends that have gone on before shall have to pass over Jordan, frequently I am led to wonder, who will congratulate my arrival should I be so happy as to reach the peaceful climes in the happy world of spirits. Shall I meet my parents there, shall I happily there meet the companion of my youth with whom I enjoyed pleasures and suffered pain? Shall I meet my little girls that are gone to Heaven , my Brother, Sisters, and friends, who have long slept in dust and we who are following hard after them?
How I wish that all of my ancestors shared this kind of introspection and recorded it down for their descendants. From the very sound of this letter, I sort of miss him in a way, wishing to meet him in a country that never really existed--a phenomenon the Welsh refer to as hiraeth.
Great Grandpa George was the son of William Barcus, who actually died in a wagon train en route to Ohio from Maryland in 1804. So, once more, we have a branch of my family that traces back to Maryland, and as it so happens, William Barcus was one of the many men in my family who fought during the American Revolution.
If we trace my Barcus line back further, it goes into the time when the Barcus family was a regal family of knights and landowners. Three gentlemen of the Barcus Family were promoted to superior command by Cromwell, Lord Fairfax, and Prince Rupert. Their descendants would later, like my Cornwallis line, cross the Atlantic to Maryland, where they would work together with Lord Balitmore. This particular line of my family can be read about as early as 1658. Go back even further, and it is said that our family is descended from an order of knights, the Knights of the Val De Sairi near Cherbourg, Normandy, who crossed the English Channel with William the Conqueror.
There's oodles more to tell you about my family's history, but I think for today's purposes, this should suffice.
-William the Conqueror, 11th Century
So, why tell you this at all?
Because it seems that among those in certain Alt-Right circles, there is a growing question as to what makes a "pure" American. As I stated yesterday, the question is: "America is a nation of colonists who..." Fill in the blank.
If we're calling into question the genetic and cultural pedigree of various personalities and commentators, I suppose this is my occasion for selfish virtue signaling against the critics. Although, it also doesn't hurt to know a little more about the writer that you're reading.
So, just know that when you read my discussions about Puritans, the American character, colonial history--and everything that can and will branch off from those topics--just know that I'm personally invested in the matter, and I assure you I know more than most. This is in stark contrast to those who are of a greater mixed pedigree who will prattle on and on about "pure Americans," all the while being dirtier than I and incapable of seeing beyond the signing of the Declaration of Independence, as well as all of the Enlightenment propaganda that comes with it.