Dog Blog

Monday, March 04, 2013


My great uncle John in Kentucky sent some more information about our family's ancestry on my mother's side of the family which I find intriguing.  Turns out that we are descended from the Huguenots, who were members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France during the 16th and 17th centuries.  Our ancestor, also named John, fled to England and finally to America to escape religious prosecution by the Catholics, including the terrible St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, in which 5,000 to 30,000 were killed, although there were also underlying political reasons for the slaughter.  (Sound familiar?)  Later, my great, great grandfather became Kentucky's first Methodist Circuit Rider.  That's something like Jehovah's Witnesses (but not the same) who go door to door spreading their religion, only GG Grandpa did it on a horse.  

About the same time as the Huguenots, the first mention of a "basset" dog in France appeared  in La Venerie, an illustrated hunting text written by Jacques du Fouilloux in 1585.

Experts are now saying that there is such a thing as genetic memory and that along with our other genetic traits, like height or eye color, we can inherit other attributes from our ancestors of long ago.  I'm not particularly religious like my early ancestors were, though others on mom's side of the family certainly are.  This makes me wonder if any of those Huguenots I'm descended from might also have had a basset hound or two.  Could there be a link between Huguenots and hounds in history?   


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