An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown




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


Fred A. Allen (1894-1957, American radio comic)


Genealogy. An account of one's descent from an ancestor who did not particularly care to trace his own.


Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914, American author, editor, journalist, "The Devil's Dictionary")


If your descent is from heroic sires, show in your life a remnant of their fires.


Nicholas Boileau (1636-1711, French literary poet, critic)


Nothing is so soothing to our self esteem as to find our bad traits in our forebears. It seems to absolve us.


Van Wyck Brooks


Heredity is nothing, but stored environment.


Luther Burbank (1849-1926, American horticulturist)


Good breeding is the result of good sense, some good nature, and a little self-denial for the sake of others.


Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield (1694-1773, British statesman, author)


The scholar without good breeding is a nitpicker; the philosopher a cynic; the soldier a brute and everyone else disagreeable.


Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield (1694-1773, British statesman, author)


Breed is stronger than pasture.


George Eliot (1819-1880, British novelist)


Good breeding: a union of kindness and independence.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


I am, in point of fact, a particularly haughty and exclusive person, of pre-Adamite ancestral descent. You will understand this when I tell you that I can trace my ancestry back to a protoplasmal primordial atomic globule.


W. S. Gilbert (1836-1911, British librettist)


Is anyone simply by birth to be applauded or punished?


Hitopadesa (600-1100 AD, Sanskrit fable from Panchatantra)


Every man is an omnibus in which his ancestors ride.


Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894, American author, wit, poet)


Stillness and steadiness of features are signal marks of good breeding. Vulgar persons can't sit still, or at least must always work their limbs and features.


Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894, American author, wit, poet)


None of us can boast about the morality of our ancestors. The record does not show that Adam and Eve were ever married.


Edgar Watson Howe (1853-1937, American journalist, author)


I don't know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be.


Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865, American President (16th))


The precise form of an individual's activity is determined, of course, by the equipment with which he came into the world. In other words, it is determined by his heredity.


Henry Louis


They talk about their Pilgrim blood, their birthright high and holy! a mountain-stream that ends in mud thinks is melancholy.


James Russell Lowell (1819-1891, American poet, critic, editor)


High birth is an accident, not a virtue.


Pietro Metastasio (1698-1782, Italian poet)


We are linked by blood, and blood is memory without language.


Joyce Carol Oates (1938-, American author)


The person who has nothing to brag about but their ancestors is like a potato; the best part of them is underground.


Sir Thomas Overbore


The sharp thorn often produces delicate roses.


Ovid (BC 43-18 AD, Roman poet)


Hereditary honors are a noble and a splendid treasure to descendants.


Plato (BC 427?-347?, Greek philosopher)


It is indeed a desirable thing to be well-descended, but the glory belongs to our ancestors.


Plutarch (46-120, Greek essayist, biographer)


Unworthy offspring brag the most about their worthy descendants.


Danish Proverb (Sayings of Danish origin)


Mules are always boasting that their ancestors were horses.


German Proverb (Sayings of German origin)


Clever father, clever daughter; clever mother, clever son.


Russian Proverb (Sayings of Russian origin)


There is a certain class of people who prefer to say that their fathers came down in the world through their own follies than to boast that they rose in the world through their own industry and talents. It is the same shabby-genteel sentiment, the same vanity of birth, which makes men prefer to believe that they are degenerated angels rather than elevated apes.


Winwood W. Reade (1838-1875, American writer)


My ancestors didn't come over on the Mayflower, but they were there to meet the boat.


Will Rogers (1879-1935, American humorist, actor)


Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrations and revolutionists.


Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945, American President (32nd))


He who boasts of his descent, praises the deed of another.


Marcus Annaeus Seneca (BC 3-65 AD, Roman philosopher, dramatist, statesman)


No one is better born than another, unless they are born with better abilities and a more amiable disposition.


Marcus Annaeus Seneca (BC 3-65 AD, Roman philosopher, dramatist, statesman)


Those who boast of their decent, brag on what they owe to others.


Marcus Annaeus Seneca (BC 3-65 AD, Roman philosopher, dramatist, statesman)


Englishmen hate Liberty and Equality too much to understand them; but every Englishman loves a pedigree.


George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950, Irish-born British dramatist)


Each has his own tree of ancestors, but at the top of all sits Probably Arboreal.


Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1895, Scottish essayist, poet, novelist)


In church your grandsire cut his throat; to do the job too long he tarried: he should have had my hearty vote to cut his throat before he married.


Jonathan Swift (1667-1745, Anglo-Irish satirist)


Good breeding consists in concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person.


Mark Twain (1835-1910, American humorist, writer)


From our ancestors come our names, from our virtues our honor.


Author Unknown


The kind of ancestors we have had is not as important as the kind of descendants our ancestors have.


Author Unknown


Do well and you will have no need for ancestors.


Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694-1778, French historian, writer)


I resolved that because I had no ancestry myself, I would leave a record of which my children would be proud, and which might encourage them to still higher effort.


Booker T. Washington (1856-1915, American black leader and educator)


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