Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Parentage and an Ashtray

One of my ancestors was a rather important man in the Dutch East Indies. The story goes that he married an indigenous princess, which explains “the drop of eastern blood in the eye”, as my aunt calls it. Our daughter clearly has it.
However, our lineage is not quite as illustrious as that. It turns out—if we are to believe the information on the Internet—that he was offered a slave by an indigenous princess. I suppose in much the same way, as business relations would receive an ashtray from the government on a business trip.
The man fathered several children by her. He bought her freedom and she was baptised as Helena Pieters, not a very Indonesian name.
So much for our regal ancestry! We descend from a promotional gift: no more than an ashtray!

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