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Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 2003-06 > 1054641482


From: Edward Andrews <>
Subject: Re: [Sc-Ir] Redneck, the true story
Date: Tue, 03 Jun 2003 12:58:02 +0100
References: <043f01c32943$5627c360$c577d7aa@johne>


Before we have another American Civil War. I beg your pardon, War of
Northern Aggression, or War Between The States, or even more dangerous
have Linda bawling us out ;-) I would like to make a number of suggestions.

OK, there is a web site which make a number of statements about the
origins of a term. The problem is that the etymology is not democratic,
any more than Genealogy is. It is facts which matter, and there are
those who spend a lot of time tracing the first use of a word. There are
books which trace these first uses. The standard one of English is the
Oxford English Dictionary. I have no doubt that there is a similar
source for American (Perhaps Webster, but it is not my area of
expertise). I suggest that you check the standard source.

I would however claim that my area of expertise is Scottish Church
History.
For those who do not know me, I am an Ulster man who is a minister of
the Church of Scotland. At present I work in Cumnock in the middle of
"Covenanting" country. Aird's Moss where Richard Cameron was killed. and
Sandy Peden is buried in the local graveyard along with some other
martyrs shot in the town square.

As for me personally I was brought up in the Covenant, and my parents
were for some time associated with the Reformed Presbyterian Church.

The fact that I had never heard of Presbyterians (or Covenanters) as
rednecks is not strange. I know of no source for Covenanters wearing red
scarfs It may be an American term. In Europe the people who wore red
scarfs were the followers of Garabaldi in Italy (The Carbaranari)

However people are going further there is this claim about people
drawing blood from their necks to sign the Covenant in their blood.

Where does this come from? The original article to which we were
referred says nothing about the blood being taken from the neck, merely
that there was a red scarf. I don't know of a source for that. The fact
that they don't differentiate between the National Covenant 1638, and
the Solemn League and Covenant 1643. The fact that they talk about a
covenant of 1641 which I do not know of, makes me wonder about the site
in the first place.

We therefore have to conclude that someone on this list then adds a
detail which was not in the first source. This is the kind of sloppy
thinking which makes life difficult for Historians, and impossible for
Genealogists. If you do your Genealogy in the same sloppy way all you do
history all you do is to write fiction.

I would suggest however that you think a wee bit about the issue.

You want blood with which to sign your name. (How often did this
happen?) Has anyone checked with the copies of the National Covenant
which are still extant as to what proportion of the signers did so in
their blood? In any case how much blood is required to sign your name
(remember it was a signature, not a mark)?

You are using a quill pen. (When were metal pens invented?) It is made
of Goose or just possibly swan quill. Is it capable of piercing the neck
producing the volume of blood to wrote a name, and then still write?
Has any one tried it?

Nice story with not the least scintilla of fact involved.

As for a Dr Coulter in Glasgow in the 1940s who wore a red clerical
collar, who was he?

I think that we have sloppy thought and sloppy research, and sloppy
thinking.
Edward Andrews

John Erwin wrote:
> Ok everybody click on this web site for the story about Rednecks.
>
> http://www.scotshistoryonline.co.uk/rednecks/rednecks.html
>
> John Erwin
>
>





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