Author Topic: Who is John Narrow from Perth wa  (Read 2567 times)

Offline majm

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Re: Who is John Narrow from Perth wa
« Reply #18 on: Tuesday 06 February 18 10:48 GMT (UK) »
I understand that some people may find 'half caste' a confronting expression when viewed from a 21st century perspective,  however  as family history buffs we recognise that our fellow RChatter is not intending to offend but to actually use the word to explain that there's both an Aboriginal heritage and a non-Aboriginal heritage involved.  In the same way that  words like 'bastard' or 'illegitimate birth' are no longer words used everyday at the dinnertable they are words we, as family history buffs, clearly undertand are descriptors that help in the search for our ancestors.

JM
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Offline majm

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Re: Who is John Narrow from Perth wa
« Reply #19 on: Tuesday 06 February 18 10:53 GMT (UK) »
I think we need to remember that 19th century official records would likely use the expression.  I know NSW ones do.

JM
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Offline mollipops1

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Re: Who is John Narrow from Perth wa
« Reply #20 on: Tuesday 06 February 18 23:48 GMT (UK) »
I think we need to remember that 19th century official records would likely use the expression.  I know NSW ones do.

JM

Yes, and I acknowledged this in my original response - that it was a common term at the time.

However, terms such as nigger, Negroid, Mongoloid, and spastic were also widely used 'back in the day' in documents and newspapers. Would you feel comfortable using these terms to describe someone's ancestor in a passing remark?

I suspect you might present that information as a direct quote in quotation marks, or omit the word entirely, with an explanation of the modern equivalent. As you mentioned, you would suggest someone was illegitimate, not say they were a bastard child!

I am not suggesting there was any intention to cause offence. However, perhaps my equally well-intentioned feedback could have been accepted for what it was, rather than feeling the need to justify and defend the use of the term.

To say someone is 'part-Aboriginal' is just as offensive today as saying 'half-caste'. Talking about someone's 'true heritage' when Aboriginal people are the oldest surviving culture in the world??

My bad for thinking this was an opportunity to offer some cultural guidance here.

Offline majm

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Re: Who is John Narrow from Perth wa
« Reply #21 on: Wednesday 07 February 18 00:27 GMT (UK) »
Yes our 21st century eyes find offense in many words but we as family history buffs will need to be familiiar with these words to be able to offer help in any quest.  simply because official records often used them.  it does not mean we ought to be considered as using offensive words .   it does indicate that we are striving to better comprehend officialdom in their own era/context

quotation marks around the words can help but are often omitted even by academics.

JM

 
Please don't use the term half caste - it may have been in common usage back then but is offensive and unnecessary today. He was an Aboriginal man, plain and simple.
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Offline majm

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Re: Who is John Narrow from Perth wa
« Reply #22 on: Wednesday 07 February 18 02:07 GMT (UK) »

.... As you mentioned, you would suggest someone was illegitimate, not say they were a bastard child!
.....
 

Would I ?  I doubt it.   I doubt that I have ever referred to any individual person as illegitimate at any time in my life, not even in my many decades of family history.  I am astounded that you have made that comment about me,  you have never met me.

JM
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Offline majm

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Re: Who is John Narrow from Perth wa
« Reply #23 on: Wednesday 07 February 18 02:11 GMT (UK) »
Suegar,

May I please ask if you have any official documents to help your quest?

JM
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Offline suegar

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Re: Who is John Narrow from Perth wa
« Reply #24 on: Wednesday 07 February 18 03:18 GMT (UK) »
majm,

Yes. I do have some official documents but always looking for more.
Sue

Offline majm

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Re: Who is John Narrow from Perth wa
« Reply #25 on: Wednesday 07 February 18 03:23 GMT (UK) »
 :)

do you have the 1883 marriage ... and or the 1899 death .... I doubt there's much to be gleaned from either, so I am not suggesting you purchase these, but if you have copies ... what info is available from these

JM
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Offline suegar

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Re: Who is John Narrow from Perth wa
« Reply #26 on: Wednesday 07 February 18 03:39 GMT (UK) »

I am not suggesting there was any intention to cause offence. However, perhaps my equally well-intentioned feedback could have been accepted for what it was, rather than feeling the need to justify and defend the use of the term.

To say someone is 'part-Aboriginal' is just as offensive today as saying 'half-caste'. Talking about someone's 'true heritage' when Aboriginal people are the oldest surviving culture in the world??

My bad for thinking this was an opportunity to offer some cultural guidance here.

I didn't have a need to justify using the term half caste. I shouldn't have had to explain that on a genealogical forum it is necessary to use exactly what is on the document as any transcriber would agree. Thomas Bland had been recorded as a convict so it was important to correct that assumption because he was not as you say an Aboriginal nor was he a Caucasian. He was a half caste!  And that fact makes a huge difference when researching his ancestry.

This is a genealogical forum so not the correct place to give cultural guidance and the assumption that I need guidance offends me. My children have Aboriginal ancestry so I am more than aware of the issues faced back then as well as today.