My Cousin Connie

I discovered a rather interesting fact yesterday in researching the life of Benjamin Chastain, kin to Connie Chastain.

I decided to keep it to myself for a day in order to make a separate point, because I knew some people might prefer heritage to history and bemoan my bringing up some facts connected to Connie’s celebration of her Cherokee connections.  I was not to be disappointed in that regard.  Oh, my, complained some posters.  Isn’t that getting personal?

Some people are so easily offended.

I simply didn’t care about those reactions … because I knew something else.  For, you see, I took especial interest in the fact that Benjamin Chastain had married a woman named Rebecca/Rebekah Denton.

She was the daughter of Samuel Denton, who was born in Orange County, New York.

Samuel Denton was the son of Abraham Denton II, who hailed from Hempstead, New York … which is currently in Nassau County on Long Island.

Abraham Denton II was the son of Abraham Denton, who also hailed from Hempstead.

Abraham Denton was the son of Samuel Denton, who was born in Yorkshire, England, and came to Long Island.  Samuel was the son of the Rev. Richard Denton, who was also born in Yorkshire.

And guess who is a direct descendant of the Rev. Richard Denton?

Me.

That’s right.  I’m descended from the Dentons who came over to Long Island from Yorkshire.  In fact, the common ancestor is Samuel Denton, son of the Rev. Richard Denton.  The old family homestead in Hempstead is now a McDonalds, and I’ve eaten there.  I’m ten generations removed from Samuel Denton.  Indeed, I’ve written here before about the Civil War veteran in that line, James L. Denton (1841-1918), who served in the 5th and 146th New York Infantry.

Now, I know this throws something of a monkey wrench into the claims that I was using facts about the Chastain family simply to make fun of Connie (as opposed to revealing the important difference between history and heritage), because, after all, those folks are in my broader kinship network, too.  I have no problem acknowledging what they did … after all, I’m the one who revealed it.  It’s history, not heritage.

Perhaps next time some folks will refrain from assuming certain motives before they know the complete story.

As to how my distant cousin Connie Chastain will react to this revelation, well, that’s up to her.  I found it remarkably funny that she snidely asked me to continue my research into family history, because I already knew what I had found.

Betcha didn’t see that one coming, did ya?