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?

14 thoughts on “My Cousin Connie

  1. Brad April 18, 2012 / 3:34 am

    That’s all very interesting but is Connie a Yankee fan also? Does she lionize the very ground that Derek Sanderson Jeter walks on?

  2. Patrick Young April 18, 2012 / 3:45 am

    The homestead may be a McDonalds but the center of Hempstead is Denton Green, which was restored about a decade ago after 20 years of neglect. It is a favorite place for families to promenade in the village’s Little El Salvador district and is two blocks from my office. It contains the graves of Revolutionary War vets.

  3. Patrick Young April 18, 2012 / 3:48 am

    By the way, the green is named for Richard Denton, who is credited as the founder of Hempstead.

  4. Mark April 18, 2012 / 7:06 am

    It’s a small world after all. 🙂

  5. John Foskett April 18, 2012 / 7:51 am

    Well, golly dang but Thanksgiving should be fun if the extended family gathers. And Brad – why are you insulting the B’s old no. 16?

    • Buck Buchanan April 18, 2012 / 1:23 pm

      ….golf clap…

    • Roger E Watson April 19, 2012 / 2:25 pm

      The Turk !! Last player to use the sweep check to good advantage !!!!!

  6. martin April 18, 2012 / 9:20 am

    I do offer a complete line of family gifts suitable for all occasions on line.

  7. Corey Meyer April 18, 2012 / 10:06 am

    Giggle, Giggle, Big Hardy Gut Laugh…oh…snot just flew from my nose…Connie is probably twitching right now.

    Nice piece of detective work.

  8. Neil Hamilton April 18, 2012 / 4:32 pm

    It appears Lincoln was right.

    We cannot escape history.

  9. TF Smith April 18, 2012 / 8:23 pm

    The past isn’t even past, after all…

  10. Roger E Watson April 19, 2012 / 2:26 pm

    I am speechless…….. !

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