December 20, 2002
Note concerning the "toe" question, Betty Rhodes (item no.2 below) has
found an article about the pediatrician study that started this whole thread.
1. Joan Griffith : Celtic Toes
2. Betty Rhodes: Celtic features [and the "toe" question]
1. Joan Griffith : Celtic Toes
Subject: Re: "Brit-Am Now"-170--Celtic Toes
When I think of Celtic Toes, I think of Riverdance~!
However, I just wanted to say my third daughter has that long second toe
and I don't know of anyone else in the family who does. Mine are
"stair-steps," and so are everyone else's (that is, unless they married
into the family). Moreover, she also has short middle toes that make the
second & fourth toes look even longer... She thinks it is a defect, so I
sent her the comments. Half my family is from England, so I suppose there
could be some wild genes in the pool from way back...
but I would say it is not something you can rely on. Remember in the movie
Exodus, when the guy was looking for dust in Paul Newman's eye, talking all
the while about how he could sniff a Jew a mile away? Can't do that either!
Nothing repeats in the same way. Every moment is unique and newborn. --S.R.
2.Betty Rhodes: Celtic features [and the "toe" question]
From Beth Gay's Genealogy page at:
Re: Who is Celtic and who is German?
You are your own "best evidence"
David Lifton wrote a fascinating account of John Kennedy's assassination
called Best Evidence. In his book, Lifton says that in a murder, the body
is the "best evidence." The same theory holds true in genealogy.
Look at your own bare feet.
Their story begins with the Germanic tribes of Angles and Saxons who
invaded Britain in the fifth and sixth centuries. The language they brought
has evolved today into our modern English. Some of their laws formed the
basis of English common law. And their feet, some scientists now say,
literally formed the basis of modern Englishmen.
A retired Gloucestershire podiatrist, Phyllis Jackson, says that during
World War II, refugees of Scottish, Irish, Welsh and Cornish ancestry came
to the small town of Hereford where she was living. Some of those refugees
became her patients.
She said, "I realized that the foot shapes of the Celtic patients were
quite different from the English ones I was accustomed to, and they all had
bunions." (The seven Celtic nations are: Scotland, Ireland, Cornwall,
Wales, the Isle of Man, the coast of Brittany and Spanish Galicia)
Traditional English feet, she says, tend to be broad and somewhat pointed -
with the toes forming a steep angle from the first to the fifth. The Celtic
evacuees, in contrast, had toe tips that were almost level with one another
and their feet tended to be longer and slimmer - except for a bulge at the
base of the big toe, where bunions form.
The English shoe, modeled for an English foot, just didn't fit the Celtic
shape. It was from trying to wear the English shoes that the Celtic bunions
When Dr. Jackson retired from podiatry, she took up amateur archaeology,
but kept her focus on the feet of the skeletal remains of Saxons and Celts
from a sixth century cemetery in Lechlade, Gloucestershire. She found that
she could really tell the difference between the Saxon and the Celtic foot.
Aside from the obvious differences, Dr. Jackson found a distinctive
slightly scrunched cuboid bone in the Saxon feet and a more square cuboid
bone in the Celtic.
Reflecting my own genealogical "muttness," in that I have Scottish, Welsh,
English, Swedish, French, Native American and probably many other genetic
backgrounds in my makeup, my own footsies are the fat Saxon shape, with the
straight-across toes and bulge by my big toe of my Celtic heritage!
What do your own feet tell you?
More clues right inside yourself?
What did you call your daddy?
If you called him "Father," chances are, you are from Germanic heritage.
If you called him "Papa," chances are, you are of French or English extraction.
If you called him, "Daddy," the chances are excellent that you are of
Scottish clues in your kitchen?
My dear friend, Donald F. MacDonald, of North Carolina and, for many years,
Edinburgh, Scotland, was telling me about how he learned that fried chicken
had come to the American South from the Isle of Skye in Scotland.
Donald said that James Boswell, from the Lowlands of Scotland and his
companion, England's Samuel Johnson, enjoyed roast chicken and broiled
chicken in Edinburgh and London, but when the two reached Skye, they tasted
"fried fowl," as prepared by Mrs. Lachlan MacKinnon of Corry, near Broadford.
That year was 1773. It was less than ten months time until the MacKinnon's
joined the hundreds of other island folk who were leaving for North
Carolina. The MacKinnon's joined the heroine of the Jacobite Rebellion,
Flora MacDonald and Flora's husband, Allan MacDonald on the voyage to The
New World. (It so happened that Mrs. MacKinnon was Allan's sister.)
They brought their recipes with them to the Carolinas in America.
Our Southern biscuits are simply the scones of Scotland and Northern Ireland.
When you "joint" chicken, how many pieces do you make?
In the poor Highlands of Scotland, housewives cut their chicken into 12
pieces. In the Lowlands of Scotland, families could afford to make only 8
pieces from chicken.
Today, in kitchens where the cook was taught to "joint" chicken by her
mother, whose mother or mother's mother or mother's mother's mother came
from the Highlands of Scotland?a chicken is still cut into a dozen portions!
Next time you cut up a chicken, count the pieces. It might be a clue as to
where your family is from.
We have a proud heritage
It is said that George Washington, at Valley Forge, said, "If all else
fails, I will retreat up the valley of Virginia, plant my flag on the Blue
Ridge, rally around the Scotch-Irish of that region and make my last stand
for liberty amongst a people who will never submit to British tyranny
whilst there is a man left to draw a trigger."
It is true that the word "heathen" comes from the old Latin word - coming
from the days when even the mighty Roman army could not prevail in the
Highlands of Scotland - which means "People of the heather who could not be
Our American English is peppered by words which proclaim our
Scottish/Gaelic heritage! Have you ever heard someone say fil-um for "film"
or "arth-ur-it-is for "arthritis?"? How about umber-ella? How about
ath-a-letics? Have you ever heard someone say they were "a'going" somewhere?
Have you ever used the words biddy, slue, smidgen, snood, clabber, drove,
nook or poke (as in a sack)?
If you have heard or used any of these?.and there are hundreds more?you're
speaking Scots Gaelic! (By the way, if it's Irish, it's "Gay-lic" and if
it's Scottish, it's "Gal-lic" - both with the accent on the first syllable.)