ID# 251:
"Eugenics seeks to improve the natural, physical, mental and tempermental qualities of the human family," Eugenics Record Office
Date:
Circa 1927
Pages: (1|2|3|4)
Source:
American Philosophical Society, ERO, MSC77,SerX,Box2: Harry H. Laughlin
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&quote;Eugenics seeks to improve the natural, physical, mental and tempermental qualities of the human family,&quote; Eugenics Record Office

little relative biological significance. Even one of the thirty-two great, great, great grandparents - only five generations back - contributes on the average of but 1/32 of the natural traits or "blood" to the propositus. In fact, but not in superficial pride, the natural physical and mental qualities of twenty or thirty near kin, direct and collateral, are a far more significant basis for hereditary pride or precaution than a few loose and dilute genealogical lines. So while genealogy and eugenics have much in common, they differ in the manner just described. However, since the authentic family tree is essential to eugenical studies, this office will be glad to place in touch persons who desire to work out their historical family connections and persons who professionally are prepared to search out ancestral data and especially to visit and make first-hand analyses of living relatives. Family Archives. But for the most part, the person whose family is being studied should be his or her own genealogist. He should communicate with the oldest of his kin and acquaintances, seek out the oldest family records, bibles, birth, marriage and death certificates, diaries, letters, family albums, scrapbooks, clippings, memoranda, and other descriptions. The memories of old folks are veritable mines for securing family history facts. These should be followed up, and all the while the searcher should record and organize the family history and personal trait data in systematic and orderly form such as provided by the schedules furnished by this office. All too frequently a written genealogy contains not much more than names, dates, and connections - the descriptions of the natural physical, mental and temperamental traits of persons being quite too meager for eugenical purposes. A person who fills out a Record of Family Traits becomes thereby a sort of Family Archivist and Eugenicist for his particular family. If such a person has conducted this preliminary family survey with zeal and competence, to him family record material of all sorts - genealogical, biographical and biological - will naturally gravitate, and he then, by the use of the Family Distribution of Personal Traits, above described, may begin a biological genealogy of his family - a pedigree which can be used for tracing the segregation and recombination of natural traits within the family and for determining the hereditary potentialities of given members in reference to specific qualities. Collaboration between an elderly and a younger person makes an especially effective combination for this work. Care and Use of Records Deposited with the Eugenics Record Office. All records deposited with the Eugenics Record Office are held in the strictest confidence so far as the general public is concerned. No names are published without the consent of the person filing the particular record. All schedules are given a safe and permanent filing place, and all human pedigree data are properly indexed according to surname, natural traits and geographic localities. These records are used for two purposes only, (a) scientific studies, (b) genealogical and eugenical use by the members of the particular families described. Whenever a family history is filed with this office, efforts are made to interest collateral branches in making similar record studies. All records which pertain to the same family or group of families are duly articulated, and each study is credited to the particular branch supplying it. As the work of the institution develops, an effort is being made also to encourage the periodical filing of extensions to the Record of Family Traits as originally prepared. Thus the plan of building up and maintaining an index of natural qualities of American families is taking form. Blank Schedules Supplied Free. Like the Record of Family Traits, all other schedules above described are supplied free in duplicate, always with the understanding that after filling them out and adding one to the family archives of the person filling them out, the second will be filed with this office. There are no charges connected with any of the services or collaborations supplied by this office. Address. Correspondence may be addressed to the Eugenics Record Office, Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, N.Y. No. 495, Lancaster Press, Inc. 3-27, Plates 5M.

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