Shankland Family Characteristics

by Anne Shankland, UK

In all families there are, to a greater or lesser extent, family resemblances between family members. These may be physical features - for instance, a high forehead, or dark blue eyes, or above-average height, etc. - which visibly mark individuals out as being members of the same family. A good example would be the Osmond smile!

Alternatively, there may be shared or inherited abilities, interests, or emotional make-up, which may not be so clearly defined but which can still be regarded as family traits.

In the Shankland One-Name Group I naturally come into contact, either in person or by letter or email, with very many Shanklands, not all of whom are related, but very many of whom share certain family characteristics. (In fact, since I'm only a "married-in" Shankland, I can probably see such resemblances more clearly, and certainly I can discuss them with more freedom without appearing unduly conceited about the Shankland virtues!)

I am impressed at how the Shanklands exhibit a talent for communication, especially in writing: the vast majority of the Shankland letters and emails we get are well written by any standards, which is unusual nowadays when few people seem to be able to string more than a couple of words together. Several of the earliest American Shanklands we know of appear to have been connected with newspapers and journalism, and it is clear that this connection continues right down to the present day. For example,

It is possible, too, that the Shankland interest in journalism and publishing is connected with what seems to be a very strong sense of fairness and justice. There are many examples of Shanklands being prepared to stand up for what they see as right even when it might cost them dearly to do so. Thus there are Shanklands who have become eminent and respected lawyers and judges; others who have taken a different path, of activity in trades unions; and still others who have taken up and defended various causes which they considered worthwhile.

Perhaps it is the same characteristic in the Shankland makeup that leads so many of them to become ministers of religion:

Additionally, we come across many Shanklands who are talented musically or artistically, which is of course yet another type of communication. There are many examples, including:

If any readers can provide similar examples of the Shankland talent for communication, or of the Shankland sense of justice and fairness, I should be delighted to receive them.

(And we haven't even begun to look at Shankland scientific or medical abilities, or sporting prowess, or excellence in any other fields - although there is plentiful evidence of these!)

Anne Shankland, September 2006