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Forefather   Listen
noun
Forefather  n.  One who precedes another in the line of genealogy in any degree, but usually in a remote degree; an ancestor. "Respecting your forefathers, you would have been taught to respect yourselves."
Forefathers' Day, the anniversary of the day (December 21) on which the Pilgrim Fathers landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts (1620). On account of a mistake in reckoning the change from Old Style to New Style, it has generally been celebrated on the 22d.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Forefather" Quotes from Famous Books



... rescued youth's features gave no clue to his race. He might readily have declared himself an Egyptian, but he frankly admitted that he was a grandson of Nun. He had just attained his eighteenth year, his name was Ephraim, like that of his forefather, the son of Joseph, and he had come to visit his grandfather. The words expressed steadfast self-respect and pride in his ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... for I confess that Joshua's remarks nettled me, "and ask him whether the Jews did not despoil the Egyptians of their ornaments of gold in the old days, and whether Solomon, whom he claims as a forefather, did not trade in gold to Ophir, and lastly whether he knows that most of his kindred in other lands make a very god ...
— Queen Sheba's Ring • H. Rider Haggard

... builders of the dolmens Celts or Gauls, Ligures or Cymri? was Henry Martin right in ascribing to the Cimerii of Scandinavia the erection in the Bronze age of the megaliths of Ireland? Was it the Turanians, with their worship of ancestor's, their respect for the tombs of their forefather's, and their desire to perpetuate their memory to eternity, who set up the dolmens of Brittany? Was it not perhaps rather the Iberians, whose descendants still people Spain and the north of Africa? According to Maury, the distribution of the megalithic monuments of Europe marks the last refuge ...
— Manners and Monuments of Prehistoric Peoples • The Marquis de Nadaillac

... reigns at Trieste by a far better right than that by which he reigns at Cattaro and Spizza. The present people of Trieste did not choose him, but the people of Trieste five hundred years back did choose the forefather of his great-grandmother. Compared with the grounds of which kingdoms, duchies, counties, and lordships, are commonly held in that neighborhood, such a claim as this must be allowed to be ...
— Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Volume VI • Various

... meet her candid gaze after thus lamely libelling his forefather, he was horrified to observe that she had already recoiled some feet away from him, and seemed still to be in the act ...
— Count Bunker • J. Storer Clouston

... lamented hero revive in the person of his descendant, Constantine, Count Sobieski, who, in a comparatively private station, as Palatine of Masovia, and the friend rather than the lord of his vassals, evinced by his actions that he was the inheritor of his forefather's virtue as well ...
— Thaddeus of Warsaw • Jane Porter

... British) for corner land; in the people who occupy the fastnesses of the Welsh mountains, as well as in the Gaels of the Scottish Highlands and the Erse of Ireland. Their very speech is blended with our own. Does the country labourer go to the Horncastle tailor to buy coat and breeches? His British forefather, though clad chiefly in skins, called his upper garment his "cotta," his nether covering his "brages," scotice "breeks." Brewer, Introduction to ...
— A History of Horncastle - from the earliest period to the present time • James Conway Walter

... Jaekel, "and your mother got it from her father, and he from his, and so all thy ancestors one from the other, back to the forefather who marched under King Saul against the Philistines, and was the first to take to his heels. But look! Oxheady is all ready—he has bowed his head for the fourth time; now he is jumping like a flea at the Holy, Holy, Holy, and ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. VI. • Editor-in-Chief: Kuno Francke

... ALCOHOL. The forefather of a hold-over. Boozerine, in the raw state. From the Latin words alco and haul, meaning "he is soused to the booby hatches, haul him to the alcove." (See Lord Macaulay's Jags ...
— The Silly Syclopedia • Noah Lott

... the children of one father in one house, grew into a more extended family, the gens. Such were the Alkmaionidai, the Julii, or the Scyldingas, the real or artificial descendants of a real or supposed forefather. The nature of the gens has been set forth often enough. If it is a mistake to fancy that every Julius or Cornelius was the natural kinsman of every other Julius or Cornelius, it is equally a mistake to think that the gens Julia or Cornelia was in its origin a mere artificial association, ...
— Prose Masterpieces from Modern Essayists • James Anthony Froude, Edward A. Freeman, William Ewart Gladstone, John Henry Newman and Leslie Steph

... to pause here and remember the annoyances connected with life as a forefather. Possibly the reader has considered the matter already. Imagine how nervous one may be waiting in the hall and watching with a keen glance for the approach of the physician who is to announce that one is a forefather. The amateur forefather of 1620 must have felt proud yet ...
— Comic History of the United States • Bill Nye

... in Beatrice's position—a linen cover for the water glass; a soft shade on the window instead of the glaring white-and-gold-striped affair; exile for that ubiquitous spaniel; home cooking, with old-fashioned milk toast and real coffee of a forefather's day. ...
— The Gorgeous Girl • Nalbro Bartley

... thou say'st, are insecure; Our father's kingdom, because pure, is safe. True; but what cause to our Arcadia gives Its privileged immunity from blood, But that, since first the black and fruitful Earth In the primeval mountain-forests bore Pelasgus, our forefather and mankind's, Legitimately sire to son, with us, Bequeaths the allegiance of our shepherd-tribes, More loyal, as our line continues more?— How can your Heracleidan chiefs inspire This awe which guards our earth-sprung, lineal ...
— Poetical Works of Matthew Arnold • Matthew Arnold

... their mother, They eat on her but to preserve themselves, And he consumes himself, and beggars us. A tavern is his inn, where amongst slaves He kills his substance, making pots the graves To bury that which our forefather's gave. I ask'd him for our portions, told him that you Were brought to London, and we were in want; Humbly we crav'd our own; when his reply Was, he knew none we had: beg, ...
— A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. IX • Various

... of Israel, the great forefather of our tribes, are still ringing in our ears. To-day more than ever is Israel crying. Joseph is not—our Holy Land is lost. Simeon is not—our Holy Temple is razed to the ground. One thing only is left ...
— Ghetto Comedies • Israel Zangwill

... generally sung in the public service of the Sabbath, when the preacher gave out the hymns from the book; yet these simpler and ruder strains were the greater favourites at the revival meeting. By these the godly forefather's of Methodism in Canada nourished their souls and enbraved their spirits for the heroic work in which they were engaged, of consecrating the virgin ...
— Neville Trueman the Pioneer Preacher • William Henry Withrow

... zoological ethics, based on the zoological conception of man as an animal. The elements of natural logic and natural ethics are absent. The sophisticated ideas about the subject of political economy, bluntly do not correspond to facts. Our primitive forefather in the jungle would have died from hunger, cold, heat, blood poisoning or the attacks of wild animals, if he had not used his brain and muscles to take some stone or a piece of wood to knock down fruit ...
— Manhood of Humanity. • Alfred Korzybski

... in the distance among the trunks of the trees and the brushwood, was deceived, and mistook him for a beast of chase. But when Tubal saw what had happened, he was terrified, and ran back to Lamech, crying out, "You have slain our forefather Cain!" And Lamech also was struck with horror, and raised his hands and smote them together with a mighty blow. And in so doing he struck the head of Tubal with his full strength, and Tubal fell down dead. Then Lamech returned to his house, and spoke to his wives the words that are written in the ...
— Old Testament Legends - being stories out of some of the less-known apochryphal - books of the old testament • M. R. James

... of little avail to him—I say, in the absence of any other weapon, he sheathed the biodag three times in the ghost of Bogandoran's body. And what was the consequence? Why, to the great astonishment of my courageous forefather, the ghost fell down cold dead at his feet, and was never more seen or ...
— Folk-Lore and Legends - Scotland • Anonymous

... was a chief who had given her these, and it was said that they had first of all belonged to one who had fought as a shield maiden at the great battle of Dunheidi, by the side of Hervoer, the sister of the mighty hero Angantyr. His forefather had won them at that time, and now they were worn by one who was surely like the Valkyries, for no fairer or more wondrous to look on in war gear could they be than ...
— Havelok The Dane - A Legend of Old Grimsby and Lincoln • Charles Whistler

... latter had incontinently died of diseases none had heard of before. There was such a hue and cry about her, and so many witnesses to testify the harm she had done, that all men held the case proven, and she was burnt in the sight of all the village out upon the common yonder by order of our forefather, whose office it was to see the law enforced. There were then many of these gipsy folk scattered about the common and forest, and this old witch belonged to them. They mustered strong upon the heath, and it was said that if the villagers had not been too strong for them they would ...
— The Lost Treasure of Trevlyn - A Story of the Days of the Gunpowder Plot • Evelyn Everett-Green

... he would have set the valley in flames from one end to the other rather than have allowed the foreigners to seize it. Had not his forefather perished in fire on yonder hill rather ...
— The Waters of Edera • Louise de la Rame, a.k.a. Ouida

... Noon, by Charles Harpur, 'the grey forefather of Australian poetry,' is pretty and graceful, and Thomas Henry's Wood-Notes and Miss Veel's Saturday Night are worth reading; but, on the whole, the Australian poets are extremely dull and prosaic. There seem to be no sirens in the New ...
— Reviews • Oscar Wilde

... that impelled his forefather, Judas of old. The desire to enrich himself. For every hitherto unsuspected rebel that shall be brought to justice and whose treason shall be proven by his agency, he claims the half ...
— Bardelys the Magnificent • Rafael Sabatini

... of Ishmael, says the legend, were asked to accept the law. "What does it contain?" they asked. "Thou shalt not steal," was the answer. "How can we then accept it," they returned, "when thus was our forefather blessed, 'Thy hand shall be ...
— Hebraic Literature; Translations from the Talmud, Midrashim and - Kabbala • Various

... became an egg bright as gold, blazing like the luminary with a thousand beams, and in that egg he was born himself, in the form of Brahma, the great forefather of ...
— Ten Great Religions - An Essay in Comparative Theology • James Freeman Clarke

... telegraphs to me, that I, as head of the family, be not unsteeled against the shock of a bereavement, and that my authority be sooner given for the unsealing and garnishing of the family-vault. Not every forefather of mine rests quiet beneath his escutcheoned marble. There are they who revisit, in their wrath or their remorse, the places wherein erst they suffered or wrought evil. There is one who, every Halloween, flits into the dining-hall, and hovers before the portrait ...
— Zuleika Dobson - or, An Oxford Love Story • Max Beerbohm

... basis upon which it rests. For it is as true of the Japanese as of the proverbial Russian, though in a more scientific sense, that if you scratch him you will find the ancestral Tartar. But it is no less true that the descendants of this rude forefather have now taken on a polish of which their own exquisite lacquer gives but a faint reflection. The surface was perfected after the substance was formed. Our word finish, with its double meaning, expresses both the process and ...
— The Soul of the Far East • Percival Lowell

... head of a College at Oxenford, and is now Rector of Lutterworth in Leicestershire. He saith (that is, Father Wycliffe) that all things are thus gone to corruption by reason of lack of the salt preservative to be found in Holy Scripture. Many years back, did King Alfred our forefather set forth much of the said Scriptures in the English tongue; as much, indeed, as he had time, for his death hindered it, else had all the holy hooks been rendered into our English tongue. But now, by reason ...
— In Convent Walls - The Story of the Despensers • Emily Sarah Holt

... their names appear in the Pipe Rolls in the time of King Stephen. In the reign of King John one of them was rich enough to give a manor to the Knights Hospitallers; and in Edward the Second's time your forefather Brian was summoned to Westminster to attend the great Council there. You declined a little in Oliver Cromwell's time, but to no serious extent, and in Charles the Second's reign you were made Knights of the Royal Oak for your loyalty. Aye, there have been generations of Sir Johns among you, ...
— Tess of the d'Urbervilles - A Pure Woman • Thomas Hardy

... Ineffable. Of these faces one gazes upon the external aeons without the gate; another beholds Setheus, and the third looks upward to the Sonship contained in every Monad. There it is that Aphredon is discovered with his twelve Holy Ones and the Forefather, and in that Space abides also Adam, the Man of the Light, with his three hundred aeons. There also is the Perfect Mind. All these surround a Basket (9) that knows no death. The Ineffable face of the Overseer, who is the Warden ...
— The Gnosis of the Light • F. Lamplugh

... hands in length, a very different account from that of an historian of the ninth century, who declared it to be seventy-nine cubits long! This historian also adds that while one of the feet of our forefather rested on the mountain, the other was in the ...
— Celebrated Travels and Travellers - Part I. The Exploration of the World • Jules Verne

... stands for fame on his forefather's feet, By heraldry, proved valiant or discreet I Love of Fame, Satire I. ...
— The World's Best Poetry — Volume 10 • Various

... parish—or other Norman-French names which may be, like those two last, in Battle Abbey roll—and side by side the almost ubiquitous Brown, whose ancestor was probably some Danish or Norwegian housecarle, proud of his name Biorn the bear, and the ubiquitous Smith or Smythe, the smiter, whose forefather, whether he now be peasant or peer, assuredly handled the tongs and hammer at his own forge. This holds true equally in New England and in Old. When I search through (as I delight to do) your New England surnames, I find the same jumble ...
— Lectures Delivered in America in 1874 • Charles Kingsley

... laughing, "no doubt that accounts for it. Some forefather of yours may have heard the song of the Over-Lord, perhaps from the lips of some foremother of mine. So, of course, ...
— Stella Fregelius • H. Rider Haggard

... spare that tree! Touch not a single bough; In youth it sheltered me, And I'll protect it now. 'Twas my forefather's hand That placed it near his cot; There, woodman, let it stand; Thy ax shall harm ...
— The Elson Readers, Book 5 • William H. Elson and Christine M. Keck

... the danger of loving him? Felix was out of the way of temptation; there was no stream of money passing through his hands, and it would be hard and vile indeed for him to fall into any dishonest trickery. But it might be that his children, Alice's children, might tread in the steps of their forefather, Roland Sefton, and pursue the same devious course. Thieves breed thieves, it was said, in the lowest dregs of social life. Would there be some fatal weakness, some insidious improbity, in the nature of those ...
— Cobwebs and Cables • Hesba Stretton

... unrolling the records of men of old, "Hear, O princes," says he, "and learn your hopes. In mid ocean lies Crete, the island of high Jove, wherein is mount Ida, the cradle of our race. An hundred great towns are inhabited in that opulent realm; from it our forefather Teucer of old, if I recall the tale aright, sailed to the Rhoetean coasts and chose a place for his kingdom. Not yet was Ilium nor the towers of Pergama reared; they dwelt in the valley bottoms. Hence came our Lady, haunter of Cybele, the Corybantic cymbals and the grove of ...
— The Aeneid of Virgil • Virgil

... the day of burial, and my mother, wrapped in fair white robes, was laid to her rest in the chancel of the church at Ditchingham, where my father has long been set beside her, hard by the brass effigies that mark the burying place of Lily's forefather, his wife, and many of their children. This funeral was the saddest of sights, for the bitterness of my father's grief broke from him in sobs and my sister Mary swooned away in my arms. Indeed there were few dry eyes in all that ...
— Montezuma's Daughter • H. Rider Haggard

... block descended from on high (As sings thy great forefather Ogilby[289]), Loud thunder to its bottom shook the bog, And the hoarse nation croak'd, God ...
— Poetical Works of Pope, Vol. II • Alexander Pope

... earth—does not dwell in sanctuaries built by men. Nor is He administered to by human hands as though He needed anything—but He Himself gives to all men life and breath and all things. He caused to spring from one forefather people of every race, for them to live on the whole surface of the earth, and marked for them an appointed span of life, and the boundaries of their homes; that they might seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him. Yes, though He is not far from any one ...
— The Conquest of Fear • Basil King

... his wife, he moved to Edgefield District, and there married Sophie Smith, who was the mother of the subject of this sketch. She was the daughter of Jacob Smith and his wife, Sallie Butler, who was a sister of that Captain James Butler who was the forefather of the illustrious family of that name in this State, and who with his young son, also named James, was cruelly massacred along with others at Cloud's Creek, in Edgefield District, by ...
— History of Kershaw's Brigade • D. Augustus Dickert

... is especially interesting to us, because Rollo was the forefather of that famous Duke of Normandy who, less than a hundred and fifty years later, conquered England and brought into that country the Norman nobles with their ...
— Famous Men of The Middle Ages • John H. Haaren, LL.D. and A. B. Poland, Ph.D.

... all parts of the world, and have been carried—or that which was the forefather of them has been carried—since human history began. Indeed, a very fair account of mankind might be made by writing the story, of its canes. And nothing that would readily occur to mind would more eloquently express a civilisation than its evident attitude toward canes. Perhaps nothing ...
— Walking-Stick Papers • Robert Cortes Holliday

... the best-shaped amongst us, according to the last scientific discoveries, is only a development of some hideous hairy animal, such as a gorilla; and the ancestral gorilla itself had its own aboriginal forefather in a small marine animal shaped like a two-necked bottle. The probability is that, some day or other, we shall be exterminated by ...
— Kenelm Chillingly, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... that I know of," said Donatello, "but yet, as I tell you, I have been very happy here, in the company of this fountain and this nymph. It is said that a Faun, my oldest forefather, brought home hither to this very spot a human maiden, whom he loved and wedded. This spring of delicious ...
— The Marble Faun, Volume II. - The Romance of Monte Beni • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... errors were Hellenic no less. But his Hellenism, I need not add, was anything but the pale neo-Platonism that has run like a thread through the thinking of the Western world since the days of the Christian Fathers. From Plato, to be sure, he got what all of us must get, but his real forefather was Heraclitus. It is in Heraclitus that one finds the germ of his primary view of the universe—a view, to wit, that sees it, not as moral phenomenon, but as mere aesthetic representation. The God that Nietzsche imagined, in the end, was ...
— The Antichrist • F. W. Nietzsche

... descendant of that friend and lieutenant of Frederick the Great who, on the 6th May 1757, purchased with his life the victory of Prague. He was returning from the hay-harvest on those estates which had belonged to his valiant forefather, whose heirs had long been kept out of them for lack of certain documents. But Frederick William III. said, 'Right is right, though wax and parchment be not there to prove it;' and he restored to the family their property, which ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol 58, No. 357, July 1845 • Various

... He with his contemporaries had finished the thinning of the central forest of the Shield, leaving the land as it is to-day, a rolling prairie with remnants of woodland like that crowning the hilltop near this house. This immediate forefather bore the countenance that began to develop in the Northerner and in the Southerner after the Civil War: not the Northern look nor the Southern look, but the American look—a new thing in the American face, indefinable ...
— Bride of the Mistletoe • James Lane Allen

... become developed and form the man. In the child, as well as in the adult, each part generates the same part for the next generation. Inheritance must be looked at as merely a form of growth, like the self-division of a lowly-organised unicellular plant. Reversion depends on the transmission from the forefather to his descendants of dormant gemmules, which occasionally become developed under certain known or unknown conditions. Each animal and plant may be compared to a bed of mould full of seeds, most of which soon germinate, some lie for a period dormant, whilst others perish. ...
— The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, Volume II (of 2) • Charles Darwin

... kings and unto whom princes were a derision, and even thou wouldst not have been deemed worthy to run before my father's chariot as a courier. Had he lived, I should never have been given unto thee for wife. Not even those who suffered the death penalty during the reign of my forefather Nebuchadnezzar were stripped bare of their clothing, and thou demandest that I appear naked in public! Why, it is for thine own sake that I refuse to heed they order. Either the people will decide that I do not come up to thy description of me, ...
— THE LEGENDS OF THE JEWS VOLUME IV BIBLE TIMES AND CHARACTERS - FROM THE EXODUS TO THE DEATH OF MOSES • BY LOUIS GINZBERG

... (and they are but samples of many) does the feather dress occur; yet it has left reminiscences which are unmistakable. The variants hitherto cited have all betrayed these reminiscences as articles of clothing, or conveyance, or in the pardonable mistake of the Bantik forefather at the time of capture. I shall refer presently to cases whence the plumage has faded entirely out of the story—and that in spite of its picturesqueness—without leaving a trace. But let me first call attention ...
— The Science of Fairy Tales - An Inquiry into Fairy Mythology • Edwin Sidney Hartland

... destiny as the remote progenitor of Shakespeare, Milton, and the late Mr. Peace—in tropical woods, such acrid or pungent fruits and plants are particularly common, and correspondingly annoying. The fact is, our primitive forefather and all the other monkeys are, or were, confirmed fruit-eaters. But to guard against their depredations a vast number of tropical fruits and nuts have acquired disagreeable or fiery rinds and shells, which suffice to deter the bold aggressor. It may not be nice to get your tongue burnt with ...
— Falling in Love - With Other Essays on More Exact Branches of Science • Grant Allen

... thrones, This is our greeting to-day. Europe and Asia are here— Shining they enter our ports! She that is half of the sphere Beams like a sun in our courts. Children of elders whose day Shone to the planet's white ends, Meet, in the noble old way, Sons of your forefather's friends. ...
— The Poems of Henry Kendall • Henry Kendall

... exclaimed Sir John, "when I have the indentured deed in my strong-box, signed by my great-grandfather and the Abbot Frank Ingham! No record, when my said forefather gave you other lands in place of them which you now hold? But go on, ...
— The Lady Of Blossholme • H. Rider Haggard

... across the chamber, and struck old Jarl's knees, crying, "Wake, Jarl! or the castle will be taken!" But the sleeper did not stir. Then he climbed the iron bars of the Duke's chair, and reaching high, caught hold of the red beard. "Forefather!" he cried, "wake, or the castle ...
— The Blue Moon • Laurence Housman

... May it be braver than ours, To encounter the rattle of hostile bolts, To look on the rising of Stranger Powers. May it know how the mind in expansion revolts From a nursery Past with dead letters aloof, And the piping to stupor of Precedents shun, In a field where the forefather print of the hoof Is not yet overgrassed by the watering hours, And should prompt us to Change, as to promise of sun, Till brain-rule splendidly towers. For that large light we have laboured and tramped Thorough forests and ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... Hebrides. Alonzo Barton Hepburn (b. 1847), descendant of Patrick Hepburn who came from Scotland in 1736, President of the Chase National Bank, a distinguished New York banker, has written much on financial subjects. Thomas William Lamont (b. 1870), whose forefather came from Argyllshire, is a member of the firm of J.P. Morgan & Co., and prominent in international finance. Walter Edwin Frew, President of the Corn Exchange Bank, New York, and President of the New York ...
— Scotland's Mark on America • George Fraser Black

... about to take up the thread of his discourse about his glorious forefather in the ...
— The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... Copper Creek Camp, there was born on a firth of Coronation Gulf a dog who was named Wapi, which means "the Walrus." Wapi, at full growth, was a throwback of more than forty dog generations. He was nearly as large as his forefather, Tao. His fangs were an inch in length, his great jaws could crack the thigh-bone of a caribou, and from the beginning the hands of men and the fangs of beasts were against him. Almost from the day of his birth until this winter of his fourth year, life for Wapi had been an unceasing ...
— Back to God's Country and Other Stories • James Oliver Curwood

... laughed aloud and all who were with him in assembly; and presently he resumed, "O youth, tell me concerning the first man who spake in verse[FN96] and that was our common sire, Adam (The Peace be upon him!), what time Kabil[FN97] slew Habil his brother when her forefather improvised ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 5 • Richard F. Burton

... hard," Masters added. "If we're going to be rabbits, human values will change. Men who run into holes will live to eat turnips, those who bare their teeth won't. Orkins might be the forefather of a new race—a helluva race. Come on, Orkins. Get out. Hurry up, Father Abraham, or ...
— The Whispering Spheres • Russell Robert Winterbotham

... an Eskimo," replied Grabantak, with a sudden air of solemnity in his manner, "whose first forefather came in the far past longtime, from nobody knows where; but this first forefather never had any father or mother. He settled among the Eskimos and taught them many things. He married one of their women, and his sons and daughters were many and strong. Their descendants inhabit ...
— The Giant of the North - Pokings Round the Pole • R.M. Ballantyne

... they were all dead, the natives who had followed them from the south, and who wanted blood and revenge, not gold, which was of no use to them, went away; but the old priest's forefather who knew the secret entrance to the place, and who had been friendly to the Portuguese, forced his way in and there, amidst the dead, found one woman living, but mad with grief—a young and beautiful girl, the daughter of the ...
— Benita, An African Romance • H. Rider Haggard



Words linked to "Forefather" :   predecessor, ascendant, antecedent, ascendent, ancestor, patriarch



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