Outcasting Those Unsuitably Married

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Pablo Edronkin

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Outcasting means rejecting, leaving away, banning; in the context of dynastic families it means that a former position of a given person and its associated rights are taken away for some reason which generally is related to undesirable marriages, from the point of view of the family.

Of course, there must be a reason for doing that because the normal thing to do is to pass as inheritance the assets of a family to further generations. But there might be reasons not to do so in particular cases, and in this context outcasting happens mostly as part of a "sanitary process" destined to minimize - for example - the "damage" that an "unsuitable" marriage might cause within the familiar and business structure.

Today this might seem more like the problem of the not-so-evil-but-somewhat-evil rich family of a soap opera whose son fells in love with the maid, but when cultural and social differences mix with uneven levels of wealth and education, things should be looked a little more in detail. Besides, thorough human history marriages based on the need of the family or the clan have been more prevalent than marriage as an institution based just on love and "things in common"[207.1] between groom and bride, especially in positions of wealth or power.

Suppose that you were the owner of a big fortune and suddenly your 18-year old daughter would come and say that she wants to marry the son of the gardener, meaning that your fortune would eventually end up in his hands in one way or another. The old man is a good person and his son is okay as a gardener and a worker but seriously, with your hand over your heart, would you give away your capital in such a way? Who does that, anyway?

That problematic is faced by dynasties every time a heir reaches adulthood, and even beyond, because being born in a well-to-do family doesn't imply that smartness is included in the package.

Let's remember that royal, banking and business and other "big-time" families are precisely and primarily, business entities. If they were managed just like average families, they would end up being average families instead of dynasties.

One of the factors that help long-standing dynasties survive is the ability to choose who goes, who stays and who comes in (see Overview of the Davidic Tradition). Far from a random succession of people, a dynasty is a corporate structure chosen among people related by blood and hand picked from other families. There is no way in which just by random births a family would enjoy several generations of the smartest, most dedicated and talented people in the particular business of that family.

Just in three or four generations there would be more or less capable or intelligent individuals, as well as those that are more or less committed to the business. Not every member of a banking family - for example - wants to be a banker or has the vocational inclination or talent to become one. So, such families actually replenish their ranks by passing the key posts to those that show the best performance and recruit others from other families by marriage contracts (see Survival and continuity of dynasties).

Do marriages with non-aristocrats exist among aristocratic families? Sure they do and they are more frequent that initially thought, however, that doesn't mean that from the perspective of the members of the family those marriages are just any sort of matrimonial link.

Usually, the members of a well-established family will do very well in areas completely different from the main activity of the familiar group in question due to the education and social networking that they enjoyed since childhood, but it would be unwise to expect that within such a context there will be a total linearity of successors that are able and willing to become business, political or military leaders, to mention just a few fields.

Jewish banking families in particular, traditionally solve this problem by keeping a good deal of "clanishness" with other banking families and marrying in-between for generations, at the same time that thanks to their wealth, they seek and encourage marriages with people of equal standing regardless of religion. This means that every child born is not only a son or a daughter but in practical terms an asset, an investment, and as much as parents want their kids to be successful, investors want to benefit on their investments: The family puts money in their education, they are fed and receive a lot of things and in exchange, the only thing asked is that they do not behave foolishly when choosing a life partner a few years after. This doesn't mean intervention into the selection of the partner, but that there are some limits of acceptance or prerequisites because a lot of money might be at stake.

It is also a fact that someone, sooner or later, will follow criteria different from dynastic values when choosing a partner but the consequence, more often than not, is that the perpetrators are outcasted and eventually forgotten if the planned marriage does not suit the business goals of the family. As we said, dynasties accept marriages with non-dynastic people if there is some sort of reward or benefit as part of the deal, like access to a fortune, more power and so on, but not normally if it is the case of someone of perceived lower status trying to enter the family. Indeed, the Skowronek - Schoenberg family (see Dom Iago de Sampayo y Belmonte) is not an exception:

"The Sephardim never engaged in chaffering occupations nor in usury, and they did not mingle with the lower classes. With their social equals they associated freely, without regard to creed, and in the presence of their superiors they displayed neither shyness nor servility. They were received at the courts of sultans, kings, and princes, and often were employed as ambassadors, envoys, or agents. The number of Sephardim who have rendered important services to different countries is considerable, from Samuel Abravanel (financial councilor to the viceroy of Naples) to Benjamin Disraeli. Among other names mentioned are those of Belmonte, Nasi, Pacheco, Palache, Azevedo, Sasportas, Costa, Curiel, Cansino, Schonenberg, Toledo, Toledano, and Teixeira."[63.3]

In some cases outcasting takes place in a somewhat automatic form: In certain cultures, women are not considered worthy of continuing any dynasty. Thus, daughters might not even get counted in genealogies. In other cases, only some of the male descendants get considered. For example, some rabbinical families only document in their genealogies the existence of those males that become rabbis themselves.

This includes stripping away rights of descendancy, legal rights over properties and assets, decision-making rights and in some cases even the deletion of records from family trees. In other cases, members - especially potential heirs -of the dynasty might be prohibited from assisting or even talking to the one outcasted. In other cases it might take a more or less amicable fashion, but it is almost never a happy moment for those involved because outcasting is intended as a preventive measure.

In personal terms, banishing someone or his descendants from rights within a family is a terrible thing to do, but again, seen from the perspective of the business at stake is a logical, rational decision intended to avoid future quarrels regarding inheritance rights started by people not prepared or willing to run the business (see Aristocrats or Commoners).

The genealogies of long-standing families that have become dynastic there have been instances in which this has happened. Bastards for example, sometimes were not recognized as rightful heirs and thus records of their descendancy were not kept in many cases. In other cases bastards were recognized - royal families - due to political reasons, and they even became the rulers of their respective dynasties as well. However, bastards that were recognized as legitimate heirs within the context of nobility and royalty were almost exclusively those that were born from other members of nobility or royalty (see Jorge de Lencastre). That is, if a king had an affair with a woman who was not his wife and the female in question was of royal or even noble ascendancy, the resulting children would be adopted or considered legitimate (see Philippa of Lancaster).

However, if the resulting children were born from a mother that wasn't a noble or royal, even their lives would have been in danger because they would represent a threat to the ruling or future heirs. No Cinderella stories here.

Outcasting, disinheriting and banning might seem harsh, but there were and still are perfectly good reasons for those actions if the issue is seen from a perspective other than the common relationships of love and affection prevalent in average families. While these kind of links between members of a family of course tend to exist also among the members of a dynasty of any kind, familiar policies take a different course: As we pointed elsewhere in this text and others, such families perceive themselves as corporations in which marriages and births are considered business decisions (Guttle Schnapper) and since such families and the related capitals continue to exist, so does the method of outcasting, perhaps with some modern insights, but essentially the same: Anyone is free to go, but once gone, it is gone.

It might sound cruel to say that because a son or a daughter marries someone "undesirable" he or she might be disinherited and even erased from familiar history. But this is what happens in the case of families which are or were also corporations in their own right, and this practice has its own reasons.

Outcasting is a survival technique among families that want to keep control of their fortunes and assets thorough generations. The concept works as a preventive measure - a deterrent - to avoid youth follies and it also helps preventing that the corporate capital - again, seeing the family as a corporation - falls into the wrong hands. Marriages come and go but fortunes stay, and seeing the issue of inheritance, binding rights, rights potentially acquired by spouses and so on, the issue ceases to be one of love and liberty: nobody in his right sense of mind would - for example - put a hundred million dollars of a family fortune at the reach of the spouse of a son or daughter that has not been previously screened exactly in the same way as no business company or government would let any new employee manage an equivalent amount of money or power.

The business side of the family tends to overlaps with the natural, biological and affective concept of family, but in the case of these families a special effort is made to keep both things separated. If it is difficult to deal with properties and gains, for example, when someone in a middle-class couple wants a divorce, imagine how things could be if what is at stake is an art collection, stocks in companies, banks or even political responsibilities in a state.

It is worth mentioning that things not always reach the point of a total and sometimes the measure might be partially or totally reverted after a while, such as when the newcomer proves that he or she is a worthy and valuable person for the corporation. In other cases such as impending doom or the killing of all living heirs, former outcasts might become acceptable as the only choice available. This has happened a number of times in the case of ruling dynasties that fell in disgrace or were murdered in several countries.

But regardless of such exceptional cases, screening for suitable candidates for marriage thus becomes a necessity exactly in the same way in which potential employees are interviewed and tested by their potential and new employers.

Seduction is one of the ways in which an opportunist might attempt to enter into such a familiar structure seeking status or money and any heir, as in the case of any person, could potentially be manipulated by someone who has found his or her soft spot with the only intention of gaining access to the family money. Translating this into the realm of business activities, you need essentially honest people to run the numbers of the company to avoid fraud, and then, companies test their employees over time before giving them high responsibilities. Allowing the marriage just for the sake of love of a heir with just anybody else would be as if in a corporation someone that has just been hired a week ago would be put in the board of directors, or as if a lieutenant would be promoted to general over the weekend.

Or it might be the case that the candidate is a fine person but without the skills, intellect or knowledge required to keep on with the dynastic mandate of the corporation; think of a good, hard working and honest janitor that goes with the vacuum cleaner all over corporate offices for twenty years. He or she might be the fines person on Earth, but that doesn't make them ideal for a seat at the board of directors either, much as an old sergeant, be as experienced in his trade as he or she might be, is not material for a chief of staff of an army.

Leaving a member of a dynasty decide completely on his or her own whom to marry with also potentially affects the rights f the rest of the heirs, if they exist: An unsuitable newcomer could put the familiar business at such level of jeopardy by negligence, ignorance or ill intentions that everyone would have is or her future at stake. So, two options are left: Either match-making and marrying becomes a supervised task or dynasty members that do not take into account these risks must be outcasted to the extent necessary to keep the rest of the family and its business safe.

These are realities, rationally analysed and considered by people y corporate or leading positions in any sort of organization. So in these circumstances it becomes obvious that dynastic marriages - i.e. those involving members of a dynasty at large - somehow became regulated by the family itself much like a club - or corporation - that keeps a policy of filtering its members.

Everyone is free, but then again, business are business. A marriage is seen within this context as both a personal and business matter, with the latter taking precedence over the former. Indeed, in many historical instances marriages were forced upon individuals based on political, religious and commercial needs, but this took place in times when the individual - even if royal or rich - had little value and there were no personal and human rights whatsoever.

Today, in most cultures, it is assumed that people make choices based on free will so, the old way of doing things regarding marriage among dynasties cannot be applied. However, the fact that marrying members of families is used as a way to form alliances is still a common concept and thus, while compulsory marriages are practically extinct because not even parents can order someone to do something like that, there are of course pressures to do or not to do certain things, and then, if everything else fails, there is outcasting as a deterrent.

However, outcasting is not just meant to be dissuasive: of course, if you are the son of a rich family and you risk losing everything if you run away with a maid, yo will at least think it twice, but what if you go with the maid or hairdresser? Will your family allow her to become one of them? Most certainly not, and not precisely because of snobbery, because aristocratic families do not need to act like snobs because they are the real deal.

The reckless young man in question might marry the maid and thus form theoretical link between the family of the maid and his own. But that will only exist in the realm of theory: Not only such a fait accompli would not entail automatic acceptance anywhere near by family of the man of the other family but will almost surely mean that under the hood some legal engineering will be taking place to ensure that there would be no legal consequences of that either. That would be, indeed, the process of outcasting.

Lack of health might also prove to be a factor: A groom or bride unable to reproduce or with weak health would be pointless. There is no point in insisting, for example, that an anorexic or obese person - i.e. with poor health and some obvious psychological problems - should be accepted as he or she is, because he or she might be as he or she is, but elsewhere. The issue at stake is not what the person is but what the person can and cannot do. Unstable people from a physiological, medical or psychological point of view cannot be put in charge of anything.

Among practically-oriented people such as those that run a business and make money, discrimination or snobbery are not decision-influencing factors. Outcasting has nothing to do with arrogance, discrimination or racism, as popularly thought.

The most important thing in a dynasty is to pass the position, riches and so on to newer generations. This requires knowledge of the things at stake, and people from outside the acceptable realm are more often than not unprepared to meet the challenges. That is, a hairdresser might be a very good person, but she will most likely not be a very capable, intelligent or learned person because she would otherwise not be a blue-collar worker. Thus, a family of bankers or businesspeople, or scientists, might find her unsuitable for the purpose of - in the future -running the family business, influencing the decisions of the familiar corporation and even educating the heirs of future generations.

Since marriage implies legally-binding rules, if the heir of a bank marries a hairdresser, that might be fine for every purpose except keeping the banking business and hence the dynasty. Thus, it becomes a business necessity to disinherit the heir that chose a hairdresser and pass the fortune to other heirs, even if they are not direct descendants of the chief of the family. Politically incorrect as it might seem, no one in his or her right state of mind would pass an empire to someone who married a hairdresser or maid, or coal miner because that would be a guarantee for disaster in the future due to the ignorance of the lower class "relative" and the poor decision-making of the failing heir.


A person that belong to the family can outcast himself or herself as well. Nobody is really obliged to follow tradition and protocol, or to remain within the familiar circle. The only necessary thing is to show in practice that the person in question does not consider others to belong to his or her family. In other words, it means that if one given person shows that he or she does not consider others to be his or her family, or treats them like that, the person in question is traditionally relieved of the burden of pretending to belong to a family to which in practice, despite biological connections, he or she does not feel to belong. Indeed, this means that the family is relieved of obligations toward that person such as will and inheritances. Despite that contact can be maintained with such persons, the relationship will be downgrades to the last notch.

There are some formal ways in which this status of self-outcasting can be achieved. One would be, for example, if a person marries and does not invite people belonging of his or her biological family to the wedding. While even being a very rude thing to do mistakes can be made and here might be reasons not to invite someone specifically to such an occasion, not doing so with close siblings or parents is traditionally considered inexcusable, since even in religious terms, since parents give life, one should always show appreciation of that fact. So if you don't, you basically deny the essence of your relation with your parents, leaving only a purely biological trace - and even worms have that, so it cannot be sufficient to define a familiar relationship.

Put differently, not mentioning that one is going to marry, or not inviting relatives is a way to say that you don't want nothing to do with your biological family, and so it is understood even if later on the person in question attempts to apologize, because that would be interpreted just as an excuse for the deed. So, unless someone decides to marry in a rush while it is impossible to communicate the fact - i.e. you are onboard a nuclear submarine in Antarctica or orbiting the Moon and suddenly decide to marry right at the moment - doing that is the best way to wave goodbye to your biological family and your inheritance, if such a thing had existed, because the relationship may never become the same.

As we said, while it may happen that for really good reasons someone might not be invited to a wedding, not doing so with a sizeable part or the whole group, or not doing so with your closest relatives is interpreted as the wish to severe the links with the family and the Gesinde, and since marriages imply the formation of de facto societies between two partners and the families of the other partners, not inviting members of the family is interpreted as the desire not to enter the Gesinde and therefore, a de facto rejection of any of the emerging rights and obligations such as keeping in touch with our family or having rights to claim any inheritance or properties.


So goes the reasoning behind the politically-incorrect process, but outcasting might not be irreversible: In many cases the correction of the situation that caused it in the first place might be enough to revert the decision. In other cases, proving the worth of the individuals questioned might also turn the tide. Going back to the example of the hypothetical marriage with a maid, if she would go to college and earn a degree, that might also be enough in some causes to revert the ban. Remember that objectively speaking, outcasting is meant to keep things in order, not to punish for the sake of punishment, resentment or discrimination. However, demonstrating a change might require far more work that stating an apology.

One classical example of this is the story of no one less than Muhammad, the Prophet, who proved to the wealthy family of his first wife Khadija bint Khuwaylid, who was also a wealthy merchant herself and of a higher social status, his skills as a caravan merchant[207.2]. So if the Bible, Talmud or Qur'an say that this is possible to redeem someone, who are we to question that? However, this is probably easier said than done because it would require to demonstrate in a credible way, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the person outcasted has changed. The effort, in that case, and the cost of doing so relies entirely on that person an not in the family, and while tradition might show that second opportunities are created, nobody has been so far willing to provide third tries.

Being a member of the Gesinde traditionally implies that you will never be alone or without help. You will have anything and everything you need, you will never be alone and new members are always welcomed provided that they are worthy as good and productive persons despite their religion or social origin. However, if you end up outcasted either by the choice of the family or by your own, and unless you fix the situation, then in your life you will get out of the Gesinde exactly nothing.

Voluntaris, Pablo Edronkin.

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