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Histories of Game Strains


There has been some discussion on the board, the last day or so about the Albany's and the Clippers and it looked like it might heat up some for awhile but looks as if it just fizzled out. With no one proving a thing except that both parties knew something about the breeds and their origins. That's about the way these discussions always go. The trouble is most of the information we have is second or third hand, that is until one of the relatives of the original breeder speaks up and they have the breeding records and are willing to share their knowledge. Then they can set the record straight about the breed. It's always interesting to read about the old breeds and how they were made and where they came from. So I thought I'd share some of the things that I've read on the Clippers, now it seems that there are two (could be more) breeds of Clippers, Law's (Yankee) Clippers and Coopers Clippers. The following is from Johnson's History of Game Strains. Clippers (Law) Two yards of the famous Yankee Clippers as bred by the late E. W. Law of Georgia and Florida are supposed to be a cross of Madigin Claret over the "Pine Albany" and "Old Albany" respectively from the O'Connells of Albany, N.Y. One version among some of the big time cockers is that Law sold some crossed fowl that turned out to be so good that he got them back and bred and fought them, as the Clippers but was never sure what blood was in them.(Am just giving it as I've often heard it; I express no opinion either way.) Cocks come light and dark red, Spangle, Pumpkin, and an occasional white. All are straight combed with white and yellow legs and occasionally one will come green legged. As with most other strains there were probably several different families, all called Clippers. Some were extremely good and dead game. The boys down in Albany, Ga. have some of these. Others were rank dunghills. I have known Mr. Law since I was just a kid until his death. I fought my first cock at a main between Law and my uncle, the late W. L. Johnson. Long before that Law had a yard of his fowl at Mr. Cliff Morgans who lived about three miles from my home. I walked a few cocks for Law about ten years ago. Our dealings were always satisfactory to both parties. Coopers Clippers In 1859 "Censor" the London correspondent of "Porters Sprit of the Times" presented Dr. J. W. Cooper two trios of Clippers. One of the cocks was breed by Mr. Cobden of Sussex. The hens with him were out of a brown red Nottingham cock, out of black breasted red hens from the celebrated jockey Frank Butler. The other cock was bred by Mr. Heathcote at Epsom Race Course, of which he was part owner. The hens with him were of famed Staffordshire stock. Although the two sets of hens were no kin, nor were they kin to the cocks, all the produce were called Clippers. They came black red and brown reds.

Concerning Clarets

The following must have been a letter written to the Editor of Grit and Steel. The Author's note following the letter could be Mr. Johnson's note but then it could be the Editior's note. As you can see there was a bit of confusion about the breeding of the Clarets even then. Some may have gotten the idea (as I have) that Madigin may have engineered the confusion. From Johnson's History of Game Strains Concerning Clarets By: C. C. Crenshaw I notice in Grit and Steel that many are advertising "pure Madigin Clarets" from many parts of the nation. There is a question in my mind now and has been for some time as to just where and when they got this blood. I am talking about the good old time blood now, as Mr. Madigin has said (I quote from the Oct., 1937 Grit and Steel)," I have many letters of inquiry concerning those who advertise Clarets. I have never sold a Claret. I have only given away a few cocks; no hens. I raise them all at Ft. Erie and there alone and the only way anyone has to get them is to steal them, of course, all who walk them for me have one half blood and if they inbreed them, can get them, but they are useless when inbred. I only want to give you an insight into the methods of those who profess to have pure Clarets." Author's note: Concerning above, it is now an established fact that Madigin did give away hens to several different men. As for what Mr. Madigin has to say about those walking cocks for him having only one half the Claret blood and not being able to get more except by inbreeding: If a man bred from a Claret stag or cock walked for Madigin and then bred the stags and pullets form him together that would be inbreeding but would not increase the percent of Claret blood. Madigin always asked me not to return blinkers or broke billed cocks, etc. I always killed these as I did not want to breed them and did not think I had a right to fight them. But anyone walking cocks for Madigin who wanted to breed them could breed said battered cock year after year back over his daughters until soon they would be seven/eighth or fifteen/sixteenth his blood (and likewise that percent of Claret blood). However this would be line breeding rather than inbreeding. A man could breed from a different stag or cock (from Madigin for purpose of walking) each year over the pullets out of the stag or cock bred the preceding year. Regardless of the definition you give inbreeding, you will realize that such a man can not possibly be inbreeding any closer that Madigin himself. R.L. Sanders bred from Madigin's Clarets until his are thirty/one thirty/second Claret blood. I can not understand a man having the great amount of intelligence required to become the success Mr. Madigin was making such a statement in writing as above.

The Albanys

Every time we read in a game journal or hear someone arguing about how a famous strain was bred, it used to make us smile. Now, after a lot of developing into the history of present day families of fowl, it makes us laugh right out loud. If any man ever hit the nail on the head, it was Henry Ford when he said, much to the disgust of our scholarly element, "History is the bunk!" Much of the history taught in our schools is just that, or at its best inaccurate reporting of past events, and all game fowl history is absolutely bunk. Ninety-five percent of us gamefowl breeders don't know how our own fowl are bred further than two or three generations back. A whole heck of a lot of us are not positive how last season's chicks were bred, and them right on our own yard at that. Sounds silly, but it's true. Let's take the Allen Roundheads as a well-known example. We know they were good. I can show you a man who claims to have letters from Allen in which he claims his strain was kept good by careful inbreeding. I can show you another who says he has letters to prove the best cocks Allen ever showed were crosses of Green's Japs; and still another who contends the best Allen ever fought, and this over a period of years, were not bred by Allen at all, but sent him each year by a New England saloon keeper. And, all three of these men claim to have positive proof of their contentions. What's the difference how they are or aren't bred, or who bred them? If they are good today, that's what you want and need. If they aren't good, a silly pedigree of long, pure breeding isn't going to improve them a particle. Recently, we talked to a well-known cocker and a competent man. We asked him about some fowl he had tried out for three years. He said, "I had to get rid of every drop of the blood. All the danged things would do is stand there like fence posts and take whatever the other cock handed them. Now, we happen to know a considerable amount of those fowl and their owner. He can write out the pedigree of any chicken on his yard and trace it right back to 1865 or '70; not another drop of outside blood in all those years. They are famous today among paper fighters. Yet, compared with today's best cocks, they are positively jokes. Keeping pedigrees of animals and birds was begun simply because it furnished (for future reference) a record in writing of how outstanding individuals were bred, who their fathers, mothers, grandfathers, grandmothers, and the proper place for their pedigrees is in the trash can. In two different issues of the Warrior some time last summer, we gave you the history of the Albany fowl; one of today's winning strains of fowl. We had been much interested in these fowl for the past 9 or 10 years, or longer, ever since we saw some of them back in 1930 or '31. Since then, at every opportunity, we have tried to get a line on how they were originated and bred, up to today. Finally, we thought we had it right and gave in to you. On a recent trip to Troy, we found out it was only approximately correct, so, here it is again. If you are tired of reading our stuff on these fowl, we don't' blame you a bit, and promise this is our last word on the Albanys. Back years ago or more, Mr. Hatch of Long Island, N.Y., fought a main in Eastern New York. When we arrived home, he found someone had stolen three cocks from his shipping coops, the ones he had taken along for the main. Two of them were yellow legged and one a green leg. While the men who have us our information said they would take their oaths they didn't know who stole these cocks, they did know who eventually got them. The two yellow legs were bred and produced nothing worthwhile. "Army" Fox of Utica, N.Y. got the green leg. He was a large, straight comb, broad backed, dark red, with green legs. Army later talked with Mr. Hatch about having the cock, and he told him what he was, that all of that family were straight combs, etc. Army said he would send and get him. His friend told him the cock had died, and that he wasn't his type of chicken anyway. However, he had raised two or three stags from him , and a hen that was in breeding, Pogmore Whitehackle and Henny, and offered to send Army one of the stags. When he arrived, he was a beautiful, long feathered, large stag, black and red in color. He was bred to the Slade Roundhead hens and a dozen or so stags were produced. About half of them looked like Hennies, and while game, better than the Hennies, and that's about all that could be said of them. About this time and for some years previous, Tom Foley of Troy, N.Y., had a strain of extras good ginger colored fowl, and Army Fox sent to him and asked for a good cock to breed. Just about this time, an Albany crowned one of his Gingers, a spangle (and the only one out of 50 or so to come that color), to fight in the main. He was a big cock and didn't fall in (but in a hack after the main won a very classy battle), and was sent on to Army Fox for a brood cock. Army bred him to the pullets, or perhaps hens by then, that were sisters to the Henny stags that were out of the Hatch Pogmore Henny cock and Slade hens. This mating, for some unknown reason, produced all very small fowl, 4.0, 4.04, 4.06, etc., too small for practical purposes although they were exceptional fighters and very game. Practically all of them were given away. Shortly after this, Army met a friend of his in Albany, whom we must refer to as Mr. X. He had always had gamefowl, but a few years before had gotten into politics. At that time, he gave up the fowl. Army suggested he get back in the game again, that new blood was needed among the big shots, and especially new blood with a bankroll. He laughed and said perhaps he would, but where would he get good fowl? To make a long story short, he took the pullets or hens Army had that were bred from the Foley Ginger cock and hens that were ½ Slade Roundhead, ½ hatch-Pogmore Henny. He got, from the Hardy Bros. Of Niagara Falls, one of their Mahogany cocks known as "The Sneak" (due to a habit he had of ducking under his opponent) and bred them together. This mating produced what were known as the strait Albanys; very uniform, awfully game cocks, but not good enough to compete with the topnotchers. From here on, our previous writings on these fowl are correct. A Pine Spangle was bred tot he Albany hens and produced cocks that were invincible for five or six years. When he died, a Claret cock bred to the same hens and other Clarets down to Mr. X's "Caseys" of today were what he had. Offshoots of the family have proven awfully good. The Bradford fowl, Laws Clippers, Hard, Cox fowl, Keefer, and many more all contain the blood. In spite of the numerous and varied crosses that have been made, these fowl today are surprisingly uniform in looks and in action and winning qualities. We know of nothing better, not few as good.

The Miner Blues

by: Loyd B. Miner

Several months ago you asked me to write the history of my Miner Blues. I appreciated being favored with this request and promised you that I would write same, however, when yours of July 5th came asking if I had the history written, I had failed to have a single line. I consider myself very poor at writing anything and writing the history of my own fowl makes it all the more difficult for me, but i shall keep my promise and do the best I can. I will try and not say too much for my fowl and if I do, just remember ho much each real lover of the game cock thinks of his own strain. I have two strains of Blues, one a strictly straight comb strain, the other of all Roundhead blood. I shall give you the history of the straight comb strain first because they were the first fowl that I really bred. I owned my first game cock about 25 years ago. At that time the village of Cornell had some men who kept a few half-mile running horses, a few scrub game cock and boasted of one real 100-yard dash men. Every summer many covered wagon loads of Gypsies passed through Cornell; they made money trading horses, racing horses and fighting cocks. Professional foot racers traveled with them. We had saloons then and the little village was pretty sporty, would gamble on anything. I took in the horse races, foot races and cock fights. Several of us young fellows liked the game cocks very much, so we all bought cheap cocks and started in the game, fighting against each other, There were seven or eight of us started in the game at that time. A few years later I secured twenty subscribers to Derby Game Bird for a premium of Gregory gaffs. All of these boys finally quit the game except George Hasel and myself. George quit about three years ago and moved to South Bend, Ind., from there to Chicago and not long ago I received a letter from him in Denver, Colo., in which he said that he wanted a trio of the old straight comb Blues as soon as he got located where he could keep chickens. Am getting off my track so will go back to the time we were fighting chickens among ourselves. At that time I was working in my fathers store and a mon by the name of Ed Foley ran a hotel next door. He had a large back yard and one day I noticed a beautiful blue-red game cock running in this yard with some dunghill hens. I asked Foley what breed he was and what he would take for him and he replied that he was one of Nick Vipond's Blues and did not belong to him, that he was only walking him for Nick, but for me to go to Streator (which is 15 miles from Cornell) and see old Nick and he would perhaps sell me a cock, I got my best friend, George Hasel, and we went to Streator and looked up Nick. It was not hard to find him as he ran a saloon in the main part of the city. He took us to his home and showed us may fine cocks in pens. We each bought one and could hardly wait until we hot home to tackle some of the boys for a scrap. Next day both cocks were fought and both won. After that day both of us bothered old Nick quite often. We must have been an awful pest to him and I often wonder how he had the patience to fool with us. However, he seemed to take a liking to us and would let us watch him condition cocks up stairs over his saloon in the winter and at his home in his barn during the warmer months. He taught us how to hold a cock and how to work him and to this day I have never seen a man who could put a cock through his work and not break a feather as he could. He had a world of patience with a biting cock and his condition was good, but now I think that he pulled his cocks too low for them to be at their best. Nick traveled and fought his cocks and also fought mains against Col. Minton, George A. Fuller, the Red Hornet man, (at that time of Springfield, Ill.) and many others. Like most others Nick had other fowl besides his blues, some good and some bad, some of them belonging to other parties that he would condition and fight for them. Years have proven that his Blues were the best that he had and were the only ones that he kept when he got old. The straight comb Miner Blues that I breed today are direct descendants of the best and last brood yards of Nick Vipond's Blues. Just what blood these Blues are no one really knows. Many have asked Nick what blood they were and I have asked him where he got them, but he never would say, his reply being to all "they are my old Blues." However, Nick was born in Wales, He moved from Pennsylvania to Steator over 50 years ago, was a coal miner and later went into the saloon business. He brought with him from Pennsylvania some very dark blue fowl, dark eyes and dark legs. Some say that they were imported from Ireland and that Nick bought them from a man in the east who needed money badly, however, I don not know that this is true, and doubt if there is any one who does know, but I do know that the first fowl that I saw at his place were dark-blue. Later he had a very beautiful, white leg, red eyed, light-red cock over some blue hens and in a short time he had many white leg and yellow leg Blues of different shades of lighter blues, also many light-red with white or yellow legs. I asked him one day what the white leg red cock was and he said that he was just the same as the Blues and added that some of them came red. I bought a 4.14 white leg red cock of him that had won bottom weight in one of his mains and six dark blue hens. My friend Hasel bought a 5.04 dark blue, slip leg cock and two dark-blue hens. I had the pleasure of being in on the last three mains that Nick fought, my friend George Hasel was also in on one, these being fought against local parties. In two of the mains he won every fight but one and lost but one main, by the odd. After the last main, which he won, he told Hasel and I that he was going to give each of us a good cock that had won in the main and tell us how to breed them. We already had eight dark-blue hens, the dark-blue slip leg cock and the white leg 4.14 cock, then he gave Hasel the white leg red 6.02 cock. This cock was old, but did not show it, and had won quickly in the main. A year or two before Hasel had asked Nick to price this cock, but he would never do it. When Nick gave Hasel the cock he told him that sense he had always wanted him so badly that he would make him a present of the cock and told him to breed him over the pullets from the slip-leg blue. He then gave me a fine young 5.08 dark-blue cock that had won a sensational battle in the main and told me to breed him to the pullets from the 4.14 Red. I never got a picture of the slip-leg nor the old white leg red Hasel got, but I had a photographer take a picture of the 4.14 Red and I took a snap shot of the 5.08 Blue. The one I took is not clear, but I am sending both for you to print. Hasel and I bred these four cocks and eight hens just as we were told to do and exchanged stags and pullets each year and mated more yards. We could do this nicely with four yards to draw from. At about the same time that we got the last tow cocks from Nick a friend of mine named Harry Rucker (who lived in Cornell) bought a 3-time winner brown-red, white leg cock from Nick and bred him on some Dom hens he had and two years later Hasel bought this Vipond cock from Rucker and later bred him over daughters of the slip-leg. About ten years ago, Nick quit business and moved to Chicago, later moving to either Marion, Ohio or Indiana, I have forgotten which and finally came back to Streator where he died about three years age. When he moved to Chicago he sold all of his fowl except two large dark-blue hens and one large white leg hen. These he would not sell. He called on me just a short time before he left and brought these three hens and asked if I would keep them for him, said that his daughter was sick and that he and his wife must go and live with her and that they had no place to keep chickens. I kept the hens and bred them single mated. I have a letter that Nick wrote me sent from Chicago, about eleven years ago asking me to have his hens caught up as he would be after them soon. He never bred any more fowl, but came and took one of the blue hens for a friend and gave me the other, the white leg hen having died. My straight comb Miner Blues I breed today are direct descendants of the four cocks and the eight hens that Hasel and I got from Nick, the cock that Rucker got and the three hens that Nick left with me. I have many yards and believe that I can breed them indefinitely without a cross. I have mated them as I know that they must be mated and at the same time I have line-bred them to the most sensational fighting cocks that have been produced from time to time. For instance, Hasel, by mating a dark-blue stag that I gave him over one of his white leg red hens, produced a white leg blue-red stag that proved, in the brood yard, to be one of the best producers of all. He fought this stag against Sam Brazier in Chicago in 1919. Brazier had a wonderful stag and cut Hasel's stag blind in one eye and broke one wing in the first pitting but Hasel could hardly hold his stag during the rest period and when turned loose for the second pitting he went across like a flash, and with one eye and one wing gone he shuffled Brazier's stag to death. Hasel bred this stag that year and as a cock for two years. We called him old Blinker. He gave me one of his first stags from this cock, also one of his daughters and in 1922 traded me the old Blinker for a brood cock of mine that had won several times. I bred old Blinker until he died in the fall of 1924. He was a great producer and was line-bred from the start. Many of ny yard carry more or less of his blood on each side. I have bred many cocks that have won several battles but never have I found one that produced more winners that old Blinker did. Old White Leg, a four time winner that I raised is a grandson of the 4.14 and the old white leg Vipond cock. This strain of cocks have not been bred to color but have been to fight, however, in the last few years I have mated Red to Reds and Blues to Blues whenever I could do so and not sacrifice fighting qualities nor the proper mating. At the present time they average in color about 50% blue reds with white or yellow legs, 40% light reds with black or brown mottled breasts and white or yellow legs and about 10% come dark-blues with dark legs. I get more dark-blues in hens than in cocks. Are medium, low station and the cocks run in weight from 4.06 to 6.08 and the hens from 3 to 5 pounds. They are exceptionally game, extra good cutters and know how to fight. Just to give and example of the gameness of these Blues I am going to quote what a friend in Omaha Nebraska wrote me about one of these Blue cocks that fought in a main there in 1925. "Fourth fight we matched your straight comb Miner blue against a Harry Williams Warhorse cross from Covington, Ky. Warhorse coupled your Blue in first pitting and the fight dragged out to 68 pittings, 48 minutes of terrible give and take on both sides. In my opinion your blue was the best cock and his gameness was remarkable. He crossed the pit several times on his wings and shuffled whenever he could get a beak hold, only to be counted out in the 68th pitting, his opponent dying soon afterwards. Blue had two counts on Warhorse but could not see or stand on his feet, yet he always broke all counts except the 68th.." I call these Blues Miner Blues because most of them come blue and they have been bred by my method long enough to make them the type they are today. I have the same opinion as Mr. Ewing A. Walker has in calling his Mugs Walker Mugs. My friend Hasel advertised and sold some of these Blues that he bred and called his Hasel Blues. As he had bred them many years he felt that he had the right to call them Hasel Blurs. I have never spent much time in thinking up a name for my fowl as I feel sure that if cocks can fight they will make a name for themselves and if not a blood curdling name will not help them. While I have always kept these Blues pure that I got from Nick Vipond, I have also made some crosses. Most of us experiment some and I have always thought it best to make a cross when I had time to try them out than wait until I had to have a cross and trust to luck for a nick. I have made several crosses and fought them all to find out what I had and found that some were good and others were bad. Those that were good I bred back to my Blues and then fought the quarter bloods, then bred back again and fought the eighth bloods. I do not need a cross on my old Blues at this time, but if I ever do I now have on hand some good hens with one-half, one-quarter and one-eighth new blood that are sisters to cocks that have proven good and of which I breed a few each year. In 1917 D. H. Pierce loaned me a young Wisconsin Shuffler cock to breed. He was a dark eyed brown-red and an extra good one. I tried to buy him from Pr. Pierce but he would not sell him, so I returned him in good shape in the fall of 1918. I mated this Pierce cock to one of the old dark-blue hens that Nick left with me when he moved to Chicago and from this mating I got dark-blues and dark-brown reds. Fought the stags and refought them and only one lost his first battle. I then bred one of my Blue cocks over one of the half blood hens and the quarter-bloods win a good majority of their battles. I have two dark-blue hens today that are daughters of the Pierce cock. They are over nine years old and are strong and healthy brood hens yet. In 1923, Henry Flock sent me a blue-red, white leg, red eyed, straight comb cock from El Paso, Texas and wanted me to breed him. Said if I did not want him to just send him to his daughter at home and that she would care for him until he returned. Flock had won twice with him and had pronounced him a wonder. He said that Jas. G. Oakley had bred him out of a Smith Blue cock that he got off Smith Bros., that won in the Opelousas Tournament. I bred this cock single mated on one of my old Blue hens and he nicked well with my blood. I bred back to my Blues and the quarter bloods won a larger percent than did the half bloods. I am saving some of the quarter-blood hens. My friend Hasel made a cress several years ago with Gleezen Whitehackel on Blues, also a cross of a Shawlneck hen from Elmer B. Denham and both were good. I traded some of my Pierce cross and of the Oakley cock cross to Hasel for some of his Whitehackles and Shawlneck crosses and breed a few each year carrying this blood. This concludes the history of my straight comb blues.

Sheldon Nigger Roundheads

The original Sheldon Roundheads that Sam Wactor started with must have been heavy with oriental and or Asil blood as some of my Nigger Roundheads show the Asil look. The feather color of the Nigger Roundheads now are Black, Black Red, and Dark Red, the eye color is black or red, leg color has been dark but with the Sheldon Roundhead blood in them I am sure one day I will get some lighter legs out of them. But, when Sam Wactor first started breeding his Nigger Roundheads he got some BLUE feathered ones but sent them to another yard away from his main farm. And over the years he bred out the BLUE colors. However, in doing research on many breeds of fowl you will find that many had a blue in them some where. I obtained my Nigger Roundheads from Jack Wactor SR. The son of Sam Wactor, in the last few years Jack Wactor's son Jack Wactor Jr. sold some of his fowl in the Gamecock. I talked to Jack Wactor Sr. on the phone a few weeks ago and he said that he had given all the fowl to his handler. However, Jack Wactor SR. told me that he had sent me the best fowl he had and that the handler in fact did not have some of the Blood lines that he had sent me due to a problem with varmints and dogs. I will continue to raise and test the Nigger Roundheads as they cross very well with my other fowl. The following history was written by JACK WACTOR SR. and sent to me so I could share it with anyone who was interested. I hope you enjoy the history of the Nigger Roundheads as much as I did. "My father, Sam Wactor got started in the game chicken life at the tender age of 8 years old. Burnell Shelton had country walks near my father's farm and he began using him to help catch his chickens. Shelton gave him a yard of chickens that same year which he bred and kept pure for years. As much as he liked his Sheldon Roundheads he still was not dominating at the pits. He thought if he found a sure enough outstanding cock he would breed him over some of his roundhead hens. Charlie Knapp a New Orleans banker, close friend and supporters of Sam's told him if he ever saw the rooster he wanted he would buy it for him. In January 1921, while at a main in New Orleans, LA, a man named Grimme, who was a shoe cobbler from Yazoo City, MS, fought an absolutely awesome rooster. The rooster was fought twice that day and won both fights quickly. Sam knew he found what he had been searching for and as agreed Knapp bought the rooster and paid $100. The rooster was a dark brown-red with a dark face, eyes and legs. Sam bred the cock over 9 Sheldon Roundhead hens (some yellow legs and some white) and all the biddies came dark. He only bred the Grimme cock for one season because he was killed by his offspring and he never bred back to the Roundhead side. Out of this breeding he raised an outstanding rooster he called Trotter. Trotter proved to be such an exceptional rooster he continued to breed him over his daughters and then granddaughters and so on for twelve straight years and he always bred to the black side. No out-crossing was ever attempted. Fresh blood was added within the family using the dominant stag over the yard and Trotter in the brood pens. So the Nigger Roundheads are actually half Sheldon Roundhead and half Grimmie. They were originally called Black Trotters, Trotter Roundheads and Nigger Trotters. Eventually they picked up the name Nigger Roundheads and this name stuck with them over the years. My belief is the name Black Travelers is just a deviation of the Black Trotters. The Nigger Roundheads of Sam Wactor have been kept pure and have maintained their absolute gameness, body structure and feathers. No infusing of out side blood to date." {This is a direct quote from the letter sent to me by Jack Wactor (Sam Wactor's son)}. Jack L. Wactor also stated on the phone that Sam Wactor did in fact sell many of the "Nigger Roundheads" to William McRae and that they were sent to the Islands. In fact he sold William McRae a whole yard of Nigger Roundheads. In picture's that have been traded between Jack and I, I am of the belief that the Black McRae's are of mostly "Nigger Roundhead" blood with other strains of fowl being added to the Nigger Roundheads from time to time by William McRae. But that the Nigger Roundheads are the dominate strain of fowl used in the make up of the Black McRae's.

The Wingate Brown Reds

1924 Joe Wingate laid aside his life's work and joined his ancestors. From that time on the once great family of fighting cocks that he had built decined. Though many may boast of having them today, old timers know that the claims have little or no foundation. Back in 1870, Wingate brought over from north of Ireland a single comb strain of chickens, in color they were mostly brown red, some showing ginger color and all showing dark legs and hazel eyes, the hens were sharp and stylish looking a dark brown or ginger some showing straw neck feathers. They were medium stationed and many grew spurs. One of the Irish hens was a favorite of Joe`s. He had her set up and mounted when she died. This mounted hen is in existence today but looks nothing like the hens of the so-called Wingates you see in these later days. The cocks of this family were not big cocks being in condition 5.4 or under, brown or ginger red, dark legs and hazel eyes. Broad backed and not heavy, though strong boned. They were single stroked cocks fast and strong in the mix-up not high flyers, rushing wild hitting cocks they now want to call Wingates. Did Wingate add any new blood to the above family? Of course he did he added the blood of an English hen he brought over a mahogany colored hen with hazel eyes and dark lead colored legs. He bred this hen under the Irish cock and then bred some of those cross back into the original line. The infusion of the English hen's blood increased the poundage until off and on a cock would weigh 6.2 or 6.4. Holly Chappell enters the picture, Chappell while down in Alabama on one of his trips to the south got hold of a standout cock and brought him home. He bred him over his hens that were understood to be north Britain and brown red crosses. Wingate and Chappell were friends, Wingate got one of the cocks out of this cross and bred him over a brown red hen. After reducing the cross some more, he put the blood of the Chappell line into the Irish family. That is the layout of the Wingate Irish brown reds as the old-timers up here in the hills recall it.

The Kearney and Duryea fowl

There can be but little doubt in the minds of the students in the cocking fraternity that the gamest fowl in this country, not only today but as far back as any of us now living can remember, come and came from the vicinity of New York City. Lest some of the readers get gamest confused with best. Let us hasten to assure you we used the former. there isn't a doubt in the mind of this writer but what today or any day a main of cocks could be selected from most any part of the country and in long heels make the gamest fowl up there look very sick indeed. Ever in the short fast heels of today. We believe a main could be selected from among the better long heel fowl that could take the gamest fowl in or around New York. It`s a recognized fact among the more intelligent members of the clan that the gamer a family is the poorer fighters and cutters they seem to be. We won't go into the whys and wherefore of that statement just now. With hardly an exception the gamest families we can recall when their pedigree is traced back leads right to New York City. The few we can think of that were not descended from New York City were from not very far away and did a big share of their fighting against the New York crowd. Examples? yes, we can give you a few. The gamest fowl it has been this writers privilege to see in the past 25 years were the so-called Hardy mahoganies, the Hatch fowl the Albany's the Jim Thompson fowl and very few others that is which filled the bill as deep game fowl in our book. Let`s see where some of them came from. The Hardy's got their fowl from Jim Ford of Medina, New York. Ford got them through his brother who was a New York judge, he, in turn got them from John Madden of Kentucky, and Madden got them direct from Mike Kearney of Long Island, NY. The Albanys were half Hardy through a cock called "the sneak" and on the other side of Albany family there was some Hatch blood, Hatch too came from and lived all his life in or very near New York City. Jim Thompson lived at White Plains, NY about 20 miles from New York City. His fowl were said to have been the result of a cross between an Adam Schreiber, Albany,NY, hen that Thompson had a man name Squealer Murray steal for him, and some old game stock down near New York City. they were a very deep game family, and of course the hatch fowl were entirely New York stuff. There are plenty of winning fowl in both the North and South that seldom show bad factor, yet, we have not included then in our list of the gamest families. Those who are familiar with deep game fowl will understand why. And when deep game fowl and New York are mentioned, Mike Kearney sticks out like a sore thumb. Kearney is said to have arrived in this country from Ireland in about 1870. He brought fowl with him and in a comparatively short time, was in the midst of cocking activities in and around New York. Either at or soon after his arrival, the type of heels preferred in that section were what later came to be know as slow heels. They where a regulation heel with a blade, but, one and one-quarter inch long in length. The blade was thick with the point more or less blunt. The rules used were known as New York rules, ten tens required to count out a cock and peck would break the count at any time, under such conditions, deep game cocks were an absolute necessity and fighting ability and cutting ability were a secondary consideration, just the opposite, incidentally, from today with our modern rules and faster heel. The Mike Kearney whitehackles, brown reds and others were used to a certain extent as a standard to go by in measuring gameness, Mike Kearney has been dead for many years, yet even today most of our gamest fowl can be traced back to his fowl. during the years E. W. Rogers published the warrior, 1927-1935, its pages were constantly filled with stories of the Kearney and Duryea fowl. Nearly all of this was written by A.P. O`Conor, who contended Herman Duryea with whom Kearney was for years associated in cocking was the greatest gamefowl breeder of all times. The Duryea white hackles, the greatest family of gamefowl in this or any other country, that were according to O`Conor obtained by Duryea from a steamship agent in or near Boston and maintained in their purity by Duryea strictly by inbreeding for 30 years or more, during which time Duryea fought mains by the score and lost but one that one when his cocks took sick Mike Kearney was Duryea's feeder and caretaker,etc. In the past fifteen years we have at every opportunity questioned anyone we thought might have some information of this regard to either the Kearney or Duryea in the following we are going to tell you a few of the things we learned. Mike Kearney `s son Harry is still alive and while none of this information came to us directly from Harry, a considerable amount of it came from him indirectly. Several years a go in Troy, we met a Boston cocker who's name we have forgotten and who has since passed away. He was well-known on the game and was an ink salesman. Tom Kelly of Watertown knows who I mean. At any rate this man told me he visited Kearney on Long Island one time and told him he would like to see a pure Kearney white hackle, Mike reached in a peb and brought out a typical white hackle exept he had a round head and pea comb, he told mike he didn't know white hackles came pea comb. Mike said some of his did and offered no further explanation, it`s a well know fact the so-called Duryea fowl came both straight and pea comb. After Kearny`s association with Duryea when a pea comb cock was shown it was assumed by most men it was a Duryea cross, or a so-called straight Duryea. Today, Harry Kearney confirms the fact that their whitehackles came from Ireland with both pea and straight comb just as mike previously to the ink salesman. Further more and this came indirectly from Harry both him and his dad, Mike, preferred their brown reds to their white hackles, because they were gamer, stronger, and harder hitters, although the whitehackles were better cutters. They ran a saloon and had nowhere but a small back yard in which to breed and raise fowl. Until Mike hooked up with Duryea and took complete charge of the breeding and fighting of his fowl. Duryea had the fowl on his estate at Red Bank, New Jersey, and he, himself maintained a large racing and breeding stable in France. He spent considerable time there. Mike mated the yards at Red Bank and generally ran things with the fowl to suit himself. Duryea very much disliked a brown red chicken and forebode Mike to have any of then on the place. For that reason Kearny bred only a few and those few away from Duryea`s place, Duryea also had at Red Bank some fowl he got from Frank Collidge of Boston which we believe to be Boston round heads. They were oriental cross of some sort, according to Kearney they were very strong fowl good cutters and fighters but not bitter {game} enough to suit Kearney. However as Duryea liked them, they bred some and used them along with their white hackles and some crosses of the two. If the above is correct as we have every reason to believe it is, acutely there was never any such thing as a long inbred strain of Duryea fowl anywhere but in O`Conor's mind. O`Conor claimed Duryea lost but one main in thirty years while another writer in the warrior of that era contended Kearney probably lost more mains than any man that ever lived, in view of the above both men were wrong Duryea lost many mains and Kearney had a share in both the winning and the losing mains. As we stated above for a period of five or six years the warrior contained reams and reams about the Kearny and Duryea fowl. Gamest on earth, best winning family in history, etc. when probably the truth is the so-called Duryea fowl were nothing more than Kearney white hackles and some crosses of them on some jap or asil crosses from Frank Coolidge.

Blue Face fowl

Lum Gilmore got a cock from Ted McClean it was a small stationed cock ran around Gilmore's place for some time and there where no hens with him. He was said to be a hard hitter, and when cockers stopped by they sparred him to show how hard he could hit. When sparred or exerted in any way he turned blue in the face, hence the name blue face. Sweater Mcginnis was around Gilmore`s place at Bay City, TX at the time, he finally brought over one of his Madigin regular grey hens as company for the cock. Some stags and pullets were raised from that mating. Sometime before that two hens where stolen from Hatch on Long Island and given to Sweater, and, not long after that Sweater was inducted into the service. He put the two Hatch hens with E.W. Law to keep for him until he returned. When he got out, he immediately got in touch with Law to get the hens. Law told him one had died, but he sent Sweater the other one. One of the 1/2 grey 1/2 blue face cocks was bred to the stolen Hatch hen and the progeny of that mating where known as the blue face fowl.

The History of the Sid Taylor Log Cabins

The original strain of the chickens from which the Sid Taylor's of today were made goes back many years before the Civil War of 1861. These chickens were bred by Jim Shy of Lexington,Ky. Shy lived near the racetrack at Lexington and bred his chickens on the farm of Jim Price, who lived near Pinegrove, Ky. Their farm join the land owned by Mr. Gay on which he lived and bred his chickens. Price was interested in all kinds of sports events and he backed Shy`s cocks heavily Shy fought his cocks in Lexington and other places very successfully no one seems to know what these chickens were. The cocks came red, brown red ,pyle and blue red. with many of them having white feathers in their wings and tails. Mr. Gay had an uncle who lived near Pinegrove who remembered walking cocks for Prive and Shy in the fifties. Soon after the war of the sixties Sid Taylor got chickens from Shy. he told Mr. Gay that they were the first real good, dependable, winning, cocks he has ever had. Although he had been breeding and fighting cocks before that time. Mr. Taylor was closely associated with Shy until his death in 1892. Shy was said to be nighty years old when he died. He became blind eight or ten years before his death. When his eye sight became very bad he gave Mr. Taylor all of his gaffs and all his chickens. The first cross Mr. Taylor made on the Shy chickens was in the early seventies. In 1869, George Cadwallader gave Taylor 6 black importer Irish hens, of the 6 black Irish hens Taylor put a blue cock that came from Shy. Mr. Taylor was supplying cocks to Tom O`Neal and Wadle, he crossed the Wadle Irish [black cock with black eyes know as the blackberry eyes] into his chickens. The Wadle Irish came dark or mulberry color faces the hens were black cocks being dark red. This was about 1880 he also made a cross with O`Neal doms and established a yard of doms. Since that time Mr. Taylor had one yard of his chickens that showed dom color, and Mr. Gay had done the same thing since. The dom blood has never been bred into the other families and they never showed dom markings. The other families were bred into the dom family from time to time, the dom color had been kept up, but they do not always breed for color. Mr. Taylor`s cocks were dom, and with a brown red some of them showed white feathers in the tail and wings. The brown red family Mr. Gay developed himself. In 1912 Mr. Gay fought a brown red stag from the red family, that he liked so much that he bred to him and contented to breed to him until 1920 when he died. This cock was kept at a log cabin on the farm and he came to be know as "log cabin" and the children from him called "log cabin". Today the log cabin family are largely the blood of this first cock. Log cabin had 21 full brothers, nineteen of them won their first fights. Many won more. Log cabin was a 6 time winner. The progeny of log cabin have been largely responsible for the Sid Taylor winning the National Tournament at Orlando in 1922 and again in the 1924 tournament. There was one of log cabin`s sons that won the 6th fight in 1922 and the shake battle in 1924 tournament. Mr. Gay has used this cock for two seasons as a brood cock. The Sid Taylors are purely a Kentucky product, the foundation stock being old Shy chickens into the chickens Mr. Taylor put import Irish blood from Hudderson in the early seventies. In the early eighties Taylor again crossed import Irish blood from Wadle. These two infusions of imported Irish blood into Shy chickens made all the families of the Sid Taylors except the dom family which has the addition of O`Neal dom blood about 1870. There has been no other blood put into the Sid Taylors since these crosses where made by Taylor a period of over forty years. They have only been in the hands of two men, Taylor and Gay.

History of the Morgan Whitehackles

Col. William l Morgan of east Orange, NJ bred and perfected this strain of gamefowl, and it takes its name from him. As the Morgan fowl are practically pure Gilkerson North Britains, it is necessary to go somewhat into the history of that strain. About 1858, George Gilkerson, an English farmer living in Cortland County, NY, imported some fowl from Cumberland, England from a man named Lawman a relative of Billy Lawman of New York State. In this country they were known as North Britains and later known as Gilkerson whitehackles. North Britains contained duckwing red, brown red and pyle. On and before his death Gilkerson gave many of his fowl to Col. Morgan among these fowl was a little imported Scottish hen, which gilkerson prized most highly. Col. Morgan bred this hen with the old Gilkerson fowl and her blood is in all his fowl. Morgan did not know the history of this hen but expressed the opinion that she was nothing more or less than a Lawman hen that had been bred across the border in Scotland. All her stags looked and acted just like the Gilkerson fowl. The Morgan whitehackles became famous than the Gilkerson fowl had ever been. He whipped Kearney, the Eslins, Mahoney and many of a less note in many mains in the Pennsylvania coal mining district no man has ever approached this record in short heels, and the backbone of all these mains was pure Morgan whitehackles Col. Morgan never made but two permanent outcrosses in the straight strain. Morgan got a ginger hen from Perry Baldwin, and put her on the yard of Sonny Stone of Newark. He had Stone to bred her her grand-daughters and great grand-daughters under Morgan cocks. The resulting progeny had the bloody heel and fighting quality of the pure Morgan's and still retained some of the excessive courage of the ginger [newbold fowl]. Morgan finally took a fifteen-sixteenth Morgan and a sixteenth {ginger] newbold hen from Stone and bred her on his own yard. That is the blood in all Morgan fowl. About the beginning of the century John Hoy of Albany obtained possession of the fowl of Billy Lawman. Morgan and Hoy exchanged brood fowl freely and as the fowl were identical in general make-up and characteristics the offspring bred on as the pure strain. Morgan bred the lawman cock when reduced to one quarter in his favorite pens at the time of his death there was a small percentage of this blood in most of his fowl. In the early nineties Morgan gave a small pen of his fowl to a Col. in Virginia. The Col. inbred the fowl and on his death they fell into the hands of a professor at Georgetown university, who knew nothing about breeding or cock fighting. He kept the family pure breeding his favorite cock to the whole flock on hens. When he died the fowl were still inbred in NJ. Neither the family Morgan bred or the family that had been inbred had changed appearance or quality in twenty-five years. Although kept absolutely apart bred together the young cannot be told from the parents on either side except that they are larger and stronger that the offshoot family

Ed Pine, Frank Stryker and the Albany Combine

Ed Pine was born and lived all his life at South Cairo, New York in the foothills of the Catskill mountains. It was also home of Frank Stryker, another cocker, don't get Frank Stryker and Jack Stryker mixed up. Jack lived in New Jersey and had fowl of various kinds, including greys. They were not related and it`s doubtful if they were acquainted with one another. Frank Stryker eventually became a member of what some refereed to as the "Albany combine" that is Billy Lawman, John Hoy and others who controlled the Lawman whitehackles and muffs: considered by men living today, who saw them in their prime, as the greasiest fowl ever to land on these shores. They came to Billy Lawman at Schenectady, New York from his father in the north of England near the Scottish border, hence the name "north britains" which, I believe, was first applied to them in this country, in the early 1900`s, Frank Stryker was fighting a family of Charley Brown Shawlnecks that were very good fowl. This was in what cockers have always referred to as "eastern" New York State and the vicinity, which included South Cairo. Stryker was very successful with his Shawlnecks and was considered quite a cocker. Along about this time, John Hoy moved to Albany, N.Y. from Brooklyn,NJ, in short order, he became associated with Billy Lawman with his muffs and white hackles. Hoy was an outstanding cocker and feeder, and he and Lawman soon began going to town with their fowl, one of their early victims was Frank Stryker and his shawls. Friend`s of Frank tried to console him by saying he got some tough breaks, but he was too smart a cocker to swallow that. He said the cocks that beat him were the best he ever saw, that he would not only never try to beat them again, he was going to try to get in with Hoy and Lawman and get some. That is exactly what he did, he crossed them over his Charley Brown shawls and began going to town with the cross. They where outstanding fowl in every way Lawman and Hoy fought some of them and did equally well with them. They {the cross} became known as Stryker whitehackles. Shawlnecks and whitehackles have always been almost identical in appearance and the cross made a family outstanding, typical whitehackles. In referring to these fowl, I say the cross made the Stryker whitehackles, but I may be and probably am, in error there for this reason, after Stryker got in with Hoy and Lawman, he could get anything from them he wanted. Exactly how he bred from then on no one would know for sure, all that is known for certain is that the Stryker whitehackles were a combination of blood of Lawman whitehackle and Charley Brown shawl. Probaly, if the Lawman blood was as outstanding as it was claimed, he leaned in that direction with his breeding and put in more Lawman blood, cutting down on the shawl. The combine went to town to beat everyone as Billy lawman said, from New York City to Buffalo, NY it has been said they beat Kearney and Duryea five times out of six and Dennis Mahoney and many others old-timers. Mahoney died in 1907, so many of these mains must have been between 1902 and 1907 when Mahoney died. I believe John Hoy fed most of their mains. There were no tournaments or derbies in those days. Somewhere between 1902 and 1915 which is closer to the time Stryker died, Ed Pine, was a tall, gangly, young, fellow and helped Stryker work his cocks and also walked them, Stryker had been a butcher and it was said his wife was an Indian, or part Indian, who knew nothing about and cared less about her husband`s chickens. So when Stryker died suddenly, Ed Pine fell heir to all of the Stryker fowl. From then on, they were known as Ed Pine`s Strykers. Lawman decided somewhere between 1911 and 1920, and Hoy went along with his Lawman fowl and Pine with his Stryker fowl. Both did exceptionally well. Hoy died in 1929, but had been inactive several years previous due to old age. Pine, between 1915 and 1935 when for practical purposes quit the game. He probably fought more mains and won a larger majority than any cocker who ever lived in this county.


(History of Jim Sanford and the Claibornes)

Jim Sanford was an English man and ex-pugilist, who left the east following a prize fight which resulted fataly to his opponent. He was brought up in New Orleans, Louisiana, bred and pitted cocks for a number of years for judge Claiborne of that city. The judge was one of the greatest sportsmen of his time. In fighting a main in the old Spanish pit, an English earl derby lost by having a heel broke off is in his back. Jim, Sanford got the broken heel out and bred him to a Spanish hen, as Jim could see the good points in this cock, this cross proven to be equal, if not superior to anything wearing feathers in the chicken line at that time. Here, in a few simple words, we have the make-up of the smooth head Claibornes, bred and originated by Jim Sanford, and named in honor of judge Claiborne eighteen or twenty years before the war of the north and south. These smooth head Claibornes got into the handles of John Stone in this way. Stone and Saunders made a main to be fought in Richmond, Virginia. Stone took his Irish brown reds there to condition them about the same time judge Claiborne happen to be in Baltimore and saw the main advertised on the billboards of that city. So, the judge went to Richmond to witness that main. He was introduced to Stone and Saunders and expressed a desire to see the brown reds, he looked the cocks over, examined them, and said "these are as fine a lot of cocks as I have ever seen, but they are too beefy i think you will lose the main," they did. Mr.Stone was living on a farm, and the judge asked him if he would breed chickens for him. "If we can agree" said Stone. The agreement was that Stone was to kill all his pullets and ship the stags to judge Claiborne in New Orleans, which he did until after the war broke out. After the war began, stone could not hear from judge Claiborne as he had taken a bride who wished him to dispose of his games, Stone sold to John Mahar of Marblehead, Massachusetts the Jim Sanford smooth head Claiborne, that Mahar, should ship the stags to the judge as he had done. Mr.Stone also let John Daniel's have a trio and Tom Heathwood a pair. Mr.Mahar being a cocker they made a name and fame that will live for generations to come, all though the United States. Mr.Mahar had good success raising the first year. The next winter, he took a main of ten stags to Boston and won every fight, and fought four of them the second battle and won. The Boston cockers were amazed at their success, so he made another main with Mahar, to show thirteen stags, nine pair fell in. Boston had forty of the best to be found to pick from. Mahar won several straight battles. The other two were not fought as Boston had had enough.Boston then challenged Mahar to fight seven cocks, they were to name the weights Mahar accepted and Boston picked up a noted lot of winners. However, the great Claibornes were again victorious and won six out of seven battles. this established their well-earned reputation. Jim Sanford was also an admirer of the Baltimore top knots, a game and winning strain of bright reds which were originated in Maryland. They were almost invincible in long heel. Jim procured six full sister of the topknots and bred them to the same earl derby cock that he used on the Spanish hen. Jim bred both strains as long as he lived, the topknot cross proving to be as good as the smooth heads and a little stronger. A few years later, Louis Everett, Benton,Alabama. went to New Orleans and bought a stag and three pullets of the plain head. He sent them back to to Richard Harrison where Everett trained horses. Everett soon became interested in the topknots as Sanford was having as good success with the cross as the plain heads. However, the topknots Everett carried to Ben Grisset, Camden,Alabama, did not pan out satisfactorily so he sold them to major Felix Tait of Rock Wesy,Alabama. Tait with his brother, bred them as long as he lived, the remnants going to his daughter, Mrs.Tally Tait- Bragg of Camden,Alabama,we also note that Grissett,Everett and Tait crossed the plain or smooth heads on the topknots. Sanford and Everett bred together later in Mobile, Alabama, in Everett`s last years we find him at Joe pickins place in Sulphur Springs, Texas. with his smooth head where they were bred pure by Mr.Pickins, major Felix Tait said we got our first from Sanford then from Everett, who sent smooth heads and topknots. We have bred them together always. Both strains are beautiful fowl and both show white in wing and tail, with both strains showing some spangle, some having red breast and some black, yellow and white legs and beaks red and dawn eyes ranging from low set to medium. the Spanish showed some dark legs as one may crop out Everett called this nigger foot.

The “Sweaters"

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One of the breeds of gamefowl most in demand today are the “Sweaters”. There are several versions of how they originated. The following acccount of their origin is “straight from the horse’s mouth”. It comes from Johnny Jumper and another respected cocker who knew the parent fowl; when, where and by whom they were bred. The following is their version how the Sweaters originated.

Sweater McGinnis gave Walter Kelso a yellow legged Hatch cock whose bloodlines are thought to trace back to Harold Brown’s McLean Hatch. Mr. Kelso bred this cock to his Kelso hens and the offspring from the mating proved to be outstanding pit cocks.

Cecil Davis, who was a friend of Mr. Kelso, walked cocks for him and had access to Mr. Kelso’s best fowl. Cecil got one of the cocks which Mr. Kelso raised from the Sweater McGinnis Hatch cock and his own hens.

Cecil got this cock from Doc Robinson, who also walked cocks for Mr. Kelso. The cock was yellow legged and pea combed. Cecil bred him to five of his out-and-out Kelso hens. The offspring from this mating were the foundation of the Sweaters. They were called Sweaters because the Hatch cock from Sweater McGinnis was their grandfather. As the above indicates, in breeding, they would be ¾ Kelso-¼ yellow legged Hatch.

The original Sweaters were bred by Ira Parks, who was Johnny Jumper’s brother-in-law, a very fine man and an excellent breeder of gamefowl. Ira, Johnny and Cecil were at the hub of a group of cockers in northern Mississippi and Tennessee who were friends and cocking partners. Several of this group got Sweaters from the original mating. Some of these friends have bred the Sweaters without addition of outside blood and have them in their purity today. Other breeders have added infusions of other blood to their Sweaters.

The line of Sweaters which is bringing the breed such popularity today came from Roy Brady, who got some of the first mating of Sweaters, to Sonny Ware, to Odis Chappell, to Carol Nesmith and the Browns of Mississippi. Odis Chappell let a number of friends in addition to Carol, have his Sweaters, so the blood has been distributed rather widely in central Alabama in recent years. It has been excelent blood for all who got it. This line of Sweaters produces occasional green legged offspring, usually pullets. When asked about his, Roy Brady said that at one time some Hatch was bred into this line. This line is said also to carry small amount of Radio blood.

The Sweaters described in this article are typically orange-red to light red in color, with yellow legs and pea combs. Of interest, however, Dolan Owens of Booneville, Mississippi, acquired some of the early Sweaters and has bred them to come uniformly dark, wine red in color, straight comb and white legged. In looks, these two lines of Sweaters show almost no resemblance. This is an example of how a family of fowl can be bred toward different standards by different breeders and In a few generations the two lines will be like two different breeds.

Sonny Ware bred some Radio into the Sweaters making them pumpkin in color. Most people like this color better and breed to that end.