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Darwin Correspondence Project

To William Ogle   22 September 1875

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Sep 22. 75

My dear Dr Ogle

You will remember giving me a curious case about the fingers & teeth of twins, which I have quoted at Vol II p 253 of my Variation under Domn. Now will you kindly tell me whether the twins were named Macrae? I ask because F. Galton tells me of a similar case with twin Miss Macrae’s, & in this instance the crooked little fingers were inherited from their maternal grand mother.1 You will thus see why I wish to know whether the cases are distinct.

Pray believe me | Yours very sincerely


See letter from Francis Galton, 22 September 1875. In Variation 2: 253, CD had written that no member of the twins’ family shared their peculiarity. The McRae twins were Alexandrina Cornfute McRae and Elizabeth Anne McRae; their maternal grandmother was Annabella Miller.


Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


Asks whether the twins WO reported to CD [see 5470] were named Macrae. F. Galton has told him of a similar case with twins so named who inherited crooked little fingers from the maternal side [see Variation, 2d ed., 2: 240]. [The twins referred to by WO were actually his sisters, see 10170.]

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Ogle
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 261.5: 14 (EH 88205912)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10165,” accessed on 27 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23