Raised together at the County Dublin estate of Newbridge, Anglo-Irish social activist Frances Power Cobbe (1822–1904) and her cousin, Anglo-Irish-Indian soldier Henry Clermont Cobbe (1811–1855), came face-to-face with the physical embodiment of genealogical complexity. The resultant cultural acclimatization lends itself to an interpretation suggestive of a causative relationship between their familial and professional/political trajectories. An analysis of Clermont Cobbe’s service as an officer in the multi-racial Second West India Regiment and a close reading of Power Cobbe’s use of metaphors of bodily integrity in her writings in favor of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. reveal that, when understood as embodiments of a politicized reality, cross-empire bonds of personal and professional kinship help elucidate the complex relationship, in the nineteenth century, between human rights and empire.