clogs to clogs is only three generations, from

Quick Reference

Proverbial saying, late 19th century, said to be a Lancashire proverb; the clog, a shoe with a thick wooden sole, was worn by manual workers in the north of England. The implication is that the energy and ability required to raise a person's material status from poverty is often not continued to the third generation, and that the success is therefore not sustained. A similar idea is found in Dryden's Fables Ancient and Modern (1700), ‘Seldom three descents continue good.’ (Compare from shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.)

Reference entries