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~Bits N' Pieces~

You Know Your An Addict When...

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10 Family Rules
(List developed by a Frustrated Genealogist)

  1. Go Forth and Multiply
  2. Pack up and move to a different location many times
  3. Use names other than those given to you
  4. Refuse to talk about your family or ancestors
  5. Make up interesting stories that can't be verified
  6. Make spelling changes to your name regularly (And anything else important, or otherwise)
  7. Have many different birth dates
  8. Do not record any kind of family information
  9. Claim to have come from a different Country (preferably one that doesn't keep records)
  10. Do not save any family correspondence

"If your efforts are sometimes greeted with indifference, don't lose heart. The sun puts on a wonderful show at daybreak, yet most of the people in the audience go on sleeping."
Ada Teixeira

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Meanings Long Forgotten

Thanks to the South King County Washington Bulletin, Vol 15, No 6 for this tidbit.

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Why Missouri Is Called "The Show Me State"

There are a number of stories and legends behind Missouri's sobriquet "Show-Me" state. The slogan is not offical, but is common throughout the state and is used on Missouri license plates.

The most widely known legend attributes the phrase to Missouri's U.S. Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver, who served in the United States House of Representatives from 1897 to 1903. While a member of the U.S. House Committee on Naval Affairs, Vandiver attended an 1899 naval banquet in Philadelphia.

In a speech there, he declared, "I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy elequence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me."

Regardless of whether Vandiver coined the phrase, it is certain that his speech helpted to popularize the saying.

Other versions of the "Show Me" legend place the slogan's origin in the mining town of Leadville, Colorado. There, the phrase was first employed as a term of ridicule and reproach. A miner's strike had been in progress for some time in the mid-1890's, and a number of miners from the districts of southwest Missouri had been imported to take the places of the strikers. The Joplin miners were unfamilar with Colorado mining methods and required frequent instructions. Pit bosses began saying "That man is from Missouri, you'll have to show him."

However the slogan orginated, it has since passed into a different meaning entirely, and is now used to indicate the stalwart, conservative, noncredulous character of Missourians.

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Rossiter, Phyllis. "I'm from Missouri--you'll have to show me." Rural Missouri,
volume 42, Number 3, March 1989, page 16

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Genealogists Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the ancestors I cannot find, the courage to find the ones I can, and the wisdom to document thoroughly.

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The Trail of Tears

In the beginning, the Cherokee believed that the earth was covered with water and that beavers came from the sky to drag the mud from the oceans bottom and bring it to the top. The beavers attached it to the sky and created the land. The 'great buzzard' then flew to the ground where he flapped his wings and the valleys and mountains were formed. It was on one of these flights that the 'great buzzard' created the land on which the Cherokees lived.

The Cherokee's had taken to the white man's ways. They were farmers who cultivated the land while living peacefully with those around them. But this was not good enough for some, who envied their land, and others like President Andrew Jackson, whose racial hatred towards the natives drove them to rationalize any excess. In 1829, the Georgia legislature passed laws that would extend its authority over the land of the Cherokees. The Indians were given a choice. Either the Cherokees could leave the state or they could succumb to white rule.

Chief John Ross protested against this unjust policy. He went to President Jackson and asked for federal protection. The Cherokees had signed a treaty with the U.S. government that promised them protection but their protest fell on deaf ears. Jackson not only refused their request but the old Indian hater, who once carried a pouch made from a squaws breast, sent his Secretary of War, Lewis Cass to negotiate a new treaty with a minority faction of the tribe who favored removal.

The removal faction was granted $3,000,000 in payment. The treaty had to be ratified by the whole nation so Cass proclaimed that only the pro-removal faction would be eligible to vote. The vote was a sham with only about 4% of the Cherokee nation approving of the treaty. Congress, despite protests from Chief Ross, quickly passed the accord.

This set off a tidal wave of land grabbers who plundered the new land often killing the natives in the process. Most of the Cherokees refused to leave and federal troops under the command of General Winfield Scott were sent in to remove the natives. Their tactics could only be described as genocide. The Cherokees were given no time in which to gather their belongings before they were ordered on a forced march in which 25% of the tribe would perish. Their homes were ransacked as plunderers stole their belongings and then sold them right in front of their eyes. The sellers and the buyers conspired to cheat the Cherokee.

The march took place in the middle of the winter as one of the exiles commented: 'Looks like maybe all will be dead before we get to new Indian country.' The removal took them from their sacred home where the 'great buzzard' had come and left them in a land that they knew nothing about. Their land went to speculators and slave owners. The Cherokee were left alone for a while but white settlers would again take their land in the Oklahoma land rush at the end of the century. This injustice haunts our history, reparations have never been made to the Cherokee, maybe it is time they should?

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Genealogical Shocker

From Ka Pupa Nihonih (Mayflower Quarterly - Nov 1990)

The children of a prominent family chose to give the patriarch a book of their family's history. The biographer they hired was warned of one problem. Uncle Willie, the "Black Sheep," had gone to Sing Sing's Electric chair for murder.

The writer carefully handled the situation in the following way: "Uncle Willie occupied a chair of applied electronics at one of our nation's leading institutions. He was attached to his position by the strongest of ties. His death came as a true shock.

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Census Takers-True Stories

Source: Pioneer Trails April-June 1997

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Did You Know...

Samuel F.B. Morse set about perfecting the telegraph as a money making scheme to augment his meager income earned from portraiture.

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Official Register of Land Lottery of Georgia 1827

52nd Days Drawing-May 5
page 61
Fortunate Drawers: Isham Lowery
Captains District: Cokers
Number: 181
District: 29
County: Lee County

(This signaled the end of the Creek Indians in Georgia.)

Seven times between 1805 and 1832 Georgia used a lottery system to distribute the land taken from the Cherokee or Creek Indians. These lotteries were unique to the state; no other state used a lottery system to distribute land. Lot size varied widely, even in the individual lotteries. The largest lots distributed were 490 acres in the 1805 and the 1820 land lottery. The smallest lots were the 40-acre gold lots distributed during the Gold Lottery of 1832.

Authority: Act of June 9, 1825 Year of Drawing: 1827 Counties
Carroll: 16 districts (1-16) Coweta: 9 districts (1-9) Lee: 13 districts (1-13) Muscogee: 24 districts (1-24) Troup: 12 districts (1-12)

Size of Land Lots
Carroll: 202 acres (2970 feet square) Coweta: 202 acres (2970 feet square) Lee: 202 acres (2970 feet square) Muscogee: 202 acres (2970 feet square) Troup: 202 acres (2970 feet square)

Grant Fee
$18.00 per Land Lot
Persons Entitled to Draw:

Persons Excluded:
Any fortunate drawer in any previous Land Lottery.

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Our Ancestors and Heritage

We should take pride in our ancestors and their achievements wherever possible, whether high-born or low, rich or poor, prince or pauper, and not seek arbitrarily to revile or condemn them for acts of which we know nothing of the causes.

We must learn from them, from their mistakes as well as their successes; from their tragedies as well as their triumphs; from their sins as well as their virtues; from their hopes as well as their fears.

Posterity and history are irrevocably intertwined in the present. No coherent vision of the future can exist without an affinity for the past and cognizance of the lives of our forebears.

Remember that we, too, are the ancestors of those yet unborn and we should seek to leave for them a heritage of which they can be as proud as we are of that which our forebears bequeathed to us.

We bless and thank our ancestors for the legacy of the good things they gave us, forgive them their errors and pray that we will endeavour to use wisely the knowledge which they handed down to us.

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1901 versus 2001

Now that 2001 is history, how did it compare with 1901?
Here are a few items of interest from the first year of the last century.

1. The average life expectancy in the US was 47.
2. Only 14% of the homes in the US had a bathtub.
3. Only 8% of the homes had a telephone.
4. A three minute call from Denver to New York City cost 11 cents.
5. There were only 8,000 cars in the US and 144 miles of paved roads.
6. The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
7. Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa and Tennessee were more heavily populated than California.
California with a mere 1.4 million residents, was only the 21st most populous state in the union.
8. The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
9. The average wage in the US was 22 cents an hour.
10. The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
11. A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist $2500 per year, a veterinarian between $1500 and $4000 per year and a mechanical engineer about $5000 per year.
12. More than 95% of all births in the US took place at home.
13. 90% of all US physicians had no college education.
Instead, they attended medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as "substandard."
14. Sugar cost 4 cents a pound, eggs were 14 cents a dozen, and coffee cost 15 cents a pound.
15. Most women only washed their hair once a month and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
16. Canada passed a law prohibiting poor people from entering the country for any reason, either as travelers or immigrants.
17. The five leading causes of death in the US were:
a: Pneumonia and influenza
b: Tuberculosis
c: Diarrhea
d: Heart disease
e: Stroke
18. The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii and Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet.
19. The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was 30.
The remote desert community was inhabited by only a handful of ranchers and their families.
20. Plutonium, insulin and antibiotics hadn't been discovered yet.
21. Scotch tape, crossword puzzles, canned beer and iced tea hadn't been invented.
22. There was no Mothers Day or Fathers Day.
23. One in ten US adults couldn't read or write.
Only 6% of all Americans had graduated from high school.
24. Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at corner drugstores.

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Mad As A Hatter

Mercury was used in the "felting" process making hats. When heated, the mercury could be vaporized and subsequently inhaled. The symptoms of mercury's toxic effects are the root of the familiar term from Lewis Carroll's nineteenth-century classic, Alice in Wonderland, "mad as a hatter".

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Happy As A Clam

Happy as a Clam at High Tide from the early 1800s, alludes to the fact that clams can only be dug at low tide and therefore are safe at high tide; it is often shortened to happy as a clam.

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Nose To The Grindstone

"Keep your nose to the grindstone" is a well-known adage, and there must be a reason for it, but why would anyone want to do that?

Sounds gruesome, doesn't it? The reference is to the sense of smell, however, rather than to any sort of applied friction to the nose itself. A good miller could detect the smell of granite if the runner stone and bed stone of the gristmill were too close together during grinding. Millers were constantly adjusting the gap between the two huge, wheel-shaped stones to best accommodate the size of kernels of corn being milled.

The phrase, of course, has come to indicate a steady and hard worker, one who keeps up a good pace, and is mindful of his work. It's often applied to students as they push to complete their studies over the course of a semester. Its more voluntary than being "led by the nose" and not as grim as "paying through the nose." Someone who is "keeping their nose to the grindstone" is probably not "keeping good hours" (going to bed early), but they are apt to be "keeping body and soul together" (maintaining life).

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