Ancestral Notes

My Family History blog

Follow Friday – HSP’s Hidden Histories

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s Hidden Histories blog is an entertaining blog authored by Daniel N. Rolph, PhD.

Highlighting the depth and scope of our varied and diverse collections that contain an abundance of undiscovered individuals and events of the past.

He writes about unusual, humorous and sometimes macabre historical customs, events and people that he has discovered and uncovered. Here is an excerpt from one of his recent posts, A Quaint Colonial Custom: “Ears Cut Off & Nailed To The Pillory”:

During the ‘Starving Time’ in the early Virginia Colony, a large needle or ‘bodkin’ was inserted through one’s tongue for the stealing of food, while ‘taking God’s name in vain,’ or the failure to attend Church, could literally lead to one’s death if repeated, and were considered to be ‘capital crimes’ worthy of the death sentence. One such antiquated custom for ‘petty crimes’ included the use of the pillory.

HSP’s Hidden Histories is an interesting blog that is worth checking out.

Ancestral Notes by Earline Hines Bradt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.

Filed under: Follow Friday, HSP's Hidden Histories

Davy Crockett, Frontiersman, Politician, Poet?

This poem was the only one written by Davy Crockett after he lost the Congressional election to Adam Huntsman.

He said:
“I had Mr. Adam Huntsman for my competitor, aided by the popularity of both Andrew Jackson and Governor Carroll, and the whole strength of the Union Bank at Jackson.”…”The thorn still rankles, not so much on my own account, as the Nation’s.”…”I told them that I had been knocked down and dragged out, and that I did not consider it a fair fight anyhow they could fix it. I put the ingredients in the cup pretty strong, I tell you, and I concluded my speech by telling them that I was done with politics for the present, and that they might all go to hell, and I would go to Texas.”

Tennessee Old and New

Farewell to the mountains whose mazes to me
Were more beautiful far than Eden could be;
No fruit was forbidden, but Nature had spread
Her bountiful board, and her children were fed.
The hills were our garners — our herds wildly grew,
And Nature was shepherd and husbandman too.
I felt like a monarch, yet thought like a man,
As I thank’d the Great Giver, and worshipped his plan.

The home I forsake where my offspring arose:
The graves I forsake where by children repose,
The home I redeem’d from the savage and wild;
The home I have loved as a father his child;
The corn that I planted, the fields that I cleared,
The flocks that I raised and the cabin I rear’d;
The wife of my bosom — Farewell to ye all!
In the land of the stranger I rise — or I fall.

Farewell to my country! — I fought for thee well,
When the savage rushed forth like the demons from hell.
In peace or in war I have stood by thy side —
My country for thee I have lived — would have died!
But I am cast off– My career now has run,
And I wander abroad like the prodigal son —
Where the wild savage roves, and the broad prairies spread,
The fallen despised — will again go ahead!

Ancestral Notes by Earline Hines Bradt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.

Filed under: Davy Crockett

Loyalist Trails: Loyalist Blogs And Websites

The United Empire Loyalist Assn. of Canada is encouraging Canadians to learn more about the men and women who made this country what it is today. Ontario might well have been just another state if it weren’t for the bravery of the United Empire Loyalists who fought in the Revolutionary War, and their descendants, who in the War of 1812, protected what their parents and grandparents had suffered so much to achieve in their new country.

I was reading my weekly newsletter from the UELAC, Loyalist Trails, April 25/10, and the article The Tech Side: Publishing your Research – Websites and Blogs, by Wayne Scott particularly interested me. Since I am interested in the Loyalists, and blogging, I am hoping that this article will get more people with Loyalist heritage blogging about their research about their ancestors and the sacrifices they made. He starts the article with the pros and cons of having your family history published in a book or ebook format as opposed to having a website or blog:

Publishing a hard copy of your research can be quite gratifying, however, there are limitations to this form of publishing. Once information is committed to paper, it requires a re-write to edit or add new information, whereas with publishing electronically, information can be amended quickly. However, the process of updating pdf copies at download sites, or in the hands of relatives, is not instantaneous. Websites and blogs (web logs) can be a viable alternative.

The author then goes on to tell readers the advantages of having a website or blog and he suggests visiting Cindi’s List for information about setting up a free site or blog . He also points out the advantages and disadvantages of having a free site vs a paid site. Wayne Scott winds up his article with advice on setting up a blog and a few of the different blogging platforms. I am hoping that more than a few of the “Loyalist Trails” readers will be encouraged to start their own blogs and share their own Loyalist family history.

To read Loyalist Trails Newsletter Archives
To subscribe to Loyalist Trails Newsletter

Ancestral Notes by Earline Hines Bradt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.

Filed under: Loyalist blogs, Loyalist Trails newsletter, UELAC

My "Southern" Roots

I have recently discovered that I have ancestors who settled the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. The Ringger family came from Switzerland to America via Philadelphia, PA in 1743. They were known as the Rinkers after arrival.

My 6th great-grandfather, Hans Casper Ringger was born on Christmas Day, 1727 in Nurrensdorf, Zurich, Switzerland. His parents were Jakob Ringger and Barbara Morff. His mother died when he was 9 years old and his father remarried Susanna Bachman. After Jakob’s death in 1743 the family came to America. Hans Casper grew up in Pennsylvania and was married in Germantown on April 11, 1757. The newly married couple went to Virginia soon after their marriage. They settled around Gainsboro, his brother, Hans Jacob Rinker, settled in the Shenandoah Valley in 1749.

Jacob, Casper and Henry, brothers, came to America in l743 after their father died. The step mother, Susanna Bachman Rinker, came with them. It is said they left Switzerland May 5, 1743 on the Ship “Francis and Elizabeth” from Rotterdam.

Source: ‘Pennsylvania German Pioneers’ by Strassburger & Hincke

It is said they settled in Philadelphia for a time before moving to Virginia by way of Lancaster, Pa. At least one of Jacob’s sons was born in Lancaster. Shenandoah County histories state that Jacob settled in Shenandoah Co. in 1749, while the Will of Casper states they settled in Frederick Co. in 1757. Henry, the brother was also in Frederick Co. It is said there were also sisters.

The Rinker family were all industrious people and the boys all accumulated sizable acreages of land. Ail were active church people and Jacob started the Reformed Church in his area. It was a type of Lutheran so when Ministers could not be gotten of the Reformed churoh, Lutheran Ministers were used.

Jacob Rinker built a small rock home over a good spring of water with port holes in the lower part for firing guns. This was for protection from the Indians who still molested the early settlers. This house built in 1749, still stands today as a monument to the sturdy pioneers who first settled Shenandoah.

Rinker, Casper, born in 1727 and died on Feb. 11, 1804, according to a tombstone inscription in the Quaker Graveyard (Back Creek Meeting) at Gainsboro, Va. Buried next to him In the Quaker cemetery (Back Creek Meeting at Gainsboro, Virginia) is wife Mary Rinker, born in 1729 and died on Jan. 26, 1820. In a Circuit Court record in Augusta County, Va., Mary testified in a deposition that she and her husband, Casper, moved to Frederick County, Va. in 1757.

Casper settled in Gainesboro, VA where he was the overseer of the Poor House in 1771 and kept a tavern in his home at which General George Washington stayed. Washington’s diary reads: Oct 7 1770 “Dind at Rinkers…”

Historical Records Of Old Frederick County, Va.
Page 321

Ancestral Notes by Earline Hines Bradt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.

Filed under: Ringger, Rinker, Shenendoah Valley, Virginia

Thanks, Ancestor Approved Award

I would like to thank Jo, author of the blog “Those Who Went Before” and Aline Cormier author of Acadianroots blog for presenting me with the Ancestor Approved Award.

As a recipient of this award, I am to list 10 things I have learned about my ancestors that have surprised, humbled or enlightened me and then pass the award on to 10 other genealogy bloggers who I feel are doing their ancestors proud.

So here is my list of 10 things:

  1. I was enlightened to learn that my great-grandfather, John Hines, changed his surname from Haines. I don’t think that my dad knew about it, he never mentioned it, although he did point out that my brother’s classmate, who lived a few miles away with the Haines surname was a distant cousin. He didn’t say how he was related and I still haven’t found the connection.
  2. I was surprised when I discovered that I was related to the Doan Gang, notorious for supporting the British and spying on the patriots.
  3. I was humbled by the fact that my Haines ancestors were loyalists from New York and went through all kinds of hardships to survive in the wilderness of Upper Canada after the hardships suffered during the Revolutionary war.
  4. I was surprised to learn that my ancestor Hans Casper Rinker was host to General George Washington at his tavern in Frederick County., Virginia and it was mentioned in a letter written by Washington in 1770.
  5. I was surprised by how many of my ancestors were here before 1700, in New England and New France.
  6. I was surprised by how far back I could trace much of my French-Canadian ancestors with parish records.
  7. I was surprised to read about my ancestors in the writings of William Bradford in the Plymouth Colony records.
  8. I was also surprised to learn that I can prove my ancestry for several lineage groups.
  9. I was enlightened to the hardships all of my ancestors endured before they left their homelands and upon arrival, even the ones that arrived most recently had to clear virgin forest when they came in the nineteenth century. Essex County was the latest area of the southern part of the province to be settled. They were still clearing virgin forests into the late nineteenth century.
  10. I was surprised to find out that I am related to Davy Crockett, Joseph Hawkins was his uncle and my 6th Great-grandfather.

Now, I have to pass on this award to 10 fellow geneabloggers, on second thought, I think every geneablogger deserves this award, don’t you? Any one who takes the time to blog about their forgotten ancestors and share stories of their life are doing their ancestors proud and deserves the award!

If you want to, you can do the first part of the task on your blog.

Ancestral Notes by Earline Hines Bradt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.

Filed under: Ancestor Approved Award

Canadian Genealogy Carnival – Canadian Fashion Fads

I don’t think there is much difference between Canadian and American fashions and fads, so I am going to share some of the fads when I was growing up. I wasn’t very much into fads, being from a fairly large family we didn’t go out to the mall every week, we went school shopping and maybe we would get a new outfit for Easter, mostly made by my mom, but if I wanted anything during the year, I had to sew it myself.

Fortunately, I could sew, so if I wanted a new outfit, my mom would take me to the fabric shop and I would chose my own patterns and fabrics. I made a few things that might be called “faddish”. I made myself a peasant dress when they were popular, I think I was in grade seven and a denim pant suit, the kind with a high waist and huge flared legs with cuffs and bomber jacket in ninth grade Home Economics.

My older brother’s friends had those pants that were popular in the seventies, the kind with the huge flared bell-bottoms with contrasting insets from the knee down. He wanted a pair but my parents wouldn’t buy him any, so he asked me if I could make him a pair. I just got a pair of his pants, ripped the seam up to the knee and sewed a contrasting fabric insert in the legs and he wore those pants all the time.

I also made a shirt for him, a green tie-died kind of pirate shirt with long full sleeves. That was the first time that I created anything from scratch, other than doll clothes. I did a good job, if I may say so myself, and he loved it. I was just in the eighth grade and his friends couldn’t believe that his shirt was home-made.

I was happy when chokers came into fashion, I could make as many as I wanted, a piece of velvet ribbon, a fancy button, maybe some lace and fasteners and I was done.

Creative Commons License
Ancestral Notes by Earline Hines Bradt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.

Filed under: Carnival of Canadian Genealogy

April 2010