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National Tooth Fairy Day- Today!

A portrait of a fairy, by Sophie Anderson (1869). The title of the painting is Take the Fair Face of Woman, and Gently Suspending, With Butterflies, Flowers, and Jewels Attending, Thus Your Fairy is Made of Most Beautiful Things - purportedly from a poem by Charles Ede. From Wikimedia Commons.
A portrait of a fairy, by Sophie Anderson (1869). The title of the painting is “Take the Fair Face of Woman, and Gently Suspending, With Butterflies, Flowers, and Jewels Attending, Thus Your Fairy is Made of Most Beautiful Things” – purportedly from a poem by Charles Ede. From Wikimedia Commons.

SPOILER ALERT: This post should only be read by those calloused to the harsh realities of corporeal life who don’t suspend belief for flights of fancy and wonder. It may contain suggestions that confirm Joseph Campbell’s “The Power of Myth,” but be a rude awakening for those under the age of 12.

I never knew there was such an observation as “National Tooth Fairy Day,” but I suppose the Tooth Fairy should have her own day too, if there is a “National Cookie Day” (Dec. 4), a Johnny Appleseed Day (Mar 11), and even a “Multiple Personality Day” (Mar 5).

What is this topic doing on a family history blog? Well, first of all, blame Thomas MacEntee and his wonderful “Geneabloggers” website that lists such things and transports me down memory lane when I really should be making a trip to Home Depot and the CPA. Secondly, this is the “Year of the Story” per many genealogy conferences and speakers, and telling a story about the Tooth Fairy is just one way that we can be remembered by that third generation from us that normally might only know our name, if even that. It is a way to help future generations connect to us.

I have kept a journal for our son about his life from the time before he was born- not entries every day, but just when I want to share something with him that I think he will enjoy knowing in his later years. I do hope that he reads all the volumes one day and shares them with his children. (I also hope that he and his descendants will be able to read cursive then. Cursive is already almost a foreign language to teens and twenty-somethings!) My sister has done the same for her son, though she is smart- and a good typist (keyboardist?)- so she has typed them for him.

When our son was in 4th or 5th grade, I was chauffeuring a mini-van load of Cub Scouts home from the bowling alley, where they got a back-of-the-lanes tour to learn all about how the mechanisms work, and then they got to bowl a few games to earn their Bowling Beltloop. We were stuck in traffic, and during a lull in the conversation, I heard one of the tired boys pipe up, “So, you don’t believe in the Tooth Fairy, do you?” My heart stopped for a moment, my mouth started to form words, but I held back as I saw in the rear-view mirror the panicked look in our son’s eyes. All the other boys had older siblings except for ours, so I was afraid to hear what would come next.

A rollicking discussion of preteen male bravado and smarts followed, with our son totally silent on the subject. The existence of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny were debated hotly along with the Tooth Fairy, and the benefits of each, including what kind of swag was received and the quantity. Science intervened with these smart boys, and our son did chime in on the physics of some of these journeys. Somehow I held my tongue, knowing this was a rite of passage I was witnessing. I also knew that some of the boys had recently been believers, so it was interesting to see how they were processing the information. Being a parent was/is a wonderful psychological and sociological laboratory, and as a Scout leader, I got to witness all my book-learning in many ways. My fear and reactions were a part of this laboratory exercise as well.

The bottom line was that they decided that they believed in the Easter Bunny but NOT Santa and the Tooth Fairy, and we thankfully finally escaped the 5pm traffic jam. I later called each parent to relay the discussion, and then asked our son about what he thought. He told me that he thought the other boys were wrong- they thought they knew everything because they had big brothers. He had seen the Easter Bunny in his room one night, after all, and the Tooth Fairy too. (He did- he really talked to her, all sleepy-like. Somehow I do know that for sure…) I mentioned that one had to believe or those events would not happen. A mercenary nature blended with our son’s rich imagination, and the traditions continued at our house for some years.

Despite a much better knowledge of science and nature, the Easter Bunny still leaves tufts of his cottontail on the floor into our son’s bedroom these many years later, and gifts magically appear under our Christmas tree, although usually before Dec. 24. The annual Easter egg hunt usually reveals restaurant gift cards and dollar bills instead of toys and change, so I guess believing really can make things come true.

So “National Tooth Fairy day”??? Yes, let’s celebrate it and all the other crazy days with stories. Maybe they are meant to make us stop and reflect on how the everyday affects us throughout our life. Maybe they will evoke those sweet memories that should be shared with our children and their children.

I hope that those reading this, and the many more who will never venture to this blog, will write down their precious memories and stories told by their ancestors. It is such a sweet, rich legacy for our future!

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Image from Wikimedia Commons. Accessed 2/28/2014.

2) http://geneabloggers.com/genealogy-blogging-events-week-28-february-7-march-2014. Accessed 2/14/2014.

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Copyright 2014 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm. 

We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post, and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.

Workday Wednesday- Dora Russell Aiken

Dora J. Russell Aiken-Business Card
Dora J. Russell Aiken-Business Card (Click to enlarge.)

Dora J. RUSSELL was born to David S. RUSSELL (1833-1897) and Rebecca Ann LUTZ (1841-1916) on 05 April 1862 in Flora, Clay County, Illinois (per death certificate) or Lorraine Village, Black River Township, Lorain, Ohio. (I think the latter, though some family researchers insist on Flora, IL, and her daughter listed Flora as Dora’s birthplace on the death certificate.) Dora had an older sister named Cora, so in the family they were affectionately known as “Cora and Dora from Flora.” There were two brothers as well: George Franklin Russell (1870-1927) and Claude Elmer Russell (1875-1942).

We have been unable to find the family in any 1870 census, but in 1877, Dora, just 13, was working in Caledonia Twp., Michigan as a domestic servant in the home of William and Mina Tick. Dora is then found in 1880 in Black River Twp., Lorain Co., Ohio with her family, where she was working as a milliner at age 16.

Dora married William H. AIKEN about 1883 and their first child, Dorothy Adele AIKEN(1884-1953), was born in Black River, Lorain, Ohio. The family lived in Amherst, Lorain, OH in 1885. Their son Claude Frank AKEN (or Frank Claude AIKEN) (1887,88, or 89?-1944), was also born in Lorain Co., Ohio.

In 1900 the family was living in New Madrid, Missouri. By 1910 they had moved to Florence, Fremont Co., Colorado with just son Claude- daughter Dottie had married Samuel J. Lee in 1906 and they were living in St. Louis, Missouri at the 1910 census.

Dora and her husband split up sometime between the 1910 census and the 1917 St. Louis City Directory that lists her as a widow and working as a nurse. (Thus the above business card is probably from that era.) She may have lived with her son Claude Aiken and his wife around 1915 in Chicago and again (still?) in 1917, as Claude’s World War I Draft Registration of 05 June 1917 in Oakville, St. Louis Co., Missouri notes that his mother and his wife are both dependents.

Dora Russell Aiken is found in the 1920 US Federal Census in St. Louis, Missouri with her daughter Dorothy “Dottie” (Aiken) Lee and Dottie’s husband Samuel J. Lee. At the 1930 census, the household consisted of her son-in-law, Samuel J. Lee, his wife Dorothy (Aiken) Lee, their son Lloyd Eugene “Gene” and his wife Ruth Nadine (Alexander) Lee, and their young son Robert Eugene Lee, Dora’s great-grandson. She lived the remainder of her life with her daughter and son-in-law.

Four generations of Aikens: Dora (Russell) Aiken sitting, her daughter Dorothy "Dottie" (Aiken) Lee, Dottie's son Lloyd Eugene "Gene" Lee, and Gene's son Robert Eugene Lee sitting on his great-grandmother's lap. Taken about 1933 at the house on Alamo in St. Louis, Missouri.
Four generations of Aikens: Dora (Russell) Aiken sitting, her daughter Dorothy “Dottie” Adele (Aiken) Lee standing behind her, Dottie’s son Lloyd Eugene “Gene” Lee, and Gene’s son Robert Eugene Lee sitting on his great-grandmother’s lap. Taken about 1933 at the house on Alamo in St. Louis, Missouri. (Click to enlarge.)

Dora (Russell) Aiken died on 7 Apr 1935, and is buried with her daughter Dorothy and son-in-law Samuel Lee  in Memorial Park, MO. Her son Claude Frank Aiken is buried nearby.

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) My Find A Grave Memorial# 57013339 for Dora Aiken Lee: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Aiken&GSiman=1&GScid=30159&GRid=57013339&. Accessed 2/25/14.

2) 1880 US Federal census for David S. Russell: Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: Lorain, Lorain, Ohio; Roll: 1042; Family History Film: 1255042; Page: 345B; Enumeration District: 163; Image: 0040. Accessed at Ancestry.com 2/25/14.

3) 1900 US Federal Census for William H. Aiken: Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: West, New Madrid, Missouri; Roll: 877; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0078; FHL microfilm: 1240877. Accessed 2/26/14.

4) 1910 US Federal Census for William H. Aiken: Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Florence Ward 3, Fremont, Colorado; Roll: T624_119; Page: 30B; Enumeration District: 0069; FHL microfilm: 1374132. Accessed 2/26/14.

5) 1917 City Directory- St.. Louis, MO: Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Accessed 2/26/14.

6) 1917 US Draft Registration for Claud F Aiken: Source Citation: Registration State: Missouri; Registration County: St Louis; Roll: 1683865; Draft Board: 3. Accessed 2/26/14.

7) 1920 US Federal Census for Samuel J. Lee: Source Citation: Year: 1920; Census Place: St Louis Ward 24, St Louis (Independent City), Missouri; Roll: T625_960; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 468; Image: 245. Accessed 2/26/14.

8) 1930 US federal census for Samuel J. Lee: Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: St Louis, St Louis (Independent City), Missouri; Roll: 1245; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0239; Image: 830.0; FHL microfilm: 2340980. Accessed 2/26/14.

9) Family ephemera and photographs- treasures all.

 

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Copyright 2014 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

 
We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post, and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.

Wordless Wednesday- George W. Alexander

George H. ALEXANDER- Army of the Potomoc Business Card
George W. ALEXANDER-Army of the Potomoc Business Card, St. Louis, Missouri (Click to enlarge.)

 

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Family artifact.

 

Please contact us if you would like a higher resolution image.

Copyright 2014 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

 
We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post, and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.

“A Maine Law Wanted”- Murrell Family Bible, Part 6

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Murrell Family Bible

A Maine Law Wanted, c1852, Page 1
A Maine Law Wanted, c1853,     Page 1 [Click to enlarge.]
This pamphlet printed on very thin paper was tucked into the family bible of Wiley Anderson Murrell and Mary Magdalen Honts Murrell. (See previous posts in this series.)

The latest date of statistics cited is October, 1852, so it must have been printed some time after that.

Liquor flowed freely in early America, whether to keep one safe from water-borne illness, to help warm up on cold winter days and nights, or to free one for a short while from the dreariness of the hard, constant drudgery of being a working-class man.

A Maine Law Wanted, c1852, Page 2
A Maine Law Wanted, c1853,     Page 2 [Click to enlarge.]
In 1851 the Temperance Movement in the United States was growing. A law  was passed in Maine that year that only allowed the sale of alcoholic beverages for “medicinal, mechanical or manufacturing purposes.” Twelve other states passed similar laws by 1855, although a number of those laws were overturned by State Supreme Courts- there were even riots over the laws in some states. Iowa lawmakers passed a “Maine Law” in 1855 and it was quickly ratified by Iowa voters that year. This pamphlet may have been provided by the Temperance Movement and churches to encourage Iowa voters to support a “Maine Law” in their state.

Temperance was very unpopular, especially among working class men. Many churches and women worked for the temperance movement, as they knew that women and children suffered the most (economically, psychologically, and physically) when alcoholism affected the breadwinner of the family. Mary Honts Murrell came from a broken family, and had a father who was often unreasonable and had a temper- could that be why this pamphlet was in her bible? Had her father, Henry Honts, been an alcoholic? That is a story that we probably will never know.

Women worked to get the vote during this time period as well, but with little success. ‘Big liquor’ and powerful politicians who bought votes with free liquor right before elections knew that women would tend to vote for any attempt to limit alcohol sales, and thus they banded together to keep the right of suffrage from women until 1922.

A Maine Law Wanted, c1852, Page 3 [click to enlarge]
A Maine Law Wanted, c1853,      Page 3
[Click to enlarge.]
 Interestingly, page 3 of “A Maine Law Wanted” states, “Four-fifths of those swept away in Buffalo, by the cholera, have been in the habit of using ardent spirits as a beverage.” (Italics in pamphlet.) Actually, in the 1850s, drinking “ardent spirits” instead of local water from a river or stream would have protected drinkers since the alcohol kills bacteria. Of course, at that time the germ theory of disease was not widely accepted, and it was not understood that fecal contamination of water was the cause of cholera. There have been numerous pandemics of cholera, including one in the United States and Europe from 1827-1835, which killed 150,000 Americans. Within a year or so of the (estimated) publishing date of this pamphlet, in 1854, John Snow of England recognized a clustering of cholera disease around contaminated water, thus beginning the science of epidemiology and successful steps to eradicate this lethal disease.

A Maine Law Wanted, c1852, Page 4 [click to enlarge]
A Maine Law Wanted, c1853,     Page 4
[Click to enlarge.]
Note the publication information on the last page: “Hoover & Co., 118 Nassau street, New York, office of the New York People’s Organ, a weekly Temperance and Family Companion, at one dollar a year.” Sadly I could not find specific information for this group online, but hopefully some scholars will find this post and add this pamphlet to other historical documents of the era.

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Murrell Family Bible, c1845?

2) Wikipedia article for “Maine Law,” accessed 2-8-14 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maine_law.

3) Wikipedia article for “Cholera,” accessed 2-8-14 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholera

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post, and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.

An Easy Way to Find Your Family on This Blog

Unknown girl rambling on a horse. Picture found in with Lee family photos.
Part of our Heritage– an unknown girl and her Ramblings on a horse. Picture was found in with Lee family photos.

… if you are related, that is.

When we decided to put our family stories and research out there, we weighed how difficult it would be to cover all the family names we both had been researching for many years. We thought about separate blogs for each family, but knew that it would be hard to provide an adequate number of posts on a regular basis with so many blogs. So we lumped everyone together into our “Heritage Ramblings.” Now that we have quite a few posts up (58!), we have realized it may be hard for readers to figure out exactly which family member in a post might be one of their ancestors, especially once we go back a few generations and names may be unfamiliar.

We still do plan to get some pedigree charts up on the site, but haven’t found an easy or attractive chart to use yet.

In the meantime, if you are related to either of us bloggers, there are four ways you can easily find your family on our “Heritage Ramblings” blog:

1. NEW! I have created separate pages for the major family groupings of published posts. To access these, click on “Pedigrees” and look for a family group that might interest you. The title, an image, and an excerpt of each of the posts published to date that reference those families will be listed. Simply click on the title to be taken directly to the post. (Sorry the drop-down menu isn’t pretty yet, but it is finally functional. Under construction…)

2. Use the “Search” box on the righthand sidebar of any page. Just type in a name, keyword, or place, then click “Search,” and a listing of pertinent posts will automagically appear.

3. That same righthand sidebar contains a list of “Tags” that have been used on our blog posts. The size and boldness of the word indicates how frequently it has been used as a tag- the bigger and bolder, the more frequently that tag has been used to help you search in our blog. Click on the word and you will be taken immediately to a list of posts that are tagged with that word or phrase.

4. Continuing down the righthand sidebar, you will find a list of “Categories” used on the blog. Posts are categorized by family, such as “Underwood,” or a topic, such as “Genealogy How-To.” Just click a category to find all the posts associated with that category.

Happy ancestor hunting- and reading!

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) This image was in with Lee family photos. If related, the cutie on a horse could also be an Aiken or Alexander.

 

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Copyright 2014 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

 
We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post, and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.