Friday, April 26, 2013

Colorado DAR State Convention

Excitement is in the air as Colorado Daughters of the American Revolution gather for State Conference this weekend. I can tell you that I am one excited duck, or rather Daughter. 

Our special guest this year is President General Merry Ann Wright. I met her when I was in Washington, D.C for Continental Congress in 2010. She is so very gracious and has worked so hard for our society. 

So being in true form, I flew up to greet her as her plane came into the beautiful State of Colorado. It was a little tough trying to catch her plane. Truth be told, I fell off a few times as I am not used to flying so fast. But many of you know me...try, try again I did. Actually, I think she was a little shocked to see me at first. When she saw my DAR pins, she knew she was being properly welcomed and smiled back. Getting down from the plane was a whole other story. 

I am excited this year to go to State Conference. I will have lots of pictures to show you when it is all over. 



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Grave Symbolism - A Depth of Meaning

I have been taken by genealogist who spend hours, if not days traveling from cemetery to cemetery recording the grave markers of famous people they are researching or for family members. Several member of my family do most of this kind of work. Until recently, I pretty much left it up to them. Then I spent some time on a tour in old Riverside Cemetery in Denver. There were grave markers that went back to the early days of Denver's history. Symbolism was absolutely everywhere, so I decided to learn more.
Eternal Life - Butterfly and Flowers - Eternal Life
It didn't take long before I was hooked. My next trip was to another of Denver's oldest cemeteries, Fairmont. My Father is buried there and most of the time I only go out to pay my respects to him.
My husband happened to be with me this time. We walked the cemetery and could not get over the great detail that went into most of the graves. Tiny little things came up, like the use of lambs or angels for the graves of small children. It was then that I realized that quite a bit could be gleamed about a person by their grave marker.
Indicative of a great loss - broken branch of family
and so close to the trunk.
This one above stuck out in my mind as I am also a Day. I remember when my Grandfather died back in the late 70's. It felt just like this grave marker indicates. A beautiful soul had died and the branch of family was broken as well. My Grandfather was the root of our family and the marker seemed to portray that as well. The broken branch is near the trunk.
Shows a journey to the other side.
This grave marker is full of symbolism. It shows the journey one makes from this life to that place where many of us feel our loved ones go. Life is a journey and perhaps these people felt their loved one was continuing the journey on.

In taking hundreds of pictures of both Riverside and Fairmont Cemeteries now, I have come to appreciate the beautiful artwork that is so carefully placed on grave headstones. Looking towards the part of the cemetery where the markers were set down into the ground, I feel at loss for the people buried there. Although still hallowed ground, the messages are often not included on such a small marker. It feels somehow empty with only the name, DOB and DOB on these graves.

I encourage you to walk your local cemetery some day and spend some time reflecting on the distinct messages each of the older graves have incorporated. It gives one a sense of appreciation for people you never knew.

Here is a link to some common grave symbolism. Take the link and remember them the next time you are in a cemetery.

Grave Marker Guide


Thursday, April 18, 2013

New York in the American Revolution - A Source Guide for Genealogist and Historians

What are you reading? 

This book is exceptional and I highly recommend it. New York in the American Revolution - A Source Guide for Genealogist and Historians.  It is so pack full of information, I hardly know where to begin. A must have for anyone working in the New York area, or just interested in Colonial New York. The book is now available in printed version or as a PDF download through the DAR Store, visit or call the store toll-free at 888-673-2732 to order your copy. Enjoy and happy hunting!

Link Here

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Consanguinity - The Degree of Genealogical Relationships

So you found someone famous in your family line have you? You turn to your friends and family and then have to proceed through a complicated description on just how you are related. Sounds easy at first, until someone's eyebrows scrunch, and a puzzled look come across their face as they try to process this new narrow, but worthy path you have just forage in relationships. 

Hoping that no one asks question we try to use the right words to help them understand the unique relationship you, or they have. If they understand or are family with the common language of relation sanguinity. It makes your job easier. 

So the statement that Daniel Boone is your the great-uncle of my great-great-grandfather's third cousin, shouldn't be a problem.  Right? I will give you a pen and watch you chart that relationship. No, you say? 

Hard to conceptualize? A bit confusing, right? Don't worry you are not alone. 

It is easier to think of what your shared ancestors would call you both - if your closet shared direct-line ancestor is your great-great-grandparents, and they call you both "great-great-grandchildren," then you have no removal, you two are second cousins. Once, Twice, Thice Removed...Have I lost you? Well hang on a bit. 

Actually, it is only by being familiar with the system we use in designating these relationships, that you can see there is a consistent formula to the kinship titles we assign to various family members. In English-speaking societies, we classify family relationship based on gender, generation, and consideration of consanguinity (direct descendants) and by what is called, immediate afinal (in-law) relationships. Our common familiarity is with immediate family and direct lines – brother, sister, cousins, aunts/uncles and the (great) grandparents. It starts to get confusing when differentiating between the “degrees” and “removals” of cousins. 

Something I am sure most of you will agree with as we all have wrestled with this system at one time or another. 

First, Second, Third Cousins?  What Does it Mean? The ordinals in this system, “first cousin”, “second cousin”, “third cousin”, all describe the degree of the cousin relationship or the number of generations to their closest ancestor. For example, your second cousin is a person you share great-grandparents with and is not your direct sibling. 
Table of Consanguinity Showing Degrees of Relationships
The secret is in the generations. When the cousins are not in your same generation then they are “removed. “First cousins once removed” declares that either one of you are one generation away from being first cousins. For example, if your first cousin has kids, they are your first cousins once removed – the closest common ancestor shared are your grandparents but are “once removed” from the level of first cousin (held by their parents). 

Here is the confusing part: there are two instances in your family tree that can share this title. This is a reflection of what cousins refer to each as. Up until now, each relationship in your family tree has inverse titles for each other. You are your aunt’s niece or nephew; you are your great-grandparents grandchild. Cousins refer to each other as cousins, but because of this, your first cousin’s kid is your first cousin once removed and you (the parent of their second cousin) are also their first cousin once removed – you each refer to each other as the same. This means that the child of your first cousin and the parents of your second cousin are both “first cousins once removed” despite each of them being generations apart. 

Here is the breakdown: 

FIRST COUSINS: Non-siblings that share grandparents 
SECOND COUSINS: Non-siblings that share great-grandparents 
THIRD COUSINS: Non-siblings that share great-great-grandparents 
FIRST COUSINS ONCE REMOVED: Two people for whom the first cousin relationship is    one generation removed. 
FIRST COUSINS TWICE REMOVED: Two people for whom the second cousin relationship is two generations removed. 

If this is still confusing, take a breath and remember they are not going anywhere and will still be your ancestor or relative tomorrow. You will in time and practice understand this classification system. Practice also always makes understanding so much easier. Try to use the chart with someone you are closer in relation to,  and you will find it easier each time you use it to classify your unique blood relation to people more distantly related.  Remember you can always pull out your file proving lineage and really impress everyone with your verifiable work. Because the proof is in the detailed genealogy work that you do anyway. 

Good luck and enjoy your newly discovered relatives!


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Marriage Law for Genealogist - The Definitive Guide

Marriage Law for Genealogists: The Definitive Guide. By Rebecca Probert. Published by Takeaway Publishing. Copies are obtainable directly from the author at or on Amazon. 2012. 160 pp. Illustrations, index. Softcover. $14.99.
The book is the definitive guide to understanding marriage law in England and Wales, from 1600 to the present. This book is written for genealogists and it is not a legal text. It is not a light read, but it is clearly written and is certainly worth the effort in reading all the way through to get a complete, accurate picture of marriage laws before it is used as a research tool to look up specific questions. 
Ms. Probert is a genealogist and Professor of Family Law at Warwick University and a leading authority of the history of marriage laws of England and Wales. She strongly disputes the writings of other historians such as John Gillis, Lawrence Stone and Brian Outhwaite who have all written extensively on marriage laws and practice, divorce, cohabitation, and children out of wedlock. Their books have guided many genealogists, including me, who write and research marriage laws. Probert contends that the errors and assumptions of these authors create confusion for genealogists. I would absolutely agree with her. In my personal opinion, she succeeds in clarifying the changing rules of marriage from 1600 to the present.
The book addresses five questions.  (1) “Whether and Why” your ancestor married deals with the likelihood of any given couple having gone through a valid ceremony of marriage. (2) “Who” examines who could marry, and whom they could or could not marry. (3) “How” examines the formalities required for a valid marriage, plus what that means for Roman Catholics or Protestants. (4) “When”  looks at the age at which couples could and did marry, when parental consent was required and who could object; plus it examines the seasons, days and hours when marriage could be and were celebrated. (5) “Where” moves beyond the legal requirements to large scale genealogical studies that provide guidance to family historians on where they may need to look for the marriages of their ancestors. Throughout the book there is a continual discussion of important key conditions (changing over time) that make a marriage valid, void, and voidable. Additionally there is frequent discussion about what in the law was required versus what was directory. Included in the text are sample questions typically raised by genealogists, and these are answered clearly. This is a must have book for all Genealogist. 
This book will greatly add to your understanding of marriage laws and help you in your research. It is a must for anyone seeking to understand the laws or struggling to find a particular marriage ancestor’s marriage. (Unique laws apply in Scotland and Ireland so don’t apply the laws here to other places, but make use of the framework presented here as an excellent structure for examining marriages in other locations.) If you think you know everything you need to know about English marriage laws then take the author's quiz

Find Here on Amazon

Find Here with Barnes and Noble

Princeton Battlefield Society - Tactical Reenactment

It is my great pleasure to share an exceptional upcoming event taking place April 6th and 7th 2013. The Princeton Battlefield Society of New Jersey will offer a tactical reenactment of the Battle of Princeton held on the site showing General Mercer's portion of the battle. Attending units will participate in a reenactment of General Hugh Mercer’s Brigade’s attack on, and defeat by, the British 4th Brigade, along with the subsequent rallying and counterattack of the American forces lead by General Washington.

The Princeton Battlefield Society will be offering a special tour of the battlefield. Refreshments will be available for purchase throughout the two day event. There will be militia drills, games and stories for the kids and for those young at heart. If you are interested please contact by email - to confirm your attendance or ask any additional information about this event. Donations are welcome.

Find the Princeton Battlefield Society Here 

If you like to use Facebook and would like to follow or contact them, below is the link. Link to the Princeton Battlefield Society on Facebook

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Children of the 18th Century

CHILDREN IN THE 18TH CENTURY from guido verelst on Vimeo.

A recreated look into the lives of children of the 18th Century.


Now for a reality check, which most of you are probably crying for after seeing this? Why? Because most of our ancestors did not live a life anywhere like this. 

There is an outstanding book, yes you still need to get your history there sometimes too. It was written by Alice Morse Earle, 1851-1911. It is called Child Life in Colonial Times and was republished by Dover Publications, Inc., in 2009. It is a newly reset, unabridged republication of the work originally published as Child Life in Colonial Days by The Macmillan Company, New York, in 1899. 

In this well written book, author Alice Morse Earle really describes what life was like for children in the colonial period. She also authored another great book, you should also own, Home Life in Colonial Times. Both literally are a treasure trove of customs and facts found no where else so complete. I have both of these in print and also on my iPad. I enjoy reading both of them. Every serious student of American Colonial History, or reenact or should have copies. 

Chatelaines - Châtelaines - Helper's

18th Century 
Chatelaines - Châtelaines

The word "Chatelaine" actually has two meanings. One is of course the tool that this lens is about, and the other means the mistress of a castle, mansion or house. The word in French literally means "kepper of the keys." A Chatelaine is a decorative belt hook or clasp worn at the waist with a series of chains suspended from it. Each chain is mounted with a useful household appendage such aas scissors, thimble, watch, key vinaigrette or perhaps a household seal. 

Since women of antiquity did not have a lot of pockets and they had to move around a large area, carrying these helpful items around with her kept her on task. The use of chatelaines dates all the way back to the Elizabethan Era. They were of course used during the American Revolutionary Period as the above picture represents one that was in service to it's mistress. There have been many times I wished I had a chatelaine even today. Not all of my clothing have pockets or ones big enough for what I need to carry around with me for the day. 

Below is a link to my collection of Chatelaines on Pinterest. 


Chatelaines on Pinterest

Colonial Recipes - Making Wassail


1 Gallon heated apple cider 
1/2 ounce brandy flavoring 
1/2 ounce rum flavoring OR (even better) 1/2 quart light rum 
3 sticks cinnamon 
3 to 6 whole oranges small bag of whole cloves 

Simmer mixture with 3 sticks whole cinnamon to melt--DO NOT COOK. Allow to cool, pour into punch bowl. Separately stick whole cloves around entire surface of 3 to 6 whole oranges. Place oranges into baking pan with 1/2 inch of water, and bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Place oranges into punch bowl Serves 40 Serve with pound cake, nut cake, or cheese and crackers. 



Thursday, September 13, 2012

United States Constitutional Convention

Before the Constitution of the United States was drafted, the nearly 4 million inhabitants of the 13 new-independent states were governed under the Articles of Confederation. These were created by the Second Continental Congress. It soon became evident to nearly all that the chronically underfunded Conderation government, as originally organized, was inadequate for managing the various conflicts that arose among the states. As the Articles of Confederation could only be amended by unaminous vote of the states, any state had effective veto power over any propesed change. In addition, the Articles gave the weak federal government no taxing power. This made it wholly dependent on the states for it's money, and had no power to force delinquent states to pay. Once the immediate task of winning the American Revolutionary War had passed, the states began to look to their own interests, and disputes as mentioned arose. 

Photography by Christine McClintock Hudspeth
The Constitutional Convention (also known as the Philadephia Convention, the Federal Convention, or the Grand Convention at Phileadelphia) took place from May 14 1787 to September 17, of the same year, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to address problems in governing the United States of America, which had been operating under the Articles of Confederation following independence from Great Britain. 

By 1786, Americans recognized that the Articles of Confederation, the foundation document for the new United States adopted in 1777, had to be substantially mondified.  The Articles gave congress virtually no power to regulate domestic affairs - no power to tax, no power to regulate commerce. Without coercive power, Congress had to depened on fiancial contributions from the states and they often time turned down requests. Congress had neither the money to pay soldiers for the service Once the immediate task of winning the American Revolutionary War had passed, the states began to look to their own interests, and disputes as mentioned arose. 

These included a dispute between Marland and Virgina over the Potomac River and opposition to Rhode Island's impossing taxes on all traffic passing through it on the post road that link all the states. James Madison suggested that state governments should appoint commissioners, "to take into consideration the trade of the United States; to examine the relative situation and trade of said states; to consider how far a uniform system in their commerical regulations may be ncessary to that common intersts and permanent harmony." the Revolutionary War or to repay foreign loan. In 1786, the United States was bankrupt. 
Photograph by Christine McClintock Hudspeth
States engaged in an endless war of economic discrimination against commerce from other states. Southern states and Northern states battled each other for economic advantage. The country was really ill-equipped to fight any war. Other nations wondered whether treaties with the United States were worth the paper they were basically written on. The United States was dismissed by European nations as "a third-rate republic."

Then there was the situation in Rhode Island, a state legislature dominated by the debtor class passed legislation essentially forgiving all debts as it considered a measure that would redistribute property every thirteen years. The final straw for many came in western Massachusetts where angry farmers, led by Daniel Shays, took up arms and engage in active rebellion in and effort to gain debt relief.  Troubles finally convinced the Continental congress to convene

Although the Convention was intended to revise the Articles of Confederation, the intention from the outset of many of it's proponents, chief among them James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, was to create a new government rather than fix the existing one. The delegates elected George Washington to preside over the Convention. The result of the Convention was the United States Constitution, placing the Convention among the most significant events in the history of the United States. The most contentious disputes revolved around the composition and election of the Senate, how 'proportional representation" was to be defined (whether to include slave or other property), whether to divide the executive power between three persons or invest the power into a single president, how to elect the president, how long his term was to be and whether he could stand for reelection, what offenses should be impeachable, the nature of a fugitive slave clause, whether to allow the abolition of the 
Another area of conflict was the belief of Madison's was that the Federal legislature should be able to invalidate state laws. This ideas was so contentious it was dropped. Other additions to the new government would be the ability of the president to hold veto power over proposed laws and the ability of the bicameral legislature to vote against the presidents veto. Other concerns where to provide the president a successor if he was unable to complete his term.  trade, and whether judges should should be chosen by the legislature or executive branch. There was so much that we today take for granted that had not been decided in our nations infancy. So the Second Constitutional Convention was called.

The Convention 

Due to the difficulty of travel in the late 18th century, very few of the selected delegates were present on the designated day of May 14, 1787, and it was not until May 25 that quorum of seven states was secured. George Washington was unanimously elected president of the Convention, and it was agreed that the discussions and votes would be kept secret until the conclusion of the meeting. Although William Jackson was elected as secretary, his records were brief and included very little detail. It was the records kept by James Madison and notes of Robert Yates , which remain the most complete record of the Convention., Throughout the debate, delegates constantly referred to precedents from history in support of their position. While waiting for the Convention to formally begin, James Madison sketched out his initial draft, which became known as the the Virginia Plan and which reflected his views as a strong nationalist. By the time the rest of the Virginia delegation arrived, most of the Pennsylvania delegation had arrived as well. They agreed on Madison's plan, and formed what came to be the predominant coalition. By the time the Convention started, the only blueprints that had been assembled were Madison's Virginia Plan and Charles Pickney's plan. As Pickney didn't have a coalition behind his plan, Madison's plan was the starting point for deliberations.

The Convention agreed on several principles, Most importantly, they agreed that the Convention should go beyond it's mandate merely to amend the Articles of Confederation, and instead should produce a new constitution outright. While some delegates thought this illegal, the Articles of Confederation were closer to a treaty between sovereign states than they were to a national constitution, so the genuine legal problems were limited. Another principle they agreed on was the the new government would have all the powers of the Confederation Congress, plus additional powers over the states. Once agreeing on these principles, the Convention voted on the Virginia plan and signaled their approval for it. Once this was done, they began to modify it. Madison's plan operated on several assumption that were not seriously challenged by anyone. During the deliberations, few raised serious objections to the planned bicameral congress, nor the separate executive functions, law making embodied in the legislature, and executing embodied in the king and his court, the division of the legislature from the executive and judiciary was a natural and uncontested point. What was important was that the executive function had to be independent of the legislature. In their aversion to kingly power. American legislatures had created state governments where the executive was beholden to the legislature, and by the late 1780's this was widely seen as being a source of paralysis. 

The court, who represented the King in the English system throughout his realm. Madison believed that in the American states, this direct link between state executives and judges was a source of corruption through patronage and thought the link had to be severed between the two, thus creating the "third branch" of the Judiciary which had been without any direct precedent, but rather beholden to the legislature rather than the executive branch. The decision as to who would choose the judiciary had to be decided and eventually a compromise was reached that the president should choose judges and the Senate confirm them. 

Clearly there is more to learn about the founding of our country and it's early growing pains.
This will be addressed in other entries.  One thing revelant to the today's date is on September 13, 1788 the date for the first presidential election in the United States was set, and New York became our country's temporary capital. 


  • Article VI:  Supreme Law of the Land
  • Research usually in cases:  judicial interpretation and judicial review
  • Text:  U.S. Code, USCA, USCS, GPO FDSys, Black's Law Dictionary, OCGA, online sources


Monday, April 16, 2012

2012 Denver Pow Wow

Last month, my husband and me were invited to attend the 2012 Denver Pow Wow in Denver at the Denver Colliseum. I knew we were in for a special treat as I had attended many Pow Wow's in the past. I also took my three children to Pow Wows at Colorado State University while a student there. My Grandparents lived in Southern Colorado and always took us to see the Kochare Dancers in La Junta, Colorado. Spell bound by the museum, artifacts and dancers. We grew up with a deep appreciation for Native peoples. If you are ever in La Junta, Colorado, please stop by the Museum and Kiva. You will see wonderful artifacts there and learn about Native peoples of the plains.
Also visit their site at The Koshare Museum

What was in store for us at the Denver Pow Wow was absolutely beautiful. Dancers from all over the United States participated.

Please take a moment to enjoy the sights and sounds of this amazing event.

View More Photos From The Denver 2012 Pow Wow Here

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Women and The Revolution - A portrait of Molly Pitcher

A True American Heroine

Pitcher, Molly (Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley)
Born: October 13, 1754, in New Jersey
Died:  January 22, 1852, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Vocation: Revolutionary War Heroine, Legendary Figure
Geographic Connection to Pennsylvania: Carlisle, Cumberland County.
Keywords: Battle of Monmouth; Revolutionary War
Abstract: Molly Pitcher was born on October 13, 1744, in New Jersey. She later moved to Carlisle, Pennsylvania, to work as a domestic servant in 1768 and later married John Casper Hays on July 24, 1769. She joined her husband as a camp follower during the Philadelphia Campaign (1777-1778) in New Jersey during the Revolutionary War. Her actions during the Battle of Monmouth on June 28, 1778, became legendary. Molly returned to Pennsylvania after the war in April 26, 1783, where, after the death of John Hays, she remarried to a war veteran named John McCauley. She was later honored by the Pennsylvania Legislature in 1822 for her “services during the Revolutionary war.” She died on January 22, 1833, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Molly Pitcher’s real name was Mary Ludwig, the daughter of a German settler, John George Ludwig. On October 13, 1744, Mary Ludwig was born on a small farm between Princeton and Trenton in New Jersey. It was there where she grew up and helped her father, who was a dairyman, on the farm. She was raised to be a hard worker, and as typical hardworking farm girl—heavy-set, strong, and sturdy—she could do all the chores and tasks that a small farm requires. In 1768, Mary Ludwig was hired by a Mrs. Irvine from Carlisle, Pennsylvania, who wanted a young girl to help with the housework. Mary Ludwig lived with Doctor and Mrs. Irvine for some years, and it was there that she met her husband, John Casper Hay, a local barber. They married on July 24, 1769.

In 1775, the Revolutionary War began, and Hays enlisted in Colonel Thomas Procter’s First Pennsylvania regiment artillery, in which he served for one year. He then enlisted again in January of 1777 in Captain Alexander’s Company of Colonel William Irvine’s 7th Pennsylvania regiment. Mary Ludwig Hays followed her husband to war, a custom in the British Army and, to some extent, among the American troops. Following her husband’s regiment, she nursed the sick and assisted in cooking and washing. On June 28, 1778, in Freehold, New Jersey, during the Battle of Monmouth, Mary Ludwig Hays earned the nickname “Molly Pitcher,” becoming one of the most popular female images of the Revolutionary War. On that day, during the Battle of Monmouth, Molly Pitcher performed an act of unusual heroism, an act that would go down in history as legendary. That day in Freehold, New Jersey, it was told that Mary trudged back and forth from a nearby spring bringing water to the soldiers on that hot and smoky battlefield. Welcoming the sight of the sparkling water, the weary soldiers nicknamed her “Molly Pitcher.” According to some accounts, on one of her trips from the spring, Molly Pitcher, as she was always called thereafter, saw her husband collapsing next to his cannon, unable to fight. Molly dropped her pitcher and took over his position, and she was seen firing the cannon throughout the dreadful battle until victory was achieved. Her act of heroism on that day earned her a sergeant’s commission, given by General Greene

Until the close of the Revolutionary War, Molly Pitcher remained with the army and proved to be a beloved and valuable helping hand. Following the death of her husband, she lived at the Carlisle barracks, cooking and washing for the soldiers for many years. Molly also remarried a war veteran named John McCauley. They settled in Carlisle, where Mary went back to work as a domestic in the State House in Carlisle. Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley was known familiarly in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where she lived for the rest of her life, as Molly Pitcher. She lived on the corner of North and Bedford streets in a house which since has been demolished.

In 1822, the legislature of Pennsylvania awarded Molly Pitcher a sum of forty dollars and an annual commission of the same amount during her lifetime. On January 22, 1852, Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley died in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and was buried in the old Carlisle cemetery with military honors—a company of soldiers firing a salute. On the Fourth of July, 1876, the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, the citizens of Carlisle erected a white marble monument inscribed to “Molly Pitcher, the heroine of Monmouth,” over her grave. A poem by Laura E. Richards commemorating Molly can also be found on her grave. Molly Pitcher was a typical American woman during her time period, but her bravery and her dedication for the Country is nothing but exceptional. Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley, or simply Molly Pitcher, was a true heroine, and a true valiant American soldier.

The legend of Molly Pitcher has been told for many generations. Her stories have inspired many women of her time and captured the hearts of America. In 1928, Molly Pitcher was honored with an overprint reading “MOLLY / PITCHER” on a U.S. postage stamp. Molly was further honored in World War II with the naming of the Liberty ship SS Molly Pitcher, launched in 1943. It was used to encourage the use of the ration program and the purchase of treasury bonds during World War II. The stretch of US Route 11 between Shippensburg and Chambersburg, Pennsylvania is known as the Molly Pitcher Highway.

  • Humphrey, Grace. Women In American History. Freeport, New York: Bobbs-Merrill Company Inc, 1919.
  • Keenan, Sheila. Scholastic Encyclopedia of Women In The U.S. New York: Scholastic Inc, 1996.
  • McBroom, Robin. “Historic Valley Forge.” Molly Pitcher. 1998. 22, Nov. 2006. .
  • Stryker, William S. The Battle of Monmouth. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton UP, 1927.
For more information:
  • Archiving Early America. A Short Video On Molly Pitcher. 25 Nov. 2006

120th Continental Congress - NSDAR

It feels good to be back on Colonial Bytes. I took a break to attend the 120th Continental Congress in Washington D.C. 

Welcome to my album of my trip to the 120th Continental Congress of the National Society Daughters of The American Revolution. This collection of photographs has been carefully taken and prepared for you. In this album are many of the fantastic sights you come across while attending a Continental Congress. It is not an exhaustive collection and only features items of interest to me. Please enjoy and feel free to ask questions on any picture you wish to know more about.

I am the sole photographer, and hold all ownership rights to these pictures. I place them in the public domain in a hope that women who feel they might have at least one family member who lent aid or fought in the American Revolution will see this wonderful group of ladies and want to join our society.

If you feel you are a candidate please contact the N.S.D.A.R. at the national level or your state level. There are ladies who can help you with your application. We would love for you to join us.

Delegates and members come from literally all over the world to attend this event. I can tell you after attending my first this year. That is was well worth the trip. In fact I would wish the fun and sites I enjoyed for anyone.

I met so many love ladies. I learn new things I didn't know and most importantly I found patriots in the library that the N.S.D.A.R. maintains. One of the premiere genealogy libraries in the United States. I found more than I could have hope for on the members of my family I was seeking information.

In DAR Spirit,
Christine McClintock Hudspeth
Columbine Chapter,  Denver, Colorado
Walter Hines Chapter, Overseas Associate - London

Friday, June 17, 2011

George Washington and Service To Our Troops

It has been a busy week with preparations for my up coming trip to Washington D.C. for N.S.D.A.R. Continental Congress. This picture is truly one of my favorites from my shoot of the occassion of the flag raising at Genesee for Flag Day 2011. In all the reading I do, of George Washington I always come away with a deep respect for this man. He cared so very much for the welfare of his troops. True, these are reinactors in this picture above, but these are also members of the Colorado Society Sons of The American Revolution. They also know, and have studied the man who led our country to liberty. 

George Washington once said, "We will be remembered by how we treat our veterans." No words are truer. This weekend I help my Chapter, Colorado Chapter N.S.D.A.R. help an organization called Homes for Our Troops build an adaptive home for a disable returning veteran. His name is SGT Latseen Benson. This is my fourth build. I give my time because of General Washington, I serve a veteran. I believe it is the right thing to do for my country. 

There are new homes being built for severely injured veterans around our country. If you are interested in contributing time, skill or money to an outstanding organization which promotes the values our country was built on, then please take the link below and find out more about Homes For Our Troops. You will be rewarded with service you will be proud to give.

Women of The Revolution - A Poem


Read the fresh annals of our land the gathering dust of time
Nor yet has fallen on the scroll to dim the tale sublime;
There woman's glory proudly shines, for willingly she gave
Her costliest offerings to uphold the generous and the brave
Who fought her country's battles well; and oft she perilled life
To save a father, brother, friend, In those dark years of strife.
Whatever strong-armed man hath wrought, whatever he hath won,
That goal hath woman also reached, that action hath she done."

Mary M. Chase

Source: Hanafore, Phebe A., "Daughters of America on Women of the Century", True and Company, Augusta, ME, 1883.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Today's Colonial Gift From Whiskers

The trend of History is often reflected in the very names borne by the men and women who played a part in it", according to Donald Lines Jacobus, often considered the father of American genealogy. The history of given (first) names in early America offers a glimpse at our forebears and their customs, as well as clues to their origins. 

New England's first settlers bore names of three different types: those of English origin, those of Hebrew derivation, and those intended to have a moral significance. Old English names, connected with the Church of England, were not often favored by the Puritans. Puritans named their children somewhat differently than other English-speaking settlers, preferring Biblical names. Evidently, some parents shut their eyes, opened the Bible, and pointed to a word at random--what else could account for a child being named Notwithstanding or Maybe? 

The early Massachusetts Brewster family had two sons, Love and Wrestling, and two daughters named Patience and Fear. The names Humility, Desire, Hate-evil, and Faint-not also appeared in the region. Other New England onomastic Practices included obscure references and names that commemorated an occasion--such as Oceanus Hopkins, who was born on the Mayflower in 1620.
Early settlers seemed to favor names for their associated moral qualities. Among girls' names, which were no doubt intended to incite their bearers to lead godly lives, were: Content, Lowly, Mindwell, Obedience, Patience, Silence, Charity, Mercy, Comfort, Delight and Thankful. 

In many families, the first names of the father and mother were given to the first-born son and daughter, respectively. In the Massachusetts Bay Colony, 53 percent of all females were named Mary, Elizabeth, or Sarah. Other popular girls' names were Rebecca, Ruth, Anne, Hannah, Deborah, Huldah, Abigail, and Rachel. Meanwhile, prevalent boys' names included John, Joseph, Samuel, Josiah, Benjamin, Jonathan, and Nathan. 

In Virginia, Biblical references were less common. Early settlers often named sons for Teutonic warriors, Frankish knights, and English kings. Favorites included William, Robert, Richard, Edward, George, and Charles. Daughters received name of Christian saints and traditional English folk names, such as Margaret, Jane, Catherine, Frances, and Alice, along with English favorites Mary, Elizabeth, Anne, and Sarah. First-born children were named for their grandparents, and second-born for their parents. A popular custom in both Virginia and New England was the use of surnames as given names. This occurred mostly with boys, but it was not unknown for girls. Some names were also chosen for their magical properties, and astrologers were consulted in attempt to find a "fortunate" or "lucky" name. 

Among Quakers in Colonial Pennsylvania and Delaware, babies went through a ritual called nomination. An infant's name was carefully selected by the parents, certified by friends, witnessed by neighbors, and then entered in the register of the meeting. 

First-born children were named after grandparents, honoring maternal and paternal lines evenly, often with an eldest son named after his mother's father and an eldest daughter after her father's mother. 

While this practice was not universal among Quaker families, it was common in the Delaware Valley. Many names came from the Bible, with favorites for boys being John, Joseph, Samuel, Thomas, William, and George; and for girls, Mary, Elizabeth, Sarah, Anne/Anna/Hannah, and Esther/Hester. Also popular among the Quakers was Phebe, which rarely appeared in New England or the South. They also favored the names Patience, Grace, Mercy, and Chastity. One family's eight children were named Remember, John, Restore, Freedom, Increase, Jacob, Preserve, and Israel. 

Naming patterns differed in the "back country" of early America, which was heavily populated by Scots-Irish as well as German, Scandinavian, Irish, Scottish, French, and Dutch families. In these rural areas, many given names were "americanized," making it difficult for genealogists to identify a family's ethnic origins. 

As a general rule for these people, the patterns included a mixture of biblical, teutonic, and saints' names. Among the most popular given names for boys were: John, Robert, Richard, Andrew, Patrick, and David. Celtic names such as Ewan (and variants Ewen and Owen), Barry, and Roy were often used, as were Archibald, Ronald, Alexander, Charles, James, Wallace, Bruce, Percy, Ross, and Clyde. Again, eldest sons were often named after their grandfathers, and second or third sons after their fathers-- similar to patterns found in early tidewater Chesapeake families. 

One peculiar naming pattern found among the back-country settlers was the one bestowing unusual--sometimes made-up--given names. From an early date, these rugged pioneers cultivated a spirit of onomastic individualism, a spirit still found today in this country as parents search for a special, perhaps unique, name for their baby. Others prefer to select a name from their family tree that has been passed along for generations.

Old Naming Patterns of Ireland

1st son was named after the father's father
2nd son was named after the mother's father
3rd son was named after the father
4th son was named after the father's eldest brother
5th son was named after the mother's eldest brother
1st daughter was named after the mother's mother
2nd daughter was named after the father's mother
3rd daughter was named after the mother
4th daughter was named after the mother's eldest sister
5th daughter was named after the father's eldest sister
If the father remarries after his first wife dies, the first daughter born to this new marriage is often named after the deceased wife, and includes her whole name.
If a child dies young then their name is then used for the next child of the same sex, thereby keeping alive the name of the relative who they are ‘named for’
or "Christian name," is the first name of an individual listed before their surname.  "Middle names", do not seem to have been used in either Ireland or Scotland until some time after the 16th century.  In both Ireland and Scotland, men used male given names, and women used female given names. There was only a small group of given names that could be used for both men and women. The typical Irish byname is a patronymic, which would indicate who your father is.

Irish and Scotch Gaelic prefix meaning "son of."  Also m' and "mic," giving rise to the racial slur for Irish men as "micks," "mics," or "micky's."  Scottish and Irish patronymic surnames frequently have the prefix Mac or Mc. When these surnames were originally developed, they were formed by adding the Gaelic word mac, which means son of, to the name of the original bearer's father. For example, the surname MacDonnell literally means son of Donnell.
In later times, these prefixes were also added to the occupation or nickname of the bearer's father. For example, MacWard means son of the bard and MacDowell means son of the black stranger.  Numerous variations of this prefix emerged, for a number of reasons.  It was rendered Mag before vowels and aspirated consonants. Historical records concerning Irish and Scottish names reveal that the common prefix Mc and the less common prefixes M' and Mcc developed as abbreviations of the original Gaelic prefix Mac. 

Historical records concerning Irish and Scottish names reveal that the common prefix Mc and the less common prefixes M' and Mcc developed as abbreviations of the original Gaelic prefix Mac.  Thus, the popular beliefs that Mc is a distinctively Irish prefix while Mac is exclusively Scottish, and that one prefix is used by Catholic families while the other one is specifically Protestant are erroneous. 

In actuality, the same person often had his surname recorded using both Mac and Mc on separate occasions.

(also nee and nighean or inghean or even inghean uí) In the Irish patronymic naming system, indicates that the individual is the daughter of the man whose surname follows.
The form is:inghean uí ,
which means:  daughter of a male descendant of .
For example: Cairistiona inghean uí MacGhilleFhiondaig' which means: Cairistiona daughter of a male descendant of MacGhilleFhiondaig  (or, fully Anglicized, Christine daughter of a male descendant of McClintock). Later the word inghean was corrupted to nighean, which was further shortened to ni. 
Irish and Scotch Gaelic prefix to a patronymic name literally meaning "of the generations of," or the more commonly understood term "grandson."
Ua, Uí
Family, clan. E.g. Uí Néill

The last, or "family name" of the individual. All Gaelic surnames are patronymic," it is the father, and not the mother, whose given name was used to form this type of byname.  Gaelic bynames formed from the mother's name (metronymics) are vanishingly rare to nonexistent in both Scotland and Ireland.  In Ireland, clan affiliations were often used to form bynames. Simple patronymic bynames and clan affiliation bynames are the two most common types of Gaelic byname found in medieval and early modern Ireland.
Men: The standard form of Irish clan affiliation bynames for men is:
ó , the ó being a contraction/corruption of uá, which gives us the meaning: male descendant of
For example: Seamus ó Dae, which means Seamus male descendant of Dae (or, fully James, Dae male descendant of Day).
WomenWomen patronymics are formed the same way, so the standard way to form Irish clan affiliation bynames for women is:
inghean uí ,which means:  daughter of a male descendant of
For example: Caristiona inghean uí Dae' which means: Cairistionia daughter of a male descendant of Dae (or, fully Anglicized, Christine daughter of a male descendant of Day).  Later the word inghean was corrupted to nighean, which was further shortened to ni.

Note that in names such as Cochobhar,  the nominative form of the change from Conchobhar is Conchobar. The h in Chochobhar is the result of a feature of Gaelic called "aspiration," their way of recognizing the living or inherent "spiritual" aspect of names.  Most consonants are aspirated after ingen nighean and ni, but in the period when ingen was used, this aspiration usually wasn't reflected in the spelling.  Also note that the parental name is often modified even further.  For example, if you are Cormacc son of Aed, the Irish would be Cormacc mac Aeda.  This is because Gaelic has a distinct genitive or possessive case that looks (and often sounds) different from the nominative case. For instance, Aeda means "of Aed" or "Aed's."
A subgroup of patronymic style names is formed from the father's occupation, status or nickname instead of his given name.
Ó Gobhann means "(male) descendant of (the) smith.
Mac an Bhaird means "son of the bard."
Mac an Ghoill means "son of the foreigner."
Mac an tSionnaigh means "son of the fox."
(These are modern spellings; in Middle Irish these might have been Ua Goband, Mac in Baird, Mac in Gaill and Mac int Shinnaig.)
There are other forms of Irish bynames, including epithets, occupational name and locatives. An epithet is a descriptive phrase added after the given name. These tended to be extremely simple and concrete. A colour might be added to describe a person's hair or complexion.

  • Maine with the red hair might be called Maine Ruad.
  • Little Lugaid might be called Lugaid Beag.
  • Cathan, who is clever like a fox, might be called Cathan Sinnach.
  • Locative names state that someone is from a particular place.
  • In Mulind, in modern Irish an Mhuilinn means "of the mill" and indicates that the person lived at or near a mill.
  • Muimnech, now spelled Muimhneach is a byname meaning "Munsterman, the man from Munster."
Choosing an Irish Name, Kristine Elliot 1997
Colonial Naming Patterns, Colin Thomas, 2002
LDS Church Records, et al. 
Naming Patterns of Virginia
Anglican Church Records