Hi everyone, Okay... I gave you all a two-month break while my computer recovered from its chronic breakdown, but now she's happy again. Time for a challenge! :) Some of our ancestors were surprisingly mobile. Many of us have a line or two that sat still only a brief time before they were up and moving again. Opening the frontier and resulting migrations west had a great deal to do with it. Your challenge this month is in two-parts: 1. Tell us about your strays and wanderers ~ those who just couldn't seem to sit still. You can do individuals or families, it makes no difference. 2. If you've found one (or more) of our stray ancestors or families wandering around the country but they aren't yours, post that data to the list. Let's see just how many we can turn up that have been eluding someone else but you've had chucked in that box under the bed. ("Oh, you've been looking for *them*???) Colleen
) ( ( ) Good Morning Family! ( \ .-.,--^--. ( Come on in. . . \* ) \\|`----'| - The coffee pot's on. . . .=|=. \| |// ...and we even have decaf, |~'~| | |/ tea, and hot chocolate! | | \ / _|___|_ ------ (_______) Today's topics include: 1. Welcome to new cousins 2. No Coffee last week 3. A Family's Treasure TO OUR NEWEST COUSINS ~~ On behalf of the entire family, I'd like to extend a most hearty welcome to those cousins who came into the family fold this past week. We are very glad to have you with us and hope you'll stay and remain a part of our online family. As soon as you're comfortable with us and the list, please send in your list-surname lines so we can all see how we're related to you. We do not have a fancy format for sending in records or queries to the list. Post as many as you wish! If the data has anything to do with our list-surname ancestors that might help someone, please feel free to post it. Every scrap of information is appreciated. You're welcome to share this Coffee with your genealogy friends and relatives. If they are not members of our online family and would like to begin receiving the Coffee, they are now able to. Simply have them send a blank email to <SundayCoffeeemail@example.com>. NO COFFEE LAST WEEK Many of you have e-mailed saying you didn't receive last week's Coffee. There wasn't one. My daughter is getting married next year, and I was wrapped around making plans with her. I should also let you know ~ I'm afraid Coffees are going to be held sporadically from now until March, 2003 when they will be suspended until May. I'll need the time to prepare for the wedding and the arrival of a LOT of relatives from out of state, including my mother. You all know what *that* means ~ cleaning house with the veritable toothbrush!!!! <g> Just know that I'll join you for Coffee each Sunday as I can. A FAMILY'S TREASURE You know, sometimes I just really wish I had a tape recorder permanently slung around my neck! It never fails... we go back home to visit, I leave my recorder at home, and what do the relatives do but... start telling family stories! I LOVE family stories and could listen to them again and again. As a matter of fact, I have. I'm sure *you* have, as well. As children, then as adults in our twenties, we listened and listened to our families recall the memories and the stories ~ of themselves, of our grandparents and great grandparents, of our aunts and uncles; memories of people and times gone by wrap themselves around you and for some reason, they end all too soon. Fascinating! Were we interested in genealogy then? No. Did we take some kind of notes? No. It was easy for us to remember the stories *completely* after having heard them so many times. Did we get recordings of these stories as told by the relative "who was there"? No. What DID we do, then? Absolutely nothing. If we were kids we went out and played. If we were adults, we got up and got something to drink. And we left our elders sitting there in their reverie. And now, here we are ~ family historians. If we want our ancestors remembered, it's time for us to start passing the family stories down to our own children. My notes.... where are my notes? My recordings? It's okay... I can remember them. After all, how hard is it to remember a family story? Here's one of mine for you: My father was just fourteen during the Great Depression. He and his family lived on a farm then. His dad worked in the southern part of the state, taking the train home on the weekends. As the eldest son, this left him with the burdensome responsibility of being the "man of the house." My dad worked the fields with two of his younger brothers and not always did things go well. It seems the crotchety old man on the farm two miles down the road didn't like my dad and had, on occasion, threatened to beat him. It turned out that one week day, the threat was voiced again, this time to be beaten with a chain. Unexpectedly for the neighbor, Grandpa showed up in time to hear it. He stepped in front of his son, my dad, to confront the cranky man and defied him to repeat what he'd just uttered. Of course, the man was mute. Grandpa issued a threat of his own, to leave his son alone, or face a consequence. The neighbor stood down and never harrassed my dad again. The above story is true. In 1995 my dad told me this story for the last time. Other than the name of the neighbor, which I know, the facts are correct. The confrontation happened exactly as I've written it. Didn't it? No, it didn't. Sadly, the memory as I reported it, is incorrect. Grandpa issued a threat all right, but didn't say there'd be a consequence ~ at least, not according to Daddy. I put that in the story as a point of today's Coffee. Further, the timing of the story and the event are confused. When this confrontation occurred, Grandpa worked just a few miles away. He didn't start working in the southern part of the state until months later. This I discovered during my research. Over the years, and certainly over generations, our minds tend to embellish stories ("He caught a fish thaaaaat big!"). As in the one above, it seems normal that if Grandpa issued a threat, he'd follow it with some sort of consequence. Not this time. Grandpa wasn't that type of man. He'd simply say, "Do it," and that was it. I suppose he figured the listener understood that a not-so-nice result followed occur if compliance wasn't forthcoming. If I hadn't known Grandpa personally, I wouldn't have known that little aspect of him. Yet, if I pass the story "correctly" to my own children, and they pass it along to *their* children decades from now, the facts will shift again and all of a sudden Grandpa will have beat the living daylights out of the neighbor! <g> Yet it's these stories that are part of a family's cherished treasures. It helps the youngers in the family relate to those who came before us/them, giving "life" to ancestors long past. It helps us know just who our family is in this world and how we fit as a part of it. However, it helps more if we remember that these are just what they are... stories; and stories tend to change as each person relates them, particularly as decades pass. By the time these stories (if we're fortunate for them to) get told to *our* great grandchildren they may have been so skewed that it just might turn out that Grandpa and Daddy BOTH beat the tar out of the neighbor! My beloved grandparents have stepped into memory; but they live through my memories and stories of them. My great grandparents lived again through my parents, the same as is done in your family. I hope my narratives of family are correct and factual. Of course, they are; my elders told them to me. Their memories were just as clear as the day a given event happened. Not. They were human and prone to mistakes, just like the rest of us ~ a date here, a name there... And, for some reason we protect that which we were told, correct or not, like a closely guarded secret. I dearly loved my grandparents, and learned some of the accounts from them. My parents told their stories with such love to this once-little girl who just couldn't get enough of them, and brought to life once more some of those people I'd so much like to meet. Without their realizing it, with those stories, they gave me part of my precious heritage. No matter how skewed their memories might have been, those elders did their best, and now I'll do mine. Those stories and memories are after all, about family.... ... and that's what we're all about. I so enjoyed spending this time with you today. Thank you for sharing it with me. I wish each of you a week filled with health, productivity, fun, and above all, filled with love and inner peace. ) ( ) _.-~~-. (@\'--'/. Colleen ('``.__.'`) `..____.'
Hi family, For the past several days I've been receiving bounced messages like crazy from Hotmail and MSN accounts... Do you have a Hotmail account? Did you sign up with an email addy like <firstname.lastname@example.org>? If so, you should know that your email address is now coming out as <email@example.com>. Do you have an MSN account? Did you sign up with an email addy like <firstname.lastname@example.org>? If so, you'll want to know that your email address is now reading <email@example.com>! How long this will last is anyone's guess. MSN seems to have field days with everyone's addresses, changing them every few weeks. You'll want to know that if 4 list messages bounce, Rootsweb's servers will automatically unsubscribe you from the list. If that should happen, please just resubscribe and understand what happened. You might then, want to change email addresses *away* from Hotmail and/or MSN. As it is, if you try to unsub with @hotmail.com or @msn.com addresses, it won't work and you'll need me to manually unsubscribe you. Also, please realize you're not alone! All the other cousins with Hotmail or MSN email addies are going through the same thing. We'll just work the problem *together*!... provided this message gets through to you. :) SUPER Saturday wishes to everyone! :) Colleen
) ( ( ) Good Morning Family! ( \ .-.,--^--. ( Come on in. . . \* ) \\|`----'| - The coffee pot's on. . . .=|=. \| |// ...and we even have decaf, |~'~| | |/ tea, and hot chocolate! | | \ / _|___|_ ------ (_______) Today's topics include: 1. Welcome to new cousins 2. Recovery: The Dirty Thirties, Part III 3. Memories from the Dust Bowl TO OUR NEWEST COUSINS ~~ On behalf of the entire family, I'd like to extend a most hearty welcome to those cousins who came into the family fold this past week. We are very glad to have you with us and hope you'll stay and remain a part of our online family. As soon as you're comfortable with us and the list, please send in your list-surname lines so we can all see how we're related to you. We do not have a fancy format for sending in records or queries to the list. Post as many as you wish! If the data has anything to do with our list-surname ancestors that might help someone, please feel free to post it. Every scrap of information is appreciated. You're welcome to share this Coffee with your genealogy friends and relatives. If they are not members of our online family and would like to begin receiving the Coffee, they are now able to. Simply have them send a blank email to <SundayCoffeefirstname.lastname@example.org>. RECOVERY "And the dispossessed were drawn west - from Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico; from Nevada and Arkansas, families, tribes, dusted out, tractored out. Car-loads, caravans, homeless and hungry; twenty thousand and fifty thousand and a hundred thousand and two hundred thousand. They streamed over the mountains, hungry and restless - restless as ants, scurrying to find work to do - to lift, to push, to pull, to pick, to cut - anything, any burden to bear, for food. The kids are hungry. We got no place to live. Like ants scurrying for work, for food, and most of all for land." -- John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath, 1939 The Dirty Thirties, Part III The First World War severely disrupted agriculture in Europe. This worked to the advantage of farmers in America who were able to use new machines such as the combine harvester to dramatically increase production. During the war American farmers were able to export the food that was surplus to requirements of the home market and received high prices for it. By the 1920s, European agriculture had recovered and American farmers found it more difficult to find export markets for their goods. Farmers continued to produce more food than could be consumed and consequently prices began to fall. The decline in agricultural profits meant that many farmers had difficulty paying the heavy mortgages on their farms. By the 1930s many American farmers were in serious financial trouble. In 1932, grain was being burned; it was cheaper than coal. In South Dakota, the county elevator listed corn as minus three cents a bushel. If a farmer wanted to sell them a bushel of corn, he had to bring in three cents. Farmers were determined to withhold all produce from the market - livestock, cream, butter, eggs, etc. Their theory was, if they dumped the produce, the market would be forced to a higher level. Cream cans were emptied in ditches and eggs dumped out. A bridge was burned so the trains couldn't haul grain. "New Republic" magazine had reported "Beginning in the Carolinas and extending clear into New Mexico are fields of unpicked cotton that tell a mute story of more cotton than could be sold for enough, even to pay the cost of picking. Vineyards with grapes still unpicked, orchards of olive trees hanging full of rotting fruits and oranges being sold at less than the cost of production." Farmers in the midwest faced another serious problem. During the First World War, farmers grew wheat on land normally used for grazing animals. This intensive farming destroyed the protective cover of vegetation and the hot dry summers began to turn the soil into dust. High winds in 1934 turned an area of some 50 million acres into a giant dust bowl. For eight years dust blew on the southern plains. It came in a yellowish-brown haze from the South and in rolling walls of black from the North. The simplest acts of life - breathing, eating a meal, taking a walk - were no longer simple. Children wore dust masks to and from school, women hung wet sheets over windows in a futile attempt to stop the dirt, farmers watched helplessly as their crops blew away. By May, 1934 the drought covered more than 75% of the country and severely affected 27 states. In 1932, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, then Governor of New York, accepted the Democratic presidential nomination and told the cheering delegates, "I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people." He won the Presidency. In March, 1933, when Roosevelt was sworn into office, the nation faced an economic crisis. Most of the country's banks, weakened by withdrawals of funds by frightened depositors, had closed their doors. Between 13 and 15 million people were unemployed. Roosevelt took quick action. To attack this crisis, he shut down all banks, declaring a four-day bank holiday, during which Congress passed the Emergency Banking Relief Act, stabilized the banking system and restored the public's faith in the banking industry by putting the federal government behind it. Three months later he signed the Glass-Steagall Act which created the FDIC, federally insuring deposits. The Roosevelt administration also took the nation off the gold standard in 1933 and resorted to mildly inflationary monetary policies in 1933 and 1934. These efforts gave some relief to debtors. During the first 100 days of his administration, Roosevelt laid the groundwork for his New Deal ~ remedies meant to rescue the country from the depths of despair. He sent numerous bills to Congress as part of his New Deal in order to fight the Great Depression. These bills had three major goals known as the "Three Rs," Relief, Recovery and Reform. The first goal was relief for the unemployed. Those who were jobless, hungry, or perhaps in danger of losing their homes, were helped by New Deal programs. The Civil Conservation Corps (CCC) was one of the New Deal's most successful programs. It addressed the pressing problem of unemployment by sending 3 million single men from age 17 to 23 to the nations' forests to work. Living in camps in the forests, the men dug ditches, built reservoirs and planted trees. The men, all volunteers, were paid $30 a month, with two thirds being sent home. The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) and the National Recovery Administration (NRA) were designed to address unemployment by regulating the number of hours worked per week and banning child labor. The Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA), created in 1933, gave $3 billion to states for work relief programs. The Agricultural Adjustment Act subsidized farmers for reducing crops and provided loans for farmers facing bankruptcy. The Home Owners' Loan Corporation (HOLC) helped people save their homes from foreclosure. Recovery, the second goal, was initiated in 1933 when President Roosevelt asked Congress to pass the Agricultural Adjustment Act to help farmers by boosting depressed crop prices. The AAA paid farmers not to grow crops and not to produce dairy produce such as milk and butter. It also paid them not to raise pigs and lambs. The money to pay the farmers for cutting back production of about 30% was raised by a tax on companies that bought the farm products and processed them into food and clothing. The third goal was reform of the economy to prevent another depression from occurring. Programs such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) were established to prevent conditions that caused the Great Depression. Later, after the Hundred Days, other programs such as Social Security and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) were established to help prevent another depression. Although the legislation of the Hundred Days did not end the Great Depression, it did alleviate the plight of millions of Americans who were desperate for work. It also provided hope for all Americans who were beginning to lose faith in the American economic system. The most important relief agency of the New Deal was the Works Progress Administration (WPA), created in 1935. This agency employed more than 8.5 million people to build bridges, roads, public buildings, parks and airports. During the next eight years it built or improved more than 2,500 hospitals, 5,900 school buildings, and nearly 13,000 playgrounds. It provided funds for federal theater, arts, and writers projects that enriched the nation's cultural life. The WPA's National Youth Administration gave financial aid to more than 2 million high school and college students and to 2.6 million young people who were not in school. Most of the WPA's money, some $11 billion in all by 1943, went for short-term, make-work projects to assist the unemployed. Government programs, part of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, began in 1935 in an attempt to provide relief initially aimed at alleviating effects of the Great Depression. Fortunately, some of those in the Dust Bowl and its refugees were also benefiting. On April 27, 1935, following the destructive Black Blizzard that blew into Washington D.C., showing the Government just how desperate life was for the Dust Bowl residents, Congress declared soil erosion "a national menace" in an act establishing the Soil Conservation Service under the Department of Agriculture (formerly the Soil Erosion Service in the U.S. Department of Interior). The SCS developed extensive conservation programs that retained topsoil and prevented irreparable damage to the land. Farming techniques such as strip cropping, terracing, crop rotation, contour plowing, and cover crops were advocated. Farmers were paid to practice soil-conserving farming techniques. In December, 1935, during a meeting in Pueblo, Colorado, experts estimated that 850,000,000 tons of topsoil had blown off the Southern Plains during the course of the year, and that if the drought continued, the total area affected would increase from 4,350,000 acres to 5,350,000 acres in the spring of 1936. The Resettlement Administration proposed buying up 2,250,000 acres and retiring it from cultivation. In March, 1937, Roosevelt addressed the nation in his second inaugural address, stating, "I see one-third of the nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished.... the test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." FDR's Shelterbelt Project began. The project called for large-scale planting of trees across the Great Plains, stretching in a 100-mile wide zone from Canada to northern Texas, to protect the land from erosion. Native trees, such as red cedar and green ash, were planted along fence rows separating properties, and farmers were paid to plant and cultivate them. The project was estimated to cost 75 million dollars over a period of 12 years. In 1938, extensive work re-plowing the land into furrows, planting trees in shelterbelts, and other conservation methods resulted in a 65% reduction in the amount of blowing soil. However, the drought continued. After its initial popularity, the New Deal met increasing opposition in Congress and the Supreme Court. Critics of the New Deal were correct in observing that the relief measures did not go far enough. Even at its peak the WPA failed to reach 7 million unemployed and their families, and it paid extremely low wages. Unemployables--the sick, the crippled, the aged, dependent children--were left heavily dependent upon the states, which were often unable or unwilling to help. The New Deal relief policy was judged a partial success, at best. However, most Dust Bowl farmers were immensely appreciative of Roosevelt and his New Deal programs. For many, only infusions of federal aid made it possible for them to wait out the blistering years of drought and dust. The rains finally returned in the fall of 1939 ~ finally bringing an end to the drought. The Southern Plains once again yielded a bountiful harvest and the relationship between the farmer and the federal government remained entwined. The New Deal ended in 1939 when the state of the economy across the nation, improved dramatically as the defense industry geared up to meet the needs of the war effort. Many of the migrants went off to fight in the war. Those who were left behind took advantage of the job opportunities that had become available in West Coast shipyards and defense plants. As a result of this more stable lifestyle, numerous Dust Bowl refugees put down new roots in California soil, where their descendants reside to this day. MEMORIES FROM THE DUST BOWL There are times when someone crosses my inbox with a message so touching that I feel compelled to share it with you. Following the second part of this series, Lavonne Emler <email@example.com> e-mailed me with her Grandmother's accounts of the Dust Bowl days. She has kindly given me permission to reprint her message: "Thank you for the story on the "Dirty Thirties." I am very interested in this period of time, being touched by this situation for my Grandmother was born in Coody's Bluff, OK in 1921. There are so many stories concerning this time period. For my family, not living on a farm, there were not many alternatives to keep the family going. These stories need to be passed on, to ensure the generation of the future the knowedge about their heritage. To know of their "Forefathers" not from just the founding of this great country, but throughout time. "I am priviledged to hear the stories from my Grandmother. The traumatic experience from the view of a child's eye, suffering from hunger and being so cold. Hearing the adults in their life speak with fear concerning the outcome of the family. Watching all that was known disappearing from view, with the sand and wind leaving only skeletons of their existence, while their physical bodies were experiencing the same type of hardship. Hunger and thirst for any nourishment the earth would provide. Walking along the railroad looking for the little pieces of coal to gather in order to keep the fire going at home. Finding the frozen vegtables in the garden, which were overlooked at an earlier time. Finally, piece by piece, breaking down the furniture to provide heat in order to keep from freezing, while the hunger pangs only remind you of what is missing from life at this time. "During the rough times, many children were taken from homes like these. Within the State of Oklahoma there were many who would go from town to town and find these families which were experiencing such hardships. My grandmother and her 3 siblings were put in Orphanages, with the stipulation that they were never to be adopted. Though it sounds cruel to take the family and separate its members, it probably did so much more for them in a positive way. All the children were clothed, fed and educated, with the security of survival. Like the "Okie schools" in California, the children learned many trades in order to become self sufficent. "To this day, the children of the "Whitaker State Children's Home" in Pryor, Oklahoma have a reunion every year. I was lucky enough to meet the people, hear the stories and actually go to the Orphanage which is now a building used to house the Oklahoma National Guard. Every year the reunion becomes smaller. The stories will never die as long as we tell them. To reinsure their hardship will not have been in vain. "Thank you again, I enjoyed reading your articles." Lavonne Emler Pleasant Hill, CA ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Stories such as the above are ones that I cannot pass along because fortunately, nobody in my family had to deal with the devastating hardships of the Dust Bowl. However, millions of people *were* affected and their stories should be told. I thank you Lavonne, for sharing your Grandmother's with us. You have provided all of us with a heartrending insight that many of us can "feel" because of what you've written. One final note to everyone ~ If you, your parents or grandparents were Dust Bowl refugees, I commend you. You or your family's lot was one of such dreadful extremes that most of us can't begin to understand what your family went through. That you or yours survived those years is tantamount to the spirit of those pioneers who founded this country. Your story should never be forgotten. Dust Bowl refugees or not, they're family... and that's what we're all about. I so enjoyed spending this time with you today. Thank you for sharing it with me. I wish each of you a week filled with health, productivity, fun, and above all, filled with love and inner peace. ) ( ) _.-~~-. (@\'--'/. Colleen ('``.__.'`) `..____.'
) ( ( ) Good Morning Family! ( \ .-.,--^--. ( Come on in. . . \* ) \\|`----'| - The coffee pot's on. . . .=|=. \| |// ...and we even have decaf, |~'~| | |/ tea, and hot chocolate! | | \ / _|___|_ ------ (_______) Today's topics include: 1. Welcome to new cousins 2. The Dirty Thirties, Part II TO OUR NEWEST COUSINS ~~ On behalf of the entire family, I'd like to extend a most hearty welcome to those cousins who came into the family fold this past week. We are very glad to have you with us and hope you'll stay and remain a part of our online family. As soon as you're comfortable with us and the list, please send in your list-surname lines so we can all see how we're related to you. We do not have a fancy format for sending in records or queries to the list. Post as many as you wish! If the data has anything to do with our list-surname ancestors that might help someone, please feel free to post it. Every scrap of information is appreciated. You're welcome to share this Coffee with your genealogy friends and relatives. If they are not members of our online family and would like to begin receiving the Coffee, they are now able to. Simply have them send a blank email to <SundayCoffeefirstname.lastname@example.org>. THE DIRTY THIRTIES, PART II "And the dispossessed were drawn west - from Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico; from Nevada and Arkansas, families, tribes, dusted out, tractored out. Car-loads, caravans, homeless and hungry; twenty thousand and fifty thousand and a hundred thousand and two hundred thousand. They streamed over the mountains, hungry and restless - restless as ants, scurrying to find work to do - to lift, to push, to pull, to pick, to cut - anything, any burden to bear, for food. The kids are hungry. We got no place to live. Like ants scurrying for work, for food, and most of all for land." -- John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath, 1939 ~~Dust Bowl Refugees~~ The terrifying winds finally died down; the storm had ended.... this one, anyway. People began shoveling the soil to locate their buried farms. Housewives swept land that had blown in from Nebraska and Oklahoma from their Kansas homes ~ if there was still a home left to sweep, that is. The extent of the damage inflicted upon the southern Great Plains by drought and dust storms was little noticed outside of the region. The nation was desperately trying to pry itself loose from the grip of the Great Depression and the plight of normally well-off farmers was beyond the immediate concern of most citizens. Sadly, much of the nation just never fully comprehended the magnitude of this disaster during "the bad time." Places like Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico were all so far away. It took the storm of Black Sunday (April 14, 1935, Part I) to get the government's notice. That same storm blew in to Washington, D.C., and when a dusty gloom settled over the nation's capital, blotting out the midday sun, members of Congress finally realized the extent of dire straits the midwest was in. The government acted quickly by passing the Soil Conservation Act of 1935, with President Franklin Roosevelt putting his full authority behind improving farming techniques. Unfortunately, too much damage had already been done and much more was still to come.... In the 1930's, the Soil Conservation Service compiled a frequency chart of all dust storms when visibility was cut to less than a mile: 1933- 38 storms 1934- 22 storms 1935- 40 storms 1936- 68 storms 1937- 72 storms 1938- 61 storms 1939- 30 storms 1940- 17 storms 1941- 17 storms At the beginning of it all, blowing dust was so familiar an event that no one was surprised to see it appear when the dry weather began in 1931. However, nobody was prepared for what came later ~ dust storms of such violence that the drought became just a secondary problem. An estimated 650,000,000 tons of topsoil had been blown away in a single dust storm, reducing visibility to near zero at midday. Terrible dust storms known black rollers or black blizzards roared across the Plains, darkening the sky for days and ravaging the devastated ground even more. In 1936, the number of dirt storms increased and the temperature broke the 1934 record high by soaring above 130 degrees. 1938 was the year of the "snuster" ~ a mixture of dirt and snow reaching blizzard proportions. "Sand blows," another type of storm, blew out of the southwest and left the sandier soils drifted into dunes alone fence rows and ditches. Black Blizzards came with a rolling turbulence, rising like a long wall of muddy water as high as 7000 or 8000 feet. Like the winter blizzards, these dusters were caused by the arrival of a polar continental air mass, and the atmospheric electricity it generated helped lift the dirt higher and higher in a cold boil, sometimes accompanied by thunder and lightning, other times by an eerie silence. Human and animal populations in the dust-blown states were left to the mercy of these weather events. In one instance, the weight of the accumulated dust in the attic of one farm house had caused it to weaken and collapse. An exodus from their drought-ravaged homelands began. The movement of people on the Plains was profound. The Dust Bowl storms and drought had brought poverty and misery to most of the midwest, and between 1935 and 1940 over one million people left their homes. Oklahoma topped the list with more than 300,000 residents taking to the roads in search of greener pastures, but other states were close behind. They hailed from Texas, Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri, but wherever they came from they were known as "Okies." Word had gotten around there was plenty of work picking crops in California and they had hoped to find good jobs and a better life where no one ever went hungry. The refugees quickly found that conditions in California were not quite what they imagined. Jobs were scarce and having no money was the common standard. Many Californians greeted the newcomers with hostility. Almost as soon as they crossed over the California border, the transients were ridiculed, rejected and shamed. They learned the word "Okie" meant they suddenly were lower class people and scum. Owning no land of their own, many worked as agricultural migrants, traveling from farm to farm picking fruit and other crops at the starvation wage of ten cents an hour. Even with an entire family working, migrants could not support themselves. In an attempt to maintain a steady income, workers had to follow the harvest around the state. When potatoes were ready to be picked, the migrants needed to be where the potatoes were. The same principle applied to harvesting cotton, lemons, oranges, peas, and other crops. Many set up camps along irrigration ditches in the farmer's fields. These "ditchbank" camps fostered poor sanitary conditions and created a public health problem. Diptheria had become yet another issue to deal with. It wasn't just families on the move; individuals by the thousands were moving, too. Times were so hard and money was so scarce that men exhausted themselves looking for work. Many times men left their families and traveled by themselves, hoping to find employment and bring their loved ones out later. Freight trains were the usual mode of travel for these refugees and it might take several trains to make it to their final destinations ~ usually California. Railroad men called "Bulls" were to be avoided if one didn't want to be thrown off the train, sometimes beaten with billie clubs prior to. If one jumped from the train before being caught, it meant a walk along the tracks into small towns to get something to eat. Usually, there were people that would feed a transient just to help him out, or hire him on a temporary job ~ the pay being a meal and perhaps a place to sleep for the night. Men would do a good deal of work just for something to eat. 1935 She was hungry and she was desperate. She was just 32, but she looked twenty years older. The worry of feeding herself and her seven children, the eldest 11 years and the youngest just 2 months, had begun to severely drain her. She, her husband and children were on their way to California when they ran out of money. Here they were, sitting in the middle of a field under a lean-to tent ~ right where they were a week ago, and still no promise of getting back on the road. It was mid-October, too cold to be sleeping outside now, but it's all they had. Her husband had been gone for three days now, looking for anyone to hire him. In the meantime, she and the children were to wait... but for how much longer? It was getting colder each night, and harder to keep warm. The children were hungry, tired, poorly-clothed, and beginning to get sick. They had been living on frozen vegetables from the surrounding fields, and birds that the children killed. Their situation was looking more grim by the minute. They weren't alone. Homelessness and starvation was becoming a norm, anymore. Her husband had found work, albeit temporary. He would rejoin the family later today and bringing home some money!... $6.00. Even better though, he'd found out about a camp they could move into ~ a camp for people in their same siutation. They'd leave tomorrow, getting gas with part of the money. They should be in California in two days! There, they'd be able to put their lives back together. It wouldn't quite turn out like he'd planned. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Once the refugees arrived in California, they were ostracized by all they came in contact with. They were not greeted warmly, and to say they were disheartened would be an understatement. Yet, their courage and resilience didn't fail them. They did what was necessary to survive and learned to cope in their new life. They worked hard, despite being paid little for their efforts. Many of the refugee farmers made their new homes in migratory labor camps, created by the Farm Security Administration. The Arvin Migratory Labor Camp (commonly known as "Weedpatch Camp") near Bakersfield, opened in 1935 and became the first federally operated camp under the FSA in 1937. The camps were intended to resolve poor sanitation and public health problems, as well as to mitigate the burden placed on town and state support systems. The FSA camps also furnished the migrants with a safe space in which to retire from the discrimination that plagued them and in which to rekindle a sense of community. Although each camp had a small staff of administrators, much of the responsibility for daily operations and governance devolved to the campers themselves. Civil activities were carried out through camp councils and camp courts. There, despite great poverty and displacement, they created a vibrant community. At school, however, the children were tormented and taunted. Many parents desired that the "Okie children" be removed from their schools. The children were regarded by their teachers and fellow students alike as stupid and retarded, and were taunted by the clothing they wore which was ragged or ill-fitting. Many went to school bare-footed. In 1940, plans were set in motion to build a school specifically for the children of hard-working parents. The children helped to build this school themselves. They learned plumbing, masonry, and carpentry. They dug, by hand, the trenches for the school foundation. This done usually on a nearly-empty stomach. However, they also planted gardens and raised livestock. They learned how to can the produce, and learned butchering skills. The school had such an excellent curriculum, and it's students learned so well, that soon everyone wanted their children to attend "the Okie school." Parts of it still remain today. As a reward for doing well in their classes, they were allowed to dig the hole for their very own swimming pool - the children built the very first swimming pool in Kern County, California. In 1936, Weedpatch Camp housed about 300 people who paid $1.00 a week to live in one-room tin cabins and tents on platforms. It was no paradise, but for the families who settled there, it was a vast improvement over the "squatter" camps and their life on the road. Sanitary bath and laundry facilities were provided. The camp provided a nursery where working mothers could leave their babies and small children. This left the mothers free to work alongside their husbands in the fields and help boost their income, making for better living conditions. Children, when they were not in school, also bolstered the family income by working in the fields, orchards and packing sheds every day they could. It was from these camps that most families began to put their lives back together. Although this Coffee deals with Dust Bowl refugees, keep in mind that the Great Depression was still going on. Soup lines were as prominent in the rest of the country as the migration was in the midwest. However, the Great Depression is another story for another time. Next week: Recovery It's family ... and that's what we're all about. I so enjoyed spending this time with you today. Thank you for sharing it with me. I wish each of you a week filled with health, productivity, fun, and above all, filled with love and inner peace. ) ( ) _.-~~-. (@\'--'/. Colleen ('``.__.'`) `..____.'
) ( ( ) Good Morning Family! ( \ .-.,--^--. ( Come on in. . . \* ) \\|`----'| - The coffee pot's on. . . .=|=. \| |// ...and we even have decaf, |~'~| | |/ tea, and hot chocolate! | | \ / _|___|_ ------ (_______) Today's topics include: 1. Welcome to new cousins 2. The Dirty Thirties TO OUR NEWEST COUSINS ~~ On behalf of the entire family, I'd like to extend a most hearty welcome to those cousins who came into the family fold this past week. We are very glad to have you with us and hope you'll stay and remain a part of our online family. As soon as you're comfortable with us and the list, please send in your list-surname lines so we can all see how we're related to you. We do not have a fancy format for sending in records or queries to the list. Post as many as you wish! If the data has anything to do with our list-surname ancestors that might help someone, please feel free to post it. Every scrap of information is appreciated. You're welcome to share this Coffee with your genealogy friends and relatives. If they are not members of our online family and would like to begin receiving the Coffee, they are now able to. Simply have them send a blank email to <SundayCoffeeemail@example.com>. NOTE: Again, I come to you with a subject much too large for one Coffee. This particular subject may take two or three. It's such a powerful event that impacted so, so many lives of both our ancestors and some still with us today that learning about it just might give you clues to your research... If Grandpa was a butcher, why was he picking fruits in California? I thought Grandma was a seamstress. Why was she working in the fields? What prompted Grandma and Grandpa to move from Kansas to California? In the interest of brevity, for the Dirty Thirties covers many years, I must tell you in advance that I won't hit every topic, touching only on the highlights. If you're interested in reading more, once I have completed the series, I will present to you some recommended sites and/or books. If there is room, I'll provide my sources in the final Coffee for the subject. THE DIRTY THIRTIES 2002 This summer, 37% of the United States has been suffering under one of the worst droughts since the 1930s. It's a fact. Parts of 45 states, from Maine to Hawaii, are sweltering through an abnormally arid year. Twenty-one states are hardest hit, most of which are in the Southeast, the Great Plains and the West. According to the government, they are abiding "extreme" or "exceptional" drought. Water restrictions are being imposed in hundreds of cities. Ranchers are selling their herds of cattle at distress prices because of a lack of water and forage. At least three cities in Colorado have run out of water this year. Believe it or not, as hard as this summer has been for many of us, this is nothing. Nothing. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In the thirty years before World War I, America's farmers discovered that wheat was an excellent commodity. The world needed it and American farmers received a good price for it. Wheat farmers began plowing deeply and planting wheat as never before. In 1930 and 1931, the decade opened with unparalleled prosperity and growth. The panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas had been dubbed the most prosperous region by "Nation's Business" magazine. That region was in stark contrast to the long soup lines of the Eastern United States. Yet farming practices were not the best for maintaining good soil conditions. The methods which had successfully worked for a number of years eventually depleted the soil in several of the plains states. As the naturally occurring grasslands of the southern Great Plains were replaced with cultivated fields, the rich soil lost its ability to retain moisture and nutrients and began to erode. The lands were planted to wheat year after year without a thought as to the damage that was being done. Millions of acres of farm land were broken. Grasslands that should have been left untouched were plowed up. Land use left the soil exposed to the danger of erosion by the winds that constantly sweep over the area. In addition, the significant growth in farming activity required an increase in spending that caused many farmers to become financially overextended. The stock market crash in 1929 only served to antagonize this already tenuous economic situation. Weather conditions were dry in 1930 but most of the farmers made a wheat crop. In 1931 the wheat crop was considered a bumper crop with over 12 million bushels of wheat. There was such a surplus of the grain that prices were forced down from sixty-eight cents a bushel in July 1930 to twenty-five cents per bushel a year later. Many farmers went broke and lost their farms when banks came to collect on their notes. Others simply abandoned their fields. Even more, for those farmers who hung on, refusing to give up, the lower wheat prices was coupled with drought conditions which caused the soil to begin to blow. Farmers kept plowing and planting on their overused land, but nothing would grow. The ground cover that held the soil in place was gone. Record high heat, lack of precipitation and the constant winds all combined to create a situation enabling what would become a desperate hardship for hundreds of thousands of people across many parts of the country. When a seven-year drought began in 1931, followed by the coming of dust storms in 1932, many of the farms literally dried up and blew away creating what became known as the "Dust Bowl." This period is also described as "Dirty Thirties." In late January 1933, much of the wheat in the region was killed by a ravaging dirt storm. Early the following month, Boise City's (Oklahoma) temperatures hit a record low when the thermometer dropped seventy four degrees in eighteen hours. The mercury stayed below freezing for several days until another dirt storm scourged the land. Before the year was over, locals counted 139 dirty days in 1933. >From 1934 to 1936, three record drought years were maked for the nation. In 1936 a more severe storm spread out of the plains and across the nation. The drought years were accompanied with record breaking heavy rains, blizzards, tornadoes and floods. Black Sunday, 14 April 1935 8:00 a.m. ~ The day started bright and sunny. It was a clear, cloudless day ~ one that people could look forward to enjoying without fear of being caught in another dust storm. This was Palm Sunday, a day for church and leisurely rides in the automobile, perhaps even a picnic. Others thought to use the beautiful day to get some outside chores done ~ beating rugs and hanging laundry, to name two, that couldn't be attempted when the dust was flying. If she got her chores done in time, and her mother permitted, she wanted to visit with her friends two miles down the road. She hadn't seen them in two weeks and was looking forward to the temporary escape from home. She had so much to tell them! Had that cute, new boy in school talked to either of them yet? She hoped not. Father was repairing the fence while he waited for Mother to finish getting ready for church. He hoped she wouldn't be much longer. He'd wanted to talk to William, the blacksmith, about a job. The farm wasn't doing well with the Depression going on and he wanted to insure there'd be enough money to support his growing family if the farm went under. When he'd walked out of the house, Mother had her hands stuck inside a drawer, kneading bread. With all the dust in the air, she had taken to finding ways to protect food from contamination. Water was now kept inside sealed Mason jars. The dining table was kept covered with an oilcloth to protect it from films of dust. Mother set down new rules for setting the table: plates and glasses upside down, napkins folded over forks, knives and spoons. When dining, napkins are to be shaken out. Just before eating, glasses and plates can be turned over ~ an action which exposes neat circles. By noon the temperature had climbed to 90 degrees, making today the hottest day of the year, so far. Then suddenly, the temperature dropped ~ 50 degrees in just a few hours. Hundreds of chattering birds fluttered nervously, gathering in yards and along roads. An alert person knew almost immediately that something was amiss. 1:20 p.m. ~ Mother and her eldest daughter were moving quickly, gathering up the carpets and removing the laundry from the clothesline preparing to bring everything inside. They had no time to spare. A black blizzard was on the way. When the wind had begun blowing, Mother and both daughters rushed around the house with strips of old, wet sheets to chink the windows and door. Everything was sealed as much as could be done, but still dust as fine as talcum powder managed to get in. Tumbleweeds rolling by served as harbingers while birds, flying in terror for their very lives, heralded a massive, boiling wall of dust traveling at 60 mph. The smaller birds flew until exhaustion, then fell to the ground, sharing the fate of thousands of jack rabbits which perished from suffocation. Escape was impossible from the 7,000 foot high dry tidal wave. The roiling wall engulfed everything in its path. Those who had decided a Sunday drive would make the perfect day, were swallowed in their cars by the dark cloud. The static electricity caused by millions of dirt particles rubbing together shorted out ignitions. It also jammed radio broadcasts and created an eerie outline along the metal edges of windmill blades and fences. If one had looked out the window, s/he would have seen balls of electricity dancing along the barbed wire. Although home was the safest place to be, it offered only limited sanctuary. The oppressive dust was so thick that it filtered into homes whether the windows and doors were blocked, nor not. Sand swirled into closets and cupboards, leaving its grimy fingerprints on dishes and clothes ~ whether the items were precious heirlooms or party dresses just completed yesterday. 6:15 p.m. ~ The winds subsided. A light orange glow could be seen on the horizon through a curtain of dust which hung over the landscape. There was no sky to speak of; nor would there be one for days. The atmosphere around them would be a darkened one. Dead or dying livestock lined the roads. Large drifts of sand piled up against buildings and buried tractors and other equipment. Another day of decision for many people of the region. Would they stay? Would they leave the Heartland, abandoning their dreams? Tomorrow many would learn whether they even had a farm left to go to. Tomorrow many would pack up and leave, but also tomorrow, many more would remain and hang on ~ believing better times are just ahead. "And then the dispossessed were drawn west- from Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico; from Nevada and Arkansas, families, tribes, dusted out, tractored out. Car-loads, caravans, homeless and hungry; twenty thousand and fifty thousand and a hundred thousand and two hundred thousand. They streamed over the mountains, hungry and restless - restless as ants, scurrying to find work to do - to lift, to push, to pull, to pick, to cut - anything, any burden to bear, for food. The kids are hungry. We got no place to live. Like ants scurrying for work, for food, and most of all for land." - John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath, 1939 Next week: Dust Bowl Refugees To you September babies - the cousins and I wish you a very happy and exciting year ahead. Happy Birthday! You are loved! Family ... it's what we're all about. I so enjoyed spending this time with you today. Thank you for sharing it with me. I wish each of you a week filled with health, productivity, fun, and above all, filled with love and inner peace. ) ( ) _.-~~-. (@\'--'/. Colleen ('``.__.'`) `..____.'
) ( ( ) Good Morning Family! ( \ .-.,--^--. ( Come on in. . . \* ) \\|`----'| - The coffee pot's on. . . .=|=. \| |// ...and we even have decaf, |~'~| | |/ tea, and hot chocolate! | | \ / _|___|_ ------ (_______) Today's topics include: 1. Welcome to new cousins 2. The Family Picture TO OUR NEWEST COUSINS ~~ On behalf of the entire family, I'd like to extend a most hearty welcome to those cousins who came into the family fold this past week. We are very glad to have you with us and hope you'll stay and remain a part of our online family. As soon as you're comfortable with us and the list, please send in your list-surname lines so we can all see how we're related to you. We do not have a fancy format for sending in records or queries to the list. Post as many as you wish! If the data has anything to do with our list-surname ancestors that might help someone, please feel free to post it. Every scrap of information is appreciated. You're welcome to share this Coffee with your genealogy friends and relatives. If they are not members of our online family and would like to begin receiving the Coffee, they are now able to. Simply have them send a blank email to <SundayCoffeefirstname.lastname@example.org>. THE FAMILY PICTURE 2002 He looked at sepia-toned picture ~ simply stared at it. On the back were the words, "just a family photograph, 1884." No names were marked on it, however he thought he could identify most of the people, including his great-grandmother. Fortunately, he'd been the recipient of the old family pictures in his mother's possession. He'd be able to compare other pictures to this one and come up with a lot of the names, he hoped. Indicative of the period, the women wore the customary long dresses, long sleeved bodices, and hats. The men were dressed in suits and hats. Everyone was sitting under a large gazebo with exception of two children, both boys, who stood next to their mother; they were obviously brothers. Tables with dishes on them were seen in the background. A picnic of sorts? It's when a family picture is taken that an occasion is stamped forever into history and gives the participants an immortality that future generations look back to. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1884 It was an unusually hot and humid August day for a family reunion. The skies were filled with dark, rumbling clouds, threatening a day of storms, but the scheduled event continued as planned. A gazebo at the park would protect everyone from any disagreeable weather. Besides, Grandmother and two great uncles had made the arduous 52-mile trip just to be here for this auspicious occasion. Great-Grandma was anxious to see her daughter ~ her eyes twinkling with excitement since last night. The tables were laid out, replete with dishes of food. More families were expected hence, more food would also arrive. Everything was coming together nicely and if this was any indication, the day would be a splendid success. The photographer was an old family friend and knew a lot of the people who were attending the reunion. That fact alone nearly guaranteed that any pictures taken today by him would have a personal touch to them. Yes, he would do a good job for the family. Today was an important one ~ for this family, anyway. It marked 50 years of the name in America ~ 50 years! The old immigrant, his wife and their two children came over from the old country, migrated west, and settled in this state. It had been the frontier back then. They'd had to clear a virgin forest away to make a spot for their home and fields. Through all their toils, nine more children were born and raised to adulthood. They all married and had families of their own, many of them with descendants here today. The current generations owed a great deal to those pioneers. The people at today's reunion were descendants starting with the third generation from that first family. The annual coming-together became a tradition started by the immigrants when the children began moving away to establish lives and families of their own. Returning to the old home every year not only allowed everyone to see each other and renew family ties, but kept the family close ~ or, at least as close as a family could be when the miles prevented them from seeing each other every week or even every month. And so it became that the annual family reunion was a "must do" for everyone. Pictures were taken at every yearly event. The family's matriarch, now a great grandmother herself, felt it important to keep this type of life-record. It helped her when she felt lonely and missed her children. Though he'd refuse to admit it, even her husband who had passed on three years ago, enjoyed the pictures and was caught a couple times staring at them and dabbing his eyes. If they had had the money, an annual picture on everyone's birthday would have been very nice. She could watch the grandchildren grow as she watched her own children mature. Four generations would show in this year's picture four generations! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2002 Rain and a traffic jam caused by a fender bender... great! So many people were rubber-necking that if they didn't get moving, they were going to be late for their appointment with the photographer. It was his birthday today; he needed to calm down and not get harried. After all, this one day a year was for him... It was a tradition that a family picture be taken every year on his birthday. It was irritating that he'd have to get dressed up to do this every year, but it seemed to be very important to his father that this be done, so he'd gone along with it ~ something he do for them. His mother kept all the pictures, each one hanging on the wall in the hallway, each one showing his growth and development ~ first as a child, then into adulthood. The first pictures of him had been taken when he was barely 2 weeks old. His great grandmother held him while his grandparents, parents and older sister looked on. Every year thereafter, on his birthday, the entire family would gather at the photographers for a new family picture. The picture always had to be taken exactly on his birth date, even if it fell on Sunday. He was told as a child of some historical, family significance happening years ago on this particular date; darned if he could remember how the story went, though. Maybe one day he'd ask his parents about that. Right now, he just had to worry about getting to the photographers. In the course of his 27 years, all his grandparents had passed on. Now in the picture was his wife of two years. In four months, their first child would be born and next year, on his birthday, have its picture taken with the family around. His and his wife's arrival at the door of the photography studio was preceeded by a muttered, "Finally!" His parents, brother, sister and their families were waiting, wondering if the couple would make it in time. Smile, everyone! :) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The picture was taken yet another year, documenting many of the family's current descendants. Had anyone taken the time to look closely at the shadows behind the current family group, they might have seen the faces of generations of those who'd long passed standing behind everyone, including those of the first family taken that day under the gazebo. And so it goes, that as we create new generations, we bring forward with us pieces of those earlier ancestors. Perhaps we really aren't alone in the present, after all... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It's family ... and that's what we're all about. I so enjoyed spending this time with you today. Thank you for sharing it with me. I wish each of you a week filled with health, productivity, fun, and above all, filled with love and inner peace. ) ( ) _.-~~-. (@\'--'/. Colleen ('``.__.'`) `..____.'
Hi everyone, This message is going to all my lists. If you receive it more than once, then please, just delete your extra copies. I've received so, so many messages wanting to know what happened to me that I figured I'd better let you all know. My system crashed again ~ twice! After three times in a month, it's been rebuild, rebuild, rebuild. I'm back online since last night and I have to say, I'm glad it's finished (I hope!). Fortunately, I had a lot of my data backed up so all these crashes didn't cause a total loss. As a result of being offline for so long, I'm now horribly behind in answering email. I'll respond to those of you who are awaiting replies just as soon as I can. The earliest messages will be answered first. If you're on a list that receives the Sunday Morning Coffee, then yes, I will join you for Coffee tomorrow. Hmmm, anything else? I hope you're all having a SUPER, SUPER Saturday!... Sunday, if you're down under! :) Colleen
) ( ( ) Good Morning Family! ( \ .-.,--^--. ( Come on in. . . \* ) \\|`----'| - The coffee pot's on. . . .=|=. \| |// ...and we even have decaf, |~'~| | |/ tea, and hot chocolate! | | \ / _|___|_ ------ (_______) Today's topics include: Today's topics include: 1. Welcome to new researchers 2. The fun of a hard drive crash :-\ 3. A Brick Wall's Origins? TO OUR NEWEST COUSINS ~~ On behalf of the entire family, I'd like to extend a most hearty welcome to those cousins who came into the family fold this past week. We are very glad to have you with us and hope you'll stay and remain a part of our online family. As soon as you're comfortable with us and the list, please send in your list-surname lines so we can all see how we're related to you. We do not have a fancy format for sending in records or queries to the list. Post as many as you wish! If the data has anything to do with our list-surname ancestors that might help someone, please feel free to post it. Every scrap of information is appreciated. You're welcome to share this Coffee with your genealogy friends and relatives. If they are not members of our online family and would like to begin receiving the Coffee, they are now able to. Simply have them send a blank email to <SundayCoffeeemail@example.com>. THE FUN OF HARD DRIVE CRASH Yes, you read it right... fun during a hard drive crash! Fortunately I had everything already backed up, but wow! what a mess! Last Sunday's Coffee did not get delivered since I was offline Saturday through Tuesday this past week. Did anyone miss me??? :) My computer seems to still be on crutches here, so I'll be wiping this drive out, and starting over, I think. This will put me offline for a while again, I'm afraid. At any rate, you all now know why you missed Coffee with me last week. I do apologize. A BRICK WALL'S ORIGINS? I know that many of us wish we could visit with those who have gone before us ~ those ancestors who probably have the answers to many of our questions today. Imagine, if you will, that you have the opportunity to do just that... to go back through the centuries and have a talk with one who started it all. Keeping in mind that although you envision a warm welcome and a loving meeting of the generations with lots of information passed on and questions answered, people had personalities and not everyone thought highly of genealogy. The interview just might loosely go something like this... What you commonly know as buildings, asphalt and cement is now gone. There is nothing around you for miles with exception of trees and forest foliage. In jeans and a tank top, you feel the cool air against your skin. There are no roads but for those cut through the earth as a footpath, although one can see horses hoof prints. It's quiet here... very quiet, and a feeling of contentment comes over you ~ like coming home. Upon your arrival at a clearing you see not a brick house, but one of logs. Smoke gently wafts out of a chimney. A rocking chair, old with age, sits on a covered porch. Your eye catches a glimpse of plowed fields where corn is nearly full grown. It's clear that these people have lived here for a while. Four children come around a corner, their attentions enrapt in playing a game of tag with each other. It's obvious that one of them isn't happy after being 'tagged,' but within seconds they all bound off around another corner in a renewed bout of the game, having taken no regard that you're standing there watching them. It doesn't take long before you see a man come from behind the house. He's an old man walking the walk of the tired, whose back is slightly bent from years of hard toil. His dungarees and long-sleeved shirt are full of dust and his hat is weatherbeaten. His face is grizzled with age and he has a look of deep concentration on it. He is your great great great grandfather. "Grandfather?" "What? Who are you?" "You are not going to believe this, but I am your great great great granddaughter." You produce a picture of the old man taken when his wife was still alive and the children in their late teens. A bewildered look comes across Grandfather's face. A second man, looking to be in his early thirties and dressed much the same as the older man, comes up behind Grandfather. "Who are you?" he wants to know. "Where did you get this likeness of us?" Gesturing with my eyes toward the eldest man, "I know this is unbelieveable, but I am a descendant of this man, three generations from now." "Are you teched by the sun?" "No, really, I'm not. I have traveled back through time to come to you and meet your family. May I sit on your porch? I have some papers here (pedigree charts and family group sheets) I'd like to show you." "You'd best cover yourself up first, young lady! The womenfolk 'd have a fit to see you runnin' 'round half-naked. Here. Wrap yourself in this blanket. You're pretty nervy.... showing up 'round here like that!" The son hands you a quilt from off the back of the rocking chair. Realization that you're dressed much too improper for the time period you've escaped to, you're now feeling a real sense of embarrassmant and wrap the blanket around yourself. Wait. Haven't you seen this very quilt before? Yes! On Grandma's bed! "Grandpa! I know this blanket! Your great granddaughter will one day own it, and as a young girl, I will see it at the foot of her bed! This very quilt will become an heirloom! "Pshaw! That old thing? Ma got that from HER mother! She's the one who made it. Why would anyone keep something like that, especially from THAT old crow? Come to think of it, you got that old woman's eyes and nose. Yup, look a little like her, and you got big feet, too. You as ornery and as much of a shrew as she is?" "I don't think I'm ornery, Grandpa; but I do get assertive if someone pushes me too far." "Don't know nuthin' 'bout assertive. Yup, you must be an ornerous woman, too!" "Grandpa, I don't know how long I can be here and I probably won't be able to return. May I please ask you some questions?" "Well, that depends. Ain't nobody's business what goes on 'round here. Say, those are some strange lookin' things on your feet!" "Yes, well.... these are called tennis shoes. Please Grandpa, will you tell me who your grandparents were? And what was Grandma's maiden name?" "That is not up for discussion." "Oh. Well, how long have you lived on this land and where did you come here from?" "You sound like one 'a them danged census takers! You're one 'a them, ain't 'cha? Nosey critters, they are." "No Grandpa, I'm really not. I just want to get some answers to some questions that have plagued me for years." "Plague? You got that where you're from, too? "No Grandpa, the plague has been erradicated." "I don't know from erradicated, but every now and again one hears 'bout someone gittin' it. An evil sickness, it is." "Grandpa, when were you and Great Grandma born?" "Don't see where that is any of your business. Polite folks don't ask questions like that. You must take after your aunt, rude and all." "Grandpa, I'm really not trying to be rude. I just want some information, that's all." An older woman comes out of the house. She's heard the last statement you made and is clearly interested. You notice a resemblance between your mother's mother and her. "Grandma?" "Who are you? And what are you doin' wrapped up in that blanket on such a warm day? You sick? Is that why your hair isn't pulled up like it should be? Humpf! You're not a young maiden and yet your hair is hanging like that. You are obviously ill-bred." "Ill-bred? No, Grandma, I was raised quite properly for the time period I live in. I've simply come back through time to see you and Grandpa... to ask you some questions." The children make yet another appearance, still enthralled in their games. The realization comes to you that the younger man *may* be your great great grandfather, and one of these children your great grandfather! Amazing! "May I ask your son's name and the names of the children?" "That's something you can find in the family Bible." "The family Bible? Yes! Where IS the Bible, Grandma?" "Well now, Philena had it, last I knew." "Philena? Who is Philena?" "Philena is my aunt on Papa's side. She died after moving out on the frontier with her second husband. What *was* his name, anyway? I don't think I ever knew it." "The frontier? What is the name of the place she moved to?" "All we know is it's in the Terroritories somewhere. Ain't many towns out there yet. Now I have something to ask you." "Ask anything, Grandma!" "Is this all you have to do to fill your days? Looks to me like a strong-looking young woman like you would have to get up in the morning with chores to do." And then then entire family, except you who is left to stand on the porch, moves inside the cabin. Your research is not one bit better off than what you had in the first place. Perhaps that is why you are facing such a brick wall today ~ there wasn't anything to go on then, either. It's family ... and that's what we're all about. To those cousins with August birthdays, the family and I wish you a very happy and special day. You are loved!! I so enjoyed spending this time with you today. Thank you for sharing it with me. I wish each of you a week filled with health, productivity, fun, and above all, filled with love and inner peace. ) ( ) _.-~~-. (@\'--'/. Colleen ('``.__.'`) `..____.'
) ( ( ) Good Morning Family! ( \ .-.,--^--. ( Come on in. . . \* ) \\|`----'| - The coffee pot's on. . . .=|=. \| |// ...and we even have decaf, |~'~| | |/ tea, and hot chocolate! | | \ / _|___|_ ------ (_______) I had today's Coffee all set and ready to go when I realized I'd been contacted by a cousin regarding another new alias of our old nemesis, Family Discovery. Then, I received a second message from yet another cousin regarding scam/spam. In lieu of these new messages, I decided somebody must be telling me something! So, I've put the story aside I wrote for today, and this week I'll bring you all up to speed on the newest of the bad side of the Web to ensure you're all protected with the knowledge. Because of the nature of this Coffee, I will be sending it out to ALL my lists, including those city, county and state ones that I maintain. So, if you happen to be on one of them, this is the reason you find me joining you for coffee this morning. :) Today's topics: 1. Welcome to new cousins 2. Genealogyexperts.com ~ is it familydiscovery.com? 3. Scam/spam 4. Recommended sites TO OUR NEWEST COUSINS ~~ On behalf of the entire family, I'd like to extend a most hearty welcome to those cousins who came into the family fold this past week. We are very glad to have you with us and hope you'll stay and remain a part of our online family. As soon as you're comfortable with us and the list, please send in your list-surname lines so we can all see how we're related to you. We do not have a fancy format for sending in records or queries to the list. Post as many as you wish! If the data has anything to do with our list-surname ancestors that might help someone, please feel free to post it. Every scrap of information is appreciated. You're welcome to share this Coffee with your genealogy friends and relatives. If they are not members of our online family and would like to begin receiving the Coffee, they are now able to. Simply have them send a blank email to <SundayCoffeefirstname.lastname@example.org>. GENEALOGY EXPERTS ~ IS IT FAMILYDISCOVERY.COM? Most of us know all about these shysters. However, there are some of you who are new to the Web and don't know. This is for you: This is going to read just like my January warning! I'm sorry... but the words don't want to change... I guess it's always the same story with these people. :( "Genealogy Experts ~ it's a new commercial enterprise!" No, it isn't. This has the same trappings of Family Discovery using yet a another new alias; the same ploy as before ~ just with a new wrapping. Avoid them like you would any of Family Discovery's other "enterprises." Tender newbies, the subject of Family Discovery is NOT new and yes, they are rip-offs. This is an old subject among those of us who have been doing online genealogy for at least the last two years. The storyline changes a little, but the players are all the same, and you should be aware... Family Discovery and their alias sites (below) links their pages to free Rootsweb <http://www.rootsweb.com> sites and archive pages, USGenWeb sites, and privately owned sites by way of frames ... sites on which all the information is already free. Unless the attached site has some sort of identifier on each page, you the viewer, will not realize that you're viewing free pages and *paying* for the "privilege" of doing so! Family Discovery is doing this without permission and have been under investigation by at least two states' attorneys for the past two years. Now, while I'm at it, you need to know those other aliases so you're not taken in. Following is a list of sites associated with Family Discovery domain owners in one way or another: genealogydevelopments.com familydiscovery.com genealogyfinders.com genealogyfinders.net aboent.com genlocator.com genseeker.com genseekers.com genealogy-express.com Most of the above sites bill themselves as "the most comprehensive easy to use collection of online records ever compiled," or something close to it. Of course it is, if they link to every free website they can find! Save your money and do the search yourself! You DO NOT need to pay for a service that is already free if you know where to look. If you need assistance, send a message to the list and state in the top line of your message that you're a newbie needing help; you'll probably get more than you can handle! :) Census Diggins <http://www.censusdiggins.com/familydiscovery.html> has messages online from quite a few people who have stepped forward to tell you of their dealings with Family Discovery and some of their aliases. If you haven't done it already, it would be in your best interests to check it out, if only for a quick look. You newbies to online genealogy would be especially wise to go to this site and read what others are saying so you won't be ripped off. Jeff Scism has a lot of this in BIG, BLACK, BOLD lettering (really) on this page <http://blacksheep.rootsweb.com/shame/genealogyexperts.htm>. Between Census Diggins and Jeff's Blacksheep page, you'll certainly understand why I'm devoting half of this Coffee to a warning. Just please, remember the above list of aliases. These people will take your money, giving you little to nothing in return, and from their past history will not answer any of your messages. Hide your wallet, checkbook, credit card, and run! :) SPAM/SCAM This subject is one that, if not careful, could cost you your life savings. The second message I received said: "Larry Elder <KABC Talk Radio host> mentioned the Nigerian spam and how people ARE actually being taken in by it." If you receive this spam, the government wants you to send it to them at one of two addresses <email@example.com> or <firstname.lastname@example.org>. They are doing an investigation to get these people shut down. You'll need to forward the received message WITH THE FULL HEADERS. See the link to Gene Olson's site (below) where you can find instructions on how to open the full headers in a message. A site called Internet Scambusters <http://www.scambusters.org/Scambusters52.html> is dedicated to spreading the word about every scam they find out about. It's one you definitely want to visit. They have a newsletter that I receive that helps me stay ahead of these ripoffs; you might want to begin receiving it, yourself. EIGHT TIPS TO AVOID BEING TAKEN: 1.) Don't ever buy an item that you learn about via bulk email ("spam"). Your chances of receiving the item *at all* are only 45%, and the chance of your getting what you think at a reasonable price (so you're happy with the transaction) is less than 5%. In other words, "If it's spam, it's scam." 2. Always use a credit card to purchase online. This protects you. Your maximum exposure is $50, and often you won't even lose that amount if you get scammed. 3. If you are buying something at a reputable online auction site, always check out the references for the seller and only buy from sellers who have good references. Take advantage of online auction guarantees, such as those offered by amazon.com. 4. Don't conduct business with an anonymous user. Get the person's real name, business name (if applicable), address, and phone number. Verify this information before buying. And don't send your payment to a post office box. 5. Be more cautious if the seller uses a free email service, such as hotmail, yahoo, etc. Of course, most people who use these free services are honest. However, most problems occur when a free service is used. After all, with a free email service, it is very easy for the seller to keep his or her real identity and information hidden. 6. If the unsubscribe address is at a generic domain like Yahoo or Hotmail, chances are that your request will never be opened. On the other hand, if the site the spam mail is advertising has a quality domain, and the return address is within that domain, it's much more likely that the message will be read and may even be acted upon. 7. Save copies of all of the emails and other documents involved in the transaction. Then, if you discover that an item is counterfeit or not as advertised, you have documentation to help you deal with the problem. 8. Use common sense and trust your intuition. If you have a funny feeling about an item, don't buy it. You're very likely right that it is counterfeit. RECOMMENDED SITES Bad Business Web Site <http://www.compuright.net/EWOlson/badbusiness/> will give you instructions on how to forward an e-mail with the complete headers ~ something you need to know in order to forward spam/scam messages to the government and spam- or scam-reporting sites. Internet Fraud Complaint Center <http://www.ifccfbi.gov> is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National White Collar Crime Center which addresses fraud committed over the Internet by providing an easy to use way of alerting the authorities. ScamWatch <http://www.scamwatch.com> provides complete fraud Protection services for the entire Web community. These services include investigation, tracking, recording and removal of fraudulent activities (scams) on the Internet. Most services are available 24 hours a day and are cost free. [NOTE: Due to inadequate funding for their sites, Web Police, InterGOV, and all related agencies curtailed "all non-essential" services to the Internet community on July 22nd. It appears though, that you can still report a scam.] Victim-Assistance Online <http://www.vaonline.org> is a non-profit organization serving the international community. They are an on-line reference and communications resource for victim assistance service and support organizations, the staff and volunteers of these organizations, professionals in related fields and the general public. Our ancestors didn't have to put up with shysters in the same way we do today. Today we are almost required for our own survival to be one step ahead of "them" and certainly to be aware. It's my hope that this Coffee, if you didn't already know, has done that for you. It's family ... and that's what we're all about. I so enjoyed spending this time with you today. Thank you for sharing it with me. I wish each of you a week filled with health, productivity, fun, and above all, filled with love and inner peace. ) ( ) _.-~~-. (@\'--'/. Colleen ('``.__.'`) `..____.'
Hi everyone, You have days... and then you have days! I think I had one of "those" days when I was doing today's Coffee. I have two days totally, totally wrong in the young girl's journal ... where it reads Saturday, March 5, 1893 it should read Saturday, March 5, 1836 Sunday, March 6, 1893 should read Sunday, March 6, 1836 All the proofreaders I had, including me, never caught these glaring mistakes. I do apologize. I hope you're all having a WONDERFUL Sunday and enjoying the Coffee! :) Colleen
February 29, 1836 The weather cleared up a little today and it was nice and warm with temperatures up to 55 degrees. The youngers and I even got to go outside for about half-hour to play. It was nice to be outdoors again. The worst part of today was the fact that Santa Anna has moved his army closer to our walls! They have stayed up and we don't have holes in them yet. Papa says though, if the cannons start shooting at us again, that it won't be long before we do have holes. I hope their cannons break! March 1, 1836 Hurray! More men arrived from Gonzales to help reinforce us. Thirty-two men came today! Maybe we will be okay through all of this! March 2, 1836* More heavy bombardment today. My ears are beginning to hurt from all the noise and I want to go home. Even doing my chores sounds good now! [*A convention held in Washington-on-the Brazos this day declared Texas an independent Republic. The men in the Alamo were unaware of this significant Texan event, but they would have been happy about it, had they known.] Thursday, March 3, 1836 Colonel Bonham returned today after trying to get help from Colonel Fannin. Nobody came with him.* In one of the quiet moments from the cannons, I sneaked a peak over one of the walls yesterday, and now I wish I hadn't. All the ground all around us is covered with men, horses and cannons pointed right at us! I don't think I will ever walk out of the Alamo again and I'm scared more than I have ever been in my life. The whole ground outside the walls is covered. There are so many men out there!*(2) [*(1) Colonel Travis' letters actually brought more than 200 volunteers to help the Alamo defenders. They'd gathered at Gonzales in preparation to march to the Alamo's relief when news of its fall reached the town. It was this collection of men that formed the main body of Sam Houston's army that eventually defeated Santa Anna at San Jacinto in April, 1836. (2)Santa Anna has amassed an army of 4,000 troops against the 189 defenders of the Alamo.] Colonel Travis said he sent a message today that said if the Convention does not declare independence for Texas, he will lay down his arms and so will his men. But, if they do declare Independence, he and the men here will fight to their deaths. Papa!... Friday, March 4, 1836* The Mexican army moved closer again today. They are now about 200 yards from the north wall now. Our north and west walls are being blasted today. I am sorry, Papa. I cannot write today for I am too frightened of what I am thinking, of what I am seeing. I am afraid for our lives. [*On March 4th, 1836 General Santa Anna held a council of war and laid out his plans for taking the Alamo by storm. Meanwhile, William Travis sent a message to David Ayers saying, "Take care of my little boy. If the country should be saved, I may make for him a splendid fortune; but if the country be lost and I should perish, he will have nothing but the proud recollection that he is the son of a man who died for his country."] Saturday, March 5, 1893 I thought yesterday that I was frightened. Tonight I am terrified again. As the sun began to set this evening, Colonel Travis called all the men into the courtyard of the Alamo and told them there is no hope of more help coming to our aid. He drew a line on the ground with the tip of his sword and offered all the men a final choice. He offered them the chance to escape the Mission before it was too late, with the promise that they would go with his blessing. Just one man took him up on the offer, and Travis was true to his word. With a handshake, Travis bid him safe passage through the enemy lines. Every last man but for the one crossed the line that day, including the ailing Colonel Bowie who asked that his cot be carried across. Then Colonel Travis turned back to the rest of his men." Those of you prepared to give their lives in freedom's cause, come over to me." ~~Unknown to our young writer, at 1:00 a.m. on the morning of Sunday, March 6, 1893, Santa Anna moved 1,400 of his Mexican troops into forward positions against the Alamo. More were on the ready. ~~ Sunday, March 6, 1893 Help us, someone help us! At 5:00 a.m. the world began crashing down on the Alamo! I heard the Mexican bugler sound 'Deguello'. Papa was on the north wall and yelled to everyone that four columns of the Mexican army were advancing on us. The youngers and I must hide NOW! Mother! Where are you? [*On March 6, when Santa Anna received reinforcements, his batteries smashed open two breaches in the walls. In the cold pre-dawn, 2,500 assault troops with scaling ladders closed in on all four sides of the Alamo. Three sentries outside the walls were bayoneted before they could cry out. Then followed a bugler blast, bands blaring the soul-chlling strains of 'Deguello,' and the roar of cannonading and musketry.] Sunday, March 6, 1893 My whole world has come down on me. Mother sits by the fire, not talking, not looking at me. Her face is full of dirt smudges from crying so much. She looks like she was one of the fighters. I have cried until I don't think I have any more tears left in me. Papa died today. All the men in the Alamo died today. When we left, I saw the Alamo's walls full of holes and areas with no longer any walls. I saw so much blood and so many dead men. I won't ever forget this, but for Papa, I will finish my writings of today: When Papa yelled the warning on the north wall, all the men ran to their fighting positions. They held off the Mexican attacks twice. But the Mexicans finally breeched the north wall after some real bad fighting and a lot of Mexicans being killed or wounded. Once the Mexicans got through the holes in the walls, fighting broke out everywhere in the Mission. They just kept coming and coming. Mother, the youngers and I were hiding in a store room behind bushels of corn. Some Mexican soldiers found us, but they didn't hurt any of us. I was terrified! They left us in the storeroom, but came again later after most of the fighting was over and took all of us out of there. When we were taken from the storeroom, fighting was still going on in the church. In the CHURCH! It was all over by 6:30 a.m. A brand new Sunday had just begun and here we were, in all this terrible battle. I saw Papa. There he was, on the ground under rubble from the smashed wall, dead. Mother started screaming and tried to go to him, but the soldiers wouldn't let her. I saw Colonel Travis dead, too. All the men we knew are dead. All of them. My heart hurts so bad. Mother, the other women, 2 slaves, the youngers and I get to live. A total of sixteen people are the only survivors. Santa Anna wants us to tell everyone what happened. People can read my journal if they want to know. Good bye, Papa. I love you. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What our young writer did not know was that all bodies were burned at the order of Santa Anna. Those men that were still alive, were also burned. The bloody siege and battle of the Alamo was over. One-hundred eighty-nine defenders held the old mission against 4,000 Mexican troops for 13 days. Except for a handful of men who had arrived with Travis and Bowie, the majority of the Alamo defenders were not professional soldiers. They were San Antonio citizens, both Mexican and American ~ farmers who stayed to defend the land they had worked so hard to call their own. It was a costly victory for Santa Anna, indeed. For in addition to the dreadful number of losses of his soldiers, in his blind determination to take the Alamo, Santa Anna also lost Texas. While Santa Anna dictated an announcement of glorious victory in the Battle of the Alamo, his aide, Colonel Juan Almonte, privately noted: "One more such glorious victory and we are finished." Forty-six days later, with the battle cry, "Remember the Alamo!," General Sam Houston and the Texan army defeated the Mexican forces in the Battle of San Jacinto. Texans had revolted and won their independence April 21, 1836, on the battleground near Houston. And, from March 6, 1836 on, the Mission San Antonio de Valero was permanently etched in the annals of history as "The Alamo." The brave men who died there, did not die in vain. DID YOU KNOW...? ... that the name "Texas" comes from the Hasinai Indian word 'tejas' which means friends or allies? ... that as a territory, country and state, Texas is the only state to have been governed under six different flags? They are: Spain, 1519-1685; 1690-1821; France, 1685-1690; Mexico, 1821-1836; Republic of Texas, 1836-1845; The Confederacy, 1861-1865; The United States, 1845-1861; 1895-present. ... that the Mexican General, Santa Anna, was so terrified of water that he could barely bring himself to cross a river? ... that in the 1890's, longhorn cattle outnumbered the people in Texas, 9 to 1? ... that Texas has more counties (254) than any other state? ... that the total area of Texas (266,807 square miles) is large enough to cover all of New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois combined? Forty-one of Texas' counties are each larger than the state of Rhode Island. RECOMMENDED SITE ** The Alamo <http://www.thealamo.org> ~ an indepth look at the Alamo, her defenders, and the battle. Of special note are two pages: "Alamo Myths and Misconceptions" <http://www.thealamo.org/alamo_myths_and_misconceptions.htm> ~ one you don't want to miss! "Frequently Asked Questions <http://www.thealamo.org/faqs.html> ~ which answers so many questions you almost learn the whole story right here! It's always good to learn about the events that occurred during our ancestor's lives. Those same events usually molded around our relatives, causing them to do things we might otherwise question. After all, it's family ... and that's what we're all about. I so enjoyed spending this time with you today. Thank you for sharing it with me. I wish each of you a week filled with health, productivity, fun, and above all, filled with love and inner peace. ) ( ) _.-~~-. (@\'--'/. Colleen ('``.__.'`) `..____.'
) ( ( ) Good Morning Family! ( \ .-.,--^--. ( Come on in. . . \* ) \\|`----'| - The coffee pot's on. . . .=|=. \| |// ...and we even have decaf, |~'~| | |/ tea, and hot chocolate! | | \ / _|___|_ ------ (_______) Today's topics include: 1. Welcome to new cousins 2. Thirteen Days Over Texas 3. Did you know...? 4. Recommended site TO OUR NEWEST COUSINS ~~ On behalf of the entire family, I'd like to extend a most hearty welcome to those cousins who came into the family fold this past week. We are very glad to have you with us and hope you'll stay and remain a part of our online family. As soon as you're comfortable with us and the list, please send in your list-surname lines so we can all see how we're related to you. We do not have a fancy format for sending in records or queries to the list. Post as many as you wish! If the data has anything to do with our list-surname ancestors that might help someone, please feel free to post it. Every scrap of information is appreciated. You're welcome to share this Coffee with your genealogy friends and relatives. If they are not members of our online family and would like to begin receiving the Coffee, they are now able to. Simply have them send a blank email to <SundayCoffeeemail@example.com>. THIRTEEN DAYS OVER TEXAS Today's Coffee subject is from a request. A subscriber to the list, the grandmother of a 10-year old girl, wrote to me, telling me that her granddaughter was to take Texas history in this upcoming school year and that she (the granddaughter) thinks it will be boorrrinnng! So, I dedicate today's Coffee to this young girl, whose name I still don't know! :) I hope you find this story an interesting one. The story and all events are factual; the journal, its writer and her feelings are my creation, though the day-to-day events in the journal are historical fact. My intent is not only to pass along the event of what happened, but the emotions of a young girl who might have been there, witnessing all of it. You may not be researching anyone in Texas, but its history is a fascinating read, and I hope the 10-year old girl to whom this is dedicated will come away from the story with an understanding of one part of Texas history and not have found it boring For the sake of length, I'll discuss just one tiny piece of Texas' history ~ her shrine, the Alamo, located in San Antonio. But first, an overview of the situation... In 1718, by authority of Spain's Viceroy of Mexico, Father Antonio de Olivares established the Mission San Antonio de Valero, the first of five Spanish missions founded in San Antonio for the purpose of Christianizing and educating the Indians. The four-acre mission included stone living and teaching quarters for the converted Indians and a two-story building for the monks. The various buildings were situated around a green, irrigated plaza and enclosed by a thick, quadrangle wall. The mission's activities eventually ceased and, in 1793, it was abandoned. It was before Mexico's revolution from Spanish rule that a company of Spanish soldiers from Alamo del Parras in Mexico, used the mission buildings as a barracks. They continued to occupy the Mission until 1830 when it was abandoned once more, this time for a two year period during the company's occupation of Fort Tenoxtitlan in Southeast Texas. The failure of that endeavor returned the company to the fort in 1832 where they remained until December 10, 1835 when General Cos surrendered at the "Battle of Béxar." In the early 1800s, few people lived in the Mexican territory of Texas. Around 1820 however, Mexico, of which Texas was a part, encouraged the settlement of Americans on Texan land. It granted them large tracts on the sole condition that the settlers would recognize the authority of the Mexican law. Word of Mexico's liberal land policies spread like wildfire across the southern United States and through the Mississippi River valley and shortly, thousands of colonists moved to the new territories. In 1824, Mexico drew up a Constitution which made Texas a separate department (state), guaranteed state's rights, permitted slavery, called for a president to be elected every four years, called for a Senate with two members from each state, and called for a member in Congress from each Mexican state for each 80,000 in population. All men, whether Indian, Negro, Mexican, Mestizo or Mullato were equal, and every man 18 years of age could vote. The Texians were Mexican citizens and agreed to fight under Mexico's flag of 1824. During the next decade the population of colonists increased at a steady pace. By 1830, twenty-thousand Americans had settled in Texas. Although the Mexican government considered these new settlers to be Mexicans, most of the settlers still thought of themselves as Americans, or simply as Texians, a combined name of Texan and Mexican. Mexicans and Americans alike had settled the Texas territory with the security of the 1824 Mexican constitution and the promise of land to call their own. For more than a decade after Mexico became independent, hardy pioneers from the Hispanic south and the Anglo north flowed into Texas. It was a frontier region for both. After some time, however, the different social and political attitudes began to separate the two cultures. When Mexico passed a law against slavery, the Texians simply ignored it. Texas was far enough away from the Mexican government, so Texas planters felt safe in keeping slaves. But the Mexican government didn't approve of the way the Texians were acting and in 1830, passed another law against slavery. It also said that no more settlers could come into Texas from the United States ~ a law which infuriated the Texians. The final break came in 1833 with the rise of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna Perez de Lebron as President of Mexico. He quickly transformed the Presidency into a dictatorship, declared Mexico not yet ready for democratic government, abolished the constitution of 1824, and overturned the land deals offered by the former Mexican government. And just as quickly, the Texians began to show their disapproval. The fall of 1835, on the eve of the Texas Revolution, saw about 34,000 settlers residing in Texas, and they revolted. Texians believed the new system interfered with their rights and it ultimately convinced both Anglo colonists and many Mexicans in Texas that they had nothing to gain by remaining under the Mexican government. On October 2nd, 1835, the curtain on the Texas Revolution rose with the first shot fired in Gonzales. In December of 1835, San Antonio de Bexar was under the control of Mexican General Perfecto de Cos with about 1,200 soldiers from Mexico. Starting before daybreak on December 5, Texans began a siege against those in San Antonio. For the next four days, against heavy odds in both men and artillery, the Texans fought. At daybreak on December 9, Cos signaled a Mexican truce. In exchange for the parole and return of Cos and his men to Mexico, the Texians gained all of the public property, guns and ammunition in San Antonio. During the siege, four Texians were killed and fifteen wounded. They gained, however, one of the most important strongholds in Texas. After losing San Antonio to the Texans during the siege of Bexar, Mexican General Santa Anna determined to retake this key location and at the same time impress upon the Texans the futility of further resistance to Mexican rule. With these goals, Santa Anna's army started arriving in San Antonio on February 23, 1836 and it's here our story begins... February 23, 1836 Papa has asked me to keep a record as best I can of what happens here, so I will try. I am frightened, so frightened. Last night, Papa moved us into the old mission with 157 other Texans. He says it isn't safe for us to remain at home. General Santa Anna has moved troops into San Antonio and demanded our surrender. Colonel William Travis, one of the commanders here, answered Santa Anna's demand with an 18-pound shot from the cannon. (Colonel Jim Bowie commands the volunteers.) This is not good. There are only a few children here plus myself. At ten, I am the oldest child, so I must take care of the others and keep them out of the way. The noise from the cannon has scared all of us and the babies are crying for their mothers who cannot come to us. Mother and the other women are helping the men by bringing them water and ammunition, making meals, and taking care of anyone who is hurt. Colonel Travis sent two scouts to Gonzales today with an appeal for assistance. I hope help comes soon. February 24, 1836 We are being bombarded! Since early this morning Mexican cannons have been shooting at the walls that protect us! The other children and I are quite terrified! Papa says nobody has been killed yet, so that is good. As long as I can see Papa and Mother, I think I can be strong for the youngers. In San Antonio this morning I saw the deadly, blood-red flag rise. Papa says it declared that no quarter would be given. Does this mean I am to perish here? Will I see my eleventh birthday? [*Massed bands played the attacking columns into action, and the tune they blared carried the same menace as the flag. It was "Deguello" ~ an old Moorish chant summoning men to the cutting of throats and implying that no man in the Alamo would be spared his life.] Mr. Bowie is getting pneumonia, has a real bad cough and must take to his bed. He gave his command over to Colonel Travis. Today Colonel Travis sent a letter addressed "To The People of Texas & all Americans in the world." [What our young writer doesn't know is that it wasn't just cannons that were being used on the walls. Heavy cannons and two howitzers were being used against them at a distance of just 400 yards from the walls.] February 25, 1836 We are still being bombarded. Mexican cannons are now sitting just across the river about 300 yards from us. I am so tired because I can't sleep from all the noise from the batteries. All the men that are able to safely leave the walls are digging trenches and piling the dirt up against the walls to strengthen them. The Mexican army has been encircling the Mission on all sides with entrenchments. We are becoming totally locked-up in here! So far, nobody has been hurt or killed from the bombardment, yet. Papa did get scratched from pieces of flying rock off the wall, but scratches don't mean 'hurt'. Colonel Travis sent a letter of appeal to Sam Houston today. Please someone, come and help us! February 26, 1836 Some of the men snuck out of the Mission today and made a raid on LaVillita and burned several homes that the Mexicans were hiding behind. Last night the Mexican army tried to charge the rear of the Mission, but our little army fought back with grape shot and muskets and stopped them cold. I heard Papa tell Mother that the Mexican army is now encamped in entrenchments on all sides of us. February 27, 1836 The bombardment is still going on. I was so tired that I even slept through the noise last night. Mother and Papa come to us when they can and it makes me glad to be able to see them. I am so scared for all of us that I think even school would be a good thing right now. On top of all the noise and fear, we now have the weather to put up with. The temperature has dropped to 39 degrees. Mother has only her shawl and Papa has only a light coat. I have my coat, but it doesn't fit either of them. Colonel Travis sent a scout today seeking help from Colonel Fannin who is in Goliad. Colonel Travis is certainly trying very hard to get help for us here. February 28, 1836 I didn't get to see much of Mother or Papa today at all. The garrison is low on food and nobody got any rest. Santa Anna's tactics of harassment are having an effect on all of us. Why doesn't he just GO HOME and leave us alone? A new Mexican battery arrived and was placed about 800 yards to the north of us. Now there will be even more cannons shooting at us! ~~~END OF PART I. PLEASE CHECK YOUR INBOX FOR PART II.~~~
Hi everyone, I just wanted to remind you that there won't be a Sunday Morning Coffee this week. I need this week to catch up on some very backlogged email, and I'll join you again next Sunday, July 21st. I wish you all have a week filled with love and happiness. :) Colleen
Hi everyone, It occurred to me only today (I've been sleeping...) that you're all sitting out there bored... nothing to do... :) CHALLENGE TIME! Now that we've finished The Overland Experience, this would be a good time to tell all of us about your ancestors who moved from one place to another. Did any of YOUR ancestors take the Oregon Trail, or ANY migration route? If so, what's their story? Even if they weren't one of the overlanders, did they move? Spread the word about those pioneering ancestors and BE PROUD of them! :) Also, I realized I neglected our July babies! If you're one of Cancer's/early Leo's children, the family and I would like to wish you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! :) I wish you all just a SUPER Sunday! :) Colleen
) ( ( ) Good Morning Family! ( \ .-.,--^--. ( Come on in. . . \* ) \\|`----'| - The coffee pot's on. . . .=|=. \| |// ...and we even have decaf, |~'~| | |/ tea, and hot chocolate! | | \ / _|___|_ ------ (_______) Today's topics include: 1. Welcome to new cousins 2. Please note... 3. The Overland Experience, Part VI 4. Did you know...? 5. Recommended sites TO OUR NEWEST COUSINS ~~ On behalf of the entire family, I'd like to extend a most hearty welcome to those cousins who came into the family fold this past week. We are very glad to have you with us and hope you'll stay and remain a part of our online family. As soon as you're comfortable with us and the list, please send in your list-surname lines so we can all see how we're related to you. We do not have a fancy format for sending in records or queries to the list. Post as many as you wish! If the data has anything to do with our list-surname ancestors that might help someone, please feel free to post it. Every scrap of information is appreciated. You're welcome to share this Coffee with your genealogy friends and relatives. If they are not members of our online family and would like to begin receiving the Coffee, they are now able to. Simply have them send a blank email to <SundayCoffeefirstname.lastname@example.org>. PLEASE NOTE... Cousins, I remind you all that I did NOT move to Oregon. I'm still happily sitting here in Colorado with my soldier-husband. Many of you are missing parts of the story. I want you to know I've received your messages. I will send everyone those Coffees they are missing when the story is finished today. *PLEASE*... if you need a resend of installments, be sure to TELL ME WHICH LIST YOU'RE ON so I can send you the proper one. Thanks. :) I also need to let you know that there will be NO COFFEE NEXT WEEK. I'm getting very behind in answering my email due to a project I've been working on. I want to use next Sunday as a "catch-up" day. If something important comes along that I need to let you know about, the Coffee will be an abbreviated one about that particular notice. THE OVERLAND EXPERIENCE, Part VI Sunday, November 6, 1853 We're at the Malheur River cold and tired. We only covered 13 miles today, but considering the overall health of the animals and humans, I guess 13 miles was pretty good. Snow fell some last night and made our trip all the more difficult today. Our oldest daughter turned 10 yesterday! How big she's getting. I suspected that I would have to start seving before we reached Oregon and I was right. Her dresses became so short and so tight that some of them she could not wear at all. Two weeks ago I opened the chest in the wagon and from it took a beautiful piece of orange-and-black-checked gingham I had brought with us. The checks were tiny and so pretty our daughter was delighted when she learned that she was to have a new dress for her birthday. I made it evenings, sitting on the ground. Our daughter was thrilled to wear something new that fit properly. I have not mentioned this before but I guess I will here. There is one party at which everyone looks with scorn. The women do not wear dresses. Their clothes look strange and funny. They wear long basque-like coats and ankle-length trousers and climb about as easily as my daughter does in her short dresses. How they shocked the rest of the train! The rest of the women and I have snubbed those women. Their lack of decency is indeed shameful!* [Note: What would those same women say if they could see how their own female descendants dress today!! <g>] Thursday, November 10, 1853 Today was hard day, to be sure. The road was bad and we must have crossed the Burnt River 15 times. We are lucky we have not had to fight iced rivers thus far. I believe we may have covered only 6 miles. One party's wagon broke a wheel on rock and tipped. Their youngest boy was trapped and badly injured. One of their oxen was killed. It took all of us hours to unload, set the wagon up and repair the wheel. We pulled up out of the canyon and made camp in an area where the grass was poor. The cattle are restless caused by wolves that have been howling and pacing around so close to camp. My husband says they were attracted to the oxen carcass. We took what we could use but the wolves will have their share. Saturday, November 12, 1853 It was another hard pull today, but we made 16 miles in slick mud caused by steady rain . It was just a cold, bleak day. We finally found some grass and water here in the valley, though the grass probably isn't as sweet as it would have been had we arrived here earlier. I have noticed how very dry my skin is now. With the cold weather it itches greatly and I would be ever so happy for some soothing salve to put on it. I have also been suffering by being nauseous every morning. I do hope we arrive at our destination soon! My husband, the children and I are so terribly thin from improper nourishment and all the strenous activity we have had these past months. Dinner tonight was soup made of one raven, a hawk and a rabbit; not much for sustenance. The little boy who was injured Thursday was buried today in the hard and rocky ground yesterday. We ran our wagons over and over the grave in an attempt to hide it from the wolves. I empathize with his mother, for I still mourn for my own little ones. Thursday, November 17, 1853 It rained on all night last night and faced another cold, dreary day. We came into the beautiful Grande Ronde Valley off a very steep hill, and I wondered if the Willamette Valley will be as pretty. There are waterfowl all over the valley in a vast marsh. When we camped Indians brought fresh salmon and vegetables to trade. We traded three knives for all they had. We stopped yesterday and today to let the oxen rest and recover from sore feet. It rained both days. The captain says we will need this rest for we will soon cross the now snowy-filled Blue Mountains and will need all the energy we can gather to make that part of the Trail. They are beautiful but frightening, and we are told the first ridge is the hardest of all. We leave tomorrow morning and everyone has made comment about the snow on them. We bought and traded for salmon and other supplies from local Indians and a small trading post. Sunday, November 20, 1853 We have been in the Blue Mountains for three days now. Soon after starting out on Friday we struck the snow. We traveled in it all day and it got deeper as we went. That night when we camped, we had to scratch the now away to make our fire. We made ourselves as comfortable as we could under the circumstances. Water is good, but there is very little grass now. My husband has had to pasture cattle a mile or more away from the train several times. Food has been pretty thin until today. Animals are just not found very close to the Trail, none except for scavengers, wolves, buzzards and crows. We have barely 3 pounds of flour left and I wonder how soon it will be before we have completely run out of food. Monday, November 21, 1853 Today was a big day for my husband for he killed a bull elk! He is so proud! We'll have meat for a while now. The Trail is smooth here, the grass is almost nonexistent, but the water is good. We are traveling through very large pine trees. From where the cattle are being held I am told one can see many miles out into a vast treeless, wasteland. I hope we can get through it without incident. Thursday, November 24, 1853 We made 16 miles today again in steady rain. The grass is poor and water for the stock is hard to get to and the cattle had to be set out almost 2 miles away. Any grass near the camping areas has been sheared off to the ground. No trees, no wood, no shade anywhere. The only good thing about this land is the size of the rabbits which are very big with lighter color than most of the others we've seen. They still need a long time cooking, though. During a short break in the rain we thought we could see moutains west of here today. Those would be the Cascades. Getting pretty close. Friday, November 25, 1853 I began this day with three fine children. Now I have only two. I don't want to write anymore but my husband says that I must, as a remembrance. It has rained for the last two days, making the roads so slick that the oxen fall in their traces and we must all push across the worst spots. We came to the John Day River when it was high and muddy; few wanted to cross. The threat of even higher water and oncoming winter snows made us hurry though. Our wagon tipped while our seven year old, in the wagon only because of a small fever, was caught beneath. The captain says we will lay by tomorrow to bury our son and try to dry out. Saturday, November 26, 1853 I don't believe I can bear anymore sadness. My despair is such that I am ready to stop right here and remain near the son we put in the ground just a few hours ago. We ran the wagons over his grave and as we drove away, I felt my soul rent for a third time. Will I ever feel happiness again? Where I was barely tolerating the loss of my two earlier, we lose yet another one. Where we started this trip with five children, we now have two. Where we started this trip with two sons and three daughters, we now have two daughters. I had never seen my husband cry. Today he cried for all our babies, now angels. Thursday, June 27, 2002 Whew! Today was a HOT one! I'm sure the temperatures were in the 90's, but the humidity was stifling. Of course, the van's air conditioner was on the whole time! The hassle of moving is getting to everyone. We looked at what must have been our hundredth house today. What a pain to have to keep looking around! However, we've finally decided on one and put our earnest money down. The realtor will let us know tomorrow whether or not the current owners will accept our bid. It's a 2900 square foot, four-bedroom, three-bath home with a family room, formal living and dining rooms. There is a huge back yard with a cedar deck and room for us to lay in an inground swimming pool, if we decide to. Without saying, of course the house has central air. I've had enough of living in a hotel; the expense is becoming too much. I just hope the owners will accept our bid and allow us to move in while we wait for the closing. November 28, 1853 We arrived at the Columbia River last evening and traded for a quantity of smoked salmon with Indians who fish from rocks with spears and nets. Our hope is that the smoked fish will last until we get to the Willamette Valley. We have to hire Indians with rafts to take us downriver so we will lay by for a few days waiting for rafts to be available. One of the men will take our cattle with his along the river banks and we will help his wife get her wagon and belongings to the valley by raft. Friday, June 28, 2002 Success! The owners accepted our bid and, realizing our plight of living in a hotel, are allowing us to move into the house before the closing. We move in TOMORROW. Hurray! November 30, 1853 Tomorrow we head west on the river. It will be the end of our jouney and the beginning of our lives in this Oregon Territory. I have very mixed emotions right now. I am very scared about rafting on the Columbia River which is full of rapids and dangerous currents,* despondent over losing our three children, yet at the same time I am excited at finally ending this experience and beginning anew. [*Many emigrants lost their lives rafting the Columbia, almost within sight of their goal. Yet at this point, it was the fastest route to travel to Oregon City.] We have another set of plans awaiting us once we are in Oregon City* but it will not mean a lot of traveling. After picking up supplies to last us through the winter, we will stay in or around Oregon City this winter. The wagon will continue to be our home ~ we will simply take it apart, use the wood and canvas top to build a temporary home. Then, next spring, move on to our final destination where we will stake out our homestead and build a permanent one. [*The Oregon Trail actually ended here, and so does our story. Oregon City was not quite 2,000 miles from Independence, Missouri.] A final word: I'm extremely happy so many of you have enjoyed "The Overland Experience." It was such a pleasure creating each of the installments. There are many, many Oregon Trail stories and experiences that I have not even touched ~ not because I didn't want to, but because the size of the Coffees would have been too extreme. I hope these small segments in the lives of our emigrant ancestors have opened even a tiny window into what they went through to establish the Pacific states. After doing this story, my appreciation for everything we have today is just all the greater and I am in awe of those pioneering spirits! DID YOU KNOW... ... the first emigrants to Oregon went by ship before the Trail was established? The sea journey often took up to a full year, the far was very expensive and few pioneer families could afford it. Ships continued to travel to Oregon even after the overland migrations began, but they were not popular among the pioneers. ... that the Oregon Trail has been known by many names? - the Platte Trail, the Great Platte Trail, the Emigrant Road, the Road to Oregon, the Oregon Trace, and the Oregon and California Trail. Parts of it were also part of the Santa Fe Trail, the Mormon Trail, the Overland Trail, or the Great Salt Lake Trail. Indians called it the Great Medicine Road or the White Topped Wagon Trail. ... the 1850 census showed that 12,093 people lived in Oregon? In 1860, one year after Oregon attained statehood, 52,495 were counted. ... the wagons usually measured just 4 feet wide by 12 feet long? Into those 48 square feet were supplies for traveling the trail and beginning a new life at the other end. The emphasis was on tools and foot, but a few family trasurers and heirlooms were also carried. Using the wagon as a shelter was secondary. ... that in the early years the Oregon Trail was marked only by a sign where it left the Santa Fe Trail that merely said "The road to Oregon." ... that many emigrants tasted Pacific salmon for the first time at Fort Hall (now in Idaho)? ... that the first wheeled vehicle to complete the journey over the trail was in 1841? The first actual wagon train was in 1843. .. that the Oregon Trail was the transcontinental lifeline for 20 years? It began in the late 1840s and continued until the completion of the Union Pacific route in 1869. ... that wheel ruts, cut into stone by the wheels of the traveller's wagons, are still visible today? ... that those emigrants arriving by river landed near Governor George Abernethy's house and proceeded to Abernethy Green, a large meadow behind Abernethy's house. The Barlow Road travelers entered Abernethy Green from the east. This was the final campground. Want to read more? Here are some... RECOMMENDED SITES: Duniway, Abigail Scott: "Journal of a Trip to Oregon" Abigail Scott Duniway,an Oregon and Pacific Northwest leader in the suffrage movement for 41 years, traveled to Oregon in 1852. <http://cateweb.uoregon.edu/duniway/notes/DiaryProof1.html>. Elgin, James Henry: Over the Plains 50 Years Ago written by James Elgin in 1902 for the Oregonian. James was 18 when he traveled west in 1852 with his parents and siblings. <http://www.elgins.com/OregonTrail.htm>. Bureau of Land Management Wyoming: The Oregon Trail 1843-1868. Not as informative as the others, but has all the other cutoffs listed. <http://www.wy.blm.gov/histrails/ortrail.htm> It's family ... and that's what we're all about. I so enjoyed spending this time with you today. Thank you for sharing it with me. I wish each of you a week filled with health, productivity, fun, and above all, filled with love and inner peace. ) ( ) _.-~~-. (@\'--'/. Colleen ('``.__.'`) `..____.'
) ( ( ) Good Morning Family! ( \ .-.,--^--. ( Come on in. . . \* ) \\|`----'| - The coffee pot's on. . . .=|=. \| |// ...and we even have decaf, |~'~| | |/ tea, and hot chocolate! | | \ / _|___|_ ------ (_______) Today's topics include: 1. Welcome to new cousins 2. The Overland Experience, Part V 3. A short note TO OUR NEWEST COUSINS ~~ On behalf of the entire family, I'd like to extend a most hearty welcome to those cousins who came into the family fold this past week. We are very glad to have you with us and hope you'll stay and remain a part of our online family. As soon as you're comfortable with us and the list, please send in your list-surname lines so we can all see how we're related to you. We do not have a fancy format for sending in records or queries to the list. Post as many as you wish! If the data has anything to do with our list-surname ancestors that might help someone, please feel free to post it. Every scrap of information is appreciated. You're welcome to share this Coffee with your genealogy friends and relatives. If they are not members of our online family and would like to begin receiving the Coffee, they are now able to. Simply have them send a blank email to <SundayCoffeeemail@example.com>. THE OVERLAND EXPERIENCE, Part V [CORRECTION: The Thursday, October 14, 1853 entry in Part IV should read Thursday, October 13, 1853.] ~~~~~~ June 18, 2002 I'm so tired and hot. I read back on my journal from the beginning of this trip. I noticed immediately that all I've complained about is the heat and relished the fact that we have air-conditioning! I also realize I'm not a person who is meant to do a lot of traveling! I think I just really miss my family and friends. I'm glad I've been able to call them several times. We've arrived in Portland ~ did so last night. It's a pretty city with lots of bridges, and it's larger than I'd expected. I have to say, I'm glad we're here. We spent the day resting, doing (ugh!) some much-needed laundry ~ did I say I do *not* like laundramats! ~ and just generally kicked back around the vicinity of our motel, with a swimming pool, of course. We'll meet with a real-estate agent tomorrow morning. For now... "Hi there, Portland!" :) Sunday, October 30, 1853 Two Sundays have passed since I was last able to write. We travel everyday now, seven days a week but only half-days on Sunday. According to the captain, we are traveling much too slowly and must push harder to make our destination before the snows really set in. We have seen snow in the higher elevations already and everyone understands the importance of expending what energy we have. The physical condition of both humans and animals has deteriorated as has our emotional stability. A stabbing occurred 1-1/2 weeks ago and as a result one of the men was banished from the train. The last couple days I have been making a brave effort to be cheerful and patient until the camp work was done, then begin walking ahead of the team and my family. When I have gone beyond hearing distance, I have thrown myself down on the ground and give way like a child to sobs and tears, wishing I was back home with my friends and chiding myself for consenting to take this wild goose chase. How I miss everyone and all the comforts we left behind! How I wish I still had my grandfather's clock and the piano! How I miss my two, deceased children! I am so tired and so, so depressed. I don't want to go any further. Is the Willamette Valley truly heaven on earth that we must go through hell to reach it? I will write again tonight when we camp. Sunday night, October 30, 1853 I failed to finish my entry this morning, my mood being so low. I suppose everything isn't quite as bad as I made it out to sound this morning. We have seen some wonderful new sites, are experiencing hardships which are promised to end in a life of fulfillment, and have the opportunity to build an entire new life. We have come so far and it's exciting to be near the end of the trip. I need to remember these things when my moods begin to get low again. But, I should use this time to continue our adventure and bring this journal up to the current date. Soda Springs was one of the most fascinating places on the Oregon Trail. We camped there in a cedar grove where there are round openings several feet in diameter and springs of carbonated water bubbled from the ground. One hole contains a natural soda water and I baked several batches of bread with the water and didn't have to use yeast. And, with a little sugar added to it, the water tasted very good.* *[Pioneers also reported that you could put an egg in the water and it would boil in four minutes. Today, all the springs are gone except one just outside Soda Springs, Idaho. A little pavilion has been built over it where visitors can still see the tiny bubbles rising to the surface. The other springs are dry or are located under the town reservoir.] The day we arrived at Fort Hall was one I am glad to be past. Travel during the morning was through very heavy sand. We came out to the Snake River Valley, a beautiful plain. We traveled along the banks of the river and arived at Fort Hall, about 2 o'clock. The fort is about 50 yards from the river and is built of adobe with only one large building two stories high. Although they never had soldiers stationed there it had been used as a fur traders establishment. They can get large quantities of fur, plenty of otter and beaver, bear buffalo and many other kinds of pelts. There are sixty old United States wagons left at Fort Hall with a great quantity of plunder belonging to soldiers and deposited there. Fort Hall is a desolute looking place filled with thieves. We moved on after meeting an emigrant that had nine horses stolen then had to pay $100 to buy four of them back. We had already been told to be wary of that outpost from other travelers headed back east. After talking with the emigrant at Fort Hall, we quickly decided it was not safe for us to camp there. Instead, we set up about 2 miles from the fort on a fine stream delightful grass and a large field of wild wheat. There were many choices plentiful wild currents ~ yellow, red, black. These are quite a luxury, and the children and I were able to gather a bushel in just a short time. What a wonderful treat! We crossed the Snake River at Thousand Springs in the early morning hours of daylight. We had to load and unload our wagons, row the skiff and then pay $4 per wagon and 50¢ a head for swimming cattle by the side of the boat. By 8:00 o'clock our wagons were all safely over and the ferryman demanded his ferrage. The next day we came to Three Island Crossing.* The Snake River is divided by two islands into three branches, and is fordable. We spent much of that day ferrying the 900 yards across in our wagon beds. This was an extremely tiring day. We put ox yokes under the wagon loads to raise them and put four yoke of our best oxen to each of the four first wagons that crossed. These four got over safely. We then sent the teams back to fetch the other three wagons. These three got over safe. The loose cattle were to be fetched. These cattle were to be taken to the upper end of the second island. They were soon in swimming water and swam to the sholes where the wagons crossed on. Suffice it to say we all got over our cattle and all safely. *[There were actually two different crossings in the area labeled Three Island Crossing. One crossing which could be forded without swimming or floating was call Three Island Ford. Two Island Crossing was the second crossing located one mile upstream from Three Island Ford. At this point, crossing was more difficult because the wagons had to be floated across the river. Men would swim to the opposite bank of the river. Then by the use of ropes, they would pull the wagons across.] Four days ago we arrived at Fort Boise,* situated on the Snake River, immediately below the mouth of the Boisee. We made a stop at Fort Boise four days ago. This is one of the smallest forts we have visited and is modeled after Fort Hall, but is of a smaller compass. The fort was named for the small, but very beautiful river which we traveled for several days along its banks. Portions of the area around Fort Boise afford grazing; but generally the surrounding country is barren. They sell fresh vegetables, which we've not had since the trip began, but as we travel further west prices are so high that I wonder now if we will even have money once we reach the end of this trip. I bought a few supplies: sugar - .50/pint; coffee - .50/pint; flour - .25/pint; rice - .33/pint. *[Fort Boise became known for the hospitality and supplies provided to travelers and emigrants. Boise River floods in 1853 and 1862 destroyed the adobe fort. Additionally, 21 emigrants were massacred in Boise Valley by the Snake River Indians. This event lead to the closing of Fort Boise in 1855 and Fort Hall in 1856.] Cholera and her sister, Death, are visiting our train again. Two people are sick now and I know we will travel that number lighter tomorrow morning. The roads are very sandy when dry, muddy when wet, and it makes our travels all the more difficult. I can only be thankful that our wagons are nearly empty of food, and certainly of our belongings that we left alongside the Trail before this. I am with child again. There. I've said it ~ it's written down. I will tell my husband today that in March we will have another baby. June 19, 2002 The realtor seemed pretty positive that he could find us a home to suit our taste and budget. We'll meet with him later this afternoon after he's had a chance to go through his listings to see what he has that he can show us this evening. I've had enough of fast-food places for our suppers. I think tonight we'll go to a steakhouse. Yum! Sounds good! November 1, 1853 We passed Farewell Bend* today, saying goodbye to the Snake and turning northwest toward the Columbia River! I am so excited you would think I was a young girl getting married today! This is such good news and spirits of the entire party match my own. We have less than a month's travel left ~ less than 30 days. I cannot believe it! Sobering though is the snow that fell last night. It is just a dusting, really; but are the clouds overhead harbingers of what is to come in the next 24 hours? Our little band worked and moved quickly today ~ the snow being our driving force. The fact that we are all excited, I'm sure aided our energies. The captain has told us also that, although we are getting closer to our destination, there are still many hardships ahead of us. We still have the Blue Mountains to overcome and they are directly ahead of us. Just before we came to Farewell Bend, we passed two graves in one spot that were marked but with no explanation. Everyone was affected by presence of graves. We have lost our own people but pray that we will lose no more. What would I do without my husband or my remaining children? Hunting and fishing are excellent in this area but, the bears and wolves are most frightening! One of the cows belonging to the family two wagons behind us was killed by a grizzly. It took four men just to scare the bear off the carcass and by that time the hams were just about all that could be salvaged. I didn't get to see the grizzly but my husband said it was bigger than three black bears and unafraid of people. As for the wolves, we hear them every night ~ just as I can hear them now. They howl and pace around too close to camp for anyone to really sleep deeply. They are attracted to what is left of the cattle. Next week: Oregon City... so close! so far away! A SHORT NOTE July 4th seems to have more meaning since September 11th, doesnt it? Its not just a time to watch fireworks and have fun with friends and family at picnics or BBQs. Its the day we celebrate the Declaration of Independence ~ our nations most cherished symbol of liberty. Im proud to be an American, more than ever. Aren't you? It's family ... and that's what we're all about. I so enjoyed spending this time with you today. Thank you for sharing it with me. I wish each of you a week filled with health, productivity, fun, and above all, filled with love and inner peace. Have a safe and happy July 4th, everyone. ) ( ) _.-~~-. (@\'--'/. Colleen ('``.__.'`) `..____.'
) ( ( ) Good Morning Family! ( \ .-.,--^--. ( Come on in. . . \* ) \\|`----'| - The coffee pot's on. . . .=|=. \| |// ...and we even have decaf, |~'~| | |/ tea, and hot chocolate! | | \ / _|___|_ ------ (_______) Today's topics include: 1. Welcome to new cousins 2. The Overland Experience, part IV TO OUR NEWEST COUSINS ~~ On behalf of the entire family, I'd like to extend a most hearty welcome to those cousins who came into the family fold this past week. We are very glad to have you with us and hope you'll stay and remain a part of our online family. As soon as you're comfortable with us and the list, please send in your list-surname lines so we can all see how we're related to you. We do not have a fancy format for sending in records or queries to the list. Post as many as you wish! If the data has anything to do with our list-surname ancestors that might help someone, please feel free to post it. Every scrap of information is appreciated. You're welcome to share this Coffee with your genealogy friends and relatives. If they are not members of our online family and would like to begin receiving the Coffee, they are now able to. Simply have them send a blank email to <SundayCoffeefirstname.lastname@example.org>. THE OVERLAND EXPERIENCE, Part IV June 15, 2002 Hubby and I decided that we need to make a major push. Portland, Oregon is still about 840 miles away ~ another 14 hours driving, or so. If we drive 12 hours today, we'll be in Portland by day after tomorrow; but twelve hours in that van ~ ugh! Our spirits are a little better today after last night's relaxation. We took in an early movie, got back to the motel about 10:30 and just watched some TV. We were so tired all of us fell asleep with the TV on! It's a cool morning but the weatherman has predicted temps in the 90's again today. I wish the days weren't so hot; they make me feel grimey and cranky! Oh, before I forget ~ I need to get some more suntan lotion; it's become such a necessity on this trip for all of us, it seems. Time to head over to a restaurant for some breakfast, then we're on the road again ~ an omelet with hash browns sounds really tempting. Tuesday, October 11, 1853 We are now about another 300 miles since I last wrote. Our days are exceedingly more strenous, hence and our energies wane much quicker than any days previous. The boredom, drudgery, sickness, fatigue and hard work day after day never change, and then we face the same thing in all our tomorrows. The one good thing in our days now is the somewhat cooler temperatures, but we fear the snows will arrive before we make our destination. We are behind and must endure longer days to speed our journey. As before, we travel a trail littered with belongings unloaded along the way. Scavengers from towns collect full wagonloads of flour, bacon ~ even cast iron stoves. I feel sad to see so many personal possessions being discarded, but if we and our animals are to continue the journey this ease of weight is very necessary. I wonder if my beautiful piano and grandfather clock have been picked up by scavengers yet. On one of our days, we stopped at a rock so huge I originally thought it was a mountain.* I think it must have been the entire population of the train that swarmed all over it when we made a two-hour stop. We found many fur trappers' names already drawn on the rock. Using axle grease made of pine tar and hog fat, those of us that could write left small notes for any travelers that might follow us, or just left our names to show that we had made it this far. Some emigrants even carved their names, dates, or initials. An abundance of grass next to the huge rock gave the animals plenty of foraging. After an afternoon's enjoyment, we continued on another several hours, following the Sweetwater River. [*Our pioneer is talking about Independence Rock, a huge, hard, black granite monolith rising out of the ground that was isolated and alone on the north side of the river, looking like a beached whale. Some emigrants names and dates that were placed in crags, protected from the elements, still show today.] When we reached South Pass, a traveler's gap through the Rocky Mountains, we had gone half-way in our travels.* Hurrah! How exciting it was to know that! On the other hand, we still have so far to go, and we are already in October. Knowing that, we are now walking as many as 20 miles a day, every day we can. We all thought South Pass would be a narrow defile in the Rock Mountains walled by perpendicular rocks hundreds of feet high. We were all surprised to find that the pass is actually a valley and are told it is some twenty miles wide. We are finding South Pass a good place to camp with plenty of grass and water, and game such as antelope and buffalo. My husband shot an antelope and the meat was very welcome for supper that night. [*....and crossed the Continental Divide. South Pass was a gateway to the Far West for the emigrant wagon trains along the Oregon-California Trail] Through all that we have been through, I am extremely happy to say, that we are now in Oregon Territory!* [*Our travelers are, by today's maps, still in Wyoming. Oregon became a territory in 1848 when it still embraced all of the present states of Washington, Idaho and parts of Montana and Wyoming. It remained so for eleven years and, in 1859, achieved statehood. By then it had been reduced to its present size.] We have now changed into our new shoes, being the extra ones we brought along. We had all worn holes in the first pair. Our feet are sore and I will be quite happy when we are done walking! Eighteen miles west of South Pass we came to the fork in the road called Parting of the Ways. Although told previously by the wagonmaster that we would take the alternate route, the members of the train once again were offered the choice between a safe, established trail following water and relatively level ground leading to Fort Bridger or a substantial shortcut through dry, barren and mountainous country which would reduce our journey by 85-miles ~ nearly a week's travel. We were among the eleven wagons who chose the shortcut, Sublette's Cutoff. We were told that the route would shorten our travel time by as much as a week, something all of us taking the cutoff were concerned with. Our family needed the stop at Fort Bridger, however two families said they would share their food with us if we wished to take the cutoff ~ they not having to unload furniture but saved that extra weight for additional foodstuffs. We accepted their offer. It was a grievious mistake; we all should have gone to Fort Bridger. Our first trial on the Cutoff was crossing the Green River and as always at a river crossing, was a major source of distress for us. Seven people in two wagons drowned trying to cross; three were children. They are all still in the river. My husband elected to use the commercial ferry services, but those who didn't have the $5.00 fees, forded the Green upstream on their own. Downstream of the ford, a series of emigrant graves and burned wagon remains provided testimony of the failure of some emigrants to safely negotiate the crossing. The seven from our own party will no likely end up in one of those graves. How I dread making our way across those rivers! I have seen no less than 8 wagons lost to rivers, but even worse is the loss of life ~ both human and animal. On some crossings we followed gravel bars so narrow that the deviation of even a few feet meant the loss of a wagon, or worse. In extreme cases, we had to unload and dismantle their wagons and float everything across a piece at a time. This time though, the river crossing wasn't nearly as bad as I'd feared. A rope with pulleys on it was stretched across the river, and the current carried the boat across. When we were nearly across, the upper edge of the boat dipped...and I thought we would be swamped instantly...and drown the last one of us. Fortunately, all of us, the wagon and our belongings made it safely to the other side. Tomorrow we begin the Sublette Cutoff. June 15, 2002 A traffic jam! Can you believe it? Cars and trucks for miles and miles ahead of us! There must be a major accident up ahead. Super highways just aren't made to be stuck on for an hour! This is disgusting!! The air conditioner is going to run hot and I'll have to turn it off..... GET MOVING UP THERE! Okay, traffic is moving again, albeit ever so slowly. I'll bet they didn't have *this* garbage in the good ol' days! Next time we move, I'm going to ask Hubby to do so in the fall when people aren't out on vacation! These people need to GO HOME! grrrr Well, I guess there *is* a positive note ~ the stopping and going is allowing me to write this. :) Whew, it's hot! Wednesday, October 12, 1853 I have never seen such hostile land and hope to never again. It is undeniably the worst stretch of the Trail thus far. Our little band has begun the trek across desolate, arid land that was filled with a waterless landscape and we risked the death not only of our animals, but of ourselves. I am happy we were not here in July or August! Yesterday we moved seven miles to the Big Sandy and camped in order to rest our stock and fit them for the coming desert of 51 miles to the Green River. After ensuring we had full water barrels and the animals' thirst and hunger was fully satisfied, we broke camp at 2 A.M. this morning and navigated into the Cutoff by lanterns carried by boys walking ahead of the wagons. We are well into the Cutoff now, having done 20 miles today. The word steep does not begin to convey an idea of the roads. Several times my husband felt sure the wagon would tip over on the tongue yoke of cattle. Yesterday the members of our train had a meeting with the wagonmaster. With the drop in temperatures, we believe we and our animals can make it across the Cutoff by daylight, rather than risk injury moving at night. We started out at 6 A.M. today and so far, the weather is a delightful fall day. Travel should be good. Thursday, October 14, 1853 It was so windy and dusty today that some times we could scarcely seen the length of the team, and it blows so tonight that we cannot set the tent or get any supper, so we ate cold. We will go to bed in the wagon which we have anchored by driving stakes in the ground and fastening the wagon wheels to them with ox chains. The wind is a cold one, so we will sleep under the blankets in our coats. Day or night, the wagons stirred up gritty, alkaline dust, so we drove them side by side in a broad front to avoid each other's dust. We passed several alkaline springs ~ exceedingly poisonous to cattle and horses ~ detected by the yellowishred color of the grass growing around them. The animals were thirsty and it was all we could do to keep them from grazing nearby or drinking the water. One of the wagons hit a rut late last evening, spilling all its contents including its precious water. All the other wagons will share with this downed one, however a wheel broke and we will have to leave it behind. We cannot risk staying here to repair the wheel. Two of the 10 remaining wagons took part of the broken wagon's possessions and we moved on, making 18 miles yesterday. Tomorrow we leave the Cutoff! I'm quite sure we are miles and miles ahead of those who chose the established route to Fort Bridger. Friday, October 14, 1853 We are bound for Soda Springs* and will continue northwest to Fort Hall, then on to the Pacific Northwest. Our spirits are very high today ~ the highest they've been in a long time. Our feet hurt, we have lost and endured so much, but we are slowly accomplishing the trek. [*Soda Springs is in the eastern part of what would become Idaho.] June 16, 2002 Yesterday was so, so bad. There was a seven-car pileup on the freeway and we were stuck for hours in between interchanges. We couldn't even get off! It definitely messed up our 12-hour driving day. We had to turn our engines off to keep them from overheating, and doing so meant we suffered in the heat right along with everyone else around us on the road. I started getting a headache and didn't have any meds to get rid of it. The kids, of course, starting acting out again. Without their TV and Nintendo, they just didn't know what to do with themselves while we were stuck in the traffic. It was about 2-1/2 hours later that we were finally able to move again, and by then we were all hot and exhausted. We got off at the next exit and checked into a motel. If we make it to Portland tomorrow or not, I really don't care. We'll get there day after tomorrow, if we have to. The heat is just too much. I just don't know how *anyone* can live without air conditioning! Next week: Soda Springs... and beyond? It's family ... and that's what we're all about. I so enjoyed spending this time with you today. Thank you for sharing it with me. I wish each of you a week filled with health, productivity, fun, and above all, filled with love and inner peace. ) ( ) _.-~~-. (@\'--'/. Colleen ('``.__.'`) `..____.'
) ( ( ) Good Morning Family! ( \ .-.,--^--. ( Come on in. . . \* ) \\|`----'| - The coffee pot's on. . . .=|=. \| |// ...and we even have decaf, |~'~| | |/ tea, and hot chocolate! | | \ / _|___|_ ------ (_______) Today's topics include: 1. Welcome to new cousins 2. The Overland Experience, Part III 3. Fathers TO OUR NEWEST COUSINS ~~ On behalf of the entire family, I'd like to extend a most hearty welcome to those cousins who came into the family fold this past week. We are very glad to have you with us and hope you'll stay and remain a part of our online family. As soon as you're comfortable with us and the list, please send in your list-surname lines so we can all see how we're related to you. We do not have a fancy format for sending in records or queries to the list. Post as many as you wish! If the data has anything to do with our list-surname ancestors that might help someone, please feel free to post it. Every scrap of information is appreciated. You're welcome to share this Coffee with your genealogy friends and relatives. If they are not members of our online family and would like to begin receiving the Coffee, they are now able to. Simply have them send a blank email to <SundayCoffeeemail@example.com>. THE OVERLAND EXPERIENCE, Part III June 14, 2002 Does it EVER get cool here in the West??? We started out from Nebraska in the mid-80's and the temperatures seemed to continually climb all day. It's 7 p.m. now and the temperature sits at 94. We pulled into Cheyenne, Wyoming today. It was another scorcher. Between the heat and all the traveling, we're beginning to get a little tired. The kids slept a good part of the day today as we made our way across the rest of Nebraska and into this state. We've been making quite a few road trips, taking in the sites as we pass them, but the kids are tired of traveling. I have to admit that, day after day, it does get boring traveling every day and living out of a suitcase, especially in this heat. Thank goodness for air conditioning! As luck would have it, the van got a flat tire today. *bummer* Fortunately, hubby drove to the next exit and got us another one. It was a dry and hot two-hour wait for him though. I'm afraid the kids and I got a little cranky at him because it took so long and we were HOT! Since we were on the side of the highway, I wouldn't let the kids get out. *misery* They began arguing with each other again and again. This day just wasn't fun. We're going to Pizza Bar* tonight, walk around Cheyenne a little, come back here to the motel for a swim, then watch TV and go to bed. On second thought, perhaps we'll take in a movie. From previews on TV, it looks like a couple good ones have come out. [*fictitious name] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ August 31, 1853 Another day up at 6:00 A.M., and the entire party feels the weariness of travel, but oh!... through this month we've made real progress! We have gone a total of almost 800 miles since we left Independence. The wagonmaster says we have been in Missouri Territory* for a number of weeks now and we are a third of the way to Oregon! The land has been flat for the most part and we saw nothing but tall grass for two weeks. I can see in the far distance that the land is beginning to rise ~ like there are mountains ahead of us. We are headed for Fort Laramie. [*Our pioneer family is actually in Wyoming, part of Missouri Territory. Nebraska Territory wouldn't be created until 30 May 1854.] Resting on Sundays has been a huge benefit. The oxen and other animals receive a much-needed break, and we women have a chance to tend to our domestic chores, particularly doing the laundry. The dust on the Trail pervades every article of clothing exposed to it. If we have arrived at a source of clean water, our wagonmaster twice allowed us a special stopover for laundry day. Our wagonmaster has been rather lenient with us, I believe. Some captains reserve only Sunday morning for religious activities and move on during the afternoon. Their trains arrive at their destinations worn and have suffered many deaths during the trip. The summer heat has caused our lips to blister and split in this dry air. Our only remedy is to rub axle grease on our lips. While not a perfect solution, it does soothe and give protection. Like many, many others, I had to leave a piece of my life on the side of the Trail. My beloved piano is now gone. It broke my heart to leave it, but the oxen are tired and we need them to get us to our destination. Our only recourse was to lighten their load. My one consolation is that I still have the grandfather clock. Hard stretches of the trail are littered with piles of "leeverites" ~ items emigrants ahead of our train, and now many of us on this one, had to "leave 'er right here" to lighten our wagons. We lost five more people two weeks ago while trying to cross a river. It is heartbreaking that two of those lost was a new mother and father. Their orphaned baby lived and is passed from breast to breast to be fed. I imagine someone from the train will adopt her. In another wagon, a boy about eight years old was standing on the wagon tongue driving, when he lost his balance and fell beneath the wheel. It crushed his head, causing instant death. His burial took place that night ~ a strange sight as people stood around with light as they sent him to rest in a boot box for a coffin. September 15, 1853 We have gone about 180 miles and we are facing huge mountains. Surely we are not going over them! The mountains we have begun to climb are already very difficult. I have to tell you about Fort Laramie. I was expecting much more than we arrived at. There was only one building at Fort Laramie that was worth visiting ~ that being the post trader's store. According to the store clerk, the trader's store was the only reliable post office within 300 miles. We were able to purchase supplies there, but the prices were outrageous! Sugar goes for $1.50 per pint or cupful; flour, $1.00 per pint; tobacco, which can be had in St. Louis for a nickel, costs a dollar here. Luckily, only a few of us really need to purchase supplies. Most of us wanted to sell our extra supplies, but the fort isn't buying. So, many of the wagons simply dumped their extra weight right there at Fort Laramie. The Trail near Fort Laramie was littered with heirloom furniture, stoves and food. One person commented on seeing ten tons of bacon by the side of the Trail. Despite the temptation, most emigrants don't pick up this valuable litter because weight is the great enemy of our wagons. I want to tell you about all the river crossings we have had to make. They have been a constant source of distress for all of us. If we are not worrying about getting ourselves across, we are fleeced by ferrymen. They charge up to $16.00 per wagon, almost the price of an oxen. One ferry earned $65,000 in just one summer. What are we to do? We *must* cross, so we pay what the ferry asks. One of the women on the train went insane, announcing to her family that she was not proceeding any farther. Her husband was forced to take the wagons and children and leave her behind, though he later sent their son back to retrieve her. When she returned on her own, her husband was informed that she had clubbed their son to death with a rock. He raced back to retrieve the boy, who was still clinging to life, and on his return found that his wife had taken advantage of his absence to set fire to one of the family's wagons. Cholera has gripped the travelers of our train. Our two youngest children died yesterday from the unseen destroyer, cholera.* They were in such pain that death was a relief. However, my heart feels such a weight of despair and sorrow. My only medicines, whiskey, castor oil and quinine, were of no help. We had no elaborate funeral for the children as the wagonmaster said it would slow our progress; we placed them together in a shallow grave and covered it with as many rocks as we could find. Oh my babies, how I miss you so! I can grieve only as I walk away from you. [*Cholera crept silently, caused by contaminated water: people camped amid garbage left by previous parties, picked up the disease, and then went about spreading it, themselves. People in good spirits in the morning could be in agony by noon and dead by evening. If death did not occur within the first 12 to 24 hours, the victim usually recovered.] Four others died in the last several days. Three others are sick with diarrhea and vomiting. We know they also have cholera and left them behind with a watcher.* They will die very soon and the watcher will catch up with the train. [*Many watchers were in such a hurry that they started diging the grave before their companion(s) were dead. No one is sure, but evidence strongly suggests that some were accidently buried before they took their final breath.] It's hard to realize all this death. We *must* make it. I have given up the grandfather clock. The oxen are having a hard time fording streams with the continued weight and if we are to make it to Oregon, I must sacrifice for a promised future in Oregon with the children we still have. September 23, 1853 Another 100 miles and how the landscape has changed. I cannot imagine that we have come so far. Death follows ever so closely. I often wonder now about my own mortality. I counted 150 dead oxen this past week. It is difficult to find a camping ground destitute of carcasses. My husband has begun losing weight. Shirts I sewed for him in Indiana are now literally hanging. We work even harder now, that we are having to cross mountains. It takes many hours and slows us down considerably when we meet with hills so nearly perpendicular that it is necessary to attach ropes to the wagons' rear axles, and to station men to hold them back as they make the descent. We take as many routes around the mountains rather than go over them, but our time is very short and we must make the crossing before the snows begin. We are told we will soon come to South Pass. Sublette's Cutoff crosses a barren, arid stretch of country and for 50 miles there will be no water and very little grass. If we survive this route, we will save 85 miles and a week of travel. Our train will be taking it. However, this will cause us to bypass Fort Bridger, a stop I was hoping for as we are running out of food. The sky is clouding up and a violent wind is beginning to blow, making the atmosphere raw and uncomfortable. I hope this doesn't mean snow. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ June 15, 2002 I'm tired today, and so is my husband. We're going to go on to Fort Bridger, stay there tonight and have a look around for the rest of day, then move on tomorrow. Fort Bridger, as I understand it, was a stop on the Oregon Trail. How interesting! Fort Bridger, here we come! :) Next week: Oregon is near FATHERS When I was: Four years old: My daddy can do anything. Five years old: My daddy knows a whole lot. Six years old: My dad is smarter than your dad. Eight years old: My dad doesn't know exactly everything. Ten years old: In the olden days, when my dad grew up, things were sure different. Twelve years old: Oh, well, naturally, Dad doesn't know anything about that. He is too old to remember his childhood. Fourteen years old: Don't pay any attention to my dad. He is so old-fashioned. Twenty-one years old: Him? My Lord, he's hopelessly out of date. Twenty-five years old: Dad knows about it, but then he should, because he has been around so long. Thirty years old: Maybe we should ask Dad what he thinks. After all, he's had a lot of experience. Thirty-five years old: I'm not doing a single thing until I talk to Dad. Forty years old: I wonder how Dad would have handled it. He was so wise. Fifty years old: I'd give anything if Dad were here now so I could talk this over with him. Too bad I didn't appreciate how smart he was. I could have learned a lot from him. Writer Unknown HAPPY FATHER'S DAY, GUYS! :) It's family ... and that's what we're all about. I so enjoyed spending this time with you today. Thank you for sharing it with me. I wish each of you a week filled with health, productivity, fun, and above all, filled with love and inner peace. ) ( ) _.-~~-. (@\'--'/. Colleen ('``.__.'`) `..____.'
Good Morning, RE: IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM ROOTSWEB. Starting today (Monday, 10 June 2002), RootsWeb will begin the process of upgrading their servers to new hardware. This means some lists will be unavailable during this time and we won't be able to post or receive messages. If our list is affected, Rootsweb will halt operation on the particular machine our list is on to complete their move. If you post a message, you might not see it come out on the list, nor will you receive any list messages. Don't panic! It just means our list is probably one of the ones currently being worked on. Rootsweb doesn't expect to lose any messages, but the lists will be down for a while while this changeover occurs. PLEASE don't post "why aren't I getting mail" during that time; you will when it comes back up, and you don't want half of it to be everyone on the list asking why aren't they getting mail. If you have trouble reaching other RW lists this week, it's probably for the same reason; try again in an hour or two or three... Thanks! I wish you all a MAGNIFICENT Monday! :) Colleen