Thursday, November 20, 2014

My Pilgrim Story

If you read here, you know that I have been pretty scarce, especially in September and October. It was good for me to take the break from writing and commenting. Further, it allowed me the time to pursue some other interests and areas that had been neglected. 

One of those areas was my interest in genealogy. Last year, I shared the story about finding my mother's mother's mother's family. I learned that that line came to this country in 1635 where they settled in the Worcester area of Massachusetts. I also learned that I was related to my  blogging buddy Jill!  It is true that, if you hang out in Blogdom long enough, you might find your relatives. Ha! That post was called *Land of Light.*

Today, a week before Thanksgiving, I want to tell you my Pilgrim story/ies. Did I hear a collective groan out there? ☺

This time, I turned my attention to my father's side of the family, specifically his mother's mother's family. You may have seen my great-grandmother—she's that little lady in the vintage photo in my header just below her six times great-grandparents John and Priscilla Alden. Can you believe it?!

Long-time readers have been introduced to my great-grandmother before in a post called *Old Photos* and another called *Treasures.* I was an adult when my great-grandmother passed away at the age of 92. How blessed I was to have known her! To my knowledge, she never knew who her famous ancestors were. (In fact, her memory of ancestry was pretty vague. She once told me what her mother's name was and I dutifully wrote it down in my notebook, but that person turned out to be her grandmother. No wonder I was having such trouble pushing back!  She can be forgiven for this because she was only eight years old when she lost her mother.)

~my paternal grandmother's parents~

I have been so excited about this discovery that I can hardly see straight. We are descended from the Aldens' daughter Sarah who married Andrew Standish. He was the son of Myles/Miles Standish. You may remember, if you are of a certain age (about 150 or so), the epic poem "The Courtship of Miles Standish" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It tells the family legend that Little Henry often heard when he was growing up of the two suitors of Priscilla Mullins. My father used to often quote the phrase, "Speak for yourself, John Alden" when I 
was growing up. I did slog through it recently and I liked the description that either Priscilla or John gives Myles..."he's a little chimney of a man" or something like that. Yes, Myles was a soldier and he had a hot temper. 

And while that is all exciting, there's more! When my thirteen times great-grandmother was a young woman living in Leiden, Holland 
(where The Separatists first relocated), she also had two suitors. One was Thomas Southworth who became her first husband; the second was William Bradford. Her name was Alice Carpenter and you can read more about her by googling. It is a fascinating story and I am only going to hit the highlights.
William Bradford (the writer of The Mayflower Compact and the second governor of Massachusetts) would go on to marry Dorothea and they would travel on The Mayflower to the New World.
One day, while William was scouting for a good place to settle, Dorothea either 
leapt or fell overboard and drowned. She had been distraught over leaving their son behind with family so there has always been some question. It was a tragedy to lose her that way after making the harrowing trip across the Atlantic.
Meanwhile, back in England (where The Separatists were living after the time in Holland), Alice's first husband (my ancestor) died leaving her a widow with two young sons Thomas and Constant. When William Bradford learned the news of her loss, he wrote Alice a letter asking her to become his wife. Within two years, she had joined him in Plymouth and they were married. Her sons came later and grew up with William Bradford as their step-father. They were both named in his will. Alice's son Constant was my ancestor. Constant becomes a popular name in the family with a number after him also being given the name. I think 
it's a great name.

Many interesting connections can be found between those early Pilgrims. Let's face it, for a while there, they didn't have too many others around. One is that William Bradford officiated at the wedding of John and Priscilla Alden.

From there, we had a slight name change from Southworth to South*** ; in fact, my little Grammie was the last to have this name in our family (her maiden name). Following the name change, there was a settling of successive generations in Maine. I  found more Revolutionary War soldiers (a father and son) and another Civil War soldier. And, oddly enough, I discovered that some of these Pilgrim descendants were born and lived in the town where my sister now lives. 

I had my own beloved step-grandfather and my grands do love John who is their step-grandfather so it is a thrill to know that William Bradford is another in a long line of step-grandfathers. This is what he had to say about the Pilgrims' departure from England
With mutual embraces and many tears, they took their leaves of one another, which proved to be the last leave to many of them...but they knew they were pilgrims and looked not much on those things, but lifted their eyes to heaven, their dearest country, and quieted their spirits.
Now I hope that I have not bored you entirely. My own children are completely unimpressed with my revelations. Thankfully, a few other relatives show more interest.

I shared the news with my grandsons last Saturday. They are 8 and 7. 
"Do you know anything about the Pilgrims?" I asked. They knew a few things mostly about The Mayflower and Squanto. "You're related to the Pilgrims." They sat quietly taking that in. Then they wanted to know their relatives' names. They wondered why their surname did not match. The youngest grand's eyes lit up, "I have a friend Tommy (name changed) Alden. He must really be related to them." I'd not be surprised. He and ten million others. 

They were learning, like me, that just because your surname doesn't match any on the passenger list, doesn't mean that one is not related. In fact, I am very close to proving that the other side of my great-grandmother's family was also related to yet another Pilgrim. Both her parents were from Pilgrim stock!
When my daughter found out that I had told her nephews the big news, she groaned audibly, "Mom, they're going to tell everyone at school! They'll think they are crazy!" Now I can't imagine why that would be because the boys would only be telling the truth. It's just a good thing I didn't know when I was a child because I would have been insufferable!
If you're still here, thank you for reading all this. Say, are you also one of the ten million? You may be and not even know it!

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bookmarks and Things

This morning I was on a mission to be dressed and out the door to capture that fleeting two-hour window when our post office is open in the morning. Has your post office cut back its hours a lot? Ours sure has.
~morning light~

Then I remembered that I had received beautiful gifts last week from Linda at Linda's Life Journal that have gone unacknowledged.  Linda is an extraordinary woman who really does it all. In addition to being the grandmother of quadruplets and other lovely grands, she is an artist, a decorator of her charming abode, Love of her Beloved, and a wonderful daughter, mother, sister, friend. You would be blessed to visit her blog where you can read all about it. If you like a prolific blogger, Linda's your gal!

These are my precious bookmarks. My address book of blogging buddies has become a scrapbook of sorts, though my bookmarks are being put to good use elsewhere, trust me. You can find the little artists in training right on *this post.*
I love these kiddos and family and can see a lot of promise in these budding artists.

Thank you so much, Linda! Hug those quads for us!


This morning I was shipping a few things off to my friend Vickie who, like Linda, also happens to live in Texas. 

These little cottage-style tea towels are fun and easy to make. They also are charming little Christmas gifts, don't you think? 

One time, when I had featured a little box of Bell's Seasoning, Vickie commented how much she loved the graphics. I do, too, and often have it sitting out as a little Thanksgiving decoration. Can you get Bell's where you live? I think it may be just a New England thing. Anyway, Vickie will have a wee box of her own to display this Thanksgiving. When Vickie blogs, she does so at Sand Flat Farm

Another connection between Linda and Vickie is that they are both artists. You will find a link to some of Vickie's work in her sidebar. 

Consider this a warning or a promise and act accordingly, but if you come back tomorrow, Friday at the latest, I have another Pilgrim story to share.  

A happy day to you!

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Meanwhile, Courage!

Sometimes an answer comes before the question is formed. I knew that my knickers were in a knot, but had not one clue why for days. It seemed as if my mind was too filled with concerns—my own,  the country (they didn't end with the election after all), the church, and, because I walk in Blogdom, many other concerns. Perhaps you can add the workplace to your list. So my prayer list has become exponentially longer through the years. Suddenly, it was if I could not handle it any longer. What pride! It was never mine to "handle" in the first place.
Max Lucado has begun a wonderful new program called Before Amen that you might enjoy looking into, if you haven't already.

In it, he shares a specific prayer that I have found so very helpful. Perhaps you might, too.

This quote has been powerfully meaningful to me. I can use it to process what is going on in my mind and heart. For example, I am tired and ready to quit... Meanwhile, courage! Your moments of nervousness are not your real self, only medical phenomena.  I don't feel well... Meanwhile, courage! Your moments of nervousness are not your real self, only medical phenomena. I am worried about this person... Meanwhile, courage! Your moments of nervousness are not your real self, only medical phenomena. You see? It works for any. possible. thing.

And who is this "real self"? The real self only applies to those who have given themselves to Christ. (The very best news ever is that all are invited to give themselves to Him.) When we have, He lives in us and through us. There is nothing that we can do without Him. 

...For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us...

Ephesians 2:14

I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:16–19

A blessed Sunday and a blessed week to you!

Sunday comments are always closed...

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Friday, November 14, 2014

First Snow

This is what I woke to...a mere dusting. I am not ready for snow so I am glad of the reprieve — a dusting instead of six to eight inches. After the winter we last endured, I'm not ready for winter again. Even a lovely summer and a pleasant autumn have not dulled the memory of that foul winter and frigid spring. Mercifully, the snow is already gone. Now the grass will probably green up and we'll have to mow. Yes, I will take a little cheese, thank you. I think I must put myself back in the corner for another week. ☺

You have a pleasant one and stay cozy.

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