April AtoZ American Revolution

a2z-h-smallApril AtoZ Challenge

I’m late, but I’m here. I’ll get caught up the next couple days!

A is for American Revolution

IMG_20180403_184649654I’m a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution under my grandfather Joseph Culpepper, who fought in the state of Georgia.

I am also descended from the following patriots, whose supplemental memberships I have not applied for as yet. The more I research, the more expensive my membership gets. Ouch. The following are my 5th, 6th, and sometimes 7th great grandfathers:

  • William Crane (Crain)

William served in Pennsylvania. He was born in Ulster, Ireland in 1704 and came to America in 1732. He and his wife Jean are buried in old Hanover Presbyterian Church cemetery in Pennsylvania.

  • Isaac Weldon Sr

Isaac was born in 1745 in North Carolina and served in Richmond County, Georgia. His family was originally from Nottinghamshire, England and came to America in the early 1600s. At the time of the revolution, he was a 5th generation American.

  • Amos C Windham

Amos was born in 1741 in South Carolina. He served as a lieutenant, captain, and major in South Carolina. I’ve traced the Windhams back to Virginia in the early 1600s, but am not sure where they came from. I suspect England.

  • Robert Farish

Robert was born in 1738 in Virginia. His grandfather migrated to America in 1714 from Cumberland, England. He served in Virginia.

  • Samuel Truss

Sam was born in 1735 in North Carolina and served in the North Carolina Militia. His grandfather was from Oxfordshire, England.

  • George Williamson

George served in Pennsylvania. He was born in 1748 in Pennsylvania, and his father was an immigrant from Armagh, Ireland.

  • Thomas Hambrick

Thomas served in Virginia. He was just a young boy at the time, born in Virginia around 1765.

  • Reuben Dollar

Reuben served in South Carolina. He was born in South Wales in 1755. His father died there in 1770, which may be the reason he ended up in America.

  • John Clearman

John was born in 1736 in Germany and arrived on the shores of NY in 1761. He served in NY and is buried in New Jersey.

  • John Swearingen

John was born in 1745 in South Carolina and served there. He died at the very beginning of the war at the age of 30.

  • Joseph Culpepper (my official patriot for the DAR)

Joseph was born in 1765 in Anson, North Carolina. He enlisted as a private in the 3rd South Carolina Rangers Regiment. He died in 1816 in Georgia.

  • William Henry Blanks

William was born in Virginia in 1755 and served there. He died at the age of 68 in Georgia.

  • John Hill

John was born in North Carolina in 1750 and served there. He died in Georgia in 1817 at the age of 67.

  • Thomas Young

Thomas was born in Virginia in 1747. He served in North Carolina.

  • John B Rice

John was born in Bute County, North Carolina in 1755. He served for fifteen months as a Private and enlisted again for another three months as a Lieutenant in the North Carolina troops. He died in Nash, North Carolina at the age of 81.

  • James Rodgers

James was born in 1732 and grew up in Virginia. By the time of the war, he was living in Tennessee but there are records of some children being born in Virginia. He was in his mid-forties when the war began and I understand that he assisted the troops with shelter and food. I don’t believe he took part in being a soldier, but he is recognized as a patriot of the revolution, none the less.

  • Captain James Scott

James was born in Virginia around 1728. He served in Virginia. He died about age 71 in South Carolina. With a name like Scott, he’s probably from, oh, I don’t know, Scotland maybe.

  • William Howington

William was born in 1750 in North Carolina and served there. He died in Edgecombe, North Carolina around 1828 in his late 70s.

There are so many more I haven’t had the time to research, along with numerous uncles. I guess that makes me about as American as apple pie, with a little German shortbread, and a big shot of Irish whiskey.

07-9103AThank you, gentlemen, and may you rest in peace. ♥

 

A to Z – W (part 2) is for Wolsey

A2Z-BADGE_[2016]April 2016 A to Z Challenge – I’m writing about history.

W (part 2) is for Wolsey

 

 

 

Since I wrote about Whitehall Palace yesterday and mentioned one of its owners, Thomas Wolsey, I thought I’d stick here in W for a minute and go a little more in depth about Mr. Wolsey, his amazing rise to status and his total and swift downfall.

wolseyThomas was born the son of a butcher in England in March 1473. In his twenties, he studied theology, eventually becoming a priest and a chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1509, he went to work for King Henry VIII. That’s where the fun begins. Keep in mind, young Henry was only 18 years old at the time, and I’m sure the 36-year-old Wolsey figured he’d lead the king in righteousness with his mature and prudent ways.

Things went along rather well for Wolsey. You saw his house in the Whitehall Palace blog. Obviously, he was well taken care of by the king. Having the young king’s ear, Wolsey quickly became the controlling force behind all matters of state, and when Pope Leo X appointed Wolsey Archbishop of York in 1515, he became the second most important cleric in England. Henry even appointed him the highest political post possible – Lord Chancellor – which is the king’s chief adviser.

Things proceeded well for about a decade, but Henry was young, egocentric, and distraught by the fact that his wife Catherine had not delivered him a son and heir. Catherine was older than Henry and nearing forty, Henry didn’t think he’d get a son out of her, and I imagine his bitterness grew. Simultaneously, he met and fell in love with another woman, Anne Boleyn, and he decided to rid himself of his wife. But how? He couldn’t have her killed. He couldn’t just sent the queen away. He’d have to divorce her, but divorcing someone meant you couldn’t marry another. That wouldn’t work. There was only one thing to do. He’d have the marriage annulled. There was only one HUGE problem. The Pope refused to annul his marriage to Catherine on the grounds that one can’t throw away a wife because one desires a different wife.

Well, Thomas Wolsey is so important in the church, let’s let him handle it. Surely he can convince the Pope to grant an annulment, especially for the freakin’ KING. OF. ENGLAND.

The divorce went on for years, and each passing message that Wolsey was getting nowhere with the Pope, enraged Henry even more. All for the love of Anne, Henry decided to split from the Catholic Church and become his own religious leader in his own newly formed Church of England. He would grant his own divorce and get rid of his wife. He also decided to get rid of the useless Wolsey. Anne had convinced Henry that Wolsey was slowing down the proceedings on purpose. In 1529, Wolsey’s fall from grace was sudden and total. He was run out of town and stripped of all his titles except Archbishop of York.

Within the year, Catherine was banished from the court. Wolsey was charged with treason and faced beheading. Fortunately for him, he died of natural causes en route to London to answer to the charges. Henry confiscated Wolsey’s Whitehall Palace and married Anne there in 1533.

If all that isn’t sick and twisted enough, Henry had Anne beheaded three years later.

A to Z – Statue of Liberty

A2Z-BADGE_[2016]April 2016 A to Z Challenge – I’m blogging about history.

S is for Statue of Liberty

 

 

 

 

StatueofLibertySmMost people around the world know the Statue of Liberty as a symbol of American freedom. Most Americans know it was a gift from France, but it wasn’t…more on this later.

The statue was completed in France in 1884 and arrived in NY Harbor in 1885 in 350 pieces packed in 214 crates. It took four months to reassemble her, and on October 28, 1886, President Grover Cleveland performed her dedication in front of thousands.

Here’s the stuff you may not know…

…her dedication was protested by women who as of 1886 did not yet have the right to vote. In their eyes, raising a statue of a woman as the symbol of freedom was absurd.

frederic-auguste-bartholdi…she wasn’t originally supposed to come to America. The designer Frederic Bartholdi (photo), originally proposed that she stand at the entrance of the Suez Canal as a lighthouse, but the deal fell through, leaving Bartholdi to find another home for her.

…she was supposed to honor American freedom and commemorate the 100th anniversary of the American Revolution of 1776. She finally arrive in 1886, a decade late.

…she was supposed to be a lighthouse, thereby eliciting government funding, but the powers-that-be decided to place her too far inland to do any good as a beacon. She was also supposed to be gilded with gold, but after how much money it took to erect her, the people with the deep pockets decided against it.

SOL_scaffolding_overhead1…okay, back to the France part. She was built in France, and Bartholdi did everything he could do to get government funding, but they refused. Finally, through fundraisers and donations, the people of France put up $250,000. That’s about $2.5 million in today’s money. Bartholdi spent a decade raising money to finish her, but Joseph Pulitzer, the American newspaper magnate, is the one who finally raised enough money from his American newspaper readers to have her shipped and erected.

A to Z – Quilting

A2Z-BADGE_[2016]April 2016 A to Z Challenge – I’m blogging about history.

Q is for Quilting

 

 

 

 

Photographs for the book "Teach Yourself Visually: Quilting" by Sonja Hakala. (Photo by Geoff Hansen)

(Photo by Geoff Hansen)

Most people think of quilting as making a bed cover, but it’s so much more. Quilting is a sandwich – a top layer of cloth, a layer of padding, and a bottom layer of cloth. It can be as thick and as intricate as one wishes.

Quilting dates back to ancient Egypt. As far back as the 12th century, quilting was used to make garments worn under armor. One of the earliest surviving quilts was made in Sicily around 1360. Pieces of it are in museums in London and Florence.

Quilting in America began in the 18th century. Women spun, weaved, and sewed clothing for their families. Quilts for beds were also made out of necessity. Until 1840, looms were not large enough to produce a piece of cloth that would cover a bed, so strips of cloth needed to be sewed together. Using the same cloth was known as ‘whole cloth’ quilts. Contrary to what many of us would think, quilts were not made of left-over scraps of cloth and old pieces of clothing. They were instead examples of the fine needlework of the quilter.

Once looms were large enough to produce large pieces of fabric and became common enough and cheap enough for the average person to afford, women didn’t have to spin and weave anymore. Readily made fabrics changed the look of quilts. They began to contain different fabrics and the ‘block’ quilt was born.

During the 1850s, Singer mass produced a sewing machine and made it affordable with payments. By 1870, most homes owned one. This was a huge time-saving tool that made clothing one’s family easier and afforded women more time to quilt.

The art of quilting was once an important part of a woman’s life, but over time, it has become mainly a hobby. The amount of time and materials that go into a quilt make it very expensive to produce, so most quilts are passed down through families.

vin du jour pinwheel quiltI love quilting, though I admit, I’m not very good at it. My grandmother was a professional seamstress, but I didn’t inherit that ‘fine needlework’ gene. Regardless, I enjoy it, and I’m currently working on the quilt pictured here. It is a Vin Du Jour pinwheel quilt, if you’d like to know. I got all the pieces cut out and you can come back in a couple million years and see the finished product. There are about 600 pieces in this darned quilt. If anyone out there has a smidgen of time to help me, that would be great!quilt pieces

 

A to Z – Beauvoir

A2Z-BADGE_[2016]April 2016 A to Z Challenge. I’m participating in the challenge by writing about history.

B is for Beauvoir.

 

 

 

 

BeauvoirBeauvoir, meaning beautiful view, is know by many people, especially civil war buffs. It’s an antebellum home that sits on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico in the beautiful town of Biloxi, Mississippi. It was many things but best known as the home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

 

 

It was built between 1848 and 1852 by a rich plantation owner as a summer home for his family. After the man died, it was sold in 1873 by his widow for back taxes, then sold again three months later to a Sarah Dorsey.

In 1877 (following the civil war), Jefferson Davis was on the coast, looking for a place of solitude to write. He visited his family friend Mrs. Dorsey and they agreed he should stay there. He loved the home so much, he offered to buy it, and she sold it to him for $5,500.00 to be paid in three payments. After making the first payment, Mrs. Dorsey died. President Davis then found in her will that he was her sole heir.

President Davis lived in the home until his death in 1889. His daughter Winnie inherited the house and sold it to the Sons of Confederate Veterans with the stipulation that the home be used to house Confederate veterans and their wives at no charge until it wasn’t needed anymore. The last of the veterans vacated the premises in 1957. The home was severely damaged in Hurricane Katrina but is now again open as a tourist attraction and historical site.

If you find yourself in Biloxi and you’d like to visit, daily tours of the mansion run every hour between 9:30am and 4:30pm. The property is located at 2244 Beach Blvd, Biloxi, MS 39531  (228) 388-4400. You can visit their website HERE.

 

culpepper Joel B CulpepperMy second great grandfather Joel Bluett Culpepper served in the civil war Co. K 63rd Alabama infantry. He signed up at the age of seventeen. In 1863, he was captured and held at Fort Massachusetts on Ship Island until the end of the war. Under his rights as a Confederate veteran, he spent the last ten months of his life at Beauvoir, dying at the home 11 Jan 1911. He is on the records there as James B Culpepper.

 

 

A to Z – Arlington National Cemetery

A2Z-BADGE_[2016]April 2016 A to Z blog challenge. I’m participating by writing blogs about history.

A is for Arlington National Cemetery.

 

Everyone is familiar with Arlington National Cemetery, but the story behind it is pretty strange.

 

 

220px-GeoWPCustisThe property was originally owned by George Washington’s step-grandson, George Washington Parke Custis (photo), who built the Arlington House on the property in 1802. George Custis spent a sizable portion of his inheritance to build the palatial home. He married Mary Lee Fitzhugh and had only one child who survived to adulthood –  a daughter named Mary Anna Custis.

 

 

 

 

 

Mary_Custis_Lee_and_Robert_E._Lee_Jr_1845In 1831, Mary Anna married none other than Robert E. Lee. Here is a photo of Mary Anna and her son Robert E. Lee Jr., who looks like a little girl if you ask me. The couple moved into the Arlington House with her family.

In 1857, George Custis died, leaving the house to Mary Anna’s son, George Washington Lee. Robert E. Lee was the executor of George Custis’s will, and took a three-year leave of absence from the army to make needed repairs to the property. Strangely, the will also dictated that all slaves should be freed within five years of George Custis’s death. Robert E Lee did so, setting the slaves free in December of 1862.

 

For thirty years, the Lees made their home at Arlington, and here’s where the story takes a sour turn.

As everyone knows, the American Civil War began in 1861. Robert E. Lee resigned his position in the army and joined the Confederate forces. He went away to serve the Confederacy and Mary Anna moved in with family on May 14, confident that federal forces would soon take over her beloved home. She was correct. They occupied Arlington on May 24.

In 1863, the government passed a law that property taxes needed to be paid in person. I doubt Lee could walk into a federal office and not be arrested, besides, he was a little busy at the time. The government seize the property for non-payment of taxes. By the end of the war, the government decided to turn the property into a federal cemetery, assuring that Lee would never return to it.

He didn’t. He died in 1870 without ever returning to Arlington. Mary Anna only returned to the home once before her death in 1873, but she refused to enter the house, too upset at its condition. Their son eventually sued the federal government for his property, and after going all the way to the Supreme Court, he won compensation in the amount of $150,000, about $3.5 million in today’s money.

In 1955, the government finally recognized Robert E. Lee, designating Arlington House as a permanent memorial.

Arlington_House_pre-1861 (all photos are from Wikipedia)

 

52 Ancestors #40 – On This Day – James Otis Burke

I’ve been participating in the “52 Ancestor” challenge all year, following along with the weekly themes and having a great time. BUT…I work out of the country for months at a time and generally write and schedule the blogs in advance. APPARENTLY, someone has dropped the ball in getting the October themes posted. As I type this in the real word today is Sept 24 and I leave for the month of October on Sep 26. I have today and tomorrow to write and schedule October’s ancestry blogs. SO, I’m forced to blog without themes.

I also write a blog called “On This Day,” which takes place on the day of the birth/death/anniversary/etc. of an ancestor, BUT I’ve not posted many “On This Day” blogs this year because I’ve been doing “52 Ancestors.”

Guess we’ll have to combine the two for the month of October.

James Otis Burke and son Jerry BurkeTHEREFORE, I present to you “52 Ancestors” “On This Day in 2003”

James Otis Burke

James Otis Burke (photo with infant son), whom we loving called Uncle Otis died on this day in 2003. He was my grandmother’s younger brother, my great uncle, born 14 Feb 1922 to John Patrick Burke and Mary Elizabeth Howington. He was the middle child of seven children, one who died as an infant. He was born and raised in Little Rock, Newton County, MS. There’s not much in Newton County but farmland, but the city of Meridian isn’t far away.

In 1941 at the age of 19, he served in the United States Army during WWII.

When he returned from the war, he married Luna Marie Arledge and they had three children. One boy and two girls. I remember my mother speaking of her cousins so lovingly. They were products of the 50s generation. I’m sure they spent many nights at the drive-in in town, and I picture them hanging out together just like the “Happy Days” TV show.

Uncle Otis buried his wife in 1990. She died at the age of 66. He never remarried.

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He died on October 1, 2003 at the age of 81 and is buried with his wife at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Cemetery in Newton County.

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