Thursday, January 30, 2014

Izola Forrester: American Author

I first found Izola in the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. She was living with her husband, Mann Page, in Santa Monica, California. In 1925, they were living in New York and in 1942, New Hampshire. I opened the scanned image of the Census form and discovered that Mann Page was a dramatic actor and Izola Page was a novelist. And that's why you should always open the document and look at it. You will occasionally discover very interesting things about your ancestors, or in this case, my sister-in-law's ancestor.

Once I learned she was a novelist, I Googled. A Wikipedia article about Izola Forrester was returned as a search result. Why did I get that person? That sure didn't seem like the right Izola, but after reading the Wikipedia article, I discovered she was my Izola Page. Her name was Izola (Hills Forrester) Merrifield Page.

She was born in 1878 to George Wallingford Hills, a Harvard-educated travel writer, and Ogarita Elizabeth Bellows, who was a stage actress and went by the name of Ogarita Booth Henderson. George and Ogarita never married. Ogarita was convinced her father was John Wilkes Booth. That is possible as the man listed as her father on her birth certificate was on a ship off the coast of Uruguay, during the critical period and could not have been her father. Ogarita married Alexander Henderson, a director of light operas. After Ogarita died, Izola was adopted by newspaper man George Forrester and his wife, Harriet, and lived for a time in Chicago.

Ogarita Booth Henderson as Mary Queen of Scots

So what makes her so interesting?

She was a prolific author of magazine articles, novels, and silent movie scripts, including The Quitter (1915), starring Lionel Barrymore, and collaborated with Douglas Fairbanks and Sinclair Lewis on Rent Free (1922).

Film still from The Quitter

She met Ruben Robert Merrifield in Chicago at the age of 15 and he was a banner artist for Ringling Brothers. There were married on 29 October 1899. In 1910 she is a boarder a the home of Columbus and Julia Smith in Canterbury, Connecticut. She indicated she was married and is living with her four children, but her first husband is not living with her. On 10 November 1913, she married Mann Page, the eighth cousin, once removed of my sister-in-law.

Izola was hired by the New York World as a feature writer and was a regular contributor to many periodicals, including The Saturday Evening Post and McClure's, then edited by Willa Cather. Izola also authored over 20 books, including the popular Greenacre Girls and the Polly Page fiction series.  Izola's last book was This One Mad Act: The Unknown Story of John Wilkes Booth and His Family by His Granddaughter (1937). I found that book on eBay and it is quite a read.

Izola (Hills-Forrester) Merrifield/Mann in 1898

She was the embodiment of the post Victorian-era independent woman.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

"Old Dan Tucker" Song

"Old Dan Tucker" is a popular song with obscure origins. The Virginia Minstrels, a blackface troupe, popularized the song in 1843 and it quickly became a hit in the antebellum period. Today it is a bluegrass and country music standard.

Sheet music for "Old Dan Tucker," image courtesy of Wikipedia

The State of Georgia is more sure about the origins of "Old Dan Tucker." According to a historical marker, the song was created in honor of Reverend Daniel Tucker, the owner of a large plantation on the Savannah River.

Photo courtesy of Kelly Robinston

Rev. Daniel Tucker owned a large plantation on the Savannah River and is buried near his old homesite, "Point Lookout," six miles from here. Born in Virginia, February 14, 1744, Daniel Tucker came here to take up a land grant. A Revolutionary soldier, planter and minister, he owned and operated Tucker's Ferry near his home. He died April 7, 1818 -- but not "of a toothache in his heel." Esteemed by his fellow planters, he was loved by the Negroes who composed the many verses of the famous ditty, "Old Dan Tucker," a favorite song at corn shuckings and other social gatherings.

Whatever the origins of the ditty, I am wondering if Daniel Tucker (1744-1818) is related to my sister-in-law's Tuckers.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

52 Ancestors #4: Was Grandma's Grandma a Hussy?

Last year I virtually met Sarah Semple[1], a cousin who lives in New Zealand. She had written a book about our common Semple ancestors and we have been collaborating on and off ever since on my grandmother's grandmother, Margaret (Semple) Muir and her children. My grandmother was Alice (Muir) Jennings and her mother died in 1909 when she was only three years old. Alice lived with her grandmother until 1920 when Margaret Muir died.

Not too long ago I was purging my inbox, trying to create order out of chaos. I ran across an email my New Zealand cousin sent which included what she knew about James and Margaret (Semple) Muir and their children from her book on the Semple family.  I compared it to my tree and updated the document based on what Sarah and I had discovered in our recent research.

Reviewing all the information together in document form versus the structure of tree or pedigree chart got me thinking. Did James and Margaret (Semple) Muir ever live together in the U.S. and were some of her children even his? Or did any of the children belong to James? Maybe grandma's grandma was "hussy."

In order try and formulate an answer to that question, I compared the birth order and names of her children to Scottish naming conventions. There was one glaring unconventional name:

Was she mad at her husband, James, when Alexander was born? Was Alexander his child? I know Margaret and James eventually divorced, but when did they separate? So many questions I'd never considered before.

I created a timeline of documented events in Margaret's life to determine if any event could shed light on the question:

At no time since their marriage did the documentation I've been able to locate to date about this family indicate that Margaret and James ever lived together. Based on when the Scottish census were enumerated, the only chance for that was in 1881 and then after Margaret immigrated to the U.S. in 1890, 1900, 1910, and 1920.

At this point in my research I cannot verify that James Muir, Margaret's husband, even immigrated to the U.S. I did find a lot of James Muirs in the U.S. and in Scotland, who were coal miners, like he was; but I cannot prove any of them are MY James Muir. I have found a 1920 census record for a James Muir of the right age and occupation who lived in Nineveh Township, Adair, Missouri, who was a boarder in a house rented by a widow named Ida Logsden. In 1920 Margaret (Semple) Muir was also living in Nineveh. My working assumption is he was MY James Muir. I have found no record of his death.

So what do you think? Was grandma's grandma a hussy?

This is my entry for Amy Johnson Crow's 52 ancestors in 52 weeks challenge.

[1] Sarah Semple has become an email and research buddy. I've read almost all of her books and she she is great at discovering obscure documents. Sarah has also written a guest blog, which was terrific.

NOTE: I wrote about Margaret's oldest living son, Robert Muir, my great grandfather, and the research challenge he represents here. Robert's son, Henry, was problematic as well and I wrote about that here. The entire Muir clan has done their best to test my research skills!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Worldwide Genealogy -- A Genealogical Collaboration

I first heard about Worldwide Genealogy -- A Genealogical Collaboration from Fran Ellsworth, author of the Branching Out Through the Years blog. She sent me to Julie Goucher, of Anglers Rest, who told me there was one spot available -- the 25th. So on the 25th day of every month, I will be contributing a post. The premise of the collaboration is that different authors from all over the world write a post every day of the year about genealogy, local or family history.

Today, is my day and my first post. I'm introducing myself and how I got obsessed by genealogy. I hope you'll click over to the site to read it...Hello from the Old Dominion.

My middle brother, me (holding our dog) and Dad at Harpers Ferry sometime before 1968. Dad probably was researching his grandfather's Civil War experience or we just took a day trip; we did that a lot. I do remember Ted and I skinny dipped in the Shenandoah River that day!

A list of my fellow contributors may be found here.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sometimes It Takes a Village

Robert Muir (1875-1956) was my father's maternal grandfather. He immigrated to the U.S. with his mother, Margaret (Semple) Muir, half-sister and younger siblings in 1887 when he was 12 years old and followed his father into the coal mines. His daughter, Alice (Muir) Jennings, my grandmother, always said he was union agitator. According to her, he got run out of coal patches (company-owned towns), blackballed from employment rolls in several states, and shot at.

Remains of Robert Muir's birth record, author's personal collection

Our family never knew much about Robert Muir's life other than he was born in Scotland and his parents were James and Margaret (Semple) Muir. My father had his birth registration (1875), naturalization record (1896), his first wife's obituary (1909), and knew he had later married someone named "Liz," his social security card (1936), his West Virginia miner's certificate (1942) and death date (1956). Robert Muir died intestate in Van Buren County, Tennessee, and Dad had the notices of the public auctions held to sell his personal and real property as well as the final distribution of his estate to his heirs (1957). Dad also knew from his mother the approximate birth dates and places of Robert's children.

Robert Muir and his children

After entering all the known information into my family tree on, I got the green leaf hint symbol! Some of those hints were obviously records for my Robert Muir and included the 1881 Scotland census, 1900 and 1910 U.S. federal census records and then nothing, which was crazy because he should have been enumerated in the 1920, 1930, and 1940 census. On the Illinois Secretary of State and State Archivist website, I was able to find a reference to Robert and Ida Mae (Riggin) Muir's marriage license. Ida Mae was his first wife and my great grandmother.

I was able to find his second wife, Elizabeth "Liz" (Fausz) Muir in the 1900, 1910, 1930 and 1940 census as well has her 1940 death record. She indicated she was divorced in the 1940 census, but her death record, also dated 1940, listed her husband as Robert Muir. I've not found either of them in the 1920 census. The only members of the family I have been able to find in the 1920 census are my grandmother who was living with her paternal grandmother at Nineveh, Missouri.

Robert Muir with his daughter, Henrietta Muir, taken when visiting my grandmother in Arlington, Virginia, from the author's personal collection

I knew his oldest son, Henry "Jack" Muir's, second wife's name was Armita. I found them in the 1930 census, which indicated Armita was born in Louisiana. A newly discovered Semple cousin found her maiden name and date of their marriage license on the Louisiana GenWeb archives. I started hanging out on's Alleman and Muir message boards and connected with some of Henry Muir's grandchildren. They didn't know too much, but they knew different things than I did which gave my research efforts for Robert Muir some direction.

I joined the McDowell County, West Virginia, genealogy Facebook group because Robert's Social Security card and miner's certificate indicated he worked there in the late 1930s and early 40s. Not two days later I received a Facebook message from an ex-work colleague, who is also a member of the McDowell County group -- what a small world! My friend claimed to "dabble" in genealogy.  I sent him a timeline spreadsheet I created for Robert Muir, which included all known information and what was missing.

A few days later, my friend found Robert and his second wife in the East St Louis, Illinois, city directories for 1924, 1926, 1928, and 1930. They were living at the same house on 436 N 80th, which is now a vacant lot. When the 1930 census was enumerated, second wife Liz was listed as head of house, living at the same address with her three youngest children and her mother. In 1940 she was a lodger, living across the street and said she was divorced. She died later that year. Once I attached the city directories to Robert and Elizabeth (Fausz) Muir, I got another green leaf, which was his World War I registration card. It included an address just a few blocks from the address listed in the city directories.

Robert Muir's East St Louis places of residence, 1918-1930

I still don't have the 1920, 1930, or 1940 census records for Robert; and Tennessee is giving me the run around about his death certificate. But I am getting closer and have new research avenues to pursue, one of which will be to submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for Robert's Social Security application. He received his social security card on December 27, 1936. Typed on the card was this information, "Pocahontas Red Bird Mining Co, Iaeger, W Va." I also plan to write to the United Mine Workers' of America and ask about his pension information.

Robert Muir's Social Security Card, author's personal collection

So with the help of a newly discovered cousin, grandchildren of Robert's son Henry, and an ex-work colleague, I have learned more about my great grandfather. Sometimes it take a village! What other research avenues do you suggest?

Robert Muir was born 16 Mar 1875 at Dalserf, Lanarkshire, Scotland to James and Margaret (Semple) Muir. He arrived in the United States on 30 September 1887 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, aboard the steamship Manitoban and was naturalized on 10 October 1896 at Livingston County, Illinois. He married Ida Mae Riggin on 12 October 1902 at Collinsville, Madison, Illinois; he married Elizabeth "Liz" Fausz about 1912. They were living in East St Louis, St Clair, Illinois in 1918. From 1924, 1926, to 1928 the family lived in a home Robert owned at 436 N 80th Street, East St Louis. Liz and the three youngest children were living in at the same address 1930. Robert was not listed as living with the family but was included in the city directory for 1930. All of their children, except their third daughter were born at Illinois; she was born in 1920 at Virginia. Robert and Liz divorced or separated sometime before 1935. One of Robert and Liz's daughters and her family were living at Robert's house on 436 N 80th Street in 1940. Robert died on 27 June 1956 at Van Buren County, Tennessee.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

1793 Philadelphia Yellow Fever Epidemic

My sister-in-law's 3rd cousin six times removed was St. George Tucker (1752-1827). He married Frances (Bland) Randolph, the widow of John Randolph. One of Tucker's step-sons, John Randolph of Roanoke, and his friend and distant relative, Joseph Bryan, were living together in Philadelphia in 1793 where they studied law under Edmund Randolph. St. George Tucker felt it was important for his children and step-children to have careers in either law or medicine as he did not believe the great plantations of Virginia would be economically viable much longer.

John Randolph of Roanoke (1773-1833)
While John Randolph of Roanoke was in Philadelphia the first major yellow fever epidemic hit the city in July 1793, a hot and humid summer with more than the usual number of mosquitos. The disease tore through the city like wildfire, claiming the lives of one-sixth of the population. An estimated 20,000 people fled the city, including President George Washington, who left on September 10 on his previously scheduled vacation. Children often suffered a milder case of the fever while their parents died, leaving many orphans which the city was unprepared to handle.

Arch Street Wharf and Ferry, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The first cluster of cases appeared at the Arch Street wharf, leading many, including Dr. Benjamin Rush[1], to conclude yellow fever was caused by unsanitary conditions around the docks, open sewers, and rotting vegetables. He also recognized weather played a part in the epidemic. The stagnant water, where mosquitos bred, froze over in mid- to late October, and greatly decreased incidence of the disease. Dr. Rush treated his yellow fever patients by blood leeching and purging, using a mercury compound. Later, he wrote an account of the 1793 epidemic, and described the symptoms and course of the disease. He also posited his thoughts on cures and causes.

An Account of Bilious remitting Yellow Fever as It Appeared in the City of Philadelphia in the Year 1793 by Dr. Benjamin Rush.

Philadelphia mayor, Matthew Clarkson, organized the city's response and established a committee to deal with the chaotic situation. They reorganized the fever hospitals, arranged to visit the sick, fed those unable to care for themselves, arranged wagons to carry the sick to hospitals and the dead to Potter's field, and they identified shelters for orphans. Aggressive attempts were made to improve the city's sanitary condition. In 1799, Benjamin Latrobe was hired to design and construct the first water system in the United States. Ironically, Latrobe died of yellow fever in 1820 while constructing a waterworks for New Orleans.

Carlos Finlay, a Cuban doctor, first proposed yellow fever might be transmitted by mosquitos in 1881. Since the losses from yellow fever were extremely high during the Spanish-American War in the 1890s, Army doctors began to experiment with a team led by Walter Reed. They were able to successfully prove Dr. Finlay's "mosquito hypothesis." Using methods first suggested by Dr. Finlay, the U.S. government was able to eradicate yellow fever from Cuba and later Panama, which allowed the completion of the Panama Canal after the French had abandoned the project in large part due to the decimation of their workers by yellow fever.

[1] Benjamin Rush was the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence, the surgeon general of the Continental Army, founder of Dickinson College, doctor, writer, educator, and humanitarian.

For more information about the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1793, Penn State University has made this article available online. This post was a joy to write as I was able to pull out some of my old micro-history books on Yellow Fever and the building of the Panama Canal. Yes, my tastes in reading material are a bit quirky!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

52 Ancestors #3: The "Tucker Maneuver"

For the third week of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 ancestors in 52 weeks challenge I am back to my sister-in-law's Tucker family, but I've jumped forward in time about 200 years. January 22nd marks the fourth anniversary of the death of Robert Dennard Tucker[1], a man I never met but treasure greatly because of his 40 years of Tucker genealogy research and his book, The Descendants of William Tucker of Throwleigh, Devon, which was published in 1991. It helped me break through one of my brick walls.

The Descendants of William Tucker of Throwleigh, Devon, Robert Dennard Tucker. The Reprint Company, Publishers; Spartanburg, South Carolina, 1991

My sister-in-law is a Tucker from the Georgia line. I spent several months researching her ancestors and was able to confirm that Henry Crofford (Crafford or Crawford) Tucker (1752-1832) was her five times great grandfather.  But I got stuck there over some confusion as to who Henry's father might be -- Benjamin Tucker or Elisha Tucker. Most published sources said Elisha, but it made no sense to me as his most likely birth date made him more Henry's age. So I stopped beating my head against this brick wall and moved on to other research.

The back of the headstone of Henry Crafford Tucker (1752-1832)

Months later I picked up my Tucker research again, but decided to attack it from another angle. I had read in many Tucker histories the family was originally from Bermuda, though I had found no such connection by tracking backwards from my sister-in-law. So I decided to research the Bermuda Tuckers and see where that went. This approach is in no way recommended by any genealogy protocol I have ever read about brick walls.  However, I'm a curious, undisciplined sort of person so I broke the "rules." Attacking a brick wall obliquely can be a waste of time or you can hit pay dirt, but I find it's always interesting.

The Bermuda Tuckers[2] were fascinating -- real island "movers and shakers." Some of them even moved back to England and it was obvious they were a very well-connected family. The English Tuckers were instrumental in colonizing India, for example, in addition to Bermuda, and helping to save the colonists at Jamestown. I had a very nice family tree going for the Bermuda Tuckers and several given names were common between that line and my Georgia Tucker line, but I just couldn't make the connection.

Anne (Butterfield) Tucker, wife of Col. Henry Tucker, and two of her children, Elizabeth and Nathaniel[2].  They sat for this portrait by Joseph Blackburn in 1753.  Image from the book, Family and Society in American History, edited by Joseph M Hawes and Elizabeth I Nybakken

Then I read a reference to The Descendants of William Tucker of Throwleigh, Devon by Robert Dennard Tucker. From the reference, it seemed as if the book included Bermuda and Georgia Tuckers.  I Googled the book title and found a seller on eBay with the wonderful "Buy It Now" button. I bought that book in a second!

It took forever to arrive and I was pretty excited when it did. After days of reading, I learned that both my Tucker trees -- Georgia and Bermuda, though bare boned -- were correct as far as they went. More importantly, I was able to figure out through Robert Tucker's wonderful research how the two lines connected. It turns out Benjamin Tucker (1704-1778) was Henry Crofford Tucker, Sr's father (my brick wall) and Benjamin's father was Henry Tucker (1652-1728), who I already had in my Bermuda tree. The connection hung on just one person missing from my two Tucker trees. And that's how I knocked down my Tucker brick wall. I now call an oblique attack on a brick wall a "Tucker maneuver."

And that's why I am so indebted to Robert Dennard Tucker, a man I have never met.

Robert Dennard Tucker (1933-2010)

[1] Robert Dennard Tucker was born on 18 Jul 1933 at Tifton, Tift, Georgia, to Robert Buck and Ethel Margaret (Dennard) Tucker. He married Peggy Angelyn Smith on 23 Jun3 1957. He died on 22 Jan 2010 at Atlanta, Georgia, and is buried in West View Cemetery at Monticello, Jasper, Georgia. His book, William Tucker of Throwleigh, Devon, is currently out of print. My copy has a cherished place in my genealogy library.

[2] I wrote about one of the Tuckers from the Bermuda line, Nathaniel Tucker, as the subject of my 52 Ancestors Week #1 post.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Brother's DNA Results -- Are We Related?

My brother's DNA results came back from recently. I can't believe how different our ethnicity is:

My brother's DNA ethnicity on the left and mine on the right.

The ethnicity maps are even more startling.

My ethnicity map

My brother's ethnicity map

We get half our DNA from each parent, but siblings don't necessarily get the same half. Each time DNA passes from parent to child, it gets partially mixed. This is called "recombination." Recombination is a random process. It's why after five or six generations you end up with less autosomal DNA from one of your ancestors' lines.

Our mother's parents' surnames are Schalin and Lange. Both families considered their nationality to be  German. The farthest back we've been able to trace the Schalin family is 1796 to Poland. There is a theory, not proved, that the family was originally Swedish -- Skalin -- and came to Germany in the 1400s. The Langes, we can trace only to about 1860 to the Volhynia region of what is now Ukraine, but at the time it was part of Russia.

Our father's parents' surnames are Muir and Jennings. The Muirs we can trace back to about 1800. Apparently our earliest known ancestor was born in Ireland, but married a Scottish woman and lived his entire adult life in Scotland. The Jennings are from England and came to the U.S. well before the Revolutionary War. They married into several other pre-Revolutionary War families, who came to the colonies from various places in Great Britain.

I really do need to learn more about DNA.  I'm amazed our ethnicity results are so different.  However, we definitely came from the same set of genes as we have several cousin matches in common. Come to think of it, all these cousin are from our father's ancestors! Wait, I linked my tree to his results. Hmmm… ;)

Confirmed matches in common

I have uploaded my DNA raw results and family tree to Family Tree DNA but before I can optimize my use of all the information there, I need to get up to speed on chromosome matching. I've found its been a real struggle for me to grasp. And I hate admitting that. I believe I am going to put my engineer brother on the case! Does anyone have some easy to grasp reading material on chromosome matching?

I wonder if I can get my other brother to take the spit test.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Out of Africa: Kagui and the Python

My aunt's father was a missionary. He took his family to what was then known as British East Africa in 1920 and they lived there for nine years.  My aunt's brother, Homer Bailey, wrote an unpublished autobiography, which I was able to track down. In this story, Homer explains how dangerous pythons can be.

Many moons ago, Kagui, the canine, lived down the road from our house. He was not an outstanding dog. He had no pedigree, however, he did possess a few ticks and fleas. For coloring Kagui was a murky brown, set off by some dingy white, as vague as his ancestors. Kagui lived a simple life in a land not cluttered by speeding cars or trucks. However, there were plenty of dangers in his simple existence. There were subtle smells that put fear in the heart of the dog. Out of thin air would come an odor that sent a tingle the full length of his spine to the tip of his tail. From awkward, wobbly puppyhood there were times, when tail tucked tight, Kagui would head to his hut fast or he would be consumed. 

Even before his legs were able to keep up with the with the goat herd going out to graze, he followed. The herd boys just loved this little waggy-tailed puppy and would carry him over the rough spots. There were no fences when we lived in what is now Kenya and the herd boys would have to make sure the goats did not get into family gardens. Soon, Kagui was helping to keep the goats in line. Should the boys not be watchful, they could find they had lost some of the herd. When this happened late it the day, it was very apt to result in the death of the lost goats. Kagui was a great help in trailing the wanderers and helping them return to the fold.

Many were the lessons Kagui had to learn. Early in his life, for example, he learned to leave a porcupine alone. That was just sure trouble stacked against a dog. Kagui also found it was not good to go down a hole. All too often the hole was occupied by something that didn't mind eating dogs. Some old dog told him it's best to stay reasonably close to the fire when it's dark. When his nose told him there were enemies about, he would bark loud and long, but was always ready to flee for the safety of the fire. 

One day out with the goats in bush country something very strange and very different appeared. This mass had a smell Kagui had never before encountered. Whatever it was, it had a shape Kagui had never seen. The goats galloped away to a safe distance, while the sheep fled in consternation. The herd boys were curious but did not venture too close. This object did not move. Kagui watched closely this strange sinister mass. His self-preservation instinct caused him to feel this thing to be a menace.

Photograph courtesy of The Scientist Magazine. This python was killed in the Philippines

He growled at it and circled it cautiously eyeing it intently. Then he barked at it savagely. The mass made not the slightest response. It did not even move. It seemed totally unimpressed by the frantic barking dog. Only the beady eyes kept track of Kagui as he stormed about, attacking, then retreating, trying to figure out this thing. For some strange reason, this enemy did not run; it did not charge; it made no advance or did it retreat. Nothing Kagui had ever encountered behaved like this strange silent mass.

Kagui kept what seemed to him to be an adequate distance, at least by comparison to everything else in his experience. What he did not know was pythons literally throw or thrust several feet of their bodies into an assault. Thus the battle lines were set. The fact the mass didn't move caused Kagui to take greater risks, darting closer. 

All of a sudden, the dark shiny body flew out at him fast as a flying fist. This took Kagui completely by surprise. In an instant he was caught, trapped by the body of the python. Though he tried desperately and struggled with all his might, he could not escape. Coil after massive coil surround him in seconds and they choked and smothered his breath away.

Athlete Wrestling with a Python by Frederic, Lord Leighton (1877). Photograph courtesy of

The herd boys came to our house at a run to tell us of this awful thing. We went out with them into the wilds and shot the python. After skinning the python, we opened him up and removed Kagui's body. We thought he would be badly broken in form. Not in the slightest. There was not a mark on him. He looked very natural indeed. Pythons do not squeeze enough to break bone. Rather the pressure is so great as to make breathing impossible and arrest blood circulation. That is the way pythons kill.

NOTE:  Previous "Out of Africa" posts:
  1. Doctor Livingstone, I Presume
  2. The Kikuyu
  3. The Eland Hunt
  4. The Hippopotamus Hunt

Sunday, January 12, 2014

52 Ancestors #2: Verses at the Drop of a Hat

For the second week of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 ancestors in 52 weeks challenge, I am writing about another poet. This one described herself as a "frustrated writer and poet." I found her in a most unusual, non-professional genealogist sort of way while trying to verify information from my Dad's family tree.

According to my Dad's genealogy research, his first cousin once removed, Harold Muir married Marion Ternes in Michigan sometime after 1940. Dad wasn't as fussed about sourcing his research discoveries as I am. So off I went in search of a source citation for this marriage and to learn more about the Ternes family.  I discovered Marion's relatives owned the Ternes Coal and Lumber Company and were a prominent Detroit family. Harold was the grandson of a coal miner and worked as a machinist at a Ford factory, so he definitely married up! I got interested. I had lived and worked in the Detroit area in the early 1980s and found the city's rise and fall absorbingly fascinating. I got more interested, spending a lot of additional time researching a "by marriage" family than I normally would.

A Google search result led me to the Live from Tormville! blog and a wonderful discovery. After reading the voice tape transcripts the blogger bought at a garage sale (can you believe that), I fell in love with Edith Mary Madeline (Ternes) Reynolds[1] and I think you will, too. Her real name was Freda Isobel Watson and she was adopted.

Transcripts of voice tapes sent to a relative circa 1958 -- about 5-1/2 feet long! Photo by Sharyn Tormane, author of Live fro Tormville!

Here's her story:

My name is Edith Mary Madeline Ternes Reynolds. I am your grandfather's adopted sister. I was introduced into the family when I was four and a half years old. My mother had died giving birth to her fifth child. My parents rented a house from your great grandparents. My mother was pregnant and on her way to the Ternes to pay the rent. She tripped on a broken sidewalk near their home. Mother Ternes told me she saw her and went out and put a pillow under her head and called for help. She was taken to the hospital and died that afternoon. She was only 26 years old.

In the summer of 1911, I was taken by my aunt to a cottage on Hickory Island. I played in the water and on the beach with some other children until nap time. I was put down for a nap, when I awakened my aunt was gone and I found myself in a strange place without a single familiar face. At four and a half this can be a devastatingly traumatic experience. It was for me.

Years later  I came to terms with it and even wrote a poem about it. It was a little morbid as I recall. I am a frustrated poet and writer -- verses at the drop of a hat so don't drop yours or I'll surely write about it. Two of the boys I played with before my world upended were Norman and Orrin, the two surviving children of the Ternes family. They had had five children, three of whom -- Chester, Mildred and Edith -- had died in infancy or early childhood. It was to fill the void left by the two daughters that the Ternes decided to adopt me. They changed my name from Freda Isobel Watson to Edith Mary Madeline Ternes. I found this out when I was taken to school in the fall. From the middle of summer until school time, I wondered why no one ever called me by my name. Every time anyone spoke to me, they called me Edith. I did not know who Edith was. This was very confusing to me because my name was Freda. No one ever called me that again.

I so wish I had a photo of Edith, but I do not...yet. What I do have is a current photo from Google Maps of the home the family moved to in 1918 on 15th Street in Detroit. It's a sad testament to a once great and powerful city:

2668 -- 15th Street. When the Ternes family moved to house in 1918, the house number was 448.

I excerpted Edith Mary Madeline (Ternes) Reynold's transcripts in several posts. She had an absolute flair for writing and I felt like I knew her:
Because of my fascination with Edith, I dug as deep as I knew how into the Ternes family. That research lead me to a wonderful connection that I've enjoyed getting to know through email.  Here is the story of her grandfather -- why he moved to Panama and how he died:
Today is the 15th anniversary of Edith's death. Did you fall in love with her, too?

[1] Edith Mary Madeline (Ternes) Reynolds was the first cousin of the wife of my first cousin 2x removed. She was born on 16 December 1906 in Michigan; married Elmer Reynolds about 1938; and died 12 January 1999 in Dearborn, Wayne, Michigan. She was adopted by Anthony Francis and Madeline Laura (Loranger) Ternes when she was four and a half years old. Her birth mother was Isobel Watson, maiden name unknown.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Bizarre Scandal

Several years ago I was interested in the period of American history immediately after the Revolutionary War. Specifically, I was trying to understand why the economic fortunes of Virginia declined beginning in the 1780s. One of the books I read was Scandal at Bizarre by Cynthia A. Kierner. The implosion of the Richard Randolph family of the Bizarre plantation was almost a metaphor for the period.

The facts of the scandal are these. Richard Randolph, a step-son of St. George Tucker (my sister-in-law's 3rd cousin six times removed), married his second cousin once removed, Judith Randolph. Together they lived at Bizarre Plantation in Cumberland County, Virginia, near Farmville. Judith's sister, Ann Cary "Nancy" Randolph lived with them after their mother's death and father's subsequent remarriage. Nancy became pregnant, and one night while visiting friends, delivered either a stillborn or living child. Her brother-in-law, Richard, supposedly took the child outside by the woodpile and killed it or disposed of the body.

As the house slaves began to talk, the rumor spread to other great plantations and within a few months it had become one of the greatest scandals in the Commonwealth's history. In April 1793, Richard Randolph was accused of "feloniously murdering a child said to be born of Nancy Randolph." He was defended by Patrick Henry and John Marshall, and he was acquitted but died three years later.

Nancy Randolph remained at Bizarre with her sister, Judith, but Judith asked her sister to leave in 1805. Nancy was dubbed "the Jezebel of the Old Dominion" and eventually traveled north to improve her circumstances. She agreed to become housekeeper for Gouverneur Morris in April 1809. They married in December of that same year. Gouverneur Morris was more than 20 years her senior; and their son, Gouverneur Morris, Jr., was born in 1813.

Later in life Nancy did admit to becoming pregnant in early 1792. She always insisted she was engaged to Theodorick, Richard Randolph's brother; and it was he who fathered the child, which was born stillborn. Theodorick had long been ill and died of tuberculosis in February of 1792. No public mention had been made of an engagement between Nancy and Theodorick.

Richard Randolph's brother, John Randolph of Roanoke, never forgave Nancy. He wrote to her after she had married about her husband:

"If he be not blind and deaf, he must sooner or later, unmask you, unless he die of the 'cramp in his stomach' you understand me!"

Ann Cary "Nancy" (Randolph) Morris
Nancy Randolph Morris responded:

"I observe, Sir, in the course of your letter, allusions to all Shakespeare's best tragedies. I trust you are, by this time, convinced that you have clumsily performed the part of 'honest Iago.' Happily for my life, and for my husband's peace, you did not find in him a headlong, rash Othello. For a full and proper description of what you have written and spoken on this occasion, I refer you to the same admirable author. He will tell you, 'it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing!'"

Quite an effective putdown I'd say. John Randolph had a complex personality; he was described by Wynham Robertson, former governor of Virginia and author of Pocahontas, Alias Matoaka and Her Descendants, thusly, "he dazzled but did not warm, and no fruit ripened in his rays."

Thursday, January 9, 2014

52 Ancestors Surprise -- Cousin Bait

Last week Amy Johnson Crow, author of the No Story Too Small blog, issued the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge to the genealogy and family history blogging community. Yesterday she posted the Week 1 Recap and included a link to it on Facebook. Amy was kind enough to sort her recap by surname so that we could look for common ancestors. And at least one cousin connection was made already!  It turns out my post about Nathaniel Tucker was "cousin bait."

From William Tucker of Throwleigh, Devon, by Robert Dennard Tucker; image courtesy of my sister-in-law's new "genea-cousin"

Beverly Harrison, author of The Hopelessly Hooked Genealogist, spotted the Tucker surname. She descends from Francis Tucker (1653-1723), who went to Bermuda from England. This branch of the family went on to Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri. My sister-in-law descends from Henry Tucker (1652-1728), who was born in Bermuda. This branch went to Virginia and then Georgia sometime before 1790. Both our lines descend from William Tucker of Throwleigh, Devon (1495-1543) and our common ancestor is George Tucker (1621-1663).

We'll be comparing our Tucker trees next. It's been an exiting day at Tangled Roots and Trees!

Update #1: I've been reading the entries for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge on Amy's recap post. It appears Nathaniel Tucker was not the only cousin bait in Week 1. Bill West's post about his 8x great grandfather, Edward Colbourne (Colborne, Colburn or Coburn) netted him a new cousin, who participates in the 52 Ancestors challenge on Facebook.

Update #2: Amy Johnson Crow describes all the connections made in her new post, Cousin Bait and the 52 Ancestors Challenge.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Guest Blog: What's in a Name?

I realized not too long ago the first anniversary of this blog was quickly approaching. I wondered if I would run out of topics to write about so I had the brilliant idea to invite guest bloggers to write posts from time to time.  One obvious choice was my fourth cousin once removed, Sarah Semple. Sarah reached out to me through in early May of last year. And what a treasure she has turned out to be. She has written several books about genealogy, which are all fascinating, and helped me with my great great grandmother Margaret Semple's family immediate and extended. Sarah has taught me more than a thing or two about research and Scottish customs. She also wrote Charles Sorrell's Edwardian Napier, which was reviewed by Postcard Pillar in December 2013.

Over to Sarah -- 

When our children were born, my husband and I decided that their first names would be ones that appealed to us. However they would have two middle names -- one from my husband's side of the family and the other from my side. The criteria for each middle name was that it had to be either a prominent name that appeared consistently through the family tree or a name from an individual in our heritage who stood out by playing an important role in shaping our family. It all seemed pretty simple really, or maybe not…

Our son's middle names are Alexander and Wolfe. Alexander was a natural choice -- the name of my great great grandfather who immigrated with his wife and children to New Zealand in 1862. Alexander (born 12 October 1833 in Larkhall, Lanarkshire, Scotland) had worked as a hand loom weaver in Scotland. However, the industrial revolution saw the decline of the cottage weaving industry with many in Larkhall working in the mines instead. Alexander chose a different path from his brothers and became a stonemason. His immigration to New Zealand allowed him to become a farmer. His son, also named Alexander (my great grandfather) was born on the boat, the day after it had berthed in Port Chalmers, Dunedin. Semple Road in Waitati, Otago, is named after him.

Alexander Semple (born 1862)

Wolfe was my husband's great grandfather's middle name. Albert Wolfe Brisk was born in Safed in 1880 in what was then Palestine. He trained as a watchmaker in Switzerland and then moved to Singapore where he married and had six children. His wife died in 1936. Albert and five of his children were interned by the Japenese in various camps in southeast Asia during World War II. Albert didn't survive the experience. He was imprisoned in Changi camp in Singapore and then in Sime Road camp. He died from malnutrition on 19 December 1942.

Albert Wolfe Brisk (born 1882)

My daughter's middle names are Alecia and Sorrell. The name Alecia (or Alicia) has been in every generation of her paternal grandmother's family back to the late 1700s. This side of the family immigrated from Ireland to Australia in the early 1800s. They owned large pockets of land and were proud of the family name Alecia which ran through the family. When the family tree was finally worked on, it was discovered the name Alecia had in fact originated from a servant who had worked for the family in Ireland. Some of the older generation were horrified by this knowledge!

Ethel Alecia Sorrell (born 1878)

The name Sorrell was for Charles Sorrell, my great grandfather who had moved to New Zealand and settled in Napier working as a photographer. He captured Napier -- its buildings, landscape, people and events on film. Napier was destroyed by an earthquake in 1931; many of the buildings and landscapes Sorrell photographed disappeared. Researching the Sorrell tree proved problematic, and it turned out that Charles Sorrell was not a Sorrell at all -- his name at birth was Charles Hudson Cunningham. His mother had gotten pregnant in London for the second time, and her brothers put her on a boat in 1855 destined for Melbourne, Australia. Son Charles was born shortly after her arrival. She then moved in with a man named John Sorrell and had two daughters by him. As he lay dying in 1860, Charles' mother was brawling with the bailiff about non-payment of rent. She had a further two children by different men. It turns out there is no Sorrell blood in my family tree at all, but I was none the wiser when my daughter was born!

Sorrell residence and studio in 1911; Charles Sorrell is on the balcony with his wife

Sunday, January 5, 2014

52 Ancestors #1: Nathaniel Tucker, Poet

This is my entry for Amy Johnson Crow's 52 ancestors in 52 weeks challenge.

Nathaniel Tucker (1750-1807) was the 3rd cousin six times removed of my sister-in-law. In 1973 Lewis Leary, a specialist in American literature and the former William Rand Kenon, Jr, Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, wrote a book entitled, Poems of Nathaniel Tucker. In it he described Nathaniel Tucker this way:

"…a very minor but not unrepresentative poet of the late eighteenth century. Born in Bermuda in 1750, he lived during the early 1770s briefly in South Carolina and visited in Virginia, but then spent the rest of his life abroad, a student at Edinburgh, Leyden, and London, and was a physician in Yorkshire until his death in 1807. During the American Revolution, he thought of himself as a patriot marooned in an enemy land, able only to play a spectator poet's part in the struggle of his colonial countrymen for freedom. To their cause he contributed Columbinus: A Mask, hoping that it might be adopted in the new United States as a national drama, to be performed each year on some patriotic anniversary and thus, he said, become 'the bark in which I am to voyage over the ocean of time to the distant shore of posterity.' Instead, it has been hidden away for almost two hundred years in a manuscript copy, unread by almost everyone.

Tucker House in St George's, Bermuda. It is now a museum. A magnificent collection of Tucker family silver, china, crystal, antique English mahogany and Bermuda cedar furniture, portraits by Blackburn, and quilts are just some of the treasures on display.

Poor Natty, his brothers called him, for nearly everything that he turned to seemed to fail. Other Tuckers did well. His oldest brother, Henry, was to become President of the colonial council in Bermuda, and Henry's sons would play important roles in the colonization of India. Thomas Tudor, six years older than Nathaniel, received a medical degree from Edinburgh, practiced as a physician in Charleston, South Carolina, became a delegate to the Continental Congress, and during Jefferson's administration was the Treasurer of the United States. St George Tucker, two years younger than Nathaniel, came to Williamsburg, Virginia, as a student at the College of William and Mary, served with distinction at the battle of Yorktown, and remained in Virginia for the rest of his life, a lawyer, judge, professor, and occasional poet, honored among her most prominent citizens. But Nathaniel, whom his family thought blessed with much talent and great goodness of heart, was less successful, largely, it was supposed, because he wanted so badly to be a poet."

Nathaniel Tucker's most acclaimed verse was The Bermudian written as a homesick assistant to his brother, a medical doctor in Charleston, South Carolina. It was first published at the contrivance of his brother, St George Tucker, by Purdie and Dixon in Williamsburg, Virginia. It has been republished many times since. The Tucker House Museum in Bermuda offers copies to those visitors interested in the poem.

Photograph courtesy of the royal

Warning, readers, the poem is long!

The Bermudian by Nathaniel Tucker

BERMUDA, parent of my early days,
To thee belong my tributary lays;
In thy blest clime, secured from instant harms,
A tender mother press'd me in her arms,
Lull'd me to rest with many a ditty rare,
And loo'd and smiled upon her infant care.
She taught my lisping accents how to flow,
And bade the virtues in my bosom glow.

Hail Nature's darling spot! enchanted isle!
Where vernal blooms in sweet succession smile;
Where, cherish'd by the fostering sea-born gale,
Appears the tall palmetto of the vale;
The rich banana, tenant of the shade,
With leaf broad-spreading to the breeze display'd,
The memorable tree, of aspect bold,
That graced they plains, O Lebanus, of old;
The fragrant lime, the lemon at his side,
And golden orange, fair Hesperia's pride.
While genial Summer, who, approaching fast,
Claims to disperse the short-liv'd wint'ry blast,
O'er the green hill, and cedar-bearing plain,
Boasts undisturb'd a long-protracted reign.

Her blushing Health, descending from above,
The daughter fair of cloud-compelling Jove,
Pleas'd with the scene all naturally gay,
And importun'd by Temperance to stay,
In pity to the weary peasant's toil,
With blessing crown'd the wave-surrounded soil.

Too happy land! if in the search around
The source of opulence cou'd here be found,
And they worn offspring, ev'ry case resign'd,
His dwelling peaceful, and serene his mind,
With independence bless'd, could sit him down
In age secure of niggard Fortune's frown!
But early torn reluctant from their home,
Amidst the tempest's roar condemn'd to roam,
Thy scatter'd sons, a race of giant form,
Whose souls at peril mock, and brave the storm,
At honest labour's call, with fruitless pains,
Are fare dispers'd o'er Britain's wide domains.

Eternal blessing with profusion smile,
And crown with lasting bliss my parent isle!
Blest be the narrow field, the little cot,
And blest the lab'ring swain's contented lot!
For thee may Commerce to the southern gale
Successfully expand her swelling sail,
And from Peruvian mines the slave for thee,
With treasures load the wave-diving tree!
With joy returning, each endeavor sped,
No more compell'd to roam for scanty bread,
All heart-corroding cares at length supprest,
Each want supply'd by ev'ry wish possest;
May thy lost children, to their friends restor'd,
Taste every blessing Fortune can afford.
While I, whose birth more inauspicious far,
Conress'd the reign of some malignant star, 
Whose name, alas! from fair Enjoyment's date
Stands far remov'd upon the roll of Fate,
With weary step, each distant realm explore,
A wand'ring exile from my native shore.

Off, when in shades envelop'd, Night descends,
And Darkness o'er the hemisphere extends,
When glooming Silence hushes ev'ry sound,
And dead Tranquillity prevails around,
And the distress'd, unmindful of their woes,
In balmy sleep their heavy eye-lids close,
While no repose my weary soul can find,
Thy loved ideas rises in my mind.
Swift at the thought, and for enjoyment keen,
Regardless of the seas that roll between,
Where o'er surrounding depths thy cliffs arise,
With rapid wing my busy fancy flies;
And, representing scenes of past delights,
A painful pleasure in my breast excites.

E'en now, transported to my native land,
Upon the summit of some hill I stand,
The fears view, uncultur'd as they grow,
And all the varied scenery below.
Far at a distance as the eye can reach,
Extend the mazes of the winding beach:
Loud on the coast the bellowing ocean roars,
While foaming surges lash the whiten'd shores;
Stupendous rocks in wild confusion stand,
Lift their tall cliffs, and sadden all the strand.

Before Aurora gilds the eastern skies
The sun-burnt tenants of the cottage rise;
With many a yawn their drowsy comrades hail,
Rub their dim eyes, and taste the morning-gale.
Some bear the basket, plenteously supply'd
With hooks and lines, the able fisher's pride;
Others with dextrous hands the toils display,
Well skill'd to circumvent the scaly prey;
With wide-extended nets the shores they sweep,
Or man the bark, and plough the finny deep.
The happy islander, return'd at night,
Recounts the day's adventures with delight;
Astonishes the list'ning crowed with tales
Of rocks avoided, and of dang'rous gales;
Of groupers, who deluded by the bait,
Shar'd many a former grouper's wretched fate;
And rock-fish, who had tugg'd the well-streth'd line,
Oblig'd their pond'rous carcass to resign.
The little urchin, playing on the strand,
At distance kens the bark return'd to land,
He hies impatient, views the scaly store,
And bids his parent welcome to the shore.

Meanwhile the housewife decks the cleanly board
With all her homely cottage can afford;
Her little brood are seated to their wish,
And taste the blessings of the smoking dish;
Of childish stories prattle all the while,
Regarding either parent with a smile; 
The finny monster's grateful taste admire,
And for it bless their providential fire.
He with delight the youthful tribe surveys,
His gladdened eyes still brighten as they gaze;
Of earthly joys he knows no higher pitch,
And bids the prince be great, the miser rich.

Where rising Phoebus darts the morning-ray,
The verdant hills a diff'rent scene display;
Promiscuous houses in the vale are seen,
Whose decent white adorns the lively green.
The weary peasant here, reclined at ease,
Beneath his fig-tree courts the southern breeze;
Or, while the great, at fruitless cares, repine,
He sits the monarch of his little vine.

There scatter'd isles, whose banks the waters lave,
Grace with their herbage the pellucid wave.
The lordly bullock there, unus'd to toil,
Securely stalks the tyrant of the soil;
While tender lambkins on the margin play,
And sport and gambol 'midst the sunny day.

From early infancy  inur'd to toil,
Rough as the rocks that bound his native soil,
The sturdy craftsman, with laborious hand, 
Fells the tall tree, and drags it to the strand:
Resounding shores return the hammer's blows,
Beneath the stroke the gaudy pinnace grows,
Lanch'd, and completely mann'd, in quest of gain,
Spreads her light sails, and tempts the wat'ry main.

Near yonder hill, above the stagnant pool,
My stem preceptor taught his little school:
Dextrous t' apply the scientific rod,
The little truants shudder'd at his nod;
When-e'er he came, they all submissive bow'd,
All scann'd their tasks industriously loud;
And, fearful to excite the master's rage,
With trembling hands produc'd blotted page.
Skillful he was, and dabbled in the law,
Bonds, notes, petitions -- any thing cou'd draw:
'Twas even whisper'd, and 'tis strictly true,
He claim'd acquaintance with the Muses too,
And, by the goddesses inspir'd, at times,
His lofty genius mounted into rhymes.
Great bard! what numbers can they praise rehearse,
Who turn'd Qui mini into English verse;
Taught the smug epigram with art to glide,
and e'en at lines of heav'nly Maro try'd?
Tho' many an epitaph of thine was known
To grace the cold commemorating stone,
Thy own remains, in some neglected spot,
Now lie unsung, unheeded, and forgot!

Far to the south, above the wat'ry roar,
When the blue Ocean rolls against the shore,
And the tall cliffs and sloping mountain's side
O'erlook the deep, and stop the coming tide,
Of ancient date, and calling for repair,
Is seen the parish-church, the house of pray'r.
No stately columns there superbly rise,
No tow'ring steeple greets the distant skies,
No pompous domes magnificence impart,
Strike the pleas'd eye, or show the master's art.
To mark the silent mansions of the dead,
No obelisk of marble rears its head,
No finely-decorated tomb is shown,
No sculptur'd monument of Parian stone.
But the rude native quarry,  as it lies, 
A far more coarse remembrancer supplies,
Which the dejected son, reduc'd to mourn
His much-lov'd parent, from his bosom torn,
The last sad honors to his ashes paid,
Sighing, erects to the departed shade.

Touch'd with the theme, by pow'rful Fancy led
To more remote apartments of the dead,
I see sad ATTICUS, in silent gloom,
Indignant quit the solitary tomb,
His ancient, well-remember'd form renew,
And pass before me slowly in review.
The happy thought, the mirth-exciting joke,
The turn satirical, the pointed stroke,
The vein of humor, the remark so dry,
The witty sally, and the keen reply,
Around the social table form'd to shine,
Without a rival, ATTICUS, were thine.

Talent like these, (for they have seldom fail'd),
While bus'ness flagg'd, and indolence prevail'd,
And sullen Prudence, frowning, stood aloof,
Entic'd the jovial circle to thy roof;
And for life's eve, thy glory in the wane,
Prepar'd a fund of indigence and pain.

Thrice happy thou! if to discretion led
By the much-valued part'ner of they bed,
Thous hadst been taught more laying bliss to prize,
And learn'd from her example to be wise!
But she, such ills unable to withstand,
When deadly, pale Disease, with tyrant hand,
They cruel destiny relentless wrote,
They visage sadden'd, and they dwelling smote;
For they unhappy lot with grief opprest,
Before thee sunk to everlasting rest.
Her duteous offspring, (who, no longer near,
Expos'd unshelter'd to the storm's carrier,
His native shore unable to regain,
Reluctant plough'd the bleak Atlantic main),
O'erwhelmed with sorrow, at his let return,
With tears bedew'd her consecrated urn.

Tho' at a distance from my searching eye,
Amidst surrounding woods, thy dwelling lie;
Tho' envious Time or weaning Absence strive
Thy charish'd image from my breast to drive;
Yet near my hear (for they shall strive in vain)
His wonted place shall CANDIDUS retain.
If manly sense, if an extensive mind,
Unsway'd by prejudice, and unconfin'd;
A judgment happy to decide with skill;
But mild and open to conviction still;
A voice in polish'd numbers taught to roll,
Whose accents waft the music of the soul;
An honest heart, a temper that can learn
To love mankind, and to be lov'd in turn;
If sentiments humane, combined with these,
May challenge merit, and expect to please,
Of gentle manners, affable and free,
The praise, O CANDIDUS, is due to thee.

No more frequented by festive bands,
Behold yon solitary mansion stands.
There fair ARDELLA tripp'd along the vale,
Her auburn tresses floating in the gale,
Sweet as the favorite offspring of the May,
Serenely mild, and innocently gay:
ARDELLA, once so cheerful and so blest,
Now, by Misfortune's iron hand, opprest.
Methinks I see the solitary maid
Pensive beneath the spreading cedar's shade,
No soothing friend, no voice of comfort near,
Heave the big sigh, and shed the silent tear.
"Awake to consolation, nor repine,
Because the sorrows of to-day are thine:
In air let sublunary cares be hurl'd,
And look exulting to a better world;
Triumphant virtue there shall bear the say,
And life thee far above the solar ray."

Beneath my bending eye, serenely neat,
Appears my ever-blest parental seat.
Far in the font the level lawn extends,
The zephyrs play, the nodding cypress bends;
A little hillock stands on either side,
O'erspread with evergreens, the garden's pride.
Promiscuous here appears the blushing rose,
The guava flourishes, the myrtle grows,
Upon the surface earth-born woodbines creep,
O'er the green beds the painted 'sturtians peep,
Their arms aloft triumphal lilacs bear,
And jessamines perfume the ambient air.
The whole is from an eminence display'd,
Where the brown olive lends his pensive shade.
When zephyrs there the noon-tide heat assuage,
Oft have I turn'd the meditative page,
And calmly read the ling'ring hours away,
Securly shelter'd from the blaze of the day.
At eve refresh'd, I trod the mazy walk, 
And bade the minutes pass in cheerful talk,
With many a joke my brothers wou'd assail,
Or cheer my sisters with the comic tale;
While both fond parents pleas'd, the group survey'd,
Attentive heard, and smil'd at all they said.

Thrice happy seat! here once were centered all
That bind my heart to this terrestrial ball;
The sight of these each gloomy thought destroys,
And ties my soul to sublunary joys!

Ye pow'rs supreme, who rule the spangled sky,
On whose protection firmly they rely,
Grant them each bliss the fertile mind can form,
And lift them high above Misfortune's storm!

But hark! I see them to the green repair,
To taste the sweets of the refreshing air;
Descend, my soul, on airy pinions light,
The circle join, and feat thy gladden'd sight.

Hail ever-honor'd authors of my birth,
The poor's assistants, and the friends of worth!
My best of brothers, hail! companion dear,
Unshaken friend and partner of my care!
My sisters too! transported let me gaze
And bless the sweet'ners of my former days!
A long lost wand'rer to your arms receive,
Soothe all his sorrows, and his cares relieve.

How incomplete is east terrestrial joy,
Where disappointments all our hopes destroy!
Tow other sons shou'd in the circle stand!
For these, alas! I search a distant land;
Lament them gone, an honour to their race,
And with a sigh behold their vacant place.

Tho' CAROLINA, skill'd in social lore,
with open arms receiv'd me to her shore;
Altho' her sons, an hospitable band,
Have hail'd me welcome to their fertile land,
And, giving all the friendly heart can give,
Bade their remembrance in my bosom live;
Tho' (thanks to all my guardian powers!) there
I found a brother and a friend sincere;
Still, for 'tis natural, affection's tide
Flows where my honour'd parents yet reside.

For every blotted be the fatal day
That tore me from their circling arms away,
When the tall ship, regardless of my pain,
Call'd me reluctant to the sounding main;
Aloft her swelling sails triumphant bore,
And left them pensive on the winding shore!

My aged parent's awful voice I hear,
The solemn sound still vibrates in my ear.
"Adieu, my son! with winds propitious go,
Obtain what knowledge travel can bestow;
Thy neighbour's friend, an enemy to strife,
Uprightly tread the mazy path of life;
Let honour's rules they ev'ry act control,
Nor suffer vice to bend thy stubborn soul.
Shou'd sovereign Gold, the tyrant of mankind,
Attempt from justice to divert thy mind;
Exulting still prefer the frugal crust,
And spurn with high contempt, the guilty dust.
Let all the frowns of Fortune be defy'd,
Virtue thy friend, and Providence thy guide!"