Saturday thoughts

T2C,_Fred_Barnard,_The_Wine-Shop_in_St._AntoineWork on my Ancestry tree continues to engage me.  I am now in the 1400s in England, and in very tenuous territory. I have thousands of ancestors this far back and they in turn have thousands of descendants working on their family trees.  Hence, I find hundreds of “hints” where others have been. Ancestry Identifies these hints with shakey leaves, and sends me messages proclaiming “they” have found new hints.

I find these hints often cannot be trusted. For example, one eager searcher attached a photo of Calvin Coolidge to his file.  Another asked Why?  The first replied, I don’t know, I’ll take it down.

I fear many people believe they will find an aristocrat or two in the family haystack. They are deluded by the plethora of crests attached to various files. Crests, my friend John W. says, are nothing but the symbol of the oppressive aristocrat they fled.

 In reality, most of us are descended from:

1. agricultural laborers;

2. became tenant farmers (after the land clearances, closing of the Commons, and confiscation of land from the common people …. to build the huge landed estates of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth centuries);

3. turned yeomen farmer citizens (after emigration from England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, following the return to power of the Royalists, the so-called Restoration, and emigration to the “settler” colonies and the American Revolution).

Others come in the nineteenth century for similar reasons.

“Here once the embattled farmer stood and fired the shot heard round the world.” Concord Hymn ~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

I for one am happy to find NO aristocratic ancestors. As horrible as it sounds, in my younger days, I would have admired a Madame du Farge sitting under the guillotine knitting while heads roll off. Well, perhaps not. But all of us who live in Republics with democratically elected officials have hot heads like Tom Paine to thank.

“The price of Liberty is eternal vigilance.” ~Thomas Jefferson~


As annoyed as I become with large corporations,the runaway salaries of their executives, and the growing chasm between haves and have-nots, I keep remembering that many pensions are invested in the profits from these corporations.  Teacher’s pensions, public servants pensions, etc.

Take a look at your 401K if you are lucky enough to have one.

Although I was a government worker, the bulk of my savings in my 401K were invested in the stock market all through the 1990s.  Beginning in the 2000s, I moved my savings into government bonds. Fortunately, when the Great Recession hit, I had moved all of it into government bonds. When I retired, I moved those funds into IRAs with my local Credit Union. Yes, the return is small, but the capital is safe. I am a conservative investor.

I hate big banks.  A friend of mine was the demographer for the Credit Union Association for years.  He told me Big Banks were always trying to destroy the Credit Unions.  They hate them because they cater to the little guys, like me. Credit Unions are competitors.  Small but powerful, like embattled farmers. The kind of place Jimmy Stewart would work if he hadn’t been an Air Force general and a movie star.  Maybe


She is the double white and she has a heavenly smell.  From Malmaison, Josephine Napoleon’s famous Garden.  Josephine’s garden so well loved, British Man-o-War ships let new roses destined for Josephine pass through their blockade of the French seaports. Like Josephine, she has a history.

The first rose of the year.

The first rose of the year.

18 thoughts on “Saturday thoughts

  1. Good stuff as usual, Dianne. If you get right down to it, we all have a couple of ancestors in common. So now when someone calls me a Neanderthal I reply “Cousin ____, it’s great to finally meet you!”


  2. One Henry the 8th’s Exchequer from England far in a Grandfather’s past. Lots to Scotts farmers and inventors and Engineers. One had 3 wives and 13 children. Poor kids. Some lived too. In the end, it was two drunks begatting one drunk.


  3. There is this (sort of) joke in Europe: We are all descended from Charlemagne. Perhaps you are too.

    My son worked for the Credit Union for a few years. He has nothing but praise for the organisation. Far too few people in the UK are aware of it; the poor still borrow at horrendous interest rates from loan sharks, thereby getting ever deeper in debt.

    It’s a bit too early for my roses, another three weeks and we should be off. everything is lush and green already but there are still very few summer flowers.


    • I’ve read many, if not most of us are descended from Genghis Khan. From the histories of Central Asia I’ve read, I think there is some truth to this.
      Re Credit Unions, good for your son. I began using mine in 1979 when I was a poor single Mom and stayed with it as I grew more financially solvent. Now that we are pensioners on fixed incomes,we are back where we started. Of course living in the third wealthiest county in the US can make almost anyone feel poor.

      Yes all my roses are blooming.however, I planted varieties considered old roses. They are mostly fragrant and insect resistant…hence no spraying necessary. However, some of them have horrendous thorns. The one rose without thorns has no fragrance. She does well in the South, however.


    • Some leaves are okay, others not. The leaves with primary sources like vital statistics records attached to them are often valuable. Those based on someone’s opinion may or may not be good. I evaluate everything, well mostly everything. I say take what you need and leave the rest.


  4. I’m descended from a potato farmer and a copper miner. And I don’t rate high enough to qualify for a credit union — I’ve tried, but nobody will take me., so I’m stuck with a big bank.


  5. Farm labourers, blacksmiths, thatchers, even a mole catcher, all country/ rural trades in England are the backbone of The Golfers tree – at one point of his life his father was a chimney sweep!
    Mine were from Ireland, many many attached to His Majesties Army (Irish regiments) with a fair mix of farm workers, rail employees (gangers and engine firemen) as well as a scattering of others in linen manufacturing.
    Yes Ancestry has its fair share of woulda beens if they coulda been and you do have to watch out for the ‘line pinchers’ those who pinch your family because they see a name and assume its one of theirs – I’ve had a few verbal punch ups with a couple who ‘claimed’ some of The Golfers family when they were alive and well in another country, unfortunately Ancestry says they can’t do anything about it.
    First roses of the season are always a joy aren’t they. Looks like you are well and truly out of winter


    • I had that problem or something like it with a third great-grandfather. Another line “abducted” his mother and attached him to their ancestor with the same name. Probably an innocent mistake on their part, but I had information acquired by his great-granddaughter ( my great aunt) plus a professional genealogist. So,I ignored them and built my own tree, bypassing their tree. That’s all you can do really.

      Love your collection of workers. Our ancestors lived and died unsung lives and did all the heavy lifting to build our countries, but mostly, our lives are the better for it.


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