After thirty-six hours, the snow finally stopped. The blowing and drifting continued for a few more hours, but all seems to be settled this morning. Now if we can just find our cars.
My daughter and her family who live southwest of us in Virginia near Skyline Drive sent photos of their blizzard experience via Facebook. They had all their cats and dogs in the house to keep them warm. The livestock sheltered in their sheds.
Joy who is a senior at Virginia tech, in the mountains, had to milk the college cows, so the university put her up in a hotel near the campus as they are still on winter break.
We prepared for the storm buying insulated bell caps for the outdoor faucets, recharging our emergency battery, stocking up on bottled water. David and I both pushed snow to clear paths for the dogs to do their thing, and to keep snow off the heat pump. So far, knock on wood, the electricity held. This morning one of the neighbor men came by to shovel snow from the porch and driveway.
The downtime gave Connie a chance to work on her father’s father’s family tree. She discovered parents, grandparents, great-grands and so forth by searching through newspaper obituaries. She told me one of the Johnston clan had been wounded fighting at Chancelorsville VA, for the Confederacy. Given several of my ancestors on my Dad’s side fought in VA for the Union, and one sharpshooter was at Chancelorsville, I wonder. Wouldn’t it be a strange twist of fate…..
The facts are, Connie’s dad was descended from folks who settled in Jamestown and fought for the Confederacy.
Simultaneously, my Dad’s ancestors migrated to what became New England and their grandchildren fought in the American Revolution. The grandchildren of these patriots fought in the Civil War.
Thus Connie and my sons have family from both ends of the Civil War spectrum. Oh, the things you think about when you are snowed in.
Two nights ago, I thought about these brave souls a great deal as I went to bed fearing the worst. My ancestors from long ago crossed the Atlantic in tiny ships. No luxury love boats for them. They arrived in New England at a not-so-good time of year. They were devout evangelical Protestants who left Yorkshire and East Anglia for the Netherlands for religious reasons. Later they left for the New World. (Even later arrivals in my family came from northern Europe.)
Connie’s ancestors who migrated to Virginia were a mixed lot, most likely some of them were Scots indentured to wealthy others. Some of these men are believed to have intermarried with indigenous women and moved into western VA and NC. Connie already knows her paternal grandmother was part Lumbee Indian. (The Lumbees are a mixed lot, the descendents of endentured whites, runaway slaves and the remnents of Eastern bands of indigenous peoples. (The Lumbee tribe is recognized by the Census Bureau.)
A friend Sue, who works at the National Archives, put me onto old land records. She says the reason the less-well-off men of the South fought so hard for the South during the “War of Northern Aggression” was because they hated central government. They were afraid the government would seize the land their grandparents had received in payment for their service during the American Revolution.
I don’t know this to be the case because several of my ancestors received land in payment for their service during the Revolution and their grandchildren fought for the Union. I also know it is difficult to understand other people’s motives. Read the book Cold Mountain for one Southerner’s understanding of his family story.
Connie says she’s onto the “Indian rolls”next in the search for her roots.