Sunday, January 20, 2008

New Year, New Mysteries

Hi, here's hoping we all made it to the New Year in safety. As usual we stayed home. For one thing it was cold and snowing and late for us old folks. As usual I had just drifted off and the noise began, I guess I should be happy I don't live closer to Downtown. The neighbors are enough some years. Even though the state banned fireworks that go up it is amazing how many seem to still go off every year. It finally settled down and I dozed off. New Years Day was upon us. Now it's a few weeks into the year, and my does time seem to go faster each year.

Continuing my work on genealogy and I now have over 13,000 names in my database. I finally found my adopted fathers line and added them to my files. The Jacobson-Welker lines came from Ohio and Holland. They were among the first Mormon Pioneers to help settle the Western states. I had grown up hearing the stories of wagon trails and burying babies along the way. As I put the names in I found hints to books written by others on my "famous"family line. There are cites in Utah and Idaho and other Western states who owe their existence to these people. Imagine in our day of getting on an airplane and going across the world in a matter of hours, how it was to travel across the plains, prairies and mountains to start a new life. Climate, native Indian tribes, animals and distance must have tried even the best of souls. But they came to spread humankind and faith to the wide expanse.

Most people know that the Mormons were a religious faith, many people compare to Islam. They do have their similarities, such as plural marriages. It was a practice in the faith to marry more than one woman until Utah wanted to become a state of the Union. For whatever reasons, the Mormon faith backed down on this practice and all marriages that were multiple were allowed to remain but no more plural marriages were allowed. I expected to find quite a few such marriages but as of yet I have only found 1. A young couple received a letter from the niece of the wife saying that her husband had died. I guess she needed a place to stay and became the second wife of her mothers sister. A lot could be said about this and it is till today discussed. Not to long ago on a local cable channel they brought on a show about a polygamist family. My Two Wives, didn't last very long. Funny, Americans can marry and cheat on their wives and be content but marry the other woman instead and all HELL breaks loose. I recently discussed Islam's ideal of plural marriage with a friend and I could tell it didn't hold much with her either. Oh well to each his own is my motto. Yesterday I came across another item of interest that has always brought a flurry of pro and cons on the religion forums of Myspace. Young wives and OLD men.

Islam's revered Prophet Mohammed married a young Aieysha. There is much dispute as to her actual age at Marriage and more as to when she consummated the marriage. How many people got irate when they took the idea of a girl of nine being married. We discuss that other cultures married women at young ages as well but I guess we have to be the scapegoats. We look to puberty as a sign of maturity in the oldest of cultures so if a girl reached puberty at nine who could say she was not mature? Young men are known to mature at various ages but we all know that they mature at a much later stage. (Like 56) A girl was a woman when she hit puberty plain and simple. Now we zoom to today and with science we know that yes a girl may be pubescent but still not capable of having a healthy pregnancy at such a young age. I am sure many young brides died in childbirth due to this. None the less I look at my ancestors and see women having children from age 11 til well into their 50's and surviving after having literally one child a year for each year of marriage. And this covers all faiths and cultures. Now as to men. Men mature usually around 14 and can by today's standards keep having children for many years. Not like they do much past the night! Any way I have seen many a family man stay virile well into his 50's. But yesterday I had to make a phone call-I found one entry that blew my socks off. I was working out of a book that had been compiled on the people of a county in Georgia were most of my mother's lines settled. I won't name the book or the county in respect of the families. I was putting in the marriage info for a couple and was trying to locate more info on the parents of a young woman. I found a census where mom was living with her in her 60's so I figured dad had to be somewhere close. I started looking for other census records from an earlier time. I didn't see dad anywhere. I happened to open the mother's file and a hint appeared (that is a clue provided by the program that there may be a bit of information I need available) so I clicked on the census for the mother. It was a 1880 census record. She was 24. Oh so this must be the file I need to find her husbands first name out. I knew the last name so I began to look over the photocopy of the original census record. Many familiar surnames were there but finally I saw her name. I looked there was the wife and daughter was age 1 so yes this had to be them. Then I saw the husband- but no this could not be correct! This man was 72!!!!!! Ok, maybe its his father ...but no the family was just these three people..line says married not widowed...ok and they had a one year old child.

I got on the phone and exclaimed how could they do that!!!How does a 24 year old woman get stuck with a crotchety old man and have a child none the less???? We began to discuss the times late 1700's and maybe she was orphaned, poor and her family married her off to better her status any number of reasons could be surmised, but in the end was this no different than any other country that Americans constantly badger as being disgusting? I was reminded of a recent TV personality that made waves when she married a much older man- Anna Nicole Smith of porno fame married a man well beyond her years and we all knew it was for his money. I joked that at least this ancestor made a effort of once and got a child but in this day and age we are aghast when we hear of such behavior. All the more I see things that in one country it is appalling while if we all looked into our own pasts we would find such behaviors. In many ways we have not changed. The Romans, Egyptians, Grecians and many more married sisters to brothers to maintain pure bloodlines of Royals so how is it that when a lady announced the other day that her great grandparents had been brother and sister a collective shiver went up and down the forum? Speaking of Royals, my adopted fathers mother, is descended from the same woman who's line is the Royal family of England! You think if I asked to see the Queen I would be allowed, I mean we are related! And I also came across a connection to my mothers family line. I had a hint that my mothers line was related to the famous "Shirley Temple" or Shirley Temple Black as she is known today and I traced my lines to her female side of the family lines. I was working on my adopted grandmothers line and found also the same hint. I had also found that she had descended from people who lived in Georgia so I got digging. Her line came down the fathers line at the very same point! Momma your related to dad! But I think were safe.