Saying Goodbye Forever to Blogging…


 Or, maybe just getting ready for April Fools Day…

How often in our lives have we been the victims of a joke or prank and heard a “gotcha” from a friend or loved one on April 1, April Fools Day?

The video below originally published on Jeremiah Warren’s FaceBook page on
April 1, 2013 promises  not to be a prank, but rather, cites the history for this strange celebratory day as we now know it:

I’m very much hoping that by publishing this post today that you will read and comment back about your April Fools Day experiences so we can share them together.

If you are one of those jokesters or pranksters, here’s some helpful hints for you from April Fool Zone about what to consider before going forward with your ideas for the day:

THE GOLDEN RULES OF PRANKING

Plan ahead

Don’t wait until April 1st to start thinking about strategies. Early planning means you’ll be ready on the big day!

Prank with love

Never pull a prank with a mean spirit in your heart. Do it to get a laugh out of someone you care about. And think twice about pranking strangers –it’s generally NOT cool.

Know your victim

Pranks can have consequences–make sure to think about the outcome. After the initial surprise, will your victim’s reaction be positive? A successful prank should always end with your victim laughing!

Match the prank to the person

The best April Fool’s gags are carefully chosen to fit the victim’s personality. For instance, a car prank is perfect for someone who is fussy about their car (but make sure you don’t damage their “baby”!). Or, a computer gag will work best on someone is isn’t very computer savvy. Tailor your prank for the best result.

Is it harmless? Really harmless?

Once you have your prank fully planned out, stop and think…. Is there any chance that someone could get hurt? Is there any possibility that something will get damaged? Consider all outcomes before you plot your prank!

Have the video camera ready

If you can get the moment on tape you’ll be able to enjoy your prank for years to come. So break out the camera…as long as it won’t raise too many suspicions!

Use your best acting skills

If you don’t think you’ll be able to keep a straight face, pick a prank where you’ll stay hidden–or recruit a helper to be the perpetrator.

Time your reveal

Enjoy the moment, and let the prank sink in before shouting out a victorious “April Fool’s!” Timing is important; you don’t want to call it out too early… or too late.

If caught, be gracious

Playing pranks on April Fool’s Day can be tricky–they’ll have their guard up. So don’t be too disappointed if you’re caught in the act. You’ll get ’em next time!

Be ready for retribution

Expect a payback, so watch your back!

And, No, I am nowhere near ready to say Goodbye to Blogging, did I “getcha”?–
Probably not!

Remembering a 19th Century Educator…


My Paternal 2nd Cousin–5 times removed, from Linden, Amelia County, Virginia

Anna Peyton Bolling (1836-1919) was born 177 years ago. At that time, her father, John Peyton Bolling, was 48 and her mother, Anne Field Gilliam, was 40.  Anna was the sixth of seven children born to Petersburg, Virginia farmers.  Anna had six siblings, namely: Mary Field, Lucy Skelton, Arabella Gilliam, Evelina T., Fanny H, and John Peyton, Jr.Anna Peyton Bolling Relationship Chart

William DeBoulonge Descendant Chart (128x160)Our nearest relative in common was Robert Bolling, III (1730-1775),  who descended from the ancient aristocratic Bolling’s of France and then Yorkshire, England.  This family dates back to the first century.  In fact, Amelia County, Virginia, gets its name from Princess Amelia, daughter of George II of England.

Anna’s middle name “Peyton” was given to her in honor of her Peyton family lineage, a practice in naming across many families.  The Peyton name goes back to England and yet more notable aristocrats and politicians. Sir John Peyton, 1st Baronet (1561 – 1616) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1593 and 1611.  By the 1700’s,  descendantThomas Peyton and his son, Sir John Peyton, lived in Gloucester County, Virginia.

But, it was Robert Bolling’s family who in the early eighteenth century acquired the land and established the seven square mile unincorporated town of Petersburg, Virginia
(
37.227927900000000000 x -77.401926699999990000)

When the first Petersburg public school system was established in the late 1800’s, the Petersburg High School had a teaching principal, R.M. Cary, and an assistant teacher, Miss Anna Bolling. Her salary was $500 a year. Anna Bolling became official principal of that school in 1876 after acting in that capacity for several years. She served as principal until 1907.

Anna_P._Bolling_Junior_High_SchoolFor  31 years, Anna Peyton Bolling, a woman of strong personality, made an indelible impression on the generations of pupils who came in contact with her as teacher and principal. 

By 1926, architect Charles M. Robinson had designed and built The Anna Peyton Bolling School located at 35 West Filmore Street in  Petersburg. Thousands of children attended here throughout its 40+ years as a junior high school until it closed in the late 1960’s.  Notice if you will, the Second Renaissance Revival architecture as you look at the image on the left.

The 1970s brought school integration to Petersburg and the 1972 annexation of parts of Prince George and Dinwiddie counties added to the school age population and increased crowding in some schools. It was also during this period that Virginia phased out junior high schools throughout the state in favor of middle schools which housed sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. In 1974, all seventh graders attended a new high school built in 1973. In 1998, the National Register of Historic Places included the Anna P. Bolling Junior High School as an historic building.

But, after the Anna Peyton Junior High School closed, it was used as offices by the city’s health and social services departments. Finally, those too, departed and it was left vacant. In the late 1990’s-early 2000’s, the Anna P. Bolling Junior High School re-entered community life as moderate income apartment building.  Upon calling the Petersburg Historic Society today, I learned that it is once again under renovation.

AnnaPeytonBollingHeadstoneAnna Peyton Bolling never married.  She died 08 FEB 1919 in Petersburg, Dinwiddie, Virginia . She, among many other Bolling family members is buried in Blandford Cemetery, in Petersburg, Dinwiddie, Virginia, USA.

Here’s the inscription from her headstone:

Anna Peyton Bolling
Daughter of
John P. and Anne F. Bolling
Born at Linden, Amelia County, Virginia
September 30, 1836
Died February 8th, 1919
in her 83rd year.
Principal Petersburg High School
for 31 Years from 1876 to 1907
having taught continuously at this school for 39 Years
from October 1868 to May 1907.
Member B Street Presbyterian Church
63 years 8 months and 27 days from
May 12th 1855 to February 8th 1919.

Resources:

http://www.dhr.virginia.gov/registers/Cities/Petersburg/123-0117_Anna_Bolling_School_1998_Final_Nomination.pdf

Irish-American Heritage Month: March 2014


DNA Test Reveals 10% Irish Ancestry

From my ancestry.com dna report–A Look Into My Irish Ancestry – Primarily in: Ireland, Wales, Scotland, but some lived in France, and England:

Emerald IsleI guess the DNA results that revealed my blood lineage as 10 percent Irish, allow me to legitimately wear green today to honor my Irish heritage.  Ireland, called the Emerald Isle for its rolling green hills, is the second largest island in the British Isles, just off the west coast of Britain. Along with Wales, Scotland and a handful of other isolated communities in the area, it is a last holdout of the ancient Celtic languages that were once spoken throughout much of western Europe. Though closely tied to England, both geographically and historically, the Irish have fiercely maintained their unique character throughout the centuries.

My family’s Irish Surnames:

Irish Ancestry 1Irish Ancestry 2

People of prehistoric Ireland and Scotland

After the Ice Age glaciers retreated from northern Europe more than 9,000 years ago, hunter gatherers and farmers spread north into what is now Great Britain and Ireland. Around 500 B.C., the Bronze Age culture spread across all of western Europe, including the British Isles. These new people originated in central Europe, near what is Austria today. Many tribes existed, but they were collectively known as the Celts.

Population expansion

From around 400 B.C. to 275 B.C., Celtic tribes expanded to the Iberian Peninsula, France, England, Scotland and Ireland—even as far east as Turkey. As the Roman Empire expanded beyond the Italian peninsula, it began to come into increasing contact with the Celts of France, whom the Romans called “Gauls.”

A Tribe of Gauls on an Expedition by Alphonse De Neuville

Roman invasions

The Romans eventually conquered the Gauls and then invaded the British Isles in 43 A.D. They conquered most of southern Britain and occupied it over the course of a few decades. Those Celts who were not assimilated into the Roman Empire and retreated to other areas that remained under Celtic control, such as Wales, Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man and Brittany. The Roman presence largely wiped out most traces of Celtic culture in England—even replacing the language. Since the Romans never occupied Ireland or Scotland in any real sense, they are among the few places where Celtic languages have survived to this day.

Another thing the Romans brought was Christianity. During the few hundred years that the Romans occupied Britain, they promoted Christianity with varying degrees of force. Many missionaries traveled to the area and succeeded in converting the Celts from their pagan Druidism, though pagan religions resurfaced after the Roman Empire’s collapse.

Viking invasions

Beginning in the late 8th century, Viking raiders began attacking the east coast of England and the northern islands off Scotland.  During the next few centuries, they controlled parts of the islands, exacting tribute, pillaging villages and monasteries, and occasionally setting up trade outposts. During the 9th century, the Vikings established Dublin in western Ireland as a trade port. Vikings controlled this area of Ireland for nearly 300 years, but their power diminished after heavy losses at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014.

Norman invasions

During the 12th century, Ireland consisted of a number of small warring kingdoms. When Diarmait Mac Murchada, the petty king of Leinster, was deposed by the Irish High King, he turned to England for help. Henry II, the Norman ruler of England, sent Norman mercenaries who assisted Mac Murchada and he regained control of Leinster, though shortly thereafter he died. In 1171, Henry II landed with a large army and seized control of Ireland. With the support of Pope Adrian IV, Henry II took the title “Lord of Ireland” and the Emerald Isle became part of the English Kingdom.

Drawing of Diarmait Mac Murchada, from W.R. Wilde’s A Descriptive Catalogue of the Antiquities in the Museum of the Royal Irish Academy, Vol. 1 (Dublin & London, 1863), page 310.
King Henry II by unknown artist. Nation Portrait Gallery, London.
Pope Adrian IV

The Norman kings, ruling primarily from France, gave rise to the House of Plantagenet, a line of kings who began to merge and modernize the kingdom of England. Beginning in 1277, Edward I put down a revolt in Wales and led a full-scale invasion of the country, bringing it under control of the English crown. He then seized political control of Scotland during a succession dispute, leading to a rebellion there. Edward’s campaign against the Scots was less successful and remained unresolved at his death. By decisively defeating Edward’s son at Bannockburn in 1314, the Scots assured their independence.

The Great Plague of the 14th century devastated the Norman and English leadership in Ireland. This destruction of outside authority promoted a renewal of Irish political power, culture and language.

Early modern Ireland

Beginning in 1537 and for the next 70 years, the English monarchy reconquered Ireland. The English attempted to force acceptance of Protestantism among the Irish people, who had mostly remained Catholic. When forced conversion failed, the British Crown replaced the Irish landowners with thousands of Protestant colonists from England and Scotland. England also sold Irish prisoners and “undesirables” to Caribbean plantations as slaves.

The Irish diaspora

Two famines, one in 1740-41 and the second in 1845-52, decimated Ireland. They brought widespread death from starvation and disease and created a massive exodus of refugees. The first famine, caused by severe winter weather, led to the deaths of some 400,000 people; about 150,000 Irish left the country. The second, called the “Great Famine,” was the result of potato blight, killing 1 million people by starvation. Another million Irish fled the country, most immigrating to England, Australia, Canada and the United States, creating a worldwide Irish diaspora.

Victims of the Irish Potato Famine immigrate to North America by ship
The Irish Famine: Interior of a Peasant’s Hut by H. Werdmuller

And, from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Facts for Features

Percentage of U.S. Residents with Irish AncestryOriginally a religious holiday to honor St. Patrick, who introduced Christianity to Ireland in the fifth century, St. Patrick’s Day has evolved into a celebration for all things Irish. The world’s first St. Patrick’s Day parade occurred on March 17, 1762, in New York City, featuring Irish soldiers serving in the English military. This parade became an annual event, with President Truman attending in 1948. Congress proclaimed March as Irish-American Heritage Month in 1995, and the President issues a proclamation commemorating the occasion each year.

From the U.S. Census Bureau’s Facts for Features

MARCH MADNESS/Sports Celebration of Irish Heritage

100,003

Population of South Bend, Ind., home to the Fighting Irish of the University of Notre Dame. About 10.4 percent of South Bend’s population claims Irish ancestry.
Source: 2012 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_1YR/DP02/1600000US1871000>

24.1%

Percentage of the Boston metropolitan area population that claims Irish ancestry, one of the highest percentages for the top 50 metro areas by population. Boston is home of the Celtics of the National Basketball Association.
Source: 2012 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_1YR/DP02/310M100US14460>

78,390 and 16,167

Population of New Rochelle, N.Y., and Moraga, Calif., home to the Gaels of Iona University and St. Mary’s College of California, respectively. During college basketball’s March Madness, you will typically see these universities compete on the court, no doubt rooted on by some of the 8.4 percent of the New Rochelle population and 15.5 percent of the Moraga population that claim Irish ancestry.
Sources: 2012 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_1YR/DP02/1600000US3650617>
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_5YR/DP02/1600000US0649187>

Population Distribution

34.1 million

Number of U.S. residents who claimed Irish ancestry in 2012. This number was more than seven times the population of Ireland itself (4.6 million). Irish was the nation’s second most frequently reported ancestry, trailing only German.
Sources: 2012 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_1YR/S0201/0100000US/popgroup~541>
Ireland Central Statistics Office
<http://www.cso.ie/en/media/csoie/releasespublications/documents/statisticalyearbook/2013/c1population.pdf>

22.6%

Percentage of the population in Massachusetts that claims Irish ancestry, which is among the highest in the nation. New York has 2.5 million people claiming Irish ancestry, which is among the most of any state.
Source: 2012 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_1YR/DP02/0100000US.04000>

153,248

Number of people with Irish ancestry who were naturalized citizens in 2012.
Source: 2012 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_1YR/S0201/0100000US/popgroup~541>

39.2 years old

Median age of those who claim Irish ancestry, which is higher than U.S. residents as a whole at 37.4 years.
Source: 2012 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_1YR/S0201/0100000US/popgroup~541>

Irish-Americans Today

34.2%

Percentage of people of Irish ancestry, 25 or older, who had a bachelor’s degree or higher. In addition, 93.4 percent of Irish-Americans in this age group had at least a high school diploma. For the nation as a whole, the corresponding rates were 29.1 percent and 86.4 percent, respectively.
Source: 2012 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_1YR/S0201/0100000US/popgroup~541>

$59,220

Median income for households headed by an Irish-American, higher than the $51,371 for all households. In addition, 7.4 percent of family households of Irish ancestry were in poverty, lower than the rate of 11.8 percent for all Americans.
Source: 2012 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_1YR/S0201/0100000US/popgroup~541>

41.1%

Percentage of employed civilian Irish-Americans 16 or older who worked in management, professional and related occupations. Additionally, 25.9 percent worked in sales and office occupations; 15.9 percent in service occupations; 9.3 percent in production, transportation and material moving occupations; and 7.7 percent in natural resources, construction and maintenance occupations.
Source: 2012 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_1YR/S0201/0100000US/popgroup~541>

68.9%

Percentage of householders of Irish ancestry who owned the home in which they live, with the remainder renting. For the nation as a whole, the homeownership rate was 63.9 percent.
Source: 2012 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_1YR/S0201/0100000US/popgroup~541>

Places to Spend the Day

16

Number of places in the United States that share the name of Ireland’s capital, Dublin. The most recent population for Dublin, Calif., was 47,156.
Source: 2012 Population Estimates
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/PEP/2012/PEPANNRES/0400000US06.16200>

If you’re still not into the spirit of St. Paddy’s Day, then you might consider paying a visit to Emerald Isle, N.C., with 3,669 residents.
Source: 2012 Population Estimates
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/PEP/2012/PEPANNRES/0400000US37.16200>

Other appropriate places in which to spend the day: the township of Irishtown, Ill., several places or townships named Clover (in South Carolina, Illinois, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) or one of the seven places that are named Shamrock.

The Celebration

25.9 billion

U.S. beef production in pounds in 2012. Corned beef is a traditional St. Patrick’s Day dish.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service
<http://www.ers.usda.gov/news/BSECoverage.htm>

$21.5 million

Value of potted florist chrysanthemum sales at wholesale in 2012 for operations with $100,000 or more sales. Lime green chrysanthemums are often requested for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service
<http://usda01.library.cornell.edu/usda/current/FlorCrop/FlorCrop-04-25-2013.pdf>

“Life Interrupted–Navigating the Unexpected”


LifeInterruptedI “borrowed” this post’s title, above, from Priscilla Shirer’s 2011 inspirational book of the same title, as well as the opening description about it:

“From telemarketers to traffic jams to twenty-item shoppers in the ten-item line, our lives are full of interruptions. They’re often aggravating, sometimes infuriating, and can make us want to tell people what we really think about them. But they also tell us something important about ourselves…”

For me, it is what’s most important to me and where I have set my priorities.  If you are a regular reader of this blog, you may have noticed that I try to post regularly and that it has been nearly two weeks since my last post.  My lag between posts is in fact because life interrupted my process of documenting and recording Our Heritage: 12th Century and Beyond–up there on my list of priorities–for me and for my family.  However, even higher on my list of priorities is my parents–their quality of life and our care giving efforts.  Both of my octogenarian parents suffered health issues these past two weeks requiring mom to be hospitalized for congestive heart failure and pneumonia and my dad to undergo an angiogram in prep for a future arteriogram to add yet more stents into his arteries to return blood flow into his lower extremities.

So yes, our family who primarily lives in three counties in Maryland with some in the Midwest and some in the south, and even one in Korea, lives were interrupted and we have been navigating the best we can under these unexpected events.

When mom was taken to the hospital, about 20 of the family were celebrating a birthday at a local restaurant not too far in fact from the hospital.  So after several hours when she was taken from the emergency room bed to a regular hospital room, some of the family came directly to the hospital while others went to the parents house to wait for more news–and this is called “navigating the unexpected.”  Over the next couple of days children and grandchildren took turns with hospital visits and home care for the other parent and their pets.

But… had we been alive three centuries ago when so many of our ancestors were living in the original 13 colonies, life for the most part would have been much different, and yes, much simpler–and–we would likely have said our good-bye’s to both our parents many, many years ago.

1800 to today

Yes, life expectancy at birth has doubled from 40 years old in the 1800’s to 80 years old today – in a period of only 10 or so generations! The medical industry attributes improved health care, sanitation, immunizations, access to clean running water and better nutrition.

Today, you seldom hear of diseases that were common in the early 19th century like: parasites, typhoid, and infections like rheumatic fever and scarlet fever.

And the following scenario of family life passed with the years. In the 1800’s, families lived their lives together in the same house or on adjacent strips of land.  They managed to eke out their living by farming small pieces of land, raising animals for food and transportation. They used nearby waters for their baths, food preparation, and fishing. They grew and cared for the trees and forests that provided wood for heating stoves, fireplaces, and timber for building their homes and crafting their tools and furniture–nothing wasted–time well spent helping each other toward a common goal–and the young respected and learned from their wise elders.  Time--me me me generationSuch a contrast to today’s reconfigured family units, hectic lifestyles, and the Millennial Generation.

I’d like also to add just one short yet interesting video by Dr. Hans Rosling, a Swedish medical doctor, academic, statistician and public speaker. He is Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institute.  This video begins with global statistics starting with the year 1810 and compares global lifespans and income of the poor and sick and the rich and healthy up through 2009 when these huge quantities of public data were last updated.  This animated video very cleverly reveals the story of the world’s past, present and future development, in just under five minutes, telling the story of the world in 200 countries over 200 years and using 120,000 numbers (2015 will be the next time new numbers are available for updates this video):

Meanwhile, our family is continuing to research and investigate what new technological gadgets and gizmos might be available for care giving for those seniors classified as “aging in place”–those who prefer to stay in their homes as long as possible, and yet support family connections and a true quality of life in their later years.  I should also call your attention to a recent article in March 2014’s issue of AARP’s Bulletin, pages 20 and 21:Is This the End of The Nursing Home?  It discusses some new technology options the might allow you or your parents to stay in their homes at least a while longer.

Boys vs. Girls


Boys vs. Girls

“With about 1,048 male babies born for every 1,000 female babies born in 2008, boys are keeping the edge in a ratio that’s stayed about the same over the past 60 years.”

(These numbers came from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, which are sometimes compiled and analyzed over several years.)

Joey-09-29-2013

Soon to be newlywed!

Nearly 27 years ago our eldest son and his wife blessed us with our first grandson (who is getting married in one month).

Six months later our second son blessed us with our second grandson (a tree expert and home repairs specialist).

Justin and wife

Justin and wife

And, 10 months later our eldest son and his wife again blessed us with our third grandson (Airmen 1st Class, stationed in Korea).  

A1C Mike Dickinson

Next, our second son added three more sons to our family.  

The first of these three (an ironworker), was born only four months after our eldest son’s second child .?????????????????  

Then about one year later our second son’s  third son was born (currently a server at a local restaurant)–making this our 5th grandson whose birth was in that four year span. ?????????????

??????And, about one year later our second son’s fourth son was born (an ironworker at the moment).  

And three months later our eldest son and wife delivered their third and final son (he’s studying criminal justice). Andy

If you’re trying to keep track, that gives us a total of 7 grandsons who all were born between 1988 and 1992–a period of four years!  There truly was no competition between them at the time–life just happens according to God’s plan for us.

And Finally–a Grand Daughter!

Babies CollageThe next grandchild to be born and to grace our family was from our third child, our daughter.  Our 8th grandchild, and the only girl among all those boys, was born after a 7-3/4 year hiatus from births in our immediate family (she’s the only girl in the collage pic).   Then, the youngest of our grandchildren was born to our daughter and her husband nearly 2-1/2 years after our grand daughter’s birth (the baby in the collage pic). You guessed it, the 9th birth and our youngest grandchild was also a boy.  All totaled, we now have 9 grandchildren, (8 boys and 1 girl), all born over a span of 14 years! (If you’re counting heads in the collage pic, I made a small error.  It seems the top upper right pic and the second row far right pic are the same grandson, but please don’t consider this me playing favorites, I truly goofed!)

An only Girl among 9 Grand Children!

Now, I’m not saying that being an only girl among all these boys encourages her grandparents to spoil her.  But, sometimes we feel she wishes we would or believes she’s got a chance to be.  Take for example about three years ago.  “Meems,” that’s me, and our grand daughter had a girl’s day scheduled.  Her mom had told her that she had to clean her room (a very sore subject because she always became overwhelmed with this task), before I could pick her up.  And, as her room chore began to overwhelm her, she placed a telephone call to me pleading for help.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t by my phone when it rang, and so our sweet little 10 year old grand daughter left the following message which I will forever treasure.

Getting to Know My Cousin – 5 Generations Later


We are so blessed that our 13-year-old grand daughter is an avid reader and also enjoys writing her own stories.  So, when she came to me a couple of weeks ago to say she had a social studies project and wanted to focus on proactive women from our past I just jumped with joy.  It just so happened that I had some incomplete genealogical research sitting around that I had hoped to process into a post.  She picked up the torch and gleefully ran with it.  But, before we get to her story below, I’d like to share with you her relationship to the woman she writes about:

John Lothropp (also Lothrop or Lathrop; 1584–1653) was an English Anglican clergyman, who became a Congregationalist minister and emigrant to New England. He was the founder of Barnstable, Massachusetts. Reverend John Lathrop as he later became known was Julia Clifford Lathrop’s 6th great grandfather and just five short generations later our grand daughter Kylie McDaniel was born.  She is Reverend John Lathrop’s 11th great grand daughter. And, here’s Kylie’s story about her cousin.

 Julia Clifford Lathrop


By: Kylie McDaniel

Why was Julia Clifford Lathrop a significant person in the history of the United States?

julia_lathrop.jpg

Julia Clifford Lathrop was a very significant person in the history of the United States. She was appointed as head of the new United States Children’s Bureau of the Department of Commerce and Labor by president William Howard Taft while women were still fighting for their rights in the suffrage movement of 1848. She also joined in as many reform movements as she could. Becoming the head of the U.S. Children’s Bureau was a big deal not only because women still didn’t have their rights but, because she was the first woman to head a federal bureau at a president’s call with full concurrence from the senate.

How did Julia Clifford Lathrop affect others?

Julia affected others in many ways in her line of work. She helped fight for invalid children. She was also an activist. The reason behind the new Bureau was to investigate and report “upon all matters pertaining to the welfare of children and child life among all classes of our people.” As stated in my earlier paragraph, Julia was the first female head of any government bureau. She was the daughter of a suffragist. Her mother, Sarah Adeline Potter Lathrop, was a suffragist and was very enthusiastic about what she was fighting for. As a daughter of a suffragist, Julia would hear a lot about women’s rights in her home. votes-4-women.jpg

Her father, William Lathrop, was a personal friend of former president, Abe Lincoln. William also was a lawyer. Julia’s father, helped establish the republican party and served in the state legislature.

Julia worked at the U.S. Children’s Bureau of the Department of Commerce and Labor for 9 years where she mainly worked cases of child labor and juvenile delinquency. This was because she was born into a wealthy family and wanted to help kids who were not as fortunate as she had been. There, she helped many, many, children from child labor, juvenile delinquency, and many other things that involved children.

Julia involved herself in as many reform movements as she could. She joined her mother sometimes in the fight for women’s suffrage. She moved to Chicago in 1890 to join Jane Addams (a pioneer settlement social worker, public philosopher, sociologist, author, and leader in women’s suffrage and world peace), at the new Hull House. The Hull house was a settlement home in the U.S. that allowed European immigrants who had recently come to America to live there. Julia joined the Illinois Board of Charities in July 1893. She started a personal inspection of all 102 almshouses and farms in the county. In 1893-1894 she stopped that work to inspect county charity institutions that were in Cook County, Illinois. Julia’s descriptions of the Cook County Infirmary, asylum, and the other institutions were put into the Hull House Maps and Papers as its own chapter in 1895. She resigned from the Illinois Board of Charities in 1901 because performance of the staff of almost all of its institutions was really poor. In 1905 she rejoined the board and resigned once again in 1909 when her plan for reorganization was put into place. That same year, at Clifford W. Beers’ National Committee for Mental Hygiene, she became a charter member. Julia involved herself in very many reform movements.

How might history have been different if Julia Clifford Lathrop had not reached her level of importance?

Women-get-the-vote.jpgIf Julia had not reached her level of importance, some women who were proactive about their rights and involve

d in humane charities-based organizations may not have aspired to do so because they would not have had such a role model to believe in. They may have gotten discouraged and felt that there was no point because nothing of significance had happened yet and  would have probably been convinced then nothing ever would. If it weren’t for Julia, and other women like her, women may have never gained their right to vote or be respected enough to hold leadership positions in private organizations and federal government! Also, because she was head of the U.S. Children’s Bureau, the children may have never had someone to help them fight against child labor, and offer programs that dealt with juvenile delinquencies, etc. They needed her!

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Was there another person on the horizon who could have taken Julia Clifford Lathrop’s place?

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Julia Clifford Lathrop was a unique person with her own unique qualities. She is the one and only. No one could have ever taken her place. Not in the U.S. Children’s Department, the Board of Charities, and not as a charter member of the Clifford W. Beers’ National Committee for Mental Hygiene. If she weren’t any of those things and was replaced by someone else, the United States would probably be a bit different than it is now. Thank you Julia Clifford Lathrop; for making the United States a better place for humanity.at vassar college J.C.L..jpg

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