Happy National Dog Day!


Dogs are family too

National Dog Day, founded by Pet & Family Lifestyle Expert and Animal Advocate, Colleen Paige and has been celebrated annually since August 26, 2004.  To honor man’s best friends, this day especially encourages dog ownership and embraces the opportunity for all dogs to live happy, safe and “abuse-free lives”.   The goal for celebrating National Dog Day is to find homes for all dogs in need of a loving family. The Foundation’s goal is to rescue 10,000 dogs each year.

Time Magazine is honoring National Dog Day this year on their time.com webpage by pulling a 1928 magazine cover and story from its archives.  It features “Max,” an ordinary basset hound who saved his owner’s life . A brief synopsis follows:

“Max barked until a policeman came to revive Gilbert Kirkwood”

National Dog Day 8-26-1928 Time MagTIME Magazine looked back at the the first nonhuman to be a TIME cover subject: a basset hound puppy who was a born show dog with champion parents. But the story, which was prompted by the 1928 Westminster Kennel Club dog show, took a much broader look at the state of dogs in America.

In Manhattan, Max, a police dog, watched his owner, one Gilbert Kirkwood, a plasterer, going to sleep with a cigaret in his mouth. When he saw that Gilbert Kirkwood’s cigaret had dropped and ignited the bedclothes, Max dragged the burning bedclothes away from Gilbert Kirkwood and put them in the kitchen. Then he dragged Gilbert Kirkwood, overcome by smoke, off the bed and put him in the kitchen right next the bedclothes. After this, Max barked until a policeman came to revive Gilbert Kirkwood and to extinguish both his bedclothes and the conflagration caused by dragging these from room to room.

Harley2We, too, celebrated National Dog Day in 2015, by rescuing a stray long-haired chihuahua who was slated to be euthanized because of his age (estimated at 10 years), anxieties (in a kennel surrounded by about eight barking pitbulls), and massive dental problems (12 of his teeth were infected or rotted and had to be removed).  After three weeks with us and our two other chihuahuas (ages 13 and 9), Harley, as we named him, began to reveal his delightful, almost puppy-like personality.   And, it took only a couple more weeks for him to vocalize his needs, interests, and concerns. In all, we spent about $350 to bring this little guy back from a questionable life–he still shakes and shivers during lightning and thunder storms, which means we just get to snuggle with him a little more.  And during some of our family’s recent stressful times, he has been quite the gentle companion.

Tri-County Animal Shelter (TCAS) Observes National Day Dog, too!

As an aside, I am aware that our local Tri-County Animal Shelter (Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary’s), in Hughesville, MD, seldom receives good press. However, this is an occasion where I would like to share with you that they, too, honored our locally surrendered and strayed animals.  On Saturday, August 15th, they held a “Clear the Shelter Day.”  Their kennels were filled so they waived the $85 – $125 adoption fees on all animals adopted that day.  As a result,  all 67 animals were either adopted out to families or placed in other rescue facilities.  And, today, on the annual day of honoring dogs, they again waived their fees.  Kim Stephens hasn’t yet tallied the results but she will forward them to be included in the Charles County Government to be posted on its web page (charlescountymd.gov/es/animalshelter/tri-county-animal-shelter).

As you can see in the table below, the Hughesville facility in calendar year 2014 received 3,130 dogs and adopted or found rescue shelters for nearly 82 percent of them–our adoption will be included in the 2015 stats.  In honor of this year’s dogs and other animals, we hope the numbers of received animals decreases and the numbers of adoptions and rescues increase.  We can do our fair share by ensuring that all our animals are micro-chipped, spayed or neutered, and receive their innoculations and vaccinations.TCAS 2014 Calendar Year Stats

A Poem For All You Genealogists


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Image provided by Len Augsberger

I am taking a short break from working with data sets about my ancestors from the Tidewater Region, Virginia. Today I am exploring old periodicals made available online.This time I happened upon a poem in the monthly magazine, Hobbies from the May 1940 issue.  As an aside, Hobbies began in 1931 with articles of interest to various collectors. Its publisher, O.C. Lightner of Chicago, (still listed at this address when this 2010 photo was taken), started by purchasing a stamp magazine and then “rolling up” more than 20 other publications which were usually in financial difficulty as the Great Depression lingered. The monthly issues might have as many as 130 pages, mostly text, smatterings of photos, and small ads paid for by collectors.

Mary Louise TredinnickMary Louise Tredinnick (1892-1964) , author of The Genealogist poem that follows, was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, in 1892, the daughter of William and Mary Emma Hutchinson. Her family moved to Wakefield in 1914. She actively served in many Wakefield, Massachusetts, community and national organizations from 1936 on; including the  England Genealogical Society.  Mrs. Tredinnick was a member of the Court of Honor for the Massachusetts Mother of the Year in 1946 and honored as the West Side Social Club’s Citizen of the Year in 1958. A gifted writer and an avid student of music, poetry and dramatics. She was a weekly contributor of poems to the Boston Herald and authored a book of poems as well as an essay ‘The Only Book’ to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the printing of the Bible. The essay was reprinted widely throughout the country and in college textbooks. Mary Louise Tredinnick passed away in April 1964.

The Genealogist
by Mary Louise Tredinnick (1892-1964)
As Published in Hobbies Magazine, May 1940, Page 112

The genealogist is one who traces back the family tree

In all its sad diversity,

Pride, shame, and plain perversity.

We are preoccupied with graves, and probate courts, and slaves

Deciphering epitaphs, and saves

the evidence of queer old Dave’s

Odd will–Aunt Phoebe’s sin–

Apprentice, convict,( with chagrin

Too bad this line is genuine–

Thought it began with Peregrine!).

No mercury so fleet as we

In search of widow number three

Relict of Uncle Zebedee,

Died in Portsmouth, 1693

His figure is a question mark!

Direct collateral, to the Ark.

Female and male, each patriarch

He was recorded with remark.

Born, married, humble, eminent–

Careers good, bad, indifferent.

No genealogist is content

Until “died” seals the document.

A Fallen Limb


A Fallen Limb

Our only fallen tree limb in 2015, happened two days ago. It took out a shed and a fence. It’s actual size is about 60 feet long.

I came upon this poem today, author unknown, and it just seemed right for me to share it on my blog. It’s been awhile since a limb has fallen from my immediate family tree and we have only God to thank for this. Yet others, very recently, in our biblical community have lost fathers, mothers, husbands, brothers, and sisters. I can only hope that when it’s my family’s time again to experience loss of a loved one, that we, too, will stand firm and strong, and refer back to the words of this poem that I believe are so true–for the one who passes, and the one’s who remain until God says that it’s their time.

A limb has fallen from our family tree.
I keep hearing a voice that says, “Grieve not for me.
Remember the best times, the laughter, the song.
The good life I lived while I was strong.
Continue my heritage, I’m counting on you.
Keep smiling and surely the sun will shine through.
My mind is at ease, my soul is at rest.
Remembering all, how I truly was blessed.
Continue traditions, no matter how small.
Go on with your life, don’t worry about falls
I miss you all dearly, so keep up your chin.
Until the day comes when we’re together again

–Author unknown

Along the Tidewater Region–I Can See Clearly Now…


The Tidewater Region?

North Atlantic Coastal Plain

North Atlantic Coastal Plain

Have you ever heard meteorologists or others refer to an area called the Tidewater Region? It’s one of those things that for years I have been meaning to learn more about.  You know, what’s “tidewater” mean and just how large is the region; does it span more than one state?

A friend’s Facebook post a few days ago also fascinated me and intensified my interest in this term “Tidewater Region.”  The post referenced award winning journalist and historian Colin Woodard’s 2011 book:  “American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures in North America,” that identifies 11 distinct cultures that have historically divided the United States.

So, I ordered the book that is said to take readers on a journey through the history of our fractured North American continent and reveal how conflicts between our cultures have shaped our past and continue to mold our future.  And next, I put on my research cap and started probing online for information about the Tidewater Region.  I discovered that it is no small area as I once thought.  In fact, it is part of the North Atlantic Coastal Plain that covers about 50,000 square miles extending from the North Carolina-South Carolina border northward to Long Island, New York.

Tidewater_region mapThe Tidewater Region within it is an area of low, flat coastal lands that lie along the ocean coast and stretch inland to what’s known as a Fall Line.  The Fall Line is a natural border between the Coastal Plain Tidewater and Piedmont regions.  It’s  where rivers drop sharply from the Piedmont Region on their way to the sea and waterfalls and rocks stop ships from going any farther inland.

Next, I happened upon demographic information about the Tidewater settlers who emigrated from the Old World and how the Tidewater region slowly became an area of comparative wealth. Merchants and shippers lived in the towns and planters who grew tobacco, rice, indigo, and cotton, dominated the tidewater population.

The tidewater coastal area is very narrow in New England, and its terminology now is more applicable elsewhere, particularly to the middle and southern Atlantic regions, which I am focusing on in this post.  They were initially British colonies and the later states of the federal Union (Maryland and Virginia in 1788 and North Carolina in 1789). First to settle and establish themselves economically, socially, and politically, tidewater region inhabitants secured control of the government. Almost inevitably, they used the machinery of government for their own benefit and in accordance with their own traditions and ideals, and they resisted any efforts to weaken their control. (I am like a child on Christmas Eve, so anxiously waiting for that one gift.  I just need to see how my genealogy data match up with the Tidewater Region’s cultural descriptions in Colin Woodard’s book.)

Now, the following are results of me instinctively using my Ancestry.com tree and Family Tree Maker applications, to match up the tidewater areas’ geography with my family ancestors to unearth the following:

Virginia’s Tidewater Region

Maryland Tidewater RegionOf my 2,496 ancestors  who settled in Virginia, 562 (nearly one fourth of them) settled in what is known as Virginia’s Tidewater region counties that include the counties of: Accomack (1 ancestor), Campbell (359 ancestors),  Charles City (8 ancestors), Chesterfield (36 ancestors), Dinwiddie (1 ancestor), Goochland (31 ancestors), Henrico (58 ancestors), Isle of Wight (2 ancestors), Nansemond (1 ancestor), Norfolk (5 ancestors), Northampton (9 ancestors), Prince George (33 ancestors), Southampton (2 ancestors), Surry (15 ancestors), Sussex (1 ancestor), and York (0 ancestors).  The eldest among them was Chief Powhatan (father of Pocahontas) who oversaw more than 30 tribes when the Jamestown colonists arrived in his territory in 1607.  Ten of my more notable family names among my Virginia tidewater region relatives include:  Blair, Blandford, Bolling, Hawthorne, Jefferson, Lee, Randolph, Rolfe, Taylor, Washington, Webster.

Maryland’s Tidewater Region

Of my 1,200 ancestors and relatives who lived or now live in Maryland, nearly one-third of them (389), were/are in the Tidewater region that includes Southern Maryland counties: Calvert (25 relatives), Charles (152 relatives) and St. Mary’s (71 relatives).  Some definitions even include Prince George’s (128 relatives) and Anne Arundel (13 relatives).

North Carolina’s Tidewater Region

NC Tidewater Region CountiesNorth Carolina has 100 counties; but, only seven sounds (a bay or inlet of water) make up the coastal Tidewater region: Pamlico, Albemarle, Currituck, Croatan, Roanoke, Core, and Bogue Sounds. This region has many low-lying areas called wetlands, where water covers the land. Fifteen hundred and thirty of my ancestors settled in North Carolina. A number of them lived within counties in North Carolina’s Tidewater region.  Those counties included:  Beaufort (2 ancestors), Bertie (3), Brunswick (2), Carteret (2), Chowan (13), Craven (2), Cumberland (5), Currituck (1), Dare (1), Gates (1), Jones (5), New Hanover (13), Pamlico (1), Pasquotank (6), Pender (1), Perquimans (1), Tyrell (8), Washington (1), and Wayne (1) for a total of 61 persons in North Carolina’s Tidewater region.

Peninsulas in the Tidewater Region

There are four peninsulas in the Tidewater Region.  The part of Virginia known as the Eastern Shore is one of the peninsulas.  The Eastern Shore is separated from the mainland of Virginia by the Chesapeake Bay, which borders it on the west while the Atlantic Ocean borders it on the east.

The other three peninsulas are located on the mainland.   One is the Northern Neck Peninsula.  It is located between the Potomac River, which forms part of Virginia’s northern border,  and the Rappahannock River.  One is the Middle Peninsula.  This peninsula is between the Rappahannock and the York rivers.  One is simply called The Peninsula.  It is located between the York and James rivers.  The James River is 340 miles long.  It is the longest river entirely within Virginia.

Rivers, Harbors, and Swamps

The rest of the Tidewater Region, from the James River to the North Carolina border, has two natural features–the Hampton Roads harbor, which is the one of the world’s largest natural harbors, and the Dismal Swamp.

The Hampton Roads harbor is one of the world’s finest natural harbors.  It includes the ports of Newport News, Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Portsmouth.  Millions of tons of products and goods are loaded into oceangoing ships in Virginia’s ports.  These ships sail to other ports in the United States and to ports all over the world.

The Great Dismal Swamp is a large wetland area that includes a series of swamps that scatter from Virginia, to North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.  The Great Dismal Swamp covers about 750 square miles, making it one of the largest swamps in the United States. The Tidewater region is the only place in the world where the Venus Flytrap plant grows naturally.

chesapeake bay bridge tunnelFor years, the only way to get from the Eastern Shore to the mainland was by ferry. Farmers on the Eastern Shore once used the ferries to carry their produce to cities on the mainland.   Now refrigerated trucks carry Eastern Shore fruits and vegetables through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.  Opened in July, 1964 it was named “one of the seven engineering wonders of the modern world.” This great bridge-tunnel is 17.6 miles long.  It  has four man-made islands where drivers transition between roadways that sit above the water and lanes that run beneath shipping channels. About 5 million cars take this route every year. (Photo By Steve Earley 2004 — Associated Press).

With all my newly acquired data about the Tidewater Region geography placed in proximity to my ancestry research, and forthcoming demographic/cultural analysis, I expect to write more meaningful posts that illuminate my past generalizations and probe more in depth into my ancestors lives and their stomping grounds.