nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘family history’ Category

imagination

with 5 comments

When I was little, I lived in Alberta, in a house built by my father and mother. At the back of the house was a veranda. Below the veranda was a big vegetable garden, full of corn and pumpkins and mint. At the end of the garden, was a power pole, used by my mother as a clothes pole.

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Scan_20180830 (4)

my mom and I in the garden … the clothes pole is in the far left of the photo, at the end of the garden

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On laundry day, my mother hung the wet clothing on a line stretching between the house and the pole. As she hung the laundry, I would play at the end of the garden, under my mother’s watchful eye.

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But I was not where she supposed me to be. Instead, I was off on some imaginary adventure. One place I would go —  into the cave beneath the rocks around the base of the clothes pole. In my imagination, the cave led to a tunnel, running under the garden and weaving between roots of pumpkin and mint. I don’t remember what I ‘saw’ in the world I entered or any of the adventures I must have had. Imagination can take you anywhere!

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laundry day

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mint splashes, fresh

against the wall

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her mother pins

clothes to the line

~

shirts dance towards

pole at the end

of the garden,

a pole covered

in pumpkin vine

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where a small girl

skips, turns her chin

towards blue sky

~

where rainbow begins

and ends,

on the green hill,

entry to cave,

hidden from sun

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and the girl skips

slower, slower

~

follows tunnel

under garden

between tendrils

of ripe pumpkin

and root of mint

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and above earth,

her mother pins

clothes to the line

~

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Scan_20180830 (3).jpg

~

All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

September 10, 2018 at 2:30 pm

Pokiok Falls

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Pokiok Stream, about 2011

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On one of our family summer excursions across Canada, my parents stopped along the highway in New Brunswick to see the Pokiok Falls near Nackawick. I remember the white churn of water below me, so steep it looked like the water was falling into a pipe. In 1967 the Mactaquac Dam submerged the falls and now they are only a memory, visible on old post cards and in photo albums.

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For a fictionalized account of the changes resulting from the building of the Mactaquac Dam, read Riel Nason’s excellent coming-of-age book ‘The Town That Drowned‘ (Goose Land Editions, 2011).

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Pokiok Falls

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my mother held me at the railing

to see the Pokiok

plunge

from highway

to river

granite pipe

roiling water

~

later, when the dam went in

they moved the churches

to higher ground

so the church bells

wouldn’t gurgle

when they rang

~

now the river slips sideways a notch

to fill the round drowning of the falls

~

water cannot fall within water

~

I cried when I left

I hadn’t seen the pokioks

I said

~

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Copyright Jane Tims 2018

time on the shore

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On this Father’s Day, I remember times spent with my dad.

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When I was a kid, he would take us to the shore near Port Maitland, Nova Scotia, to look for chunks of iron pyrite (fool’s gold) in the rocks.

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time on the shore

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1.

spit of sand

grains in an hourglass

poured through gaps

in a cobble sea

~

2.

waves advance

try to tangle me

wash me, turn me

like a sea-smooth stone

~

but I know about tides

I move myself inland

each hour

~

3.

he watched whales blow here

saw sea horses dance

filled his pockets with sea glass

pitied the sandpiper

sprinkling tracks the waves erase

~

I hear the hiss of air

the echoing wail

small stallions prance on my toes

~

I close my eyes

forget to move

~

4.

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he takes us prospecting

we wedge into crevasses

keen for pyrite gold

cube within cube

embedded in stone

~

we always forget the hammer

we chip and scratch with fingernails

reach across rock

dare the waves

~

a sanderling cries

quit quit!

~

6.

~

shorebirds

befriend me

~

a dowitcher sews a seam with her bill

bastes salt water to shore

~

the sanderling shoos back the tide

~

terns

plunge into the ocean

and complain they are wet

~

~

Published as: ‘Time on the Shore’, Canadian Stories 16 (89), February/March 2013

Part of manuscript ‘mnemonic‘ winner of the Alfred G. Bailey Prize, Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick 2016 Writing Competition

~

~

Copyright Jane Tims 2017

 

Written by jane tims

June 18, 2017 at 2:42 pm

playing alleys

with 9 comments

Kids in the school yard have played marbles since the late 1800s, when glass marbles were first produced for the mass market.

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When my mom talked about marbles, she always referred to them as alleys, no matter what material was used in their construction. According to Wikipedia, alleys were a specific type of marble. Almost every kind of marble has a specific name. When my son played and collected marbles in the 1980s, some of these terms were regularly heard in our home.

aggie – made of agate

alley – a marble made of alabaster

bumblebee – a yellow and black glass marble

cat’s eye – a marble with a eye-like inclusion

crystal – a clear glass marble of various colours

galaxy – opaque marble with coloured dots

oily – an opaque marble with a sheen or oily finish

onionskin – a marble with surface streaks of colour

ox blood – a marble with a streak of dark red

pearl – opaque marble of single colour and a mother of pearl finish

plainsie – a clear glass marble with inclusion of two or more swirled ribbons of colour

swirly – glass marble with a ribbon inclusion of a single colour

tiger – a clear marble with orange and yellow stripes

~

There are lots of other marble types and names.

 

June 21 2016 'playing marbles' Jane Tims

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The language of marbles extends to the various moves in the game:

knuckle down – put hand in position to shoot

keepsies – to play for keeps

quitsies – stop playing without consequences

firing – to shoot a marble

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Such interesting possibilities for the language of a poem!

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Writing about a game of marbles will include all the senses (I think my poem will be from the point of view of a boy playing marbles):

sound – clinking of dishes in the sink; grinding of marbles together in the marble bag

taste – grit of sand stirred by wind across the playground; grit of raspberry seeds

feel – the cold smooth feel of a marble; a chunk of icicle from the roof in December

smell – stirred dust; girls watching the games, smelling of Ivory soap and well water

sight – bubble rising through the glass of the marble; bubbles with rainbows sliding; dew drops on Lady’s Mantle in the garden

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I can hardly wait to write a poem about playing marbles in the school yard!

~

~

Copyright  2016  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

July 15, 2016 at 7:00 am

dancing around the daisy pole

with 4 comments

Perhaps strange to talk about a Maypole in July but Maypoles have been used for summer celebrations throughout the years. In the old stereoscope photo below, published by a company in Meadville Pennsylvania and  St. Louis Missouri, the Maypole is referred to as a Daisy Pole.

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Maypole

A rather blurry scan of a stereoscopic photo, blurry because it is curved for the viewer. The title of the photo is ‘A June Carnival – Dancing Round the Daisy Pole’ 1900

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When my Aunt Jane was young, attending a small school in Nova Scotia, field days were held in June. In her book, she recalls participating in a field day:

… I was in grade 1 … we had a “field day”. My dress was made of blue and white crepe paper and, holding on to the end of a white paper streamer, I danced around a May pole. I remember my great embarrassment as a gust of wind took the streamer out of my hand and sent it high in the air to flutter in the breeze …

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IMG_4470

The decorative Maypole we made years ago to celebrate May 1 every year. Through the years, when I needed ribbon, I occasionally snipped a length from the pole, so there are a few short ribbons!

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July 1 2016 'dancing around the daisy pole' Jane Tims

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daisy pole plan

sketch for ‘dancing around the daisy pole’ … in some ways more lively than the final drawing

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

July 11, 2016 at 7:00 am

early schools – the exotic and the common

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In my Aunt’s book about early schooling in Nova Scotia, she tells an amusing story about field days at school:

… I recall another field day when Dr. DeWolfe, Miss Harris, and Miss Baker came with shrubs to our school. The shrubs were ten cents each. My mother had always longed for a weigela and a snowball and we were delighted that at last she could have her wish, for both these varieties were among Dr. DeWolf’s  collection. They were duly planted at my home on the bank of the French River. One turned out to be a high bush cranberry and the other a spiraea, but today we still refer to them as the “snowball” and “weigela” and, I may mention, they have many an offspring throughout our province.

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I must have seen the high bush cranberry and spiraea many times at my mother’s old home, but I don’t remember them in particular. I do remember the gardens, lush with rose bushes, tiger lilies, and grape vines.

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June 17 2016 'an exotic shrub' Jane Tims

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

June 24, 2016 at 6:45 am

Norman Families Living in Missouri in 1870

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In my search for my Great-Grandfather Frank Norman, I became interested in where Norman families were living in Missouri in 1860 and 1870. Frank was born around 1855, so it is likely his family was still in Missouri for the 1860 Census and may have been there in 1870. Locating all the Normans in Missouri also helped me be certain I have not missed any possible Frank Normans in my search.

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In a previous post, I located the Norman families living in Missouri in 1860 on an 1856 map. Today’s post shows the Norman families in Missouri in 1870. Each black dot represents one to three households living at that location in 1870. I have included the table of households at the end of this post, in case this information would help other Norman families in their genealogy searches. I have double-checked the information but please be aware, there may be households missing or incorrect. My next genealogy project is to map the Norman families in Missouri in 1880.

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Norman Families in Missouri 1870

 

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In 1870, there were 148 households in Missouri with people having the surname Norman (in 1860, there were 92). Some of these were families, some with more than one generation in the household, some with as many as nine children. Some were young men or women living or working as servants or laborers with other families. Some were young children, living with foster families or in one case, in an orphanage (Lucy Norman, 12 years old).

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To see the change in the Norman families, compare the 1860 and 1870 map below. The numbers of Norman families have increased due to migration from other states, or because older children have established their own families. Some families or their members have migrated to the cities of Saint Louis or Kansas City.

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By comparing the family lists, the whereabouts of various families can be traced. For example, in Laclede County in 1860 there were two Norman families, including Moses and Betsy Norman who I think may be Frank’s parents. By 1870, this family is no longer in Laclede County or anywhere else in Missouri. Also, I know from other records that their son Benj has died. The other 1860 Norman family (Moses and Lucinda with eight other family members) is now represented by Lucinda and four other family members (Moses died in 1873, so it is unknown why he is not with the family at Census time). I can trace remnants and descendants of this family through to 1880 (Lucinda died in 1891).  There are two other Norman families in Laclede County in 1870, Newton Norman and William Norman. Newton Norman is Lucinda’s son and has his own family.  I do not know the relationship, if any, of William Norman to the Moses and Lucinda family.

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Norman Families Missouri 1860Norman Families in Missouri 1870

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Six of the 1870 Norman families had sons named Francis/Frank. There is also a Frank L (born 1836) in St. Joseph, Buchanan County who is too old to  be my Frank, and an ‘F. Norman of uncertain age in St, Louis.  I think my ancestor was Francis M. Norman, son of Moses and Betsy Norman, living in Hooker, Laclede County in 1860. In 1870, he is 18 years old and if his parents have died, he could be anywhere. Sad sentence for a family historian!!!

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

Family Number (for my own reference) Male (usually husband but also father or son) Age Female (usually wife but also mother or daughter) Age Number Other Normans in House-hold

(* son Francis)

Township County Living with another family
135 Salina 26 Rochester Andrew Cook
139 Laura E. 20 Lincoln Andrew Jackson
124 Alexander 16 Nancy 57 1 Deer Creek Bates
47 Caleb 37 Josephine 35 4 Boone Bates
110 William 29 Julia 19 2 Capps Creek Barry
80 Marion 24 1 Fristoe Benton
7 W. L. 59 Mary 60 4 Cedar Boone
35 James 41 Armina 23 5   * Cedar Boone
138 Maj 21 2 Cedar Boone
22 Enos 48 Nancy 47 6   * Jackson Buchanan
121 Charlotte 63 Center Buchanan Smith
41 Charles 39 4 St. Joseph Buchanan
42 John 39 Mary E. 21 9 St. Joseph Buchanan
55 Frank L. 34 Stacy J. 26 2 St. Joseph Buchanan
68 James 30 St. Joseph Buchanan
69 Jas 30 St. Joseph Buchanan
115 B.F. 27 St. Joseph Buchanan Thompson
141 Mary 16 St. Joseph Buchanan McClean
144 Josephine 13 St. Joseph Buchanan Cunningham
32 Smith 44 Hannah 41 Hamilton Caldwell
71 Fayett 29 Elen 26 4 Warren Camden
48 Caleb 33 Josie 26 4 Dolan Cass
9 George W. 57 5 Cedar Cedar
131 Hillina 32 1 Twnshp 53 Chariton
15 Hiram 52 Juda 52 4 Polk Christian
62 William 33 Sarah 30 3 Polk Christian
91 William 26 Elisabeth 22 Wyaconda Clark
143 Mary 14 Jackson Clark
54 A.M. 34 Fannie 26 Saline Cooper
113 William 28 Eleanor 20 1 Greenfield Dade
27 Eldridge 46 Julia 40 2 Benton Dallas
57 William 34 Lucy 30 8   * Benton Dallas
107 Thomas 21 Adeline 20 Benton Dallas
24 Joseph 47 Phoeba 43 3 Jefferson Davies
117 John F. 27 Sherman Dekalb Tenneson
99 James M.P. 23 Mary F. 23 Findley Douglas Ellison
31 Henry 44 Emilie 24 Boles Franklin
72 James T. 11 1 Miller Gentry Setzer
82 William J. 23 Miller Gentry Sutzer
94 Louis C. 25 Martha F. 25 2 Cooper Gentry
16 James 52 Sarah 40 4 Pond Creek Greene
25 William 47 Mary 41 6 Center Greene
56 Robert 34 Mary 30 2 Wilson Greene
60 Josiah 33 Sarah A. 34 1 Taylor Greene
108 Jesse 29 Susanna 23 Taylor Greene
123 Daniel 17 Malinda 58 Taylor Greene
112 Olon 28 Trenton Grundy Hansen
147 Hattie 12 Marion Grundy Johnson
77 Milton S. 25 Lewis Holt Prie
88 Andy 20 Richmond Howard Patterson
2 Thomas 64 3 Kansas City Jackson
45 Thomas 38 Kansas City Jackson
63 Henry 32 Laura 21 Kansas City Jackson
95 A.J. 24 Kansas City Jackson
96 Thomas 64 3 Kansas City Jackson
105 James 21 Kansas City Jackson Madison
118 Joseph 27 Mary J. 23 3 Kansas City Jackson
3 Thron 62 Mary A. 55 3 Marion Jasper
20 Aaron Vanormond 49 Sarah 44 4 Benton Knox
5 Lucinda 52 4 Hooker Laclede
46 William 38 Mary 33 3 Lebanon Laclede
111 Newton 28 Virginia A. 35 3 Hooker Laclede
102 Joseph 22 Buck Prairie Lawrence Cummings
109 Milford 29 Mary 23 3 Buck Prairie Lawrence
132 Amanda 30 2 Monticello Lewis Howard
33 William 44 Mary 32 Chillicothe Livingston
51 Minnie 12 Chilicothe Livingston Reugger
140 Namie 18 Chillicothe Livingston
142 Basha 15 Chillicothe Livingston Bargdoll
65 Henry 31 Alice A. 25 2 Medicine Livingston
129 Elizabeth 35 2 Blue Mound Livingston
83 George 22 Warren Marion Hanley
134 Nancy L. 26 Somerset Mercer Duree
28 J.B. 45 Rosan 38 7   * Pilot Grove Moniteau
86 James M. 21 Anna 66 Pilot Grove Moniteau
64 J.W. 32 Mary J. 31 2 Willow Fork Moniteau
92 Joseph W.T. 25 Louisa A. 20 2 Clay Monroe
122 Eliza 58 Jackson Monroe Vaughn
18 Allen 50 Catherine 40 4 Danville Montgomery
90 Robert 19 Melissa 23 1 Danville Montgomery
29 William 45 Sarah 35 6 Mill Creek Morgan
13 Thomas M. 53 Julia A. 37 5 Oak Grove Oregon
100 John 23 Nancy 25 1 Oak Grove Oregon
120 George 26 Mary 23 2 Oak Grove Oregon
127 Hester 49 Oak Grove Oregon
38 M.G. 40 Mary 38 6 Piney Oregon
11 A. 54 Roda 36 Marion Ozark
67 James 30 Bowling Green Pettis
74 Jas 26 Mary 24 5 Bowling Green Pettis
75 John D. 26 Calumet Pike Kissinger
116 C.N. 27 Carroll Platte Adams
61 Thomas F. 33 Mary 28 4 Madison Polk
85 William T. 22 Lucretia 52 5 Looney Polk
1 Stephen 64 Mary A. 38 2 Sherman Putnam
43 L.M. 39 Susan 34 4 Sherman Putnam
101 Eph 22 Sherman Putnam Neff
14 George 52 Eliza 46 5 Center Ralls
73 Harry 17 Margaret 14 1 Jasper Ralls Brasher
79 Johnithan 24 Saline Ralls
81 Thomas 24 Mary 23 1 Salt River Ralls
78 Jas B. 24 Sarah 19 Polk Ray
104 Jack 21 E.D. 45 2 Current River Ripley
26 Albert 46 Mary 39 6 Fabius Schuyler
37 James 40 Hannah 66 3 Fabius Schuyler
39 Minor 40 Ellen 34 5 Fabius Schuyler
50 Doctor 35 Martha 25 4 Independence Schuyler
6 James 60 Kelso Scott
128 Caroline 37 1 Kelso Scott Hankerson
23 Charles W. 47 Mary E. 41 4 Moreland Scott
53 William 35 Diana 45 2   * Moreland Scott
70 John C. 30 Ann E. 23 2 Moreland Scott
84 Reuben 22 Harriet 25 2 Moreland Scott
89 James K. 20 Altha 24 Moreland Scott
145 Mary L. 13 Commerce Scott Archer
12 Birkett 54 Carlonie 54 3 Tiger Fork Shelby
40 Thomas 40 Sally 24 1 Osceola St. Clair Barth
8 Daniel 58 Bonhomme Sr. Louis Campbell
17 John 52 Mary 38 St. Louis St. Louis
19 Pat 50 St. Louis St. Louis
21 Daniel 49 Lucy 39 St. Louis St. Louis
49 David 35 St. Louis St. Louis
66 F. ?? St. Louis St. Louis
87 Saml 21 St. Louis St. Louis
93 Leslie R. 25 Mary 26 1 (Eliz 49) St. Louis St. Louis
98 Henry 24 St. Louis St. Louis
103 Michael 22 St. Louis St. Louis Heinsey
119 Dennis 26 St. Louis St. Louis
126 Lizzie 50 St. Louis St. Louis Washington
133 Angeline 30 St. Louis St. Louis
136 N. 25 St. Louis St. Louis
137 Louisa 22 St. Louis St. Louis Nayler
148 Lucy 12 St. Louis St. Louis Winter Orphanage
10 Christ 56 Catherin 56 3 Ste. Genevieve Ste. Genevieve
4 William 62 Sarah 38 2 Castor Stoddard
30 Wm 45 Sarah 38 8 Castor Stoddard
44 Matthew J. 38 Christian 35 6 Castor Stoddard
106 Levi 21 Missouri 21 3 Castor Stoddard
58 Andrew 36 Martha 34 6 Liberty Stoddard
36 Eli 40 Eliz 40 4 Liberty Stoddard
125 Elizabeth 42 3 Liberty Stoddard
146 Elizabeth 42 3 Liberty Stoddard
97 Enos W. 24 Mary E. 20 1 Clay Sullivan
59 John A. 33 Margaret 23 4 (Louisa 53) Cass Texas
34 Alfred R. 43 Cornelia 39 6 Henry Vernon
52 Jacob F. 35 Eliza 33 3   * Henry Vernon
76 George 25 Nellie L. 29 1 Osage Vernon
130 Henry 17 Nancy 33 3 Warrenton Warren
114 W.S. 28 Sarah C. 22 2 Various Wright

Written by jane tims

June 3, 2016 at 7:35 am

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