Let’s Take the Stigma Out of Mental Illness #BellLetsTalk

Fact:  Did you know that two out of three people suffer in silence, fearing judgement and rejection.

January 31 2018 is Bell Let’s Talk Day!  The day we are supposed to talk to end stigma and start a conversation – which I applaud – but as human beings, we should really be doing this all day, every day.  Mental Illness affects us all – if not you directly, then most certainly someone you love.

What do you think of when you hear that someone is experiencing a mental illness?  Some people feel concern, fear, confusion.  Some avoid the topic or people experiencing it all together.  But in truth, mental illnesses are just like any other illness, everyone deserves care, help and support.

Mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior. Examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviours.

I work in disability claims, I deal with all types of illnesses; organic and non-organic.  It really helps to put things in perspective for me, I see people suffering from mental illness every day in what I do for a living – I see how their  lives and finances are impacted.  I see that their struggle is real.

I also know from personal experience that the struggle is all too real.  I’ll talk a little about my personal experience with mental illness.  I do this to share with all of you that this is nothing to be ashamed of, nothing that isn’t surmountable, it’s no different than any other physical medical issue.  It can’t be confirmed on x-ray or CT Scan.  It isn’t always visible (unless in extreme cases, where individuals don’t care for their activities of daily living,  are in a psychotic episode or are in a manic or depressive state etc … ) but it’s there and affects lives every day!

*** Hello, my name is Tina, I suffer from anxiety, depression and panic disorder ***

Panic Disorder:

Panic disorder involves repeated and unexpected panic attacks. A panic attack is a feeling of sudden and intense fear that lasts for a short period of time, the first time I experienced once I thought I was dying, I was only 25 years old.  It caused me a lot of physical symptoms like a racing heart, shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pains and a feeling a loss of control.

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I mean we’ve all experienced a panic attack in relation to a stressful situation but with a panic disorder, panic attacks seem to happen for no reason – no provoked trigger.  I’d get them at the grocery store and have to leave a cart full of groceries, wake up from a dead sleep in a full blown panic attack (not having a nightmare or bad dream), while driving (for no reason) and I have to cancel plans with people because of it, at home cleaning or watching TV.  It got to the point where I started changing my regular routine to avoid triggering more panic attacks.

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Depression:

We all experience changes in our mood. Sometimes we feel energetic, full of ideas, and other times we feel sad, down and/or irritable. But these moods usually don’t last long, and we can go about our daily lives.   Depression interferes with that … it interferes in your ability to function – it can change the way people eat and sleep, and many people experience physical health problems.  My episodes of depression were triggered by events in my life – I felt constant sadness almost every day, tearfulness,  ++ crying, loss of interest and pleasure in my favourite activities,  was low energy, had psychomotor impairment, a loss of appetite (+ weight loss) and difficulty making decisions/focusing to name a few.

If you, or someone you know, has a mental illness, there is good news: all mental illnesses can be treated. I went to the doctor, sought treatment and thankfully recovered.  With respect to the anxiety/panic that too is surmountable – treatment in the form of cognitive behaviour therapy, mediation and relaxation exercises as well as lots of putting into practice and my anxiety/panic is much better controlled.  If I feel anxiety or panic coming on – I implement the exercises taught to me by  my counsellor (MSW) and thwart it.

Many people have mental health concerns from time to time. But a mental health concern becomes a mental illness when ongoing signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and affect your ability to function ~ The Mayo Clinic

As a sufferer, my suggestions to you to help end the stigma associated with mental illness are:

Educate Yourself And Others: “I take every opportunity to educate people and share my personal story and struggles with mental illness. It doesn’t matter where I am, if I over-hear a conversation or a rude remark being made about mental illness, or anything regarding a similar subject, I always try to use that as a learning opportunity and gently intervene and kindly express how this makes me feel, and how we need to stop this because it only adds to the stigma.” – Sara Bean

Encourage Equality Between Physical And Mental Illness: “I find that when people understand the true facts of what a mental illness is, being a disease, they think twice about making comments. I also remind them that they wouldn’t make fun of someone with diabetes, heart disease or cancer.” – Megan Dotson

Show Compassion For Those With Mental Illness: “I offer free hugs to people livingScreen Shot 2018-01-28 at 11.21.59 PM outdoors, and sit right there and talk with them about their lives. I do this in public, and model compassion for others. Since so many of our homeless population are also struggling with mental illness, the simple act of showing affection can make their day but also remind passersby of something so easily forgotten: the humanity of those who are suffering.” – Rachel Wagne

Choose Empowerment Over Shame: “I fight stigma by choosing to live an empowered life. To me, that means owning my life and my story and refusing to allow others to dictate how I view myself or how I feel about myself.” – Val Fletcher

Let’s stop the stigma associated with mental illness, if you need to talk – reach out, I’ve got your back.

One last thing,  Bell donates 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for each of these interactions on Bell Let’s Talk Day at no extra charge to participants:

  • Every text message, mobile and long distance call made by Bell Canada and Bell Aliant customers.
  • Twitter: Every tweet using #BellLetsTalk and @Healthy_Minds
  • Facebook: Every view of the Bell Let’s Talk Day video at: https://www.facebook.com/BellLetsTalk
  • Instagram: Every post using #BellLetsTalk and tagged @HealthyMindsCanada
  • Snapchat: Every use of the Bell Let’s Talk Snapchat geofilter

Take to social media and let’s get this out there!

Namaste

T xo Screen Shot 2018-01-29 at 9.25.30 PM

 

Recipe: Unguilty Pleasure – Yummy Protein Cake in a Cup

My first blog of 2018 …. and it’s a recipe.  I’m in crunch mode – I’m taking the kids and I to Cuba in no less than 5 weeks …..

The other day, I had the sweetest tooth after dinner and immediately after eating a yummy healthy dinner, I dug right into a Caramel Sea Salt Cake from M&M’s – omg! talk about the most amazing thing of life!

Then I read the label (after I ate it) and omg’ed again!  The Nutritional Facts blew me away, ugh!!!!

  • Calories 510
  • Fat 24g
  • Cholesterol 125mg
  • Sodium 630mg
  • Carbohydrate 67g
  • Protein 6g

Yep, I just ruined my healthy day of eating and exercise by eating 510 cals in ONE dessert!

So, tonight after another yummy healthy dinner of veggie burger, whole wheat/kamut bun and a mesclun mix salad with mango, sunflower seeds, goji berries, feta and homemade balsamic vinegar dressing – I once again had a sweet tooth, I was about to ruin my 10,000 steps and healthy dinner by eating an unhealthy dessert – so instead,  I decided to make a healthy protein cup cake, that way I choose the ingredients, no preservatives and calorie count.

Ingredients:Screen Shot 2018-01-28 at 9.36.09 PM.png

  • 1 scoop IsaLean Creamy French Vanilla Protein Powder OR your favourite protein powder
  • 1/4 of banana (mashed)
  • 1 tsp Jif peanut butter
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • Water

Nutritional Facts:

  • 1 scoop IsaLean Creamy French Vanilla Protein Powder contains 12 g undenatured protein, 4 g of dietary fibre, 23 vitamins and minerals  = 120 calories
  • 1/4 cup mashed banana = 23 cals
  • 1 tsp peanut butter – 1 tsp = 33 cals
  • Cinnamon – 1/2 tsp = 3 cals

TOTAL:  179 calories

Directions

  1. In a small bowl add protein powder and cinnamon – mix
  2. Add in peanut butter, mashed banana and water –  make it the consistency of batter
  3. Mix all ingredients together.
  4. Microwave for 2:00 mins – depending on the strength of your microwave you may need 2:30 mins.
  5. Remove from microwave oven and enjoy your low cal dessert!

I didn’t have any IsaDelights or dark chocolate or I would have added one on top to melt (yum!)

I definitely could have dressed it up a bit more for its photo opp but honestly I just couldn’t wait to dig in!

Try it and let me know what you think!

Namaste

T xo

My Note To You on NYE 2018 …

This post will mark the end to another year – and my first full blogging year.  I took some time to re-read some of my older posts and I see how much I’ve grown as a writer and as a blogger.  Thank you for joining me on my life journey, genealogy search, recipes I’ve posted, my worldly travels and other tid bits.  I am most certainly looking forward to another year of blogging with you and reading yours.

Even though this year has had its fair share of downs, heart ache and pain – I am still grateful for the experiences – they offer opportunities to learn and grow.  They teach you to be strong in the face of adversity and remind you of the importance of forgiveness.

I’ve also had done and had some amazing things happen throughout 2017 …

  • I traveled to Vegas twice
  • Went to Philadelphia
  • Saw Marcus Lutrell, Taya Kyle,  David Goggins and Chad Fleming’s Patriot Tour
  • Experienced Japan & visited with one of my besties and her fam (miss you Linda)
  • Saw Tony Robbins LIVE & IN PERSON – what an experience!
  • Lost 20 lbs
  • Watched my eldest baby girl graduate from University – so proud!
  • Moved back to my HOMETOWN
  • My youngest got her G2 license – and get her 1st car
  • Moved into my dream condo
  • See more of my family now that I am back home, I’ve really missed them

To name just a few …

Screen Shot 2017-12-26 at 12.11.39 AMFocussing on the good things that have happened is WAY more important than focussing on the negative (law of attraction people!).  It also serves as gratitude – life is more rewarding when we focus on the good things which surround us everyday.  It’s easy to forget on days like yesterday where the heat stopped working in my truck during a snow storm only a week after paying $807 to fix it, rear ending someone (I will be found at fault cause I rear ended her, even though it was her fault), but, in the grand scheme of things – they’re minute and insignificant.  Regularly practicing gratitude and writing brief reflections on moments for which we’re thankful—can significantly increase well-being and life satisfaction.

Thank you 2017 for another incredible year – even though it was far from perfect – the problems I face are still 1st world problems.  

At the end of the day, I have my health, my family is well, I have a good job, a roof over my head and food in my belly.  I have friends and family who love me.  Life.  Is. Good.

God/Universe:  Continue to bless me with the gift of a new day and I will continue to keep learning,  growing and finding my path.   I will never take the easy path, just because it’s safe – I will continue to search for the road less traveled, the ones that push me outside of my comfort zone – as I know life begins there.

I will take better care of myself mentally and physically.  I have given a lot of myself this past year – with little thought of how it impacted me – I will start taking better of myself – working out, eating clean. I will be more spiritual and heal emotionally.  I will continue to love without condition.  I will continue to do for others when they need me.  I will also (hard to admit) work on my patience – it’s the one virtue I struggle most with.  Just  keep letting me thank the man upstairs for letting me open my eyes and I will continue to keep working hard.

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Everyone:  Wishing you and yours a most blessed New Year filled with love, joy, prosperity and happiness. 

Each year sees many suffer from both natural and man-made hardships. But with each, there were others willing to step in and attempt to relieve some of that hardship, exercising the best of the human spirit.

To dad: Bringing in another year without you is heartbreaking – I regret the memories that we will never be able to experience together – but, I cherish more than ever the ones we did.  I miss you.

Namaste

T xo

 


 

 

On Set: Murdoch Mysteries Was Shooting in my Hometown …

It’s UFC night here at the house, it’s also New Years Eve Eve – the boys are watching UFC and I’m blogging my second to last entry of the year.  I’m into UFC but am truly waiting for the Cyborg vs Holly Holm fight.
Not that this has anything at all in common with UFC but I was going through my photos and saw pics of when Murdoch Mysteries shot some scenes at Victoria Park here in my hometown …

Now, I LOVE Yannick Bisson’s portrayal of Det. William Murdoch, his wife Dr. Julia Ogden, Constable George Crabtree, Henry, Dr. Grace and Inspector Brackenhead’s adventures.  I’ve Netflix binged them and have finished season 9 – and am onto season 10.

If you aren’t a fan or haven’t yet binged on this period detective mystery program, I suggest you do.  It’s based on novels by Maureen Jennings, “Murdoch Mysteries” & follows detective William Murdoch of the Toronto Constabulary. The storyline takes place in Toronto during the 1890s and early 1900s – which is interesting because I lived there for 6 years and can relate to the areas of which they speak and “shoot”.

On March 13, 2017, it was announced that Murdoch Mysteries, the #1 Drama in Canada, will be back for its Eleventh Season this Fall on CBC (Canada). YAY!!!

I moved back to Kitchener this past September …. I was out taking the dog for a walk – she loves walks in the park – where she can run, play with other dogs and stare at the ducks and geese. While we entered Victoria Park, our route was redirected by security to go around Victoria Park Lake, rather than taking the main bridge which functions as a gateway to Roos Island in the middle of Victoria Park Lake. Roos Island is home to the park’s bandstand.  I asked what was up – the guard told me they were shooting an episode of Murdoch Mysteries – Season 11.  Being a fan, I walked around the lake and started taking pics and then moved in closer for a peek of the film shoot.

Victoria Park is the oldest park in Kitchener, Ontario and is situated downtown. Victoria Park opened in 1896, the park was built mostly on swampy farm land. The man-made lake is fed by Schneider Creek, surrounds three small islands, and is crossed by multiple bridges, one dating to the creation of the park. The park also contains the Victoria Park pavilion, the Victoria Park Gallery and Archives, a bandstand, and a historic boathouse, which is now The Boathouse, a pub and live music venue.

As we rounded the corner of the lake I encountered the barrage of filming trucks.  As we crossed the way, another security guard halted our walk as they were shooting a scene  …. I was anxious to see if I would see Yannick (Get. Murdoch), Johnny Harris (Const. Crabtree) or Thomas Craig (Insp. Brackenhead).  I did end up running into Yannick – he was crossing the bridge, I wanted to take a photo BUT he was eating and I didn’t want to disturb him 😦

As we crossed the bridge, we came across the main filming area, the bandshell – where they seemed to be shooting a scene where George was involved in a cook off of some sort.

The crowd was able to stay and observe the shoot, it was so interesting to see of the hard work, crew and staff that goes into one scene!  While there for the couple of hours, Ellie made friends with staffers and extras alike 🙂  She’s just too darned cute!

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Have any of you been able to watch any movies shoots?

Namaste

T xo


 

Recipe: Christmas Winner – Ambrosia Salad

It’s 5 minutes to midnight I just sat down for the 1st time since 1:00 PM.  The last thing on my to do list was make the Christmas fave … Ambrosia Salad.  I make this EVERY year for my mom, she loves it.  Of course the kids love it too – I mean who doesn’t love Ambrosia Salad?

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So, you’ll need the following,

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 mandarin oranges, peeled and sectioned OR 1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges (drained) – I used fresh because I had a case of them in the fridge
  • 1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 tub of Cool Whip or your favourite whipped topping – thawed
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows (I use the coloured ones – miniature fruit-flavored
  • 1/2 cup flaked, sweet coconut
  • 6 ounces reduced-fat vanilla yogurt
  • Strawberries, cut in 1/4 to your liking
  • Maraschino cherries – I use the cherries as a topper

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the whipped topping and yogurt.
  2. Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold remaining ingredients into whipped topping.
  3. Chill before serving.

NOTE:

  • If you are not a fan of mainstream frozen whipped topping, you can find all-natural alternatives at stores like Whole Foods or in the organic section of your local grocer, or you could always make your own.

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Merry Christmas!

Namaste

T xo


 

 

 

On Genealogy: Filles du roi – Descendants of Jeanne-Claude Boisandré

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Most Canadians are familiar with the King’s Daugther’s/Filles du roi.  The Filles du roi, were some 770 women who arrived in the colony of New France (Canada) between 1663 and 1673, under the financial sponsorship of King Louis XIV of France. Most were single French women, many were orphans. Their transportation to Canada and settlement in the colony were paid for by the King. Some were given a royal gift of a dowry of 50 livres for their marriage to one of the many unmarried male colonists in Canada.

Colonization of New France

I am as French Canadian was they come, but, before I get into the story of my descendant, I want to talk a bit about colonizing New France.  The first settler was brought to Quebec by Samuel de Champlain – the apothecary Louis Hébert and his family, of Paris. They came expressly to settle, stay in one place to make the New France settlement function. Waves of recruits came in response to the requests for men with specific skills, like farming, apothecaries, blacksmiths. As couples married, cash incentives to have large families were put in place, and were effective.

To strengthen the colony and make it the centre of France’s colonial empire, Louis XIV decided to send single women, aged between 15 and 30 known as the King’s Daughters/ les filles du roi, to New France, paying for their passage and granting goods or money as a dowry. Approximately 800 arrived during 1663–1673. The King’s Daughters found husbands among the male settlers within a year or two, as well as a new life for themselves. They came on their own accord, many because they could not make a favourable marriage in the social hierarchy in France. By 1672, the population of New France had risen to 6,700, from 3,200 in 1663.

At the same time, marriages with the natives were encouraged, and indentured servants, Screen Shot 2017-12-19 at 1.49.45 PM.pngknown as engagés, were also sent to New France.

The women played a major role in establishing family life, civil society, and enabling rapid growth. There was a high demand for children, for they contributed to the prosperity of the farm from an early age, and there was plenty of food for them. Women bore about 30% more children than comparable women who remained in France. Landry says, “Canadians had an exceptional diet for their time. This was due to the natural abundance of meat, fish, and pure water; the good food conservation conditions during the winter; and an adequate wheat supply in most years.”

Besides household duties, some women participated in the fur trade, the major source of cash in New France. They worked at home alongside their husbands or fathers as merchants, clerks and provisioners. Some were widows who took over their husband’s roles. A handful were active entrepreneurs in their own right

I also want to take a moment to be clear – the indigenous peoples had been living on this territory for millennia. That is, well before the Vikings ventured so far East or the French “colonized” it or the English took over.  So,  I don’t believe they discovered a new territory, the native people were here long beforehand.  They just colonized it made in their own in the name of the King of France.  

Jeanne- Claude Boisandré

I actually descend from several files du roi and filles a marier – but today I am going to focus on Jeanne-Claude Boisandré (1644-1671). A.k.a. Jeanne -Claude Duboisandré was the daughter of Sieur Jacques de Boisandré the Ormelée and Mary Vieuville.

When Jeanne Claude De Boisandre was born in about 1631 in Caen, Calvados, France, her father, Jacques, was 51, and her mother, Marie, was 46.

She married Pierre Rancourt in Saint- Jean, Caen, France.  This IS the line from which I descend … 

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After the passing of her first husband on or about July 24, 1667 in Caen, Departement du Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France, she became a widow Filles du roi and made passage to Canada with her two sons to help settle the new colony of La Nouvelle France.  

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Arrival of the Filles du roi
A view of women coming to Quebec in 1667, in order to be married to the French Canadian farmers. Talon and Laval are waiting for the arrival of the women (Watercolor by Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale, 1871-1945. Courtesy of Library and Archives Canada, Acc. no 1996-371-1).
LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA, ACC. NO 1996-371-1

Louis De La Chaise, was the son of Louis and Marie De la Chaise George. Although he is the husband of my 7x GGM, I have a lot of respect for him.  He chose to marry her even though she was widowed and had two children from her previous marriage. For a time he provided them with shelter, a home and being cared for. 

From the Quebec, Genealogical Dictionary of Canadian Families (Tanguay Collection), 1608-1890:Screen Shot 2017-12-19 at 12.37.16 PM

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Paroisse Notre Dame church record of the marriage between De La Chaise and Boisandre

She married Jean Létourneau, son of David Létourneau and Sébastienne Guery January 15, 1668 in Ile d’Orleans, Quebec shortly after De La Chaise died.

Most of the millions of people of French Canadian descent today are descendants of one or more of these courageous women of the 17th century!

Jeanne Claude De Boisandre died on July 24, 1671, in Ste-Famille, Quebec, when she was 41 years old.

Fast forward – as we all know, New France will lose the 7 years war to Britain and will fall, relaying power to the Brits, then commences the dawn of British North America.

My Lineage 

Jeanne- Claude Boisandré + Pierre Rancourt (7th Great Grand Parents)

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Joseph Noel Rancourt + Marie Parent (6th Great Grand Parents)

Joseph was born in 1655 in Saint-Jean-de-Lizieux , Normandy, France.

Arrived in New France in 1685

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He married Marie Parent, daughter of Pierre Parent and Jeanne Badeau on February 5, 1685 in Beauport, Capitale-Nationale, Québec, Canada .

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He married Françoise Davaux , daughter of Charles Davaux and Marguerite Aubigny September 18, 1701 in La Visitation -de -Notre- Dame, Chateau- Richer, Capitale-Nationale.

He died March 21, 1719 at Notre-Dame, Quebec. He was buried March 21, 1719 in Notre- Dame, Quebec.|

Charles Francois Rancourt + Marie Françoise Duquet dit Durochers (5th Great Grand Parents)

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Charles Alexandre Rancourt + Marie Josephe Montmigny (4th Great Grand Parents)

Charles BIRTH 15 JUL 1729 Québec, Québec, Quebec, Canada

Charles DEATH 26 MAR 1774 St-Joseph De Beauce, Chaudière-Appalaches, Quebec, Canada

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Louis Rancourt + Emelie Terre (Thare/Therre) (3rd Great Grand Parents)

Louis was born on November 26, 1807, in Quebec City, Quebec

Louis died on March 25, 1847, in Calumet, Quebec, when he was 39 years old.

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Olive Rancourt + Patrick James Mullen (2nd Great Grand Parents)

PJ was born on 22 Dec 1825 in County Londonderry, Ireland, UK. 

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I’ve found a note that in 1851 there was a Patrick James Mullen was at the Ballycastle Poor Law Union, in Antrim, Northern Ireland.  So, he may hav been in a workhouse, each Poor Law Union in Ireland contained at least one workhouse. This was back breaking work.  Maybe he was in there during the Great Irish Potato Famine from which lasted from 1845 – 1852?  Maybe this was why he decided to leave Ireland? We know little about his parents – who I have listed as Michael Mullen and either Nancy McGinnis or Nancy MCannus according to the Pontiac Records.

He is said to have immigrated to Canada in 1861.

It is family folklore that Patrick James Mullen left Ireland because he did not want to be a priest as his family wished. In Canada he became a schoolteacher (this is confirmed on the census’) and married Olive Rancourt on March 5, 1867.  He is also my dad’s namesake – whose name is Patrick James Richards.

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Angelina Mullen + Ambrose Richards (Great Grand Parents)

I understand from Chicky (Mary Rowlands) that Angelina’s mother died when she was quite young (I looked at the records she was 8 years old) and she then lived with another family in Calumet (this may be, but, I cannot find any proof of this because by the next census, her dad was a widower and living with the Lee Family). She knew that her father came from Ireland and that it had been intended that he would become a priest and that he was a school teacher. Other than these facts we know very little about PJ Mullen.

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Benjamin Richards + Sarah Lee (Grand Parents)

Refer to my blogs on each of my grandparents – Grampa Benny’s WWII blog and The Lee Side of Me … about Gramma Sally’s side of the family from Yorkshire, England.

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Patrick Richards + Mona Lamothe (Parents)

Patrick was born on Jan 15 1954 in Temiscaming,  Quebec , Canada and passed away November 18 2014 also in Temiscaming.

Mona was born on January 20 1956 in Bonfield, Ontario, Canada.

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MOI

Yet another interesting find and lineage in my genealogy search.  I’m really loving ALL of the interesting things I’m finding out on my genealogy journey.

Genealogy is a fascinating and compelling activity that demands the same kind of persistence and deductive reasoning as detective work. Tracing ancestors is really about solving a series of mysteries. I wonder where my search will lead me next?

Namaste

T xo

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On Genealogy: Jack Tripper is my 9th Cousin, 2x removed!

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Rev. Obadiah Holmes definitely has some Famous Kin.  I’ve covered Abe Lincoln & Amelia Earhart and now I’m covering my connection to comedic legend,  John Ritter.

Another descendant of Rev. Holmes, is Willis Carrier – the inventor of air conditioning (I really love this guy on hot, sticky, humid days!) – Carrier is his 8th great grandson.

I find the relation to John Ritter especially interesting because of his manner of death.  He passed away of an aortic dissection – the EXACT same thing that my brother, who would also be his 9th cousin, 2x removed, almost died of!  Aortic dissections are relatively uncommon. Weakened aorta walls can be congenital   –  refer to my previous blog entitled “Tough Times Don’t Last, Tough People Do” – I wonder if they run in all lines of this family?

John Ritter, is probably best know for the lovably goofy closet heterosexual Jack Tripper in the television comedy series ‘‘Three’s Company,” a smash hit in the 1970’s.   Jack’s character is of the lucky man who shares an apartment with two beautiful women, Chrissy, played by Suzanne Somers, and Janet, played by Joyce DeWitt. I used to love watching Jack, Janet and Chrissy and still love watching the reruns to this day! 

Early Life

Johnathan Southworth Ritter was born in Burbank, California, on September 17, 1948. He was the son of legendary country singer/actor Tex Ritter and his wife, actress Dorothy Fay. The couple married in 1941 and had their first child, Tom Ritter, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Screen Shot 2017-12-09 at 4.41.00 PM.pngJohn was destined to follow in his parents footsteps. He was enrolled at Hollywood High School where he was student body president. After graduation from high school, he attended the University of Southern California where he majored in Psychology and minored in Architecture. His first appearance on TV was in 1966 as a contestant on The Dating Game (1965) where he won a vacation to Lake Havasu, Arizona. After making his very first cameo appearance, he was induced to join an acting class taught by Nina Foch. He changed his major to Theatre Arts, graduating in 1971 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drama. He also studied acting with Stella Adler at the Harvey Lembeck Comedy Workshop. Between 1968 and 1969, he appeared in a series of stage plays in England, Scotland, Holland and in Germany.

Filmography

His TV debut came playing a campus revolutionary on Dan August (1970) which starred Burt Reynolds and Norman Fell, who later starred with him on Three’s Company . Then he appeared as “Reverend Matthew Fordwick” on The Waltons (1971). He continued making more guest appearances on Medical Center (1969), M*A*S*H (1972), The Bob Newhart Show (1972), The Streets of San Francisco (1972), Kojak (1973), Rhoda (1974) and Mary Tyler Moore (1970).

The following year, in late 1975, ABC picked up the rights for a new series based on a British sitcom, Man About the House (1973). Ritter beat out 50 people, including a young Billy Crystal, to get a major role. The first pilot was trashed, and in order for it to be improved, Joyce DeWitt, an unknown actress, played the role of “Janet Wood”, along with Suze Lanier-Bramlett as the dumb blonde, “Chrissy Snow”. It did better than the first pilot, but the producers still needed a change and Suzanne Somers came to the show at the very last minute to play “Chrissy”. Thus the series, Three’s Company, was born. 

Screen Shot 2017-12-09 at 4.38.01 PMIn 1980, when Three’s Company was sold into syndication, the show became a ratings phenomenon. At the height of Ritter’s popularity, he won a Golden Globe in 1983 for Best Performance by an Actor after being nominated twice for Best TV Actor in a Musical-Comedy Series and, one year later, he won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor In a Comedy Series after being nominated twice. By its eighth season, the show began to drop in the ratings and was canceled in 1984. After cancellation, he starred in its spin-off, called Three’s a Crowd (1984), also starring Mary Cadorette, but it lasted for only one season.

His first animated movie was that of a man turning into a dragon, whose job was to defeat “Ommendon” in The Flight of Dragons (1982). The following year, he came back to series television as “Detective Harry Hooperman” in the comedy/drama, Hooperman (1987) for which he was nominated for both an Emmy and a Golden Globe in 1988 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. He also won a People’s Choice Award for this role. He continued doing more box-office films such as Skin Deep (1989), in which he played a womanizing, alcoholic writer whose life seemed to be falling apart at the seams. In the movies, Problem Child (1990), and Problem Child 2 (1991), he played the surrogate father of a rebellious little boy who wrought havoc on the family. He also worked on Noises Off... (1992) and Stay Tuned (1992) before returning to another TV sitcom called Hearts Afire (1992) that also starred Billy Bob Thornton. The show had well-written scripts but failed to reach a massive audience which led to its cancellation in 1995. While he was working on Hearts Afire, he played “Ward Nelson” on North (1994). Then, he had the opportunity to work with Billy Bob Thornton, in the movie Sling Blade (1996), in which Ritter played the gay manager of a department store. He also provided the voice of “Clifford” in Clifford the Big Red Dog (2000). He was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award 4 times in a row, totalling seven Emmy nominations in his 35-year career. In 1999, he was also nominated for an Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series playing the role of “George Madison” on an episode of Ally McBeal (1997).

Soon afterwards, he landed his last television role in 8 Simple Rules… for Dating My Teenage Daughter (2002), based on the popular book. On this sitcom he played “Paul Hennessey”, a loving, rational dad, who laid down the ground rules for his three children and dealt with such topics as curfews, sex, drugs, getting arrested, etc. The show was a ratings winner in its first season and won a People’s Choice Award for Best New Comedy and also won for Favourite Comedy Series by the Family Awards.

Death

On September 11, 2003, Ritter fell ill while rehearsing for 8 Simple Rules.

He began sweating profusely and vomiting, and complained of having chest pains. He was taken across the street to the Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, by coincidence the same hospital where he was born. Physicians misdiagnosed Ritter and treated him for a heart attack (this is very common as the symptoms often mimic those of a heat attack).  However, his condition worsened. Physicians later diagnosed Ritter with an aortic dissection. Ritter died during surgery to repair the dissection, six days before his 55th birthday. This is were I’m in awe.  I hear of John Ritter and Alan Thicke dying in surgery for aortic dissections and yet my brother lived during the same surgery – was he ever blessed and he had an amazing thoracic cardiac surgeon in Dr. Ash.  

A private funeral was held on September 15 in Los Angeles, after which Ritter was interred at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills Cemetery in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles. He died on his daughter Stella’s birthday 😦 

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John Ritter’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is next to his father’s (see photos below).

He left behind four children: Jason Ritter, (born on Sunday, February 17, 1980), Carly Ritter, (born on Monday, March 1, 1982), Tyler Ritter, (born on Thursday, January 31, 1985) and Stella Ritter, (born on Friday, September 11, 1998).

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I’m excited to see what connection I make next and from which line!

Namaste

T xo


 

On Genealogy: Say What? I’m Connected To Amelia Earhart!

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Aviation, this young modern giant, exemplifies the possible relationship of women and the creations of science. Although women have not taken full advantage of its use and benefits, air travel is as available to them as to men ~ Amelia Earhart

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My lineage just gets better and better!  To date I have discovered a relation to a  King of France, a US President, a Filles du Roi, an explorer,  a colleague of Samuel de Champlain, a great Uncle who died in WWI in Flanders … these are just some of my finds … and NOW …. a relation to the great aviatrix Amelia Earhart!

It’s one of the greatest unsolved mysteries!  It’s been 80 years and no resolution. I have long been fascinated by the story of Amelia Earhart.  I have watched numerous documentaries about her disappearance on History, Nat Geo, CNN etc.  The story fascinated me long before I discovered our distant relation.  Amelia is my 9th cousin, 2 x removed via the Obadiah Holmes line – the same lineage that my relation to President Honest Abe Lincoln comes from.  So RICHARDS family, this one is also for you!

Background

Amelia was born on July 24, 1897, in Atchison, Kansas, USA, to Amelia Otis, age 28, and Edwin Stanton Earhart, age 26.

Screen Shot 2017-12-08 at 10.10.26 PMAs you may well know, Amelia Earhart was an Aviation Pioneer. Her flying career began in Los Angeles in 1921 when, at age 24, she took flying lessons from Neta Snook and bought her first airplane, a Kinner Airstar. Due to family problems, she sold her airplane in 1924 and moved back East, where she took employment as a Social Worker.

Four years later, she returned to aviation bought an Avro Avian airplane and became the first woman to make a solo-return transcontinental flight. From then on, she continued to set and break her own speed and distance records, in competitive events, as well as personal stunts promoted by her husband George Palmer Putnam.

Marriage to George Putnam

Amelia married George Palmer Putnam in Noank, Connecticut, USA, on February 7, 1931, when she was 33 years old.

A little about George:  In July 1927 he was responsible for the blockbuster publication of “We”, Charles Lindbergh‘s autobiographical account of his early life and Orteig Prize winning non-stop transatlantic solo flight from New York to Paris made in May of that year. The book proved to be one of the most successful non-fiction titles of all time selling more than 650,000 copies in less than a year and earning its author over $250,000, which is the 2017 equivalent of $3,410,056.50.

A significant event in Putnam’s personal and business life occurred in 1928, before the merger. Because of his reputation for working with Lindbergh, he was contacted by Amy Guest, a wealthy American living in London who wanted to sponsor the first-ever flight by a woman across the Atlantic Ocean.

Guest asked Putnam to find a suitable candidate and he eventually came up with the then-unknown aviatrix, Amelia Earhart.As it turned out, they shared many common interests: hiking, swimming, camping, riding, tennis and golf. When Putnam first met Earhart, he was still married to Binney. After she successfully completed her flight across the Atlantic, Putnam offered to help Earhart write a book about her flight, following the formula he had established with Charles Lindbergh in the writing of “WE”. The resulting Earhart book was 20 Hrs., 40 Min. (1928).

When they began writing, Putnam invited Earhart to live in his home because he felt like it would make the process easier. Shortly after, Binney left for South America which was followed by the divorce of George and Dorothy Putnam in 1929. Putnam had undertaken to heavily promote Earhart in a campaign that included a series of lecture tours and using pictures of her image in mass market endorsements for products including luggage, Lucky Strike cigarettes (this caused image problems for her, with McCall’s magazine retracting an offer) and other products.

In 1930, the various Putnam heirs voted to merge the family’s publishing firm with Minton, Balch & Co., which became the majority stockholders. George P. Putnam resigned from his position as secretary of G. P. Putnam’s Sons and joined New York publishers Brewer & Warren as vice president.

Putnam and Earhart made their relationship official shortly after his divorce was finalized, but they didn’t marry until 1931.

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Photo: Amelia & George, circa 1935

Accomplishments

She became a household name in 1932 when she became the first woman, and second person, to fly solo across the Atlantic, on the fifth anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s feat, flying a Lockheed Vega from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland to Londonderry, Ireland. That year, she received the Distinguished Flying Cross from the Congress, the Cross of Knight of the Legion of Honor from the French Government, and the Gold Medal of the National Geographic Society from President Hoover.

In January 1935 she became the first person to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean from Honolulu to Oakland, California. Later that year she soloed from Los Angeles to Mexico City and back to Newark, N.J.

In July 1936 she took delivery of a Lockheed 10E “Electra,” financed by Purdue University, and started planning her round-the-world flight. Her flight would not be the first to circle the globe, but it would be the longest, 29,000 miles, following an equatorial route – the longest in history.

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On March 17, 1937 she flew the first leg in her state of the art, twin-engine Lockheed 10 Electra from Oakland, California to Honolulu, Hawaii. As the flight resumed three days later, a tire blew on takeoff and she ground-looped the plane. Severely damaged, the aircraft had to be shipped back to California for repairs, and the flight was called off.

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Photo: Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan

Her Greatest Journey – To Circumnavigate Around the World Was Not To Be 

Screen Shot 2017-12-08 at 10.08.24 PM.pngThe second attempt would begin on May 20 1937 heading East; Fred Noonan, a former Pan Am pilot, would be her navigator and sole companion in flight for the entire trip. Their last known refuelling stop was in Southeast Asia, when they arrived at Lae, New Guinea on July 2 1937. About 22,000 miles of the journey had been completed. The remaining 7,000 miles would all be over the Pacific Ocean. Their intended destination was Howland Island (their next refuelling stop), a tiny piece of land a few miles long, 20 feet high, and 2,556 miles away. Their last positive position report and sighting were over the Nukumanu Islands, about 800 miles into the flight. Earhart and Noonan are never seen alive again.

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The United States Coast Guard cutter Itasca was on station near Howland, assigned on short notice to communicate with her plane and guide her to the island once she arrived in the vicinity. But it soon became evident that she and Noonan had little practical knowledge of the use of radio navigation. The frequencies she was using were not well suited to direction finding (in fact, she had left behind the lower-frequency reception and transmission equipment which might have enabled Itasca to locate her), and the reception quality of her transmissions was poor. After six hours of frustrating attempts at two-way communications, contact was lost. A coordinated search by the Navy and Coast Guard was organized and no physical evidence of the flyers or their plane was ever found. Their fate has been the subject of many rumors and allegations which were never substantiated. Modern analysis indicates that after passing the Nukumanu Islands, she began to vector off course, unwittingly heading for a point about 100 miles NNW of Howland. A few hours before their estimated arrival time Noonan calculated a “sun line,” but without a successful, radio-frequency range calculation, a precise “fix” on the plane’s location could not be established.

According to the crash and sink theory, Earhart’s plane ran out of gas while she searched for Howland Island, and she crashed into the open ocean somewhere in the vicinity of the island.

Several expeditions over the past 15 years have attempted to locate the plane’s wreckage on the sea floor near Howland. High-tech sonar and deep-sea robots have failed to yield clues about the Electra’s crash site.

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Theories About Their Disappearance

There are numerous conspiracy theories about Earhart’s disappearance.

  1. The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) postulates that Earhart and Noonan veered off-course from Howland Island and landed instead some 350 miles to the Southwest on Gardner Island, now called Nikumaroro, in the Republic of Kiribati. The island was uninhabited at the time.

A week after Earhart’s disappeared, Navy planes flew over the island. They noted recent signs of habitation but found no evidence of an airplane.  TIGHAR believes that Earhart—and perhaps Noonan—may have survived for days or even weeks on the island as castaways before dying there. Since 1988, several TIGHAR expeditions to the island have turned up artifacts and anecdotal evidence in support of this hypothesis.

Some of the artifacts include a piece of Plexiglas that may have come from the Electra’s window, a woman’s shoe dating back to the 1930s, improvised tools, a woman’s cosmetics jar from the 1930s and bones that appeared to be part of a human finger.

In June 2017, a TIGHAR-led expedition arrived on Nikumaroro with four forensically trained bone-sniffing border collies to search the island for any skeletal remains of Earhart or Noonan.

2) Another theory posits that Earhart and Noonan were captured and executed by the Japanese, and were captured as POWs.

3) Another theory claims that the pair served as spies for the Roosevelt administration and assumed new identities upon returning to the United States.

4) The final theory, and likely most realistic is that they ran out of fuel, having not been able to locate Howland Island and crashed into the sea.

What do you think happened?

My Lineage 

My Lineage to the Obadiah Holmes line ..

Rev. Obadiah Holmes (10th Great Grand Father)

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Martha Holmes

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Hannah Audley

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Abigail Devol

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Job Milk II

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Sarah Milk

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Roger Moore

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Ambrose Richards

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George Richards

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Ambrose Richards

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Benjamin Richards

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Patrick Richards

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MOI

Starting from the Obadiah Holmes line to Amelia ….

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Namaste

T xo

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On Genealogy: I always knew I was a Princess! My Relation to King VIII of France!

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Ok, I’m all over the place with this ancestry stuff.  I just moved, am sick in bed but can’t stop researching.  Each line steers me to something new and exciting – I’m honestly just just jumping around when I find a new cool hint – I follow it and away I go – on a brand spanking new tangent.

I always knew I was special – a princess you might say – now I have something to back it up  – my 24th great grand-father was King Louis VIII of France.  

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In all honesty, I know very little about my 24x GGF, but, from what I’ve seen on the line (Internship joke) Louis VIII the Lion (aka Louis VIII le Lion) (5 September 1187 – 8 November 1226) was King of France from 1223 to 1226 (only 3 years). He also claimed the title King of England from 1216 to 1217. Louis VIII was born in Paris, the son of King Philip II of France and Isabelle of Hainaut, from whom he inherited the County of Artois at Palais Royal, Paris, Paris, Île-de-France, France.

On 23 May 1200, at the age of 12 (what????, 12!!!), Louis was married to Blanche of Castile, daughter of King Alfonso VIII of Castile and Eleanor of England, the sister of King Richard I and King John of England. The marriage could only be concluded after prolonged negotiations between King Philip II of France and Blanche’s uncle John.

Louis VIII succeeded his father on 14 July 1223; his coronation took place on 6 August of the same year in the cathedral at Reims.

Born to wealth, Blanche of Castile (1188-1252) took the reins of leadership early in life as the wife of Louis VIII, King of France and later as co-regent during her son, Louis IX’s, minority. She proved to be a good, albeit strong willed leader, keenly adept at dealing with her male counterparts.

Blanche of Castile was born on March 4, 1188 in Palencia, Castile, an area that is now part of central and northern Spain. She was the daughter of King Alphonso VIII of Castile and Princess Eleanor Plantagenet of England. Her grandfather was Henry II of England, her grandmother was Eleanor of Aquitane and her uncle was John I of England. This rich lineage prepared her well for a place on the throne of France.

Screen Shot 2017-12-02 at 9.52.27 PMDuring Louis VIII’s short reign, Blanche confined her activities to the education and upbringing of her children. She was especially careful of the education of her favorite son, Louis. She was a stern Christian and taught him to be pious and devoted to the services of the church.

In 1236 Louis came of age but Blanche remained at his side—his strongest supporter and advisor. Louis proved to be an energetic king devoted to his people. He was a devout Roman Catholic, austere and prayerful and a devoted husband and father.  Blanche of Castile suffered with a heart ailment, but continued to preside over court responsibilities. In 1252 she suffered a heart attack while on her way to the Abbey of the Lys for a retreat. She was returned to the Palace of the Louvre in Paris where she received the last rights and died.

The King died of dysentery (is a type of gastroenteritis that results in diarrhea with blood.) on November 8, 1226 (39).  The Saint Denis Basilica houses the tomb of Louis VIII.

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Louis and Blanche had thirteen children:

  1. Unnamed daughter [Blanche?] (1205 – died soon after).
  2. Philip (9 September 1209 – before July 1218), betrothed in July 1215 to Agnes of Donzy.
  3. Alphonse (b. and d. Lorrez-le-Bocage, 26 January 1213), twin of John.
  4. John (b. and d. Lorrez-le-Bocage, 26 January 1213), twin of Alphonse.
  5. Louis IX (Poissy, 25 April 1214 – 25 August 1270, Tunis), King of France as successor to his father.
  6. Robert (25 September 1216 – 9 February 1250, killed in battle, Mansoura, Egypt), Count of Artois.
  7. Philip (20 February 1218 – 1220).
  8. John (21 July 1219 – 1232), Count of Anjou and Maine; betrothed in March 1227 to Yolande of Brittany.
  9. Alphonse (Poissy, 11 November 1220 – 21 August 1271, Corneto), Count of Poitou and Auvergne, and by marriage, of Toulouse.
  10. Philip Dagobert (20 February 1222 – 1232.
  11. Isabelle (March 1224 – 23 February 1270).
  12. Stephen (end 1225 – early 1227).
  13. Charles (posthumously 21 March 1227 – 7 January 1285), Count of Anjou and Maine, by marriage Count of Provence and Forcalquier, and King of Sicily

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Now I’m impressed, what is going to top this?  Maybe not too much, but that does not mean that there isn’t a lot of exciting stuff to learn about my GENES & my ANCESTRY, I guess we will have to see ….

Namaste

T xo


 

On Genealogy: My Connection to President Lincoln

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So this was the MOST EXCITING ancestral find to date!  The connection, albeit distant – with the most impressive US Presidents of all time – Honest Abe is my 6th cousin 5x removed.

I posted yesterday on my connection to Obadiah Holmes – the important member of the Baptist church who was whipped for his beliefs – this amazing man was the 5th great grand-father of another revolutionary man who needs no introduction or biography, the great emancipator, Abraham Lincoln!

My Lineage – Off of the Obadiah Holmes Line

Obadiah Holmes (10th Great Grand Father)

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Martha Holmes

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Hannah Audley

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Abigail Devol

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Job Milk II

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Sarah Milk

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Roger Moore

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Ambrose Richards

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George Richards

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Ambrose Richards

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Benjamin Richards

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Patrick Richards

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MOI

 

How I am connected to President Lincoln:

Rev. Obadiah Holmes + Katherine Hyde

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Lydia Holmes + Capt. John Brown

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Hannah Salter + Mordecai Lincoln

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John Lincoln + Rebecca Flower

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Capt. Abraham Lincoln + Bethesda Herring

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Thomas Lincoln + Nancy Hanks

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President Abraham Lincoln + Mary Todd

Abraham Lincoln served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 Screen Shot 2017-11-28 at 9.52.36 PM.pnguntil his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the United States through its Civil War—its bloodiest war and perhaps its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis. In doing so, he preserved the Union, paved the way for the abolition of slavery.

In 1840, Lincoln became engaged to Mary Todd, who was from a wealthy slave-holding family in Lexington, Kentucky. They met in Springfield, Illinois, in December 1839 and were engaged the following December. A wedding set for January 1, 1841, was canceled when the two broke off their engagement.  They later met again at a party and married on November 4, 1842, in the Springfield mansion of Mary’s married sister.

The couple had four children. Robert Todd Lincoln was born in 1843 and Edward Baker Screen Shot 2017-11-28 at 9.53.40 PM.pngLincoln (Eddie) in 1846. Edward died on February 1, 1850, in Springfield, probably of tuberculosis. “Willie” Lincoln was born on December 21, 1850, and died of a fever on February 20, 1862. The Lincolns’ fourth son, Thomas “Tad” Lincoln, was born on April 4, 1853, and died of heart failure at the age of 18 on July 16, 1871. Robert was the only child to live to adulthood and have children.

On November 6, 1860, Lincoln was elected the 16th president of the United States, beating Douglas, Breckinridge, and Bell. He was the first president from the Republican Party.

On June 19, 1862, endorsed by Lincoln, Congress passed an act banning slavery on all federal territory.  Lincoln drafted the Emancipation Proclamation. In it, he stated that “as a fit and necessary military measure, on January 1, 1863, all persons held as slaves in the Confederate states will thenceforward, and forever, be free”.  The Emancipation Proclamation, issued on September 22, 1862, and put into effect on January 1, 1863.

President Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth on Good Friday, April 14, 1865, while attending a play at Ford’s Theatre as the American Civil War was drawing to a close. The assassination occurred five days after the surrender of Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.  Lincoln died at 7:22 a.m. on April 15.

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In surveys of U.S. scholars ranking presidents conducted since the 1940s, Lincoln is consistently ranked in the top three, often as number one.

Nicknames

  • The Ancient One, a nickname favored by White House insiders because of his “ancient wisdom”
  • The Great Emancipator and The Liberator for the emancipation of the slaves
  • Honest Abe
  • The Rail-Splitter
  • The Tycoon for the energetic and ambitious conduct of his Civil War administration
  • Uncle Abe for his avuncularity in his later years

Pretty INTERESTING FIND to see that I have some connection to a US President – like I said coming from Canada this line is FULL of amazing discoveries.  Only this ONE line goes back to the States, let alone all of the way back to the foundation – it’s also very exciting that in Canada I am also related to a Filles Du Row and Filled a Married – which is Canada’s equivalent of coming over on the Mayflower.

Tune in for the next blog to see what else I discover …

Namaste

T xo