Category Archives: free verse

Autumn – Stanza 13

kin can be elusive, notorious in fact with
legacies to be recalled by generations hence
more curious than how they lived, accounts
of how they died, some of causes natural
while others met the sword midst battle cries

~kat

For Jane Dougherty’s Daily Stanza Challenge.

I have found that records of how my ancestors died can be an interesting window into the times that they lived. I discovered the obituary for my 3rd Great Grandfather, Henry Orwick. Henry was born on the 2nd of July 1833 in Virginia. He married my 3rd Great Grandmother, Malinda C. Martin, in Indiana on 10 May 1855 and from census records it appears that they made their home in Indiana, where they lived for the rest of their lives.  Henry served in the Union Army, when he was 30 years old, in the 144th Regiment, Indiana Infantry. The 1864 United States Census records that Henry was a Hog Farmer, having slaughtered in excess of 100 lbs of the beasts that year.  Henry and Malinda had 5 or six children. My great great grandmother, Amanda was born in 1874. But it was Henry’s death that caused quite a stir. Here is the excerpt of his obituary,  found by a distant cousin (I assume) at the Cordyn, Indiana Library. It may actually be the most interesting thing about this common man who I call great, great, great…

Sudden Death of Henry Orwick

Henry Orwick, of Leavenworth, died suddenly at that place last Monday. He had been deputed to serve attachment papers against a steamboat tying at that place, and while holding the line attached to the boat, he was seen to throw up his hands and fall backward.  It was, at first thought he had been shot, but it was afterward learned that he had died of heart failure.

 

 


August – Stanza 12

tree strong, sure, with roots meandering deep
elusive broken chains, some stories silenced,
ever undisturbed, to sleep between the lines
of history’s pages, glimmers only glimpsed
by those remembering, distant reminiscing kin

~kat

For Jane Dougherty’s August Stanza Challenge.


I had a thrilling find on my father’s side of the family tree this past week! A photo posted on ancestry by someone who is likely a distant cousin of mine, of my great, great grandparents August Vilhelm Johansson, his wife, Charlotta Sofia and their children take before the family emigrated to America from Sweden in 1903. I’m guessing the young girl leaning against her mother’s knee is my great grandmother, Hanna Bernhardina Johnson (surname obviously Americanized). Along with the photo I was also able to discover another link in the root of this side of my tree: the names of Charlotta’s parents, my great, great, great grandparents, Carl Gustaf Giesche and Helena Sophia, née: Martensdr. That is where the story ends for now…to be continued. 😊


August – Stanza 11

fellow genealogists would certainly agree
that finding distant relatives, a generation,
maybe two, or if you’re lucky, three’s a testament
that most of us will fade into obscurity, i must
admit a lucky thread runs through my family tree

~kat

For Jane Dougherty’s Stanza a Day Challenge. Taking a breather today from royal name dropping. Royals are like cockroaches. If you find one, there are dozens more hidden between the cracks. Mostly because there are scarce records kept on common folk like me and…I won’t presume to speak for you… 😊 What records that may exist are often locked away in dusty church archives…baptisms, marriages, deaths…like the one I have pictured here. It is the burial record of my 15th great grandmother, Joan Pilford, born in 1536 in Braunton, Devon, England, to John Pylforde (surnames often changed generation to generation) and Joan Thorougood. She married Walter Wyatt in 1556 and had one child, a daughter, Margaret (my 14th great) in 1569. Joan died in 1589. She was here for a blip and then gone but for a few blots of ink on fading pages, in tomes piled high in dusty archives. I think I relate more to old Joan than many of our more notorious greats. But it is kind of cool to know they’re out there. 😉


Autumn – Stanza 10

hair of red, and a rotten tooth of blue, Harald,
son of Gorm the Old, he built a bridge or two
one the oldest, longest known in Scandinavia’s
Ravning meadow; the other ‘tween the Danes and
Norse; hence ended by his bastard son, poor fellow

~kat

For Jane Dougherty’s August Stanza Challenge.

My 35th Great Grandfather, Harold “Bluetooth” is remembered for bridging the divide between the Danes and Norwegians when he became king of both countries and also for his “miracle” conversion hence, bringing Christianity to the pagans of Denmark. Though I’ve read it would take some time before his countrymen came on board. His nickname became the inspiration for our modern wireless Bluetooth technology. Now you know. Next time you pop a wireless earbud in your ear, you’ll think of Harald I’m thinking. 😊


August – Stanza 8

came on horseback through the town, they say, naked
as the day that she was born, a selfless act, the debt she paid
to lift the tolls her husband waged on townsfolk, how she
pitied them, Lady Godgifu, whilst they hid, their windows shut
but for a tailor so called Thomas who rued his choice to peep

~kat

For Jane Dougherty’s August Stanza Challenge.

I know what you’re thinking…REALLY? Well the naked ride is the stuff of legend. But Godgifu, Countess of Mercia and her husband Leofric, Earl of Mercia, actually did exist. They are my 34th great grandparents. And not only that, Lady Godiva, as we know her shares my birthday, June 2. How serendipitous! Perhaps I get my flair for activism for causes I believe in from her. Not that I would disrobe to make a point, but I have stood in my share of protest crowds in towns and even in Washington DC. Every voice matters. 🙂


The Begats:

“Lady Godiva” Godgifu (980 – 1067)
34th great-grandmother
Earl of Mercia Alfgar (1002 – 1059)
Son of “Lady Godiva” Godgifu
LUCIA (Countess Chester) DeMercia (1040 – 1080)
Daughter of Earl of Mercia Alfgar
Lucy Countess Chester Taillebois (1068 – 1136)
Daughter of LUCIA (Countess Chester) DeMercia
Ranulph II (Earl of Chester) De Meschines (1099 – 1153)
Son of Lucy Countess Chester Taillebois
Hugh DeMeschines (1147 – 1181)
Son of Ranulph II (Earl of Chester) De Meschines
Agnes DeMeschines (1174 – 1247)
Daughter of Hugh DeMeschines
William, III, 5th Earl of Derby De Ferrers (1193 – 1254)
Son of Agnes DeMeschines
Matilda Maud de Ferrers (1228 – 1298)
Daughter of William, III, 5th Earl of Derby De Ferrers
Joan Countess of Chewton de Vivonne+ (1250 – 1314)
Daughter of Matilda Maud de Ferrers
Margaret FitzPiers (1274 – 1300)
Daughter of Joan Countess of Chewton de Vivonne+
Roger WINTER (1300 – 1325)
Son of Margaret FitzPiers
Richard Winter (1325 – 1350)
Son of Roger WINTER
William Winter (1350 – 1398)
Son of Richard Winter
Elizabeth Winter (1384 – 1408)
Daughter of William Winter
John Reade (1408 – 1434)
Son of Elizabeth Winter
Thomas READE (1434 – 1460)
Son of John Reade
John Reade (1460 – 1503)
Son of Thomas READE
William Reade (1485 – 1534)
Son of John Reade
ALICE READ (1512 – 1556)
Daughter of William Reade
Thomas Trowbridge (1542 – 1619)
Son of ALICE READ
John Trowbridge (1570 – 1649)
Son of Thomas Trowbridge
Thomas Trowbridge (1598 – 1672)
Son of John Trowbridge
Deacon James Trowbridge (1636 – 1717)
Son of Thomas Trowbridge
Hannah Trowbridge (1672 – 1728)
Daughter of Deacon James Trowbridge
Daniel Greenwood (1704 – 1775)
Son of Hannah Trowbridge
Sarah Greenwood (1734 – 1808)
Daughter of Daniel Greenwood
Sibbel Roper (1758 – 1826)
Daughter of Sarah Greenwood
Susanna Walker (1787 – 1814)
Daughter of Sibbel Roper
Sybil Roper Adams (1810 – 1881)
Daughter of Susanna Walker
Mary Jane Totten (1830 – 1891)
Daughter of Sybil Roper Adams
Mary H. Tower (1836 – 1883)
Daughter of Mary Jane Totten
John Henry Collins (1868 – )
Son of Mary H. Tower
Sylvia Collins (1892 – 1972)
Daughter of John Henry Collins
William Collins Cunningham (1909 – 1967)
Son of Sylvia Collins
Dorothy Ellen Cunningham (1933 – 2006)
Daughter of William Collins Cunningham
Kathleen Myrman (there I am again…:))
You are the daughter of Dorothy Ellen Cunningham

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