Wednesday, February 21, 2018

President's Day

Happy President's Day! In honor of his birthday, here's our connection to our first president:

Yup, for those of us on the Hancock line, George Washington is my 4x great-grandfather's sister-in-law's great-grandmother's maternal cousin's brother-in-law.

I literally laughed for about ten minutes while writing that.

Also interesting, though, is that the Ammon family (who married into the Hancocks and gave us the Ammon first name) attended the church where George and Mary Washington were married, at the same time that they were parishioners.

(props to Joe for the Gif)

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Edward and Rebecca Bangs, times two

I'm continuing my series of ancestors who are documented in Robert Charles Anderson's The Great Migration Begins. The history of Edward and Rebecca Bangs is much less salacious than that of Stephen Bachiler, but they are part of the reason that we are descended from basically everyone who lived on the outer arm of Cape Cod in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Edward Bangs was born in England sometime around 1591. He arrived in Massachusetts in 1623 on the Anne. He would have been about 32 years old. He initially lived in Plymouth where he was given four acres of land, which suggests his household consisted of four people. If the other three people were a wife and children, they must have died fairly early. By 1633, he married Lydia Hicks, who had also come to Massachusetts on the Anne. She was baptized at St. Mary Magdalen in Bermondsey, Surrey, September 6, 1612, so she would have been 21 or younger at the time of their marriage. The couple had one son, John, who was born sometime between 1631 and 1634. Lydia died soon after. By 1635, Edward re-married to Rebecca (her last name is uncertain) and they had nine children together. Rebecca may have been the daughter of Edmund Hobart, but there's no proof.

The Nauset Lighthouse in Eastham, Massachusetts, which is
only 300 years too young for Edward Bangs to have ever
seen it.
Edward and Rebecca Bangs moved to Eastham by 1645. Eastham is on the outer arm of Cape Cod. They owned land
around an area called "Warren's Wells". I have no idea where that would be. Edward was an innkeeper at least part of the time. At other times he is referred to as a "yeoman". In 1657 he was granted permission to sell wine and "strong waters" in Eastham, but only "for the refreshment of the English, and not to be sold to the Indians." In 1664, there is a record of him importing six gallons of liquor for his establishment.

Innkeeper Bangs was clearly an engaged citizens. He held a number of offices, including deputy to Plymouth Court for Eastham, serving on juries, and serving  many committees, including committees to divide land, assess taxes, and reunite Plymouth and Duxbury. He must have been known for his integrity or at least his willingness to serve.

It's not certain when Rebecca died, but she died before Edward because she is not mentioned in his will. Edward Bangs died between October 19, 1677, when he wrote his will, and March 5, 1677/8, the probate date. He was buried in the Eastham Cove Burial Ground, along with a large number of distant relatives.

We're related to Edward and Rebecca Bangs through two of their children. First, we're related through their eldest surviving son, Jonathan, not be be confused with John, who was the son of Edward's first wife, Lydia.

Edward Bangs -- Rebecca (unknown) Bangs
             - Jonathan Bangs -- Mary Mayo Bangs
                 - Mary Bangs Nickerson -- Thomas Nickerson
                     - Thomas Nickerson -- Lydia Covell Nickerson
                         - Desire Nickerson -- Elisha Nickerson
                             - Sarah Nickerson Kinney -- Nathan Kinney III
                                  - Thomas Kinney -- Lydia Bartlett
                                      - Simeon Kinney -- Olive Doane Kinney
                                          - Thomas Kinney -- Mary Houghton Kinney
                                              - Julia Kinney Hancock -- Ernest Hancock

We're also related through Edward and Rebecca's daughter, Hannah Bangs Doane.

Edward Bangs -- Rebecca (unknown) Bangs
             - Hannah Bangs Doane -- John Doane Jr.
                 - Hannah Doane Collins -- John Collins
                     - Martha Collins Godfrey -- Moses Godfrey
                         - Joseph Godfrey -- Mehitable Hamilton Godfrey
                             - Sarah Godfrey Kinney -- Isaac Kinney
                                  - Mehitable Kinney Doane -- Israel Doane
                                      - Olive Doane Kinney -- Simeon Kinney
                                          - Thomas Kinney -- Mary Houghton Kinney
                                              - Julia Kinney Hancock -- Ernest Hancock


Anderson, Robert Charles 1995 The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633. New England Historic Genealogical Society.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Reverend Stephen Bachiler, a most notable crank

Bachiler coat of arms
Stephen Bachiler is my 13th great-grandfather. He led quite an interesting life.

He was born around 1560 in England and received a B.A. from St. John's college in Oxford in 1585/6. He was married four times, to progressively younger women, but Deborah was a daughter from his first wife, whose name might have been Anne, and who may have been the sister of Reverend John Bate. They were married by 1590 and she died before 1624.

Reverend Bachiler was frequently in trouble. Scandal and discord followed in his wake. He became the vicar of Wherwell, Hampshire, in 1587. He had puritanical leanings (in the theological sense) and was a notable nonconformist. In 1593 the Star Chamber cited him for making "lewd speeches tending seditiously" about Queen Elizabeth and her government. He was removed from his vicarage during a purge of Puritans in 1605, under James I. In 1614, he was once again before the Star Chamber when Reverend George Wighley accused him, his son Stephen, John Bate (who may have been his brother-in-law and/or cousin), of libeling and ridiculing him in verse. In the 1620s, the Bachilers moved to Newton Stacey a village in Hampshire. Somehow he incited his parishioners to act against the sheriff of the parish, who had to petition for aid to the King in Council.

Reverend Bachiler clearly knew other Puritans. Some of his children moved to the Netherlands, presumably to be part of the Puritan community there. In 1621, Adam Winthrop, father of Governor John Winthrop, made note in his journal of dining with Bachiler. Bachiler would have been well aware of the Puritan colony in Massachusetts.  In the 1630s he joined a group of London merchants to form the Plough Company, which sent two shiploads of settlers to New England.

Stephen Bachiler himself arrived in New England in 1632, aboard the William and Francis, the second of the Plough Company's ships. He was already at least 70 years old. His first wife, Anne, was already dead, and he had married twice more. It's not clear who came with him on this voyage, but his youngest daughter with Anne, Theodate Bachiler Hussey, was already in New England with her husband. Reverend Bachiler first settled at Lynn with her and tried to form a new church. However, there was constant unrest within the congregation. Furthermore, he didn't get along any better with the authorities in New England than he had in England. He is believed to have been the only dissenting vote among the ministers against the expulsion of Roger Williams, the founder of Providence. For these reasons, presumably, Bachiler was pushed out of his position as minister in Lynn by 1636.

He may have moved from Lynn to Ipswitch, but in 1637 he moved to Yarmouth. Rather, apparently, he walked there. In winter. Considering he was about 77 at the time, that's pretty impressive. He didn't stay in Yarmouth long. The next year he left for Newbury. Again, he did  not stay long and moved on to Hampton in 1639. Governor Winthrop noted that "Mr. Batchellor had been in three places before, and through his means, as was supposed, the churches fell to such divisions, as no peace could be till he was removed."

This is the Hussey-Bachiler chair. It is in the Met.
Reverend Bachiler once sat here.
In 1641, Bachiler was pushed out of Hampton when he "did solicit the chastity of his neighbor's
wife." The subsequent scandal kept him from finding employment in other parishes. He moved to Strawberry Bank, which is now Portsmouth. While living there, in 1648, he married Mary Magdalene Bailey, who was some 60 years his junior. Unsurprisingly, the marriage between the 26 year old widow and the 88 year old minister was...rocky. In 1650 they were brought to the Quarterly Court because, essentially, Mary was living with another man. In 1651, when Mary got pregnant despite being estranged from her husband, George Rogers was sentenced to 40 strokes for adultery. His partner, Mary,  "for her adultery shall receive 40 strokes save one at the first town meeting held at Kittery six weeks after the delivery and be branded with the letter A." Some scholars believe Mary Bachiler was the inspiration for Nathaniel Hawthorn's novel, The Scarlet Letter.

Reverend Bachiler returned to England, probably in 1651. He died and was buried in London on October 31, 1656. He was around 96 years of age.

Because some of his children stayed in New England, he counts a number of famous Americans among his descendants. These include Richard Nixon, Jennie Jerome (Winston Churchill's mother), Gerald Ford, H.H. Dow (founder of Dow Chemical), Meghan Markle (soon to marry into the British royal family), Daniel Webster, and John Whittier.

Our relationship to Reverend Bachiler (down to my great-great grandmother):
Stephen Bachiler -- Anne
     - Deborah Bachiler Wing -- John Wing
         - Daniel Wing -- Hannah Swift Wing
             - Lydia Wing Abbot Hamilton -- Thomas? Hamilton
                 - Daniel Hamilton -- Mary Smith
                     - Samuel Hamilton -- Bethia Stewart Hamilton
                         - Mehitable Hamilton Godfrey -- Joseph Godfrey
                             - Sarah Godfrey Kinney -- Isaac Kinney
                                  - Mehitable Kinney Doane -- Israel Doane
                                      - Olive Doane Kinney -- Simeon Kinney
                                          - Thomas Kinney -- Mary Houghton Kinney
                                              - Julia Kinney Hancock -- Ernest Hancock


Anderson, Robert Charles 1995 The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633. New England Historic Genealogical Society.

Stephen Bachiler on Wikipedia

Saturday, December 30, 2017

David and Jennie Dean Family Bible

I blogged previously about the serendipitous events that brought the Philip and Catherine Welsheimer Family Bible into my life. For Christmas, I received another priceless gift: the family Bible of David Philip Dean and his wife Sara "Jennie" Brattain Dean. They would be my great-great grandparents. David was the grandson of Philip and Catherine Welsheimer. Their Bible was found among my grandmother's things. I assume it was sent to her by my great-aunt, Lillian Huffstetler.

I wanted to share some pictures and items from the Bible so other family members can see it.

Outside cover

Inside cover. The text reads:
Family Bible of David P. Dean and Sarah Jane Brattain-Dean who were married August 22, 1876
DesMoines, Iowa The above names were written by Eva D. Trowbridge July 14, 1961 at the home of
Manie Dean Edmundson 3227 Wright Ave Bremerton, Wash
[Eva and Manie were daughters of David and Sarah]
Frontpiece of the Bible. It dates to 1863. I don't know
if the Bible belonged to one of them prior to marriage
or if it was purchased for their family from an older printing.
Note the pages pinned on the side. I removed the
pins to prevent rusting and damage to the pages

This is what was written on the back of the tract pinned to the opposite page of the Bible's frontpiece. On the top is the name "Ann Dean" in very faint letters. Ann was David's mother, Anna Welsheimer Dean, who died in 1905, which means she is not the person who wrote the rest of the page. I suspect it was David Dean who did so:

This tract was given to D.P. Dean , about the year 1860 or 61. He was walking along the road on his way to his Uncle Jim Finch's [David's paternal aunt, Sara, had married James Finch], when two men on passing by in a one-horse buggy handed him this tract and one other. This circumstance is very vivid in my mind at this time, Feb 16, 1920, 69-70 years ago. This piece of road was what is now Court Avenue between 20th and 30th sts, DesMoines, Iowa.

The second tract has the same story written on the back, but it was written in March 1916

A number of newspaper clippings were stored in the Bible, including this one from January 30, 1907, describing the wedding of David and Sarah's daughter, Madge, to Herbert Swenson, in Altoona, Iowa. (Clicking on the picture should give you a larger version to read)

Here is a sadder clipping. This is an obituary for David and Sarah's son, Ralph, who died at 18 in June of 1918. From the newspaper account it sounds like he had suffered from illness for much of his life. A number of clippings related to Ralph were in the Bible. He was obviously much missed.

An interesting clipping that showed how David and Sarah kept in touch with their extended family. The article is from a Middletown, Indiana, newspaper and about the wedding of L.K. Wisehart in 1908 or 1909. I don't know who L.K. was, but the article mentions he was the son of Richmond Wisehart. Richmond was Sarah Brattain Dean's maternal uncle, the brother of her mother, Louisa Wisehart.
Here's a fun clip! Apparently in 1936 David Dean grew a 2lb tomato and a 7lb potato! 
This advertisement answered a question I had long had: when, exactly, did the Dean family move to Washington? The answer, apparently, is sometime soon after Dec 7, 1910, when they sold their farm and equipment in Altoona, Iowa
Lillian Dean's wedding to Raymond Stiles in November 1911, Whidbey Island, Washington

The church bulletin announcing Sarah Brattain Dean's death. April 6, 1919

The pages before the New Testament have family records. This is the marriages page. It appears there are two different hands that wrote here. Below, I put the notes by that second hand in {}. That second hand seems to take over entirely after 1907, but perhaps earlier. Although the first hand could be Sarah and the later David, I have an alternative theory: the first hand is Anne Welsheimer Dean's. After her death in 1905 (or perhaps when she was incapacitated earlier), either Sarah or David took over adding to the Bible. That theory is based on a) the fact that the hand seems to disappear before 1905 (I think, some entries are hard to tell); b) the writing has an archaic look to me; and c) the handwriting reminds me somewhat of the Welsheimer family Bible, which was written by one of Anne's parents.

The writing is as follows:
Aug 22nd 1876 Mr. David Philip Dean to Miss Sarah Jane Brattain
{Ceremony took place at residence of J. Wisehart SE Corner 12th and Court Ave. DesMoines, Iowa}

Miss Mary Louanna Dean to Mr. Will Edmundson Dec 29 1897 {At home near Altoona NW4 NW4 12.79.23}

Ethel Gertrude Dean to William Casebeer Dec. 25, 1900 last Christmas of the 19th century {at same house as above described}

[note: not clear if this entry is in the first or second hand]: Madge Estella Dean to Mr. Herbert L. Swenson Jan. 30th, 1907 {at same house as above described}

{Aura Dean to Karl E. Hodges at the house of her uncle Ro E. Fulton 915 Queen Anne Ave. Seattle Washington, Sept. 7, 1910.

Lillian Dean to Raymond C. Stiles. Wesley M.C. NE Corner East 11? Des Moines St. DesMoines Iowa Nov 8, 1911

Eva Dean to Robert W. Trowbridge at M.E.C. in Coupeville Washington Nov. 15th 1911.

Carl Dean to Vera Hancock Sept 1916

Merl to Irene Cotte in Chicago June 1919

Another mystery solved! I have often wondered how David and Sarah met, since she was from Indiana and he was from Iowa. I wondered if he'd visited some of his mother's kin who lived not far from Sarah's family. However, based on this entry, it appears that Sarah was actually in Iowa visiting her mother's Wisehart kin, although I'm not sure who.

The second page of Family Records includes the births. Most of this page is written in the original handwritting from the first page, perhaps Sarah's. There are some notes of deaths, but I think those come from Eva and Marnie, as noted on the inside cover of the Bible. I've put their notes in {} below.

Mary Louanna Dean July 26, 1877
Madge Estella Dean, Sept 14, 1878 {D- April 12 '66}
Ethel Gertrude Dean, Oct. 29, 1879
Daisy Dean, May 8, 1881.
Harvey Edwin Dean, April 18, 1883
Aura Dean, Sept. 10, 1884 {D - Aug 5 '64}
Eva Dean, Aug. 31, 1886
Edna Dean, Oct. 10, 1887
Jimmie [Jimmie is crossed out and James written in} Dean, Feb. 16, 1889
Infant Son, Aug. 10, 1890.
Lillian Dean, July 21, 1891 {D - May 9 '62}
David Merlin Dean, Feb. 24, 1894.
Carl Phillip Dean, Dec. 14, 1895.
Ralph Hiram Dean, June 18, 1899.

I suppose it's good they stopped having kids, as they'd completely run out of room on the page! I will note that this is 14 children in a span of 22 years

The final page of the Family Records is the saddest, the list of deaths. The first five names are in the same hand. The next two may be in the same hand that wrote the comments and later entries on the marriage page. The final deaths, those of Sarah and David themselves, appear to have been written by Eva and Marnie in the 1960s.

First hand:
Harvey Edwin Dean, Feb. 7, 1885.
Daisy Dean, Feb. 8, 1885.
Edna Dean, Feb. 5, 1890.
Jimmie Dean, Feb. 9, 1890.
Infant Son, Aug. 10, 1890.

Second Hand:
Ethel Gertrude Dean, Feb. 11, 1901.
Ralph Hiram Dean, June 12, 1918

Eva and Marnie:
Sarah Jane (Brattain) Dean, B. Nov 7, 1854, D. 1919
David Philip Dean, B. Feb 16 1852, D. Apr 16 1941
The deaths page is particularly heartbreaking. Six of their fourteen children died young. Harvey and Daisy died on subsequent days in 1885. Perhaps there was some disease that went through the family? Harvey would have been six and Daisy three. Something similar happened five years later, in February of 1890, when two children died within days of each other. Edna would have been two and Jimmie just shy of his first birthday. Later that year, the unnamed son was likely a stillbirth. And, as discussed above, their youngest child died at eighteen. We forget, sometimes, how lucky we are to live in this age of medical miracles. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Philips. Lots and lots of Philips.

A few weeks ago, I came in contact with a distant cousin, Philip Hodges. We share a great-great grandfather, David Philip Dean. I sent a short email laying out the history of the name "Philip" in our family. I realized I'd never written it up for this blog, so here it is:

The first known Philip in our direct ancestry was Johannes Philip Welsheimer. "Johannes" was his baptismal name. Normally, this name is not used except in legal and religious contexts. So, he would have been known as "Philip". Philip was born around 1730 in Berlin and immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1766. He was one of a surprisingly large number of "Pennsylvania Dutch" to enter that colony in the early to mid 1700's. This article discusses some of the legal and practical barriers that were put in place to ensure the new Germany-speaking settlers wouldn't change the essentially English character of the colony. Whatever his reasons for emigrating, he was dedicated to his new country and eventually served in the Revolutionary War as a gunsmith. 

His son, also named Philip, immigrated to the U.S. with his father. He was born in 1757 in Berlin, which made him 9 at the time of immigration. He may have been the only family member to come with Philip I, or he may have had a brother named Frederick. It's also possible that a wife or daughters were present but not considered important enough to record. Philip II was a stocking weaver. His original apprenticeship papers have been preserved. They were drawn up between his father and a stocking maker named Adam Edleman in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in 1770. The name Edleman suggests that the Welsheimers were part of the German-American community in Pennsylvania and may have preferred to make important deals, like apprenticeships, with fellow Germans. Philip II eventually married a woman named Catherine Hull whose ancestry I have not been able to trace but may have been a member of the Hull/Holl family, a Germany Dutch family involved in cloth manufacturing. Regardless of his feelings about his fellow Germany immigrants, he, too, served in the Revolutionary War, in the 3rd Battalion of the York County Militia. 

Philip II was quite successful and bought a good deal of land in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia. In July of 1811, he left home in Cumberland township, Pennsylvania, to walk to the coast where he planned to find a ship headed back to Germany. He wished to buy high-quality looms there that he could not purchase in the United States. However, he died of (apparently) natural causes en route to the ship. His body was found weeks later on the road. 

Philip Welsheimer III was the son of the stocking weaver. He was born in 1791 in what is now West Virginia. He grew up there, was a successful farmer, and married Catharine Duley. Their family Bible was the subject of a previous post on this blog. He moved his family from West Virginia/West Pennsylvania to South Salem, Ohio in the 1830s. He died there in 1864. South Salem is where the Dean family was living, as well. Philip's daughter, Anna, married Abram Dean. In 1847, Abram and Anna Welsheimer Dean moved to Des Moines, Iowa. Their youngest son was born there. He was named David Philip Dean, in honor of his grandfather. 

David Philip was the last common ancestor I shared with Philip Hodges. However, the name lives on in both lines, clearly. I'm descended from David Philip's son, Carl Philip Dean, and then Carl's son Philip Carlyle Dean. Both my father and brother are Philips. Except for Anna, who passed the name into the Dean family, we have an unbroken line of Philips back to the 1730s!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Welsheimer Bible

Earlier this Fall, I was contacted by Suzanne Godfrey who was looking through her mother's estate. Her mother had owned an antique store. Among the wares was a family bible from 1828 belonging to Philip Welsheimer and his wife Catherine Duley, my 4xgreat grandparents. Because I had made a Wikitree page for them, Suzanne contacted me and offered to send the bible. I'm so grateful!

It's an amazing book. It includes a list of family members and dates written before the New Testament, locks of hair (not clear from whom), letters, and school reports.

If the outside of the Bible had any decoration it has long since worn off.
The Bible is about 12"x14"

The inside front. On the left it says "DWU(?) 3.50", presumably a price.
On the right it says "Philip Welshimer"

The front page of the Bible. Publication date 1828, probably in New York.

These pages are before the New Testament. The first page lists the marriage of the couple who presumably first owned the Bible, Philip and Catherine Welsheimer:
Philip Welshimer and Catharine Duley was married March the 28th AD1814.
Philip Welsheimer Sr. was born in Burkley Co. Virginia March the 11th 1791.
[Note: Berkeley County is now in West Virginia]

Second page of the family records:
Daniel Welshimer son of Philip and Catharine Welshimer was born January the 30th AD1815
William H. Welshimer son of Philip and Catharine Welshimer was born November the 12th AD1816
James Welshimer son of Philip and Catharine Welshimer was born January the 22nd AD1818
Anna Welshimer daughter of Philip and Catharine Welshimer was born January the 16th AD1819
[Anna later married Abram Dean and is my 3xgreat-grandmother]

The third page of the family records (but the dates are later than on page four):
David Welshimer son of Philip and Catharine Welshimer was born July the 9th 1833
Catharine Welshimer daughter of Philip and Catharine Welshimer was born July the first 1835
Mary E. Welshimer daughter of Philip and Catharine Welshimer was born March the 21st 1838
Samuel F. Welshimer son of Philip and Catharine Welshimer was born February the 27th AD1842 

The fourth page of the family records (but the dates are actually earlier than page three):
John H. Welshimer son of Philip and Catharine Welshimer was born April the 10th AD1820
Maria Welshimer daughter of Philip and Catharine Welshimer was born Dec the 7th AD1821
Emily Welshimer daughter of Philip and Catharine Welshimer was born February the 10th AD1823
Sydney Welshimer daughter of Philip and Catharine Welshimer was born Dec the 16th AD1824
Frederick Welshimer son of Philip and Catharine Welshimer was born July the 1st AD1827
Ludowick Welshimer son of Philip and Catharine Welshimer as born February the 22nd AD1829
Philip Welshimer son of Philip and Catherine Welshimer was born June the 8th AD1831

Maria died January the --- AD1822 aged --- days
Katharine the wife of Philip Welshimer Sen departed this life Oct 14th 1849
Frederick Welshimer son of Philip and Katharine Welshimer died February 13th AD1852
John Welshimer son of Philip and Katharine Welshimer died February 15th AD1852
Philip Welshimer Sen departed this life July 21st AD1864 aged 73 years 4 months and 10 days

Most of the entries are written in the same hand, but, except for the death of Maria in 1822, the deaths listed on the last page are written in a different hand. This makes me think that most of the entries were written by Catharine Welshimer, since the first death listed, after Maria's, is hers in 1849. In that entry, and in the later death entries, her name is spelled differently ("Katharine") as well. Whoever wrote the original had lovely handwriting. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Patriotism and Symbols of Hate

While the rest of us were celebrating Veterans Day, someone drew a swastika on the chalkboard in the student center at my university. There are arguments over who drew the symbol and what it means. Many students assume the swastika is related to other white supremacist propaganda that sprang up recently on campus. The College Republicans issued a statement saying it was a liberal false-flag operation. Regardless of who is to blame, this symbol of hate hurts the whole community.

My family and I are not the direct targets of white supremacy. I can only imagine how people who are the direct targets must feel right now. I do feel hurt and betrayed by the use of this symbol, though, on behalf of other members of my community and as a proud American.

Grandpa Cunningham in Germany, 1947
Both of my grandfathers were part of the World War II war effort, as were both of my husband's grandfathers. My maternal grandfather was a career Air Force officer who spent most of the war in Ohio but was sent to Germany and France soon after to help with the reconstruction of those nations. He saw first-hand the destruction the Nazis had wrought. He left behind a young family (my mother was just an infant) in order to serve his country.

My paternal grandfather was a Marine. He stormed the beaches in the South Pacific and fought in well-known battles like Guadalcanal and the invasion of Okinawa. He literally went through hell, and would later say that the only thing that got him through that war was the knowledge that, if the U.S. won, his sons would not have to fight it again. He first son, my father, was born while my grandfather was fighting overseas. He did not meet him until a year later.
Grandpa Dean, just before he left for WWII

My husband's maternal grandfather was an Army doctor in Michigan. His father's father was on submarine crews in the Atlantic. [UPDATE: My apologies, but I got this wrong. My husband's maternal grandfather was stationed in Michigan for part of the war but spent part of it in the South Pacific. He was certainly in New Guinea at one point. His paternal grandfather's submarine duty was also in the South Pacific, not the Atlantic.] They sacrificed so much. It sickens me to think that some punk kid whose greatest sacrifice has probably been using an older-model smart phone would draw the symbol of their defeated enemies on a chalkboard.

I don't usually consider our students to be entitled or bratty. I'm making an exception for this one. Similarly, I don't usually believe in significant differences between the generations, but in this case I can't believe that any Millennial (or GenXer or Baby Boomer) who would draw that symbol is worthy to kiss my grandfathers' boots, or those of any member of the Greatest Generation who gave so much to free our country and others of that taint of fascism.

I blogged last time about Hiram Brattain, my only direct ancestor to fight in the Civil War. I feel similarly about the symbolism of the Confederate flag. With all due respect to those who have Southern ancestry (as I do myself), that flag is a sign of treason. Our nation went through unspeakable horror to remain an undivided nation and rid ourselves of slavery. Whenever I see the Confederate flag flying, especially here in the North, I'm literally sickened that the descendants of men and women who gave, in Lincoln's words, "the last full measure of devotion...that government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from this earth," would display such absolute contempt for their ancestors and our country.