Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hereditary Societies and Your Ancestors

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Genealogy tip for today: Hereditary Societies and Your Ancestors


Hereditary societies have been around for a long time. They are organizations that require you to be a descendant of someone important that connects to the organization you wish to join. Myra Vanderpool Gormley lists the following as being among the oldest hereditary societies in this country:

The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts, founded in 1637
General Society of Colonial Wars
Ancient and Honorable Order of the Jersey Blues
Society of the Cincinnati
National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR)
Sons of the [American] Revolution (SAR)
Descendants of the Loyalists and Patriots of the American Revolution
Society of the Descendants of Washington's Army at Valley Forge (for descendants of a soldier serving in the Continental Army at the Valley Forge encampment in 1777-78)
Whiskey Rebellion of 1794
General Society of the War of 1812
Daughters of 1812
Aztec Club of 1847--The Military Society of the Mexican War, 1846-48
San Jacinto Descendants
Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War
Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War 1861-65
Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic (The oldest lineage society in the U.S.)
United Daughters of the Confederacy
Children of the Confederacy
Sons of Confederate Veterans

It may be that no one in your family is or was ever a member of one of these organizations. Yet you may have distant relatives on collateral lines that were. The tough part is checking all those relatives in all those societies. Probably the easiest way would be to check websites like Ancestry, or Family Search on a particular ancestor and see what pops up.

I found a cousin of my great-grandfather in the SAR. I have been searching for the grandfather of my great-grandfather and his cousin, for over 30 years. This application quoted a Biographical source that gives the grandfather’s name.  This is the first and so far, only source that makes that connection. The cousins’ fathers were brothers and I have searched for years for the names of their parents. I now have a strong hint as to who he might be. Documents and tax records, et. al. would be much better to certify the link, but so far they have been evasive.

So, even if no one in your immediate family has ever been a member, don’t rule them out. You just may find that proverbial needle in a membership to a hereditary society!



“History – it’s who we are; Genealogy – it’s who I am” sg




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Kitty Hawk
Tamerlane's Mongols destroy the army of Mahmud Tughluk, Sultan of Delhi, at Panipat.
The Stonewall Brigade begins to dismantle Dam No. 5 of the C&O Canal. (Chesapeake and Ohio Canal)
At a Christmas party, Sam Belle shoots his old enemy Frank West, but is fatally wounded himself.
Near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville and Wilbur Wright make the first successful flight in history of a self-propelled, heavier-than-air aircraft.
U.S. Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg suggests a worldwide pact renouncing war.
Italy declares the 1935 pact with France invalid because ratifications had not been exchanged. France denies the argument.
In the Battle of River Plate near Montevideo, Uruguay, the British trap the German pocket battleship Graf Spee. German Captain Langsdorf sinks his ship believing that resistance is hopeless.
U.S. forces invade Japanese-held New Britain Island in New Guinea.
The German Army renews the attack on the Belgian town of Losheimergraben against the defending Americans during the Battle of the Bulge.
U.S. approves end to internment of Japanese Americans. U.S. Major General Henry C. Pratt issues Public Proclamation No. 21, declaring that Japanese American "evacuees" from the West Coast could return to their homes effective January 2, 1945.
The Smithsonian Institution accepts the Kitty Hawk – the Wright brothers' plane.
Yugoslavia breaks relations with the Vatican.
Ending an election campaign marked by bitterness and violence, Ferdinand Marcos is declared president of the Philippines.
Red Brigade terrorists kidnap Brigadier General James Dozier, the highest-ranking U.S. NATO officer in Italy.
The Simpsons, television's longest-running animated series, makes its US debut.
Fernando Color de Mello becomes Brazil's first democratically elected president in nearly 30 years.
Jean-Bertrand Aristide wins Haiti's first free election.
Congolese parties of the inter Congolese Dialogue sign a peace accord in the Second Congo War, proviidn for transitional government and elections within two years.
Mohamed Bouazizi immolates himself, the catalyst for the Tunisian revolution and the subsequent Arab Spring.

Humphrey Davy

Humphrey Davy, English chemist who discovered the anesthetic effect of laughing gas.
John Greenleaf Whittier, American poet, abolitionist, reformer and founder of the Liberal Party.
Willard Frank Libby, American chemist who won a Nobel Prize for his part in creating the carbon-14 method in dating ancient findings.
William Safire, journalist and author.
Bob Guccione, publisher; founder of Penthouse magazine.
George Lindsey, comic actor best known for his role as Goober on The Andy Griffith Show.
Pope Francis (born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, Argentina), named to the Papacy March 13, 2013.
Art Neville, singer, musician; member of The Neville Brothers and The Meters.
Kerry Packer, Australian businessman who founded World Series Cricket.
US Lt. Gen. Calvin Waller, deputy commander-in-chief for military operations with US Central Command (Forward) during the First Gulf War.
Chris Matthews, news anchor, political commentator; host of Hardball with Chris Matthews on MSNBC.
Richard Jewell, police officer who discovered pipe bombs on the grounds of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, and helped to evacuate the area before the bombs exploded.
James, Viscount Severn, son of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex; youngest grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.


verb tr.: To make dull or obtuse.
From Latin hebetare (to make blunt), from hebes (blunt). Earliest documented use: 1574.
"Habit then while it hebetates our sentiments, improves our judgments of things."
Gordon M. Burghardt; The Genesis of Animal Play; MIT Press; 2005.
The high-minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think. -Aristotle, philosopher (384-322 BC)



Today’s Recipe

Holiday Cooking






This is a fruit cake and I should have posted it a couple of months ago so it would have time to age and mellow if you made it. I also noticed that the decorations on the cake in the picture are not mentioned in the recipe. Hopefully it will be obvious to copy. That’s what attracted me to this recipe.



2 (8 ounce) containers candied cherries
1 (8 ounce) container candied mixed
citrus peel
2 cups raisins
1 cup dried currants
1 cup dates, pitted and chopped
2 (2.25 ounce) packages blanched
slivered almonds
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
6 eggs
3/4 cup molasses
3/4 cup apple juice


In a medium bowl, combine cherries, citrus peel, raisins, currants, dates, and almonds. Stir in brandy; let stand 2 hours, or overnight. Dredge soaked fruit with 1/2 cup flour.
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Grease an 8x8x3 inch fruit cake pan, line with parchment paper, and grease again. In a small bowl, mix together 2 cups flour, baking soda, cloves, allspice, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter until light. Gradually blend in brown sugar and eggs. Mix together molasses and apple juice. Beat into butter mixture alternately with flour mixture, making 4 dry and 3 liquid additions. Fold in floured fruit. Turn batter into prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean. Remove from pan, and lift off paper. Cool cake completely, then wrap loosely in waxed paper. Store in an airtight container.






Now You Know!