Monday, April 14, 2014

#AtoZChallenge: K is for Kinship #anthropology #history

Kinship is important to understand when studying history and cultures. Ever culture since the beginning of time has kinship. Societal norms are often tied to kinship. In America, when someone talks about kinship they are often talking about their family. Kinship is tied to family but the rules of how a person is related to you is kinship. Kinship is an anthropological term that is defined as the social patterns of relationships within a given culture. It is important to understand kinship when conducting genealogical or historical research because kinship determines a person's identity and inheritance laws. A good way to determine which rules of descent you are working with is to look at the person's last name and from which parent have they inherited from? Kinship is determined by rules of descent. These rules dictate how a person is related to another in their society. There are three kinds of descent rules; Bilateral, Unilineality, and Ambilineal (or Cognatic).

Bilateral Descent

A bilateral descent is also know as a two sided descent. Forty percent of the world's cultures are bilateral descents. Most of these societies are highly mobile, foragers and modern industrial. Although, Americans inherit their father's last name our society is considered to be of bilateral descent. In bilateral societies the focus is on the ego and not the family. When a child (the ego) is born they are equally tied to their mother and father's side of the family. They can inherit from either side of the family. When the ego marries they don't leave their family but gain a new one.
The spouse and his/her family is equal to the ego and his/her family. Thus, the ego becomes the son or daughter of their spouses parents and vice versa. The children of their family would view both their mother and father's side of the family as equal members. The problem with this kind of kinship structure is that it can produce conflicts when members have conflicting issues. The family built around this type of kinship only survives as long as the ego lives. Often times once the ego dies the family breaks apart. The terminology European Americans use to describe the family members is shown below.

Unilineality Descent

There once was a time when American society was of unilineality descent. Unilineality descent occurs when the ego only claim their lineage through either a male or female line. Members of these societies generally claim their descent from one common ancestor who tends to be a mythical figure. They society is clan based with each member of that clan claiming the same heritage. Sixty percent of the world's cultures are of unilineality descent. They are primarily associated with pastoralism, horticulture and agricultural systems.
There are two types of unilineality descent, patrilineal and matrilineal. 


Patrilineal occurs when the ego belongs only to his or her father's lineage. A male's name, titles and inheritance is given through his father's line. The father's line is passed down from father to son. The males of these societies dominate with power, position and property. Boys are cherished in these societies because they pass on their father's heritage. They are raised to continue their father's line while girls are raised to produce sons for other families. Although, a women marries into a family she does not lose her family heritage even though she is associated with her husband's family. The men value the women of their society because they understand without them their line cannot continue. Thus, the patrilineal society may place stricter regulations and customs on their female members than the males. A woman's conduct reflects upon her father's family and anything she does that goes against their wishes may be punishable by the law. Forty-four percent of unilineality cultures in the world are patrilineal with most of these societies found in the Middle East, East and South Asia. The Shawnee of the United States were a patrilineal society. Here is a chart of family terms and relationships related to the ego of someone who lives in a patrilineal society.


Matrilineal descent is the opposite of patrilineal descent in that the ego belongs to his or her mother's lineage. The mother's names, titles and inheritance is passed down to her daughter. The women dominate these societies with power, position and property. For example, among the Cherokee the men who sat on the council were chosen by the women. If the women did not agree to the way the man was conducting themselves on the council they would have the man removed and replaced with another. Navajo wives can divorce their husbands but if they do the only thing the husband has a right to is the shirt off his back.  Most of these societies are dying out because of commercialism.


Ambilineal descent occurs when both the parent's families are recognized and the ego must chose to affiliate with either his/her mother or father's side of their family. Each generation must make the decision as to which part of the they belong to. The decision made by the ego is not taken lightly. It is based on the importance and/or wealth one parent has over the other. The ambilineal kinship system is rare. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

#AtoZ Challenge: J is for Justice (Lady Justice that is)

Standing 100 feet in the air a top the Marion County Courthouse, the Lady Justice statue has it's own interesting history. Lady Justice was recently in the news when a remote controlled helicopter became lodged in the crock of her arm on April 27, 2013. Here's the video of the drone's flight. The owner, Terry Cline, was using the drone to film a promotional video for the city when a breeze blew the nine inch drone into the statue. It stops when the helicopter crashes into the statue's arm.

The Marion County Courthouse is one of the oldest buildings in the city. It was built sometime between 1884-1886. It is one of three courthouses that was designed by architect David W. Gibbs, the other two being  the Washington Court House in Fayette County, Ohio, and Charlotte, Eaton County, Michigan. The courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Once the drone was up there it caused quite a controversy within the county as to who and how it should be removed. The controversy ended up gaining national attention. On May 6, 2013, volunteers climbed to the bell tower and successfully retrieved the helicopter from Lady Justice with a long pole.

This wasn't the first time Marion County's Lady Justice had received national attention.

Justice Held Hostage

Early in the 1980's, when I was just a little girl, my mother took me to the courthouse to watch Lady Justice return to her rightful place 100 feet a top the courthouse. The entire country seemed to gather around the building. News reporters and camera's were everywhere. I remember watching the helicopter lift the statue into the air and gently place her on top. I will never forget that day. I was only around 4 years old at the time. I was so amazed by the entire ordeal. My mother had told me that the statue had been stolen as part of a prank in July 1952 and had been missing for about twenty years. 

Here is an account of how Lady Justice was kidnapped and retrieved. This account was given to Trella Romine in 2010 by Richard Carey and was published as Lady Justice; The Rest Of The Story in August 30, 2010.

After 58 years I would like to tell the rest of the story surrounding the disappearance of Lady Justice in July 1952. 
I was at the courthouse on farm business. At that time the courthouse had a hallway under the steps on the south side with entrance doors at the east and west end and a door into the courthouse. According to an article in the Marion Star the workmen had placed the Lady along the south wall of this hallway. When I went into the courthouse I noticed Lady Justice lying there. Later I told two of my friends about this. What if the lady came up missing? We thought this would be the best prank ever in Marion County History. We decided we would go to the courthouse that night and remove her. 
I was 20 years old not yet married; Betty and I were married on August 23, 1952. My parents Edwin & Lucile along with my youngest brother Charles were on a big trip to the west coast being gone for over 2 weeks. 
My two friends and I met about 10:00 PM at the farm. We took one of my father’s baby chicken, panel body delivery trucks with Carey Farms hatchery signs painted on the sides of it. We drove to Marion to the courthouse to size up the situation. We observed a City police cruiser parked along the street on the west side of the courthouse. This was not unusual in that the police often parked there to check out the taverns on North Main Street and others downtown. Not seeing any police officers we parked on the east side of the courthouse. We knew we had to act with the utmost speed. We decided that George Dennison and I would carry out the statue while Jerry (Shorty) Criswell would open and hold the door at the east end of the courthouse and open the van doors. We knew the statue only weighed about 60-70 pounds as I had checked this out earlier. We picked it up and carried it out to the van sliding it inside on a layer of straw that I had placed in the truck. We did not want to damage the Lady. We jumped into the van and drove away quickly. Much to our delight we were not observed and did not see any signs of the police. We then breathed sighs of relief. 
Driving back to the farm we discussed what we could do with the Lady. Should we hold her for ransom? Should we make a casket and bury her in a grave? We decided to for the time being we would just hide her in an old barn on the farm among the several hundred bales of straw there. Here Lady Justice was hidden under the straw for many years. 
Of course the disappearance of Lady Justice was noted in the Marion Star. The story told how a company representative came to Marion a few days later to pick up the lady for repair. But the commissioners had no knowledge of authorizing a company or man to pick up Lady Justice. In my opinion it seems that the dastardly deed by three young men eventually turned out to be the act that saved the Lady. 
Over the course of years we decided to tear down the old barn. Now what to do? I was living down the road at 5211 Berry R and had a barn there. My brother Bill and I moved her to this new location. We built a casket about 4 feet by 4 feet by 9 feet long in the loft of the barn, placed her inside and sealed it up. I found later that some of the boards had been pried off. It appears that as my children were growing up they decided to look inside. Also, what had been a closely guarded secret was now being talked about in some circles. Over the course of time several people became aware of the hiding place of Lady Justice. 
In 1980 I listened to Charlie Evers talking about local history on radio station WMRN. He inquired about Lady Justice and in this way I learned of the interest in trying to find her and in restoring her. One day when I was at the Green Camp Elevator in Green Camp Charlie dropped by to pick up advertising from the elevator for the radio station. I asked him to come outside to talk. I told Charlie about my part in the disappearance of the Lady and that I would gladly return her if he would keep the details confidential. I felt she should again grace the top of the Marion County Court House. The question was how to get this done. As I was deeply involved in Marion County history, and had served as president of the Marion County Historical Society, I knew this would be an embarrassment to both the Historical Society and myself. 
Thus the headline for the story in the Marion Star of February 12, 1980 read, “Statue Coming Home.” This story indicated she had been dropped off at my home by two anonymous men when in fact she had resided at this location for about 20 years. 
What started out as a prank, or called by some a dastardly deed, had a great ending. Some might even say the three men were three young men in shining armor who saved Lady Justice. Without this episode very likely there would not be a Lady of Justice on top of the Marion County Court House today. 
There you have the rest of the story. You be the judge.

Historically Yours, 

Richard Carey

Small #Blessings: School days, School days.

I can't believe it's Friday already. My husband has been sick for almost two weeks with an upper respiratory infection. He is legally blind and has been going to Bosma. Bosma is a school where the blind and legally blind learn skills that help them live an independent life and prepares them for employment. My husband was a nurse for 20 years. He's changing his career path to become a paralegal and a translator. He's also interested in computers. My husband was so sick he missed 10 days of school. My small blessing this week is that he was well enough to return to school a few days. The school isn't set up like a traditional university. They have six classes a day but if he misses any days he's not behind. They just start where he left off.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

#AtoZChallenge: I is for Iron Plantation

I is for Iron Plantations

When people think about Ohio they usually don't think about plantations. Iron companies would buy hundreds of acres of land rich with iron ore and other resources required for their operations. They would then establish an iron plantation. The iron plantation was so isolated that is operated by it's own rules and customs. In fact, many workers and their families had no idea of what went on in the world outside the plantation.
The Iron plantation was set up much like the plantations in the south. The workers consisted of slaves, indentured servants and labors. The slaves and indentured servants generally were given the lowest of jobs while labor was given specialized jobs such as woodcutters. Even though the labor worker was a free man he had very limited mobility in moving up in rankings. Even though they workers and their families did not have many material possessions they were not poor. In fact, poverty was unheard of on the Iron plantations even when the nation was going through a depressions. Workers were not paid with money. Their wages were recorded on a balance sheet that was offset by the expenses the worker and his family occurred at the stores.
The Iron plantation was characterized by the large mansion that sat upon a hill overlooking the iron furnace. The mansion was home to the ironmaster and his family. The ironmaster was responsible for investing capital in construction and maintenance of the charcoal furnace used for the refining and working of iron and for hiring skilled labor. He and his family frequently interacted with the workers but were not equal to them. The ironmaster was responsible for maintaining the welfare of the worker and their family. He often times built a school, church, hospital, stores and whatever else his workers might need. If one job closed he wouldn't just fire a worker but would find him another position on the plantation. In school and church, the workers and their children learned about industriousness and deference. Some ironmasters allowed for liquor to be sold in there stores but most of them did not because the ironmasters required their workers to be disciplined. They often encouraged the workers to be sober and have steady work through written agreements. An iron plantation was no place for a drunkard. The ironmaster emphasized his superiority over the workers by providing them with smaller houses than his own.
The mansion often sat on hill overlooking the furnace and village. Everyone knew if you lived in that house then you were better than them. While the workers had very few materials to call their own the ironmaster's family enjoyed the luxury of many expensive items. The children were taught with private tutors and the family was afforded with opportunities to travel.
The first Iron plantation was the Hopewell Furnace. It was opened in 1771 by ironmaster Mark Bird and thrust America into iron production.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

#IndieLife: The #Author Platform

Writing. It's a great career to have. There are so many different ways you can express your creativity through the written word. Novels, short stories, blogs, articles, websites, just to name a few. What I find the hardest in my writing career is the marketing. Let's just be honest here. I would rather write all day than have to deal with the marketing or technical things that a writer must do in order to have a writing career. But if I want to keep my writing career I must do both.

So you still want a writing career and think you can handle the marketing? 

Most new writers get caught up in this thinking...."I wrote a book. It's great. It's on the market. Now I'm going to be rich. Everyone is going to buy it and I can retire from my daily life."

I hate to burst your bubble but writing a book and having it out on the market is not a great way to get rich quick. If that's the reason behind you wanting to write a book then please stop writing. Writing a book takes a lot of work and dedication. There are thousands upon thousands of books in the market today that your book is going to have to compete with. Writers who are depending on retiring on the sales of their one book are only going to cause anxiety in their life. You don't need that. What you need to do is build a platform. 

A whatform?

A platform. 

An author's platform is not going to happen overnight either. It's a foundation an author builds with works they have written. Your readers want to know if they take the risk of buying your book and love it then they can get more books that are written by you. This means YOU NEED TO KEEP WRITING! I have been writing professionally for six years and if you google my name I am all over the place. That is because I worked on my writing platform. I have have a blog, website, and am writing on several social networks. I'm an iReport reporter for CNN. I've written guest posts on various blogs. I have written magazine articles, participated in short story contests and two anthologies. If you go to my Amazon page it will show that I have eight books out. These are my novels, shorts and anthologies I have participated in. The more I write the larger my platform grows. The larger my platform grows the more my name is exposed to readers. The more my name is exposed to reader the more my sales increase. 

It's a gradual process that could thrust my name into greatness like Stephanie Meyers. Did you know that Twilight wasn't her first book? No one had ever heard of her until Twilight had gone wild on the internet. Stephanie used her author platform and social media to market her books while she continued to write. You should too. 

#AtoZChallenge: H is for His story, Her story, #History

H is for His story, Her story, History

History can be a fascinating subject to study. Many times when someone thinks of history they think it's a dull subject filled with too many dates and facts. But if you look beyond those dates and facts you would find fascinating stories and interesting people.

The history we learn in school is a great foundation but not everything you learn in your history books is true. One thing you have to consider when reading a history book is who the author is. Was the author male or female? What race were they? What cultural group did they belong to?

Take for instance the Civil War.

I grew up in Ohio which is a Northern State. When I was a child I learned all about why the North went to war and why we won the war. I didn't learn that much about the South except that they were slave holding states that wanted to keep slavery. Ohio has always been a free state and a progressive state as well. So because my education was in Ohio I learned Ohio's side of the story. It wasn't until my mom and I moved to Texas that I was exposed to the Southerner's side of the Civil War. I learned in Texas that the Southern states fought to maintain slavery because slaves were an economical commodity that the south needed in order to maintain their agricultural businesses. But slavery wasn't the only reason they went to war. They went to war because they didn't want the Federal government to dictate how their states should operate. When you look at it from their point of view it makes sense. What works for the North wouldn't, as still doesn't, work for the South because those two areas of the United States are very different.

History is written by the winners. What does that  mean? That means the history you learn is always

written by the dominant cultural group of that time. The problem is when you depend upon learning history through one group and not your own you run the risk of assimilating into the other culture. We see this all the time the United States. Take for example the Native Americans. Most of what we know about Native Americans has been passed down to use from the white side not the Native Americans. Tribal schools are federally operated although they lie on reservations. As the generations passed tribal elders have passed down their cultural heritage. Children have had struggle with their own cultural identity because Native Americans hold dual citizenship - their tribe and United States of America. The current generation has started to abandon their tribal ways and take up the American white culture. What was started by our ancestors may be finally become a reality - the destruction of the Native American culture - because the native languages and heritage is disappearing form our lands by the actions of the current Native American generation who have assimilated into the white American culture.

When we forget both sides of history we ultimately destroy our own past. We are fated to repeat the same mistakes as our ancestors. I, for one, would rather move forward than repeat the mistakes of my ancestors' past. Wouldn't you?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

#AtoZChallenge: G is for Genealogy

 G is for Genealogy
I LOVE doing genealogy. I was introduced to genealogy through a 4H project when I was nine years old. I interviewed my grandparents and other members of their generation then took their information and placed what I learned into the family tree. The more I learned about my family the more I wanted to know more. Genealogy isn't just about filling names and dates into a family tree. Sure, that's an important part of it but what I love the best about it are the family stories.

When I started my 4H project my grandparents were excited that I had an interest in learning more about the family. My grandpa Carr challenged me to find his true birthdate. My grandfather had been a toddler when his mother had died in a kitchen fire. 
Grandpa Carr and his siblings were sent to a children's home. When he was placed in the children's home they had recorded his birthdate as Jun 19, 1926. He and his sister argued for years as to the birthday. Aunt Mary had always claimed the year was wrong. She had been born April 19, 1923. There was no way he could have been born in 1926 because their brother, Clarence was older. The brothers were close in age but Aunt Mary was convinced that Grandpa Carr was older then Uncle Clarence. Grandpa Carr argued that he was the youngest of the three children and had insisted the birthdate was correct. Why wouldn't they be right? The adults who had placed them in the home had to know their real birth dates. Didn't that? He argued that all the official records showed he had been born in 1926 and that was good enough for him. But he was missing one thing to verify the accounts from the children's home, his birth certificate. 
The first year of my genealogical project had searched long and hard to find my grandfather's birth certificate with no luck. I had found his Army records from WWII and they gave me a hint as to what year to look at. I showed them to my grandfather but he argued that the Army had messed up on the records. Aunt Mary wasn't convinced that the military had messed up.  I continued my search. The following year I hit the jackpot. I found his birth certificate. 

Freeland Devere Carr was born................

June 23, 1924!

Aunt Mary had won the disagreement. Grandpa Carr didn't like that his birth certificate had shown that date because it made him two years older than what he had been lead to believe his entire life.  His tombstone shows his birth year as 1926 but all the other records show 1924.