(You are also invited to visit my other blog, AnnieWritesAbout!)
Previously, fair reader, you were introduced my paternal grandfather, Clarence Pryne, known as C.P. This web log will have much to report about him and his ancestry because, thankfully, his Huguenot and Quaker roots in the early American colonies run very deeply, and there is a great deal of material from which to draw their histories (although never enough to satisfy genealogical curiosity, of course!).
In particular, our family is blessed to have portions of our heritage preserved not only in/on records and tombstones, but plaques, parks, and other historical sites. Of these, one of the most enlightening and exciting is Prickett's Fort State Park in West Virginia. For a run-down on my recent visit to Prickett's Fort, along with some information about its history, check out the post for December 22, 2016 in my other web log, AnnieWritesAbout, at this link.
The descendants of several of the pioneer families who lived in the area around Prickett's Fort eventually settled in southern Ohio, the natal home of Grandpa C.P., and their surnames make a strong showing on our family tree. Most notably, these include the Dunn family that had come to Virginia from Delaware, the Pindell and Mills families from Maryland, and the Springer and Prickett families from New Jersey.
The historian, as well as the genealogist, in me is always tickled when I find old, dusty, crackling books about the lives of people in a specific region about which I am researching. If I can score a free PDF copy of such a book, so much the better! The following is just one wonderful paragraph from a recent discovery, that has led me to an expanded understanding and respect for the challenges faced by our ancestors on the western frontier of Virginia:
"On landing in their new home the first duty was to erect a cabin for shelter, and then to select a suitable spot to cultivate for use when the stores carried with them were exhausted. The cabin was built of round logs, the interstices were chunked and daubed with common clay, or catan clay, which was a mixture of clay and grass, or straw. The chimney was on the outside and made of split logs at the bottom or fireplace, so called, and the top was of smaller split sticks, the whole being well daubed with clay mortar. The fireplace was lined with stone and mortar so as to prevent it catching fire. The floor, where there was any, was made of split logs hewn in shape to closely fit together. One window furnished the light, and one door hung on wooden hinges, with a latch and string, the mode of entrance. The latter drawn in was the lock to prevent entrance. The latchstring hanging out was always a token of welcome to the cabin. The furniture was for the most part rude and made impromptu; the chairs and tables were homemade. The grand old chest, brought from the east, was ample for clothing. The cupboard ware was pewter, and the bed and bedding were brought with them. There was no bedstead save that made by the few tools on hand from split timber. Immigration generally took place in the spring of the year, so that the first crop to be raised was corn and flax, the former to provide food for man and beast and the latter for clothing. The cabin was always located near a spring from which could be obtained water for the household and stock. The early settlers differed very much in the choice of location, some preferring the high and others the low lands. Along the creeks sites for sawmills were the choice of those who had a genius for water machinery, although the original mills were the wind mill and the tramp mill." (Van Voorhis A.M., M.D., John S. Old and New Monongahela. Pittsburgh, PA: Nicholson, Printer and Binder, 1898, pp 7-8.)
"Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man." -- Benjamin Franklin