Monday, 30 May 2011

Religion, Politics and History

I like to think my day-to-day life is NOT dictated by any of the above ... especially religion and politics ... but I know it ain't so.  Last week, I learned something about my family tree that made me think.

Ten generations back  ... let's see, that would be my great-great-great-great-great ... emigrated to North America because of religion and politics.  Here's the story ... follow me through a historical journey:

1.  Jean Bricqet (or DeBrique), a "man of letters", an accountant or clerk, and his wife, Marie Alce Crabbe, along with at least 4 children left Artois, Pay-de-Calais, France in 1685.  1685 was notable for the St Bartholomew Massacre during which French streets "ran red with Huguenot blood".  Jean et famille were Huguenots ... Protestants in a country full of Roman Catholics.  He chose life in the Carolina Crown Colony over conversion or death.  Jean, whose name was Anglicized to John Brickey, and wife had at least 2 more children on this continent, including their youngest son Peter.  Jean died in 1718, and Marie Alce followed him about 7 years later.

2.  Peter Brickey, son of Jean and Marie Alce, was born around 1715 in Westmoreland County, Virginia.  He married Winifred Lucas, daughter of Charles Lucas and Temperance Smith, in 1738 and appears to have been a farmer (thanks to the help of 12 slaves whom he eventually willed to his children and grandchildren), except for a very brief bit of military service during the Revolutionary War.  Peter and Winifred had 8 children, including second son John Brickey.  Peter died in 1787.

3.  John Brickey, son of Peter and Winifred, was born around 1740 is Westmoreland County, Virginia, and before his 20th birthday, married Mary Elizabeth Garner, daughter of Thomas Garner and Rosemond Courtney.  Mary Elizabeth died in 1780, and John married a second wife, Jane Scott, 2 years later.  John and Jane only had 1 daughter, but John and Mary Elizabeth previously had 7 children, including eldest son Garrard Brickey.  John died in 1807 and is buried in Meyers Cemetery, Tuckaleechee Cove, Blount County, Tennessee.

4.  Jarrard Brickey (or Gerard), son of John and Mary Elizabeth, was born in 1760 in Botetourt, Westmoreland County, Virginia.  At age 21, he married Amy Compton, daughter of John Compton and Lydia Franz Carhart.  Jarrard and Amy had 8 children, including their second son Jeremiah.  The family moved to the French Broad Country in Cocke County, Tennessee in 1789, and then to Missouri in 1817.  Jarrard was widowed 10 years after moving to Missouri, but lived on to the ripe old age of 84 and was finally buried in the Brickey Cemetery on Hicks Farm in Crawford County, Missouri.  Records indicate Jarrard was a practising Baptist.

5.  Jeremiah Brickey, son of Jarrard and Amy, was born in 1788 in Botetourt, Virginia.  Jeremiah appears to have had a twin sister.  At the age of 28, Jeremiah married Frances North in Maryville, Crawford County, Tennessee.  Jeremiah and Frances had 6 daughters and 1 son.  Their second daughter was Lucinda, nicknamed Lucy.  Jeremiah died in Dade County, Missouri in 1855.

6.  Lucinda "Lucy" Brickey, daughter of Jeremiah and Frances, was born in Washington County, Missouri.  She married Aquilla Wilson in December 1825, and the couple had at least 1 child, William.  Lucinda died during the summer of 1888 in Washington County, Missouri.

7.  William Wilson, son of Lucinda Brickey and Aquilla Wilson, was born around 1826 in Washington County, Missouri.  William married petite, dark-eyed (I remember her photo) Louisa Dunlap in 1848.  Louisa was originally from Kentucky.  Over a quarter of a century, the couple had 9 children, ranging from the eldest, Henry Aquilla born around 1852, to the youngest, Ida Evalina born around 1874.

8.  Ida Evalina Wilson, daughter of William Wilson and Louisa Dunlap, was born around 1874 in Missouri.  She married "Hal" Albert William Herald, originally from Green Oak, Livingstone County, Michigan.  Family stories suggest they married in St Louis, Missouri.  Ida and Hal lived in Montana and had 4 daughters and 1 son.  Family stories claim that when their youngest daughter was born, Hal instructed the oldest 3 girls to come up with 2 names starting with the letter "H" before he named her "Happy Hooligan Herald".  They came up with "Hattie Hazel".  The family came to Canada around 1918 to 1920 and homesteaded at Charlie Lake, near Fort St John, BC, Canada.  Ida died at Fort St John in the late 1940s or early 1950s.

L to R:  children of Ida Evalina Wilson and Hal Herald,
Alta Mae (Herald) Roney,
Della Lee (Herald) Cuthill,
Raymond "Raymie" or "Boy" Herald
Hattie Hazel (Herald) Fennell
*Uncle Raymie is holding me, his favourite "nephew-girl"!

9.  Hattie Hazel Herald, daughter of Ida Evalina and Hal Herald, was born in 1908 in either Forsyth or Butte, Montana.  She recalled as a young girl leaving Montana with her family and a big herd of sheep.  The sheep were sold off at the Canadian border.  Homestead life was hard.  Hattie married Joseph Holt, a 30 year old Lancashire Englishman, in 1930 at Pouce Coupe, BC.  The marriage was very brief.  Shortly thereafter, Hattie left Northern BC by horseback with "Slim" Hermin William Fennell.  They lived through the Depression years in Southern BC, near the American border, and had 2 daughters, Betty Lou and Thelma Louise.  She was widowed in 1978, and passed on herself a couple of years ago in Summerland, BC.

10.  Another generation, and then I came into the picture.

I was raised up Pentecostal (there was no Baptist church in the town I grew up in, or I probably would have been a Baptist).  I loved the music (still love gospel music), but did not appreciate the emotional spontaneity of my childhood church, and I did not understand or appreciate their "My Way Or The Highway" philosophy to the exclusion ... or damnation to hell ... of all others.  Note:  I'm talking about me here ... I'm not criticizing anyone else's religion/beliefs.  The first time I attended quiet tiny St Gregory's Mission Church around age 12 or so, I felt at home. 

A few years later, I married a Roman Catholic and eventually converted formally.  I wonder what many-times-Great-grandpere Jean would say about that?  I am also aware that on the other side of my family tree, my many-times-Great-grand-Da was sent away from the English/Scottish borderlands to "plant" Protestantism in Northern Ireland.  Political/religious (or religious/political) decisions have certainly shaped my family tree!

But does that mean politics/religion shapes my day-to-day life? 

I have come to believe that RELIGION and FAITH are two different issues.  Note:  Again, I'm talking about me here ... I'm not criticizing anyone else's beliefs/religion.  My personal faith journey has been very interesting over the years, perhaps a little "unorthodox", and certainly never dull.  My personal faith journey might be considered "un-faith" by some as I have seriously questioned much and been openly rebellious often, and occasionally been disrespectful (as in poking fun at) toward most every organized brand of religion.  However, my faith / beliefs have never ... to my knowledge ... endangered my life or livelihood.  I have never had to emigrate in order to pursue my own faith journey. 

So have I answered my own question "does politics/religion shape my day-to-day life"? Not really ... but it's been interesting to ponder, as has my family history.

On the knitting front, I did a little thinking pink over the weekend ...
Bottom ribbing almost done ...

Bottom ribbing complete and one arm started ...
 I would have done a little more thinking pink, but discovered a new yarn shop on Friday and consequently this sock yarn just happened to come home with me ...
Sock #1 started.
The pattern is called "Poet's Rib" ... suitable for "Poems Sock Yarn", yes?

Sock #1 ... heel turned ...
I had to think hard on this as I usually knit from the toe up,
and so usually shape heels differently than this.

Sock #1 ... almost to the toes!
Very interesting shades of grey variegated in this soft wool.
It was sunny then cloudy then sunny then cloudy then sunny then cloudy ... you get the picture ... over the weekend, so when Mizz Bootz and I weren't out on the balcony basking in the sun ...
... and keeping a sharp lookout for those pesky helicopters [hummingbirds] ...
... we nearly finished the first sock!  (I say "we" because she "assists"!)  All that thinking and pondering and knitting made it an interesting and productive weekend.

Et vous???

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