Monday, February 27, 2017

Tornado Walk

Sunday night my phone weather alarm goes off. I assume it is a severe weather warning as there has been lightening and rain.  It is a weather alert but, it says Tornado Warning - seek shelter now.  Not a tornado watch but a warning. Three minutes later the wind is raging outside my window, and the sky has an eerie green (like the color of the slime from that show on Nickelodeon) cast to it. My child who lives within sight of my window has called and she is very afraid. She believes the tornado is on her porch, which I can see from my window. I step from where I have sheltered and look out. Later I will realize that might not have been the best course of action but the only thought in my head was MY CHILD is terrified. As if just looking will save her. I calmly told her that her plants, chair, and cooler were all still there as are her windows and the rest of her flat. 

                                            Tornado Bahamas - Winslow Homer 

I discovered days later that there had been at least 6 tornadoes. One of them touching down about a mile from us and stopping less than 360 yards on a direct path for us. It was at that moment that I became scared...silly me days later. When I went outside later that day to run errands I felt jittery and distrustful. Why... because the weather had attacked. Again, silly me. 

The tornado had walked right past after it ran a mile. 
This week enjoy Tornado Walk

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Merchants of Wine

In the early 1700's my Very Great (7th) Grandfather, Samuel Bliss went into business with a French Wine Merchant, Daniel Jaunott or Johnnot

                                                    Wine Merchant -Granger

Daniel had offices in Boston, tracts of land at harbors in Greenland and was part owner in several ships. He is stylized on legal documents as a Distiller

Grandfather Bliss and Daniel also were part owners in a sloop called "Love and Ann" and a Brigantine called "Success". 

There may have been some wine involved but the Success sailed only to Barbados. And, what product came out of Barbados in the 1700's? Rum! And, what type of ship did Pirates favor? Brigantines! 

Dear old granddad may have called himself in business with a Wine Merchant but I think he was a Rum Runner. 


This week enjoy The Merchants of Wine

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Yes to Benedict

I don't usually follow-up on stories. But this one took an odd twist as I did more ghost hunting on my kin, the family of Pelatiah Bliss

You see his cousin John Bliss, born in 1645 married a girl named Damaris Arnold. Her father was a Benedict Arnold and so was her brother and a nephew and so on until 1741 when the Benedict Arnold who burned Newport came about. 

So, to answer my question from Monday, "I wonder if they knew each other" the answer is probably yes.

I love Ghost Hunting!

Monday, February 13, 2017

New London Flame

In 1762 Pelatiah Bliss, a very great Uncle dies and has his will probated while living in New London, Connecticut.  It is over 50 pages. He had one son, 1 step-daughter, and 9 daughters. 
Had he lived another 19 years he would have been there when British Brigadier General Benedict Arnold orders his troops to burn the village to the ground.  


New London was a supply depot for the rebellious men and women who made up and supported the Continental Army. It was a thriving seaport as well as a hub of commerce. General Arnold ordered the burning of not only the town but also the many Privateer (Pirates against Great Britain) ships in the harbor. 

15 Miles north of New London is Norwich Connecticut. In 1741 Benedict Arnold was born there as was my great uncle in 1697. 
                        The birthplace of Benedict Arnold in Norwich

This week enjoy a look at New London Flame.

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Grinder

Henry Fletcher, my 3rd Great Grandfather was born in 1806 in England.  In 1826 his first born daughter Louisa was baptized in Yeovil, Somerset, England at Church of St John the Baptist. His occupation on the Baptismal record is recorded as Grinder.  He lists his occupation as a Grinder for about 10 years. On the manifest of The Arlington, the ship that brought him to New Orleans he lists his occupation as Gun Smith. 

What is a Grinder?

 I had an idea, thought, inkling so I went exploring. A Grinder is a person or thing that grinds something, a person employed to grind cutlery, or tools. This means sharpen. They usually went from door to door and sharpened cutlery, scissors, knives and tools.
a Russian vendor photographed by Carrick in Imperial Russia:
Photograph of a Russian Grinder by photographer William Carrick

The Grinder would cart around a portable grindstone and sharpen right there at your home, barn, shop or wherever you needed him.
In very rural areas of the world grinders still arrive at your doorstep. My mother tells me she recalls Grinders calling on them at her home and her grandparent’s home.  

This week enjoy The Grinder