Family genealogy, for me, is like a mystery puzzle in the past. I enjoy trying to solve the puzzle with the bits and pieces of information. It also tends to make history more personal. I could care less if a so many great grand pappy was a saint or a sinner, famous or not, wealthy or poor. I like trying to figure out where he lived, what was going on around him.
In New London, Connecticut in 1653, a couple was telling the Inn Keeper how they had escape from the papists, the Catholics, who were chasing them all across Ireland. As the inn keeper told his story of fighting the Pequots Indians and the difficulty in the first years in Connecticut. I can imagine the glow of the candles causing shadows of the gesturing Puritans dance across the room. There was no way either the inn keeper or the refugees would know a descendant of both would know which of the two was not being honest until 2015.

In Ballingary Parish in 1650, the Butler family owned well over half the land (11,712 acres) and the Fanning family owned at significant chunk but much less amount at 4,454 acres. Both the Butler and Fanning families were well known Irish Papists.
In fact, Dominick Fanning was the mayor of Limerick, Ireland. He fought Cromwell’s army and lost. His reward was to have his head hanging for several years over the gate of St. Johns that lead to the garden and church. This is the gate which is part of the wall of the hospital in Limerick today.

Gate of St. John's Limerick Ireland
After Dominick’s head was severed, Cromwell troops were given land as a reward. Both the Butlers and the Fanning families lost their land in 1652.

New London, Connecticut’s constable and tax collector was Andrew Lester. He was also allowed to own a “house of entertainment”. This was his tavern and Inn and in this inn, Edmund Fanning and his wife, the former Ellen Butler, were lying in telling the constable and inn keeper, Andrew Lester how they just barely escaped the angry Irish Papists. My father is a descendant of Andrew. My mother is descendant of Edmund and Ellen Fanning. Andrew Lester is my 8th great grandfather. Edmund and Ellen are my 10th great grandparents.

In the History of Stonington, Conn it tells the two stories of Edmund Fanning.   The oral history was…
“It has been transmitted from one generation to another in the Fanning family, that their ancestor “Edmund Fanning”, escaped from Dublin in 1641, in the time of the great rebellion, in which one hundred thousand Protestants fell victims to the fury of the Roman Catholics, and after eleven years of wandering and uncertainty, he found a resting place in that part of New London now called Groton, in the year 1652. “ However, history in Ireland mentions them as Irish Papists and they didn’t arrive in New London until 1653. This is a year after they lost their property.

Currently, they are the most picked on minority group in the United States. People shout how awful they are on social media, individually, and collectively. They are expected to take the abuse. As soon as people see them at work, they flip the camera on their cell phones to record them as if they are some escaped animal.
Yet, we are the reason for this discrimination. We hire military police just returning from fighting the enemy overseas. We expect them to do our dirty work. We want them fight crime, drugs dealers, clean up our accidents, and protect us from thieves, rapists, and even our upset friends.  I am talking about how we treat our law enforcement people.
In return, we want to skimp on their paychecks and benefits. We want them to have less time off. We want them to work in neighborhoods where anyone and at any time can purchase guns and ammo. While they are at it, we expect them to find some use for all the unnecessary military equipment our government bought and is just laying around.
In all honesty, the law enforcement people who gave me tickets for speeding, I wasn’t totally pleased. Police interference in my affairs was costly even if they were correct. If I were to commit a more serious crime now and again, I might be even more irritated if they were to stop me to say hello and ask what I am up to.
Yet, I admire all people who work in law enforcement. They are my heroes. They deal every day with the ugliness I don’t want to see. They make sure some idiot with things to do doesn’t run over me, even if he is upset he got a ticket. They deal with people under alcohol or drug influence who are unreasonable, insane, and upset. They deal with guts on the highway, suicides, and abused kids. In my civilized world, I pay taxes to not see such unpleasant things.
Law enforcement realizes that more crimes in their area are caused by certain people who look and dress a certain way. If it is a black neighborhood, it is usually young black males. If it is Hispanic area, it is usually young Hispanic males. If it is a white neighborhood, it is usually the black and Hispanic young males who get arrested. Yes, it is unfair. We want law enforcement officials to use tax money in an efficient manner. On the street, this is the most efficient way. On social media and TV, it is totally unfair.
We, in the United States, tend to look down on certain groups of people. If it isn’t one group, it’s another. If we wish to be called a Christian nation, I think we need to be Christ. The first thing we need to do is start picking each other up and helping one another be successful.
Lawmakers could do several things to help out. Moses ran a nation on ten laws. He did have a better law maker than we do. Lawmakers should work overtime to keep paper shredders running turning unnecessary laws into scrapes. When the laws become few enough someone can count them, then they can quit. All citizens deserve to be treated with Christian kindness. People need to be treated with respect, even if they don’t return the respect. That includes members of the other political party. Government agencies, businesses, and institutions need to treat the all citizens, including the poor and disenfranchised with dignity and respect. We can start by treating law enforcement people with the same dignity and respect we expect them to show us.

Uncle Dad

On Mother’s Day last year, a woman in Missouri received a DNA kit from Ancestry.com as a gift. She grew up in a loving family where everyone took care of her. It wasn’t until she attended school did she realize everyone but her knew about their father. She had loving Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Mother, and cousins. But she didn’t have a Dad. She would ask her Mom but the only answer was it isn’t important.
So on Mother’s Day last year, the forty five year old woman swabbed her cheeks, filled out the paper work, and placed the package in the mail. Then she waited and waited. She was hopeful but very skeptical this would work. Finally, the day came when her results were in. She looked and discovered she had a “close” relative.
I was her “close” relative. As is part of my morning routine, I walked upstairs with a fresh cup of coffee to check my emails and Facebook messages. A couple of years earlier, my wife and I decided to also have our DNA done. We were horribly disappointed. We had specific things we wanted answers to and neither of us got a hint to those answers. So I was doubtful when I saw I had a message on Ancestry regarding a DNA connection.
When I read the message, red flags began waving. She lived in the Ozarks. She was conceived during the fall following the Summer of Love. At that time, I had just received my discharge from the Navy. I was working a night shift in Springfield, Missouri…in the Ozarks. While in the back of my mind, I wondered if this was some sort of internet scam. I never heard of the woman who told her name. Nevertheless, I answered her.
We instantly bonded and became close internet friends. After exchanging pictures from that time, I didn’t recognize her mother but 45 years is a long time. She asked her mother if I was familiar and she didn’t recognize me either. We didn’t know if “close relative” meant we were first cousins, brother/sister, uncle/niece, or father/daughter. We decided to test our DNA with a company that specialized in paternity testing. As we waited, we told each about our families and what history I knew of ours.
Kristie heard first from the company because it was in her name. They told her they were 98.4% positive I was her father. They had a glitch with one marker but that sometimes happens they explained. She called. We were both delighted. At first, it was awkward telling my wife she had a daughter for certain. She couldn’t understand how I could have a child and not remember the mother. But she was delighted as well. After three sons, she had a daughter and four grown granddaughters to go shopping with.

kristie and IThe very next evening, she called back. This time, I thought she had been crying. The DNA Company didn’t like having a glitch so they used more markers and ran the test again. They told her I was not her father. They were very positive I was her uncle. While he doubted it very much because he was so young, my brother sent his DNA in also. We finally met half way between Ohio and Missouri. As she and her husband were driving to our meeting place, she got a phone call from her Dad confirming he was 99.9% her father.
And that is how I became an Uncle Dad last year.

Cured Crimes

We in the United States are apparently cured of our evil ways. We can shave our handlebar mustaches. We can burn our black suits and top hats. We are more pure than the forties and fifties. Our righteous leaders in Washington DC have lead us to drink from the fountain of virtue.
Price Fixing: This morning Yahoo only found one price fixing trial going on in the United States. The Toledo Blade reported about a price fixing suit by three companies against manufactures of polyurethane foam. Sill I am amazed how all the different gas stations and grocery stores raise and lower prices at the same time.
Weapons Smuggling: With a world overflowing with international terrorists, not one person has been caught smuggling in a gun into the United States. In fact, the last news about gun smuggling was the blotched “Fast and Furious”. The United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives between 2006 and 2011 did their own gun running and got caught.
Insider Trading: This morning, there were no trials nationwide (that I could find) going on for insider trading. I am sure no lobbyist or lawmaker ever exchanges hints.

Numbers: States solved the illegal lotteries that took advantage of the poor by taking them over themselves. Now only states, and not crime syndicates, are taking advantage of the poor.
Bunco: Until states and Native American tribes took over, police had bunco squads that raided bars for having gambling parlors.
Money Laundering: Again, no trials are going on in United States for money laundering. While corporations and very wealthy can move their money at will, it is all legal now that they bought Congress and State governments.


In the early 1950’s a woman loaded her sample case of Stanley products in her car one morning. At the end of the day, she came home with a new son. This is a true story. Yet, it is not my story to tell. I think it is an exciting mystery that is slowly being solved by the son’s daughter. In God’s given time, it is her story to tell.
His adopted parents took extremely good care of him and his sisters. He had a wonderful life. It was only after he sadly died in his thirties, that his adopted mother finally told the story. And then, only after she was caught in several discrepancies about her son.
Apparently, it began one morning as she drove into a nearby desert town. At one of her morning door to door stops, she discovered a young, underage woman had just given birth. The new mother was being yelled at and threatened by a very drunk, angry, and disappointed father. Trying to be a mediator and settle the new born child’s grandfather down, the Stanley saleswoman failed. His last slurred words as he stormed from the home were if the baby was there when he returned, he was going to kill him.
For this reason, the saleswoman and new mother agreed that the baby needed a better home. Whatever agreement they made, it lasted a life time. When her daughters returned home from school, they were introduced to their new brother. They were told neither to mention their brother at school nor to discuss it outside of home. Her husband came home from work and readily agreed with the woman. The son was their son. He was their son for life.

Several years later the family was transferred again to a new state. At this time a family doctor helped. The family had a false birth certificate that was never questioned. The baby grew up, married and had his family, and sadly died at an early age.
In my opinion, the story is very likely true with one exception. I think everyone beforehand that when the baby came, it would be given to the Stanley saleswoman and her husband.
Fast forward to the present, the son has an adult daughter who longs to discover her missing family. With DNA, she discovered her real biological grandfather. He is a sweet and gentle man with a terrific and embracing family. The search continues to locate her real grandmother who sacrificed so much so her son would have a better life.

Remember the short story by Leo Tolstoy about How Much Land Does a Man Need? A man is told he can have all the land he marks with a spade in a day. He starts at sunrise and must return to the same spot by sunset or he gets nothing. Because of his greed, he forgets time and has to rush back. Only he dies from exhaustion and is only given enough land for a grave.
Is there anyone who is doing something go an entire day without breaking some type of law…speed, littering, grass length, snow depth, distracted driving, etc.? How many laws are vital for a city? A county? A state? Or even the Federal government? After all, didn’t Moses write all the laws needed for three major religions and a nation of people on a single rock?
Since I doubt if anyone knows how many laws each of these government bodies really have, I suggest a person ought to be able to count them in an hour or in case of the Federal government, in a day. It is really the duty of the lawmakers to actually weed out stupid, redundant, or unnecessary laws. But lawmakers are hoarders of the stupid, redundant, and unnecessary.
So I propose common sense committees to help do the cleanup. Who better than a committee of say a grandmother, policeman, farmer, garbage man, and a housewife to clean things up? They and other citizens are all use to dealing with stupid, redundant, and unnecessary things in practical and common sense fashion. Their job would be to toss stupid laws in one pile. Laws to keep in another would go in another pile.
When they finish, call in the elected officials to reconsider how much stupid, redundant, and unnecessary people need to put up with. No vacations, no days off, and no fund raising until laws can be counted. Repeat with different people forming the common sense group until laws of city, county, state, and federal government can at the very least be counted in a reasonable amount of time.

Do I think this is really a solution? Of course not.

So why do we expect law enforcement people to do on our streets and while under stress what the elected law makers won’t do in the calm and quiet of their offices?

December 4, 2014

Unrest and uneasiness in police and public of large cities started me thinking.

Police departments apparently feel dressing public servants like they are sort of badass movie action characters will inspire a sense of love and caring by the community. By driving war equipment around the neighborhood, brotherly love will rain upon the masses. Peace and harmony will replace fear and hate by lobbing tear gas at grandmother and little children. For the most part, the supporters of this approach enjoy listening to and making rich the likes of Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh.

Neighborhoods apparently feel burning down buildings and tipping cars over shows they are some sort of badass also. People outside the community are running around looting stores and tossing Molotov cocktails. They claim this will somehow make people pressure the other side to give the community a group hug. To top it off, vultures like Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton fly in to gather donations while exciting more unrest with the same golden speeches from 40 years ago.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Stop trying to cover your political left or right cheek. You screwed up! The time to develop a good relationship and communications with people in your neighborhoods and with city officials is before there ever was a problem.

2. Provide for people with mental health problems. Get them off the streets and get them help they need. Stop making police having to deal with mentally ill left on the streets to save money.

3. The war on drugs has been a total joke and disaster. It is a war on black, brown, and poor people. It created a lot of illegal and non-taxable jobs. The war on drugs suggest police are warriors placed in no one wins battles.

4. Convert police departments from a place people are intimidated and fear to a place they will go to in time of need.

5. I hate to disappoint both White and Black cultures here in the United States. There is one race, the human race. We are all shades of one another.

6. We have a government of the people. We have a government by the people. Now we need to a little more work on a government for the people.