Archive for May, 2015

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.

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Christian Police

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.

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