About My Days

Whiteley Creek, Greene County, Pennsylvania

My mother and father were children of the Depression, growing up on family farms in Greene County, Pennsylvania and Mecklenburg County, Virginia.  Both sets of grandparents started married life in town, supporting growing families with jobs that were consumed by the economic crisis, and both families retreated to a “home farm.” How did they come to have this choice?  Who first owned those fields and how was it that my grandparents came to hold them?  This site seeks to answer these questions, and succeeds in mostly generating new, more complicated ones.

Nonetheless I fill my days with the research and wondering that comes with following these ancestors:

  • DODSON family of Mecklenburg County, Virginia
  • SAYLES family of Allegany County, New York/Mecklenburg County, Virginia
  • STRICKLAND family of Wake/Nash Counties, North Carolina
  • MINOR family of Greene County, Pennsylvania
  • BRADFORD family of Coshocton/Muskingum County, Ohio

The investigations don’t stop at genealogical connect-the-dots reports.  Family relationships, occupations and land transactions are interpreted in their larger context; in particular I am interested in the choices and decisions of my mid-nineteenth century folks.

  • How did the escalating conflict over slavery affect family dynamics?
  • What roles were women allowed to create during and after the Civil War?  Were these opportunities different for women in different regions?
  • How were the families touched by the conscription/enlistment of their men?
  • What positions did my ancestors hold regarding racial equality and how did they perceive reconstruction?
  • How did the families respond to the changing role of the federal government?

If you have family history to share or questions to ponder, I’d love to hear from you!  Please feel free to contact me at dkaysdays (at symbol) gmail (dot symbol) com. 😉

Recent Posts

Tick Ick

I began my day at the doctor’s reception desk, requesting the soonest available appointment for an inspection of my tick bite site.  I didn’t like the angry O that encircled the mouth bits that I hadn’t been able to extract.  The lady took me serious, and scooted me in for an appointment within the hour.  Let me back up…

I do checks several times a day on me and my dogs, trying to make sure that these creepy spider relatives don’t suck our blood.  We’ve got your American dog tick and your woodchuck and rabbit ticks. And we’ve got my favorite creepy crawler, the deer tick, carrier of a little bacterium known as Borrelia burgdorferi.  I am quite good at getting the critters before they latch on, but just in case I keep a tweezer and alcohol handy at all times.

I know exactly when this particular tick bit me.  I had one post-shower walk  in the yard at sundown on Sunday, and a couple hours later, I did another swipe up my legs and there it was.  I don’t know one tick from another.  All species are pulled off and flushed down the toilet with the same speed.  And then I watch the site, just to make sure that I don’t develop the BULL’S EYE.

Yesterday evening I did a double take.  USUALLY the mouth bits cause a LITTLE lumpy something as my body kicks them out.  But this looked mean.  Different.

I am not taking chances, y’all.  Lyme disease is endemic in Northeastern Pennsylvania and physicians around here don’t mess around.  That is how I came to sit patiently waiting in the windowless room.

The doctor examined my leg, and explained that ticks release proteolytic enzymes when they bite which causes bruising sometimes.  AND THAT IS WHAT I HAD EVIDENCE OF ON MY LEG!!!!  What relief!  Of course I will continue to monitor for Lyme’s flu-like symptoms, as per usual after a known tick bite.  But for now I am Lyme FREE!  (Also for the record, ticks have to be attached, sucking your blood, for about 36 hours before they can infect you with Lyme bacteria…)

But this incident got me wondering…what did my ancestors do about ticks?  Did they pluck ’em off?  Did they worry about getting sick from them?  Were there as many ticks then as we have now?

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