Monday, October 28, 2013

Smallpox Was A Terrible Scourge, Part 2

(( Continued from last week's post................ can you see where these blisters would form sores that would heal with terrible scarring?? I share this information with you for smallpox was a terrible scourge to our ancestors.))

"At the March term of the Frederick County Court, 1776, the Court granted a license "for inoculating for small pox at the dwelling of Robert Throckmorton and of Isaac Zane's several plantations, they using caution to prevent the said infection from being communicated from the said places." Later James Wood asked permission to inoculate his family at his plantation and Alexander White did likewise. In all these cases permission was granted but under specified conditions. Due to the dispersal of the population, the spread of the disease was slow but inexorable. On May 6, 1778, small pox had broken out in the family of Isaac Hite ** and "in most parts of the county." The Court continued to grant permission for inoculating the members of the various families with the customary recommendation for using every precaution against spreading the disease."

"Protective inoculation had been known to the ancient Chinese. It had long been observed that when one once had the disease he was immune to it thereafter. The ancients reasoned that if the disease be given under controlled conditions the chance for survival would be greatly increased. Inoculation was introduced into western Europe from Turkey through a report issued in 1716 by the Royal Society. In five years' time, 1721, this type of prevention was being practiced in New England at the time of the great Boston epidemic. It was a precarious form of treatment."

"A sharp object was pressed to the forehead at the base of the hair, or on one of the cheeks, or chin, or preferably, on an arm of leg. An incision was made. The pus from an infected sore was then dropped upon the wound which was then carefully bound by a dressing. The patient was kept in bed for several days and placed on a diet of meat and bread. Observations continued for forty days. Although the disease appeared in seven days, its virulence was diminished to a mortality rate of one in 68 as compared with one in ten for those not treated. The trouble with inoculation was that it practically insured contracting the disease with no guaranty that the prospective cure would not prove fatal. The worst aspect of the cure was that each person so inoculated automatically became a carrier of the plague." 

From The Story of Smithfield (Middleway), Jefferson Co, Virginia, 1729-1905,  by Robert Lee Bates, 1958.

** Isaac Hite was my ancestor!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Smallpox Was A Terrible Scourge

Was reading The Story of Smithfield (Middleway), Jefferson County, West Virginia, 1729-1905, by Robert Lee Bates, 1958, and was horrified to read his accounts of smallpox in Colonial America.

"In those days smallpox was a plague, indeed, a scourge, that people were powerless to combat. Gen. Arnold made his ambitious and unsuccessful campaign against Quebec and he was defeated not so much by the enemy as by smallpox and Canada was lost to the Colonies. Washington dreaded it and he was fearful of those who had been inoculated as he was of those with the disease."

"This dreaded disease invaded the (Shenandoah) Valley. The counties of Frederick and Berkeley became infected areas. People craved social intercourse and it was that (person-to-person) contact that spread the contagion. A yellow flag placed in front of a dwelling was an uphappy signal:  "Beware!" People then gave the infected homes and occupants a wide berth. The word smallpox evoked expressions of horror. The best records of what happened are to be found in the neighboring county of Frederick.

( To be continued.)

Archives Month Celebration October 26, 2013

Monday, October 14, 2013

EWGS Invites Cyndi Ingle for 2015

Now known by her maiden name (since her divorce), Cyndi Ingle gave a wonderful presentation last weekend in Sumner, Washington, at the Heritage Quest Research Library's AutumnQuest. She took over an hour to explain and teach us CyndisList 2.0........ all the new updates, changes and re-vamps. And it is still all hers; all 300,000+ links are verified, added and checked by her alone. Whew! What a great job she does.

Best of all, she verbally promised to me that she would come to EWGS in 2015!! She's never been to Eastern Washington and said eagerly that she would come. Assuming that the Board and membership would want her to come???

Cyndis List ( ) is "a categorized and cross-referenced index to genealogical resources on the Internet." Telling by example of how up-to-date she keeps her list, she told how she'd recently added an "Antarctica" and a "Schwenkfelder (a church group) category to her list. And yes, there are links at the Antarctica site.....there are folks buried in Antarctica, did you know?

I have a dual recommendation: check out, use and benefit from CyndisList and stay tuned to the EWGS calendar for when Cyndi comes in 2015.

Monday, October 7, 2013

EWGS Fall Workshop A Success!

A goodly and excited crowd attended the EWGS Annual Fall Workshop and were taught by wonderful speakers and presenters:  Barbara B., Paul Manly (Hillyard Evergreen Cemetery), Cheri Casper (Daughters of the Union Veterans), Dolly W., Paula Davis (Heritage Funeral Home), and Dani Lee M. If you were unable to be there, you missed a great day. Shirley O. was our lunchtime entertainment and she had us laughing and spitting cookie crumbs!

We opened the day with Dani Lee M. recognizing the winners of our recent writing contest; again, Lois T. took first prize for the narrative of her scoundrel ancestor. Her prize was a $100 gift certificate to the MAC Museum Bookstore. Way to go, Lois! (We hope YOU will participate in our next writing contest.)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

October 2013 Workshop What You Missed

This October workshop consisted of six half hour sessions, a pot luck dinner and a very quick board meeting. Note you can click on any of the photos for a bigger picture.
First was the presentation of the winners of the writing contest, and only Lois Thomason was the only one present and she won first prize.

Next was Shirley Penna-Oakes with some announcements.

Barbara Brazington started our with her session on the definition of genealogy and how to get started recording your ancestors.

Paul Manley talked about the Evergreen Cemetery how it came about, who is buried there, and what they want to do to keep it cleaned up and a functioning cemetery.

Cheri Casper talked about the Daughters of Civil War Veterans and the
 Lisabeth A. Turner Tent #4

Next was the board meeting, and a very good pot luck dinner, with a very funny
Shirley Penna-Oakes telling about her Farr ancestors. 

After lunch Paula Davis from Heritage Funeral Home talked
about writing your own obituary before it is too late.

Dolly Webb showed her half life story volume 1, and if you missed this story you missed a lot.
Ask her sometime about her brother trying to kill her.

Last was Dani Lee McGowan on digitizing your genealogy records, photos, etc.