~ The pieces are all sewn together, stitched with love.........and a quilt tells a story and the story is our past ~
The Arrowood family immigrated from England to Maryland in the 1700's. They went south, eventually settling in the mountains of North Carolina. Later , some went further south, into the Piedmont of North Carolina, in search of work and a better way of life.
I am in search of my family.
I search for those that came before me, and lived their lives as best they could. I am in search of their stories, how they lived, and how they loved.
I shared this love of seeking the past with my Dad, sharing each new finding with him, the thrill in his heart intermingling with mine. I continue this search in his honor, and hope to know these people of ours when I join up with them all in heaven.
~ Steve Lewis Arrowood 1932-2008 ~
Come with me, back to a simpler time and place. A place far removed from the hectic pace of today. To a time when life was hard, but the rewards were great. When your quality of life was determined by your own sweat, your own toil, and your own ingenuity.
Would you like a glass of sweet tea? Let's sit out on the porch where we will catch the sweetly scented breeze of summertime. Maybe Grandma will fry up some of her wonderful chicken... Time slows here.
"We shape our lives not by what we carry with us, but what we leave behind."
~You live as long as you are remembered.~
"Our most treasured family heirlooms are our sweet family memories. " Author: Unknown
"But those who came before us will teach you. They will teach you from the wisdom of former generations."
Monday, February 15, 2010
Some for de bug, Some for de fly~ German Folks
The German Settlers in Lincoln County and Western North Carolina
BY JOSEPH R. NIXON
Published in 1912
I stumbled upon some interesting reading concerning our German immigrant ancestors.
I thought I would share some of it with you.
The following are excerpts from this book:
“Lincoln County is situated in the hill country of the North Carolina Piedmont Belt. Furnishing a challenge to various activities, this section is abundantly favored by nature. Two rivers form a network of cooperative streams, the Catawba along the eastern boundary, and the South Fork with tributaries across the entire central portion. Nearby mountains, in splendid view, afford material aid. To the north and west are Baker's, Carpenter's, and other peaks of the South Mountains; more distant, in solemn grandeur, lies the upturned face of the Grandfather; still more distant and higher into the vault of the heavens are the purple peaks of the great Blue Ridge. To the south rising from fertile soil among other peaks is King's Mountain, on whose historic height was fought the memorable battle of the American Revolution that broke forever the power of the English Crown in America.”
“Most, of the pioneer Germans came to this section from the State of Pennsylvania. Many of them and the ancestors of the others had come to America from Germany. The migration was a result of various causes. Among the dominating motives that prompted departure from the home country were the quest of adventure, desire of freedom from political oppression, and wish to escape religious persecution.
Those seeking adventure, in number very few, became hunters and trappers. Here they chased the fox, hunted the bear, shot the wolf, and trapped the beaver.
(Must be talking about Heinrich Weidner here, don't you think?) :0)
Political oppression in Germany had resulted in desolating wars, and had cost many Germans their homes and personal rights. In America homes could be easily obtained and a man was able to have his own political code. Hence a large number of Germans had for their prime intent the desire of good homes and liberty of government. Possibly the greatest number came to America because of religious persecution. The Germans by nature are pious people and constitutionally endowed with love of freedom of conscience.
To America they came.
"The bosom of no sea swells like that of man set free; a wilderness is full of liberty."
The greater number of Germans landed in Pennsylvania; many of them, however, did not settle there. Most of the land had already been occupied and consequently was expensive to purchasers. At that early date few people dared to cross the Alleghany mountains, for purposes of settlement; so the seekers for new homes came southward. The German pioneers reached western North Carolina and began their settlement west of the great Catawba about the year 1750. As the news of cheap lands, a fertile soil, and a healthy climate was carried back, others followed.
The Germans selected fine land and settled beside a stream near a spring. The bottom land was more productive and much easier worked. The stream added to the productivity of the soil; and, in addition, furnished water for the farmer's horses, cows, sheep, hogs, and poultry.
In many German homes the German language was not entirely discarded even though English had been acquired and was used. The Germans loved their language and it was with sorrowful reluctance that they let it go. In most cases the children were taught only English. One man through whose veins flows pure German blood says his parents spoke both languages but that he never knew a word of German, and furthermore he does not like the language. Reminiscently, this German gives a conclusive reason for this aversion. He says that in childhood, when he heard his parents by the evening fireside conversing in German, his mind immediately reverted to some misconduct for he knew that they were discussing one of his youthful mistakes, and a good English whipping for him was usually the result of the German discourse.
The German farmer was a close observer.
He consulted his almanac, believed in signs, and relied on the twelve signs of the zodiac. Whether these beliefs were beneficial or not, he held tenaciously to them, and attributed part of his success to these observances. The people give less attention now to these signs than they formerly did, and most of the superstitious ideas are being forgotten.
Some of the signs and omens follow:
~ All vegetables that grow downward under the earth's surface, such as turnips, potatoes, and radishes, must be planted in the dark of the moon, in the interim of the new and full moon.
~ Vegetables that grow above the ground, such as beans, peas, and cabbage, should be planted in the light of the moon. Plant onions when the points of the moon are turned downwards; then the onion will grow large and the plant will not run into all seed and top.
~ If corn is planted when the little moon is turned down the stalks will be long and the ears large.
~ If you grind wheat in the dark of the October moon, bugs and worms will get into the flour.
~ Hang up all the horseshoes you find in the road; pick up all the pins; look at the moon in the clear; these things bring good luck.
~ Do not begin work on Friday unless you can finish it; do not look at the moon through trees; do not turn back after beginning a journey; these things bring bad luck.
A famous turnip grower living in Lincoln County seldom fails to secure a good crop. With the moon right and the soil prepared while scattering the seed he uses an incantation of virtue. When he made this known it became evident that he sowed a fourfold quantity of seed. Each time he scatters a handful of seed he repeats a line of the following:
"Some for de bug
Some for de fly
Some for de devil
And in comes I."
The early German experienced many hardships and much rigid toil; yet he found time for fun and sports. Whole-hearted in his labor, he was equally so in his amusements.
His social entertainments possessed very little, if any, of the caste system. Every one was free and at ease. Formality could not survive among these lovers of liberty. Special occasions that brought them together were quilting parties, spinning matches, corn shuckings, log rollings, and house raisings.
Such events not only afforded opportunity for free interchange of social discourse, but also furnished to participants the advantage of development in useful skill and of material gain. They strove to be the first to complete their quilts, or to shuck their allotment of the pile of corn. It wag a matter of pride and prestige to be able to hew the timbers most evenly and to raise the log houses most quickly. Amidst these contending activities, they ever indulged in pleasant discourse. The enjoyable hospitality of the homes and the feeling of freedom of every one made such events happy and delightful. These meetings were also enjoyed by the old, always hale and hearty, for they said:
“A little nonsense now and then, Is relished by the best of men."
In the good days of the old time, the distillery was an important and necessary adjunct of the farm. Liquor was plentiful and only twenty-five cents per gallon, and was regarded as almost as necessary as people of this time regard coffee and tea. The fiery fluid which they drank for health and happiness was a requisite of the domestic board, and a "tram" was a symbol of hospitality.
When the old patriarch, Derrick Ramsour, dispensed with his still, he stipulated that his sons should furnish him each year with twelve gallons of whiskey.
William Hager, who died in 1775, having made distribution of his lands and other estate and come to the allotment of his distillery, in tender and affectionate regard, briefly yet specifically said: "I leave the still for the benefit of the family whilst my wife keeps house with the children ".
The old pioneer, Henry Weidner, who discovered Henry River, now bearing his name, and who was known as " King of the Forks," devised a large estate in 1790 among his children. He enhanced the dowry of his only single daughter by this bequest: "I likewise give unto my daughter Mollie my two stills and all the still vessels."
Old Great Grandpa Weidner would be proud to hear that the NC folks are still carrying on the old "everyone needs a still" tradition...
North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement agents from Elizabeth City seized 480 quart jars of liquor it said was made by this moonshine still located next to a barn in Whitakers, N.C. Two brothers were arrested. November 2009.