Early Terminology Used in Colonial America.

I found the following terminology rather interesting in understanding life in the Colonial Days.

Ancient Planter-  Someone who came to Virginia prior to Sir Thomas Dale’s May 1616 departure and had lived in the colony for at least three years when applying for a patent.  Ancient planters were eligible for 100 acres of land and had a few other privileges.

Escheat:  the revision of land to the Crown or other granting party (in the case of Proprietary territories) when a patentee failed to leave heirs or was found guilty of a major crime.

Established Church:  The Anglican Church, which was the Virginia colony’s state church until the time of the American Revolution.

First (1st) Supply:  the first group of new colonists to arrive in Jamestown after the initial establishment of settlement.  They landed in January 1608.

Freedom Dues:  the allotment of corn and clothes usually provided to a newly freed servant who had completed his/her agreed upon term of service.

Headright:  an entitlement of 50 acres of land, awarded to someone who paid for his own (or another person’s) transportation to Virginia.

Hundreds:  a seventeenth century term used in reference to a large plantation .  Prior to the formation of county government, the leaders of Hundreds were authorized to settle petty disputes and perform other functions associated with leadership.

Indentured Servant: a person of either sex who agreed to work for a specific amount of time in exchange for transportation, food, shelter, and clothing. A guardian could sign a contract on a minor child’s behalf.

Old Style and New Style Calendar Dates:  An Old Style, or Julian Calendar was in general use in England until 1752.  With the Old Style Calendar, March 25th was the first day of the new year. (New Year’s Day).

Parish: The geographic area served by a church.

Plant: to clear, develop or settle upon unclaimed or vacant land, a requirement for validating one’s title, synonymous with seat.

Tobacco Note:  a certificate obtained from a tobacco inspector certifying that an individual had available a certain number of hogsheads of saleable tobacco. Tobacco notes were used as a medium of exchange, much like currency.

Vestry:  A small committee of elected church official’s who were responsible for overseeing the business of their parish.  Colonial vestries, always male, were responsible for maintaining church property, and during the early seventeenth century, for seeing that moral laws were enforced.  Vestrymen also were responsible for public welfare.

McCartney, Martha W. “Jamestown People to 1800, Landowners, Public officials, Minorities and Native Leaders,  Genealogical Publishing Company,  Maryland (2012)

My Heart For Kentucky

Breathitt County Map

From the very first conversation I ever had with my Nanny about Kentucky and the “mountain people” of my kinfolk as she called it. I have always been fascinated with the beauty and stories of Southeastern Kentucky.

I guess knowing that I had such a huge family of earlier settlers in that area, brings the local area to a special place in my heart. The small counties of Breathitt, Jackson, Leslie, Clay and surrounding area’s are filled with the stories of the  Bolling//Bowling, Spicer’s, Bakers, Amis, Cornett, Sizemore, Pennington and many, many more surnames.

I am reading an amazing book now, written by Jess Wilson. “When They Hanged the Fiddler”. I thought when I bought it that it was merely the story of one of my ancestors, Isaac Callahan who was hung for the murder of David Newberry in 1817. The book is full of stories from local folks in the surrounding area’s and towns of Kentucky.

I find myself researching in this area a lot. I love maps, data, census records and especially photos of both people and places.


New Trends in Teaching

time and talent pic

Educators are being challenged by several problems involving the method in which they are teaching children in the 21st Century.  The Information Technology era has inundated the public schools by   tasking them to develop new and improved ways to keep up with all the data and information that has been made available due to the Internet and other media sources.

This generation of students is in a time of rapid learning and exchange of Information and Data, so much faster than even one decade before them. I remember when I was in school if we were assigned a research paper, you went to the local library and used the old card catalog box to look up your books needed and then used the Encyclopedia’s at the library. Research paper writing entailed an all day trip to the library, not anymore!

One thing that has not changed is that “reading is the window to the world.” It is the foundational skill for learning, personal growth, and enjoyment.[1]

“The degree to which students can read and understand text in all formats (e.g., pictures, video, and print) and all contexts is a key indicator of success in school and in life.  As a lifelong learning skill, reading goes beyond decoding and comprehension to interpretation and development of new understandings.”

The problem that we are facing in the education arena is that schools are behind in this learning concept. While this method of teaching is being introduced by the Educators, the individual states and Dept of Education has not changed their curriculum to embrace the needs of our students.

The art of teaching has even changed from “back in the day when teachers could really teach” to the era of standardized testing. We seem to have gotten into the method of “memorize and dump” of data to ensure the passing of the SOL testing. (Standards of Learning)

As a teacher I can tell you teaching is hard work! Due to budget cuts, reduced spending, often teachers are left to teach with restricted resources, limited staffing, and ridiculously low wages.

The positive aspect to all this is that we are aware of the trends and statistics of the changing world of education.   The change from teaching traditional research methods over to the newer Guided Inquiry methods is happening. “The ability of our students to draw on the knowledge and wisdom of the past while using the technology of the present to advance new discoveries for the future are being implanted.”[2]

In conclusion, we have students graduating everyday entering the “real world”, while we are behind for them, we are working to prepare our students to think for themselves, make good decisions, develop expertise and implement lifelong learning skills.

[1] American Association of School Librarians, Standards for the 21st Century Learner.

[2]  Ibis



Jeremiah Bolling of Wise County, Virginia

I found this post tonight, I do not remember the author but I am assuming it came from Wise County Virginia Historical Society, but thought It was interesting.
R.S. Hubbard of the same county came personally before me, Jeremiah Boling, a Justice of the said county on this the 18th day of May, 1870 & made complaint on oath that Amos Boling did on the __ th day of April 1870 in the said county declare & threaten that he would haul away his fence & tear it down by reason whereof he this complainant is afraid & has good cause to fear that the said Amos Boling will do him some injury to his property & therefore prays he may be required to keep the peace & be of good behaviour towards him & this R.S. Hubbard also says on oath that he does not make the complaint against this Amos Boling nor require such surety from any hatred malice or ill will but merely for the preservation of his property from injury.              
Signed: R.S. Hubbard
Sworn to before me 
_ Jeremiah Bolling J.P.
This document was found in an old metal deed box located by Owen and Guy Bolling when they tore down an old log building on the property of Rueben Bolling, on Phillips Creek near Flat Gap, Wise County, Virginia.  The log building was most likely the home occupied by the Jeremiah Bolling Jr. family and his parents, Jeremiah and Sarah Ward Bolling.  The deed box contained documents, tax receipts,  sheets  of paper where the children had practiced their school work and other personel papers that had belonged to Jeremiah Bolling Sr. and Jeremiah Bolling Jr., thus proving that this was the homeplace of the afore mentioned Bollings and the box had been hidden in between the logs and forgotten about for many years.
submitted by Nancy Clark Brown
Wise County, Virginia