Friday, April 17, 2009

Factual Friday

This is a picture of someone's boat hitched up in the shallow water surrounding West Point, which is about 35 miles from Mathews. This boat looks almost identical to one from my teen years. Although I felt like wading out to see if I could get 'er started, I refrained because, well, theft and all. Not to mention I didn't have a key, which this particular rig requires. (If it were just the outboard, and if the battery and a gas line were all hooked up, sure. But with this particular number we need a key. Or a key would be quicker. Not that I'm plotting to steal a boat or anything, for goodness sakes.)

The Mathews County Soil Survey from November 1962, which I've quoted here before, is rife with interesting facts even if some of them are artifacts. Below is another excerpt from this fascinating sleep aid publication.

Let's begin.

"...What is now Mathews County was once inhabited by the Chiskiake Indians, who called the area Werewocomico. The first white settlers probably arrived in the middle 1600's.

Originally the present Mathews and Gloucester Counties were part of York County. Later, Gloucester County was formed and was divided into four districts or parishes. In about 1790 Kingston, one of the four parishes, was established as Mathews County. The colonial courthouse was built in the town of Mathews in 1792.

Hesse, a plantation established by land grant in about 1643, is located less than two miles from Chesapeake Bay Woman's house but she's not allowed down there along Milford Haven across from Gwynn's Island. Judith Armstead, an ancestress of General Robert E. Lee, lived at Hesse. Poplar Grove, on the East River south of the courthouse at Mathews, was a land grant from George III of England to Samuel Williams and son. It was once the home of Captain Sally Thompkins, a nurse during the Civil War and the only woman commissioned by the Confederacy."

Chesapeake Bay Woman Again Much to Your Chagrin .

Seriously, Hesse plantation, is not that far from where we live, yet the farthest I've been down the Miles-Long Driveway was about halfway down and that was while riding with one of the groundskeepers back in high school, which is another story for another day.

Ancestress? That may be my new favorite word, it sounds so elegant. Regal even.

I'm the ancestress of procrastination. See what I mean? It even makes procrastination sound good.

Speaking of ancestors, where did yours come from and do you have any famous, infamous or otherwise noteworthy people swinging from your familiy tree? Because you know that Wayne Newton is my distant cousin in case you haven't read it here 400 times already.


Grandma J said...

Believe me, there are some things left unsaid when I shake some of my family tree's branches.

Why of course you are familiar with all the ancient fruits and nuts hanging off of my family tree. I've taken you all the way back to the 1630 in CT, and of course to the chain gang at Leavenworth.

The only honor I have is being a DAR. Yeah, that's a blast that none of my girls give a hoot about.

With all that, I can't drive a boat.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

GJ - I'm convinced everyone has some skeletons that come dropping out when we shake those branches. Some of us don't even have to shake very hard, we just blow a puff of air and there they are.

You do have a fascinating family history. Never knew you were a Daughter. They take that pretty seriously around here, or they used to anyway.

IT'S FRIDAY! It's also Grandparents Day at school (moan, half a day shot) and tomorrow is Lacrosse Marathon in Williamsburg (groan, entire day shot)but by golly it's FRIDAY. A sunny Friday at that. Hallelujah.

Mental P Mama said...

Does Burl Ives count?

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

MPM - Absolutely. Do you have an inexplicable urge to break out into a rendition of Frosty the Snowman? Cuz now I do. Perhaps with some Wayne Newton flair.

big hair envy said...

There are no famous people in my family. The county tried to keep us corralled to avoid embarassment.

Daryl said...

I have no famous relatives tho Fatty Arbuckle sold a dog to a cousin of my father .. does that count?

foolery said...

My family tree is more a series of small, untidy and mostly separate sprawling shrubs -- perhaps it's the Family Kudzu. Rats and other vermin live in it.

I'm trying to get my little brother to become a celebrity chef, but he won't do it. I could then be a chef groupie and gain 150 pounds in a summer. The benefits to me would be staggering.

mmm said...


Wading out to that boat would be a chilly proposition.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

BHE - I understand completely, perhaps too well. We probably have kinfolk, but let's laugh nervously and never mention it again.

Daryl - Yes. But something tells me there are fewer degrees of separation between you and a famous/infamous person, and that's based strictly on intuition, which I tend to use more than I should. (But it's usually correct.) Can't wait to meet you in July.

Foolery, I hope those benefits extend to your blogworld friends. We love a good meal. And when I say "we" I am talking exclusively about "me."

MMM - Perhaps, but adrenaline would get me to the boat, the water is shallow after all. It would be the boat ride in the cold wind that would be unbearable. I never thought it through that far, I was always contemplating the escape. I could do the escape.

Friday night with no prospect of an alarm clock in the morning is one of the greatest gifts I know of. Of which I know. Of.

Annie said...

well, I have a that anyone famous?

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Annie - YES, and please tell us the story.

Pat - Arkansas said...

I dropped in here from Tombstone Annie's place. Love it.

My mama told me that one of my ancestors was the first man hanged for horse/cattle rustling in North Carolina (1700's, I think). Guess he's a relative that's really "hanging from a tree."