Remembering Our Ancestors: William Andrews

William came with the company of Rev. Thomas Hooker to the colonies in 1624 and started the Andrews family of (what was to become) Hartford, CT.

1595 and London, England:  That should bring at least two things to mind, Shakespeare and the Black Death.  I guess some people think London was plagued by both – not I!

Regardless, our ancestors where there, in and around London during Shakespeare’s time, and surely they were bothered by the plague, among them our 12th and 13th great-grandfather William Andrews who was born in that year, 1595.  19 years later, however, we find our dear William quite far away from London, in the company of Thomas Hooker (as depicted in Frederic Edwin Church’s painting that you see featured, slightly cropped) in the colonies far west of England, and on their way to what would become Hartford, Connecticut.  William Andrews was one of the founders of that town.

founders monument
Founder’s Monument Ancient Cemetery Hartford, Ct

William married in the New World, as far as we know, and sources differ whether he was married once or twice.  It is pretty sure that he married Abigail Graves in 1632, the year our 11th and 12th great-grandfather John Andrews was born also.  Some sources say William also married Mary Savage (which would have been in the old world) and there is conflicting information because they, too, had a son called John, albeit born a good bit before ‘our’ John.  Chances are more than one William Andrews lived in London at the time, and possibly even made it to the colonies before 1700.

Our William and Abigail had eight children together, if we are correctly informed, firmly establishing the Andrews clan in the Hartford area where they stayed for many generations, until the early 19th century.  We have already portrayed several members of this branch of the family; they must have been an interesting and rather hardy bunch.  Eventually, the Andrews branch of our family tree joins the Christman branch with our (2nd) great-grandparents Dallas Christman and Alice Andrews.

William Andrews passed on at the age of 64, on 3 August 1659, this past week 361 years ago.  His wife Abigail lived on for 22 more years, and as far as we know, she married again, one Nathaniel Bearding.

Requiescat in Pace, Great-Grandpa Andrews.  We do not know where exactly they have laid you to rest, but it is believed than you lie in the Ancient Cemetery in Hartford where the above monument bears your name along with those of other founders.

founders bridge plaque
THE FOUNDERS BRIDGE: This plaque and a second one commemorate the men and women who traveled there in 1636 with the Rev. Thomas Hooker to found the City of Hartford.

Herbal Household Remedies: Mint

Most plants of the mint family have a wonderful fragrance and can be used in various ways. Check out this link to find out more.

Here is an interesting article on the OFA‘s website about mint and its uses.  If you have some in your yard, you know just how prolific all the mint family plants are.  Make use of them instead of fighting them as ‘weeds’!

12 USES FOR MINT LEAVES FROM HEALTH TO HOME

How do you use extra mint leaves? Here are 12 marvelous uses for mint around the home and garden—from culinary to medicinal to mouthwash to bug repellent!

mint_ice_cubes_full_width
All images on this post are straight from the article we are linking to, only slightly edited

Classical Sunday: Listen to the Cardinals

One more concert of the natural kind. 

Listen to our northern cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis) singing in the woods.

 

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Trillium. This one is most likely going to be white. We’ll see in a little while.

Link: Harbinger of Spring Look-Alikes: Dead Nettle & Henbit — The Herb Society of America Blog

Dead Nettle is just beginning to take off in the yard. Have a look at this great post about uses of it!

By Susan Belsinger

The first spring wildflowers, herbs, and weeds are popping out all over. Two that frequently appear together are both members of the mint family, Lamiaceae: dead nettle (Lamium purpureum) and henbit (Lamium amplexicaule).

via Harbinger of Spring Look-Alikes: Dead Nettle & Henbit — The Herb Society of America Blog

Disclaimer: The author of this blog is not an medical professional, nutritionist, or dietitian. Content on this website is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to substitute for legal or medical advice, or medical treatment or diagnosis. Consult your health care provider if you are experiencing any symptoms and before using any herbal product or beginning a new health regimen. When wildcrafting or foraging for plants, do so ethically; be accompanied by an expert; and always have absolute certainty of plant identification before using or consuming any herbs. By using any or all of this information, you do so at your own risk. Any application of the material provided is at the reader’s discretion and is his or her sole responsibility.

Poesie: Wordsworth’s Daffodils

Cherish your memories.

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

~ William Wordsworth

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Not exactly a host of daffodils, but enough to remind us of Wordsworth’s well-known poem.  Methinks it’s message is really rather relevant in this day and age.

Herbal Household Remedies: Poultices

Our forefathers and -mothers knew full well how to use Mother Nature’s medicine cabinet.

A poultice is a raw or mashed herb applied directly to the skin, dry or wet.  Some herbs, grains or vegetables are better encased in a clean cloth before applying them.

Poultices are used to heal bruises, break up congestion, reduce inflammation, withdraw pus from putrid sores, soothe abrasions, or withdraw toxins from an area.  They may be applied hot or cold, depending on the health need.  Cold poultices and compresses are used to withdraw the heat from an inflamed or congested area, hot poultices to relax spasms and for some pains.

Here is a list of a few effective poultices that use either common kitchen items, kitchen herbs or weeds that can be picked just about anywhere.  If you research poultices a little, you will find that there are many more fairly common herbs that work well for poultices, so this list is really just an appetizer, so to speak.

garlic

Garlic: Known for its antibacterial action and drawing power.  Use it grated or boiled, added to milk and softened bread.  Apply bread as a compress to soak out poison or pus.

Marjoram: For liniment, use equal amounts of marjoram, thyme and olive oil for back ache, arthritis, sprain, muscle sores, bruises, rheumatism and the like. For a sore throat, a folded cloth dipped in a strong brew of marjoram and wrapped around the throat can relieve the soreness. (The featured image shows marjoram.)

Oatmeal: Apply hot, cooked oatmeal, encased in a clean soft cotton cloth, to relieve inflammation or help withdraw foreign objects.  Use for stings and bites.  It can be applied directly to the skin as well.

Plantain: Plantains is a common green weed.  Learn to recognize it, as it is invaluable in first aid medicine.  Apply mashed or crushed form on a cut, swollen sore or running sore, and wrap around finger for whitlow; attach with any clean cloth or bandage.  Throw away the pulp when it gets hot and apply fresh plantain to the wound.

plantain

Vinegar: Vinegar made from either blackberries, grapes or apples has a very healing effect on sprains, strains, sore throat, swollen glands and aching muscles.  Dip a folded cloth into such vinegar and apply to the body.  Attach with a clean bandage.  Fore sore throat, make a ‘double compress’:  First dip folded neck cloth into the vinegar and wring out.  Apply and pin so that no air enters.  Then take slightly larger woolen cloth or large wool sock and pin it over the first, wet bandage.  Make sure no air enters.  Fairly soon the throat will heat up from within, and the pain and congestion will be alleviated.


 

Disclaimer: The author is not an medical professional, nutritionist, or dietitian. Content on this website is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to substitute for legal or medical advice, or medical treatment or diagnosis. Consult your health care provider if you are experiencing any symptoms and before using any herbal product or beginning a new health regimen. When wildcrafting or foraging for plants, do so ethically; be accompanied by an expert; and always have absolute certainty of plant identification before using or consuming any herbs. By using any or all of this information, you do so at your own risk. Any application of the material provided is at the reader’s discretion and is his or her sole responsibility.

Our Own Dear John Ronald: Old Customs

“What’s wrong with the old customs?”

The first of Sam and Rosie’s children was born on the 25th of March, a date that Sam noted.
‘Well, Mr. Frodo,’ he said.  ‘I’m in a bit of a fix.  Rose and me had settled to call him Frodo, with your leave; but its’ not HIM, it’s HER.  Though as pretty a maidchild as anyone could hope for, taking after Rose more than me, luckily.  So we don’t know what to do.’
‘Well, Sam,’ said Frodo, ‘what’s wrong with the old customs?  Choose a flower name like Rose.  Half the maidchildren in the Shire are called by such names, and what could be better?’
‘I suppose you’re right, Mr. Frodo,’ said Sam.  ‘I’ve heard some beautiful names on my travels, but I suppose they’re a bit too grand for daily wear and tear, as you might say.  The Gaffer, he says: “Make it short, and then you won’t have to cut it short before you can use it.”  But if it’s to be a flower name, then I don’t trouble about the length: it must be a beautiful flower, because, you see, I think she is very beautiful, and is going to be beautifuller still.’
Frodo thought for a moment.  ‘Well, Sam, what about ELANOR, the sun-star, you remember the little golden flower in the grass of Lothlórien?’
‘You’re right again, Mr. Frodo!’ said Sam delighted.  ‘That’s what I wanted.’

J.R.R. Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings

What indeed?

elanor.jpeg

Herbal Household Remedies: Stinging Nettle

“Tender-handed stroke a nettle, / And it stings you for your pains. / Grasp it like a man of mettle, / And it soft as silk remains.” (Aaron Hill, 1685 – 1750)

Now is not the best time to write about herbs and what to do with them, at least not in our hemisphere:  The six darkest weeks of the year are upon us.

But there are still some herbs that grow in the winter, at least as long as the ground isn’t covered in snow, and one of them is the nettle (Urtica dioica).

Nettles are another one of these herbs mentioned very early on in written medical history.  Apollodorus, who was mentioned by Pliny the Elder and lived in the 3rd century BC, recommended it as a counterpoison to henbane and the bites of serpents and scorpions  Nicander, who probably lived around the 2nd century BC, said nettles were an antidote against the venomous qualities of hemlock, toadstools and quicksilver.  Pliny the Elder, at the beginning of the Christian era, prescribed the nettle’s own juice as a cure for its sting, a remedy which is still employed today by homeopaths.  Last but not least, nettle (Old English stiðe) is one of the herbs invoked in the Anglo-Saxon Nine Herbs Charm which was recorded in the 10th century.

The nettle is one of the most highly valued in domestic medicine because it can ease so many illnesses and hurts.  Tea brewed from its dried leaves is reputed to treat gout, asthma, tuberculosis, disorders of the kidneys and the urinary and gastrointestinal tract, skin issues, problems with the cardiovascular system, hemorrhage, influenza and rheumatism, and applied externally, it heals burns.  People also make wine or beer from it.

What make nettles so valuable is their high content of vitamins A and C, iron, potassium, manganese and calcium, and the mature leaves are rich in protein, compared to other green leafy plants.  They also contain plenty of sodium and lime, and thus have traditionally been added to cattle fodder and poultry food.

We harvest the nettles in our patch predominantly for food.  Given the choice between Swiss chard, spinach and nettles, everyone here always opts for nettles.  After harvesting – we use the small, young leaves only, cut before the plant begins to flower -, you blanch them, that is, throw them in boiling water for a few minutes, then drain, chop, and cook like you would Swiss chard or spinach, with a little butter or olive oil.  Adding onion tastes good as well, and some people like to add a little heavy cream as well, after the leaves are soft and do not boil anymore.

Incidentally:  Where nettles grow, the soil is good.  They also attract beneficial insects.  So think for a moment before you consider the nettles in your own yard ‘weeds’ and employ herbicides to get rid of them.

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Urtica dioica from Thomé, Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz ,1885

Poesie: October

‘What’s your favorite color?’ – ‘October.’

October turned my maple’s leaves to gold
The most are gone now.  Here and there one lingers.
Soon these will slip from out the twig’s weak hold
Like coins between a dying miser’s fingers.

~ Thomas Bailey Aldrich

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Lemon Balm – A Very Lemony Herb

Easy to grow or hard to kill, depending on your perspective. We use it as a border plant and for tea.

By William “Bill” Varney Here are several reasons to grow lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), the lemony herb in your garden: It is an easy-to-grow, hardy perennial growing to 1 ½ – 3 feet high It has crafting, culinary, medicinal, and ornamental uses It likes full sun but will tolerate partial shade From the earliest of […]

via The Herb Society of America Blog

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