Saturday, April 17, 2010

“Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.” Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914). In a nutshell, Abrose Bierce was famous in his day as a writer and journalist. He most successfully wrote about war and ended up in his early 70’s doing such and disappearing in Mexico. He wasn’t well liked or critiqued otherwise, but it is said his critique could make or break an upcoming writer. He was known as “Bitter Bierce.” He had a horrible home-life – divorced his wife after six years of separation, she died a year later; and two of his three children died (childless) before him ­– one son shot in a brawl and the other died of pneumonia complications related to alcoholism. He did enjoy a successful eight-year working stint, about the time he split from his wife, living in San Francisco and writing for the William Randolph Hearst newspapers. You remember “yellow journalism,” I imagine.

Here’s the skinny on Ambrose Bierce as your “relative” relative (if you’re my relative), keeping in mind that records conflict and proof positive is hard to come by the further back you get. The trail seems relatively solid until you get back to the late 1600’s and a few questions arise about the “Experiences.” Read on. Eat an apple – it will help you concentrate. And if you learn nothing more, do what you need to so that no one ever accuses you of taking after “Bitter Bierce.”

(But right up [relatively] front, I want to point out that Lois has already done this research. She had a 2005 Rawlinson family reunion around the theme of possibly being related to pilgrims, and she gave each family the novel, The Mayflower Secret by Dave and Neta Jackson.

Neil Fugal was begat (1913) by Viola Young,

who was begat (1888) by Louisa Ellis Adamson,

who was begat (1863) by Esther Eunice Ogilvie,

who was begat (1832) by George Ogilvie,

who was begat (1804) by Ellis Egerton,

who was begat (1770) by Hezekiah Egerton of Plymouth.

Hezekiah Egerton was begat (1729) by Dennis Egerton and Experience Bearce.

Experience Bearce was begat (circa 1692) by James Bearce and Experience Howland.

Experience Howland was begat (1668) by John Howland.

John Howland was begat (1627) by John Howland Sr.

John Howland Sr. (begat circa 1599) is the pilgrim, a manservant to the governor and came to Plymouth at age 21. His future wife was also on the Mayflower, age 13, Elizabeth Tilley (circa 1607). Her parents died the first winter and she married John Howland at age 15.

Ambrose (b. 1842) had 12 siblings, all first names started with A. His mother was a descendant of the pilgrim William Bradford (the governor). His father Marcus Aurelius Bierce was begat (1799) by William Bierce. William was begat (1753) by Hezekiah Bierce who was begat (1730) by James Bierce (who was begat (1688) by James Bierce Sr.

So. We cross paths with Ambrose via James Bearce Sr. and Experience Howland, he via their son James Jr. (1688), we via their daughter Experience (1692) who purportedly married Dennis Egerton.

We can therefore (if proven) consider ourselves descended from pilgrim John Howland and pilgrim Elizabeth Tilley.

We are also (if proven) descended from Augustine Bearce (1618), the father of James Bearce Sr. (1660 ­– 11th and last child); however, Augustine came on the last arrival of the second Mayflower in 1639 (first Mayflower arrived in 1620). (The second Mayflower came in 1630, 1633, 1634, 1639, and sank on the next trip in 1642 with 140 passengers on board.) We don’t know the name of the mother(s) of these 11 children. Some claim an Indian princess and that Augustine was a romany (gypsy) but according to some, including a very well documented website referencing a ton of sources, both of those claims are incorrect. (

[On the other hand, I must point out that he discredits the claim largely because of a court document, and there are numerous (claimed) descendants who state their proof came down through the generations long before they ever heard of this court document.]

There is a book, by the way, that one would think contains the proof we need as to the pilgrim connection. Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, Vol 2: John and Elizabeth Howland’s Son John, for Five Generations. I emailed a person who has it, looked, and couldn’t find mention of whom either Experience-mom or Experience-daughter married (which seemed odd given the “for Five Generations” as part of the title). Continuing to research I did find a source which typed up exactly what appears in the book, and what is written in the book is exactly what she said, that the name Experience was considered a man’s name up until the 1830’s and that no primary proof has ever been provided. [Even so, I beg to differ as to gender. Just as femme as Temperance, Mercy, Thankful, Consider, Faith, Hope and Charity, though there does exist a male Experience here and there. In just my looking for ours and finding those below, I found one (only one). In addition, if it’s such an odd and/or masculine name, why are there more female Experiences sprinkled among the Howland and Bierce relatives? i.e., Experience Hamblen (3) circa 1674, 1704 & 1776; Experience Bearce 1684, dau. of Abigail dau. of Au(gus)stin(e) Bearce of Barnstable; Experience Egerton Howland 1725, Dennis’s dau. who married her cousin, a descendant of Mayflower John Howland’s brother. It wouldn’t be because it’s a popular name, even back then. Researchers claim even Puritan used such ‘virtue’ names only once out of six, but did use biblical names heavily (Mary, John).]

[This book is considered primary proof of lineage for those wanting to be approved as a member of the Mayflower Society. I went through the Mayflower archives from now, backwards for as long I could stand, and found no accepted PSes as to the Experience issue.]

I found an email online from a person who has this same book and told the inquirer the same thing, to which the inquirer responded:

Subject: Barss/Bearse

Date: Sat, 7 Apr 2001 23:39:10


Thanks for the info... but...according to

"Genealogy - Boston and Eastern Massachusetts", William Richard Cutter, A.M., Lewis Historical Publishing Company, New York, 1908, vol 3, pg. 1294” and "A Contribution to the Genealogy of the Bearse or Bearss Family in America 1618-1871", printed 1871, Ancestry and Descendants of Dea. John Bearss and his Wife, Molly (Beardsley) Bearss, of New Fairfield, CT., and Westmoreland, N.Y. written by John Bearss Newcomb of Elgin, Illinois, and published by Gazette Printing Co., Elgin Illinois Dec., 7, 1871…

Experience Howland married James Bearce in 1683...

Of course the Mayflower Society knows it all too... I have a gravestone with my great great grandmother's name on it - but they aren't sure she died. I assured them that she had.

Respectfully, Steps In It

(I emailed this person and asked what it says on the tombstone - no response, but I didn’t get a reject message either.)

The oldest authoritative thing I can find which fills in most of the questionable blanks, is the book “Steps In It” references and is online, Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts, Vol. 3, compiled by William Richard Cutter and printed in 1908* (ISBN: 9781143645297).,+1660&source=bl&ots=kTy91Zb08n&sig=RFSlu5GltFmp7dTGlbVWlFKSbbE&hl=en&ei=mvG7S7DoB5m0tgPxqbl-&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=James%20Bearce%2C%201660&f=false

Page 1294 states that James Bearce (Sr.) was the youngest child of Austin (Augustine) Bearce (1618-1697), born July 1660, died in Plympton (now Halifax, and not an alternate spelling of Plymouth as some have said) 1728. Mother unnamed (generally accepted by some that her first name was Mary). All the children were born in Plympton. Owned property in Barnstable before moving to Plympton. He married “Experience _____” in 1683, and their daughter Experience married Dennis Egerton in 1719. Which all fits with the above and gives credence to the pilgrim connection. [*Another odd reason, predating 1930, for the so-called official claim that Experience is a man’s name.]

The second source that "Steps in It" references (above, published 1871) is also online and can be word searched. It does NOT, however, contain the words "Experience" nor "Howland". It follows the genealogy of Joseph, a brother of "our" James. Which means she was 1) confused and added the second source in error (which I must tell you is VERY easy to do, even if you are considered an effective researcher!), 2) fabricating, 3) someone else ID'd this information incorrectly for her (happens all the time!), or 4) the online version isn't the same version.

I had to “join” to get to view the official Bearce ancestry page. Experience Howland and Experience Bearce are their story and they’re sticking to it. Interestingly, they have data on our connection down to George Beyers Ogilvie but nobody had submitted family groups further down than that. What they have of ours was provided late 2008. (If you would like to join [free]:

If we ARE connected, we are as “related” to Joseph Smith as we are to Ambrose Bierce! (John and Elizabeth Tilley, parents of John Howland who married Mary Lee: our line comes through their daughter Experience, b. 1688 [James Bearce Sr.], Joseph Smith’s through Experience’s sister Hannah Howland, b. 1661.) We could go to a John Howland Jr. and Mary Lee reunion and circulate among our Smith cousins! Or a John Howland Sr. and Elizabeth Tilley pilgrim reunion bash and hobnob with our Smith cousins!

*pictures are public domain*

(If any of you become genealogy nut cases and learn more, please let the rest of us know!)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

In honor of Jalisco Mexico, largest city Guadalajara, I am eating my favorite treat today, Mexican wedding cookies! Ummmm. I've been indexing Jalisco. In the more remote areas, its people "speak" Aztec. They (the cookies) come and go at the area grocery store bakeries. Just long enough to get me hooked, and they disappear. Which isn't a bad thing.

Dawned on me that I should do okay indexing Mexico, considering all the illegal aliens we have in Provo School District whose names I type daily. (There are a few who are citizens, but very few.) There are almost 2,000 Hispanic students in the district (Provo city). (A lot more are citizens than their parents, because they're born here. We see a lot of families now, the elementary students are on welfare but their secondary siblings are not. It has become so common, the feds have had to address this in how I process an application [up until this year I had to keep them separate].) I've done 450 Jalisco names so far (indexing). Only one set (50), I wished I'd let a Spanish-speaker tackle because the handwriting was so faded I had a hard time guessing. So in future I'm going to check that section first and send it back rather than butcher another one.

It also dawns on me that I’m absolutely and unabashedly wrong. Referencing my last blog, my sense of humor is NOT getting weirder, other than perhaps my lack of restrain in sharing it. So I’ll confess and then we’ll never speak of it again.

Back in my teens I composed a verse to a song while on a school bus taking us home from one of the away basketball games. It was much more fun IMO than the rest of the trip.

[I did check it out - it was my sophomore year, the year PGHS finished first place in the State Class B high school basketball tournament, the only state win the years I was there.]

Someone started the song, and then we sang it together, and then someone else added the next verse. I can’t remember how many verses we dreamed up and I can’t remember much of the beginning other than it started “I’m a villain, a dirty rotten villain” and the last of that verse ended with “and I beat little kids on the head ‘til they’re dead.” The missing words made the last line a laughter crack-up, trust me (as opposed to belonging in the behavior crack-up family of setting fires and drowning cats). But granted, I’m sure, definitely on the weirder end of what might qualify as humor.

My verse begins: “I have gotten a rep for being rotten, I put poison in my mother’s shredded wheat, her wheat.”

And ends: “I’m a slob and a member of the mob, and I eat (sucking through teeth noise) raw (s.n.) meat (s.n./s.n.).”

[The sheet music's not quite right, but it’ll do. Not that I don’t know how to count, but the free “easy composer,” though definitely fun to figure out, wasn’t exactly Mac-ish in selecting all the correct clicks at all the right delineations. (If any of you compose and want the free software, as a layman I can recommend it.) It also made midi's for me which was fun, but I gave up figuring out how to insert them. Found plenty of info on how to do it, but none of it actually worked. (Also found plenty of people complaining about it. J) Linking worked, but not what I had in mind. Which makes me think - what computer language IS used in bloggerworld? Basic? Unix? Pascal? Linux? Fortran? Not that in my case knowing would amount to a hill of beans.]

When I did Cub Scouts I used it as a theme song for my little group. The tune that is. Cleaned up the words of course but kept enough “normal” humor in it that they didn’t mind singing it. Something about Eagles? (our den name) and fun stuff. We were supposed to be two-deep clear back then, but I liked it when my assistant bailed. No, not so I could teach them iffy songs ­– so I didn’t have to worry about my lack of discipline being reported! There was no keeping them dry or clean IMO, and they made some fun memories as a result. [Cub song found/posted 7/18/10.]

Monday, April 5, 2010

I have such a weird sense of humor and it's getting weirder. Not that I'm totally strange, though I suppose it's possible to BE weird yet enjoy GOOD humor.
CYou should check out the meanest mom. If you are one. Or ever were. Or would like to be. Or gave birth to one. Or married one. Or fathered one. (Or if you have one, it might not be as funny but should give you comfort!)J

I just had half a dozen good chuckles reading her blog. And when you live alone and laugh out loud it's a good thing. And given the volume of comments her blog gets, you don't need my word for it – it HAS to be good.
(the meanest mom).
FI put her on my favorite links.

P.S. - The Chicken Foot (Best of) is #1 in my book. So far.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

It's Easter. About time to turn on conference. I'm celebrating by writing in my journal for the first time this year, and eating GOOD chocolate (a gift). J

Well, celebrating in the secular sense. And conference will help me celebrate in the true sense.

I went down for Hayden’s birthday. Bought a new car about a month before. I was going to save up several more thousand before I went shopping, but found out Kia was having a $3,500 rebate. Had decided I wanted to move up one level, so I could get bigger tires and other features making a car a little more road-worthy. (I’d love to drive to Houston once while Grant and Ruth are there. But probably won’t. Driving alone that far I’d actually enjoy, now I’ve learned how to combat the inherited Fugal sleepiness, but I’m guessing it would freak out both Jewel and Grant!)

Bought a 2009 Optima with 11 miles on it. I love it. It’s only drawback is under-market resale but I don’t intend to resell it. It gets as good gas mileage as my littler Spectra, ≈30. Got a relatively good trade-in on my old one since I’m a repeat customer, and will be again in 10-ish years should I still be "kicking."

The safety features have improved so much in the last eight-ish years my insurance hardly went up! Well, and it probably helps re parts availability that Kia is now owned by Hyundai and has a manufacturing plant here. And that it involves South rather than North Korea. J I’ve always liked their mechanics. I also liked and will continue to appreciate the great warranty and the free rescue service for the first five years. And Sirius. J

May end up buying the satellite radio service once the free three months expires. I can’t justify it, but I’ll blame it on Jewel. J She and Johnny have all that fancy stuff and being down there for a week pretty much hooked me on FoxNews. J

And getting it on Sirius is WAY cheaper than via TV. At first, before being “introduced” to Shep Smith et al., I thought, well the best part is oldies music and I can buy five CD’s of it for my changer which would soon be cheaper than a monthly fee. I also watch local TV news while I’m getting ready for work. Then going out to the car I can promise you that FoxNew is way more up to speed on national news (with or without any bias factor!). I'm serious!