Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Family Tree - Gathering the fruits of the nut trees in Ohio

Here are friends, Dexter and Karen whom I met at the Hollow Horn Bear sun dance last summer, at a Delaware County Ohio park, with some old growth deciduous trees that include oaks and hickories. While walking with them here, I noticed hickory nuts on the ground - which I soon learned from my cousin in Troy, are part of the German lineage family stories carried on through holiday sweets. A 21st Century Facebook Friend, David sent a joke about DESSERTS is STRESSED backwards. So here is to sweet and joyful memories that come up for me as I envision my ancestors sharing stories and creating new realities around the hearth and fires of 19th Century in the mid part of North America - AKA "Turtle Island"
When I visited Ohio in October, I remember driving from Louisville and the 25th MKP International Celebration to the lands of my ancestors. Crossing the Ohio River at Cincinnati what occurred to me, that my great great grandfather Eicher, Franz Eicher b Steinwenden Rheinland Pfalz 1819 married Margaret Bohlaender b Ellenbach Rheinland Pfalz 1821, married here in the Over the Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati on Aug 22, 1843. Henry had walked from Germany through Nancy France in 1833 down the Seine from near Paris through Rouen to board a three mast ship at Havre de Grace that carried him to Baltimore. He met is brother Phillip in Hagerstown and the two of them walked in 1835 with their family on the National Pike then down along the Little Miami thence through Bellbrook by Hole's Creek to West Carrollton and Alexandersville. He worked on a canal boat on the Greater Miami, that likely was from Piqua called the "Exchange"with John Waltz of Alexandersville. His son Henry, b 1845 farmed in Miami Twp Montgomery Co and married Emelina Helena Paul, b 1856, on April 20th 1875

Here are the processed hickory nuts that my kissing cousin Jeannette Weaver sent to me after our visit in Troy in October. It occurs to me that the light ones are likely the shagbark species with the husk gone. I went on line, to check out the different kinds. Jeannette describes the pig nut hickories, that are more bitter and likely fed to the pigs. She remembers her dad and grandmother never bringing the nuts in until the first hard frost. Her dad would bring them in in a big burlap bag, to get them from the shagbark hickory. He would also use the bark for the smoker for his bee hives. Here is a link to learn more about the hickory nuts and the different species.

Here are the hickory nuts of two species that Karen Poremski gathered in Delaware County, where my Glessner, Bixby and Cowles family intersected in the early to mid 1800's. I look forward to cracking these open at Jesse Weaver's home Dec 4, when our family gathers at his St Cloud home to celebrate. The shagbark is supposedly the sweetist and I look forward to finding out what the darker nut is. Open to comments from anyone. When my parents, moved in 1938 to Minnesota from Ohio, they brought their stories and love for nature and the trees of Ohio and back east. Interesting that the cutting board here, is butternut wood. Learning more about the low hanging fruits of life. Easy does it.

Had a heart to heart conversation with my cousin Jeannette this morning, just to make sure I have her granddaughter's name right. Here are Wanda Grossnickle Bordeau, my cousin from Canada, Elizabeth Grace Weaver b April 27, 2010 and her grandma, my cousin Jeannette Allen Weaver sitting at the kitchen table at Fred and Jeannette Weaver's home in Troy Ohio, sharing family stories. And thanks for the journeys and stories of all my relations. Mitakuye Oyasin! Gratitude, Acceptance and Service.

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