Tagged: history

Sex and the Separatists: The Expanded Version

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The Separatists couldn’t make up their minds about sex. Was it good? Or bad? Well, that’s not exactly accurate–they never thought it was good. More like accepting sex as a necessary evil? Or totally opposed. Remember, their goal was to get to heaven–be saved. That’s what made this life on earth palatable. If they sacrificed pleasures now, […]

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Sex and the Separatists

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The Separatists couldn’t make up their minds about sex. Was it good? Or bad? Well, that’s not exactly accurate–they never thought it was good. More like accepting sex as a necessary evil? Or totally opposed. Remember, their goal was to get to heaven–be saved. That’s what made this life on earth palatable. if they sacrificed pleasures […]

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Crime and Punishment in the 19th Century

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Warning: The following is for mature audiences only Murder, burglary, theft. You think they’re all a product of recent history. Think again. Violent altercations occurred often in the hurly, burly world of early American life. Soon laws were enacted, courts established, and a justice system (of sorts) grew up to right the wrongs and mete […]

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Roots, Shoots, and Leaves: Early Medicine’s Herbs

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Ever wonder what people used to cure old-fashioned ills? Before pencillin? Plants, that’s what.  And they’re still being used in health care today. Recently, I had the opportunity to meet a practicing herbalist in Minneapolis, a young woman with a quick smile and quicker wit. Lise Wolff opened my eyes to a different health care world. […]

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Tracking the Separatists in Germany: Last Stop: Prison, Penitentiary, and Punishment

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Continuing the saga of the German Separatists, our small group of Americans traveled deeper into the German countryside to explore the darker side of the Separatists’ experiences. And their bravery. As Wuerrttemberg historian Dr. Eberhard Fritz explains, the Separatists ignored increasing threats from authorities to return to church or suffer the consequences. On Christmas Day 1803, eleven Separatist […]

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Americans Look for Traces of Their Fathers

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This article appeared in the Schwaebishe, Germany paper on September 21, 2012. Note the translation reflects the way German sentences are constructed. MERKLINGEN / cm A dozen people from Zoar in the State of Ohio in the United States on their visit to Germany on Thursday Merklingen paid a visit to find out about the founder of […]

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Following in My Ancestors’ Footsteps

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Soon I start on a trip to follow in the steps of my ancestors—across the ocean (albeit by plane) and dropping down in Munich. Then we (12 of us interested in Separatist history) travel by bus (not on foot as they did) to Ulm and on to Merklingen where Joseph and his brothers and sister were born—on […]

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Travel in Early 19th Century America

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Pride in America loomed large in the 19th century. A revolution had freed men (not women, not blacks) from England’s yoke. In 1829 Andrew Jackson was elected by popular vote, ushering in an era when all common men realized they could become president. Ambition and open land beckoned to foster westward migration. It seemed that […]

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My 3rd Great Grandfather–the Hapless Peter

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If you read last week’s blog, you know that Joseph Bimeler escaped from religious persecution in Germany to lead a beleaguered band of believers to America in 1817. A widower of ten years, he left a fourteen-year-old  daughter behind but brought his thirteen-year-old son, Peter with him.  Johann Peter Bimeler Born 7 March 1804 Known as Peter, […]

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Tracing My Family History–One Ancestor at a Time

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A few days ago I was interviewed for David’s Booktalk. After hearing about my family history and its relationship to my stories, David asked if I’d put my family history on my website. I agreed. Thinking about various traits in my distant relations I’ve uncovered in historical records, I marvel at how many of my ancestor’s traits I’ve seen revealed […]

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Novel Reading in America: 1800 to 1850

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Plentiful today (some mightsay “too plentiful” as the proliferation of indie publications and ebooks attests), novels are an integral part of life. Kindles, Nooks, and books on tablets and phones, as well as print, offer myriad opportunities for entertainment, relaxation, and enlightenment. But it was not always thus. In this post and a future one, I’ll trace the […]

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Tracing Your Ancestry

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Ever wonder why great aunt Sylvia never married? Or why your mother and grandmother always whispered when talking about your long-deceased grandfather? You may be surprised (or maybe not) to learn how much one generation affects the next. And the next. And so on. One way to find out the family secrets is to trace […]

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Midwifery in the 19th Century

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In bygone days, few women delivered babies in hospitals. In fact, there were few hospitals and they were far from the isolated farms and towns in 19th century rural America. So, how did mothers and infants survive? Midwives were the answer. Local women, usually with children of their own, learned midwifery as apprentices, as did […]

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Childbirth in Bygone Eras

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 Ever wonder how all of us got here? Not a philosophical question. No, I mean what did our fore-mothers endure so that ultimately we came along? To answer this question, I’ve asked D. P. Lyle, MD and mystery writer, to tell us what he’s learned about childbirth in the past. In the 1600s there were […]

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5 Favorite Historical Mystery Writers

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Whenever I speak at author events inevitably the same question emerges: Who are my favorite mystery writers? Now that I’m fully immersed in writing a historical mystery series, I find I’m reading more and more historical mysteries. I try to glean what it is I love about them and hope to improve my own work. […]

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A Puritan Thanksgiving

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This week I’ve invited M. E. KEMP, who writes an historical mystery series featuring two nosy Puritans as detectives. Her latest book is Death of  a Dancing Master. She lives in Saratoga, NY. Ninety years after the Pilgrim’s feast of thanksgiving in 1620, the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony still celebrated the holiday — only it […]

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Finding the Garden of Eden

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Like many settlers to America in the early 19th century, the Separatists came looking for the Garden of Eden. Europe, early settlers thought, was dirty, damaged, and corrupted. America, in contrast, was a wide, unspoiled land, a fresh new world. And so they came. The Separatists were part of this migration to the new world. […]

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