“Villainy and Maddness” and your genealogy…

Celebrating the 4th of July is always a surprise for me.  This is one of my favorite holidays.

And this year, Utah changed its fireworks law–seems too  many Utahns went into Wyoming to buy fireworks that were illegal in Utah.  Leaving all that wonderful money in Wyoming.

So Utahns can now buy these fireworks here and shoot them off here.  Which they did, for days before the holiday and for days since.

Gorgeous displays everywhere you went–“…the bombs bursting in air…” gave proof that the money stayed in Utah.

The State Fire Marshall announced that on the 4th alone, emergency crews were called out to douse more than 100 fires.  Two houses caught fire and burned in close neighborhoods, one costing more than $80,000 damage.  Two hillsides burned.

The Marshall warned everyone to have water hoses and buckets at the ready!

And I prayed all night that the bombs bursting around my home would not send showers of sparks on my very dry and vulnerable roof, where the shingles are loose from recent winds–because my books and records are still in my house.

The total cost for emergency efforts in Utah has not been tallied yet.  Nor replacement costs for lost property.  But new signs emerged in local neighborhoods around the Family History Library that Fireworks were prohibited except for specific areas.

And our biggest Utah celebration, that runs almost a week long in Utah, is yet to come.   And the driest time of year approaches.

May I introduce you to a brand-new book:

“Villainy and Maddness” Washington’s Flying Camp by Richard Lee Baker and published by Clearfield Company (Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore MD, 2011).  You can order from http://www.genealogical.com

George Washington wanted a special military force that could be raised fast, move quickly, and take the enemy by surprise.  A rapid response force.  He was informed that it could not be done.  Troops did not move quickly.

Baker describes what and who the British thought the plantations were–“an insurgency.”  The Declaration of Independence proclaims “the villainy and maddness of these deluded people,” said Ambrose Serle, Secretary to Admiral Richard Lord Home. [The new Congress began to think the same of Washington’s request.]

Washington’s Flying Camp included units in DE, MD, PA, NJ, CT, and VA.  And I have used the Flying Camp records for both Maryland (my own Eakle family) and Pennsylvania (Jacob Hoffman found as an example in other episodes of this blog).  Both prove Revolutionary War service for young men that might not otherwise be credited with such patriotism.

German emigrants, particularly, signed on. More than 2,000 men served as “flyers,” including Eakle and Hoffman.

I always recalled that Washington called his men “lads.”  He often preferred youth to seasoned troops–the youth would do what he told them to do.

This little book, and it is a small book, is big on insight and references to sources.  Add it to your summer reading list.  Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle  http://arleneeakle.com

PS  When I find a new book that opens my understanding and identifies new sources, I rejoice.  Lost ancestors have a way to be found! And with renewed enthusiasm, I begin to look again for those who keep eluding me.

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