Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Earthquakes - Part I

     I have spent my entire life in Southern California.  And so I am reasonably accustomed to earthquakes.  Although I must admit that I have never been in a building with significant damage caused by an earthquake. 
    The highest magnitude earthquake that I have felt was the 1952 7.3 Magnitude Tehachapi (Kern County). In Taft, where I lived, the Modified Mercalli Intensity was VII on the intensity scale, although it was much greater in Tehachapi.
Main Street, Tehachapi, after the earthquake of July 21, 1952. The two-story concrete (with wood floors and roof) structure in the background is the Catholic Youth Center. Despite the fact that most of Tehachapi's business section was at least partially destroyed, this building suffered little damage1. (Photo: World Wide Photo)
     One of the largest quakes after Europeans arrived in North America were the 1811-1812 earthquakes in New Madrid, Missouri.  From information on the USGS website2, people as far away as New York and Washington D.C. were awakened by the quake.  The extent of the area that experienced damaging earth motion, which produced Modified Mercalli Intensity greater than or equal to VII, is estimated to be almost 250,000 square miles.  Estimates are that moderate shaking (Intensity V or greater) occurred across one million square miles. Chimneys were toppled and log cabins were thrown down as far distant as Cincinnati and in many places in Kentucky. So it would be safe to assume that my ancestors who lived in Nelson County, Kentucky would have certainly felt the quake and possibly would have seen buildings that suffered damage.  I wonder what they would have thought about the quake.  Was there damage to their property?
My ancestors, who lived in Central Kentucky,
would have experienced an Intensity level of VII during the New Madrid Quake.

At the time of the Tehachapi Quake,
I lived in the region which is labeled with an Intensity VII

1. "Earthquake damage in Tehachapi - California Digital Library." 2008. 15 Aug. 2015 <>
2. "New Madrid Earthquakes 1811-1812 - Earthquake Hazards ..." 2009. 15 Aug. 2015 <>
3.The New Madrid Seismic Zone. 26 Aug 2015
4. California Earthquake Map Collection, 26 Aug 2015

Monday, August 17, 2015

Sheep Brands

     When I think of livestock marking, I usually think of branding cattle in the old west.  I wrote about some family brands in the west a short while ago.  Cattle Brands  But I was quite surprised when I found a much earlier record about branding.
     Although the record that I uncovered was only about three hundred years old, it turns out that branding started much earlier. Almost 5000 years ago in Egypt1.
     Around 1700, as the population of Hampton, New Hampshire increased, the town found it necessary to require registration of ear marks on the residents'  sheep2.
     Richard Sanborne [Sanborn] and James Philbrick who lived in Hampton at this time, are both 7xGreat-Grandfathers of Jayme through Olivia Mead McKie.  I don't know for certain if the Richard Sanborne mentioned in this history is Jayme's Richard but most likely the Philbrick and Sanborne mentioned here are related in some way. 

1.  "Decoding the Range: The Secret Language of Cattle Branding." 2014. 15 Aug. 2015 <>
2. Dow, Joseph, History of the Town of Hampton New Hampshire From Its Settlement in 1638 to the Autumn of 1892, Salem Press Publishing and Printing Co., 1893

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Sisters and the Fruitcakes

     For years a major fundraiser for the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose has been there annual fruitcake sale.   

Sister Theresa Beck
     Back in 1960, Sister Theresa Beck started baking fruitcakes, using her family's secret old world recipe.  Each year the Sisters made 3000 pounds of batter and produced about 1500 fruitcakes. 
     This was about the time that my older sister, Diane, joined the order.  Diane became known as Sister Marie Yvonne*.  Over the years, Sister Marie Yvonne, helped with the production of the fruitcakes.
    Sister Theresa kept that family recipe a secret even though others helped in the production.  Sister Theresa was born in 1904 so as the years wore on, her superiors became concerned that if something happened to her no one would know the recipe.
Sister Marie Yvonne
    Several sisters were recruited to figure out the recipe as the cakes were made.  For each new ingredient, Sister Marie Yvonne would make sure that she  recorded the ingredients and the quantity.  She would check this information on subsequent batches. This took a while and other sisters also helped  determine the recipe.  But eventually the proper ingredients and quantities were determined.    
    Sister Theresa passed away in 1990 but her family recipe is safe with the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose.

Sister Marie Yvonne passed away six years ago this Thursday.  I miss her.

Fruitcake Story

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Cattle Brands & Ancestors

     We called him Uncle Charlie.   Charles Dandrea was married to Bernice Kilbourn Cochran. Bernice was the sister to Betty Kilbourn and aunt of my mother-in-law.  Garna, my mother-in-law, lived with Bernice and Charlie for a period of time when she was young.  She said it was one of her favorite time periods in her youth.
Charlie preferred mules over horses.
He would also take one Australian Shepherd over ten men.
    Uncle Charlie was a cattle rancher near Mayer, Arizona. He had been born in Arizona to Italian Immigrants, Louis and Liberata Dandrea. 
   Recently, during an internet search, I found some information about cattle brands in a newspaper. That caused me to search for Charlie's brand.

 L D Bar
     Our family ranching expert is Kathy Torres. Kathy trains horses and her husband, Danny, runs a cattle ranch near San Jose, CA. Kathy says that the first symbol reads L D Bar. The second is an earmark.  It represent a cows ears.  The line shows where you lop it off so in case you can't read the brand from far away, you can see the ear mark. The C stands for cattle and LH gives the location of the brand, left hip.
     It is reasonable to assume that the LD in LD Bar come from either Charlie's father or his mother's brand.

     This brand was from 1916 and belonged to Charlie's mother. This was for a horse and L.T. refers to left thigh. Poland is a ghost town near Mayer.

   B Bar brand of John A. Bell in Kansas. He was Bernice Kilbourne Dandrea's grandfather.

1. Arizona Live Stock Sanitary Board, Brand book of the State of Arizona : brands ordered, compiled, and printed by the Arizona Live Stock Sanitary Board, 1963

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Forty-One Year Old Selfie

   On our third anniversary, back in 1974, we had a little fun with our camera.  Jayme and I took a picture of ourselves.  Yes, we did that back then.  Here is our Selfie.

Anniversary 1974

     A few differences between then and now.  Back then you took a picture and  then waited until you took all the pictures in the roll of film.  That might takes a few months. When you finished the roll of film, you took the roll to the local film developer and about a week or two later you would get to see the results of you photo.  If the original was out of focus or off center then you were just out of luck.  It could be ready for the trash can.  
     In this case you can see the results.  Oh, well.  There is other differences. Less hair and it is grey.  You also had to wait for forty years to put the Selfie up on the Internet.