Tea Sampler: Watermelon Mint Black Iced Tea and Serenity SuperGreen Tea

TeaSampler_RdsIn my kitchen, I have a shelf that is nothing but tea.  Pouches and canisters filled with various varieties and flavors of tea.  What can I say?  I’m a tea girl.  Leaf over bean.  I can and do drink the occasional cup of coffee, but I much prefer the more subtle flavor of a good cup, or glass, of tea.

Anyway, the other day, after I wrote my post Mango Ceylon Black Tea, I checked my stash to see if I needed to order more and discovered I had a few other sample pouches that I’d forgotten about.  I don’t remember how I got them, whether it was with an order or the catalog.

First was Watermelon Mint Black Iced Tea.  Iced tea and watermelon sounds like a good, summertime combo.  And it might be, but I couldn’t tell because of the mint.  Mint is a very strong flavor and watermelon is very mild.  The first overwhelms the second.  While some might enjoy a mint iced tea with a subtle hint of sweet watermelon, I did not.  This one isn’t for me.  Maybe I’ll try brewing a pitcher of regular tea and add a some watermelon.  I think that would work better for me.

Next was Serenity SuperGreen Tea.  Green tea and green matcha with lavender, camomile, and holy basil with a little vanilla and honey.  It smells like a springtime bouquet in a cup.  Unfortunately, it also tastes like it.  Way too floral for my tastes.

I also discovered I had a second sample of Hibiscus Sangria Iced Tea.  This one I’ve tried before and loved.  It was just as good this time as it was the first.  Read the entire rave here.


Tea Sampler: Mango Ceylon Black Tea

TeaSampler_RdsWhat should I find in my mailbox yesterday afternoon but the new Republic of Tea catalog with a sample of their Mango Ceylon Black Tea. A cold glass of this over ice sounded like just the thing to wind down at the end of a hot, humid day. The air was so thick and sticky I was hoping for a good storm to cool things off.  No such luck.

Tearing open the packet, the scent of mango with undertones of tea leaves and a subtle hint of what might be the sunflower petals is breathed in. Brewing fills the kitchen with that mango scent.  And that first refreshing sip.  Yep, the perfect way to relax.  Just the right amount of mango.

Nerdly News

new&nerdlyHomo naledi may be quite a bit younger than previously thought. A new study suggests they may have been around less than a million years ago, coexisting with other, larger brained, hominin species. The study was unable to conclude whether the species was closer to other early members of the genus Homo or to the australopiths.

The order of events at a fascinating 12,000 Natufian burial have been reconstructed.

The woman was laid on a bed of specially selected materials, including gazelle horn cores, fragments of chalk, fresh clay, limestone blocks and sediment. Tortoise shells were placed under and around her body, 86 in total. Sea shells, an eagle’s wing, a leopard’s pelvis, a forearm of a wild boar and even a human foot were placed on the body of the mysterious 1.5 meter-tall woman. Atop her body, a large stone was laid to seal the burial space.

What was the significance of the tortoise, I wonder? Not to mention the other animal parts. The specificity just begs all sorts of questions to which we’ll probably never know the answers.

The colonization of Madagascar is a hotly debated topic among anthropologists. A new study

…has shown that the Malagasy genetic diversity is 68 percent African and 32 percent Asian. Based on their evidence, the Banjar were the most probable Asian population that traveled to Madagascar. The genetic dating supports the hypothesis that this Austronesian migration occurred around 1,000 years ago, while the last significant Bantu migration to Madagascar began 300 years later, perhaps following climate change in Africa.

The most probable Bornean origin population were Banjar, who, at the time, probably spoke a language ancestral to Malagasy,or, at least, closely related to Proto-Malagasy.

The Will of John Vendrick (1804)

All spelling and capitalization errors are true to the original. As is the lack of punctuation. I’ve decided to emphasize all names with bold type for easier reading.

In the name of god Amen November 30th day 1804 —

I John Vendrick of the County of Craven and state of North Carolina Being sick and weak in Body and Calling to mind The mortallity of my Body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die Do make this my Last will and Testament that is to say prinsipally and first of all I gave and Recommend my soul to god Who gave it and my Body I Recommend to the Earth and as touching such worly Estate wherewith it hath ben please god to bless me with in this life I gave-

Devise and Dispose of the same in the following manner and form

First I lend and Bequeath to my Loving wife Mary Vendrick the use of my Plantation whereon I now Live on the River During her natrel Life or widowhood and after her Death I gave and Bequeath to my well beloved son Peter Vendrick the Lower half of the said Land to him and his heirs for Ever.

I gave and Bequeath unto my Well Beloved son James Vendrick the upper half of the said Land to him and his heirs for Ever

I gave and Bequeath unto my son James Vendrick one Bed and furniture for Ever

I gave and Bequeath unto my son James Vendrick one Desk and case for Ever.

I gave and Bequeath unto my Well Beloved Daughter Penny Vendrick one feather Bed and furniture for Ever.

I gave unto my sons Peter and James Vendrick one Cross Cut saw to be Equally Devided Between them Both

I Lend unto my Well Beloved Wife Mary Vendrick one feather Bed and furniture During her Life and after her Decease I gave it to my Well Beloved Daughter Lany Dickson for Ever

I Lend unto my Well Belloved wife Mary Vendrick all my household furniture of Each and Every kind to be at her own Discression During her Life and all my plantation Tools of Each and Every to Be at her use and Discression During her Life

I gave on Dining table to my Daughter Penny for Ever-
also I gave the Best Linnin Wheel to my Daughter Penny and half a Dozen of silver teaspoons to her for Ever

I gave unto my son Peter Vendrick one Large Chest to him for Ever

I gave one steel trap to my son Peter Vendrick

I gave one linnen Wheel unto my grandaughter Sarah Carpenter the second best

I gave one new chest to my Daughter Penny Vendrick

I gave Liza Hukins one puter Bason

I gave one you and Lamb unto my well Bloved Daugher Rebecah Reed

I gave unto my son James Vendrick one Lamb

I gave and Bequeath unto my Daughter Penny Vendrick one Desk for Ever

I gave and Bequeath unto my grandaughter Sarah Carpenter one puter Dish

I gave unto my Daughter Rebecah Reed one puter Bason

I Lend unto my Well Beloved wife all my Cattle and Horses and Sheep and hogs of Every kind to be at her Disposal During her Life

and after her Death I gave one Cow and Calf to my grandaughter Sarah Carpenter

I gave two puter plats unto my son Peter Vendrick

I gave two puter plates unto my son James Vendrick

I gave two puter plates unto my Daughter Penny Vendrick

I gave one mare to my Daughter Penny Vendrick after my Wifes Death

and all my tools of Every kind after my Wifes Death to be Equally Devided Between my sons Peter and James Vendrick

and all my other property that I have not given of in Lagises [legacies] I Desire to Be Equally Devided Between my three children Peter and James and Penny Vendrick

I also appint My son James Vendrick and my Loving wife Mary Vendrick Executors to this my Last Will and testament

John (his mark) Vendrick

John’s mark is a large, rather blotchy looking, “I”.  Like there was too much ink on the quill tip.

The will was witnessed by Jesse Vendrick, who signed with an “X” mark, and Church Vendrick. It was proven in Court by the oath of Jesse Vendrick during the December Term, 1804.

Elie Wiesel, Auschwitz Survivor and Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Dies at 87 – The New York Times

Mr. Wiesel, the author of “Night,” seared the memory of the Holocaust on the world’s conscience.

Source: Elie Wiesel, Auschwitz Survivor and Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Dies at 87 – The New York Times

June Reads 2016

Allegiance_SinghJune was a slow reading month for me. I started off with what I think of as waiting room reads The Forgotten Child and A Baby and a Wedding by Lorhainne Eckhart. I picked them because they were free on Amazon, and, frankly, they weren’t particularly memorable. Sitting here, typing this, I can’t really remember what they were about except that it involved an autistic child, a doormat, and what I’ve seen another blogger aptly refer to as an Alpha-hole.  I’m just left with the overall impression that they sucked.

After that, I dived heart first into Allegiance of Honor and loved every moment of it. It was awesome! I could wish we’d Sighs_Robertsspent more time with the wolves, though, because for a book with an ensemble cast, it was definitely cat-centric.  Read my full review:  Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh.

Then there was a quick re-read of Stars of Fortune by Nora Roberts before I picked up her latest, Bay of Sighs. It was fine. This isn’t shaping up to be my favorite of her trilogies, but it was interesting. Mostly, I think, due to the mermaid. That’s new. The rest of the cast, not to mention the overall plot, is kinda deja vu.

Albion_TampkeFinally, I read Ilka Tampke’s debut novel, Skin, which for some unknown reason was re-titled Daughter of Albion here in the States. Skin, in my opinion, is much more apt. I enjoyed this one immensely and am eagerly awaiting the sequel. Historically speaking, we know what happens, but how do the characters cope with it?  Here’s my full review:  Daughter of Albion by Ilka Tampke.

After I finished it, my reader’s palette was still feeling a little atavistic so, instead of picking up Britt-Marie Was Here like I’d intended, I reached for The Tiger and the Wolf by new-to-me author Adrian Tchaikovsky. So far, it’s good.

What have you been reading?

Nerdly News

new&nerdlyThe multitude of bison fossils found on the plains of Alberta, or their extracted mtDNA, have shed much needed light on just when the much vaunted Corridor opened between North America’s two great Ice Sheets. It has long been theorized that the First Americans passed through this Corridor to colonize the rest of the Americas.

In the 1970s, geological studies suggested that the corridor might have been the pathway for the first movement of humans southward from Alaska to colonize the rest of the Americas. More recent evidence, however, indicated that the Cordilleran and Laurentide ice sheets coalesced at the height of the last ice age, around 21,000 years ago, closing the corridor much earlier than any evidence of humans south of the ice sheets. The initial southward movement of people into the Americas more than 15,000 years ago now seems likely to have been via a Pacific coastal route, but the Rocky Mountains corridor has remained of interest as a potential route for later migrations…The results showed that the southern part of the corridor opened first, allowing southern bison to start moving northward as early as 13,400 years ago, before the corridor fully opened. Later, there was some movement of northern bison southward, with the two populations overlapping in the corridor by 13,000 years ago…According to Shapiro, archeological evidence suggests that human migration within the corridor was mostly from south to north. Sites associated with the Clovis hunting culture and its distinctive fluted point technology were widespread south of the corridor around 13,000 years ago and decline in abundance from south to north within the corridor region. A Clovis site in Alaska has been dated to no earlier than 12,400 years ago.

“When the corridor opened, people were already living south of there. And because those people were bison hunters, we can assume they would have followed the bison as they moved north into the corridor,” Shapiro said.

Proving, once again, there is truth to found in the old tales, a body found in a well confirms events told in Sverre’s Saga, one of the Old Norse tales of Viking Kings and war.

Agriculture was developed a LOT earlier than previously thought, like 25 to 30 million years ago. You read that right. Million. And, here’s the real kicker, not by humans but by bugs. Termites actually cultivate fungi “gardens” within their mounds. This “fungiculture” began in Africa about the time the Great Rift Valley formed so that probably had something to do with it.

Daughter of Albion by Ilka Tampke

To the rest of the world, this book bears the title Skin, and it is much more apropos.

Born to the skinless, or lost to their families before naming, the unskinned were not claimed by a totem.  Their souls were fragmented, unbound to the Singing…The passage from womb to world was only half a birth–the body’s birth.  Our souls were born when we were plunged, as babes, into river water, screaming at the cold shock of it, given our name and called to skin…Skin was our greeting, our mother, our ancestors, our land.  Nothing existed outside its reach.

Beyond skin there was only darkness.  Only chaos.

Because I was without skin I could not be plunged or named.  I was half-born, born in body but not in soul.  Born to the world but not to the tribe.  I could never marry lest skin taboos were unknowingly betrayed.  Deer did not marry well to owl.  Owl to oak.  At Ceremony I had to be silent, and keep to the edges.  For where would I stand?  What would I chant?

I lived with these losses, but the one that hollowed my chest was that I was not permitted to learn.  All learning began and ended with the songs of skin.

Left at the kitchen doorstep the Tribequeen’s dwelling as a babe newborn, cord still attached, Ailia was raised by the Cookmother. Being an orphan without known blood kin, she was skinless, outside the tribe.  Without skin she was forbidden to marry and permitted no knowledge.  Even something so basic as learning to swim was denied her.  And yet, the seeds of Knowledge were within her, fostered by the Mothers and they would not be denied.

In the first century A. D., Cunobelinos, King of the Catuvellauni, began to carve out the beginnings of an empire for himself in southeastern Britannia.  Conquering, first the Trinovantes, a tribe allied to Rome.  But the king chose his timing well, for the Romans were otherwise occupied following their shocking defeat at Teutoburg Forest.  He with his sons and his brother, would continue to expand their influence to Cantii and the Artrebates before his death in about A. D. 40.  One of his sons, Caratacos, completed the conquest of the Artrebates, and their king, Verica, fled to Rome, providing the Romans under Claudius just the excuse for which it had been waiting to invade Britannia for the second time.  The Romans are no respecters of skin.

Ailia finds herself torn between the two worlds.   When her skin is finally revealed, you kind of want to smack yourself because it was rather obvious with clues galore scattered throughout the book.

Skin/Daughter of Albion is a wonderful story about a young woman’s need to belong.  Her struggle for knowledge, for love, and for family.  Ilka Tampke’s world is richly imagined, drawn from our small knowledge of Druidic doctrine and the traditions of the Aborigines which, somehow, fit together seamlessly.  When the sequel comes out, I’ll definitely be reading it.

Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

I was right the first time!

I’ve just discovered that you can go to some county register of deeds sites and read old land deeds and bills of sale.  Let’s just say I’ve been having fun with my new toy!

One of the many speculations I made in my post Dolly Bowden was that Elisha Spence was the son of Isaac Spence and Elisabeth Bowden.  Soon after publication of that post, I came across some deed and marriage bond information that led me to conclude that Elisha was not their son but was, instead, the son of Isaac’s brother John and his wife Rhoda.  See The Parentage of Elisha Spence.  Well, it turns out I was right the first time!  When I ran a Scanned Index Books Search at the Cumberland County Register of Deeds website I discovered this deed from Deed Book 28, page 719:

This Indenture made & entered into this ? day of december 1813 [or 15, the day and year are difficult to read] between Isaac Spence of the County of Cumberland & State of N. Carolina of the one part & Elisha Spence (my eldest son) of the other part, Witnesseth that for the love good will & affection which I have and do bear towards Elisha my son I do ? the following tract of land being part of the lands I bought of Wm. Redding; Beginning at a poplar by a branch side near Mill Creek in the line of the old 500 acre survey patented by Woods…containing by estimation one hundred & four acres more or less, To have and to hold, to him the said Elisha Spence his Heirs and assigns, and I the said Isaac Spence for myself my heirs Executors, administrators & assigns do warrant & forever defend the said lands & premises from my right title, interest, or any lawful claim or claims of any person or person whatsoever ? him the said Elisha Spence his Heirs Executors administrators & assigns forever.  In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and date above written.

Signed Sealed & delivered
in the presence of                                                      Isaac (his)   I  (mark)  Spence

John (his mark) Spence
Jas. Atkins

The deed was proven in Cumberland County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, March Term, 1817, by John Spence.

The Brothers Bourden: Isle of Wight County, Virginia

Nicholas Bourden and Prudence Wrenn, “relict” of John Wrenn, were married in Isle of Wight County, Virginia, before 1738 (The Marriages of Isle of Wight County, Virginia, 1628-1800 by Blanche Adams Chapman, page 5).  On November 16th of that year, Nicholas was referred to as “brother-in-law” in the will of Prudence’s brother, Samuel Davis (Wills and Administrations of Isle of Wight County, Virginia, 1647-1800, Volume 2, by Blanche Adams Chapman, page 136).  Since their first child was born in April of 1737, they were most likely married in 1736.  There is a John Wrenn whose estate was ordered to be appraised March 22, 1735.  Whether this was Prudence’s husband or some other John Wrenn, I don’t know.  She married him sometime before August 15, 1734, when she’s referred to as Prudence Wrenn in the will of her brother, Thomas Davis (Wills and Administrations of Isle of Wight County, Virginia, 1647-1800, Volume 2, page 70), but after 1720 when she’s referred to as Prudence Davis in the will of her mother, Mary Davis (Wills and Administrations of Isle of Wight County, Virginia, 1647-1800, Volume 2, page 9).  There is reason to believe the marriage took place before 1727 (see below).  Also, the wording of her mother’s will may imply that Prudence had not yet attained the age of 21.

The births of Nicholas and Prudence’s five children were recorded in the Newport Parish Vestry Book, which can be viewed at FamilySearch.org (Virginia, Isle of Wight County Records, 1634-1951 – Church Records – Vestry Book, 1727-1772).  Bottom right of image 117 for the boys, left side of image 119 for Mary.  If you’d rather not strain your eyes reading old documents, this information can also be found in Tyler’s Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Volume 9, Number 2, page 119. This can also be accessed through FamilySearch.

The children of Nicholas Bourden and Prudence Davis Wrenn were:

  • Samuel Bourden b. April 14, 1737
  • John Bourden b. June 10, 1739
  • Nicholas Bourden, Jr. b. March 25, 1741
  • Baker Bourden b. January 10, 1742/3
  • Mary Bourden b. March 30, 1745

The above list is slightly different from that found in Tyler’s Quarterly which has Baker being born in the month of June.  However, looking at the Vestry Book, I think it may actually be January.  Compare the June written for John


with what’s written for Baker.


Doesn’t the second letter look like an “a” rather than a “u”?  And the fourth more a “u” than an “e”?  Its being January instead of June would also explain the 1742/3 thing.  Mary’s birth year is written in Roman numerals, of all things:  MDCCXLV.  The “V” is written with quite a flourish.

Besides the five children she gave Nicholas, Prudence had two children with John Wrenn.  One of these was named John.  In the Vestry Book, at the very bottom of image 117, you can just make out “John Wren son of John Wren and Prudence his wife….”  The next line, which would be his birth date, is illegible due to extreme fading.


We know there was another child because of the Accounts of the Estate of John Wrenn (scroll down a bit), taken by Nicholas and Prudence in 1748 (James Baker was ordered to audit the Accounts of the Estate August 12, 1748), in which there is the entry “To bringing up two small Children.”  The implication being that the youngest was now of age. In those days, this meant they were at least 21 years of age, that is born in or before 1727.  I’ve seen several online trees that say the Thomas Wrenn who married Catherine Ingram was the other child, but, as yet, no one has offered any actual proof that I’ve seen.

If Nicholas and Prudence used conventional Colonial naming patterns, which is suggested by second son John, for her father, John Davis, and third son, Nicholas (for him), then eldest son, Samuel, would have been named after his paternal grandfather.  As for the fourth son, Baker, I’ve wondered if Baker was the maiden name of Nicholas’s mother.  Thus, Nicholas Bourden, Sr., may have been the son of Samuel Bourden and ? Baker.  Of course, I have no proof of that, so it’s complete speculation.

With Prudence, we’re on much firmer ground.  She was the daughter of John Davis and Mary Green.  An abstract of John’s will can be found in Chapman’s Wills and Administrations of Isle of Wight County, Virginia, 1647-1800, Volume 1, page 79, and Mary’s in Volume 2, page 9.  We’ll get into her family in more detail in future posts.

The first appearance of Nicholas Bourden in the records was in Elizabeth City County where on December 2, 1734, he witnessed the will of John Kerby (Wills and Administrations of Elizabeth City County, Virginia, 1688-1800 by Blanche Adams Chapman, page 48).  And on April 4, 1735, still in Elizabeth City County, he witnessed another will, that of Mary Picket (same source, page 69).  After his marriage to Prudence, Nicholas’s name is peppered throughout the second volume of Chapman’s Wills and Administrations of Isle of Wight County as he appraises, examines and settles many estates.  The first of these occurs at the bottom of page 91, where he and Lawrence Baker settle the estate of Jeremiah Ingraham, October 23, 1738.

On December 20, 1738, Nicholas Bourden wrote a letter to The Virginia Gazette about a tragic incident which occurred the Wednesday prior, December 13 (Some Descendants of John Moone ca 1600-1655 and Nicholas Bourden ca 1700-1759: Jamestown and Isle of wight County In the Colony of Virginia by Richard Bowden Jones, page 7, citing The Virginia Gazette, Issue Number 133):

Isle of Wight County, Dec. 20, 1738

Mr. Parks,
The Publication of the following unhappy Accident, may be a Means to prevent the like in other Families, which I hope will be a Warning to all; and desire it may be inserted in your Gazette, for the Public Good. On Wednesday the Thirteenth of this Instant, I intended to kill some hogs, and accordingly put a Kettle of water, containing 20 Gallons, over the Fire, for that Purpose; and when the Water was boiling, none being in the Kitchen but my only Child and a Negro child, the Sway-Pole broke, and scalded them to such a Degree that twas a most horrid Spectacle, and must have moved the most obdurate. The Negro Child is dead, but my own Child, I hope is in a fair Way of Recover tho’ prodigiously scalded: My Wife very narrowly escaped the same Fate; for she had not gone three Steps from the Kitchen Door, before the Kettle fell down, when she sat on her Hams, putting some Potatoes in the Fire for the Children: The Children were both in the Corner when the Kettle fell down, or it must have been present Death.

I am, Sir, Your humble Servant,

Nicholas BOURDEN.

Samuel would have been just over a year and half and Prudence would have been carrying John, though she may not have known it yet.

Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia, 1607-1624/5: Families G-P by John Frederick Dorman, page 681, mentions that Samuel was ordered bound to John Dering, a tailor, August 1, 1751.  He’d have been 14.  Samuel, along with James Dering and Martha Dering, witnessed the will of Benjamin Barlow (bottom of page and onto next page) December 26, 1757.  The will was registered April 5, 1759.

Louise Jones abstracted entries from various Isle of Wight County records concerning “Orphans and Other Children of Isle of Wight County” which were published over several issues of The Virginia Genealogical Society Quarterly and of which I’ve only had glimpses thanks to my free Ancestry account.  I can’t afford a paid account right now, so all I get are frustrating snippets.  But what intriguing snippets they are!

  • August 1,…Samuel Bourden, orphan of Nicholas is…Taylor [James Dering, tailor?]. p. 342.   (Volume 25, Number 2)
  • 6 July…John Bourden, orphan of Nicholas, is to…    (Volume 26, Number 1)
  • Snippet of the index to Volume 26, Number 1 lists Baker on page 32 and John on page 31

If you put the snippet about Samuel together with the apprentice bond mentioned in Dorman, both dated August 1, then it’s possible that Nicholas Bourden had died earlier in 1751 or in late 1750.  On page 8 of his book cited above, Richard Bowden Jones says that John was bound out in July 1759 and Baker in November of that year.  I’ve yet to find mention of young Nicholas being apprenticed to anyone.  If anyone has further information on this, either through the aforementioned article or the Isle of Wight County Order Book, 1746-1752, please contact me via comments.  Thank you so much, in advance.

Young Nicholas witnessed the will of a John Davis February 1, 1762 (Wills and Administrations of Isle of Wight County, Virginia, 1647-1800, Volume 3, by Blanche Adams Chapman, page 12).  Whether uncle or cousin, I’m not sure.  John Bourden was one of the men to appraise the estate of John Jackson which was recorded January 6, 1763 (same source, page 20).  This is the last public record, that I’m aware of, in which John appears.  It’s possible he died shortly after this.  And, as far as I know, there’s no mention of Mary after her birth.  Of course, it’s harder to find women in the records and she may have married or she may have died in childhood.  Either way, she’s left no trace. There is no record, that I know of, that either John or Mary ever left Virginia, but the other three migrated to Duplin County, North Carolina.

Which is where we’ll follow them next.