In Which I Ponder an Alternative History of Luke Phillips

In spite of what many of his descendants have come to believe, Luke Phillips could not have been born in Marion, New York in either 1804 or 1808 because Marion didn’t exist as a city until 1825. For that matter, he couldn’t have even been born in Wayne County, New York, because that didn’t exist until 1823.

However, if we assume that Luke was from that area, it’s possible that he could have been born in what would come to be known as Marion, in Wayne County, and he would have known that because he didn’t leave New York until 1828.

It becomes somewhat crucial to try to track down the record of Luke’s marriage to Patience, I think. I can’t figure out where else folks would be getting where he was born or what Patience’s last name was, otherwise.

We’re still left with the question–where was Luke before 1850? Why is he in none of the censuses before then? Well, sure, between 1804 or 1808 and 1828, he wouldn’t appear because he was a child. It’s plausible that he might not have been in the 1830 census, just based on whether he was living with a family or if his house was particularly difficult to get to out on the wilderness.

But by 1840, he and Patience have some children. At least four of whom are alive and one who was possibly on the way. All of whom claim in later census data to have been born in Michigan. So, the chances are pretty good that Luke should have appeared as the head of his own household.

And I think I’ve found him as “L.P. Philips.” A young man with a wife the right age and five very young children (if we assume the child who thought she was born in 41 was born in 40 or if there was a child who died).

But I also found an “L. Phelps” living in Pontiac in 1840. A man in his 50s with a woman in her 50s and two men in their teens and twenties. It’s hard not to wonder about the pronunciation of Phelps and Philips. And especially hard not to wonder about Luke being born in a city that didn’t yet exist in a county that didn’t yet exist, in a patch of land purchased from Indians by a man named Phelps and his partner.

Luke is too young to be Oliver Phelps’s kid, especially since Phelps was rotting in debtor’s prison right around this time. But I wonder if he might not be an illegitimate grandson?Luke claims his parents were from Connecticut in the 1880 census and Phelps was born in Connecticut.

I need to find out more about Oliver Phelps. I also think it can’t be that hard to find out what white people moved into Phelps’s land and whether there were any actual Phillipses. I mean in 1811, even Rochester only had 15 people in it. If Luke was really born in that area, during the time white people were settling it, there can’t be that many Phillipses who might be his parents to choose from. And if there aren’t any Phillipses in the area?

Well, as much as I’d like my illegitimate Phelps theory to play out, I think I have to try to figure out where people on are getting their information about him being born in Marion. If that’s something he put on the public record of his marriage (though let’s remember, the state of Michigan seems to think he got married in 1860, whatever light that might shed), that’s one thing. But if it’s not coming from him, that’s another.

Two Things

1. I know some kids who have John Tanner as an uncle in real life and, as far as I can tell, they don’t seem to be rolling in blueberry donuts. Sadly.

2. Yes, we get it, all the damn time, that men get to police women’s bodies and that they get to do so especially harshly if we dare stray into the political arena, but really, the comments on this post are disgusting. Worse yet, these two morons are clearly upset at Kleinheider (“Why do we have to hear about this person we don’t care about?”) and yet they lack the balls to address him directly, so they have to take their ire out on this poor Republican chick.

Could you imagine how this conversation would go if these guys had the courage of their convictions? It’d go one of two ways.

A. “Kleinheider, why are you writing about this person we don’t care about?” Silence from Kleinheider because he doesn’t justify himself to commenters.

B. “Hey, Kleinheider, you fatass, why are you writing about this person we don’t care about?” “Why are you so concerned about the size of Kleinheider’s ass? Are you gay?” And then there’d be 50 comments about who’s in deep secret shameful love with each other.

Is it too much to ask for either of those scenarios?

But no, instead it’s this “I want to disagree with the man with more status, but I don’t have the guts to directly challenge him, so I will use this woman as a scapegoat for my feelings of inadequacy, hoping that I can challenge the man with more status, while reaffirming that I am a part of the group and that she is the challenger who must be warded off,” crap.

Ha, I guess, in the end, that’s kind of funny.

Caledula, the Mysterious Thing I’m Growing

So, I though it would be fun to grow some calendula this year, especially since I could get seeds for a dollar and a half.

Now, on the website, they are listed as an annual. On the seed packet, though, it claimed they were perennials. Which is it, dear internet? I’ve poked around some and I’ve seen them described as “hearty annuals,” so my question is this–are these in the same vein as morning glories, where the individual plants only last a year, but you can count on them to reseed themselves successfully year after year?


For the second year in a row, I have noticed that my farthest north neighbor has gotten blooms on her daffodils first and our north next-door neighbor is starting to get some and I have buds on the daffodils that did nothing last year. I don’t have any buds on the daffodils I planted and I am a little concerned that we chopped them down too early last spring, but even the ones in the beds haven’t done anything yet, so I’m still hopeful. It’s just funny to me that they pushed up so early and then just sit there, while the ones that have been there for ages seem to go about their business rather quickly.

I love seeing all the daffodils just growing in ditches or along the side of hills here in this part of the county.

And I accomplished everything on my to-do list.

It was a very good long weekend. I even wore the poor dog out. I had to lift her out of the car when we got back from the park and lift her down off the couch and into bed last night.

Bless her heart. She doesn’t appear to be in much pain. She’s not limping or anything, but I think that leg just stiffens up on her and she can’t get it to bend how she wants.

It makes me so sad, though, to see how old she’s getting. She has been my dear friend for a decade and she is a good dog.