And for the Ladies… the History of Your Fallopian Tubes

A woman’s fallopian tubes (about four inches long, one on each side of the uterus) are named after a man named Gabriello Fallopio. If they’d named them after his first name, today they would be called Gabriellion tubes. Fallopio was an Italian physician who discovered the functions of these two tubes on each side of a woman’s womb. His work was highly respected and published at Venice in 1561. I know… I know… a lot of anatomical parts and diseases are named after people who made discoveries but it strikes me as odd. I can’t exactly say that Mr. Fallopio has a place in my heart but he definitely has his name all over my fallopian tubes. Who knew?

Suellen Ocean is the author of many books on diverse topics. Her books are available here:

Southern History… The Legend of Dixie or was it Manhattan?

Most Americans have heard the song about Dixieland. And in the history books, we’re taught about the Mason and Dixon’s Line, a survey boundary line that was used to designate free states from slave states. So, it’s easy to see how people assume that Dixieland is somehow related. But there is another story and it is one far removed from the South, in Manhattan no less. The story goes that in the early 1800’s, a man named Dixie had a plantation on Manhattan Island. He had many slaves. When slavery was outlawed in the Northern United States, Dixie sold them into slavery to Southern plantations. The Manhattan Dixie story has him treating his slaves so well, they longed to return to his “paradise,” Dixie’s land. Slavery was not paradise. Occasionally, white “masters” treated their slaves well but my research shows that by and large, American plantation owners were unkind (that’s putting it mildly) to their slaves. Yet even in captivity, people by nature will find things to appreciate.

Life is beautiful. Especially when you’re free. In the last half of the twentieth century, African Americans returned to the South in great numbers. Not because it was paradise but because they had history there. And maybe they wanted to enjoy some of the fruits of their labor. After all, those beautiful plantations were built upon their backs.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the Civil War Era romance, Rose Thorn. Available here:

Kentucky Ancestors of the Dark and Bloody Ground

There are a lot of ways that Native Americans could have entered a European American family tree. One way is through one of the many Indian wars on what was called “the dark and bloody ground” of Kentucky. But when original native names were changed to common European names, there is almost no way to tell that they were Indian.

Even before the white man came and made war with the local tribes, Kentucky was known as the “dark and bloody ground” because there were so many Indian wars upon its soil that the ground was soaked with blood. When Indians were captured and taken prisoner, they frequently fell into slavery. Many of the women were made wives by the frontiersmen. It’s very difficult to identify these native ancestors. Constant sleuthing among the genealogical message boards is one way, although much of the information is hearsay, much of it is not. These ancestors are dead and gone but sometimes their stories live on. Message boards are a great place to find them.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees and Secret Genealogy V– Black, White and Hamite; Ancestors of Color in Our Family Trees. Available here:

Secret Genealogy IV:

Secret Genealogy V:

Genealogy: What Were Your North Carolina Ancestors Worth? 10 Pounds Sterling?

If we’re lucky, we will run across a will belonging to our ancestors. If it was three-hundred-and-fifty years ago, it may have consisted of silver candlesticks, beeswax, a wooden cupboard and a cow. That was their net worth. History reveals other wills, listing the names of slaves who were passed on to living family members as if they were livestock. They had no net worth for they had no freedom. And then there were the 400 Tuscarora Indians of North Carolina, taken prisoner by Colonel James Moore after he attacked them during the Tuscarora War, one of the many battles during the French and Indian Wars. Colonel Moore sold them into slavery for 10 pounds sterling each. Within the tribe of the Tuscarora were other small tribes, including the Coree. The Indians not captured, escaped to the north and lived among the Iroquois who labeled them the Sixth Nation.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees and Secret Genealogy V– Black, White and Hamite; Ancestors of Color in Our Family Trees. Available here:

Secret Genealogy IV:

Secret Genealogy V:

Civil War Soldier… His Wife Was Fifty Years Younger

The Civil War ended in April 1865 and the last Civil War veterans died in the 1950’s. But according to a story last August in the “U.S. News & World Report,” by Curt Mills, the United States was still paying a veteran’s pension to the daughter of Mose Triplett, a soldier who started as a Confederate Rebel and defected to the North and became a Yankee. When Mose died in 1938, the pension he was receiving went to his daughter Irene. If you’re counting the years since the Civil War ended and thinking… that’s not possible, let me give you a hint. His second wife was fifty-years younger. Mose was eighty-three when his daughter Irene was born. He was an elderly father, he had his last child, a son, at eighty-seven. He must have been a hearty man, he made it to the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the series, Civil War Era Romances. Available here:

Book One, Black Pansy:

Book Two, Blue Violet:

Book Three, Black Lilac:

Book Four, Ellie:

Book Five, Rose Thorn: