Who Were the Cleanest, the Native Americans or the Europeans?

Kindle COVER Secret Genealogy IVWhile researching the early 1800s in French Canada, I read that bathing the whole body like the Native’s did, was becoming acceptable in French Canada. That statement brought me to a stop. The Europeans didn’t bathe their whole body? They learned it from the Natives? How exactly did the Natives bathe?

Helen C. Rountree, in The Encyclopedia Virginia, (Personal Hygiene Among Early Virginia Indians), writes that memoirs from Jamestown colonists leads to the conclusion that “by modern standards, Virginia Indians were far more sanitary than the Europeans who arrived in 1607.” “Elite” Powhatan Indians, “washed their hands before eating” and “early Virginia Indians practiced personal hygiene that included daily baths in all seasons and all weather.” Rountree’s research tells us that Native “People bathed in the streams that ran by their towns, whether these waterways were salty or fresh. Each morning before dawn, people of both sexes and all ages—even babies—washed themselves until the sun came up…”

Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Being a nature lover, I know how refreshing and healthy a morning dip in a stream can be. Sweat lodges are still a large part of Native culture and today, cleanliness depends not on whether one is a Native or an immigrant but whether or not one has access to hot water and a bathtub or shower.  Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees. Available here:


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History… the Dilemma of the Irish in Nineteenth-Century Canada

TheCelticPrinceCoverGOLDThe Irish played a large role in Canadian history, but it was not without suffering. During the early 1800’s, after ships to Britain were emptied of their exports, they offered low fares back to Canada to poor Irish emigrants. But once they reached Canada, there was no place for them. Homeless and inadequately dressed, many sought to relieve their misery through alcohol. Out of desperation, many of the women turned to prostitution. If you want a visual example of this watch the series, Hell on Wheels and you’ll get the point. The New World was a rough place, especially for a woman. Cholera was sweeping through Europe. The disease swept rapidly through crowded ships and thousands of Irish emigrants looking for a better life, instead met their death.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the historic novel The Celtic Prince Available here: http://www.amazon.com/Celtic-Prince-Before-After/dp/14840863

American Born Spaniards… Creoles… Should Have Received More Respect

Spanish King Ferdinand made some bad choices. In his realm as master of the kingdom, he was quite cruel. He instituted the Inquisition, and followed through on his plan to make Spain a Catholic country, leading to the death or banishment of thousands of innocent subjects who refused to submit. But when Spain had colonies in the New World, his choices were also harsh. Ferdinand expected his New World subjects to trade only with Spain. That didn’t go over well. We have the history of pirates and smuggling to prove that. Those whose parents were born in Spain but they themselves were born in the New World were referred to as Creoles and they did not receive the respect they deserved. Laws that allowed only Spanish born subjects to hold higher offices in the government and within the Church brought discontent. Revolts of all varieties in the New World grew so strong, Spain was unable to control the colonies and eventually lost them.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the Civil War Era Historic Romance, Black Pansy.

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