THE QUESTION OF THE WEEK:
I am curious to know what kinds of Cartwright family memorabilia various Cartwright cousins and members of our extended family have “collected” and/or “saved” across the years. To give you an idea of what I have in mind, I will post my own response to this question, which will take the form of a brief inventory of the things that I inherited from my father Billy Cartwright after his death Feb. 4, 1998.
THE MONTHLY MYSTERY (January 2015):
Does anyone know when the Cartwrights moved down from the mountain? My sense is that this was probably a generational shift. We know that Joe and Jess lived around Ione and Tate. We also know that Thomas is buried at the Shiloh Church Cemetery. (Eliza is buried in the Gum Log community where here daughter Frances lived near Russellville, AR). Presumably, this also may have something to do with the agricultural economy and when the farmers up on the mountain could no longer compete with the farmers who were able to grow more plentiful crops down in the bottom land fields around the Pettit Jean River and other streams.
THE $64,000 QUESTION:
What kinds of things have you and your siblings wondered about with respect to our shared our genetic heritage? Let me give a couple of examples.
Example #1: Over and over again, I recall hearing my father explain to people that the reason he had such a temper was that he was “Irish.” (Never mind the fact that the Cartwright lineage is more English than anything else and only partially Scotch-Irish but in no sense solely Irish!.) I am not sure what people made of my father’s excuse, but it is certainly one of my oldest memories about how someone in the family made sense of the role DNA plays in an individual’s life.
Example #2: Several years ago, while visiting Aunt Dorothy [Cartwright Snyder], I recall her telling me that her doctor had recently prescribed a supplement for thyroid deficiency. Then she commented, “I told MC that I am the last of the six siblings to have to take Thyroid medication.” Dorothy went on to say that in her case, it was probably the result of the aging process and not necessarily an inherited problem. Even so, I was surprised to hear that all six of the siblings had received treatment for thyroid issues. Although I had known that Aunt Virginia [Cartwright Hamilton] had struggled with her thyroid levels, I was not aware that this was a problem that had affected other members of the family. I am not even sure that I knew that my father Billy had experienced thyroid deficiency. Although I am far from being an expert on this kind of medical issue, I do know that there are multiple reasons why any of us might have thyroid issues. Genetic inheritance is one contributing factor, but not the only one.
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