By: Bears Butt

Winemaker had me spit into a small vile the other day and then send it off to a company that looks into DNA.  The objective?  To try and tie my ancestry back through my mother’s father (Grand Dad Meyers).  Rumor has it that as a young boy, his father (my Great Grandfather) farmed him out to a black land owner and the land owner would pay him (Great Grandfather) for the labor received.  Is there any truth to that rumor?

Grand Dad as we called him was a pretty good looking guy and as I remember him when he was in his late 80’s or early 90’s, he lived by himself in a little old house, while Grandma lived by herself in another home a few blocks away.  I guess they didn’t get along.  Anyway, when we visited them in Moab, we would always stay at Grandma’s house, and would walk down to visit with Grand Dad.

He was a gruff sort of callused man, used to working hard for his money.  I recall him smoking a pipe and he had a Great Horned owl that would come to visit him every evening.  It would sit on his shoulder as he puffed away and then would go up into the rafters to spend the night.  He also had a talking magpie.  Told us he split its tung and taught it how to speak.  I don’t recall anything the magpie said….maybe I couldn’t understand it….

So, through genealogical records to find a link to him has been an impossible task.  So, the need for the DNA testing.  The results have come back.

I haven’t been able to put a lot of it together as yet, but Winemaker is busy as a dickens trying to find “the key link”.  My lineage goes in a whole lot of directions including some pretty famous people. Henry Chaucer is one.  A writer of poems.  Maybe that is where some of my poem writing ability comes from….Who cares?

So, today she comes to me with a last name of “Cooper”…..seems there are some Coopers in my lineage.

Changing the subject a bit, but when people came to America they would sometimes change their last name.  Why?  Well, perhaps they didn’t want to be linked with their relatives from the “old country”, or perhaps still, they were running from a past that they wished would not have existed.  And still, some would take on a name that associated them with the trade in which they loved and enjoyed.  Cooper is one such name.

I have a friend who sent me a really nice embroidered hat, who married a guy named Cooper….Cooper is his last name.


Let’s investigate anyone named Cooper.  Back in the day and I suppose even in todays modern world, people who embarked in the trade of making barrels was a Cooper.  Not just barrels, but butter churns and most any roundish wooden container that would either keep moisture in or keep moisture out was made by a Cooper.  A good Cooper was important in a lot of ways and two of those involve guns and alcohol.  Whiskey and beer barrels!  And gun powder kegs!  Without Coopers, this world would have been a much more boring place to live.

I’m proud of my heritage and look forward to meeting my Cooper relatives.  Maybe I won’t ever meet them, but as long as I live, I will be proud to have Coopers in my life!

If you can find a link to my Grand Dad, please inform me as quickly as you can.  He was in Kansas for a while and I can’t help but think it odd that his dad would farm him out to a black man with a farm….sounds like child labor issues, but then there weren’t a lot of laws back in the 1800’s protecting kids from becoming slaves to the farm.  That is why they had kids back then wasn’t it?  The more the better for ma and pa.

Anyway, there is a tid bit about my heritage.

Bears Butt

April 26, 2015

Written on April 26th, 2015 , Uncategorized

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    Ann Cooper commented

    I am not surprised. You remind me of my Father-in-law and I am sure we wouldn’t have to look back to far to see where we’re related.
    Great read.
    -Tomahawk Annie

    April 26, 2015 at 5:28 pm | Stories, Ramblings & Random Stuff From an Old Mountain Man is proudly powered by WordPress and the Theme Adventure by Eric Schwarz
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Just some of my old stories, new stories, and in general what is going on in my life.