A Book, A Rich Girl and a Lottery Ticket!

The Girl From the Ghetto is having a book giveaway contest.   She is one of my blogging buddies whom I adore.   She writes great blogs about the TV show LOST and many, many other topics including reviews of books, TV personalities, and her own personal memories of her life as she grew up to become  the wonderful writer she is now.   This week she is giving away a copy of the book  “Dead End Gene Pool”  by Wendy BurdenI am personally interested in  this book because Wendy and I share the same last name.  She is  the great, great, great, great granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt.   Evidently she was a poor little rich girl brought up by a group of people that seem to be on the crazy side. 

My mother was somewhat wacky too.  Just ask my sister.  We  have many stories of our mother and her wackiness.   I haven’t read Wendy’s book yet but it sounds like my kind of book. 

I recently found out that I am the great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great-granddaughter of Roger Williams, the founder of the state of Rhode Island.  Yes, there 8 greats and I can actually prove this to my surprise.  OK, so it’s not as good as being related to a Vanderbilt.  I guess there isn’t a book deal forthcoming.  Oh well, maybe I’ll find out that Wendy is related to me. Though Burden is  my married name so she would actually be related to the wasband.   Good Lord, if the wasband reads this he will be out searching to see if he is a long lost Vanderbilt.

Back to Roger Williams.  If you go to the website for Roger and  scroll down to # 581 you will see this:  ”  Lillis Colwell was born 1738; she married Elijah Hawkins”   My maiden name is Hawkins.  Elijah is my great, great, great, great-grandfather. Now if you read the caption to the above photo very carefully you are going to realize that I own Rhode Island.   Right?  The Indians gave Rhode to Grampa Roger so being his 8 greats granddaughter I feel it must be mine now. 

I was born in Woonsocket,  Rhode Island in 1949.  Too bad it is the smallest state in the union. 

I was just reading about Grandpa Roger and some of his ideas.  Here is an example:

What were Roger Williams’ dangerous ideas?
First, he declared that King Charles had no authority over Native Americans’ land. Second, he said that non religion should be professed by coercion. Third, that Massachusetts Colonists should separate and deny the Church of England. Ultimately, he stated that civil authority is limited and cannot control the human soul.
After reading these “dangerous” ideas it is palpable that Roger Williams’ ideas were inclined to freedom of conscience by stating that men should have the option to choose if a religious life was the path they wanted to follow. Moreover, he strongly believed that theocracy and civil government could not fully rule a person and his soul. His thoughts about the sovereignty of American Indians over their land were also a very modern concept of geopolitics and diplomacy that could not be understood in those days

I am really liking Grandpappy Roger more and more.    Here is another picture of him.  Can you see the resemblance?  We have the same eyes.

I suppose I could go out and buy the book “Dead End Gene Pool”  but it is much more fun to win it in a contest.  The only thing I ever won in a contest was a Christmas plant.  The wasband recently informed me that I am never going to win the lottery because I don’t buy lottery tickets.   That sucks.

I bet from the title of this blog you thought I was now a rich girl who wrote a book and won the lottery.   Ha! Ha!  no such luck but I do own Rhode Island so things are looking good.

I hope this post was cohesive.  My mind is giddy over all this news.  ( I also can’t wait to see the comments on this post from people who believe that I really do own RI.)

16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sheng
    May 04, 2010 @ 18:30:28

    Hi anne, nice book there. I hope you really are a Vanderbilt, or the wasband is.


  2. starlaschat
    May 04, 2010 @ 22:15:54

    Congratulations! It is fun to research your heritage . I wont ever win the lottery either or have the stess I guess trying to decide on how to spend the money. Hope you win the book contest. That would be cool. Only once in a blue moon I win somthing, well maybe not that often.


    • joanharvest
      May 05, 2010 @ 11:57:12

      I guess some of those huge lottery winners end up being a mess because they just can’t handle it. I wish I could just win a small amount of money so I could get the practise. Maybe like a quarter of a million rather than a whole million. LOL


  3. The Girl from the Ghetto
    May 05, 2010 @ 03:33:28

    Joan, thank you for sharing my contest link, but more importantly, saying you adore me. I adore you, too, and I am dying for you to read this book. If it wasn’t almost 5 am, I’d yank it off my bookshelf and re-read the little bit about the Burden’s. Because I kept thinking while reading this last month “Man, I wonder if Joan and Wendy are realted?”

    Starla – I know what you mean, I rarely win. Won my 2nd Goodreads book after a year of faithfully entering giveaways every three days or so. Don’t worry, I’ve got a few more book giveaways coming up – and one is going to be for 10 books. I wish I had 10 of this book, rather than the one.


  4. Doraz
    May 05, 2010 @ 18:38:21





  5. Doraz
    May 05, 2010 @ 18:39:25

    I also love her reviews. She really knows how to call them. 🙂 Happy Mother’s Day. 🙂


  6. Doraz
    May 05, 2010 @ 19:07:39

    I voted for you Joan. Good luck. 🙂


  7. MusEditions
    May 05, 2010 @ 19:22:25

    Rhode Island may be a small state, but, hey! it’s an entire state! They could use someone like you taking back control. I like your relative Roger as well. Very progressive!

    How shall I address you when you take back ownership of RI? Empress Harvest? Queen of the Rhode?


    • joanharvest
      May 05, 2010 @ 23:08:29

      I’m sort of liking Queen.I’ve always wanted to be Queen of something. As long as they don’t call me Queenie.
      Yes, I’ve started to do some reading about Grampy Roger. It seems I’ve forgotten everything I learned in history class. Thanks for stopping by, Muse.


  8. Care
    May 07, 2010 @ 11:31:04

    I really recommend you read Sarah Vowell’s Wordy Shipmates – she’s an awesome writer and this was a FUN history book. There’s quite alot about your grandpappy in it. I’m reading Dead End Gene Pool for an online book discussion May 14 (I think – I gotta check an I still have to read the book!) but if you don’t win this contest, I’ll send my copy to you if you want. Cuz you own RI and I’m squatting on your waters RIGHT NOW! (in the boat in Warwick…)

    THX for entering my contest to win The Threadbare Heart! Right now, you’ve got a 50-50 chance of winning. 🙂 PS to anyone else, deadline is May 8…


    • joanharvest
      May 07, 2010 @ 11:54:33

      Thanks Care! You can squat on Rhode Island waters anytime you want. I think I will definitely read the book about Grandpappy. I love history. I’ll be curious to see what you think of “Dead End Gene Pool”. I don’t usually enter conteste but if books are the prise then I have to.


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