PhilosophyRip Van Tingle

Rip Van Tingle

My particular branch of the Tingles arrived in the colonies in the 1720s or possibly 1680s.  I equivocate out of honesty because the tie to 1680 is not wholly documented although it seems logical to me that the Solomon Tingle that arrived in the 1680s was related to the Solomon Tingle of the 1720s to whom I am sure I am related. In any case, the Tingles have been in North America for a long time.

ripvantingleMy particular branch arrived in Virginia and then went even further south to North Carolina.  They would have been there, by my calculations, about the time a certain Colonel Byrd from England rode through and later recorded his observations in his “History of the Dividing Line.”  I guess he thought he was hot shit because his observations of the people of North Carolina are not favorable.

 He seems to think they had all gone native.  They let their slaves eat with them for God’s sakes, says Byrd the Yankee hypocrite.  The men hung out smoking their pipes, leaning against trees, or fence posts, conversing and shooting the breeze, while their women folk worked their butts off.  Occasionally one of them would go off in the woods and shoot something to eat.  There was plenty of stuff to shoot and the soil was fertile. Also they drank.

Sounds like Eden to me, if you are a male.  Sounds like this is what being an American really is.  Doing nothing, being lazy, smoking, drinking, killing stuff and lording it over women.

 After North Carolina, my branch moved to Georgia because of some religious difficulties.  That was the day of 40 acres and a mule and the clan acquired a good number of acres in the early 1800s.  Most of them stayed in what is now called historic Georgia; currently there are more dead Tingles in Georgia than living ones. 

 Six Tingle brothers fought in the Civil War, on the wrong side of course, in what was called the Florida Campaign.  You don’t hear much about the Florida Campaign, but apparently there was one.  All the brothers came back but one was not right in the head.  One of those brothers was married twice.  He had 8 children by his first wife, which probably killed her; and then he married a younger woman and had another 8.

All this is by way of saying that when I got to college in 1964 I was not prepared for it by way of background.  My people were farmers, and when the family land ran out in the 1920s sometimes not even that.  Unless I have missed some distant relative who went to Bible College, I was the first Tingle in my immediate line to get a BA, and to my knowledge, at this moment, I am the only one with a PhD.  I had no guidance or role model stuff from anybody in my family.

We were the kind of folks that when you went to a doctor that meant you were probably dying and, as for lawyers, if one of those came to see you, that meant they were coming to take your land.

Categories: Philosophy


  1. Nmissi

    May 17, 2007 12:21 pm

    I stumbled over your entry while googling for ancestors. (I'm a KY Tingle, some generations back.) Just had to tell you that your post gave me a well-appreciated giggle today. In my line, the Tingles were educated folk up until the civil war. After that, everyone signed their names with an "X" for a couple of generations. Fortunately, my uncle finished college with a degree in history, and I'm pursuing a degree in anthropological linguistics. I figure we're making up for the lost time of our ancestors.

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