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What is a LING?

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  • David W. Dorsey
    Reported in Rev. F. L. Cherry s The History Of Opelika is an incident of an early experience of the Edwards family: At that time (about 1836) the Indians
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 22, 1999
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      Reported in Rev. F. L. Cherry's "The History Of Opelika" is an incident of
      an early experience of the Edwards family:

      "At that time (about 1836) the Indians were such frequent visitors at Mr.
      Loxla Edwards' house that the little children had lost all fear of them and
      would permit them to approach them and even fondle them without any
      apprehension of anger. One day a drunken Indian came and was playing with
      one of the little girls, some eight or ten years old, and becoming offended
      at something the child had said or done, seized her by the hair, threw her
      neck across a ling and seizing an ax, was just on the point of chopping off
      her head, when he was seized from behind by her father, Loxla Edwards, and
      thrown so violently to the ground that he had time to pile logs enough on
      him to keep him, before he could rise. The first impulse was to pile on
      logs, set fire to them and burn up logs and Indian together. But cooler
      reflections condemned the idea as unwise, however just it might be, for
      such a summary punishment would naturally excite the Indians to retaliate
      and bring about more trouble. So, after convincing him that he could and
      would kill him if he attempted such a deed again, he wisely let him go, and
      was never troubled by him. That little girl was Miss Caroline Edwards, now
      Mrs. Caroline Thornton, the honored and respected wife of Dr. R. J.
      Thornton,
      of Tuskegee."

      I am trying to discover the definition of "ling" as it is used in this
      early account.

      I found that "ling" is Middle English, from Old Norse "lyng" in the 13th
      century, meaning a heath plant; especially a common Old World heather
      (Calluna vulgaris).

      Heather is described as a low-growing Eurasian shrub growing in dense masses
      and having small evergreen leaves and clusters of small, bell-shaped
      pinkish-
      purple flowers. (Also called ling).

      A heath is further described as an extensive tract of uncultivated open land
      covered with herbage and low shrubs; a moor.

      American plants in the heath family are said to be blueberry, cranberry,
      huckleberry, manzanita, rhododendron, azalea, trailing arbutus.

      Can anyone tell me what the "ling" referred to above was likely to have
      been?

      Thank You & Best wishes,
      David Dorsey
      Opelika, Alabama
      ddorsey@...

      Visit our NEW Family Genealogy Web Site at:
      http://www.familyorigins.com/users/d/o/r/David-W-Dorsey/
      Researching my family lines - Allen, Brooks, Cole, Dorsey, Edwards, Evans,
      Lackey, Murden, Phillips, Sikes(Sykes), Smith, Thornton, Whitlow, Whitt;
      and my spouse's family lines - Blackmon, Clark, Faulk, Hines, Johnson,
      Martin, Sikes, Sims, Snellgrove.
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