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Sandi's Puzzles

In this era of political elections, what was a democrat wagon? (and no, not a wagon driven by Democrats!)

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Puzzles and Answers from Recent Weeks
For older questions and answers, follow this link.

What was the job of a processioner? This was commonly done in Kentucky.

Answer: A processioner was a surveyor but he did his surveying for a different reason usually. He was called on to survey when (1) neighbors were protesting a property line between them (Charlie is plowing on my land!) and the property lines had to be confirmed; (2) when a marker tree had been cut down or a marker stone plowed under; or (3) when land owned by a deceased individual had to be divided up according to the will to the heirs so they all received their portion. He was not the original surveyor of the land.

Long ago, workers had children walk on clay until it was reduced to a smooth & even substance which was used to make bricks. What were these children called?

Answer: The person/child was called a pugger

These are classes to teach law students how to conduct a case & how a court works. What is it called to this day?

Answer: Moot

What do we call a raser house today?

Answer: A raser house is a barbershop.

People might have to hire a spotter. What would we call him today?

Answer: a detective

What was a Black Maria and who would use it?

Answer: The Black Mariah was what was known as a paddy wagon, taking prisoners to jail. It was named for an African-American woman who owned a house of prostitution. She reported to the police anyone who she found was doing something illegal or criminals who came into her establishment.

In some old country churches there were 2 deacons who had a special job. One stood by with a feather in his hand. The other held a stick with a hatpin on the end. What did they do during the services?

Answer: This was to keep the church members awake. A tickle under the chin for the ladies; a stick from the hat pin for the gents.

This was the term for something which contained 60-140 gallons of liquid or 750-1,200 pounds of tobacco and wasn't an animal part though it sounded like it.

Answer: hogshead

Often in documents, even today, you will see n.m.i or n.m.n. What do these initials stand for?

Answer: N.M.I. indicates a person who has no middle initial; N.M.N. means the person had no middle name. It is recorded that President Harry Truman had no middle name. He added the middle initial S. which stood for nothing so he wouldn't be shown as Harry N.M.I. or N. M. N. Truman.

What fruit was never eaten in earlier times because "if a hog won't eat it, why should I?"

Answer: A tomato. Often considered a vegetable, since it grows above ground, it is also considered a fruit.

A man writes his will and leaves certain items to his wife to use during her natural life. But most put in the clause limiting her receiving these bequests. How did he limit her?

Answer: At a widow's remarriage she normally reverted back to inheriting 1/3rd of the remaining estate or a child's portion.

In former times, a barber swept up the hair from the floor and saved it. It was later sold and used as a reinforcing agent for something else - not for wigs! What was it used for?

Answer: Plaster; the hair was called Plaster Hair. It could be used in concrete also, and sometimes horse hair was used.

If you see "call (or called) term" in records what did this mean?

Answer: A called term is one where a county (or city etc.) court calls a special session to handle something that can't wait until their regular meeting time. This might be a will, a murder, or some business that must be handled immediately.

Susan was excited when she finally found the name of her grandam. Whose name did she find?

Answer: Grandmother

In his will, a man lists his heirs - wife, sons and daughters, possibly grandchildren, brothers or sisters. He also names his natural son. Who is this?

Answer: an illegitimate son that he has named as his own for inheritance purposes.

In Colonial times one might see a record saying that an individual had a "new mother." Who was she?

Answer: Step-mother.