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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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FIRE! FIRE! FALSE ALARM!
JANIE FELL INTO'S BILLY'S ARMS.
FIRST CAME LOVE,
THEN CAME MARRIAGE,
THEN CAME BILLY WITH A BABY CARRIAGE.
HOW MANY BABIES DID THEY HAVE?

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; PALOS PARK

James Callow Keyword(s): BIRTH

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse Game Verse

Date learned: 00-00-1972

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Belief: Children

Wednesday's Child:

Wednesday's Child is full of woe.

Submitter comment:

(A person born on Wednesday is believed to be ill-fated through-out life.)

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BIRTH ; Born ; CHILDREN ; DAYS OF THE WEEK ; DESTINY ; Destiny, Fate ; Wednesday ; WOE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance

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Superstition:Wedding

Wedding Superstition:

For each ribbon a bride breaks on a wedding or shower gift she'll have a child.

Submitter comment:

This is a superstition common in the Oswald family

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P545] crossed out/replaced with current classifications

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; BIRTH ; CHILD ; CUSTOM ; FUTURE ; MARRIAGE ; OMEN ; Ribbon ; SUPERSTITION ; WEDDING

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance

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Numerology

If the numerical number of your birthday coincides with your actual age, then you will have good luck that year.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P686, P800] crossed out/replaced with current classifications

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Birthday, Numerology, Numbers ; LUCK ; OMEN

James Callow Keyword(s): Birthday ; Birthday Belief ; NUMEROLOGY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- P647
BELIEF -- Use of Object

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Custom/Belief

Belief - Baby/Motherhood:

After delivering a baby, a woman will eat the afterbirth of an animal, so that her afterbirth delivers well.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [F542] crossed out and replaced with current classification.

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): Afterbirth ; BELIEF ; BIRTH ; Child Bearing ; CHILDBIRTH ; Consumption ; CUSTOM ; FOOD ; Placenta ; PREGNANCY ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth

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Belief: Children

Determining Sex of Unborn Child:

A pin on a thread, if held motionless over the wrist of an expectant mother, can determine sex of child by the motion which it takes up after it is perfectly still. If pin or needle takes up a circular motion than first child weill be a girl. If needle takes up back and forth motion then a boy. If pin stops and then moves again, this can be used to predict the future sex and number of children.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P860] crossed out. Replaced with current classification

Where learned: HOME ; NEW YORK ; ROCHESTER

Keyword(s): ANAPEL ; BELIEF ; Biology ; BIRTH ; CHILDREN ; CUSTOM ; Forecasting ; gender ; Ordain ; Pendulum ; Predictions ; SEX

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth

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Custom/Belief

Craving of Pregnant Woman:

If a pregnant woman has a craving for something and does not get it, the baby will have a birthmark resembling the food that was craved.

Submitter comment:

Informant is a friend's mother, and she remembers this from all her life.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Reference

Original BN [P800] crossed out. Replaced with current classification

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FERNDALE

Keyword(s): BABY ; Birthmark ; Craving ; Craving ; Disfigure ; FOOD ; Lore ; Old Wives Tale ; PREGNANCY

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Superstition

Belief:

A pregnant woman should avoid being scared or shocked because this will disfigure or mark the baby.

Examples:

1. During a fire, a terrified pregnant woman grabbed her face with her hands and the baby was born with a red streak on its face.

2. A pregnant woman was scared by a mouse, and her baby was born with a marking on its shoulder similar to a mouse.

Submitter comment:

The informant heard of these two instances while she as a young girl in Poland.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Reference

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Biology ; BIRTH ; Birthmark ; CHILD ; FEAR ; FIRE ; Mouse ; Offspring ; Old Wives Tale ; PREGNANCY ; RODENT ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Superstition

If a pregnant woman is frightened by fire, the baby will have a red or purple birthmark.

Submitter comment:

Belief: Means of Cursing

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Reference

Original BN [P740] crossed out. Replaced with current classification

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): BABY ; BIRTH ; Birthmark ; CHILD ; COLOR ; CURSE ; FEAR ; FIRE ; jinx ; Offspring ; Old Wives Tale ; Purple ; Red ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Superstition

Pregnancy Superstition:

If a pregnant woman is frightened her baby will be born marked in some way.

Submitter comment:

This is a superstition common in the Oswald family

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Reference

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BABY ; BELIEF ; Birthmark ; CHILD ; CURSE ; FEAR ; jinx ; Mark ; Offspring ; PREGNANCY ; Scare ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Superstition

My grandmother has a mark, which she calls a "fire mark" on her upper arm. It is oddly similar ro a birthmark, bu this is the story of its origin according to my grandmother:

When her mother was pregnant with her, there was a fire in the Russion town where they lived. Her mother went out to look at it, and the night was quite cold. She grasped her upper arm because of this cold, and so my grandmother was born with a mark in the same place her mother had held her arm.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Reference

Original BN [P840] crossed out. Replaced with current classification.

Where learned: Myself

Keyword(s): BABY ; BIRTH ; Birthmark ; Cold ; CURSE ; FEAR ; FIRE ; jinx ; Offspring ; Russia ; Scare ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Superstition

Belief:

If you're frightened during pregnancy after the 7th month the child will be born with a birth mark such as a strawberry or in the shape of a thing that produced the fright.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Reference

Original BN [P880] crossed out. Replaced with Current Classification

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): BABY ; BIRTH ; CHILD ; CURSE ; FEAR ; jinx ; Offspring ; Old Wives Tale ; Scare ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Superstition

Superstition:

Pregnant women should not look at strawberries because then their children will develop red blotches on themselves (which look like strawberries).

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Reference

Original BN [P740] crossed out. replaced with current classification

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): BABY ; BIRTH ; Birthmark ; CURSE ; jinx ; Mark ; Offspring ; Old Wives Tale ; PREGNANCY ; STRAWBERRY ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Superstition

How Many Children?

Thread a needle and hold it at the top, next to your left wrist. If you keep watching for awhile, the needle and thread will move all by itself. If it moves in circles, for example, three times, that means you will have three daughters someday. If it sways back and forth, that means you will have the respective number of sons. If the needle and thread don't move at all, you will be childless.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P542, P860] crossed out. Replaced with current Classification

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BIRTH ; Childbirth, divination ; CHILDREN ; FUTURE ; GAME ; gender ; NUMBER ; Offspring ; Ordaining ; SUPERSTITION ; TRICK

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Superstition: Pregnancy

When you're pregnant is you see a fire there will be a mark on your child.

Data entry tech comment:

motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Reference

Original BN [P870] crossed out. Replaced with P542

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN HEIGHTS

Keyword(s): Birthmark ; CHILD ; CURSE ; FIRE ; Mark ; Offspring ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Superstition

"Mouse"

My brother has a birthmark on his thigh. But my grandmother refuses to believe that it did not come about inthis way: She says that when my mother was pregnant a mouse must have frightened her and she must have grabbed her leg at the thigh, in the place where my brother has the "mouse." Her proof is that my uncle has the same kind of mark in the same place on his leg, and she is sure that she was scared by a mouse when pregnant with him.

Data entry tech comment:

motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Reference

Original BN [P840] crossed out and replaced with current classification.

Where learned: Myself

Keyword(s): BIRTH ; Birthmark ; CHILD ; CURSE ; FEAR ; Mouse ; Offspring ; Scare ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Custom/Belief

Tie a diamond ring to a piece of string with the diamond hanging at the lowest point. Hold the string at eye level. Hold it steady and place someone's hand palm down under the diamond. If the ring sways from left to right that is the sign that the expectant mother will have a baby boy. If it sways to and fro, the baby will be a girl.

Data entry tech comment:

motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Reference

Original BN [F500] crossed out. Replaced with current classification

Keyword(s): BABY ; BELIEF ; BIRTH ; DIVINATION ; gender ; Old Wives Tale ; Ordaining ; SEX ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Superstition: Pregnancy

Prediction Belief:

If a pregnant woman looks at an ugly animal, her child may be ugly.

Submitter comment:

Prediction / Belief

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Reference

Original BN [P800] crossed out / replaced with current classification

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; BIRTH ; CHILD ; CURSE ; jinx ; Offspring ; Old Wives Tale ; PREGNANCY ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Superstition: Pregnancy

Birth Omen:

When you are pregnant, if you thread a needle and hold it over your left arm with your right hand, you can learn what the sex of the child is. If it swings across the arm, it is a boy. If it swings up and down the arm, it is a girl.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Reference

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BIRMINGHAM

Keyword(s): BIRTH ; CHILD ; DIVINATION ; gender ; Ordaining ; PREGNANCY ; SEX

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

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Belief: Animal

Agricultural Belief:

A Bull Frog croaks and freezes 3 times before winter.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P870] crossed out. Replaced with current classification

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; GRAND RAPIDS

Keyword(s): AGRICULTURE ; AMPHIBIAN ; ANIMAL ; BELIEF ; DEATH ; Fall ; Freeze ; FROG ; Frozen ; Rebirth ; SEASONS ; SUPERSTITION ; WINTER

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal

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