Cow Hampshire Explained

005_111To get to the point quickly, what exactly does “Cow Hampshire” mean?

First, take this quick test.
Please, say outloud, “Cow Hampshire.”

If you have just said something that sounds like:
1. “Cow Hamp-shyre
2. “Cow-Hamp-sher

you won’t understand, because you are either
a. a transplant to New Hampshire
b. not a native of New Hampshire
c. a native of New Hampshire, but somehow you did not inherit the accent

If you just said something that sounds like:

You have the correct accent,  are at least someone with a new England accent, possibly you were born in, or lived some time, in New Hampshire or one of the surrounding states, or maybe you are from England (in which case you qualify, as the New England accent is supposed to sound like the original settlers of New Hampshire, who were mainly from England, Scotland and Ireland).

“Cow Hampshire” was a term coined at the University of New Hampshire, when reportedly there were more cows than people in New Hampshire. I have not been able to verify this “rural legend” of New Hampshire, but I may look into this at a later date. If you know of statistics to prove or disprove this legend, let me know.  I do know that the famed Ted Williams liked to use the term “Cow Hampshire,” but it was not complimentary to our State.

I actually once owned a T-shirt that said “Cow Hampshire” back in the 1990’s when I took karate at the House of the Samurai.  I had broken my collar bone twice before I started karate lessons, and all it took was a forward tumble and I broke my collarbone a third time! (Not the fault of the school, which I highly recommend, just a physical fault that I should have recognized).  So that lovely green “Cow Hampshire”  T-shirt  with the spotted black and white cow was cut off me by the wonderful staff in the emergency room at St. Joseph Hospital in Nashua NH.  I’d love to have another T-shirt like it.  If anyone knows where to buy one, let me know.

What do I plan to do with this blog–I’m not quite sure at this point.  I am really into genealogy and history, mostly in New Hampshire where many of my ancestors lived, and so I expect that I will focus on those topics, along with posting some photographs.

I grew up, and attended grammar school, high school and college in Manchester, NH Some of the other places I’ve lived  (in NH) include: Goffstown, Mont Vernon, New Boston, and Merrimack. Some of the places I’ve lived outside of New Hampshire include St. Esprit Cape Breton Canada, Denver Colorado, and Swanton Vermont.

I maintain several web sites on the genealogy and history of NH, which includes photographs–old and new.  I’ve been documenting some of the NH cemeteries, before the gravestones disintegrate with time, or are destroyed by vandals.

I’ve been researching genealogy for about 30 years (I started at a tender age!).  I’m a member of NEHGS, NYG&B, CSG,  and the DAR.

Ancestors in my paternal grandmother’s line hail for many generations from NH–with surnames such as Kilborn, Abbott, Uran (settlers on the Isles of Shoals in the late 1600s), Runnels, Tuttle, Worthley, etc.  If you have a few ancestors that lived in NH in the 1700s, I’m probably distantly related to you.

The name Cow Hampshire for this web site is used because I believe that we should encourage a sense of humor about everything–ourselves, genealogy, and even our state.

Janice Brown

P.S.: “The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.”

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