Thursday, December 1, 2016

Editor's Corner

December 2016

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."--Einstein.
It will soon be Christmas again, and although there are other celebrations this month, that is the one your editor grew up anticipating. All the networks it seems are showing holiday stories, movies recognizing both Thanksgiving and Christmas, but mostly the latter.Maybe it is because the season seems to fly by and focusing on it prolongs the excitement and joy. Prayers for Peace and well being are voiced throughout the land, indeed, the world. May all your days be bright and merry no matter what celebration you choose, have fun, be kind, be safe.

To emphasize the reason for Christmas, here is the link to my poem "Tiny Miracle" which has been published and reprinted in Pencilstubs a few times. Tiny Miracle
John Blair's poems for this issue speak of many subjects, family, hobbies, history, Love, and "Books," the latter is even the title of one of them. Other titles are: "Soil," "Love Spoken Here," "Watering Flowers aat Midnight," "You Who Went Before," and "Cousins." Bud Lemire shares "The Picture That Wasn't There," while Bruce Clifford declares it is "One Last Time," and adds "Wicked."

Judith Kroll's column shows her deep feelings about human shortcomings and her hope for a better way with"I shed a tear..." in her column "On Trek." LC's column is more light-hearted, discussing little known facts about the ubiquitous hot dog. Her article, "Bringing Stella Home," is a perfect gift idea.Barbara Irvin submitted the other article "ESSAY:I Can Always Count on Three Things." "A Friendship That Began in December," a story, is also by Barbara.

Thomas F. O'Neill, "Introspective," admits how surprised he was because his predictions were not how things turned out. "Reflections of the Day" by Dayvid Clarkson, includes a couple of days in November, and his way of ending each day with hope and peace. Mattie Lennon of Dublin Ireland, (Irish Eyes) advises his fans of the Christmas Reading with Billy Keane and also of the innovative publication by Ballpoint Press "Then There Was Light" detailing the rural electrification  process.

Rod Cohenour's "Cooking with Rod," blesses us with "Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas" for twelve servings, and tells how to pretty it up as a casserole if you are fortunate enough to have leftovers. Melinda Cohenour's "Armchair Genealogy" begins the saga of trying to chase down with research, a named relative with enough documentation to tantalize and prove his existence, but not the linking records farther back. Part Two promises to report her progress.

Thanks again to Mike Craner for his expertise and patience that allows this little ezine to continue its mission of encouraging writers, experienced and beginners, and to promote reading.

Watch for us in January which ends our current year's Volume 19.!

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.
This issue appears in the ezine at and also in the blog with the capability of adding comments at the latter.

Cooking with Rod

Rod’s Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole

It is rapidly approaching my favorite time of year – Christmas and New Year. While the weather outside may be “frightful” this recipe is truly “delightful.” It is also the one recipe most often requested – nay, let’s be honest – DEMANDED by my grandchildren when they visit. It is rib-sticking, warm, and downright comfort food. It is a great recipe to take for a party or just to watch TV and settle next to a nice warm fire with loved ones nearby and enjoy good company, good times and great food!

This recipe will easily feed twelve people, but if you’re planning to only feed four, no worry – it keeps beautifully and the flavors merely become more wonderful when you reheat in the oven to serve again. No one has EVER refused this dish as a leftover at my house!

So fire up that oven, get your cutting boards out, and enjoy building this delicious concoction. It will become your family favorite as well, I believe.

Feliz Navidad and Prospero Nuevo Ano!

Bon appetit~!

Rod’s Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

  •   42 Corn tortillas (7 layers, 6 tortillas per layer)
  •   1 can Green Chiles
  •   4 cans Hatch Green Chile Enchilada Sauce
  •   2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
  •   1 lg. Purple Onion, diced
  •   4 Chicken Breasts, broiled and cubed
  •   Garlic Powder, 1 Tbsp.
  •   Chili Powder, enough to coat chicken plus 1Tbsp. for sauce
  •   Cumin, enough to coat chicken plus 1 Tbsp for sauce
  •   1 lb. Four-Cheese Blend, grated
  •   ½ lb. Sharp Cheddar, grated
    Season chicken with garlic powder, chili powder and cumin on all sides before broiling. Mix green chiles, enchilada sauce, cream of chicken soup in a large bowl and whisk. This is your chile mixture.
    When chicken is cooked through and lightly browned, remove from broiler, permit to cool slightly and then cube.
    In large roasting pan, prepare seven (7) layers as follows:
    •   Chile mixture (small amount to prevent sticking)
    •   Tortillas (6 per layer)
    •   Chile mixture
    •   Onion
    •   Chicken
    •   Cheeses
    (Repeat for each layer.)
    Bake at 400° for 30 minutes. Should be nicely browned and bubbly. Serve hot with tortilla chips, salad and preferred side dishes.
To reheat, carefully ladle casserole layers into a smaller pan, top with a touch of additional cheese. Bake at 400° for 25 to 30 minutes.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Irish Eyes



         I told you last month about the launch of “The Best of Billy Keane.” I was there. I bought the book and I have read it. It is a collection of 59 articles by one of Ireland’s best loved columnists, authors, after-dinner speakers and genuine gentleman. The blurb describes this all-rounder from Listowel Co. Kerry, as “ . . The discerning sinner turned confessor.” In this collection Billy covers most aspects of human life from “Born Again Virgins” to the tragic death from cancer of teenager Donal Walsh. Donal died from cancer as a teenager. In the months and days leading up to his death he pleaded with anybody contemplating suicide to change their mind. He wanted to live but knew he couldn’t. On his deathbed he asked his Parish Priest what was on the other side. The priest said, “I don’t know Donal, but it’ll be a far better place with you in it.” Billy writes, “The boy who changes lives has changed mine. Donal’s message is easy to get. Live. Live and make the most of it.”
         John B. Keane had the most balanced approach to the Catholic Church of anybody I ever met. Billy is following in his footsteps. He has no problem criticising the approach of the Church to certain matters. But when writing about pure Christians like his old school Mate Father Pat Moore and Father Padraig Walsh the spiritual side of him is very evident. He can even turn Agony-aunt dishing out advice on how to cope with the “. . . Imaginary but sometimes barbed-wire border under the duvet. From the swallows returning to Listowel (their old homes demolished during Celtic-tiger years) to “Born again Virgins” it’s all there.
         Bill is a publican but he always modestly describes himself as “a barman.” His father once said that you can write a thousand words about anything. His son took him at his word. Who else could pen a lengthy article on the installation of a stainless steel urinal in the gent’s toilet of the pub. When he initially suggested the new urinal his 86 year old mother and the barmaid, Phil, claimed that “There’s nothing wrong with the old toilets that a bucket of water couldn’t fix” they were informed by Billy, that they were going on about something that they knew nothing about ” . . . because neither of ye are men.” Billy got his way. The gleaming stainless convenience is in position,. I tested it. Making a sound like a hosepipe being played on a hubcap.
         And there is the story of Paddy Joe Keane from Kill nard , Co. Laois. In late 2011 Paddy Joe was diagnosed with lung cancer and told that he had only a few months to live. He said, “ I don’t want everyone to be at the wake when I can’t be there myself.” He planned, and held, his own wake while he was still alive. A typical Irish wake was held in the Thatch pub. He died on February 16th 2012. His son Paddy said later, “ My take is Paddy Joe was saying to his family and friends,’ the memories of the last stand will keep me alive and keep ye happy’. Billy Keane sums it up, “Paddy Joe Keane, the clever handyman from Kill nard, might just have figured out a new and better way of dying.” Which I’m sure would be a good thing. “
         Billy doesn’t confine his observations to this little island. An eye on international affairs. He was delighted when Donald Trump got the Republican nomination in 2015 his joy knew no bounds when The Donald was elected. Why. Well, according to Billy, if Trump hadn’t made it to the Whitehouse he had his eye on the position of Taoiseach here. Eamon DeValera, who was an American, ran for the British House of Parliament ,as a candidate for County Clare, in 1917. He was elected by an overwhelming majority. He eventually became Taoiseach and later President of Ireland. If Trump followed the same route the author reckons he would have built a wall around County Clare, “to keep the Tipperary hurlers out.”
         He also has some revelations about “The Man Who had it All Figured Out”. He paints a comprehensive picture of this individual but doesn’t tell us who he is.
         In a valuable piece to men who are reluctant to visit a doctor about ailments of the reproductive organs he quotes a character from one of his father’s works; “I’ll let know man look at my apparatus until I’m being washed for the grave.” Billy is a man who can get a bit of humour into almost any piece of writing and come up with titles like, “Who Needs A Man When You’ve Got Your Pension Book?” but he can dish out some valuable advice. His writing about his own vulnerabilities have, in my opinion, saved lives.
         Great writing from a great man.

* * * * *

         Ballpoint Press has also recently published Then There Was Light a collection of stories from fifty seven people about the arrival of Rural Electrification. The scheme was rolled out seventy years ago when the first pole was raised at Kilsallaghan, Co Dublin on November 05th 1946. These stories are from ESB employees, and people from rural Ireland many of whom remember the “’lectric light” being installed in their homes and the interaction between the locals and the ESB crews.
         Former ESB engineer Noel Mulcahy tells of how he was chased out of a cabbage field by an axe-wielding farmer. As he ran up a boreen, barely ahead of his pursuer he was lucky enough to flag down a passing car. He learned later that the Yankee driver was none other than Baron Handley, the man who offered $50 Million to the Queen to buy the six counties which he planned to give to the Republic.
         Interaction between the crews and the locals wasn’t always friendly. Con Foley from Knockananna, County Wicklow tells of the night of the big “switch-on” in his village in august 1957. There was a dance and a row broke out. Con writes that it , “ . . .always reminds me of John Wayne fighting as Sean Thornton with squire ‘red’ Will Danaher in the film, ‘the Quiet Man.” He goes on the explain a Wicklow man’s approach to fighting. By way of illustration he tells the story of how one local fellow left a girl home after the dance. On his way home he was attacked by three or four fellows whose swinging punches connected. He later said that he had a perfect night, “ a court from a good looking woman and a fight to round off the proceedings.”
         Eamon Ginnane from Carrigaholt, County Clare, gives a vivid account of how sabateurs risked electrocution in their bid to disrupt the “big-switch on” .
         There are titles such as A Narrow escape With First Electric Blanket” and “ Sir, I’ve No Homework Because The New Light Blinded Me.” And of course some of the “Wire-men” who arrived in rural areas were considered “Ladies Men” but you’ll have to read to book to find out about them.

Happy Christmas

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Armchair Genealogy

Taking the Chisel to a Major Brick Wall: 

What we know about P. R. Joslyn

Part I

      One of my most puzzling and annoying issues in all my genealogical research has been the quest to identify the parents of my 3rd Great-Grandfather, William “P. R.” Joslyn. As has been mentioned in prior columns, our family legend was that Riley Joslin was the “Son of William, son of William, son of William.” We were told by our grandfather, James Arthur Joslin, that his father migrated into Missouri from “Caney County, IllEnoise” (in the peculiar vernacular of the Ozarkian/Appalachian kindred, that translates to Kane County, Illinois).

      Much research has been devoted to identifying the parentage of P. R. Joslyn, to no avail. My maternal uncle agreed to submit his DNA years ago in the hopes of finding a close relative with that information documented and willing to share. We found a few close relatives whose family trees were well documented and provided proof that we are related to the Immigrant Thomas “Jostlin” who brought most of his family to America aboard the good ship Increase in the year 1634/35. To my dismay and deep disappointment, however, none had documentation to finally and forever forge the link to that illustrious Joslin/Joslyn/Josceline/Josselyn, etc. historic lineage reaching back in the mists of time to Charlemagne and beyond to his earliest known forefather, his 3rd great-grandfather Pepin of Landen also known as Blessed Pepin or Pippin for his generous and saintly nature or to his earliest proposed ancestor, 7th great-grandfather Clovis I, King of the Franks (c466-511).

      What we did discover was that my uncle’s DNA matched most closely to a man who had been adopted in the aftermath of the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918 responsible for the loss of millions of lives around the world. That DNA hit brought me in touch with two other researchers whose quest was similar: discovering the missing link in their own heritage. One was the descendant of one of the twin sisters who survived the epidemic (the other twin and their mother, wife to our DNA match’s father having, sadly, not survived). The second was the daughter of the man who, at a tender age, was adopted by a loving family. Together we three set out to help one another. The result has been edifying, but has not provided that one last brick of knowledge. Alas!

      I set up a separate, private, tree to assist in researching that scintillating but elusive tie between the DNA match (the adopted son of the hero of the epidemic who almost lost his own life trying to save that of his wife and infant twin daughters) and our own P. R. Joslyn. Our DNA match’s father we shall call DNA Primary. DNA Primary’s life was fairly easy to research. I was able to discover documentation placing him in various places by virtue of the Census, newspaper records of his heroic exploits aiding the overwrought doctors battling the Flu, birth and other records. That led to his parents and later to his grandfather, Edward S. Joslyn (often spelled ‘Joyslin” in various city directories and other records). Edward S. was a skilled watchmaker, a silversmith who was born May of 1826 in Cohansey Township, Cumberland County, New Jersey. That was an intriguing bit of information as we know the forebear known as the Colonel William of Deerfield (1701-1771) settled in the Cumberland area before meeting and wedding our 4th great-grandmother, Christiana Garrison (a fact now also proved via DNA matches). It was written in the Joslin book published by Edith S. Wessler:

      "He left Fairfield Township about 1730 and purchased land at the Indian Fields (East Bridgeton). At this place, he married Christiana Garrison, daughter of Jacob Garrison, Jr (1676-1751) who lived nearby. "


(NOTE: Per Roland Joslin CD information provided by Carol Treadway on Ancestry message. Cohansey Township, N.J., was formed from Hopewell Township, N.J., 6 Mar. 1848; became part of Bridgeton, N.J., 1 Mar. 1865.)

      Edward S. Joslin appears to have apprenticed in his early years, age 24, in the home of an established “watchmaker” along with others who have been found through the author’s research to be related by blood or work association. That information was provided through the 1850 US Federal Census, and was both enlightening and very disappointing, as the 1850 Census was the first documentation that provided genealogists with family information for so many. It was the first Census to list Head of Household by name, date and place of birth, and to provide Household Members’ names, dates and places of birth and relationship to the Head. Since our Edward S. was apprenticed out, we have no clue to his parentage. It does provide us with his age (23) and place of birth (New Jersey). We know that Edward S. also traveled to Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky where he married his wife, Nancy A. Roser. They lived there for awhile, for their first daughter, Harriett Leeds Joslin was born there 12 Dec 1856. (It is believed her middle name was given her as a nod to his long-time friend and associate, G. Howard Leeds who appeared in the 1850 Census along with Edward S., and was shown to be 31 years of age, also born in New Jersey.) Notations by the author in Edward S.’ Profile for two separate 1860 Census enumerations are as follow:

      “7 Jun 1860, Paducah, McCracken, Kentucky: Listed as a watchmaker. (Enumerated two times in 1860 in Paducah. Clearly same family, house 413.) Name Age E S Joslin 34 N A Joslin 27 Harriet L Joslin 3 Julia A Joslin 2 Louisa Joslin 3/12”

      “28 Jul 1860, Paducah, McCracken, Kentucky: Listed as "Jewelry Merchant." Name Age E S Joyslin 34 Nancy Joyslin 28 Harriet L Joyslin 3 Julia R Joyslin 2 Louisa Joyslin 4/12”

      We find by 1863 the Edward S. Joslin family has returned to Illinois, for Military records reveal the following:

      “1 Jul 1863, Illinois, United States: “Civil War Draft Registration lists Edward as a "silversmith" born in New Jersey. Shows former military service as "mexican war."

      By 1870, the US Federal Census shows Edward S. has once again made a move:

      “1870, Camden North Ward, Camden County, New Jersey: “"Works at silverplating." Name Age Edward Joyslin 44 Nancy A Joyslin 37 Harriet Joyslin 13 Julia Joyslin 17 Louisa Joyslin 10 Mary Joyslin 8 Walter Joyslin 6”

      Without boring the reader with the various city directory entries, research shows Edward S. set up a successful business enterprise in Camden, NJ, where he and his daughter Louisa, a professional seamstress, maintained their offices. We also discover an occasional record of his expansion of services to other nearby cities. The 1880 Census shows his family still esconced in Camden”

      “1880, Camden, Camden County, New Jersey: “"Jeweler." Household Members: Name Age Edw. S. Joslin 54 Nancey A. Joslin 47 Lilie Joslin 7 Nancey Joslin 5”

      The 1890 Census was lost due to a fire and ensuing water damage caused in the effort to salvage the documents. Therefore, we resort to substitute records to document location and occupation of our subjects: For Edward S. we find the following:

      “1890, Camden, NJ: “Name: Edward S Joyslin Residence Year: 1890 Street Address: 450 Liberty Residence Place: Camden, New Jersey Occupation: Silversmith Publication Title: Camden, New Jersey, City Directory, 1890”

      Our final documentation of the life of Edward S. Joslin possible close relative to our P. R. Joslyn is the following Census record which also provides us with clues as to the married names of Edward S. Joyslin’s daughters:

      “1900, Upper Freehold, Monmouth, New Jersey: “Enumerated in home of daughter, Julia Joslin BROWN and her husband. Also in home is daughter, Harriett now widowed and last name: Forby. Household Members: Name Age William Brown 40 Julia A Brown 42 Edward S Joyslin 74 Harriet S Forby 43”

      All this information is provided in the hopes someone will read the column, recognize key names and provide documentation that will aid in the final conclusion as to how Edward S. Joyslin, talented silversmith/watchmaker, is related to our own elusive William “P. R.” Joslyn. (Interesting to note, my maternal uncle Jack Oakley Joslin was a talented watchmaker – a tinkerer who was fascinated by and could resolve any issues associated with watches or clocks of any kind!!)

      Now, back to P. R.

      No genealogical research occurs in a vacuum. We rely upon documents: Census records are key, also Family Bibles where loving parents and grandparents have penned the names and dates of birth for children and their children, marriages celebrated, deaths mourned. Also relevant newspaper articles and obituaries as well as the modern-day equivalent: the marvelous Find A Grave website where photographs of graves and cemeteries have been submitted by a drove of generous folks interested in preserving family heritage. Thanks be to God for these people! But, a word of warning: even those dates chiseled in stone can be in error. Be certain to provide cross documentation for every fact where you can.

      My research has relied heavily on the paper trail provided by my mother, grandmother and aunt: Lena May Joslin Carroll, her mother Carrie Edyth Bullard Joslin, and my aunt Linnie Jane Joslin Burks. Additionally, other family researchers paved the way with their many trips to local libraries, NARA sites, and publication of family trees and stories. Also, in my case, the two closest contributing and assisting researchers are now gone: my cousins Joyce Schumacher and Pat Joslin Steiner. We three collaborated via phone, email and snail mail for years – weighing the latest finding carefully to give each the “sniff” test of reliability before placing that particular fact in our tree. I must also give full credit to the work and research of a distant “shirt-tail” cousin, David Lewis, whose relentless searching of Census records divulged the trail blazed by P. R. Joslyn and his children.

      Our earliest record of William “P. R.” Joslyn appears as a tantalizing bit of “maybe” – a marriage between a William Joslin and Lois Bennett on 23 Sep 1795 in Cumberland County, New Jersey. Many researchers believe this is our William “P. R.” As a researcher, I would be remiss if had I failed to at least include the listing as a possibility – although I tend to discount this particular hint. The marriage, among other facts, is recorded as “Cumberland County, New Jersey genealogical data: records pertaining to persons residing in Cumberland County prior to 1800.” (Original data: Craig, H. Stanley,. Cumberland County, New Jersey genealogical data : records pertaining to persons residing in Cumberland County prior to 1800. Merchantville, N.J.: H. Stanley Craig, 19--?.)

      Next, we find a Census record enumerating William Joslin’s household as follows (the enumerator’s count is a bit puzzling – as there is no other evidence William Joslin traveled with slaves in tow. The count appears to have been at least doubled by some miscalculation. It would appear there were 7 males (2 under 10, 4 between the ages of 16 and 25 and one male aged 45 and over.) Additionally, there appears to have been 7 females (3 under 10 plus 2 aged 10 thru 15, and 1 aged 16 to 25, plus the matriarch aged 45 and over). This would appear to comprise a household of 7 males and 7 females, not 28 persons.:

Name Wm Joslin
Home in 1820 (City, County, State) Deerfield, Morgan, Ohio
Enumeration Date August 7, 1820
Free White Persons - Males - Under 10 2
Free White Persons - Males - 16 thru 18 1
Free White Persons - Males - 16 thru 25 4
Free White Persons - Males - 45 and over 1
Free White Persons - Females - Under 10 3
Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 15 2
Free White Persons - Females - 16 thru 25 1
Free White Persons - Females - 45 and over 1
All Other Persons Except Indians not Taxed 14
Free White Persons - Under 16 7
Free White Persons - Over 25 2
Total Free White Persons 14
Total All Persons - White, Slaves, Colored, Other 28

      By tracking later records, we find the children of P. R. and the woman who gave them birth routinely cited their places of birth as New Jersey until we find Isaac Joslin, who says he was born about 1814 in Ohio. If we accept that William “P. R.” Joslin fought in the War of 1812 as some records suggest, it is likely he began his migration Westward to accept bonus land awards. His family’s appearance in Ohio and birth of a son in 1814 would coincide with that information. However, without a fixed date of birth for P. R., and the arbitrary date of 1760 which we’ve ascribed for purposes of research (which also fits with known age ranges for the Census records), he would have been 52 years old. A bit long in the tooth but, then, fit and able men fought. A fact not yet accepted as truth yet but used to further our research.

      Our next documentation for P. R. find his family in 1830 in Berlin, Knox County, Ohio. This record would appear to place P.R.’s age between 60 and 69.:
vName William Joslin
Home in 1830 (City, County, State) Berlin, Knox, Ohio
Free White Persons - Males - 10 thru 14 1
Free White Persons - Males - 20 thru 29 2
Free White Persons - Males - 60 thru 69 1
Free White Persons - Females - 15 thru 19 2
Free White Persons - Females - 20 thru 29 1
Free White Persons - Females - 50 thru 59 1
Free White Persons - Under 20 3
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49 3
Total Free White Persons 8
Total - All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored) 8

      And, for this first part of the story of William “P. R.” Joslyn, we shall conclude at this point. Stay tuned for the conclusion in next month’s issue of

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Reflections on the Day

      Nov 26: A spiritual journey is never easy, as it is fraught with detours and pitfalls. It takes patience and perseverance as we seek our own truths. The journey is also exciting and exhilarating as something deep inside urges us on.

      I ask that you are mindful this is your journey do not compare it to others or try to live the paths of others. I do not speak to dead people, I do not see auras, I do not astral travel, and I do not sit cross-legged to meditate.

      In this day of social media, everyone has advice, how to lucid dream in seven easy steps, ten easy exercises to cleanse your chakras, twelve health changing foods, and ‘back handed’ spiritual messages. I simply ask you to awaken in the morning start where you are, use what you have, and just move forward. vThere are no measurements of how far along you are or how far along others are; it is not a race. Please know there is at least one other person who understands.

      Sleep well, dream deep my Friends. Humble bow, Dayvid

      Nov 27:The windsong carried me along this eve. Grand Mother Moon gently chided me to wash behind my ears so I could hear the silence. The sound between the whispers quickened my heart. A sense of accomplishment filled my soul.

      Yet I don’t know what I accomplished. I pause and quietly look around trying to see what is not there. I talk in riddles to myself; yet I know, surely I know. Surely I know.

      The mist draws about me and I am ready. It is time, it is time. I shall venture forth to see the new day but take time with the night. For at this time and in this place a peace shall surround me and I will share with all. This is our time.

      Sleep well, dream deep my Friends. Humble bow, Dayvid

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.