Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Editor's Corner


October 2019

“In October, a maple tree before your window
lights up your room like a great lamp.
Even on cloudy days, its presence
helps to dispel the gloom.”
— John Burroughs.

The beginning of Fall, in most parts of the country, yet Texas continuew pretty much its status quo of hot and hotter. Yet it is seldom the weather which inspires or sadly despairs people. It is the incidents that occurred in such a month.

Sometimes those incidents pretty much balance or even cancel each other out. There are a lot of weddings, many births, new jobs, new locations perhaps as in going away to college. Then there are always the losses and there are many who have a multitude of October memorials.

It is desirable to celebrate and anticipate when the first page of a new month is turned. That is how the column by Marilyn Carnell (Sifoddling Along) presents, as a gift of memory as she reminds us about "Gravy." Judith Kroll (On Trek)waxes eloquent about Trees.

Thomas F. O'Neill (Introspective) lets his readers in on his upbringing and how things have changed, seemingly, in meaning. Mattie Lennon, updates us about the couple of Ironman hopefuls and throws in some Irish humour.

Melinda Cohenour (Armchair Genealogy) gets into really ancient history and ties it into family lineage.Rod Cohenour brightens our menu suggestions with his wife's Onion Kuchen.

"Birdbath," "Clouds by Moonlight,: and "Garden of Possibilites," are the poems by John I. Blair. Bud Lemire has five poems this issue: "Happy to Live Here," "The Chocolate Lady," "Remembering Mom With Love," "Coach Thibalt," and "The Blue Screen." Bruce Clifford sent "Been Fighting This" and "Crystal Lake."

Michael Craner, our co-founder and webmaster, now a year older and surely wiser as one becomes when the father of a n active brood of grown and nearly grown kiddoes, is the key to our well being, our equilibrium, our dreams. Thanks again, Mike!
See you in November!

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

Armchair Genealogy

An Incredible Lineage: My 23rd Great-Grandfather,
Hugues dePayens (DuPuy)

     This ancestor is famous, along with his father, his sons, his cousins, and many of his descendants. His life was of such historical impact that his name is often used in vain by contemporary writers, whose distortion of his valor, his passion for his beliefs, and his incredible successes is of such odious nature it sours upon the heart of his descendants. For this man lived up to his convictions in such a manner as to bring fame and glory to him and his fellow kinsmen in his lifetime, with so great a tale that nearly a thousand years after his death, his name and exploits are still known.
Hugues de Payens DuPuy (1070 - 1136) Languedoc, France - Jerusalem, Palestine Hugues de Payens, also Hughes de Payns, Hughes de Pagan (English: Hugh of Payens or ""Hugh Pagan"") (c. 1070-1136), a French knight from the Champagne region, was the co-founder and first Grand Master of the Knights Templar. With Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, he created the Latin Rule, the code of behavior for the Order.

    The desire to know my ancestral lines led to the discovery of the line documented through the centuries to the man who is, perhaps, the most famous of all my ancestors, save – perhaps – Charlemagne, who has been documented as the patriarch of my Joslin lineage. The DuPuy line is on my paternal side of the tree, with the line of descent (as carefully detailed as is possible with 23 generations whose roots were based in pre-Medieval Europe) included for reference. This is my feeble attempt to tell his story, a story so ancient that it had to be of huge effect to be related so many centuries after his passing.

    Hugues de Payens, also written as dePayens, de Pagan, or Hugh DuPuy, was a French knight from the Champagne region of France. He came of strong and valorous stock, the son of Raphael de Podeo (di Podio) DuPuy, a General in the Roman Cavalry and the Grand Chamberlain of the Holy Roman Empire in 1033 under Emperor Conrad. The Emperor found him so worthy he appointed him Governor of the Provinces of Languedoc and Dauphny in southeast France after Conrad was reunited with the German Empire in 1033. Raphael’s exploits were documented in a number of tomes, most notably, perhaps, as recorded by another family historian:
The first notable encyclopedia of the dictionary type appeared in 1674: Le Grand dictionnaire historique, ou melange curieux de l'histoire sacree et profane (The Great Historical Dictionary, or Anthology of Sacred and Secular History). Written by the French priest and scholar Louis Moreri, it is a special dictionary of history, mythology, genealogy and biography. It was revised many times and was translated into English, German, Spanish and Italian. This dictionary is one of the first documents that one consults when one wishes to establish a connection with European nobility.
The Library of Congress owns a version of this remarkable work that was published in Paris in 1759. It is written in French. I have obtained from them a copy of pages 632 - 644 of Volume VIII, Part II. These pages contain the biographies and genealogical information for the Du Puy family of the times, at least those that were deemed notable enough by the author to include them in his work. … I obtained a copy of the aforementioned pages from the Library of Congress. Leroy's genealogy extends to Ralph du Puy, the first du Puy, whom Moreri introduces as follows: "In 1033, the emperor Conrad le Salique (and not Henry II in 1103 as the historian marquis de Sainte-Andre-Montbrun has said) came at the head of an army to take possession of the kingdoms of Arles and Bourgogne, which he had inherited from the donation of Rudolphe, dit le Faireant. Raphael du Puy, in latin de Podio, grand chamberlain of the (holy roman) empire, accompanied him. He was one of a number of governors that the emperor appointed in his new states. Since that time, the descendants of Raphael du Puy have owned and were sovereigns of many of the states in Dauphine, up to the reign of Louis XI, who reunited all the sovereign states to the French crown. The tomb of Raphael du Puy, at Pereins, was opened in 1610, by order of the count de la Roche, governor of Romans in Dauphine. They found his body laid out on a marble table, his spurs on one side and his sword on the other, under his head a helmet of lead and covered by a leather garment with the following inscription: Raphael de Podio, General of the Roman cavalry and Grand Chamberlain of the Roman Empire.
In the du Puy manor at Puy in Dauphine, there is preserved a gold medal belonging to Raphael, on the back of which is inscribed: " Raphael de Podio, grand chamberlain of the Roman Empire under the emperor Augustus, Christ reigns." According to (the historians) Octavian and Strabon, Henry II assumed the title Caesar Augustus. Raphael had a son, Hughes du Puy, who survived him." Ralph's du Puy's descendants include many royal notables and church dignitaries: knights, dukes, barons, princes, Bishops and even a few Cardinals. Ray Dupuis SOURCE:

    It is mentioned elsewhere that the tomb of Raphael di Podio DuPuy was deemed of sufficient historical import that it was ordered to be opened and the contents thereof inventoried. The following documents the finding:
The Tomb of Raphael du Puy was opened in 1610 by order of M. Le Compte de la roche, "Gouveneur de Romans en Dauphine". The corpse was found extended upon a marble table, his spurs upon one side, his sword upon the other, and upon his head a helmet of lead containing the following inscription upon a copper place. It is said the "House of DuPuy en Dauphine" possesses a gold medal granted to this Raphael DuPuy upon one side of which is written: "Raphael de Podio, grand Chambellan de l"Empire Romaine Sons l"Empereur, Auguste, Christ regnant en chair"."

    Although the name Raphael de Podio appears to have Italian lineage, at least one researcher stressed the man was of French origins, with the surname DuPuy deriving not from a long line of prior DuPuy ancestors, rather from the lands and volcanic mountains of the area of southeastern France which were placed under the governorship and rule of Raphael de Podio DuPuy by Emperor Conrad in 1033. A more detailed explanation for the origin of this family surname was provided by B. H. DuPuy in his published account:
Some of the noblest families of France have been those whose names adorned Huguenot history, and the centuries prior to the Reformation, their names had become famed for distinguished services. One of these old-famed French names is Du Puy. It is mentioned in the history of the country in the eleventh century and was found in the southeastern section. In that locality is Le Puy, 270 miles a little southeast of Paris, and the capital town of the department of Haute-Loire, province of Languedoc. In the 10th century it was called Podium Sanctae Marie, whence Le Puy. It sent the flower of its chivalry to the crusades in 1092. Joining Haute-Loire on the northwest is the department of Puy de Dome, province of Auvergne. Both of these departments are in the highest mountainous region of France and as it was from that section the name Du Puy first appeared, in two words, in history, the topography of the country must have given rise to the name----"Du," meaning, "of the," and "Puy" (old French), meaning, "mountain." Louis Moreri (1643-80), a French historian, says "Du Puy is an old house, prolific of illustrious men. It is almost certain it had its origin in France."
It was in 1033, that the two Burgundies of France, frequently called the kingdom of Arles, after various, vicissitudes, became finally united to the German Empire by Conrad II. Conrad appointed Raphael Du Puy, who appears to have held the offices of Commander of the Roman Cavalry, and Grand Chamberlain of the Roman Republic, as one Governor of the conquered Provinces of Languedoc and Dauphiny, in southeast France. It does not follow from this, that the name is not of French origin, as claimed by Moreri, for Raphael Dupuy might have been, and no doubt was, a real Frenchman.
The name also appears in literature as "Raphael de Podio" He became quite renowned in that whole section of the county. His tomb was opened in 1610. The corpse was found lying upon a marble table, with his spurs on one side, his sword on the other, and with a helmet of lead on his head, bearing on a copper plate the following: "Raphael de Podio, General de la Cavalerie Romaine, et Grand Chambellan de l'Empire Romaine." His descendants became possessors of many fine estates. His son, Hugo (called also Hugh and Hugues), a French Knight of Dauphiny, joined the crusaders in 1096, under Godfrey of Bouillon, Duke of Lorraine, for the recovery of the Holy Land from the Mohammedans. This man, Hugo Dupuy, had four sons, Alleman, Rodolphe, Romaine, and Raymond. The last three accompanied him in the crusades. Rodolphe, the second, to whom Godfrey gave many lands in Palestine, fell in battle. Romaine, the third son died in possession of the principalities Godfrey had given him.
Raymond, the fourth son, in 1118, succeeded Gerard De Martigues as rector of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, and was the first to assume the title of Grand Master of the Knights Hospitallers. This order derived its name from a hospital in the city of Jerusalem, consecrated to St. John the Baptist, and its object was to receive and care for the needy and sick visitants of that city. After the establishment of the kingdom of Jerusalem by Godfrey of Bouillon, the hospital acquired larger revenues that were requisite for the relief of the poor and sick, and Raymond Dupuy about 1120, with his brethren, offered to the king of Jerusalem to make war upon the Mohammedans at his own expense. The king and Roman pontiffs approving the plan, the order then partook of a military character, and its members were divided into three classes---Knights, or soldiers of noble birth, whose business was to fight for religion, priests, who conducted the religious exercises, and serving brethren, who were soldiers of ignoble birth. The order exhibited the greatest feats of valor; twice repulsed the advancing Turks; was supported by landed property in all parts of Europe, and acquired immense wealth, under the auspices of Raymond Dupuy, who died in 1160.
The badge, which all the crusaders wore on their right shoulders, was the sign of the cross, made of white, red, or green woolen cloth, and solemnly consecrated. That badge not only gave rise to the name Crusade, but it also indicated that the enterprise was to rescue the cross of our Lord from the hands of the Mohammedans. The shield which the DuPuys bore in the enterprise, was adorned with a red rampant lion, with blue tongue and claws, upon a field of gold. The shield of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem was adorned with a cross of silver, upon a field of red. When Raymond Dupuy became Grand Master of that order, and it assumed a military character, according to the custom of chivalry, he chose for the adornment of his shield the two quartered, i.e. two lions and two crosses. As yet, no decided traces of Coats of Arms have been discovered among the early crusaders. It was not until the 13th century that they came rapidly into use, not acquiring a fixed character until the 14th, and prevailed until about the close of the 15th century; after which they became merely ornamental and genealogical escutcheons, as emblems of rank and family, and marks of gentle blood. When such insignia did arise, i.e. in the 13th century, the adornment displayed on the shield of the DuPuys of the crusades was then adopted as a Coat of Arms, with the addition of lion supporters and a ducal crown for a crest, and the motto, "agere et pati forte virtute non genere vita." From one or another of the four sons of Hugo Dupuy, the crusader, have descended all the DuPuys of this country, whose ancestors were identified with the reformed religion of France. We know there were no less than five Huguenot DuPuys, who immigrated to this country and probably there were more, among the several thousands of French refugees, who found homes of peace in these parts of America. The progenitor, Bartholomew DuPuy, of whom this volume treats, descended from Alleman, the oldest son of the Crusader, Hugo Dupuy. SOURCE: B.H. Dupuy's book on Bartholomew Dupuy The Huguenot and his Descendants. Pages 87-88-89-90-91-92.
Copper engraving of Raymond DuPuy (1083-1160) by Laurent Cars 1725. Grand Master of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem (Knights Hospitaller) from 1118-1160

    Thus, we learn Hugues de Payens DuPuy, the son of Raphael, was born into aristocracy, a French knight, whose family ruled an entire quarter of the country of France. The following is from Wikipedia, a compilation of information concerning Hugues de Payens DuPuy:
Hugues de Payens, de Pagan, de Payns, DuPuy: a French knight from the Champagne region, was the co-founder and first Grand Master of the Knights Templar. With Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, he created the Latin Rule, the code of behavior for the Order.
Biography There is no contemporary biography in existence and no later writers cite one that is still extant. Information is therefore extremely scanty and any embellishments often rely on people writing decades or even centuries after De Payens' death. He was probably born at Château Payns, about 10 km from Troyes, in Champagne. Hugo de Pedano, Montiniaci dominus is mentioned as a witness to a donation by Count Hugh of Champagne in a record dated to 1085-90, indicating that the man was at least sixteen by this date—a legal adult and thus able to bear witness to legal documents—and so born no later than 1070. His name appears on a number of other charters up to 1113 also relating to Count Hugh, indicating that De Payans was almost certainly part of the Count's court and allowing speculation that he was related to the Count. Within this period he also married, to a woman recorded as Elizabeth de Chappes (or by later chroniclers as Catherine St. Clair), and fathered at least one child—Thibaud, later abbot at La Colombe. Some sources suggest the Count went on the First Crusade in 1096, other sources do not. If he did it is reasonable to believe De Payens accompanied him and therefore it is likely that Hugues served in the army of Godfroi de Bouillon during the Crusade. Count Hugh did make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1104-07 and visited Jerusalem for a second time in 1114-16. It is probable that he was accompanied by Hugues, who remained there after the Count returned to France as there is a charter with "Hugonis de Peans" in the witness list from Jerusalem in 1120 and again in 1123. In 1125 his name appears again as a witness to a donation, this time accompanied by the title "magister militium Templi". Later chroniclers write that De Payens approached King Baldwin II of Jerusalem with eight knights, two of whom were brothers and all of whom were his relatives by either blood or marriage, in order to form the first of the Knights Templar. The other knights were Godfrey de Saint-Omer, Payen de Montdidier, Archambaud de St. Agnan, Andre de Montbard, Geoffrey Bison, and two men recorded only by the names of Rossal and Gondamer. The ninth knight remains unknown, although some have speculated that it was Count Hugh of Champagne himself—despite the Count returning to France in 1116 and documentary evidence showing that he joined the Knights on his third visit to the Holy Land in 1125. As Grand Master, De Payens led the Order for almost twenty years until his death, helping to establish the Order's foundations as an important and influential international military and financial institution. On his visit to England and Scotland in 1128, he raised men and money for the Order, and also founded their first House in London and another near Edinburgh at Balantrodoch [1], now known as Temple, Midlothian. He died in Palestine in 1136—May 24 is often stated—and was succeeded as Grand Master by Robert de Craon.
In popular culture It has recently been claimed that the wife of Hugues de Payens was Catherine St. Clair within the context of the alternative histories of Rosslyn.[1][2]
A biography of Hugues de Payen by Thierry Leroy[3] identifies his wife and the mother of his children as Elizabeth de Chappes. The book draws its information on the marriage from local church cartularies dealing chiefly with the disposition of the Grand Master's properties, the earliest alluding to Elizabeth as his wife in 1113 and others spanning Payen's lifetime, the period following his death and lastly her own death in 1170. Though overshadowed by several larger and more well-known cathedrals, the Cathedrale de Payens in the 14th arrondissement remains a historical curiosity of interest to many scholars. Construction was begun in 1218 and completed before the end of the century, financed by the Templar Knights -- an order of warrior monks -- as part of a similar network of churches, cathedrals, and forts (or "commanderies" as they were called) throughout Britain, Europe, and the Holy Lands. In the cathedral's library player can find four books about Knights Templar contain mention of Hugues de Payens.
1. ^ e.g. Tim Wallace-Murphy, The Templar Legacy & The Masonic Inheritance within Rosslyn Chapel, p.17 (The Friends of Rosslyn, 1994 ISBN 9521493-1-1).
2. ^ The claim that Hugues de Payens married Catherine St. Clair was made in Les Dossiers Secrets d'Henri Lobineau (1967), "Tableau Généalogique de Gisors, Guitry, Mareuil et Saint-Clair par Henri Lobineau" in Pierre Jarnac, Les Mystères de Rennes-le-Château, Mélanges Sulfureux (CERT, 1995).
3. ^ Thierry Leroy, Hugues de Payns, chevalier champenois, fondateur de l'ordre des templiers (Troyes: edition de la Maison Boulanger, 1997). External links • The Crusades and the Knights Templar • Hugues de Payns Museum Payns, France

    The story of Hugues de Payens DuPuy would not be complete without detailing the work of his son, Raymond DuPuy. This excerpt is also from Wikipedia – a compendium of information gleaned about Raymond, the Grand Master of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, the Knights Hospitalier):
Raymond du Puy de Provence (1083 - 1160), was a French knight and was Grand Master of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem (Knights Hospitaller) from 1118-1160. He was the son of Hughes Du Puy (1060-?), Seigneur de Pereins, d'Apifer, et de Rochefort, Governor of Acre and a general of Godfrey of Bouillon. He was also a relative of Adhemar of Le Puy, the papal legate during the First Crusade. As the second Grand Master he developed the Knights Hospitaller into strong military power. He accepted the eight- pointed Amalfi cross as an official symbol of the Order, which later became known as the Maltese Cross after the establishment of the Order on Malta. Raymond divided the Order into clerical, military, and serving brothers and established the first significant Hospitaller infirmary near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. He was present at the capture of Ascalon in 1153. According to Le Grand Dictionnaire Historique by Louis Moreri written in 1759 "Raymond du Puy, second grand master of the order of St. Jean of Jerusalem, (later to be known as the Knights of Malta) he succeeded Gerard in 1118, who instituted the order. He came from the province of Dauphine and was of the illustrious house of du Puy... Raymond was elected by the brothers of the order, following the disposition of the bull of pope Paschal II, given in 1113, and was called master of the hospital of the city of Jerusalem to mark his authority. Gerard had only used the name of governor of the hospital. Because in the large number of brothers who joined his order there were many gentlemen and men of arms, he established a militia for the defence of the religion against the enemies of the holy land, while the others would have the care of the poor and sick of the hospital. To better succeed in his pious designs, he held the first general assembly and divided the order into three ranks: knights, men at arms, and chaplains. He also instituted a new constitution to improve the rules that Gerard established. They were approved in 1123 by pope Calliste II and in 1130 Innocent II gave the order their coat of arms, a silver cross (today known as the Maltese cross) in a field of blue (gueulles). Raymond armed his troops and offered them to Baudoin II, king of Jerusalem, to join him and his army against the infidels. From that time on, there was never a battle that this order did not participate in. In the year 1153, the king of Jerusalem was ready to lift the siege of Ascalon; however, grand master du Puy received permission to extend the siege and camp his army in front of the city. The city surrendered within a few days. Because of this conquest he acquired great glory and received the esteem of the pope, Anastase IV, who granted many privileges to the order. Raymond thereafter built a magnificent palace which caused much jealousy among the prelates of Jerusalem and the holy land. But the order was supported by the supreme pontiff in his exemptions and in the privileges granted to them. The grand master died in 1160 and his successor was Auger of Balben. Raymond du Puy was the first to assume, and the first to whom was given, the title of grand master of the order. He never used it except after Roger, king of Sicily, used the title in the letters he wrote to Raymond" References: Raymond du Puy The Rule of Blessed Raymond du Puy The Blessed Raymond du Puis / Raymond du Puy

    Thus the story of this ancestor is definitely one for the ages – nearly one thousand years past and yet vital and timely in modern days.

    The works of the Knights Templar have been maligned in contemporary books and by conspiracy theorists on the Internet who make their money by creating false narratives which have no basis in reality. It angers your author to pick up a book or find young minds being poisoned by these opportunists who make money by “click bait” – outrageous headlines and even more outrageous lies told and re-told. The very lies told centuries ago to strip the Knights Templar of their respect, admiration, funding, and subject them to a diminished reputation by those who were jealous of the intense admiration shown by the King are being rehashed today by those who actually know the lies have been proven false. Yet, for their own greed these parasites continue to feed on those age-old stories.
Monument to Hugues II de Payns, dit "Hugues des Paiens" by Bernard de Clairvaux

Our line of descent from Hugues dePayens DuPuy is as follows:
    Raphael DuPuy (de Podio, di Podio), Grand Chamberlain of the Holy Roman Empire (1011-1062), 24th great-grandfather, father of:
    Hugues DuPuy I, (1055-1136), 23rd great-grandfather, Crusader in 1096 and one of the Generals of Godefroi de Bouillon, and the founder and First Grand Master of the Knights Templar, father of:
    Alleman DuPuy, I, (1077-1150), 22nd great-grandfather, father of:
    Hugues DuPuy, II Chevalier-Seigneur de Pereins, Rochefort, Apifer, de Montbrun (1100-1180), [Hugues Du Puy II, Knight, Lord of Pereine, Rochefort, Apifer and Montbrun. He took the cross and went to the Crusades in 1140 with Ame III, Count of Savoye and acquitted himself with much glory. He went again in 1147 in the army of the Emperor Conrad III. He married Floride Moiran, daughter of Berloin de Moiran.], 21st great-grandfather, father of:
    Alleman DuPuy, II (1160-1229), 20th great-grandfather, father of:
    Alleman DuPuy, III, (1220-1304), 19th great-grandfather, father of:
    Alleman DuPuy, IV, (1270-1329), 18th great-grandfather, father of:
    Alleman DuPuy, V, (1342-1362), 17th great-grandfather, father of:
    Gilles DuPuy, I, Knight – Lord of Rochefort, (1340-1390), 16th great-grandfather, father of:
    Gilles DuPuy, II, Montbrun Lord of Pereins, (1360-1420), 15th great-grandfather, father of:
    Florimont Ainier DuPuy, Montbrun Baron (General) Chevalier (Lord Knight), (1409-1466), 14th great-grandfather, father of:
    Jacques DuPuy, I, Chevalier (Knight) de Rochefort, et al (1456-1505), 13th great-grandfather, father of:
    Jean (Artaud), Lord of Hauteville and Founder of Protestant Family DuPuy (1488-1583), 12th great-grandfather, father of:
    Pierre DuPuy de Cabrielles (1551-1583), 11th great-grandfather, father of:
    Bartholomy II DuPuy, Lord of Cabrielles (1581-abt. 1650), 10th great-grandfather, father of:
    Jean III Dupuy (1622 – baptized 21 May 1626 – d abt. 1717), 9th great-grandfather, father of:
    Bartholomew (or Bartholemey) DuPuy (1652-1743), 8th great-grandfather, [subject of prior column, entitled: Romance is in our Heritage…published February 2016][“descended, in the seventeenth generation from Conrad II, who was crowned in 1027, in Rome, by the Pope as Emperor of Germany…” Hearst’s Sunday American, 19 Apr 1931, a reply to inquiry concerning the Chastain Royal Line by Dr. James L. Kent] , father of:
    Pierre “Peter” DuPuy, Sr. (1694-1773), 7th great-grandfather, father of:
    Pierre “Peter” DuPuy, Jr. (1729-1812), 6th great-grandfather, father of:
    Mary A Malone (DuPuy) (1756-1851), 5th great-grandmother, mother of:
    Prudence Ellington (1788-1860) 4th great-grandmother, mother of: Peyton Wade (1808-1887), 3rd great-grandfather, son of Prudence Ellington, father of:
    Martha Ann Wade (Creek) (1847-1885), 2nd great-grandmother, daughter of Peyton Wade, mother of:
    Flutie (Fluty) Creek (Alexander, Kendrick) (1877-1951), great-grandmother, mother of:
    Nora Viola Alexander (Carroll, Fisher, King) (1896-1964), grandmother, mother of:
    John Edward “Jack” Carroll (1913-1996), father of your author.

    As the daughter of the 22nd grandson of Hugues dePayens DuPuy, John Edward “Jack” Carroll who spent a great deal of his life serving those less fortunate through his service in a number of benevolent organizations in addition to his hard work supporting his family operating a business, it is frustrating at the very least to have his works of kindness and devotion to the betterment of those less fortunate be turned into a lie-fest of libelous claims. My father never knew of his lineage. This research was carried on in his memory out of love and devotion to his larger-than-life goodness in an attempt to fill out the history of his family that was denied him in life.

    Never knowing his incredible family history, Jack Carroll carried on the “crusade” of his forebears with a passion and a love that drove him to use his weekends and evenings making sure those in the town who needed surgery they could not afford, a meal, a payment of rent, a new pair of shoes, or merely an uplifting visit to check on their families had that need fulfilled.

    This column is a tribute not only to the ancient great-grandfathers but to my father who showed every bit as much courage and kindness and valor.

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

Cooking with Rod

As we roll into Fall, we recall it's that time of year when casseroles and baked side dishes are particularly well suited for a warm, hearty meal. 

One of my personal favorite foods are onions. They are incredibly versatile, wonderfully tasty, and can be made into main dishes and neat sides. 

 This is a tried and true recipe from my beautiful bride that never fails to please. It reflects our mutual love of classic German cuisine.

Bon appetit~! 


  • 3 med. Sweet Vidalia Onions, sliced into 1/4" rings
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1 (8 oz.) container sour cream
  • 3/4 cup Original Bisquick mix
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. poppy seeds, divided
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 ounces or half an 8 oz. brick) 

Zweibelkuchen - German Onion Cake - Before baking
    1. Saute onions in the butter until softened. Layer onions in buttered oven-proof deep casserole (I use my Corningware, 10" square with lid.)
    2. In a small bowl, whisk egg, milk, and Bisquick. Add half the poppy seeds and stir well. Whisk in salt (if used) and ground pepper.
    3. Spread sour cream over onions in the casserole.
    4. Top onion mixture with Bisquick-milk-egg mixture; sprinkle with poppy seeds. Top with shredded Cheddar.
    5. Bake in 375 degree oven for 30 minutes or until topping is lightly browned and a crust has formed.

After baking a golden sweet Onion Kuchen

NOTE: This recipe can be modified to add crumbled crisp bacon in a layer over onion mixture before pouring in Bisquick mixture.

Delicious served with an egg omelet or scrambled eggs, sliced baked ham, chilled melon, hot coffee and breakfast fruit juices.

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Irish Eyes


Chickens, Wakes, and Hill-16

On September 07th I was on Hill 16 wearing my Dublin jersey. (Mick O Dwyer got it for me when he was managing Wicklow.) Beside me was an old Dub accompanied by his faithful Jack Russell. We exchanged a bit of good-natured banter about the cleverness of the Jack Russell versus the Wicklow Collie. When the match started the old Dub said, "You'll soon see how smart my dog is.” At the first Dublin score, a point after seven seconds , the dogs jumps up and runs in a circle around his master's feet. And so it went. Every time Dublin scored a point the little canine ran once around his master's feet. Until a goal was scored. The dog then jumps up and does 3 circles around the old man's feet. I said. "Be gob, your dog is amazing. He must really love Dublin....but what does he do when Dublin loses?" The old man looked at me but didn't answer until the final whistle blew and Dublin had won their “five in a row”. Then he said, "I’ve no idea. I've only had him five years".

* * * * * *

Jimmy a very sick Dublin man is lying in bed. He realises he doesn't have much time left, so he asks his nurse to bring his wife, daughter, and both sons to him, as well as witnesses and a camera to record his last wishes.

When all are assembled, their eyes misty and their faces drawn, he begins to speak.

"My son, Jem I want you to take the Dominick Street houses."

"My daughter Kate, you take the apartments between Camden Street and Charlemount Street."

"My son, Mick, I want you to take the offices over in the Financial Centre."

"Molly, my dear wife, please take all the residential buildings on the Southside of the canal.”

The nurse and witnesses are blown away as they did not realise his extensive holdings, and as Jimmy slips away, the nurse says:

"Mrs. Doyle, your husband must have been such a hard-working man to have accumulated all this property.

The wife just grunts. "The bastard was a window cleaner".

* * * * * *

Amn’t I gone mag going on about death and wakehouses? But you hear some strange stories from wakes. There was a wake in the backs of Wicklow and the deceased was a murder victim. He was a decent well-liked man and it was a mystery why anyone would want to kill him. Eventually it was whispered that he had been looking after the biological needs of a neighbour’s wife. One of the company then said, “Do you know what I’m going to tell you? It could have been worse. If it was last week if could have been me.”

* * * * * *

Tadhg Cowhig and Ronan Flood completed their 600km cycle from Mizen Head in Cork to Malin Head
in Donegal. At the time of writing they have raised almost €2000, for Lacken Community , through https://www.gofundme.com/f/tadhg-amp-ronan-cycle-challenge which was organised by Claire Kyle. Lacken Community Development association lost its most valued and hard-working member on 24th September with the death, after a short illness, of Philip Gallagher. RIP.

* * * * * *

Blessington County Wicklow has been twinned with O' Neill City, Nebraska. More about this later.

See you in November.

Mattie Lennon

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Sifoddling Along


In Praise of Gravy

Recently I read an article about the traditional southern diet. It reminded me of how we view food in the Ozarks. In turn, that led me to thinking about gravy.

I always considered gravy a fifth food group. Any serious meal requires some kind of gravy in my opinion. Since I rarely see the word on menus these days, I think it deserves recognition.

Gravy is such a common term – in all senses of the word. It sounds homey, even lower class - not fancy. It almost defines home cooking. Finding that it met the definition of a “sauce”: “A flavorful liquid usually thickened, which is used to season, flavor and enhance other foods.” I got carried away and read about all kinds of sauces that meet this definition in some way savory or sweet. There are five “Mother Sauces”: White (Bechemel made with milk or cream and a pinch of nutmeg), Veloute (made with flour and a light stock), Brown (Madeira) made with brown stock, mirepoix and tomatoes, thickened with flour, Tomato (Marinara – Italians call it gravy in the US), Egg and butter (Hollandaise and Mayonnaise) and a gazillion salad dressings and sweet sauces, but back to plain old gravy.

Most cuisines utilize some kind of sauce in preparing classic dishes. Gravy is peasant food in today’s world, but cream or milk gravy (I have heard it called “Sawmill gravy) is a close relative of Bechamel sauce (cream gravy without the pinch of nutmeg.) and au jus is simply a watery seasoned beef gravy.

When I was growing up, there were two main kinds of gravy – described in simple, no nonsense terms – white gravy made with rich milk (we had a cow) was served with chicken or pork and brown gravy with pot roast. Mama often made a pot roast for Sunday dinner. The roast baked with potatoes, carrots and onions while we were in church. We rushed back to make the gravy and serve the food as close to my Daddy’s twelve o’clock deadline as possible.

On the rare occasions we drove the 40 miles to Joplin to do some serious shopping, we would have lunch at the Connor Hotel coffee shop. We always ordered the “roast beef sandwich” a plate of sliced beef swimming in brown gravy, mashed potatoes and two slices of white bread. It was a special treat to eat in a restaurant and we wanted our money’s worth.

Learning foreign cooking terms was far in my future – Mama never heard of Julia Child until after I went away to college and had no interest in following her path so far as I know. She wouldn’t know a curry if it met her in the street. I had to learn how to pronounce au jus in an early job as a waitress at a nearby resort. It was my first encounter with a fancy French cooking term. “with juice” just doesn’t sound the same on a menu describing a nice serving of prime rib.

At that same little resort, all of the food was cooked from scratch just like Mama did and it was top notch. How I wish I had collected some of the recipes, especially the salad dressings and soups. Ginger Blue is where I learned to like another kind of gravy – Red Eye. The owner bought specially cured hams from a farmer in Southwest City. They came covered with mold “Those hams aren’t good unless they are green,” I remember him saying. At any rate, the hams were carefully trimmed before they were prepared further for steaks. Any meat and fat not used for steaks were used for recipes and seasoning. Like Mama, the cook didn’t waste any food.

But the gravy! After the ham steaks were fried, black coffee was poured into the skillet to mix with the relatively small amount of fat, the mixture didn’t blend completely, and forms little circles of fat – thus Red Eyes - when poured over a sizzling ham steak, a delicious broth.

After doing some research, I learned that gravies are usually described in simple terms – white, brown, or tomato by ordinary Americans. Rarely does home cooking involve more intricately constructed sauces.

The name persists in a piece of china that no one wants to day – a gravy boat. I haven’t seen a gravy boat in years. That is too bad, because there is nothing so delicious as a silky smooth gravy served over a mound of homemade mashed potatoes.

Pass the gravy please.

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On Trek


Changing of The Guardians

The trees let go,
they drop their leaves,
their watch is thru for now

Their leaves and shade, and breeze they shared was love from their core
their new assignment begins and they will beautify us more.

They wear their cloak of colors, as they proudly stand tall. The leaves will dazzle us with their downward spin,
as they know it is time to let go with the wind.

The wind works so gently so their descent is not abrupt, an acrobatic show like a parachutist's dream.
The soft landing is gentle like the stream.

The cloak of leaves will meld with our magical earth,
giving us another year of magical rebirth.

The snow is yet another cloak, covered with white sharing its
sparkles and gems, protecting the critters to burrow to warmth, oh mother nature knows best.

Trees are nature's parents, many sizes, colors and shapes. They protect and love and watch over all earth,
showering us with gifts every day of the year. May we awaken to their worth,

Let us be fair,
Trees give us our clean air!!
©9/29/19 Judith Kroll
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My parents were devoutly Roman Catholic when I was growing up and they still are. Their devout religious beliefs had a huge impact on my views of the world and in how I interacted with others. I even served as an altar boy in our local church and I was a member of the Newman Center at Lock Haven University during my University years. I later entered and graduated from a Roman Catholic seminary earning a Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy. I feel I had a great education and a spiritual foundation.

In 1962 the year I was born few Roman Catholics would have predicted the problems facing the Roman Catholic Church of today. Fifty-seven years ago, when Pope John XXIII headed the Roman Catholic Church there was great optimism about the Church’s future.

Pope John XXIII was born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli on the 25th of November in 1881 and died on the 3rd of June in 1963. He was elected Pope on the 28th of October in 1958 and called the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) but did not live to see it to completion due to his death in 1963. He died only four-and-a-half years after his election.

It was fifty-seven years ago in 1962 that Pope John XXIII made the statement “let us open up the windows and let some fresh air in the Church.” He was inviting change which led to the establishment of the second Vatican council. The second Vatican council led to great optimism among Catholics but in the end, it was a huge disappointment. Catholics throughout the world were expecting to see huge changes in the church to address the social changes of the 1960s. Most Catholics in the late 1960s felt the Second Vatican Council did not go far enough and that the Church was out of touch with the times. It also marked the beginning of the decline within the church due to the church hierarchy’s inability to relate to the spiritual needs of its congregation. Pope John XXIII would certainly be disappointed if he was able to witness the problems plaguing today’s Church. There is also a growing number of Catholics who no longer view the church as being relevant in their lives. The US Catholic population is approximately 77.7 million making it the fourth-largest Catholic population in the world, after Brazil, Mexico, and the Philippines.

Most would agree with me that the majority of Catholics in America are Catholics in name only not practicing Catholics. Most theologians would also agree that one of the main issues facing today’s Roman Catholic Church is its inability to adapt to the changing times. It’s no surprise that the church has difficulties. They are mostly due to a drop in vocations, lower church attendance and a lack of donations. This has resulted in church closings not just in the United States, but globally.

The pedophile priest issues, the cover-ups, and the whispers of a homosexual subculture among today’s catholic priests and seminarians are not helping the church’s credibility issue either. I would never judge a person by their sexual orientation as long as its between two consenting adults. I also admire Pope Francis's statement regarding the issue of homosexuality, “who am I to judge” he said. When I was in the seminary I was one of a few that was [not] a homosexual. I did not care about the other seminarians' sexual orientations nor was I homophobic about their sexual preferences. That being said, it has become more than obvious that the drop in vocations has resulted in the lowering of church standards among Roman Catholic Seminaries throughout the world.

Most Catholics today also believe the church’s teachings are somewhat archaic. They disagree with the patriarchal system and feel women should have authoritative roles. The majority of Catholics also disagree with the Vatican’s position on contraception. According to church statistics, fifty-seven years ago, in 1962, there were approximately 58,000 priests in the U.S. This was mostly due to the influx of immigrants from the previous generation. Since then, the numbers have drastically declined. In a few years, there will be less than 15,000 priests under the age of 70. The lack of viable vocations for the priesthood has also resulted in many seminaries closing.

There were about 180,000 nuns in 1962. They were the backbone of Catholic education, but within the next 10 years, they will be virtually non-existent. Seventy-five percent of Catholics went to Mass on a regular basis in 1962. Today, it’s less than 26 percent. This is mostly due to changing demographics. The younger generations relocate for better employment opportunities. The average person will relocate five times in their lifetime and their parents’ traditional church is no longer their core belief system.

Many theologians describe today’s Catholics as cafeteria Catholics because they pick and choose their beliefs. In 1962, a greater number followed church mandates dogmatically. Most Catholics today believe the church’s teachings are somewhat outdated. They disagree with the patriarchal system and feel women should have authoritative roles. The majority of Catholics also disagree with the Vatican’s position on contraception.

The church’s beacon of light must shine on the spirit of the times, such as allowing women to become priests and priests to marry. According to recent Pew Research Polls, most of today’s Catholics are no longer relying on religious institutions to tell them what they can and cannot believe. Religious institutions have a tendency to give simplistic, black and white answers. The reality of life, however, can be very complex and very gray.

The mystics of old discovered that when the mind draws a blank to the world’s riddles, it turns to the soul for answers, for the soul knows what the mind seeks. As for the church, its spiritual knowledge is only as relevant as its application. Spirituality and religion are useless until properly applied to those in need within the spirit of the times.

I may not be a practicing catholic or a religious person but I am spiritual. Centuries ago, the inward journey was taken by a few privileged souls, but in today’s culture, it has become a healthy trend among the young. Pope Francis once made the statement that he sees a smaller but much stronger church in the future. He also went on to say that the universal church is not ready for a Vatican three. Perhaps the next Pope, whenever that may come about, may see the necessity to reopen the church windows in order to invite the spirit of the times in because in order for the church to survive. It will have to bring about a positive, spiritual change, out of necessity rather than convenience by reaching the hearts of its congregations.

Pope John XIII’s legacy was inviting change but unfortunately, the change did not go far enough. There is a serious disconnect between the spirituality that the average catholic is seeking and the church’s institutional dogma. The Roman Catholic Church’s hierarchy might be a little fearful of the changing and progressive times. It has also been said that today’s Z Generation, perhaps lacking in the area of spiritual insights, are still the most knowledgeable and educated of all previous generations. They rarely turn to institutions for answers but that does not mean our era is not ready for a Vatican three. This is a perfect time for the Vatican Council to reach out to those who are Catholic in name only.
    Always with love from Suzhou, China
    Thomas F O’Neill
    Phone: (410) 925-9334
    WeChat: Thomas_F_ONeill
    Skype: Thomas_F_ONeill
    Email: introspective7@hotmail.com
    Facebook: http://facebook.com/thomasf.oneill.3/

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Happy To Live Here

I’m so happy to live here
With the great lake so near
Right outside my window I can see
All the places I love to be
For those who move away, the grass isn’t greener over the fence
Home is where the heart is, why that’s only using common sense
Long ago I had a Family home, where my heart was at
But people pass away, and you can’t bring them back

Here there are people from all around
In the lobby many can be found
You can be alone or find a friend anywhere
A wonderful place to take the time to share

As my time here passes, I’m finding out
Just what living here is all about
The staff do their best to help you
You can tell by what they say and do

People come and go throughout each year
So precious are they, so glad they lived here
They are as unique as the tower is in shape
Out my window I see a great place to escape
The beauty of Ludington park and the great lake so near
I love the Harbor Tower, and I’m sure Happy To Live Here

©Feb 28, 2010 Bud Lemire
                       Author Note:
I’m so thankful that back on July 1, 2004 that I had a chance to
move into the Tower and meet so many wonderful people.
Each one unique in so many ways. Many have passed, some have
moved away, but all shall be remembered throughout my lifetime.
I’ve made so many friends here. Those who talk
to me and know me, will know friends mean the most to me.
I can’t name everyone, but I thank all my friends who live here. I
thank you each for making this place a wonderful place to live.

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There, playing in the water bowl,
Almost invisible in morning light,
A small bird splashes,
Washing its feathers free of dust,

Flushing loose a mite or two,
Cooling off in baking heat,
Drinking its fill from the precious wet,
Making me wonder what it is.

A broadly olive-tinted back,
Muted gold across the breast,
Tiny eyes, blunt tail, short beak,
Jerky movements in the bath –

In spite of eager looks
I have no idea of its name;
But though I’ll search my books,
Scan the Internet intently,

Even if I never know
It doesn’t matter to the bird;
Clean, its thirst well-slaked,
Off it wings in the dawning day.

©2019 John I. Blair, 9/23/2019

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The Chocolate Lady

I am so excited, I can hardly wait
For these chocolates, in the Vermont state
For “The Chocolate Lady,” brews something sweet
Chocolate covered pretzels, and a chocolate leaf as a treat
She knows how to make them, so they taste just right
By adding her love to it, mixed in with God’s light
The ingredients are mouth watering, and they taste great
And anyone who tastes them, will surely appreciate

All that she’s done, all that she does
All that tastes good, that’s what it was
Comes easy for her, for she knows how sweet
And you’ll agree, when it’s what you eat

East of the Green Mountains, south of the Sugarbush Ski Resort
Lives The Chocolate Lady, she’s such a good sport
She mixes up her chocolates, with her silver spoon
And uses the magic, of the late night’s full moon

Every time of the year, is a good time to share
The chocolates that she brings around, but you better beware
These chocolates that she makes, are very addicting
And you’ll find it’s her chocolates, that you’ll be picking

©Nov 13, 2009 Bud Lemire
                        Author Note:
The Chocolate Lady is someone I know and think the world of.
She truly does know how to make chocolates and shares them
with those around her. She’s a sweet sweet lady,
I’m proud to know.

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Clouds by Moonlight

Clouds drift south
By moonlight,
Crowning the sky
With fleecy white,

Drawn perhaps
By a hurricane
That’s roaring in
On Florida tonight.

I’ve just been
On the telephone
With a friend
In Broward County

How one preps
For torrential rains,
Tornadic winds

That for me exist
A thousand miles away,
Shadows on a TV screen.
Queer how air and water

Can manifest so differently,
How dawn, here peaceful, calm,
May in a world of palms
Bring terror down.

©2019 John I. Blair, 9/10/2019

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Coach Thibault

When I was younger, several years ago
There was a coach, I came to know
I was a student at Escanaba High
I wasn’t good at gymnastics, although I did try
This coach treated everyone equal and fair
I knew with all my efforts I was glad to be there
It was at that time in the gym
That I came to know and admire him

I didn’t follow sports, but always heard his name
In the news, Coach Thibault’s team won the game
I didn’t know then, but soon it would be so
This coach and special man, I would come to know

As in every case, time seemed to pass by
I’d see him at the City Band concert, and I’d say hi
Or I’d see him walking around in the grocery store
He always remembered me, and share a little more

After telling him who I was, he looked at me
A smile crossed his face, with a returning memory
“Yes, I remember you,” is what he said
And it took me back to those days in Physical Ed

©Aug 28, 2009 Bud Lemire
                       Author Note:
I couldn’t let this moment pass without honoring this special
man in this poem. He has given so much to the High School kids
through the years.
I saw him recently at Elmer’s and he remembered me
with a smile. He asked where I was living now.
I told him The Harbor Tower. He said
his Mother use to live here. He smiled
and thanked me for the conversation
. I went away with a memory of a man I was glad to have known
in my lifetime.

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Been Fighting This

Been fighting this for so very long
Been fighting this for so very long
Been wondering if I really belong
I sit down and write another song
Been fighting this for so very long

Been fighting this for many years
Still trying hard to hold back the tears
Trying to hide from all of my fears
Fighting this for so many years

Trying hard to take the blame
Will she ever know what will remain
Every heartbreak is always the same
Lost inside this chaotic game

I’ve been fighting this for far too long
Paying the price for all I’ve done wrong
Not knowing if I will ever belong
Been fighting this for so very long
Been fighting this for so very long

Do you ever wonder why you smile at me
Are you just being nice or do you really care for what you see
Do you ever think about the thoughts inside my mind
Are you just here for the moment or are you here to be by my side

Been fighting this for so very long
Been fighting this for so very long
Been wondering if I have ever belonged
Been fighting this for so very long

©9/5/19 Bruce Clifford

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Garden of Possibilities

By the shifting light
Of the waning moon
I watch cloud wisps
Drift across dim stars.

They curl and twist
In the night sky,
Changing their shapes
Moment to moment,

Mask the moon,
Then move away,
Revealing gleaming glory
That shines down on my face

And turns this ordinary place
Into a theater of dreams,
A shadowbox of mysteries,
My strange garden of possibilities.

©John I. Blair, 9/22/2019

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The Blue Screen

On the computer, so much can be seen
One thing you wish not to, is the Blue Screen
It means something inside, just isn't right
Maybe something is loose, and something isn't tight

 Maybe the fan won't work, or something unknown
Whatever it is, it causes you to groan
The only friend in your home, has gone dead
Life goes on, nothing more can be said

Yet the thoughts pass by, and they pass through
And the screen isn't the only thing that is blue
Your life doesn't revolve around a computer, no need to worry so
Yet you are frustrated, lost, uneasy, and feeling low

Nothing lasts forever, and you did use it a lot
You must have posted thousands of pictures, no wonder its shot
It wasn't sitting there, doing nothing at all
Your fingers were busy, they were on the ball

Mr. Blue, why did you come onto my screen
I'd prefer the sunrise and sunset to be seen
But as long as you're here, and plan to stay
I'll replace you, because I can't go on this way
©Sep 7, 2019 Bud Lemire
                     Author Note:
I got the blue screen and couldn't get it working again.
But I saved up and got myself a new computer. I am
working myself back to where I use to be before the
Blue screen came into my life. It is like life. We meet
many people in our lives, who come along and touch us.
Then they pass away. The memories will always be there.
And now I can make new memories to look back on. It isn't
the end of our world, our lives go on.

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Remembering Mom With Love

With her final breath, and a tear from her eye
Her spiritual presence, took flight to the sky
To the place called Heaven, where we all go
She’s earned a special place there, this I truly know
She shared her gift of life and love, with us all
Until the time came, for her to answer the call 
 We shall remember, all she shared in the past
 And the memories of these times, will always last
The memories when she sang to us, when we felt fear
We always felt so calm, when she was always near
The games we played, that were so much fun
It never really mattered who lost or who won
The pictures of the many faces, that she always drew
And the beautiful handwriting, that each of us knew
All the family stories, that she loved to tell
For me, I can still hear the ringing of her bell
 I was her closest friend, when nobody else was here
I knew when she was happy, I knew her greatest fear
I’ve always called it home, because we were never apart
I knew she loved each of her children, with all of her heart
I hope everyone knows, I gave her the best care that I knew
Maybe I could’ve tried harder, but I did what I could do
I wish I could have done more, but she accepted me for being me
She always appreciated all I did do, and all that I could be
 She was a warm and caring person, a Mother we all love
She earned a place in Heaven, with the Angels up above
As we journey in this life, one thing we all must know
She’ll always be in our memories and hearts, wherever we may go
I truly believe the love that we share with her, never really dies
Our spiritual bond with her lasts forever, that is the family tiesy

©2001 Bud Lemire
          Author Note:
Her journey continues in Heaven,
but her love is felt forever

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Crystal Lake

The Crystal Lake was there
In between the doubts and fears
Stop and listen to the sounds
What was then is now upside down

The fortunate have their way
Each time on a different day
Whispering silence on my back
The promise of another attack

Each day we search a little
Give a little
Each day we cry a little
Laugh a little

Each day we try a little
Smile a little
Each day we live a little
Twist a little

The Crystal Lake from near and far
In between the earth and the stars
Making sounds in the memory wave
Upside down in a world to be saved

Each day we search a little
Give a little
Each day we cry a little
Laugh a little

Each day we try a little
Smile a little
Each day we live a little
Twist a little

©9/14/19 Bruce Clifford

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Sunday, September 1, 2019

Editor's Corner

September 2019

"Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration.
The rest of us just get up and go to work.”

-Stephen King

Fall - the first day thereof, has arrived with a dawdling, frightening hurricane southeast of the Bahamas christened Dorian. Dorian may become an accronyn for indecision, which is what a lot of us face when it comes to getting busy and doing what we were meant to do. May Dorian glide harmlessly into the more northern reaches of the Atlantic dispesing its strength harmlessly.

Although it is Labor Day (to be celebrated the 2d on Monday) and as the Stephen King quote tells us how to do it, the extreme heat of August, triple digits reaching 114 locally, has sapped much of the get up and get it done inspiration one usually finds in the dregs of the end of any month. This year we are still digging thru the dregs, but at least some of our authors found the gumption to persevere and we are happy this day of publication has finally arrived.

We welcome the story by Trudy Green Stiers, "The Awakening." She courageously learned to extricate herself from a serious domestic issue, and is a source of encouragement to many in similar situations.

Marilyn Carnell (Sifoddling Along) discusses how her dislike of deadlines is actually a blessing in disguise. LC Van Savage (Consider This) tells us about her Heroes. Judith Kroll (On Trek) discusses Unconditional Love's meanings in daily situations and has a lovely essay to her Daddy.

Thomas F. O'Neill (Introspective) has a column about - surprise - education, which is only natural as he just returned to China for his teaching role. This time it is for higher grade aged students. Mattie Lennon, catches us up on who won what and what for at the literary convening and also keeps tabs on celebrities and a couple of Ironman hopefuls.

Melinda Cohenour (Armchair Genealogy) goes waaay back with some family history on a brother in law's side, which makes sense as his son lives with her now. The almost unreal true tale of Dr. Peter Gunsolus, forebear of Bobby Crowson.

Rod Cohenour is a bit snowed under with family needs so we proudly offer an Encore Presentation of aoways true cooking info from the late Leo C. Helmer. Of course thinking of Leo reminded your editor how he loved being an Honorary Lifetime member of the Light Crust Dough Boys western music group and that made me want to check in on what they are up to these days, so - The article is all about letting you know that they have a big October 4th date for an appearance in Granbury at that lovely Granbury Live performance place. Read all about it in "Granbury Live! Light Crust Dough Boys."

"Get Ready to Travel" is the singly offered poem by Linnie Jane Joslin Burks, written as she was returning to the USA from Ibadan, Nigeria. Bud Lemire has four poems this issue: "Auntie Fish," "Listen To Your Body," "My Dad," and "The Life That You Touch." John I. Blair's trio of poems are "Pointer," "Need," and "Each Hour." Bruce Clifford shared "Missing Out." Keith Vander Wees has been so busy with art projects that his composing poetry had been lagging. In this issue we show one of his art projects that combines his poetic talent and it and others similar can be found where he markets them. Here is the link to his website so you can view his beautiful work. www.redbubble.com The picture at the bottom of this column is of Keith and Elaine. Perhaps she inspired his poem "Healing Words."

Michael Craner, our co-founder and webmaster is the key to our well being, our equilibrium, our dreams. Thanks again, Mike!
See you in October!

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This issue appears in the ezine at www.pencilstubs.com and also in the blog www.pencilstubs.net with the capability of adding comments at the latter.


Encore Presentation: Cookin' with Leo


What Am I Supposed To Do With All Them Little Bitty
Tins and Jars Of Sawdust Lookin' Stuff?

I know all my redneck pals, ain't up on all that there fancy stuff I got in my kitchen. Like all the cute little bottles and jars of stuff on a spice rack hangin' on the wall. Well, way back when, when I was practicin' poisonin', or whatever it was I thought I was doin'. And, even way back, long before my cook-out and BBQ'n buddies, and my Dear Sweet Italian Fairy Godmother made known unlimited wisdom to me, I didn't know what all them things was either. Sure, I saw my Ma and Grandma use some of that stuff in the kitchen, but when the goodies got to the table, if it wasn't quite up to taste, then I added salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard, whatever to sorta' spice it up. Well, them days is gone forever, and now with my immeasurable knowledge about all the herbs, spices, condiments, an' such, I thought I oughta' pass on some information to the willing, waiting, world, wherever, that is, if it is ready for such important information as I may impart, whatever. So, ya'all pay real good attention to these words of wisdom, ya'heah. I ain't gonna' get too technical too often, after all this here is a redneck DIY helpful hints column, not a Cooks class on condiment coating, whichever. And, not only that, my business agent tells me that if I start to get carried away in such top-notch technical terminology that I probably would have to join the NEA, whichever, and start teachin' at some College of Culinary Cuisine, an' that he hadn't developed a dealing with deans of such domains.

So, let's just start with some simple spices that every good griller uses.

Anise: Use fresh leaves to spice up salads. Store the dried seeds in airtight containers, they spice up cookies, sweet rolls, and sweet breads.
Basil: Sweet and fragrant leaves, no Italian cook leaves home without it, good in soups, meat sauces and such, fresh leaves can be added right to meat and spaghetti sauce. Usually dried and cut and packed in little airtight containers. Keep out of sunlight.
Bay Leaves: My Dear Sweet Italian Fairy Godmother told me that in ancient Rome the victorious soldiers were given woven garlands of Bay Leaves to crown their heads (she also said Caesar was assassinated not long after being crowned), The leaves probably helped to get rid of the smell of the heat and sweat of the battle, until they could get a bath, however I didn't push for further details. For the most part nowadays, a couple of leaves of dried Bay will smooth the taste of soups and gravies as they cook, discard from the finished dish. Keep leaves dry in airtight containers.
Caraway Seed: A great gourmet flavor for cakes, cookies and candy making. I also flavor sauerkraut and German Potato Salad with the seeds. Keep sealed in airtight jars.
Catnip: (doesn't have a thing to do with litter boxes) Use fresh or dry Catnip in Tea. Store dried leaves out of sunlight in airtight containers.
Chervil: Wake up the flavor of Beans, red beans and rice, and Cajon dishes. Some folks even use it in yogurt. Store dried leaves in an airtight container in a dark place.
Chives: Fresh cuttings add flavor to almost any dish. Use in salads, sprinkle into eggs when scrambling, good in soups and sauces. Plant some right outside your kitchen door and snip off fresh cuttings to flavor your meal. Cut and dried chives lose flavor fast. Will last a little longer in airtight containers in the fridge.
Comfrey: Use fresh cut leaves in salads and tea. Dried cut leaves can be stored in airtight containers in the fridge.
Coriander: Recipes for fruit salad, pickles, stew, and chili dishes have a special taste with coriander. Cut, dried, and sifted, it will keep in a container on your spice rack.
Dill: Not only is Dill decorative, but seeds are used in favorite pickle and relish recipes. It can also be used with cooked vegetables. Seeds can be kept on the spice rack.
Fennell: Use fresh leaves as garnish. Great in salads. Many recipes call for Fennell as a flavor enhancer. Seeds can be kept on the spice rack.
Garden Cress: A garnish for salads and platters. Not to be confused with Water Cress. Use fresh cuttings. It is also called peppergrass, the curled leaf varieties are most favorable.
Garlic: Always buy fresh Garlic Pods. The best Garlic comes from California, however China has been flooding the market with shipped in pods which are stale by the time they get here. The California Pods are beautifully white, whereas shipped Pods have a yellow cast. Keep the pods in airy containers. Garlic jars with holes cut in the sides are available at gourmet cooking supply shops. This is another spice that no Italian cook leaves home without. It can be used with any dish. Besides cooking with it, a toe of garlic with a Medal of the Blessed Virgin tied around my neck keeps my Dear Sweet Italian Fairy Godmother away for long periods of time. Some times it keeps everybody away for long periods of time. On the other hand eating it also keeps cholesterol away from me too. Dried flakes or powder can be stored in containers on your spice rack. When buying flakes or powder avoid Garlic Salt which is mostly salt with a hint of Garlic aroma, and little flavor. Crushed garlic heated in melted butter is a great baste for a grilled steak, and is also good to coat cooked noodles, or other pasta. Sliced French bread lathered with butter and lots of garlic flakes and toasted in the oven goes along with any meal.
Horehound: Use fresh leaves in tea or in syrup. Keep dried leaves sealed in airtight containers.
Lemon Balm: Makes a refreshing addition to chicken, fish, or lamb. Use the fresh leaves for tea and cooking with other recipes.
Lemon Verbena: The leaves have a fresh lemon scent Use in drinks or add to stuffing.
Marjoram: Snip fresh leaves as needed for flavoring. Dried leaves should be stored in airtight containers.
Mint: There are several varieties, most popular are, apple mint, orange mint, spearmint, and peppermint. Another plant you can grow right outside the kitchen door and snip off leaves as needed, Fresh sprigs flavor drinks, tea, or add leaves to salads. Grill lamb chops with fresh leaves of mint. Dried leaves will keep in airtight containers.
Nutmeg: Usually can be obtained as a whole nut about the size of a pecan, they will keep for some time, sealed and out of the sunlight. I use a little nutmeg grater with a flip top that holds a nut and grate it right into soups or gravies, a great flavor enhancer. Ground nutmeg can be bought in small containers and kept on your spice rack. Sprinkle ground nutmeg on eggnog. Grate it on top of omelets. Sprinkle nutmeg on top of waffles and then lather with butter and jelly instead of syrup
Oregano: Known also as Wild Marjoram. Flavor stews and meat sauces with Oregano. Usually dried, cut and sifted, store in airtight containers on your spice rack.
Parsley: Another plant that can grow outside the kitchen door. Snip the fresh sprigs as needed. Can be used in salads soups and many dishes. Cut and dried flakes can be stored in airtight containers and kept in the fridge to help keep their flavor.
Rosemary: Another Italian favorite for meat sauces, gravies, soups, and stews. Keep it on your spice rack in airtight containers.
Sage: Adds a distinct flavor to stuffing and cooked green vegetables. Keep leaves or trimmings in airtight container.
Tansy: Can be used with fish, beef, lamb and pork recipes, It can also be used to flavor omelets. Some folks may find it bitter to their taste so try it for yourself and then adjust to your recipes. Dry flowers are used in arrangements and potpourri mixes.
Tarragon: Use the French Varity to flavor your recipes for better taste. Store in airtight containers on your spice rack.
Thyme: Mix it into your BBQ sauces that you use and use it in marinades. Bees love the stuff, so when grilling meat on your BBQ pit the aroma may attract some unwanted guests. Store in airtight containers away from light.

Ok, there you have it for now. Most spices bought in a super come in little jars and containers that are usually quite costly for what you get. The best way to get spices is to grow the simple ones in your yard, such as mint, parsley, chives and little green onions. The clippings from these plants are always useful in any dish or salad mix. Other spices that you do not use much of should be bought fresh from a spice shop. You can buy small amounts there in small plastic bags and use almost immediately in the recipe at hand, besides being cheaper that way, you will not be disappointed when using fresh spice as opposed to using something you haven't looked at for a year just because a recipe calls for it.
The main thing in preparing recipes that call for spices is to read and check your recipe first. See that you have the necessary spices and condiments called for and see that they are fresh. Spices stored on a spice rack or in your pantry for long periods probably should be tossed. Using old dried out, flavorless dust and powder will be a disappointment to your expected outcome. And as I said some things can be grown right outside the kitchen door These kind are the most often used anyway.

So Spice Up your Cookin'

This has been an Encore Column Presentation of Always True Cooking Info.
The late Leo C. Helmer

Armchair Genealogy


The Amazing Life of Dr. Peter Gunsolus

      Researching my ancillary lines, this amazing story caught my attention. Seeking proof of Native American ancestry (long suspected and part and parcel of the Crowson family lore), I found instead an ancestral line filled with the stuff of legends. This is the story of Dr. Peter Gunsolus and his line’s heroics from the time of their migration to Colonial America.
Indiana Weekly Messenger
December 2, 1874
"Dr. Peter Gunsolus, says a Texas paper, now residing in the neighborhood of Fort Griffin, and who is seventy-six years old, stout, and hearty, who has lived on the frontier the greater portion of his life, informed us that he was now living with his sixth wife; married a young girl each time; has fifty-four children, forty-eight of whom are still alive, and scattered from here to the Pacific, and are doing well."

      Early in my research into the life and times of Dr. Peter D. Gunsolus, other historians indicated his family originated in Canada. In my attempt to determine whether or not the Gunsolus family were of the Algonquin or other Canadian Native American tribes, I ultimately discovered quite a different story. From A History of the Kuykendall family since its settlement in Dutch New York in 1646 [Chapter XIV. Cornelius Kuykendaal, his family record, with comments and explanations] comes the following story:

      “The marriage of Leur Kuykendall and Lena Consales brought together the Kuykendall and Gunsaulus families, in marriage for the first time. A brief sketch of the Gunsaulus family will now be interesting, and will aid us in understanding the Kuykendall genealogy. While gathering data for this work, as previously stated, there came letters to me from some of our people that mentioned the name Manuel, or Emanuel, as having been borne by some of their forefathers. In reading the “History of Sullivan County, N. Y.” written by Quinlan, we find him quoting from a manuscript history of that county, written by a Lotan Smith, part of which follows:

      “About the year 1700 Don Manuel Gonsalus, a Spanish puritan, a young man fled from Spain, on account of persecution for his Protestant sentiments, married into a Dutch family at Rochester, in Ulster county. He moved to Mamakating Hollow, built a log house and entertained those who carried wheat to the Kingston market. Wheat, rye and corn were raised in abundance in Minisink, along the Delaware. Gonsaulus was a house carpenter, made shingles and raised some grain. He opened trade with the Indians, as they were friendly at that period.”

      Manuel was a name transmitted for generations in the Gunsaulus family and the name Joseph, also. The tavern and mill of the Gunsaulus people were the first in Sullivan county. Here in Mamakating the family lived for many years. The first mention of the name in the Kingston church records was Nov. 16, 1694, when Manuel Gonsales and Marritje Davids had their son Manuel baptized. This is probably the Manuel that is buried about two miles above Wurtsborough, N. Y. Daniel [MEC NOTE: believe this should be Manuel?] was captured by the Indians, when a child, and carried off by them, and adopted by the wife of an Indian chief. But he succeeded afterwards in escaping and returning home. His wife was Elizabeth Kuykendall, of Mamakating, a woman of abundant courage and sufficient physical ability to back it up…There were, in early days three Manuels Gunsaulus at Mamakating, supposed to be grandfather, father and son. They had lived at Kingston, before moving to Mamakating, and must have known the Kuykendall family there. This same branch of the Gunsaulus family were the ancestors of Ref. Frank W. Gunsaulus, of the Armour Institute.”

      This branch of the Gunsolus (with many, many variations of spelling through the years) is rife with stories of dramatic and unusual experiences. Various family members have been commemorated from time to time for the courageous undertakings and for some tragic fates. It is now commonly believed this particular family descends from one man, known as the Immigrant Gaunsalus forefather:

      The Consalus family of Troy descend from a Spanish Heugonot ancestor, Don Manuel Gonzales who is believed to be the first permanent white settler of Sullivan County. He had sons who perpetuated his name. Don Manuel is said to have come from Holland in his own ship. [SOURCE: “The Consalus Family in New York”]

      After migrating from Holland to the shores of the Americas, Don Manuel wed into a prominent Dutch family. The Spanish Huguenot and his line would intermingle with various Dutch emigres through the following years, both immigrant families leaving their indelible marks of courage, perseverance, diligence, industry, and loyalty upon the new lands.

      It is quite possible that our Peter D. Gunsalus was the child of a Native American mother rather than one of the daughters of the stern and strict Protestant Dutch families, for no marriage is recorded, nor has history provided any name other than “a local maiden” as the woman who bore the child of 17-year-old Emanuel Gonsalus Duk before his marriage at age 20 to Christina VanAlstyne, a most acceptable Dutch daughter. At that point in time, the relationship of white settlers was still friendly with the local Indians. This is not, however, a fact made viable by any supporting documentation and is merely the musings of your author.

      The Gonsales (however spelled) family certainly left its mark on the frontier of New York in Colonial America. Their time was not, however, to be lived in complete peace and prosperity. There is a harrowing tale of savage attack by marauding Indians, Hell bent on revenge, apparently, that – quite literally – tore the Gonsalus family’s core group into shreds and scattered the survivors to new locations of safety. The following story concerns two generations of this family, whose lives became embroiled in the conflicts surrounding the run-up to the Revolutionary War:

      Joseph, son of Emmanuel Gonzales, married Margaret Dutcher, of Dutchess County, NY, who was a direct descendant in the forth generation of Anneke Jansen of Trinity Church litigation fame. Joseph had taken up his abode in the extreme southwestern corner of Saratoga, County, in what is now known as the town of Charlton. Previous to the revolution, he had lived on the friendliest terms with the Indians. On the breaking out of the war, however, the Gonzales family, almost the only one in that sparsely settled section that had openly espoused the cause of the colonists, became objects of especial hate to the Tories, particularly to the Scotch residents of Charlton who generally were on the side of the King. The family of the daring pioneer Joseph, consisted of his wife and four sons; Emmanuel, the oldest, was a man of great strength and had frequently bested the Indians, which further incited the hostility of the Indians and Tories. In April 1782, a party of St. Regis Indians who were returning from their winter hunting and fishing in the Adirondacks, came nearly a hundred miles south to destroy the Gonzales family before returning to Canada. Whether they were prompted by the Tory element, or to avenge their rough handling by young Gonzales has never been ascertained. Joseph, the father, with the farm hand, the eldest and two youngest sons were turning a summer fallow in the field, while the mother, daughter, and second son, David, were at the house. As the Indians came up, Joseph extended his hand in friendly salutation. The Indian responded with a blow from his tomahawk which killed him instantly. At the same time the Indians seized the hired man and the two sons, Emmanuel, by main strength broke away and headed for the nearby woods. As he was scaling the first fence he was again seized but again broke away although he was shot through the hand. As he leaped the last fence that separated him from the woods, he received a shot that killed him instantly. Joseph, the youngest son, age twelve, succeeded in reaching the house in the meantime, and David at once put his mother, sister, and brother in a wagon and escaped to Crane’s village, three miles away. This David went west and is the progenitor of those of that name, among whom is Reverend Frank Gunsaulus of Chicago, Illinois.

Historical Marker in Saratoga County near Charlton, New York, ommemorates story about the scalping and kidnapping of early Gunsolus' family members

The Indians scalped Joseph and Emmanuel, placed their scalps on a pole and taking John and the hired man, started on the long march to Canada. The sufferings of the trip cannot be told but they finally reached the capitol of the St. Regis Nation where John had his face painted and his head shaved and was compelled to carry the scalps of his father and brother through the camp. This massacre broke up the Gonzales family. Rebecca, the eldest daughter, had previously married Emmanuel De Graff, of New Amsterdam. The mother and younger children removed to Schenectady, where the mother died soon after, heartbroken over the fate of her son John. A Granddaughter of David married Commander Constable, of the United States Navy. The history of John continues in the next generation.
       (IV) John, Son of Joseph and Margaret Dutcher Gonzales, was a lad of 15 when forced to take the terrible march to Canada. He was compelled to “run the gauntlet” and forced into the British service, but he bore all the trials with true Yankee fortitude. He was employed in making cartridges, but he mixed the powder with charcoal saying: “None of these will ever harm my countrymen.” Although peace was declared about a year after his capture, he was kept in captivity two years longer, obtaining his release in 1785. He had become a favorite with some of the British officers, who offered him land in Canada if he would remain. He was eighteen at the time and pluckily replied: “All the land I want from you is enough to walk on until I get off it.” He returned to the Mohawk valley and the first relative he found was Mrs De Graff, whose descendants yet reside on a farm near Amsterdam. His father, whose tragic fate we have related, had previous to his death contracted for 1500 acres of land in Saratoga, but through his death the estate was lost. John however, on attaining his majority, bought a portion of the land a mile northwest of West Charlton, on which he and his descendants have since resided. He built the first frame dwelling in the southwestern part of the county and improved his land, bringing it to a fair condition of productiveness. In 1791 he married Dorcas Hogan of Albany who bore him twelve children, dying October 7, 1823. The change of name occurred in this generation. On the rolls of the British, kept while he was their prisoner, his name was written Consalus, and that orthographic has been retained by his descendants. [SOURCE: This story taken from a book of the history of the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys in the State of New York, pages 680, 681, and 682. THE CONSALUS FAMILY IN NEW YORK

      Thus, it appears, we have the source for the legend that the Gonsalus family came to New York in Colonial America from Canada.

      It is not surprising, given the history of this determined, intelligent, and prolific family that our subject, Dr. Peter D. Gunsolus, would have lived his life by forging his own dramatic history as he ventured from his origins in New York state to his final resting place in Breckenridge, Texas. It has oft been related that Peter Gunsolus moved into each new frontier of the emerging American continent, living in each and every territory of each state ultimately forming a part of the United States BEFORE the domestication of that land was complete!

      Peter D. Gunsolus was born 10 Mar 1801 in the wilderness of New York. Without a proper Baptismal date, we are left to surmise whether he was born in Mamakating, (later Ulster County), New York where the father was enumerated in the 1790 census, or after his father moved to Broadalbin, Perth County, New York, before taking Christina VanAlstyne as his wife in Prince Edward Island, Canada in 1803. His father was Emanuel Gunsalus Duk, born 3 May 1783 in Albany, New York and died 12 Jan 1846 in Wheeler, Stuben County, New York. As mentioned above, no name has been supplied for his mother other than “a local maiden” leaving one to imagine that heritage.

      Peter Gonsalus’ grandfather was Johannes Gunsolus, born 16 May 1742 in either New York or Connecticut (depending upon which history you wish to accept), and died 6 Dec 1801 in Broadalbin, Perth County, New York.

      The first record found for Peter is the 7 Aug 1820 US Federal Census for Lawsville, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, in a household enumerating one male aged 26 to 44 (does not equate with believed birthdate for our Peter), a female aged 16 to 25, and one free white female under the age of 10, a total of three persons total.

      A marriage is then noted for Peter with one Elizabeth “Eliza” Gunsalus, maiden name not known, and only referenced with the US Federal Census of 1830 for Lawsville, Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. This household enumeration more closely tracks the believed age of Peter: One male aged 30 to 39 (he was 29?), 2 little girls not yet 5, one girl between 5 and 9, and an adult female aged 30 to 39. Total in household: 5.

      By April of 1835, Peter has moved on. He purchases 160 acres in LaSalle County, Illinois, and completes the purchase, apparently, two months later.

      In 1838, he has “moved on” in another area of his life: he now adds another wife, named Susannah Lynn (some say Voin – although a later wife bore that maiden name and your author believes these two women’s histories may have been conflated).

      By 1840, the US Federal Census enumerates Peter’s household in Macon, Missouri. The little household now is home to four: one little boy under 5, an adult male aged (?) 20 to 29 (Peter is now 39?), one girl aged 10 to 14, and an adult female aged 20 to 29. Only Peter is engaged in agriculture.

      In 1848, Susannah Lynn Gunsolus passes away. By 18 Nov 1849, Peter has taken a new wife, Margaret Jones Davis. They are wed in Liberty, Clay County, Missouri, (a well known location for our research for our paternal line.)

      In the US Federal Census for 1850, researchers are treated – for the first time – to actual names, ages, and relation to head of household for all household members. Still a resident of Liberty, Clay County, Missouri, Peter’s household is enumerated thusly: Peter Gunsoles 41, Margarett Gunsoles 30, Eliza Gunsoles 18, James Gunsoles 12, Mary J Gunsoles 10, Fanny J Gunsoles 8, Jas Gunsoles 6, Peter Gunsoles 4, Polly A Davis 15, Matilda Davis 13, and Clarinda Davis 11. These three girls are assumed to be stepdaughters to Peter, children borne by new wife Margaret Jones Davis during her prior marriage.

      1851 finds Peter a widower yet again. Margaret Jones Davis Gunsolus has gone to meet her maker. But, Peter needs must have a mother for all those little children, so we find a marriage to Nancy Jane Stevens on 15 Jan of 1852, said marriage taking place in Clay County, Missouri. One researcher deems this wife to be Peter’s sixth. Somehow, your author must have missed two marriages if this is true, not surprising considering the dearth of records in frontier towns, the constant mobility of our subject, and the frequent misspellings that cause vital records to be overlooked.

      Although records show Nancy Jane Stevens Gunsolus to have lived until 1859, Peter has taken another wife before that time. On 31 Jul 1853, Peter marries one Susannah “Susan” Voin Jones in Laclede, Missouri. This will be his final marriage, records showing Susannah to be a constant in his remaining years. Peter is now 52 years of age. He has moved constantly from one side of the continent to the heart of the country yet being formed. A chance decision will now become a turning point in his life. As related in the newspaper report of the death of one of Peter’s daughters, one Frances “Fannie” Jane Gunsolus Lynch, (daughter of the first wife named Susannah Lynn):

      It was down on the Rio Grande, back in the California gold rush days, that Fannie J. Gunsolus, 15-year-old daughter of a Missouri doctor, en route west in search of wealth and gold, met a handsome, six-foot stranger, J. C. Lynch, returning from the Pacific coast, his wanderlust satisfied. Six months later the two were married somewhere along the river border in what is now New Mexico.

      Young Lynch an Irish imigrant had been in Texas and yearned for the "knee high grass country,” the range and the saddle, and the next year after the meeting, he persuaded the Gunsolus family to accompany him and his bride to the Lone Star state.

      The Gunsolus family settled in Stephens county, near where Breckenridge now stands and Gunsolus Creek, running near that city, was named for the British (*) doctor.

      The young Lynch couple moved into Shackelford county with a herd of cattle…and settled on Elm Creek. A dugout was their first home, and they received $15 a month and board. Later they acquired 160 acres of land at 25 cents an acre. They built a shack and started an accumulation of cattle and land that soon placed them in the forefront as ranch people in this section. More than 30,000 cattle, carrying a Lynch brand, at one time roamed the 10,000 acres of Lynch land. Thirteen years after they set up housekeeping in a dugout, they built a stone ranchhouse, now occupied by J. D. Lynch, a son and his family. There, Mrs. Fannie Lynch retained a suite of rooms, and when she was not visiting with children or grandchildren she lived in the home for which she selected the spot marked on a lone liveoak sapling nearly 50 years ago. [SOURCE: Abilene Morning News, published Tuesday Morning, January 20, 1931]
(*) Dr. Gunsolus was not British

      By 1870, the US Federal Census, shows Peter and his household at Lynch’s Ranch, Stephens County, Texas, the household members as shown: Peter Gunsolus, 66, Susana Gunsolus 35, Wm Preston Gunsolus 13, John Alexander Gunsolus 11, Sarah Irva Gunsolus 8, Soloman Gunsolus 6, Patsy Ann Gunsolus 4, Alex Brons 9 and Frances Brons 7. Your author has no idea how the Brons children fit in to the home.

      In 1880, Peter is enumerated again, this time in Precinct 4, Stephens County, Texas, with the household members: Peter Gunsolus 77, Susanah Gunsolus 47, Patsy Gunsolus 14, and Solomon Gunsolus 16.

      The following was contributed by a family researcher, concerning this remarkable man:

The attached article is from the "Albany Star" (a newspaper in Albany Texas) dated July 26, 1883...."Old Dr. Gunsolus, the oldest citizen in Northwest Texas (West of the Brazos River) was in town this week looking hale and hardy. The doctor was photographed at Burnett's Gallery and the picture to be sent to Harper's Weekly by Dr. W. I. Baird. Dr. Gunsolus is the father of 57 children and is married to his 6th wife."His 6th wife was Susannah Voin Jones Gunsolus, my great great grandmother...Earlene Humphries 4/2008
The Marker is in Breckenridge, Texas.

On 23 May 1886, Dr. Peter D. Gunsolus is noted deceased at Brushy Creek, Williamson County, Texas, with his remains interred at the Lynch Cemetery in Shackelford County, Texas. The obituary for this amazing man read as follows:

Dr. Peter Gunsolus, one of the oldest pioneers in this section, died at his residence on Brushy creek, Stephens County, Saturday night and was buried Sunday evening at the private burying grounds of his son-in-law, J. C. Lynch, in this county. He was eighty-six years old and has lived on the frontier of every territory that has become a state since Illinois was admitted in 1818. He was at one time a scout under Gen. Kerney.

      The Abilene Morning News carried news of the last surviving offspring of Dr. Peter D. Gunsolus:

Abilene Morning News (Abilene, Texas) - Abilene, Texas, July 5, 1935
Indian Fighter, 83, was son of founder of Old Picketville

    Word was received here Thursday of the death of John Gonsulus, last surviving offspring of Dr. Peter Gonsulus who was founder and physician of old Picketville, forerunner of Breckenridge. He died yesterday at 4 a.m. at the family home in Stephens County.

     His father, a lusty French-Canadian, was famous as the husband of seven wives and father of 42 children. Before moving his large family to Texas, the pioneer’s father had a frontier store on 150 acres on the site of present-day Chicago.

    Gonsulus is survived by his wife, one son, two grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. He was a great-uncle of C. O. Lynch, employee of the Abilene Reporter-News.

    Burial will be this afternoon at 4 o’clock on the Lynch ranch east of Albany beside the graves of his father and mother.

    He was born in 1852 in a cabin on the banks of the Stephens county stream named for his father. Gunsolus has recalled having seen or having participated in 12 Indian fights, early day stampedes, the pony express days and having made 20 trips up the Longhorn trail.

      At least one researcher attempted to pin down the actual number of wives and sired offspring to be accurately attributed to Dr. Peter D. Gunsolus. The list provided (with no attribution for the shared post) is as follows:

1. Eliza Gunsolus b: 1832 in New York
2. James (J. T. ) Gunsolus b: 1838 in Illinois (married Martha Ann Vanhooser)
3. Mary Jane Gunsolus b: 1840 in Missouri
4. Fannie Gunsolus-Lynch b: December 25, 1843 in Missouri. (married John Cornelius (J.C.) Lynch)
5. Isaiah Gunsolus b: October 26, 1844 in Missouri (married Icey Binda Ramsey)
6. Peter Gunsolus (II) b: 1846 in Missouri (married Lockney Jane Vanhooser
7. William Preston Gunsolus b: 1857 in Texas
8. John Alexander Gunsolus b: January 07, 1859 in Texas d: July 04, 1935 (married Mary Ann McNutt)
9. Sarah Ann Gunsolus b: 1862 d: March 21, 1886 in Texas (married Albert Samuel Sanford Swan)
10. Solomon Gunsolus b: 1864 d: 1885 (married Susan Pyles)
11. Patsy Ann Gunsolus b: 1866 in Tx (married Joseph Mitchell Pyles)

There were actually about 17 children sired, not all who carry his name are his seed, but rather adopted by him as he married. Some wives were widowed and some were abandoned and some were divorced. And all but the first wife and wife Jane, came with children of a different marriage. The practice of marriage for sake of convenience brought provision for their seed. They needed a Mother and a Father. It was too hard for either with children. However, If Peter D got tired of the marriage, he would leave and take the kids with him. Whether he paid off the spouse for the children remains speculation. But he claimed them all as his own.

      It is certainly worthwhile to relate the following history provided by a dearly beloved member of the Crowson family, descended from Dr. Peter D. Gunsolus:

      Dr. Peter D. Gunsolus is thought to have been born in New York around 1801, a member of the Gonsolus clan that originially migrated from Spain to the Nevertherlands and then as a part of the Dutch settlement of the New York area (New Amsterdam) of early Colonies. We are unsure exactly who Peter's father was but oral history indicates his mother was American Indian, possibly Iroquois.

We know he moved to the Chicago area early on in his life. In this area we think he participated in the "Black Hawk Indian War" and is thought to have received medical training, possibly at Rush Medical College in Chicago to compliment the herbal medicene training he supposedly acquired through his mother's people. There are records that he received land as compensation for his service in the wars to settle this area. Peter left the Chicago area moving south into Missouri in about 1840. Peter was married at least four times and had a large number of children beginning in 1832 in New York. Peter married his last wife and my great-great grandmother Susannah Voin Jones in Missouri in 1853.

Peter must have had an adventurous spirit as he only settled down after he had reached an age well after what most people consider "old" in the 1850's. Peter and Susannah after having several children in Missouri headed west to California. They made it as far as the Santa Fe, New Mexico Territory where a problem developed with the guides that were leading them west. A disagreement between one of the guides and a young Irishman, John C. Lynch led to a fist fight and parting of the ways with the wagon train west. John Lynch fell in love with Peter Gunsolus' daughter, Fannie Jane and they were married somewhere near Santa Fe. John Lynch convinced Peter that Texas had the promise they were looking for and they traveled back to the area of Texas west of the Brazos now known as Jack, Stephen, Parker and Shackleford counties (but at that time the heart of Comanche Indian country). They settled near a clear running, rocky creek called Rock Creek in Parker County.

This part of Texas was dangerous country with only nearby Ft Griffith (near Albany) and Ft. Richardson (Jacksboro) considered "partly civilized" This was the edge of the great Texas frontier and many noted buffalo hunters and badmen spent time at these forts, Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson and Wild Bill Hickok to name a few.

Peter was recognized as one of the first doctors west of the Brazos River and was noted as "Dr. Peter Gunsolus" in several publications in the 1860's and in the 1870 census he listed his occupation as "Physician". Life on the Texas frontier in the 1860 to the 1880's was hard and dangerous. Peter lost a son and grandson to Comanche raids in 1867 (notes from "Indian Papers of Texas").

Sarah Ann Gunsolus Swan holding Fannie Olivia Swan 1883

My great grandmother, Sarah Ann Gunsolus who married Albert Swan, was the oldest daughter of Peter and Susannah, . She died at the age of 24 when my grandmother was only 3 years old. My grandmother, Fannie Olivia (Ollie) Swan was named after her mother's half-sister, Fannie Gunsolus Lynch. Fannie Olivia Swan married my grandfather, John Goodwin Crowson.

Fannie Olivia Swan (Crowson) - mother of Johnie Randle Crowson - (Bobbie's Daddy, David and Earl's grandfather)

My father, William Earl Crowson who recently passed away at age 83, remembered visiting his Gunsolus relatives and knew Peter's son, John Gunsolus who was a noted indian fighter from the early Texas frontier days. My dad played in the clear running "Gunsolus Creek" as a youngster and this creek served as the main water suppy for many years for the town of Breckenridge Texas.

Leona Earlene Crowson Nov 2008

Grandpa Johnnie R. Crowson with Lila, Bobbie, Dorothy and Ronnie

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