Thursday, June 22, 2017

About Patriotism and Being A Patriot

When I worked as a school teacher, from time to time, I talked to my students about patriotism. Usually, it was around Independence Day, before all the school and state celebrations took place.

The kids studied the meaning of the term 'patriotism' given by a dictionary:
e.g. “Patriotism - the feeling of loving your country more than any others and being proud of it”*.

We also discussed whom we can call a patriot.

My mom's cousin served on a submarine during WW2. He and the entire submarine crew perished when the vessel was sunk by a torpedo. Those navy men were patriots, they died for their country.
All service men and women can certainly be called patriots. But what about us, who live at the time of peace and do not serve, can we be patriots as well?

Before answering that question, the students looked up the word 'patriot' in a dictionary.

"A person who loves their country and, if necessary, will fight for it".**

Furthermore, we also talked about Patriots and what local patriotism means (who a local patriot is).

When I was little, I was told by my parents how I should behave during official ceremonies when the national anthem is played. I learned I should stand still and solemnly till the anthem ended.
Years later, I explained the same to my students - no talking, giggling, jumping or dancing when the anthem is being played. Why? Because it means being disrespectful to our national symbol.

We are all proud when our national anthem and the flag are presented during the Olympics and other international sports tournaments. But what about when we are at home, in our country?

I used to have neighbors who lived not far from my place. On state holidays, they always hung the Polish flag on their balcony washing line. The flag was fixed to it with washing clips. I am sure the neighbors meant to express their patriotic attitude but the way they displayed the flag on their balcony was not proper or respectful according to me.

During the class the kids and I also talked about how the national flag should be treated/presented and how can we show our patriotism then.

Subsequently, the students, working in groups, brainstormed the answers to the following questions

#1. How can we express our patriotism / how can we be patriotic during the peace?

Some of their answers mentioning what patriots do:
  • respect our national symbols,
  • observe state holidays,
  • work at community groups/organizations,
  • do everyday duties/work well.

#2. What can we be proud of as citizens of our country/region of our country  - where we live - regarding places, things, and people?

The kids created great slideshows with their answers to both questions and presented them to their classmates.

In my opinion 'patriotism' was a really important but also an interesting topic to talk about in class. All in all, the meaning of 'patriotism' and 'patriot' is quite universal and applies not only to the Poles and their feelings. The children seemed to enjoy the class subject and the activities as well. I hope they will still remember what they learned then when they grow up.

Credits:
* Definition from: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/patriotism
** Cambridge International Dictionary of English, Cambridge University Press, 1999


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Rachel Belzora Stimson and William James Howard

This post is another page of Aunt Lula's photo album and it is dedicated to our ancestors and relatives.

Rachel Belzora (Belle) Stimson was born to Isaac Stimson and Rachel Obelier Stimson (nee Tucker) on May 29, 1834, in Candiz, Trigg, Kentucky.

When Rachel Belle was 21, she married William James Howard who was her coeval. It was in Pittsylvania, Virginia. Three years later, The young couple already lived in Texas.

Their son Jaarrt was born in McKinney, Collin County, TX on July 11, 1858. Unfortunately, Jaarrt lived only two months, he passed away on September 11, 1858.

Jaarrt's resting place is at Abston Cemetery in lavon, collin County, TX

Two years later, on March 6, 1860, in Plano, Collin County TX, Rachel and William's daughter Abbigal Obelier Howard was born.

Belle and William - age 27 - their son William Monroe Howard was born in McKinney, Collin County, TX on August 19, 1861.

Next year, on April 3, 1863, another daughter of Belle and William's was born to the family. The girl was named Jennie Mae (she was born in Plano, Collin County, TX).

A few months later, tragedy struck the young parents - their daughter Abbigal Obelier Howard died on September 13, 1862.

Abbigal was also buried at Abston cemetery in Lavon, TX

Four years passed and Belle and William - age 31 - celebrated the birth of their daughter Racheal Clementine. The girl was born in Plano, Collin, TX on March 2, 1866.

The family was growing. When Rachel and William were 33, they expected another child. Robert Leo Howard was born Plano, Collin, TX on September 7, 1867.

Two years later, Rachel Belle gave birth to their fourth son: Samuel Delaney Howard who came to this world in Collin, TX on October 23, 1869.

Meanwhile, the older children were growing up and the time of marriages came. In 1882 (Rachel and William were forty-eight), within a few months, the family had two such celebrations. First, the oldest son William Monroe Howard married Isabell Angel on August 23, 1882. Next, daughter Racheal Clementine married Robert Jefferson Davis Brown. The ceremony took place on December 21, 1882.

Seven years later, there was another marriage: on July 3, 1889, Robert Leo Howard married his sister-in-law Dora Elizabeth Angel (she was Isabell's sister).

Soon, the happy time was followed by mourning. A few weeks after Robert and Dora's wedding, on July, 31 1889, the oldest son of Rachel and William's, Samuel Delaney Howard, died. The parents were fifty-five then. I do not know anything about a cause of Samuel's death. Whatever it was, it certainly must have brought grief and a lot of suffering to the couple and the entire family.

Life was going on and three years later, the day of another child's marriage came. Belle and William's daughter Racheal Clementine married second time, on Jan 3 1892. The spouse was John Lee Gant.

Rachel Belle was widowed in 1897. She was 63 then. William died in Allen, TX, a few days before his birthday, on November 12, 1897.

If it was not enough, at the age of seventy-five Belle experienced another personal tragedy - it was the death of her son William Monroe Howard. He died in Frisco, Collin, TX on September 10, 1909.



Rachel Belzora Howard passed away at the age of 87 in Plano, Collin, TX on January 20, 1922.


William James Howard was born on November 30, 1834, in Bowling Green, Warren, Kentucky. He was a son of Jarrot Howard and Nancy Walker.


I am not sure what William's occupation was. Possibly, he was a farmer and Rachel Belle was a housewife.

Rachel and William Howard were married for forty-two years. They had eight children.
The couple's eternal resting place is the Bethany Cemetery in Plano, Collin County, Texas.

Credits:
Photos of gravestones: courtesy of Marc & Donna

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wywiady Klubowe: Rozmowa z Niką Vigo

Wywiady goszczą w Paryżu, Brukseli, Perpignan i Strasburgu. Wszędzie tam bywa Nika, która opowie nam o .... Zapraszamy do przeczytania dzisiejszego wpisu, by dowiedzieć się, o czym szumią winorośle. 😏


Witaj Niko, opowiedz nam o Twoim miejscu w Polsce…

Jestem Warszawianką, a dokładniej Żoliborzanką, choć kilka pierwszych lat mego życia moi rodzice spędzili w Stargardzie Szczecińskim, a ja sama urodziłam się w Szczecinie, dokąd kiedyś obiecałam sobie pojechać i na pewno to zrobię. To jednak Warszawa jest moim miastem i to z tym miastem łączą się wszystkie moje wspomnienia z Polski: lata szkolne, nauka w Liceum Lelewela, gdzie wówczas dyrektorką była Anna Radziwiłł, a potem lata studiów na Uniwersytecie Warszawskim.

Jak dawno temu wyjechałaś z Polski?

Zaczęłam wyjeżdżać na dłużej już od 1988 roku. W sumie spędziłam z rok w Budapeszcie, a potem rok w Helsinkach. Natomiast od połowy 1990 mieszkam na stałe w Paryżu, a od 2005 pomieszkuję jedną nogą na południu Francji w wiosce wśród winnic regionu Roussillon. Jednak, by nie było zbyt monotonnie, to od 2010 w tygodniu pracuję w Brukseli, a na dodatek od 2012 jeden z tygodni pracujących w miesiącu spędzam służbowo w Strasburgu. Innymi słowy, jestem w drodze dwa razy w tygodniu i mieszkam obecnie na trzy domy, przemieszczając najczęściej na osi Bruksela-Paryż-Perpignan, ze skokiem w bok do Strasburga czy Warszawy. Taka trochę ze mnie europejska nomadka, bo od czasu, gdy powstały "lowcosty" Europa niesamowicie zmalała i zrobiła się jedną wielką wioską. Szczególnie to odczułam podczas mych pobytów w Stanach. Nigdzie tak bardzo nie czułam się Europejką, jak w Nowym Jorku, Chicago czy Seattle.

Wieżę Eiffla mogę podziwiać o każdej porze dnia i nocy

Kraje i przyczyny Twego wyjazdu z Polski to...

Węgry i Finlandia związane były z nauką i studiami. Francja to mąż i dzieci — a dokładniej — dwóch mężów i dwóch synów. Natomiast Belgia jest dla mnie jedynie miejscem pracy, bo na weekendy i urlopy wracam zawsze albo do Paryża, albo na południe. Wszystko zależy od tego, czy jest długi, czy zwykły weekend i gdzie pracuję w następnym tygodniu. Na przykład w maju byłam kolejno: w Nîmes, Brukseli, Perpignan, Strasburgu, Paryżu, Warszawie, Gdyni, Warszawie, Brukseli, Barcelonie, Perpignan, Brukseli. Jak wiadomo, w maju jest sporo dni wolnych i stąd na mej comiesięcznej trasie pojawiły się Nîmes, Warszawa i Gdynia. Tak właśnie wygląda życie nomada, gdy w jednym miejscu ma się męża z winnicami (a winnic przeprowadzić się nie da), w drugim synów (już dużych), a w trzecim i czwartym ciekawą pracę dającą mi niezależność finansową.

Powiesz nam o Twoim wykształceniu?


Moje wykształcenie związane jest z językami i to dlatego studiowałam w Warszawie, Budapeszcie, Helsinkach i Paryżu. Dyplom magistra otrzymałam na Uniwersytecie w Warszawie, a potem ukończyłam drugi kierunek na poziomie licencjatu w Paryżu na Sorbonne Nouvelle, ale to już było bardziej dla własnej satysfakcji, żeby się czymś zająć do czasu ogarnięcia języka francuskiego na tyle, by móc pracować we Francji.

Czy wspomniałam już, że kocham rejsy morskie? Rzeczne zresztą też

Czym zajmowałaś i zajmujesz się zawodowo?

Pracować zaczęłam jeszcze w czasie studiów jako pilot wycieczek, przewodnik po Warszawie i tłumacz. Gdy tylko znalazłam się we Francji i zaczęłam mówić płynnie po francusku, pracowałam przez rok dla nowego wówczas Radia Zet jako korespondent w Paryżu. Bardzo lubiłam nadawanie jednominutowych depesz na żywo (przez telefon), ale raczkujące wtedy jeszcze radio nie stać było na akredytowanego korespondenta, a z honorariów starczało mi na przysłowiowe waciki. Skończyłam więc czym prędzej dodatkowe szkolenia specjalistyczne i zaczęłam pracować we francuskim „touroperatingu".

Przez szesnaście lat pracowałam u czterech poważnych paryskich touroperatorów i dzięki tej pracy udało mi się poznać wiele ciekawych miejsc. Przyszedł jednak moment, gdy zechciałam móc pojechać na urlop czy święta w tym samym czasie co normalni ludzie i po dwóch latach intensywnych przygotowań zdałam odpowiednie konkursy, by móc zmienić diametralnie karierę zawodową. To pozwoliło mi pracować w sąsiedniej Belgii i tylko wracać w dni wolne do Francji do rodziny i przyjaciół.

Aktualnie pracuję w europejskim sektorze publicznym, a dokładniej pomagam organizować codzienną pracę kilkuset tłumaczy konferencyjnych. Jestem małym trybikiem wielkiej maszyny, ale każdego dnia doceniam to, co osiągnęłam. Gdyby jakaś cyganka powróżyła mi w młodości i przepowiedziała, choć połowę tego, co przeżyłam do tej pory, to na pewno uznałabym ją za naciągaczkę i oszustkę o wybujałej wyobraźni. A tymczasem realne życie przerosło wszelkie oczekiwania i marzenia, jakie miałam w młodości.

Nawet nigdy nie marzyłam, że będę mieszkać trzy minuty od słynnego Moulin Rouge

Jakie masz hobby ? Co lubisz robić w czasie wolnym?

Od zarania dziejów kocham teatr, a dokładniej od momentu, gdy mama zabrała mnie do warszawskiego Teatru Komedia na „Wesele Fonsia”, gdy miałam lat 12. Od tamtej pory wsiąkłam. Był nawet moment, że chciałam studiować teatrologię, ale w roku mej matury nie było akurat naboru, więc wygrały języki obce, moja druga miłość. Wracając do teatru to w tym sezonie mam np. trzy abonamenty do teatru a dokładniej do trzech teatrów. Przeciętnie oglądam 50 spektakli rocznie w Paryżu, Brukseli, Warszawie i tam, gdzie akurat jestem w podróży.

Ponadto ciekawi mnie zdrowy styl życia, minimalizm, literatura i oczywiście podróże. Ostatnio na prośbę koleżanek i kolegów z pracy przygotowałam trzytygodniowy detoks i wszyscy robiliśmy go razem. U nas w biurze nie znajdziecie czekoladek, ciasteczek czy alkoholu. Natomiast mamy lodówkę, zupowar i maszynę do robienia smoothie. A wszystko zaczęło się od moich zupek ponad rok temu. No, ale to już zupełnie inna historia, więc nie będę tutaj rozwijać tego wątku.

Z czego jesteś dumna?

Z moich synów (pewnie jak każda matka) dumna jestem najbardziej. Ponadto mogę być dumna z tego, dokąd dotarłam w swej karierze zawodowej i przede wszystkim jestem bardzo dumna z mej niezależności finansowej. Uważam, że to bardzo ważne, by w małżeństwie kobieta I mężczyzna byli oboje niezależni od siebie pod względem finansowym. To znaczy, by oboje wnosili dochody do wspólnej kasy I oboje mieli w małżeństwie podobne prawa i obowiązki. Nie życzę nikomu źle, ale trzeba zawsze pomyśleć, co by się stało, gdyby partnerowi czy mężowi nagle coś się przydarzyło.
Zbyt często żyjemy wszyscy, jakbyśmy byli nieśmiertelni, a gdy zdarzy się nieszczęście, to nagle druga osoba pozostaje sama z dziećmi, kredytami i jakże często nawet bez środków do życia. Niezależność finansowa jest przede wszystkim wyrazem poczucia odpowiedzialności za życie swoje, partnera lub partnerki i swego potomstwa.

Winnice Roussillon to jedna z mych miłości

Kiedy zaczęłaś pisać bloga i o czym piszesz?

Zaczęłam pisać swego bloga w listopadzie 2012 roku, czyli za kilka miesięcy minie pięć lat. Miałam czas w samolotach i pociągach i pomyślałam, że to dobry sposób na zatrzymanie w czasie choćby części przeżytych chwil. Piszę o podróżach, kulturze i języku. Czasem o kuchni francuskiej czy innych ciekawostkach dotyczących Francji lub Belgii. Pomysłów na wpisy mam dziesiątki, ale udaje mi się realizować tylko mały ich procent. Inaczej pisałabym teksty na blog od rana do nocy, a to już trudno byłoby pogodzić z pracą zawodową. Piszę więc wtedy, gdy mogę znaleźć na to czas.

CAnigou (2785 m), ukochana góra francuskich Katalończyków z Roussillon

Czym jest dla Ciebie Klub Polki?

W Klubie jestem od bardzo już dawna. Pamiętam czasy, gdy nie było jeszcze klubowych grup na FB (mamy ich kilka), a cała komunikacja odbywała się drogą mailową, bo nie było nas tak wiele. Pierwszy wpis gościnny na blog Klubu wysłałam w 2014 roku.
Stopniowo Klub się rozrastał i powstanie tajnej grupy na FB okazało się jedynym rozwiązaniem ułatwiającym komunikowanie się, a jest nas aktualnie ponad dwieście. Klub jest czymś wyjątkowym w wirtualnym świecie. To trochę jak duża rodzina rozsiana po całym świecie. Dokąd by nie pojechać, zawsze znajdzie się jakaś Klubowiczka do wypicia wspólnej kawy. Miałyśmy wiele spotkań w podgrupach w różnych krajach, a nawet dwa zjazdy.

We wrześniu zeszłego roku odbył się zjazd pod Paryżem, a wiosną tego roku drugi w Holandii. W Paryżu chodzę często do teatru z klubową koleżanką studiującą teatrologię na Sorbonie. W Brukseli jedna Klubowiczka chodzi ze mną w ramach abonamentu do jednego z teatrów, a inna została moją sąsiadką, bo znalazła mieszkanie dzięki mojej informacji. Dlatego Klub nie ma sobie równego w całym Internecie. Niby jest to wirtualne miejsce, ale wsparcie i zrozumienie są jak najbardziej realne. Mam nadzieję, że na kolejnych zjazdach w Portugalii i na Malcie będzie nas obecnych jeszcze więcej. Najwspanialsze jest to, że widząc kogoś pierwszy raz w życiu, znamy go równocześnie od lat. I to jest świetne.

Co jeszcze chciałabyś nam powiedzieć o sobie?

Jestem gadułą, ale to już chyba widać po moich poprzednich odpowiedziach na twe pytania.
Jestem również nomadką i teatromaniaczką (to taka teatromanka do kwadratu). Kocham ludzi pełnych entuzjazmu, tolerancji i ciekawości świata. I tylko czasem trochę mi żal, że pół życia jest już za mną.
Tyle jeszcze mam planów, że powinnam pożyć ze trzysta lat, by je zrealizować.
Znacie jakiś sposób jak to zrobić?

NIKA VIGO

Strony Niki:
Blog: Francuskie i inne notatki Niki
FB Fanpage: @notatkiniki
Instagram: @notatkiniki 
Twitter: @Nikanotatki 
 Google+

Niko, bardzo przyjemnie było nam spędzić z Tobą czas. Myślę, że nie tylko mnie spodobało się, jak to nazywasz, Twoje 'gadulstwo'. Dzięki temu mogliśmy dowiedzieć się o Tobie więcej i poznać Cię nieco bliżej. Zapraszamy wszystkich do zaglądania na strony Niki (linki powyżej).

Kolejny wywiad jeszcze w tym miesiącu - gdzie będziemy? Powiem tylko, że nie w Europie tym razem. Zuzanna już tam na nas czeka!





Thursday, June 8, 2017

My Music ABC: S


I skipped the letter 'R' on purpose as I have already mentioned some 'R' bands in my previous posts.

The letter 'S' is going to be all about European music which I like most due to my European roots. Non European artists (well at least one) will be mentioned some other time, not today.

Our S #1 is Sabaton - Swedish formation - one of the very few contemporary bands whom we enjoy listening to. Each and every song by Sabaton is a little story based on real facts and history. Each of them tells about a real event, battle, soldier/soldiers, king or a war. And we can learn something about them just listening to Sabaton records.

The very first songs by Sabaton which I listened to were the ones connected with WWII and history of Poland: Uprising (about the Warsaw Uprising 1944) and 40:1, inspired by the battle of Bzura and the heroic fight of the Polish soldiers. It was quite a few years ago. Anyway, I heard those pieces and loved them at once. They also made me interested in other compositions by the Swedish band. The music is from the 'hard and heavy side' but it is very pleasant to the ear. What is more, it is quite original with many interesting and nice melody lines. While listening to their songs you not only enjoy the tunes but at the same time learn about some (often rather forgotten or little known) history facts.


The music pieces by Sabaton sound very well also when they are enriched and supported by a classical orchestra. It may seem a bit wild - heavy metal and classical music mixed together but, according to us, it is a great compilation. Actually, our dream concert by Sabaton would be the one performed by the musicians in a small concert hall with some assistance - from time to time - of a classical orchestra. We could sit in the comfortable chairs of a music hall and enjoy two in one - what we really like - the 'Sabaton history music channel' tales and classical music as well.

On the other hand, the Swedish musicians create a great performance when they are on their own - they do not need any extra support. The band does very well on stage and their live music + songs are as good as the ones recorded in the studio. It is just our dream concert vision. Another reason for that is that regular heavy metal concert venue facilities are usually of a different sort of comfort comparing to a cozy concert hall. I guess, not too many fans of Sabaton would be happy about such a concert and the opposite - not too many classical music lovers would decide to buy tickets to listen to a heavy metal band. Well, that would be perfect to us.

🎸

I have always liked Scorpions (German band) and many of their songs - both ballads and the more heavy stuff. I saw them at a concert at the beginning of the 90s, in Poland. To be honest, I do not recall much of the event besides the fact that I did enjoy it.


Talking about Scorpions I need to mention Michael Schenker and his Group. At some point he was part of Scorpions, later he played with his own band. I do not know much of their career or music but I do remember the piece 'Into the Arena' - I loved the way Micheal played the guitar.

🎸

Status Quo are my number one English 'S' band. Lively, cheering music and very enjoyable guitar parts that is what I like about them most.


The band members, very skillful musicians, are also great stage performers. Their music is simply good stuff and fun. I could watch some of their concert pieces (such as Gerdundula) again and again.

🎸

Slade - another English band who played the music which I would call 'merry & fun'. The costumes they wore added to the fun part. My Slade hit #1 is 'Coz I Love You'.

Smokey and Sweet - I mention them here although, when they were most popular, I disliked them with all my heart. The guys looked too girly to me and, in my opinion, their music was too sweetened and boring. The time has passed and I am still not a particular fan of the bands but these days I am OK with listening to some of their songs once in a while. At some point, they were big in Europe anyway.

Sting - a class of his own. Shortly speaking - Art of music - no need to comment it at all.

Classical S

Schumann Robert - quite a coincidence - his birthday is today. He was born on 8 June 1810. Schumann liked playing with his seven children. Several of his compositions relate to children/childhood.

Strauss - both father and son - I do knot know if it is still a kind of tradition on Polish TV, at least it used to be. Every year on New Year's Day a live concert was transmitted from Vienna. The music by Strauss Senior and his Son was mostly played then. I did like those cocerts. It was a good way to celebrate the beginning of a new year.



Sabaton: too many songs which we really like to mention them all here - just some of them are
To Hell And Back, Attero Dominatus, Carolus Rex, The Lion from The North, Swedish Pagans, Poltava, Got Mitt Uns, Aces in Exile, 40:1, Uprising, Night Witches

Scorpions:
The Zoo, Holiday, In Trance, Life's Like a River, Fly People Fly, Can't Live Without You, Blackout, You Give me All I Need, No One Like You, When the Smoke Is Going Down, Yellow Raven

Slade: 
Far Far Away, Run Runaway, Coz I Love You

Smokey:
I'll Meet You at Midnight, Don't Play Your Rock'n'Roll to Me

Status Quo:
In The Army, Gerdundula, What You're Proposing

Sting:
Shape of My Heart, Fields of Gold, Moon over Bourbon Street, Russians, I'm Lost Without You, Desert Rose

Sweet:
Hell Raiser, Blockbuster

Classical S

Schumann: Scenes of the Childhood - opus #16 Dream

Johann Strauss Sr.: 
Radetzky March

Johann Strauss Jr.:
Tritch-Trach Polka
The Blue Danube
Pizzicato Polka
Vienna Blood

🎵

Credits

Photos
  • Sabaton: By dr_zoidberg [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Scorpions: By Pablo BM from Plymouth, England (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • Status Quo photo: KevM at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons


May Photos

Here are some of our May photos (and the picture summary of the month) - most of them were taken at the annual North Texas Scottish Festival. You will also find us in the May Gallery by Klub Polki (Polish Ladies Abroad Club). The Gallery consists of various interesting photographs from all around the world. See it here.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

In The Kitchen With Tobo: Cinnamon & Cocoa Cake

When I am not working on our ancestry project - or in the meantime ;-):  In The Kitchen With Tobo: Cinnamon & Cocoa Cake: I made that cake not long ago - I felt like making a cake but did not have any raisins or anything special to make the cake with so I used ...


Monday, June 5, 2017

Leffel - The Name And The Story Beyond It

Leffel was another mysterious first name which I found in our family tree branch. It was mysterious till I discovered who the Leffel people were and why was one of them so important that his surname became a first name.

So who were the Leffel people?

The original spelling of the surname was possibly Loeffel. Balthazar (also called Balzar) Loeffel/Leffel born on 2 February 1721 in Palatinate Region, Germany came to Pennsylvania where he married Sybilla (born on 1 March 1728). Both of them were regarded as the Pennsylvania Dutch. The term 'Dutch' referred to 'Deutsch' (meaning German of course), which was commonly pronounced 'Dutch' by Americans. Most of so-called the Pennsylvania Dutch people came to Pennsylvania from Germany and Switzerland. The versions of German which they spoke created a unique dialect of German spoke by the Pennsylvania Dutch only.

How are we related to the Leffel family?

Our ancestor (7 generations back), Benjamin Maugridge Boone Jr. married Eve Leffel, daughter of Balzar and Sybilla Leffel. Benjamin was born on 13 August 1741 in Exeter Township, Philadelphia County, PA. He is listed in DAR (Daughters of American Revolution) records: Patriotic Service in Pennsylvania as Private. Benjamin died on 25 September 1824 in Bloomsburg, Columbia County, PA. Eve was born on 5 January 1756 in Amity, Washington County, PA. She died on 22 June 1816 in Bloomsburg, PA too.

What was so significant about the Leffel people/or one of them that their surname survived in our family tree as a given name?

One possible explanation could be that Balzar Leffel was a Patriot. He is listed in the DAR (Daughters of American Revolution) Patriot Index (Oath of Allegiance,1778, BERKS Co.). On the other hand, there were more Patriots in the family than just Baltzar only. Therefore, I suppose, it was all about David Miller Leffel, grandson of Eve's brother John Leffel. During my genealogy quest, I learned something very interesting not only on that particular ancestor but on some history of the Land as well.

David Miller Leffel was born to Anthony and Mary Leffel on 20 January 1816 (in Botecourt County, Virginia). At the age of 21, David married 20-year-old Susan Evaline West. The marriage ceremony took place on 3 May 1837 in Springfield, Clark County, Ohio.
When Susan's mother died, her father Michael West and her brothers moved to Texas where they got some land in Grayson County. In 1858, after Michael's death, Susan and her husband David Miller relocated to Texas as well - Susan inherited part of the land from her father. The couple settled in Cooke County, though where one of Susan's sisters lived. They had eight children: William Jefferson (1838), Sarah Ann (b.1840), Eliza Jane (b. 1843, died as an infant), Anthony Musgrove (1846), James Perry (b.1848), Charles Edgar (b.1851), John Wesley (b.1855), and George L. (b. 1857). David worked as a carpenter.

Father of David Miller Leffel (1791-1870)

During the Civil War (on 1 October 1862) Texas militia arrested many people who were suspected to be the Union sympathizers and were accused of plotting against the Confederacy.

David M. Leffel, supposedly encouraged by his brother-in-law William Boyles, attended a 'Peace Party' meeting which was held at a private home. The meeting discussion was focused on freeing the people arrested by the Citizens Court. David, along with fourteen other persons who were present at the meeting, was caught and charged with disloyalty to the Confederacy and sentenced to death by hanging. David was executed on 19 October 1862. Forty other men were hanged as well. It all happened in October 1862 in Gainsville, Texas.


Not long ago, the monuments commemorating the victims of the Great Hanging at Gainsville were found in Cooke County, where the tragic events took place.


I need to say that I was quite moved when I found out the story beyond the Leffel name and about what happened to David Miller Leffel. It all must have been known to our grandparents who lived in Texas as well. No wonder they regarded the surname so meaningful that they decided to name their child with it. Now we probably know why.

Credits:
  • Picture of Anthony Leffel:  Courtesy of clmroots.blogspot.com
  • Pictures of the Gainsville Memorial Monuments: Courtesy of gainesvilletx1862.blogspot.com