The Origins of Baseball

The origins of baseball are somewhat fuzzy and surrounded by plenty of controversy in the early years. Many games like baseball had the tools of the trade involved in them. the bat, ball and running were all staples of games found in Great Britain and other parts of Europe. Contests like rounders, cricket, stoolball all were first developed in England. As settlers from Europe left and came to the United States, they brought what they could remember and a hybrid game was started called base ball, goal ball, round ball,sometimes it was just called base. In early days ,they ran around the base in the opposite direction than the current game. like the game of brannboll from the Nordc countries. A player could be out if they were hit by the ball when not on the base and a few version allowed for a strikeout of the batter

In the southern part of England in the mod 18th century there appear to have been a children’s game where a striking of  ball and running a circuit of bases was being played. This was later identified as rounders. This is known as English colonists took the book A Little Pretty Pocket book of Base-Ball was discovered. Now that those traveling to the United States had a rule book, the games began. The game was definitely changed when adults began playing the game. after time, they were always attempting to find a loophole in the rules. So, it was constantly being updated to keep up with the game. The hotbed in the mid 19th century appears to have been around New York City.  These games were being discouraged and sometimes forbidden by the religious sects of the United States as sinful in nature.

Aside from obvious differences in terminology, the games differed in the equipment used (ball, bat, club, target, etc., which were usually just whatever was available), the way in which the ball was thrown, the method of scoring, the method of making outs, the layout of the field and the number of players involved. Very broadly speaking, these games can be roughly divided into forms of longball, where the batter ran out to a single point or line and back, as in cricket, and roundball, where there was a circuit of multiple bases. There were also games (e.g. stool-ball, trap-ball) which involved no running at all.

There were many differences in the new game and the old games of Europe. They included the ball (today’s is much harder than the earlier ones), the bat(today’s are refined pieces of wood where they used wht they could fine), the way the ball was thrown(earlier was underhand and you old them where to place it),the scoring, the ways to make outs(earlier if you caught it in the air or on one bounce you were out), the layout of the field (the first field had 126 feet between bases) and the number of players involved. Of course, they had no professionals players. It was the local barber, attorneys, longshoremen, businessmen, police and firemen among others.



NEXT UP- The Early Years



Each week I bring the Top 25 to you in College Baseball. There is always change and sometimes even big name, such as LSU, that drop out. Let’s get started!

#1- Arkansas – The Razorbacks are still going well with 27-3 record and 4-0 in conference play. They won four games this week with a midweek win 13-0 over Arkansas State . The weekend saw them sweep Ole Miss 5-2, 8-3 and 7-4. They have a weekend series with Alabama next.

#2- Clemson – They are 28-3 and 10-2 in conference play. They beat Upstate SC in the week day contest and swept Notre Dame with the Sunday game being an 11 inning win 13-12. they play North Carolina for three games over the weekend.

#3- Texas A&M – The Aggies are 28-4 overall and 8-4 in their conference. They won 2 of 3 over South Carolina in the weekend series with the Sunday contest going to the Gamecocks 6-5. Next up for them will be an important series against  a top ten team at home with Vanderbilt.

#4- Tennessee – The Volunteers are 28-6 overall and 6-4 in SEC play. They won 2 0f 3 against Auburn . Losing the first game, they roared back with 12-2 and 19-5 wins. This weekend they play the reigning national champions in the LSU Tigers.

#5- Oregon State – Overall, they are 26-4 and 8-3 in the PAC-12 conference. They won five games this week with two over Gonzaga and swept three from Arizona State. They host the Stanford Cardinals for three this weekend.

#6- Vanderbilt – The Commodores are 25-7 overall and 6-4 in the SEC. They had a good weekend as they swept three from LSU. It doesn’t get any easier as the play #3 Texas A&M for a weekend series.

#7- Kentucky – The Wildcats are currently 27-4 with a conference leading 11-1 in the SEC. They defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide in three contests and now will face Auburn for three.

#8- Duke- the Blue Devils enter this week with a 24-8 overall record and are 6-4  in the ACC. the swept Miami over the past weekend and now will face Pittsburgh for three contests.

#9 – Florida State- Overall, the Seminoles are 26-5 and 7-3 in conference play. They took two of three from Boston College and now play Florida midweek and face Miami for three over the weekend.

#10 – East Carolina – The Pirates are 24-6 and  3-1 in the American Conference. Last week they took two of three from FAU and now will square off against Charlotte.

#11 – UC Irvine- The first West Coast team in the rankings finds them overall with a 24-4 overall record and they are currently 2-1 in the Big West. They took two of three from a strong UC Santa Barbara team and now move forward to take on UC San Diego on the road.

#12 – Virginia – The Cavaliers are 24-7 0verall, but the strongest completion has come in conference as they are 7-4 in the ACC. They defeated North Carolina twice over the weekend and now travel to face Louisville

#13 – North Carolina – is 24-6 overall and in the ACC they are 11-4. The Tar Heels lost 2 of 3 last week against Virginia. This weekend they have a series at home against Notre Dame.

#14- UCF- I should have had them in my Top 25 last week. This week they took 2 of 3 from Kansas State and sport a record of  21-8 with 7 of the losses in the Big 12. This weekend they have a series at West Virginia.

#15 – Wake Forest – The former top team of the polls is currently with a  21-10 record and struggling in the ACC with a 7-8 record. Last weekend they swept Virginia Tech in three games and now face Boston College on the road for three contests.

#16- Virginia Tech – is 21-8 overall and 10-6 in he Atlantic Coast Conference. Last weekend they were swept in three games by Wake Forest and now they head to Georgia Tech for three.

#17- Oregon – they have a 22-8 overall record and are 8-4 in conference play. They won 2 of 4 from UCLA last weekend and  take on USC at home this weekend.

#18 – Dallas Baptist- I might have this team higher except their schedule is weaker than the others. Their record is 25-6 and 2-2 in conference play. They lost 2 of 3 from Western Kentucky over the previous weekend and now travel for a weekend series at Air Force.

#19 – Oklahoma State – at 21-11 and 7-5 in the Big 12, I almost didn’t include them but they are 3-3 against Top 25 teams. They took 2 of 3 from in-state rival Oklahoma the previous weekend and now they face Cincinnati at home.

#20 – Nebraska – The lone Big Ten team left in the polls, the Huskers are 22-7 overall an 0-1 in conference play plus they are 0-1 facing Top 25 teams. They took two of three from Ohio State and now travel to Rutgers for a three game series.

#21 – Louisiana – This team is 24-8 and 11-1 in the Sun Belt conference. They swept Louisiana-Monroe and are riding a 15 game winning streak. They face Marshall at home.

22- Coastal Carolina- The Chanticleers have been hanging around the is area of the Top 25 most of the season. They are 22-9 along with a 7-5 record in the Sun Belt conference. They travel to Georgia Southern for a three game series this weekend.

#23- Mississippi State – With a 21-12 overall record along with a 6-6 record in the SEC, I couldn’t put them as high as the national polls. They lost 2 of 3 to Georgia last weekend and now face in-state rival Mississippi for a series.

#24- Alabama – The Tide come onto this week with a 21-10 record and a poor 4-8 in the conference. They were swept by Kentucky this past weekend and now face the top in the country Arkansas coming up.

#25- South Carolina – The Gamecocks are 22-8 overall with a 11-1 in the Sun Belt. However, they are 0-1 against Top 25 teams. They will take on Marshall for a weekend series.


Dropped out- Florida Gators. LSU Tigers

1. Arkansas- The Razorbacks highlighted a series win over reigning national champions LSU with a 10th inning double by Hudson White to lift Arkansas to a 20-3 overall record and 7-1 in the SEC. Starter Mason Molina was firing on all cylinders to keep them in the game for the win.

2.Clemson– the Tigers are 24-3 on the season. They took 2 of 3 from the Miami Hurricanes The Tigers pitchers allowed five runs and 18 hits along with three walks in the entire series.

3.Tennessee – The Volunteers are 25-4 overall and 5-4 in the tough SEC. They won 2 of 3 from Georgia this weekend and have a few days off before traveling to face Auburn. The offense is lead by Kavares Kears hitting .417 and Blake Burke at .400 for the season. There are four players each with ten homers (Dreiling, Moore, Amick, Burke).

4.Texas A&M The Aggies are riding high after taking all 3 from the weekend over Auburn. They are now 25-3 on the year and 6-3 on the SEC. A&M scored 22 runs in the final two contests over the Auburn Tigers to move up in the polls.

5.Oregon State– The Beavers lost against USC on Friday and Saturday and to Mother Nature with a rain out on Sunday. With Gonzaga and Arizona State looming on the schedule this week, it is an important series for Oregon State. Their schedule has not been particularly tough but they have won lost of games.

6.Vanderbilt – The Vandy Boys only allowed three runs in two games against Missouri in a two game series. Vanderbilt is currently 23-6 on the season and 6-3 in the SEC. They have won four straight games. An important series with LSU is coming up this weekend.

7.Duke– They may not fit the profile of a team that is #6, but the way they are playing is certainly indicative towards that. They are 20-8 on the season and 6-6 in conference play. The Blue Devils have beaten or split against most of the top dogs. They took two of three from Virginia over the Easter weekend and now host the Miami Hurricanes.

8. Florida– If you judged them on their losses theyn they wouldn’t be in the top 25 but it is their wins and schedule that keep them in the Top Ten.They won two of three over the reigning national champion LSU team. That’s a big deal. This past series saw them win two of three from Mississippi State. Now they face Florida A&M for one game and host Missouri next weekend. Jac Caglione is one of the top three players in the country and being a dual player, he can hit and pitch.

9.Dallas Baptist – I had them unranked at the beginning of the season but they are a good team and are 23-4 on the season and -1 in their conference. They swept New Mexico State and now travel rto Bowling Green to face Western Kentucky in a three game series.Their schedule is very good but they continue to win.

10.Virginia Tech- The Hokies are 21-5 and 10-2 in the conference. They took 2 of 3 from Pitt this previous weekend and will get a tough challenge next weekend as they entertain a tough Wake Forest squad.

11.North Carolina – The Tar Heels are 25-4 and 10-2 in the ACC conference. It was a fantastic series as they swept a former #! Team in Wake Forest. Now they face a very good Virginia team.

12.East Carolina – The Pirates finished the weekend with a sweep of UAB and are 20-6 on the season. The Pirates could very easily be moved up a spot but the schedule got weaker for a few weeks into the season. Now they travel to Florida to take on Florida Atlantic.

13.Alabama – The Crimson Tide is 21-7 overall but a weak 4-5 in conference play. They swept the Bulldogs of Georgia over the weekend and wait for the next series with Auburn.

14.Florida State – It wasn’t long ago the Seminoles were undefeated but now they have been swept by Clemson and had a loss to Louisville,The record stands at 22-4 with all four losses coming in conference play.

15.Virginia – The Cavaliers are 22-6 overall and just finished the weekend by losing to Tennessee Tech and Georgia. They are trending downward in most polls.

16.Kentucky – With a 24-4 start along with a 8-1 conference play. Over the Easter weekend. Jeu swept Ole Miss and travels to in-state foe Louisville. Nick Lopez leads the offense with a .412 average. Pitcher Mason Moore is 6-0 from the mound with 35 strikeouts and Dominic Niman is 5-2 on the season and has fanned 36 batters.

17.UC Irvine – This the first West Coast team in the ranking as they are 22-3 and 8-1 in conference games. They swept Hawaii in Oahu and now face another ranked team next weekend with a series at home with UC Santa Barbara.

18.LSU – What a huge drop for the reigning national champions. They are 20-9 and a disappointing 2-7 in conference play. They were swept by the top team in the Arkansas Razorbacks and now host Vanderbilt for three. A top ten pick in the draft, Tommy White leads the team with a .319 average and nine home runs.

19.NC State– They are 18-7 along with a 8-4 conference record. They had a fie game losing streak at one time.Now they face East Carolina on Tuesday and then have a series in Kentucky facing Louisville.

20.Wake Forest – The one time number one team in the nation has fallen on hard times. The Deacons are 17-10 overall and sport a 4-8 record in conference play. North Carolina swept them this past weekend and now they wait for a weekend series facing Virginia Tech.Their two aces on the mound Chase Burns is 5-0 on the year while Josh Hartle is 4-1 so far. The rest of the staff has been somewhat dismal. Prospect Nick Kurtz is down to hitting .236 this year.

21.Coastal Carolina – The Chanticleers are 20-7 overall on the season and 5-4 in conference play. They won 2 of 3 from ULM this weekend and now wait for the Old Dominion series next weekend but then travel to David F Couch Ballpark for a huge series with Wake Forest. They are led by Sam Antonacchi with a .374 batting average with Derek Bender and Jake Books each at .370 for the team. Oliver Ellison lead the hurler with a 3-0 record.

22.South Carolina– The Gamecocks have some good wins for a team at #22. They have 21 wins and 7 losses this year . They lost 2 or 3 from Alabama this past weekend and now entertain a tough Texas A&M team at home next weekend.

23.Mississippi State – They are 19-10 overall and 4-5 in conference play. They lost 2 of 3 with Florida over the Easter weekend and now they face Georgia over the weekend in Starkville.

24.UC Santa Barbara – They are 15-8 for the year and 4-2 in the conference. The Gauchos won 2 games from San Jose State and now wait for a big series against in-state UC Irvine.

25.Nebraska – The Huskers are 20-5 overall and 3-0 in the Big Ten conference. They won two game over Northwestern and now face conference foe Ohio State at home in a three game series.

Marmaduke's burial

This was one of my genealogy finds in the digging of the past two years.

Sir Marmaduke Constable-My 15th Great Grandfather ( on my mothers side)

One of my  descendants  fought the Battle of Bosworth were set to meet in Leicester as part of the commemoration of Richard III’s reinterment. This is now, however, surely overshadowed by the fact that one of the ancestors who fought at Bosworth was a man called Sir Marmaduke Constable, about whom you need to know three things: firstly, his name was Sir Marmaduke Constable; secondly, he had a long and interesting career in a turbulent period of English history; thirdly, he was eventually brought to mortal conclusion by a frog.

Backgroundy Stuff

First of all, let’s take a moment to reflect on what a magnificent name is Marmaduke Constable! It’s the kind of name that simply demands to have the word “Sir” placed in front of it, and for the bearer of that name to also bear a suit of armour. I would like to think that, had a king encountered an ordinary man with no noble heritage, he would nevertheless have knighted him the instant that he learned the man’s name was Marmaduke Constable simply because “Sir Marmaduke Constable” just sounds right!


In fact, Sir Marmaduke did not require such an idiosyncratic response from a monarch tickled by his name. The Constable family had Norman origins and were based in Flamborough (Yorkshire), notable in their region but not major players on the national scene. The first Constable of any note was Sir Robert Constable, allied with Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, in the reign of Edward II, who was pardoned for his role in the death of Edward’s favourite, Piers Gaveston. For the next few generations, the Constables alternated names between Robert and Marmaduke while at the same time growing in prominence (both in terms of politics and land).

The father of our Marmaduke was the fourth Sir Robert Constable (1423-88). He married Agnes Wentworth and their eldest son, Marmaduke, was born in c. 1456/57. Sir Robert was in his prime during the Wars of the Roses and the Constables served with the Lancastrians (specifically the Percy family of Northumberland). Despite the victory of Edward IV (a Yorkist) in 1461, Sir Robert seems to have made the transition to the new regime without too much difficulty.

Marmaduke joined his father in the service of Henry Percy, whose father (the 3rd Earl of Northumberland) had been killed fighting Edward IV at Towton. Percy lost his earldom and was imprisoned but was released in 1469 and won Edward’s support in having his earldom restored (thus becoming the 4th Earl). The Percy family played a vital role in the north of England, so despite the recent Lancastrian allegiance, Percy was a good sponsor for the Constables.

Marmaduke and Robert (almost certainly in Percy’s service) accompanied Edward IV on his aborted campaign into France in 1475. While this would have been a rather disappointing campaign for a young soldier hoping to make his name, more opportunities were soon to come in border campaigns against Scotland in the early 1480s. Marmaduke seems to have served with some distinction as he was knighted by Percy at Berwick in 1481 (or maybe, as previously discussed, Percy just couldn’t resist the name!)

Sir Marmaduke was moving up in the world and following the death of Edward IV (and the disappearance of his son, Edward V, of “The Princes in the Tower” fame) in 1483, he entered the service of Richard III. Following the Buckingham Rebellion (a failed uprising by Richard’s former ally Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham), Marmaduke was granted all the major Duchy of Lancaster offices in the north midlands, including his new base at Tutbury Castle where he was made constable and thus, presumably, becoming Constable Sir Marmaduke Constable, well on his way to being the 15th century equivalent of Major Major Major Major.

Despite his prominent position, it is not clear whether Sir Marmaduke was particularly close to Richard III. His predecessor as constable at Tutbury was William Hastings, the closest ally of Edward IV who had enjoyed much independence in his position (until being executed by Richard in 1483). In contrast, Sir Marmaduke was forbidden to retain the local gentry and was under much stricter royal control. As such, when Richard fought Henry Tudor (later Henry VII) at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, it is possible that Sir Marmaduke (although present) did not fight for Richard but, like Percy, was notable by his abstention. That he received a pardon and continued to enjoy high office under Henry VII suggests that he had given little cause to be suspected of having a strong allegiance to the previous regime.

Under Henry VII, Sir Marmaduke continued to rise in prominence. He succeeded his father in 1488 and was named Sheriff of Yorkshire. This proved to be an important position as he was charged with quelling the unrest of 1489 in which a rebellion against taxation led to Percy being killed by rioters. With his erstwhile sponsor now dead, Marmaduke seems to have fallen in with Thomas Howard – an appropriate replacement as, like Percy, Howard’s father (the 1st Duke of Norfolk) had been killed (and his title removed) in the crucial battle of the generation (in this case, fighting for Richard III at Bosworth). Like Percy, Howard had been imprisoned but was now seeking to prove his loyalty and win back his title. This had begun with quelling the Yorkshire Rebellion of 1489, where he and Marmaduke would have come into close contact, and Howard evidently thought highly of Marmaduke, nominating him (unsuccessfully, unfortunately) as a Knight of the Order of the Garter in 1509.

For both Sir Marmaduke and Howard, the chance for glory came in 1513 during the reign of Henry VIII. Henry was in France when James IV of Scotland (honouring the Auld Alliance with France) invaded England with 30,000 men. Howard led the English army at the Battle of Flodden and won a decisive victory against the Scots, with James IV himself being killed (the last British monarch to die in battle). As a result of this, Howard’s dukedom was restored and he became the 2nd Duke of Norfolk in 1514. Also to enjoy praise was Sir Marmaduke, who had an important role in the battle commanding the left wing of the English army. In recognition of this, Henry VIII wrote him a letter of thanks, from which we are told that Sir Marmaduke was apparently a short man because Henry VIII’s letter states that he is “called the little”, thus giving us Little Sir Marmaduke Constable!

The Ultimate Case of a Frog in Your Throat

By this point, Sir Marmaduke Constable has lived through the reigns of six kings, of whom four were (at least temporarily) usurped, and been present at two of the most significant battles of the age. He had been a Lancastrian who found favour with Edward IV and then a Ricardian who found favour with Henry VII – despite being sponsored by successive young nobles whose fathers had been killed by the incoming monarch and their titles removed. Nothing, it would seem, could stop Sir Marmaduke Constable. However, on 20 November 1518, Sir Marmaduke was finally laid low by an enemy too powerful even for him – a frog.

Apparently, Sir Marmaduke Constable, a hardened veteran at c. 60 years old, was sat in his garden overlooking the sea when he picked up a glass of water and drank from it. Unbeknownst to Sir Marmaduke, the glass of water contained a frog, which he “inadvertently swallowed”. According to legend, the frog ate away at his heart until he (Sir Marmaduke) eventually died. If he did swallow a frog, I suspect a more likely cause of death would have been Sir Marmaduke choking on said frog but either way, the swallowing of the frog ultimately proved one battle too many! Sadly, the fate of the frog has not been recorded by history.

Of course, this incident raises some inevitable questions. Were Sir Marmaduke to have enjoyed the opportunity of a post-mortem interview, he would no doubt have asked why on earth there was a frog in his glass of water. On the other hand, given a similar opportunity, the frog would no doubt have asked why on earth Sir Marmaduke failed to notice that there was a frog in his water. Given the amphibious nature of the frog, its motivation for taking refuge in water does not really require further explanation. As for Sir Marmaduke, perhaps it was a dark glass, dirty water, or he simply did not think to check before taking a swig that a (presumably small) frog was inside.

Legacy and Descendants

One of the reasons that Sir Marmaduke Constable’s career is known to history is that he tell us about it! He is buried in St Oswald’s Church in Flamborough, which features the Constable Tomb. Of particular note is a brass plaque above the tomb, featuring a poem about his impressive career (though not all entirely accurate – it claims he was 70 at Flodden).

Interestingly, the tomb itself features a stone carving said to be depicting Marmaduke’s heart, which features a representation of the frog that proved his undoing! What Marmaduke would have thought of this is hard to tell (unsurprisingly he does not seem to have foreseen the requirement to predict his thoughts on being dispatched by a small amphibian) but apparently he would not have wanted too much of a fuss, writing in his will a year earlier that he should be buried as soon as possible, “without calling of friends or any other solemnity”.

Impressively, Sir Marmaduke sired six children by his second wife, Joyce Stafford (whose father was killed in 1450 by Jack Cade of “Cade’s Rebellion” fame), who enjoyed varying fortunes. His eldest son (Robert) was knighted by Henry VII for his role at the Battle of Blackheath in 1497 and later fought at Flodden, but was executed by Henry VIII in 1537 as one of the leaders of the Pilgrimage of Grace. His second and third sons (Marmaduke and William) were both knighted at Flodden, the younger Marmaduke remaining loyal to Henry VIII and accompanying him to the Field of Cloth of Gold. His grandson was Henry Constable, an Elizabethan poet whose 1592 work Diana was an early example of a sonnet sequence. As part of the Earl of Essex’s close circle, he was a minor favourite of Elizabeth I but his conversion to Catholicism and attempts to influence James I towards greater toleration led to his imprisonment and later exile. Another descendant was Sir William Constable (1590-1655) who became one of the regicides, signing the death warrant for Charles I!

An impressive family, then, but clearly you can’t top a man who is, let’s not forget, called Sir Marmaduke Constable, AND who fought (or watched) at Bosworth and Flodden AND who died by accidentally swallowing a frog. However, is this a warning from history – could the frogs strike again? I’m not aware of whether accidentally swallowing frogs was a common method of misfortune in Tudor England but it is apparently not a hazard which should concern us today. An FOI request to the Office for National Statistics asked how many people in the UK (if any) have been killed by frogs. The ONS response (the official response rather than the initial “Why on earth has somebody just asked that?!”) was that from 2001 to 2011, no one in England and Wales had been killed by a frog but they could not comment on frog-related deaths prior to 2001: “We do not know whether anyone has ever died from this particular cause in England and Wales as we do not hold that level of detail for earlier mortality data.”


Words From your Grandpa

Words from your grandpa may go unheeded and I  really don’t anticipate that my grandchildren will ever read these words but I plan to tell them anyway. Being a grandparent is an awesome thing that happens to a person. It is kind of like a reward for enduring the parenting years. I never dreamed of being a grandparent. Not because I didn’t expect my kids to get married and have children but I never thought about getting old. Really, I didn’t think about all those old people I remember from my days would translate into me being old enough to have grandchildren.

There’s something to be said about grandkids. They are transforming to the soul. Watching, listening and being part of their life is an awesome thing to be part of. Whether you view it personally or it is shared through Facebook, FaceTime or some other means, it is a fun thing to be part of their growing up.

Yes, it is much different when you do that as a parent. You are the one that is most responsible for shaping them into becoming functioning adults. Now those kids and their spouses have done fantastic work in raising their kids and have allowed us to be part of the outside shaping of their lives.

I’m still learning this grandpa thing and how to be good at it. I will always be a dad and that role will never end even after I am gone. They will continue to hear my inner voice by the things I said and now will be able to pass that wisdom to my grandchildren. I think being a grandfather means I can spend my time offering them love and the little bits of wisdom I’ve managed to collect over the years.


To my Grandchildren:

You can do anything. Sure, I can sense the apprehension of that statement but you were born with a purpose. No one is like you and no one has the same gifts as you do. Use those gifts and trust them when the opportunity arises to do good in this world. Be confident in those gifts and use them with confidence and passion.

Trust Your Parents. Yes, that is the same as obeying them. You will not always agree with them in what they are saying or doing but they deserve your unconditional love. By doing this, you will create a lifelong bond. This bond will be needed when you make a mistake or are dealt a cruel loss. Having your parents love and loving them back will soften the blow when hard times come into your life. Respect your Parents.

Listen to your heart. Tune out all the distractions in life and all the noise around you. This allows you to understand and you will hear your heart that God uses to pour out his love for you. You are beautiful. You don’t need to be perfect to be beautiful so allow love to stream over you which will make you feel valuable, worthy and beautiful.



Enjoy Life. Do things that are fun. It doesn’t matter if you are a child or an adult. Enjoy. Dance, jump and skip around every chance you find. Live life to the fullest. Take time to sketch something, play a game, read a book or color. Find time to enjoy at all stages of your life.


Don’t be Judgmental. You don’t know what someone else is going through until you’ve walked in their shoes.



Practice Good Manners. It doesn’t cost a thing. Practice them and make an impression.


Work Hard. Every day is an opportunity to be better then they were the day before.


Seek a Valuable Life. A valuable life isn’t always found in what you do or what you have; a valuable life begins with understanding that the point of being alive is to love as much as you can along the way. A valuable life is about giving love to yourself when you need it and giving love to others when it’s requested. A valuable life is about sharing your heart when you are ready. A valuable life is measured by the times you trade your mistakes for grace; bitterness for forgiveness and hate for love.


Love God with All Your Heart. What does this actually mean? You take time each day to work on building a relationship with him. You do that through prayer. Give him the best of your affection. Share your joys with God. Run and Sing to Him. Allow him to know your private hopes and dreams. Let him know you appreciate what he does for you and tell others what he has done. This type of relationship allows you to seek him out when things aren’t going well. Cry to him, Admit you him your human errors. Apologize to him. Be honest with him at all times even when you are angry or disappointed in him. Then listen. Listen closely to the things he says and ask if you don’t understand.


These are a few of the things that I believe will help you be a better person.




PS. I’m still learning how to be a good grandfather.

Memory Man Series.

First: RECOMMENDATIONS for my next read?



I have completed the Memory Man series with the other four that followed. Although each book has similarities in its characteristics as to  how they are laid out, they are all worthy of  read. If you liked Memory Man, then these are good enough to grab ahold of.

Memory Man  by David Baldacci is below.


If you like sports books, here is a link to over 100 of them I have completed for KnupSports.

Tom's Library Shelf

Tom’s Library Shelf

Tom’s Library Shelf has torn away from the sports books and went into more fiction books for awhile. I read about 80-90 sports books with most baseball for the past few years. They can be found HERE. So I started with a book by the popular author David Baldacci called “Memory Man“.

This is the first of six novels about Amos Decker.  Decker was a good athlete in high school and particularly playing football. He went on to college and worked hard to play for his collegiate team and was okay at it as there are thousands of good players like him. He had the ambition to play in the NFL and got himself a few tryouts and he made a team.

On the first play of his first game, Decker got hit so hard, he got knocked out and broke both legs. He spent a considerable amount of time in the hospital recuperating. What he didn’t really know yet was the he suffered from hyperthymesia. This is an ability that allows people to remember nearly every event of their life with great precision. It became a blessing at times and a curse at time. His brain never rested or shut off.  One good thing came out of this and that is he met his future wife who was a nurse and understood what he went through and was experiencing.

Since he couldn’t play football, he turned to being a police detective for the local police and with his perfect memory was really good at it for many years. One day after a tough case, he headed home. When he entered his living room, he found his brother-in-law dead on the floor. He stood and analyzed the scene with his perfect memory and then he thought of his wife. He rushed upstairs to the bedroom and found her dead in a weird position near the bed. He stood for a few seconds taking it all in. Suddenly he wondered about his daughter and rushed to her room and she wasn’t there. Back out in the hall he discovered the light on in the bathroom. He went in and his 8 yr old daughter was dead on the toilet with a belt on her to strap her on. He took in the scene and then just sat down and contemplated suicide. He called the police.

The police came and removed his gun so he didn’t kill himself. He couldn’t figure out in the following weeks and months who could have done it. The murders were left unsolved. Over the next few years he spiral out of control. He left the force and gained lots of weight and was in terrible condition. He became a Private Investigator to make some money as he lost his will to do anything and he became homeless and cared nothing about his welfare.

He had enough money to move into a Residence Inn and could eat their full breakfast everyday. One day his old partner came and had some news for him and that was the fact that a random guy came into the police station and confess to the murdering of Decker’s family.

Curiosity piqued. Decker wanted to visit the prisoner but knew they wouldn’t let him. He came up with a plan that when most were out for a special case he would go in and see people that never knew him and pretend to be a lawyer. That worked when there was a school shooting  and all veteran police were out on that call. He got to see the guy and asked him a bunch of questions and decided the man didn’t do as he couldn’t give correct answers to some only Decker knew.

From here the intrigues starts. I am not going to give you the rest of the story but the school shooting and the murder of his family 20 years earlier are connected. This is a great book to read and easy to understand. I recommend this book.



More to Come Soon



Whitaker Family Brood


The surname Whiteaker belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. The surname Whiteaker was first found in Warwickshire where the first record of the name was Johias Whitacre (1042-1066), who died while fighting at the Battle of Hastings on the side of King Harold. Despite the fact he was on the losing side of the battle, his family were permitted to keep their estates there. The place names Whitacre, Over Whitacre and Nether Whitacre were listed in the Domesday Book as Witacre and literally meant “white cultivated land.” One of the earliest rolls was the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. Those rolls listed: Alan Witacur in Oxfordshire; and Richard de Whitacre in Northamptonshire. Years later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Henricus Wyteacre; Willelmus de Wetaker; and Rogerus Whitteacres. “The Whittakers or Whitakers are numerous in Lancashire. From the 14th to the 16th century a gentle family of this name lived at High Whitaker or Whitacre in the vills of Simonstone and Padiham, in the parish of Whalley: the Whitakers of Holme and those of Henthorn branched off in the 15th century and those of Healy about 1620.

Here we go. The early entries have little or no information. the words in parentheses (25GGF) designates what relationship they are to Linda (Meeker) Knuppel.

Whitaker Family Early

(25GGF) Johias Whitaker (1042 – 1066)

(24GGF). Edwinus Whitaker (1060 – 1087)

(23GGF)  Sir Simon Whitaker (1080 – 1135) Knighted in 1100

(22GGF) Alanus Whitaker (1133 -1227)

(21GGF) Sir Jordan Whitaker (1200 – 1275) Knighted; married Phillipa Astleymil

(20GGF) Sir John Whitaker (1240-1331) Knighted in 1262; MAGNA CARTA confirmer

(19GGF) Sir John Whitaker (1275 -1330) married in 1316 to Amica Marmion

(18GGF) Sir Richard Whitaker (1300 -1375) Knighted by Edward III in 1327;  married Joan Culi

Notes on Sir Richard- Sir Richard de Whitacre (circa 1300-1375) was the Lord of the Manors of Nether Whitacre, Over Whitacre, Elmdon, and Freasley. He was the son of Sir John de Whitacre and Amica de Marmion and grandson of Sir John de Whitacre, a confirmer of the Magna Carta. His principal seat was at Whitacre Hall, a Medieval fortified manor house in Nether Whitacre.His family, being of Anglo-Saxon descent, were of the very few who were allowed to keep their lands after the Norman Conquest. In fact, his ancestor Johias Whitacre (1042-1066) died while fighting at the Battle of Hastings on the side of King Harold. Nevertheless, this family was allowed to keep their lands in Warwickshire and continued to rise to prominence throughout the Medieval period.Sir Richard was knighted by King Edward III in 1327. He fought in the King’s personal retinue during the English victories at Calais and Crecy during the Hundred Years’ War. For this, it is believed that he received lands in Padiham, Lancashire, where his descendants would eventually move to, settling at The Holme. He was a vassal of the Baron Tamworth, then in the Marmion family of which his mother was a part, who were lords of Tamworth Castle where Sir Richard is known to have fulfilled many of his Knight-services. It is also likely that he at times served the Earl of Warwick, although no records of this are in existence.Sir Richard is documented as having a few legal issues. In one case, after banding together with a group of about six relatives, he assaulted a rival family member from a nearby parish and caused him physical harm. When the lawyer who would be representing the prosecution traveled through Nether Whitacre, he was imprisoned, supposedly at Whitacre Hall, until after the trial was over. In another case, Sir Richard sued, successfully, a church for lands he felt he was entitled to. After marrying Joan Culi, he produced a few heirs, one of which, Sir Simon de Whitacre, would succeed him. He is thought to have died around 1375. It is not known where his final resting place is; however, the local church of St. Giles is the most likely place.


(17GGF) Sir Richard Whitaker (1380–1434) born and died at Symonston Hall, Lancashire, England.

(16GGF) Thomas Henry Whitaker (1405-1448) born and died at Symonstone Hall, Clivinger Burnley, Lancashire, England. He married Lady Elizabeth of Burnley in 1430. They had one son, Robert, born in 1440.

(15GGF) Robert Whitaker was born in 1440 in Lancashire, England and died abt 1531 in Yorkshire, England. He married Mary Greenwood (1440-1531) in 1458 and they had one child, Thomas Cromwell Whitaker, born in 1458. 

(14GGF) Thomas Cromwell Whitaker was born 1458 Simonstone Hall, Lancashire, England and died in 1529 at Simonstone Hall, Lancashire, England. He married Joanna Pritchard in 1480 and they had 13 children. He then married Mary Greenwood and they had one son in 1523. 

(13GGF) Richard Thomas Whitaker was born in 1480 in Burnley England and died in 1540. He married Margaret N. Wellascotts (1480-1545) in 1503 and they had four children: Thomas (1504-1598) ,Sir Henry (1506-1599). Margaret (1525-1567) and Sir Thomas Laurence lll (1528-1582).

(12GGF) When Thomas Whitaker was born on September 22, 1504, in Holme, Lancashire, England, his father, Richard, was 24 and his mother, Margaret, was 24. He married Elizabeth Nowell and they had eight children together: Richard Whitaker 1545–1597 Robert Whitaker Of Holme 1545–1581 William Whitaker 1548–1595   William A. “Rev Doctor Divinity” (Whittekers) (1548-1595) Frances Whitaker 1594–1687 Joseph Whitaker –1726 Willm. Whitaker –1738 Thos Dobson –1799

(11GGF) William A. “Rev Doctor Divinity” Whitaker was born in December 1548 in Lancashire, Lancashire, England. He married Susan Culverwell and they had 15 children together. He then married Lady Joane Paronite Fenner and they had one son together. He died on December 4, 1595, in Whalley, Lancashire, England, at the age of 47.

He was a prominent Protestant Calvinistic Anglican churchman, academic, and theologian. He was Master of St. John’s College, Cambridge, and a leading divine in the university in the latter half of the sixteenth century. His uncle was Alexander Nowell, the Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral and catechist. He wrote over 20 theology books. 



Whitaker Family Late 1500’s

(10GGF) William Whitaker was born in 1582 in Holme, Lancashire, England. He had two sons and two daughters with Katherine Deane. He then married Mary Liversidge and they had five children together: Robert, Maria, Isabell, Jeremiah and Jane.

He died in 1638 in Holme, Huntingdonshire, England, at the age of 56.

(9GGF) Jeremiah Whitaker was born in 1599 in Wakefield, England and died in 1654 in London. He married Chephizibah Peachy in 1629 and they had five children: William, Mary, Jeremiah, Richard and John.

He was an English Puritan clergyman, and an important member of the Westminster Assembly. After being educated at the grammar school there under the Rev. Philip Jack, he entered Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, as a sizar in 1615, two years before Oliver Cromwell. In 1619 he graduated in arts, and for a time was a schoolmaster at Oakham, Rutland.

In 1630 he was made rector of Stretton, Rutland; and on the ejection of Thomas Paske from the rectory of St Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey, in 1644, Whitaker was chosen in his stead. He was an oriental scholar, and preached, when in London, four times a week. When the Westminster Assembly was convened in June 1643, he was one of the first members elected, and in 1647 was appointed its moderator. In the same year he was chosen by the House of Lords, along with Thomas Goodwin, to examine and superintend the assembly’s publications

Whitaker died on 1 June 1654, and was buried in the chancel of St Mary Magdalen. 


Whitaker Family CAME TO AMERICA


(8GGF) Richard Whitaker was born in London in 1644 and came to the United States where he died in 1710 in Fairfield, New Jersey. He married Elizabeth Adkins Provoe in 1680 and they had six children. Abigail (1680-1718) Richard (1680-1720) Nathaniel (1681-1753) Peter (1683-) James (1689-1720) Katharine (1694-1718).

(7GGF) Richard Whitaker II (1680-1720) was born in 1680 in Fairfield, New Jersey. He married Abigail Hammond in 1700 in his hometown.They had four children: Nathaniel (1696-1752) Richard (1700-1759) Thomas (1702-1779)  Catherine (1704-) Elizabeth (1704-) James (1708-) Richard Whitaker II died on January 12, 1720, in Fairfield, New Jersey, at the age of 40.

(6GGF) Nathaniel Whitaker was born in 1694 in Fairfield, New Jersey when his father, Richard, was 14 and his mother, Abigail, was 18. He married Mary Ann Abbott Dixon on 18 Nov 1729 in Fairfield, Cumberland, New Jersey, United States. He then married Ruth Buck (1719-1752) on September 13, 1738, in New Jersey. 

He died on December 13, 1752, in his hometown at the age of 58.

(5GGF) Lewis W Whitaker was born in 1734 and married Anna Thompson (1737-1810) in 1753. They had three children: Lydia (1760-1830) Lewis (1764-1830)  Lemuel (1772-1849) Lewis died in 1773 at the age of 39. Anna Thompson was born on April 27, 1737, in Fairfield, New Jersey. She died in 1810 in her hometown at the age of 73.

(4GGF) Lemuel Whitaker was born on June 21, 1772, in Fairfield, New Jersey when his father, Lewis, was 38 and his mother, Anna, was 35. He married Ruth Barker on April 12, 1791, in his hometown. According to the 1810 Ohio Census, his first name was Leminnie. In subsequent Ohio census (1820, 1830,1840), he was listed as Lemuel. In 1805 he married Jannette Buchanan.

Children with Ruth: Harriet (1798-1881) Reuben Barker (1800-1868)

Children with Janette: Fanny A. (1806-1813)  Israel (1808-1880) Samuel P (1810-1886) Ruth J (1812-1880)  James Buchanan (1813-1893) Neri (1816-1890) Sarah (1818-1890) William B (1818-1890)  Lewis (1820-1890) 

 He died on January 13, 1849, in Brush Creek, Ohio, having lived a long life of 76 years.


(3GGF) Reuben Barker Whitaker was born in New Jersey on 8 Jan 1800. He married Frances (Fanny) Martin and their children were: David (1823-1850)  Lemuel (1824-1895) John Buchanan (1826-1872) Milton (1828-1863) Annis (1834-1913) Lewis (1838-1890) 

He married Margaret Hannah Smith (1813-1881) in 1853 and their children were: Adelia Mary (1854-1929)  Beth Ann (1858-1941) Ruth A (1858-) Seth (1868-)

He passed away on April 11, 1868 in Jefferson, Coshocton, Ohio, United States.


The Move to Illinois


(2GGF) John Buchanan Whitaker was born on May 13, 1826, in Muskingum, Ohio. He married Louisa Catherine Cheek. Their children: Henry Edward (1858-1923) Mary Ella Ellen (1861-1936) James Buchanan (1864-1952) William (1864-) Reuben S (1871-)

 He died on June 8, 1872, in Forest City, Illinois, at the age of 46.

(GGF) James Buchanan Whitaker was born July 16, 1864 in Forest City, Illinois. He married Ida May Barnes on January 1, 1893, in Mason, Illinois. Their four children were (John) Floyd (1894-1977) Nelda E (1897-1987) Edith Eugenia (1900-1990) (James) Leslie (1904-1962)

James Buchanan Whitaker and Ida May (Barnes) Whitaker


James B died in 1952 in his hometown at the age of 88.


(GM) Edith Eugenia (Whitaker) Meeker was born in 1900 and attended school in the Manito/Forest City area. She married Sam Meeker October 6, 1920. She supported her husband in his farming endeavor and was a loving and devoted wife and mother. They had four children.  (Paul, Clyde, Loren, Lyle) . Edith died of natural causes in 1990 and her husband Sam died a few hours later of the same thing (broken heart?).


In a Nutshell:


Johias Whitacre 1042-1066   (25th great-grandfather of Linda)

Edwinus Whitaker 1060-1087

Simon Whitaker 1080-1135

Alanus Whitaker 1133-1227

Jordan Whitaker 1200-1275

Sir John Whitaker 1240-1278

John Whitaker 1275-1330

Richard Simon Whitaker 1300-1380

Sir Richard Whitaker 1380-1434

Thomas Henry Whitaker 1405-1448

Robert Whitaker 1440-1531

Sir Thomas Cromwell Whitaker 1458-1529

Richard Thomas Whitaker 1480-1540

Thomas Whitaker 1504-1598

William A. “Rev” Whitaker 1548-1595

William Whitaker DR 1582-1638

Jeremiah Whitaker 1599-1654

Richard Whitaker 1644-1710

Richard Whitaker, II 1680-1720

Nathaniel Whitaker 1694-1752

Lewis W Whitaker 1734-1773

Lemuel Whitaker 1772-1849

Reuben Barker Whitaker 1800-1868

John Buchanan Whitaker 1826-1872

James Buchanan Whitaker 1864-1952

Edith Eugenia Whitaker 1900-1990

Paul Burton Meeker 1922-

Linda Lee Meeker 1952-

English Royalty

Finding Family on Friday


The Chichester Family of England


How did we get here? 

This is not from the Knuppel line but from my mothers as her maiden name was Sawrey. Her grandmother was a Virginia “Jennie” Hensley.  It was John Hensley, my 12th great grandfather,  that married Margaret Chichester. This is her family. I guess it is also my family!


Down Through the Generations

The holders of Raleigh through the 14th century were a family that took its name from the manor, the Raleigh family of Raleigh. The early ancestry of this Raleigh family, along with that of other Devon Raleigh families, has been studied in much depth, largely as a result of inquiries into the origins of the famous Elizabethan adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh, but no clear early pedigree has emerged. This Raleigh family also held the manor of “Auvrington” (Arlington, Devon), as recorded in the Book of Fees, held from the overlord Philip de Culumbars (died 1342), of Nether Stowey, 2nd husband of Eleanor FitzMartin, sister and one of two co-heiresses of William FitzMartin (died 1326), feudal baron of Barnstaple. Arlington was thus also inherited by the Chichesters from Raleigh.

Thomasine Raleigh, daughter and eventual sole heiress of Sir John de Raleigh of Raleigh married Sir John Chichester. Her Inquisition post mortem states that she died on 7 August 1402.

John Chichester (fl.1365) married in about 1365[8] Thomasine de Raleigh (died 1402), daughter and heiress of Sir John de Raleigh. He was lord of the manors of Treverbin in Cornwall and of Beggerskewish and Donwer in Somerset. According to Sir Alexander Chichester, Bart., he was the son of Sir Roger Chichester, who was knighted in 1346 at the Siege of Calais and later fought at the Battle of Poitiers in 1356. His father was John Chichester, 7th in descent from Walleran de Cirencester alias Chichester, himself descended from a brother of Robert of Chichester, Bishop of Exeter in 1155-1160. According to the Ledger Book of Tor Abbey, in 1237 Walleran did homage to William de Raleigh for the manor of South Pool.

Sir John Chichester (1385–1437) (son), who fought in the Battle of Agincourt (1415) in the retinue of the Sieur de Harrington. He married Alice Wotton, daughter and co-heiress of John Wotton of Widworthy. He survived his wife and died 14 December 1437.

Richard Chichester (1423–1496), (son), was a minor aged 14 on his father’s death. He served as Sheriff of Devon in 1469 and 1475. He married firstly Margaret Keynes, daughter of Nicholas Keynes of Winkleigh; secondly Elizabeth Sapcott (died 1502), who survived him, daughter of Sir John Sapcott. He died 25 December 1496 and his Inquisition post mortem was taken in 1498. His tomb slab exists set into the floor of the chancel aisle of Pilton Church. Their second son Richard Chichester married Thomasine de Hall (died 1502), the heiress of Hall, in the parish of Bishops Tawton, and founded that line of the family, whose descendants (in a female line) still own the estate in 2012. His heir was his grandson John Chichester (died 1537/8). He was predeceased by both his sons. His daughter Margaret married John Hensley and is my relative, too!


Ancestral Stories- Revolutionary War Lt Michael Shirley

This family member is my 5th great-grandfather and comes into the family from my moms line. (Sawrey-Hensley-McGuire)

He was born on December 18, 1732 in Würzweiler, Donnersbergkreis, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany.
He died on July 23, 1784 in Ft Boonesboro, Madison, Kentucky, United States, he was 51 years old.


Johann Michael Shirley, son of Charles “Carl” and Anna Esther Shirley. None of the known records refers to Michael as Johann except his birth certificate.

Michael was born in Germany December 18, 1732. He migrated to England and later he migrated to Spain (family tradition has a Shirley being sent as an ambassador to Spain and left stranded in Spain when England’s king was overthrown by a brother) before coming to America and landing at Plymouth Rock.

Michael Shirley enlisted Dec 1, 1777 in Capt. William Bentley’s company, 3rd Virginia regiment commanded by Colonel John Neville, formerly known at times as Captain Reubin Bisco’s company, and Charles West’s company, commanded by Colonel William Heth, in the Revolutionary War. His name appears on the company rolls until Nov 1779..

He was a bonded surveyor 1761-1769 in Augusta County, Virginia. Michael enlisted December 1, 1777 in Captain Bentley’s Company, 3rd Virginia Regiment, commanded by Col. John Neville, formally known at times as Captain Reuben Briscoe’s Company and Charles West’s Company and commanded by Col. Heath during the Revolutionary War. Michael’s pay vouches shows that he spent the winter at Valley Forge and the following spring he had pneumonia. His name appears on the company rolls until November 1779.

Michael married Katherine “Katie” Franz/Frantz. Katie lived in what is now Washington D. C. with an Aunt and Uncle. Her mother died shortly after they came to America. Her father returned to Europe with the two younger children to place them with relatives to be cared for and educated. He left Katie with her mother’s brother and wife until he could return to America, The ship was never heard from again and is susposed to have been lost at sea.

While at Washington (D. C.), Michael, as a young soldier, was passing in the line of march, saw Katie and later fell in love with her. Their wedding was opposed, as young Shirley was a “mere solider”. They lived in Washington and then moved to Pennsylvania. Later they moved to Fort Boonesborough and tax records reveals that Michael brought land that was patent by Daniel Boone.

Michael Shirley was shot by Indians at Station Camp, Kentucky. The Indians shot him, breaking both of his legs, and he fell from his horse behind a log. The Indians thinking him dead, left him and capture his horse. He crawled to a tree and from there he dragged himself back and forth to a stream of water. On a vine he cut with a pen knife how he was killed and marked each day he lived and on the sixth day, he said he felt death and as to whether he died that day or lived longer is not known. The family buried him where he was found and his buried place was marked by a stone with M. S. curved on it and the same was cut on the bark of the tree by which he was buried.

Michael Shirley enters 700 acres of land on part of a treasury Warrent No. 7422, Beginning at a black walnut tree with his initials M. S. at the mouth of a creek running into the Kentucky River about three miles below Miller’s Bottom, to run up the creek and down the Kentucky River for Quantity. Entered January 7,. 1783.

Children of Michael and Katie: Mary – Katie – Lizzie – George – Susan – Nancy – Charles – Sallie.

Located in front of the rebuilt Fort Boonesborough, Fort Boonesborough Historical State Park, Madison County, Kentucky is a monument that has the names of early pioneers having a connection to the original fort. Michael, his wife Katie and their son Charles names are inscribed on this monument.




Katy died January 23, 1825 in Madison County, Kentucky. Michael and Catherine “Katy” had eight children. One of them was a daughter born February 23, 1762, and they named her Mary Ann Shirley.

Mary Ann Shirley married William McGuire February 23 rd. 1878 in Shenandoah Valley, Rockingham County, Virginia. They were married by Rev. John Alderson. They were my 4th. great grandparents. They had a son and named him Michael after his grandfather.

William was a lieutenant in the Revolutionary War. Mary Ann went him and fought along side him. Many other wives also accompanied their husbands and fought with them and helped them. Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) state that Mary Ann molded bullets at the Battle of Saratoga in New York.

William and Mary Ann, and their son Michael (called Bennie), were taken prisoner by the British soldiers May 12 th., 1780 at Charleston, Virginia and were taken to Montreal, Quebec in Canada. William was 32 years old, Mary Ann was 18 and Michael was 2. They were held there for two years by the British. August 1, 1781 while still in prison, another son was born to them and they named him Thomas McGuire. (The lineage to me).

On September 16, 1782, William and Mary Ann, and their two sons Michael “Bennie” and Thomas, were placed on a list to be released and returned home. Shortly afterwards they were released, or escaped, the records are not too clear. William, Mary Ann and their two sons were making their way back to Virginia on foot, enduring the brutal Canadian winter. The records state that they wandered through deep snow and faced many hardships. When they were somewhere around the Lake Champlain area they stopped at a graveyard to spend the night. With their scanty blankets they tried to prevent the two children from freezing by lying down between two graves with the children between them. Mary Ann put Thomas, the baby, inside her clothing and buttoned her coat over him. Bennie lay between his parents, but during the night he froze to death. The grieving parents scratched out a shallow grave in the frozen Canadian ground, and with broken hearts they left their little boy there.

After the war William was awarded 200 acres as part payment for his war efforts. (This was common at that time as many other men received land also). They lived in Virginia for a time and then moved to Kentucky. Later they moved to Bedford County, Tennessee.

This is the house where Mary Ann and William McGuire, and their children lived in Bedford, County, Tennessee which was still standing when this picture was taken April 22, 2002. It was a log house but the logs have been covered with siding. There were originally two rock fireplaces, one on each end of the house, that have been removed. William and Mary Ann are buried in Horse Mountain Cemetery, which is just a short distance from the house.


More Ancestral Stories can be found HERE.