The Wrath of Saints: Christopher “Kit” Carson Fancher AKA: “Charley” (1852-1873)

“The scene was too horrible and sickening for language to describe.  Human skeletons, disjointed bones, ghastly skulls and the hair of women were scattered in frightful profusion over a distance of two miles.”   This was the account of a traveler passing through Mountain Meadows, in the Utah Territory, in 1859, two years after the worst massacre of American civilians in nineteenth century .

The 1850’s were a tumultuous time for the Mormon settlers, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,  in the western territories.  Under the leadership of prophet Brigham Young, whom some called the “Mormon Moses”, they had escaped the persecution of the “American Gentiles”.  It was in Utah that they had decided to make their stand, and they were now in a declared war against the United States of America.

In the autumn of 1857 the Fancher-Baker party, a wagon train of over 140 Arkansan men, women and children was making its way across the Utah Territory on its way to California.  By all accounts it was one of the richest and best equipped wagon trains of the era, with nearly 1,000 head of cattle and several horses.  The journey west had been a long one, though, and when the party reached the Salt Lake City area, its supplies ran  low.

There were many children in the Fancher-Baker party.  Five year-old Kit Carson Fancher and his twenty-two month old sister Tryphania were the youngest of Captain Alexander “Piney” Fancher’s nine children.  As it would turn out, their infancy would be what saved their lives.

Word reached the outlying Mormon settlements that the wealthy wagon train would soon be passing through.   The Mormons knew that the Fancher-Baker party would need to water its cattle and horses at Mountain Meadows, a relatively unprotected area.  That is where they planned for their ambush to take place.  A group of 50 men, led by local Mormon militia leaders Isaac C. Haight and John D. Lee disguised themselves as Paiute tribesmen, and set off to the hills surrounding  the meadow.

In the early morning of September 7, 1857, the Mormons began to shooting at the unsuspecting Gentiles as they regrouped by the stream that ran through the meadow.  Seven men in Fancher-Baker party were killed and sixteen were wounded in this first siege, but the survivors were able to quickly circle the wagons and arm themselves.   They sunk the wagon wheels deep into the ground and chained them together creating a barrier.  The party was able to hold off their attackers, but after four days they had no access to food or fresh water, and their ammunition was running low.

On September 11th, two Mormon militiamen approached the besieged emigrants with a white flag.  They told the wagon train leaders that they had negotiated with the Indians, and that the Indians would allow them safe passage out of the valley under Mormon protection in exchange for all of their livestock.  Accepting this, the emigrants were lead out of their fortification.

When the Americans left their enclosure, a signal was given and every male member of the Fancher-Baker was executed by the Mormon militia member standing by his side.  The women and children were then raped and slaughtered.  According to Mormon teachings, children under six years of age were considered “Innocent Blood”, and eighteen young children, including Kit and Trypahnia Fancher, were spared.

The bodies of the victims were gathered together, looted for valuables, and then left to rot on the open ground or in shallow graves.  The cattle and wagon train supplies were taken to the Latter Day Saints tithing house and auctioned off.  The eighteen children were taken by local Mormon families.

Two years later the children, with the exception of one girl who lived out her life amongst the Mormons, were reclaimed by the United States Army and reunited with their families.  The Mormons demanded compensation for the time that the slaughter victims’ children were under their care.

Kit, who had been called “Charley” by the Mormons, and his sister Tryphania were raised by their cousin Hampton Bynum Fancher and his family in Osage, Arkansas.  Five years old at the time of the massacre, he was quoted by Army investigators as saying “The men who killed my father were Indians, but when they washed their faces they were white men.”

Christopher “Kit” Carson Fancher died at only twenty years of age in the home of his cousin Hampton Fancher, and was buried in the historic Fancher-Sietz Cemetery in Osage.

Adam Lowe Martin (son of )– Allen Lowe Martin – Margaret Persse (daughter of)1907-2004 – Edwin Theophilus Persse (son of ) 1881-1962– Margaret Schuyler (daughter of) 1847-? – Thomas Schuyler (son of) 1815-1899 – Richard Schuyler 1789-1867- Martha Fancher (daughter of)1765-1853 – Richard Fancher, Jr. (son of) 1731- 1778 - Capt. Richard Fancher, Sr. (father of) 1705-1764-  David Fancher  1738-1787  -Richard Fancher 1756- 1829 - Isaac Fancher 1788-1840 - Capt. Alexander Fancher 1812-1857- Kit Carson Fancher 1852-1873

Back from holidays!!!

Dear students, I sincerely hope you all had a good summer, even those of you who had to study also should have had some free and enjoyable time. Now you should be ready for exams or for the new school year, there will be some interesting changes for the students in 1º Bachillerato as they will have to face a selectividad oral English exam too. We will speak Englsih in class and visit the language lab once a fortnight. Anyway I´ll explain everything as soon as I come back to school on the 27th September. While I´m abroad remember to review your English from last summer, try to watch American or British films in original version and read some articles on the internet.

Now, I would like you to post some beautiful and culturally interesting shots from your summer holidays with a brief description of the place. This photograph was taken in Sanlúcar, and they are my daughters, come on, I want to see yours!!!!!

Hattie Lafayette

Hattie Lafayette was born in Alabama, U.S. on 30 March 1897, and died in Michigan, U.S. on 10 September 2009, aged 112 years, 164 days. She lived for exactly ten years less than Jeanne Calment, the oldest authenticated person ever.
Lafayette remembered washing dishes at Greensboro for Caucasians, who, she reported, were never mean to her and that she had a happy childhood.
Lafayette was one of 21 children in her family and remembers being the only one out of them her father would take with him to visit his Caucasian sisters.
Lafayette could recall the days in which white people still disliked black people, and would often kill them. She reports seeing a lynched man hanging from a tree, despite her father's attempts to stop her seeing the body.
During Lafayette's life, she worked picking cotton and nursing other people's children. After working in a Detroit hospital, Lafayette moved back home to care for her cancer-stricken brother. She also became a deaconess at Louis Chapel in Albion.
Lafayette credits her long life to never smoking, never drinking, and never trying to dance.
She died as the 21st oldest validated living person and was the 65th supercentenarian to die in 2009.

Komiya Miyazaki

Komiya Miyazaki of Japan was born on 20 August 1897 and recently celebrated her 113th birthday. She is currently the 11th oldest authenticated person currently alive, as well as the 4th oldest living Japanese, the 31st oldest Japanese ever, and the 170th oldest overall.
She currently resides in Hiroshima, Japan, and is its oldest living resident. This would make her slightly unusual in terms of being a supercentenarian if she had already resided in Hiroshima prior to 6 August 1945, when the first atomic bomb dropped onto Hiroshima during World War II, as the bomb had long-term effects and generally shortened the lives of those affected directly by the bomb due to the health effects it had in the long run. A similar scenario could be seen with Mitoyo Kawate, also of Hiroshima, who was reported to have been searching for family members after the bomb dropped. She lived to age 114 years, 182 days and was, in fact, the world's oldest person for the last 13 days of her life.

Mary Kelly

Martha Kelly, better known as Mary Kelly, was the fourth person ever to hold the title of oldest living person, taking it from James Henry Brett Jr. at age 109 on 10 February 1961, when he died at the alleged age of 111 years, 200 days.
Born on 7 June 1851, Kelly died on 30 December 1964 in California, U.S., aged 113 years, 206 days. Her place of birth is uncertain; Wikipedia reports it as Iowa, U.S., but a newspaper report states that she was born in Southfield, Michigan.
Shown above at her 110th birthday party in 1961 in Long Beach General Hospital, Kelly was noted at that time to still be cheerful and positive, despite spending increasing amounts of time sleeping. Her immediate family was reported to have died by that time, even though Kelly still received visits from other relatives and birthday cards from public figures.
At the time of her death, she was the second-oldest authenticated person on record, dying just eight days from being the oldest person ever, a title held for over 50 years by Delina Filkins, age 113 years 214 days.
Kelly is currently the 62nd oldest American on record, the 114th oldest person ever and the 103rd oldest woman ever.

Besse Cooper

Besse Berry Cooper, née Brown, born on 26 August 1896, celebrated her 114th birthday yesterday as the world's third-oldest person, and the oldest in Georgia, U.S. She is only the 73rd oldest fully authenticated person ever to have reached the age of 114.
Born in Tennessee, U.S., Cooper was the third-oldest of eight children and graduated from East Tennessee Normal School and became a teacher there before moving to Georgia. There, she taught at the Between School, located, unsurprisingly, in Between, Georgia. She married Luther Cooper in 1924. Her husband died in 1963, which means Cooper was widowed for 47 years. Cooper was a late mother, having her first child at age 33 and her last at age 48.
Cooper, who currently lives in Monroe at the Walton Regional Medical Centre Nursing Home, credits her longevity to minding her own business and not eating junk food.
 Cooper with son Sidney, 75, yesterday during her 114th birthday party.
She became Georgia's oldest resident on 19 January 2009, aged 112, after the death of Beatrice Farve, aged 113 years 264 days.
She became the world's third-oldest person on 8 May 2010, following the death of Florrie Baldwin of UK, who died aged 114 years, 38 days. She moved into the list of the 100 oldest people ever just eight days later on 16 May 2010. For the eight days in between, there had been a record low of just two living supercentenarians on the list. The number currently stands at six, with Eugénie Blanchard as the world's oldest person at age 114 years, 192 days and the following people spread over the bottom half of the table: Eunice Sanborn, 114, Besse Cooper, 114, Walter Breuning, 113, Chiyono Hasegawa, 113, and Venere Pizzinato, 113. She currently sits at 78th place on the list of the 100 oldest people ever. Cooper's 114th birthday marks the second one in two months, with the other (so far) being Eunice Sanborn, 114, of Jacksonville, Texas. No person under 114 has became the world's oldest person since 1988. This seemed about to change on 8 May 2010, when Eugénie Blanchard was left as the only fully authenticated living 114-year-old in the world. The subsequent 114th birthdays of Cooper and Sanborn now seems to have helped keep the "crown" above 114.

The Nation Could Scarcely Have Lived: Private Giles Louis Greenman (1821-1862)

The summer of 1862 was coming to an end and autumn was close at hand in northern Illinois.  Late August in Will County usually meant making sure everything was in order to bring in the harvest.  But not this year.  A gangly lawyer from Springfield was in the White House, and the Union was coming apart at the seams , if it had not come apart already.

Enlisting volunteers to help bring the rebellious Confederacy back into line was not an issue.  There were plenty of young men eager for adventure, and looking for any excuse to get off the farm.  But Giles Louis Greenman was not a young man.  He was on the downhill side of forty years old.  He was the father of three sons, two of whom were almost old enough to fight, and three daughters.  He had survived two wives, and married a third.  No one doubted that he had experience.  Just not fighting experience.

The 100th Regiment of Illinois Volunteer Infantry rendezvoused at Camp Irwin in Joliet, and was almost immediately called to the front.  Private Greenman was among the ranks of nearly a thousand men sent by railcar to Springfield and then to Louisville, Kentucky.  Almost none of the passengers aboard those trains had ever seen a battlefield.

Murfreesboro was a small town in the Stones River Valley in central Tennessee.  Confederate General Braxton Bragg decided that it was there that his troops would make a stand against the advancing Federal forces, and stop the Yankee horde from taking Chatanooga.  The locale, however, offered nothing in terms of natural defenses and his Army of Tennessee would be outnumbered.

The Rebels did have the advantage of knowing that the Union troops were on their way.  General William Rosencrans, and his Army of the Cumberland were harassed by Bragg’s troops as they made their way towards Murfreesboro.  Rosencrans’s supply wagons were destroyed and over 1,000 Union prisoners were taken before the inevitable battle had even begun.

As dawn broke on December 31, 1862, the Confederates launched the first attack of what the North would call the Battle of Stones Creek and the South would name the Battle of Murfreesboro.  Private Greeman, and several thousand other men, would not live to see the first day of 1863.

The battle would continue without relief until the waning hours of January 3rd, when Bragg retreated through Tullahoma, Tennessee and Rosencrans took Murfreesboro.  In the four days over which the battle took place, over twenty-three thousand men lost their lives;  over ten thousand Confederate soldiers and over thirteen thousand Union soldiers.  The battle was tactically inconclusive.

The Battle of Stones River was, however, strategically important in that it removed the Confederate threat to Middle Tennessee and significantly improved Union morale.  President Lincoln would later write to General Rosencrans:  “You gave us a hard earned victory., which had there been a defeat instead,  the nation could scarcely have lived over.”  At war's end, the Stones River National Cemetery was established, with more than six thousand Union graves.  

Adam Lowe Martin (son of) – Patricia Ann McGinn  (daughter of)– Beverly Helen Kelley- Agnes Greenman Burnap -  Herbert Thayer Burnap (son of)– Agnes C Greenman  (daughter of)-  John Wesly Greenman  (father of) – Giles Louis Greenman

American Civil War in the UK - Taking Sides from Jay Seawell on Vimeo.

Jay Seawell takes an intriguing look at British American Civil War reenacters, and why they do what they do.

Next Week's Post:  The Wrath of Saints

Elizabeth Kensley

Elizabeth Kensley of England, United Kingdom, is not a supercentenarian, but was the world's oldest person in the 1960s, a title held exclusively by supercentenarians from 1973 onwards.
Born on 12 May 1855, Kensley was thought to have become the world's oldest person on 8 October 1963, aged 108, following the death of Ellen Dart of U.K., who was also 108. She died on 6 March 1965 at the age of 109 years, 298 days. At that time, her reign as the world's oldest person - 1 year and 149 days - was thought to be the same as her reign as UK's oldest person, owing to the fact that Dart was also British.
With the 2010 validation of Martha Kelly of U.S., born 7 June 1851, died 30 December 1964 aged 113 years 206 days, the title reigns of the following people were affected:
  • Joseph Saint-Armour (26 February 1852 - 16 March 1962), 110 years 18 days
  • Ella Ille Rentel (19 May 1852 - 19 September 1962), 110 years 123 days
  • Lovisa Svensson (20 November 1853 - 17 February 1963), 109 years 89 days
  • Ellen Dart (1 November 1854 - 8 October 1963), 108 years 341 days
  • Elizabeth Kensley (12 May 1855 - 6 March 1965), 109 years 298 days
Of the above people, Kensley was the only one not to be given the axe as far as the chronological list of the oldest living people since 1955 is concerned; she, instead, had a dramatically shorter title reign: Her original reign of 1 year 149 days from 8 October 1963 to 6 March 1965 was cut to 66 days from 30 December 1964 to 6 March 1955. Despite this, her title reign as UK's oldest person remains unaltered, since her part-successor to the title was American.

My Grandmother Was a Saint : Queen Margaret, Patroness Saint of Scotland (1045-1093)

As the small ship rocked violently in the North Sea storm, the twenty-year old Saxon princess sent a prayer to heaven.  If The Lord Our God found, in His infinite wisdom, to allow her and her family to survive the journey to the Continent, she would devote her life to humbly serving His Name. 

The ship had set out from Northumbria to sail across the brackish waters to carry what remained of the Saxon Royal line, and a small band of loyalists, into exile on the Continent.  William, the Duke of Normandy’s, successful invasion of England meant an interruption to the House of Wessex’s years of rule.  But their dynasty had been deposed and restored twice before.  It was unknown if it would be restored again.

The storm drove the ship north rather than east, and it washed up on a rocky outcropping that, years later, would become known as Saint Margaret’s Hope.   The passengers of the ship were taken to the court of Malcolm III, King of the Scots, where they received a warm welcome.  Malcolm had been an exile himself in the past and had found refuge in the Wessex royal court.

Years earlier Malcolm’s father Duncan had been murdered in a coup that Shakespeare would dramatize centuries later in Macbeth.  Malcolm showed hospitality to all of the shipwrecked refugees, but he gave special attention to Princess Margaret.  Malcolm was forty years old and widowed.  If he was able to marry the twenty-year old princess, he would be uniting two royal dynasties, and perhaps all of Great Britain would follow.

Margaret had been preparing herself for the nunnery, but after deep prayer and meditation, and consultation with earthly advisors, she consented to the marriage.  The marriage had obvious political benefits for Malcolm, but by all accounts and evidence, he was genuinely enamored with his young bride.

As Queen Consort, Margaret never forgot the promise that she had made to the Divine Power on that fateful stormy day.  And because of her husband’s adoration, and the respect of the Scots as a people, she wielded a great deal of power.  Almost immediately she organized a synod, which resulted in the regulation of the Lenten feast, observance of the Easter communion, and reform of many corrupt and abusive church practices.  Before Margaret, mass was conducted in the dozens of local Scottish dialects that were spoken during that era.  Margaret established the Latin mass in Alba (the Gaelic name for Scotland), which helped to unite the nation.

Malcolm was illiterate, and had not been a particularly religious man, but he had great respect for his wife’s piety and faith.  He could not read her holy texts, but it is said that he would often kiss the books, and arrange for them to be gilded and encrusted with jewels.  Margaret’s influence on the king only increased his popularity amongst his people.

Margaret spent much of her reign in service to the poor.  She frequently visited the sick, and had hostels constructed for the indigent.  During Advent and Lenten feats she would host as many as 300 commoners in the royal castle.  Her charity extended to the clergy, and her introduction of the Benedictine Order to Scotland helped to bring closer union between Rome and the Celtic Church.

In late 1093, Malcolm and his son Edward went off into battle against the forces of King William Rufus, the son and heir of William the Conqueror.   Both Malcolm and his son were killed in battle.  Queen Margaret had been ill, and when she was told of the death of her husband and son, she was devastated, and died three days later.

The memory of Margaret’s charity, piety and just rule remained clear in the hearts and minds of the Scots.  She was canonized in 1250 by Pope Innocent  IV, and was made Patroness Saint of Scotland in 1673.  In Scotland today there are scores of churches, hospitals, schools and streets named in her honor.  Her bloodline would continue through the Royal Houses of England and Scotland for centuries.

My link to St. Margaret:  Adam Lowe Martin (son of)-Allen Lowe Martin-Margaret F. Persse (daughter of)-Edwin Theophilus Persse (son of)-Dudley Persse-Theophilus Blakeney Persse-Henry Stratford Persse-William Persse-Elizabeth Parsons (daughter of)-William Parsons (son of)- William Parsons -Frances Savage (daughter of)-William Savage (son of)-Arthur Savage-John Savage-Laurence Savage-Ann Bostock (daughter of)-Elizabeth Dutton-Anne Touchet (daughter of)-5th Baron Audley (son of)-4th Baron Audley-John Tuchet-Joan Audley (daughter of)-2nd Baron Audley (son of)-1st Baron Audley-Nicholas d’ Audley-Ela of Salisbury-William II Longespee-3rd Earl of Salisbury-Henry II-Empress Matilda (daughter of)-Matilda of Scotland-Saint Margaret of Scotland

Illustration:  Saint Margaret with the Children

As The Weekly Dash enters its third week of existence, the readership and the number of followers continues to steadily increase.  Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to look at this blog, and special thanks to those of you who have made comments and given other feedback.

I know that many of you have had issues with the “follow” button.  I have accosted many of you, both through Facebook and in person, asking you to follow this site.  Some of you think you have signed up, but your name never registered. IF you could just take a moment, right now, and see if your name is on the list.  If it is not, (I know how annoying this is), if you could please give it just one more shot.  If it still does not work, please let me know.  If any of you are experienced bloggers, any advice would be appreciated.

Next Week’s Post:  “If Defeated, the Nation Could Scarcely Have Lived”

Bernice Bach

Bernice Faye Kahler Bach, née Leidigh was born in Iowa, U.S., on 17 December 1899, and died in Texas, U.S. on 7 June 2010, aged 110 years, 172 days.
Born to Scott and Addie Leidigh, Bach graduated from St. Luke's School of Nursing, and received a RN degree in 1924. She joined the Order of Eastern Star in 1918, and was active there for 92 years. Also, in 1937, she joined Crown Heights Methodist Church. She was Worthy Matron in 1948, and brought into the Oklahoma Centenarian Club in 2001, when she was 102. In addition, she served on the Board of Directors before moving to Texas in 2002, where she lived until her death.
She is survived by two sons and daughters-in-law, as well as assorted relatives.
Bach is, so far, the only supercentenarian listed on GRG's Pending List for 2010 to die without ever seeing validation, as she was added to the GRG's 2010 death index database around 15 July. This is not to say that her age is not proven and true; it simply means that the final documents to prove her age were obtained only after death. Therefore, she never ever appeared on the GRG's list of validated living supercentenarians at any point, and would only have gotten a place on the list after eventual authentication, on all versions of the list between 17 December 2009 and 6 June 2010.
For instance, the GRG and Louis Epstein together reported a record (at that time) 80 supercentenarians on 18 April 2010; the number was later cut to 79 after the discovery of Bernardina Van Dommelen (Belgium)'s death on 16 April 2010. However, after eventual authentication, we now know that there were actually about 90 supercentenarians at that time.

Antisa Khvichava

Antisa Khvichava, of Georgia, is one of the many claimants to the title of oldest living person. Overall, she ranks as the second-oldest living claimant to that title, behind Tuti Yusupova of Uzbekistan, whose age claim figures to just one week more than hers.
Claimed to have been born on 1 July 1880, L. Stephen Coles of the Supercentenarian Research Foundation notes that should her age be true, she would have given birth to a son at age 60. Such scenarios are common with such claimants, and is not helpful in supporting such cases.
Her passport is given as a sole(?) means of evidence, and passports are not acceptable as primary sources of evidence in supporting someone's age.
She lives in the Caucasus Mountains with grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
For her well-publicised claimed 130th birthday in 2010, she had a large cake and a band who played songs for her as she rested.
The GRG has been unable to, and is not likely to, ever verify her age.
It should be noted that in Georgia, the responsibility of registering birth and death records goes to local authorities, rather than a central government registry, which makes it very easy for people to misrecord or falsify their ages, usually to secure pension benefits earlier than usual.

Toshi Horiya

Japanese Toshi Horiya, born on 8 November 1897, is the oldest living person in Kagoshima prefecture since the death of Chikao Beppu on 17 February 2010. She ties with Myra Nicholson today for the position of 200th oldest person recorded in world history. As she creeps closer to her 113th birthday, her ranks stand thus:
  • 5th oldest living Japanese since the relegation of Japanese Shige Hirooka to limbo
  • 38th oldest Japanese on record
  • 14th oldest living person since the relegation of Japanese Shige Hirooka to limbo
  • 200th oldest person on record, tying with Myra Nicholson as of 15 August 2010.

The Irish Airman: Maj. William Robert Gregory (1881-1918)

In 1915, a thirty-five year old accomplished Irish artist walked away from his career in order to join the British war effort. He became a member of the 4th Connaught Rangers. A year later he joined the Royal Flying Corps. In the last days of January 1918, the fighter plane that Maj. William Robert Gregory was piloting was mistakenly shot down by an Italian pilot and he was killed.

William Butler Yeats’s poem “In Memory of Major Robert Gregory” has been called the greatest elegy in the English language, comparable only to Milton’s Lycidas, which had been written nearly three centuries before. In this poem Yeats describes Robert Gregory as the epitome of manhood, excelling in all pursuits so magnificently that it was inevitable that he would be cut down in his youth.

Robert Gregory was the son of Sir William Henry Gregory, a Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland representing County Galway, Ireland, and a former British governor of Ceylon. Robert Gregory’s mother was Isabella Persse, who in married life and widowhood was known as Lady Gregory, a leading figure in the fin de siecle renaissance of Irish arts and culture .

Robert Gregory attended Harrow and matriculated at New College, Oxford. He later attended the world renowned Slade School of Fine Art in London. He worked as an artist in the design studio of Jacques Emile Blanche and had his own exhibitions of paintings. As an athlete he excelled in bowls, boxing, and horse riding. He played cricket for Ireland, and his bowling performances in international competition are ranked among the greatest in Irish cricket history. Through his gallantry in battle, he earned the Military Cross and became a Chevalier of the Legion d’Honneur. In Yeats’s words, “his very accomplishment hid from many his genius.”

Maj. Gregory’s early death devastated his mother and the Irish arts community. In the poem “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death”, Yeats contemplates why someone like Maj. Gregory would risk a seemingly charmed life fighting for a cause that would benefit neither him nor his Irish countrymen.

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.

This poem would become a staple of the poetry curriculum throughout the English speaking world for the remainder of the Twentieth Century and after. Whether the narrator of the poem and Maj. Gregory shared a common philosophy, it is impossible to know. Yeats said that he once asked his friend Robert Gregory why he joined the war effort. Gregory’s reply: “Friendship.”

My connection to Maj. William Robert Gregory: Adam Lowe Martin (son of)- Allen Lowe Martin- Margaret F. Persse (daughter of)- Edwin Theophilus Persse- Dudley Persse- Theophilus Persse- Henry Stratford Persse-William Persse (father of )-Robert Persse-Dudley Persse-Isabella Persse (better known as Lady Gregory, mother of ) -Maj. William Robert Gregory

Photograph: William Butler Yeats

The Weekly Dash has been up and running for a week now. The blog has more than twenty followers, and has been visited more than 500 times. Thank you to those who have taken time to read the blog, and to those who have conveyed kind words of encouragement.

My Uncle Skip was the first to respond to last week’s post on Capt. Dixey. He is a Revolutionary War buff and was pleased to learn about his connection to General Glover. Kathy Sproles also told me of her Glover family connections. Chris Totty let me know that he grew up in Mobile and been out to the Dixey sand bar and to the Magnolia Cemetery.

This week I learned about Johnny Corcoran’s grandfather Eddie Corcoran’s accomplishments as a speed skater in the 1930’s, and I was able to find a New York Times column describing one of his victories. Kristen Ayre’s grandfather, Arthur G. Sorlie, was Governor of North Dakota in the 1920’s. We were able to pull up his World War I draft card and learned that the Sorlie Memorial Bridge in Grand Forks was named in his honor. Catriona Anderson told me how, in her own genealogy adventure, had found Scottish census reports from previous centuries, and how the ancient reports required British subjects to disclose how many windows they had in their homes.

I know that some readers have been having problems with the “follow” button on this site. If you tried to click the “follow” button, but are not on the list of “followers”, I appreciate your patience and ask that you try again, as it really helps with the success of the site. As always, I appreciate any feedback any of you have to give.

Next Week’s Post: “My Grandmother, the Saint” (No, she was literally a saint.)

Annie Turnbull

Annie Turnbull née Walker, born in Scotland on 21 September 1898, is currently the UK's oldest person following the death of Eunice Bowman on 16 July 2010, aged 111. She was born just a month after her predecessor and is also the last remaining British to be born in 1898. She is also one of only four living 111-year-olds in the UK, and expects to celebrate her 112th birthday later next month.
She became the oldest person from Scotland following Alexina Calvert's death on 19 September 2008, just two days before her 110th birthday.
She moved to Edinburgh, where she currently resides today, after leaving school at 14. Working as a table-maid for most of her life, Turnbull moved into Victoria Manor Care Home prior to her 110th birthday, in 2008. Her secret to long life is said to be hard work and a daily glass of sherry.
She is stated to have two daughters, four grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.
9 September 2010: Annie Turnbull has died. Her death on 2 September 2010 means she finishes her life at 111 years, 346 days old. She was the UK's oldest person for 48 days. The title now goes to Elsie Steele (b. 6 January 1899).
12 September  2010: Annie Turnbull's death date has been corrected as being 3 September 2010, meaning she died at age 111 years, 347 days.

The Captain of a Ship Named for His Brother: Capt. Richard William Dixey (1809-1860)

It is a difficult marker to find. In Mobile, Alabama's Magnolia Cemetery there is a broken memorial stone to mark the grave of a Yankee sea captain who died in the Mobile Harbor 150 years ago.

Richard William Dixey was an experienced mariner, from a long line of mariners. Growing up in Marblehead, Massachusetts in the early years of the 19th Century, it was preordained that he would spend most of his life at sea. He was the great grandson of General John Glover, the leader of the 14th Continental Regiment, or "Amphibious Regiment", that was most famous for ferrying General Washington across the Delaware on Christmas Day, 1776. He was the son of Capt. John Dixey, Sr., a ship master who had spent time in a Paris prison after being captured at sea by the French and in a London prison after being captured at sea by the English.

Capt. R.W. Dixey continued the nautical adventures of his forefathers. He was present when the first American Flag was raised at the United States Consulate in Foochoo (now "Fuzhou"), China, after captaining the ship that brought the new American Consul General to China across the Pacific. During his era, he was the most famous seafaring son from a famous seafaring family.

In the autumn of 1860, R.W. Dixey was captain of a ship named for his brother, Robert H. Dixey. The "Robert H. Dixey", or "Dixey", had been built five years earlier in East Boston, and had traveled as far as St. Petersburg, Russia. She was a 165 foot double top-sailed clipper ship, and said to be fast for her class, if not as fast as some of the larger ships of the day.

On the evening of Friday, September 15, 1860 the "Dixey" arrived at Mobile Harbor, after a two week journey from New York City. As the ship crossed the sand bar which marked the harbor, Capt. Dixey turned over control of the ship to the harbor pilot, Capt. Samuel Smyly. All hands on board felt a sense of urgency, as they were just ahead of a major hurricane.

The ship had made its way up the harbor, when heavy winds suddenly shifted to the north-northwest and Capt. Smyly made the decision to drop anchor. The anchors held until 10 o'clock the following morning, but as the eye of the storm passed and the north winds hit, the smaller anchor chain broke away. The crew worked furiously to cut down the masts and sails. After an hour, with the ship taking on water, the main anchor broke, and all hope was lost.

The crew made for the forecastle and lashed themselves to the ship. The "Dixey" bounced down the channel, and then drifted eastward out of the bay before breaking up on what is now known as the Dixey Bar. Capt. Smyly and four other crew members were able to escape to land. Capt. Dixey and the 18 man Bahamian crew stayed with ship. Capt. Dixey's last words to the pilot were "Goodbye. I hope we shall meet in Heaven."

Capt. Dixey's body was recovered and buried in Magnolia Cemetery. In 1995, the United States government renamed the sand bar that runs from Fort Morgan into the gulf "The Dixey Bar". Today, the Dixey Bar is one of the most popular fishing sites on the Gulf Coast. Many locals and tourists assume that it's name is "The Dixie Bar", and that it was named for its southern locale. It is however, named for a ship that wrecked there a century and a half ago.

Richard William Dixey was my first cousin, 5x removed
Adam Lowe Martin (son of) - Allen Lowe Martin - Allen Littlefield Martin- Frank L. Martin - Elbridge Gerry Martin, Jr. - Rebecca Homan Dixey (daughter of)-Peter Dixey (son of) - Richard Dixey - Capt. John Dixey, Sr. (father of ) - Richard William Dixey

This is first of what, I hope, will become weekly blog posts, each one telling a different story about one of my ancestors. I have been researching my family tree for nearly a decade now, and the fascinating stories I have been able to find are endless. Any feedback, corrections, and comments will be greatly appreciated.

Katarina Marinič

Katarina Marinič, née Gabrscek, born on 30 October 1899 and aged 110 years, 277 days as of 3 August 2010, is the oldest person ever from Slovenia. (not to be confused with Slovakia.)
Born as the penultimate child in a family of 10 children borne by Anton and Marija Gabrscek in Deskle, Slovenia, Marinič became a refugee with her family in 1915 and consequently moved to Austria. The family later returned in 1918. While in Austria, Marinič worked in a Vienna chocolate factory and went to a culinary school in Bruck.
Katarina Marinič had no children with her husband, Rudolf Marinič, whom she married in 1929. Rudolf died in 1967.
Today, Marinič lives in a nursing home with five nephews and a niece living in Italy who is over 100 years old.
Marinič is a rare example of a supercentenarian from Slovenia, where records tend to (but are not always) scarce. She, notably, moved straight from the "unverified supercentenarians" list into the validated supercentenarians list (Table E), having been validated by Silvo Torkar of Austria-Hungary.
3 September 2010 - Marinič is dead. Her death on 2 September 2010 means she finishes her life at 110 years, 307 days old. The death was reported on Yahoo's World's Oldest People group (registration required to enter).