Friday, July 21, 2017

Little House on Lake Pepin - Random Family Tree stuff

First of all, here's a photo of a girl and a chicken. Appropriate, I think, for a post that started because I just happened to read a story about Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House on the Prairie". Here's my girl. happy on her mini-farm.

Honor and Bandito
The story reminded me of another story, one I had discovered not too long ago about my 6th Great Grandfather, Pierre Pepin dit LaForce.

Pierre Pepin dit LaForce
born 29 December 1652
died 22 April 1722



Pierre Pepin's name is included on a Monument in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, honoring famous explorers of the area. The bust is of La Verendrye, credited as discoverer of the Rocky Mountains and explorer of Western Canada. 

Pierre was the son of Guillaume Pepin dit Tranchemontagne and Jeanne Meschin. At some point, he adopted the surname of LaForce, he married Louise Lemire in 1681 and they had 14 children. In 1678, he and his brother Etienne Pepin joined an expedition with Duluth ( Greysolon, Daniel, Sieur du Lhut (c.1639–1710)) in exploration of the upper Mississippi. A lake in between Wisconsin and Minnesota bears the name Pepin in their honor (Lake Pepin, Lake of Tears), as does a town in Wisconsin. Another history describes their travel as "In 1679, (they) explored and traded in the present day Lake Pepin, Wisconsin area. They arrived in this area by traveling up the Mississippi from the south.", also, "By the mid-1600’s, the French had begun to send expeditions into Wisconsin via the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. King Louis XIII of France is believed to have granted a huge piece of land in the Upper Mississippi River Valley to two brothers, Etiene Pepin de la Fond and Guillaume dit Tranchemontagne. Two of Gillaume’s sons, Pierre Pepin and Jean Pepin du Cardonnets, later explored and traded in this area, and their name somehow became attached to the lake, and ultimately to the village and the county."
What does all this have to do with "Little House on the Prairie"? The Village of Pepin, Wisconsin is the birthplace of Laura Ingall's Wilder and she spent her early days living in the area. Apparently, Charles Ingalls had an "itchy foot" and liked to travel, which is part of why they moved so often as Laura was growing up. I think my ancestors must have had "itchy feet" too.







Friday, July 14, 2017

Tap..tap.. tap... Hello? Is this thing on?

I've been a bit... lax. Some might even say lazy. A totally irresponsible blogger. Ok. Fine. You're right. I have been downright irresponsible. I will try to make amends.

Granted, it's not all my fault...well, it is... because it's my blog, but we've had a big change in lifestyle. We're no longer expats. We're repats. Repatriotates. Is that a word? It should be. It is now, and it's appropriate. It's based on real language, but does not quite fit, which is often how I feel even though we've been back in the US for nearly three years now. Maryland is truly beginning to feel like home to me, but at times, I still feel like an alien, and that is very distracting.

Oh well... it just needs more time, and time is something I've got. 

So, let me catch you up! 

Ha! Yeah... right... Not happening... 

Sorry. I'm about two years out of date and catching up isn't going to happen. Instead, I think I shall just blog about random stuff and if flashbacks and stories happen, then good. If not, then there will be new stuff and new photos. I will, at least, try to post new and old photos with each blog, but I'm not promising that there will be any pattern or logic to it.  

What's up with me? Well, today is better than yesterday. Yesterday, my back hurt a lot, it was hot, I could not get much done (because of the stupid back) and there was a dead raccoon in the yard. By afternoon, though I started to feel a bit better, it cooled down, and I was finally able to let go of the frustration of not being very mobile. A good attitude goes a long way and that's really all that changed from morning to afternoon... my perky positivity was simply a little slow to get started yesterday. I recall exactly when it kicked in too. Honor had had a friend stay over last night and the friend's mom had just come to pick her up. I was outside trying to reach the hose to clean the chickens' watering can. (My back is being stupid, but I can still do some small things) As our friend was driving down the driveway, she stopped due to problems with her emergency brake. About this time, another friend, a neighbor, showed up with her hayfork to collect the dead raccoon (for an autopsy) which just happened to be only a few feet away from where the car was stuck. I hobbled down the hill to go check in with both of them, and they were both concerned about me and seeing me on a cane.  That three-way conversation, about the cane, the car, and the dead raccoon was so perfectly absurd! How could I stay in a grouchy mood? It was a reminder that even when life gets a bit... weird... it is what it is. It is what we make of it. My neighbor was cool and helped with the dead animal, my friend got her car fixed, and my back will get better. Life is good. 

One nice thing about being forced to be careful with my back, ie. stay out of trouble in the yard and/or workshop, is that I didn't have to feel guilty about staying inside and working on the computer. I spent hours digging through Ancestry.com and working on my family tree yesterday. I was fine-tuning some work on one branch on my father's side of the family connected to settlers who came to the US in 1634 and settled in Massachusetts.

This guy is my 9th Great Grandfather - Rowland Stebbins:

"Rowland Stebbins - Sarah Whiting

· 23 March 2014 ·

Rowland Stebbins was born in 1592 at Stebbing (English parish-Bocking), Essex County, England, of a "family of great antiquity." He was baptized on November 5, 1592 at St. Mary’s Church in Bocking. He was the son of Thomas Stebbins. He married Sarah Whiting in Bocking on November 30, 1618. In 1634, with his wife and four children (Thomas-14, Sarah-11, Elizabeth-6, and John-8) and a Mary Winch (possibly a niece), Rowland Stebbins sailed in the ship "Francis" from Ipswich, England to the Colonies.
Because of his parentage. Rowland was considered a "person of quality." He is included in "Tile Original Lists of Persons of Quality" (Hotten's List of Emigrants) . The Stebbinses sailed from Ipswich as the nearest major seaport. Coming to the New World would have been an adventurous but not unusual undertaking in 1634. Although the Pilgrims had landed at at Plymouth Rock only 14 years earlier, emigration to Massachusetts was already booming. From 1629 to 1640 nearly 10,000 people were transplanted into the colony.
Because of his parentage. Rowland was considered a "person of quality." He is included in "Tile Original Lists of Persons of Quality" (Hotten's List of Emigrants) . The Stebbinses sailed from Ipswich as the nearest major seaport. Coming to the New World would have been an adventurous but not unusual undertaking in 1634. Although the Pilgrims had landed at at Plymouth Rock only 14 years earlier, emigration to Massachusetts was already booming. From 1629 to 1640 nearly 10,000 people were transplanted into the colony. Rowland Stebbins and his family first settled in Roxbury, Massachusetts. In 1635, he moved to Agawam, Massachusetts (afterward named Springfield), which was a colony founded by William Pyncheon. His wife, Sarah, died Oct. 4, 1649 at Springfield, Hamdon County, Massachusetts, aged 58 years.
Rowland is reported to have been assigned a sitting in the first seat of the church along with four other men. He was a freeman in 1664. Between 1664 and 1669, Rowland moved to Northampton, Massachusetts and was one of the first settlers there.
Rowland is reported to have been assigned a sitting in the first seat of the church along with four other men. He was a freeman in 1664. Between 1664 and 1669, Rowland moved to Northampton, Massachusetts and was one of the first settlers there.

Rowland was a surveyor. His skills would have been very much in demand during this period when dozens of towns and thousands of farms were being carved out of the wilderness. Indeed, he and his immediate children were involved in at least six new settlements ("developments," as we might call them): Roxbury, Springfield, Brimfield,
Longmeadow, Northhampton, and Deerfield. Twenty-four male petitioners founded Northampton in 1653. A 1661 church covenant shows seventy-five men and women in town. By 1674, Northampton held 108 men and the total town population stood at close to 500 persons.

Rowland Stebbins died Dec. 14, 1671 at Northampton. His burial place was found at Northampton in 1850 and marked. His will is recorded in the Will Book of Springfield, dated the first day of the first month of 1669-70."

Possible photo of an old portrait of Rowland...
 His gravestone...


I can't credit the author, for the story above, as s/he is not listed, but here is the original link. (I've copied this here as I don't want to lose the story in case the original poster removes it.)  https://familysearch.org/photos/artifacts/6010964

I was able to find Rowland Stebbin's name and family listed in Volume 1 of "The Great Migration begins - Immigrants to New England 1620-1633", information that was confirmed in other documentation, including FindaGrave.com and Ancestry. https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=20048398

Rowland Stebbin's descendents, children and grand-children, were present in Deerfield during the historic "massacre" that took place in 1704. Some were killed in the village. Others died or were killed along the route to Canada. My 6th Great-Grandmother, Thankful Stebbins, was 13yo at the time of the raid and was one of the 80+ captives to have survived the march to Canada. She was adopted (god-daughter) by the commander of the forces that attacked Deerfield, and she assimilated into society there and was eventually baptised as Therese Louise. At age 19, she married Adrien Charles LeGrain dit Lavelle. She was apparently well liked and respected by her community, and she and her husband had eleven surviving children.

"Thankful STEBBINS at age 13 was brought to Chambly after her capture, probably by one of the HERTEL brothers, and according to Coleman, Thankful lived at the Hertel manor at Chambly. Fournier says that shs was ransomed in 1706 by Hertel. Thankful was baptized 23 April 1707 at Chambly as Louise Therese STEBENE, the godparents were Zacharie-Francois HERTEL, Seigneur of Chambly and Madame de PERIGNY, wife of the commandant of Fort Chambly, Her baptismal record says erroneously that she was from "England". Thankful/Louise Therese was the godmother of Jean Baptiste DENOYON, son of her sister Abigail, In 1708 at Boucherville.
Thankful STEBBENS and Adrien LEGRAIN had a contract of marriage drawn up on 1 Feb 1711 at Notary Tailhandier. Thankful/Theresa Louise STEBENS and Adrien Charles GRAIN dit LAVALLEE were married 4 Feb 1711 at Ste Famille de Boucherville. Jacques DeNOYON was present at the wedding and quite likely Abigail STEBBENS. From her marriage with Adrien LEGRAIN, Thankful/Therese Louise STEBBENS had 13 children. The family lived in the parish of St Joseph de Chambly. Her death on 11 July 1729 at Chambly followed the birth of the least child about one week. The children of Thankful/Therese Louise STEBBINS and Adrien/Charles LEGRAIN were:Francoise-Therese, born 2 & bapt 3 Mar 1713 Chambly; Guillaume, born 28 & bapt 30 Dec 1714 Chambly; Marie-Jeanne, bapt 30 Aug 1716 Chambly; Marie, bapt 5 Feb 1718 Chambly; marr 7 Jan 1738 St Joseph de Chambly Jean-Francols BESSETTE; Marguerite, marr 27 Nov 1738 St Joseph de Chambly Joseph PEPIN dit LAFORCE.; marr 2nd on 8 Oct 1742 St Joseph de Chambly Michel LAGEU dit SANSCARTIER; Charlotte, bapt 6 Jan 1720 Chambly: marr Mar 1742 La Conception de la Pointe Olivier BAPTISTE VIEN: Isabelle/ELISABETH, born 17 Dec 1721 Chambly (mother called Louise THESMEN): as Elisabeth she marr 22 June 1741 La Conception de la Pointe Olivier JEAN BERTRAND; Judith, bapt 3 Jan 1722 Chambly: Antoine. bapt 1 Nov 1723 Chambly; Marie Therese, born & bapt 2 Feb 1725 Chambly (mother called Marie Therese LEBEAU); marr 23 Jan 1736 St Joseph de Chambly Jean Baptiste LARIVIERE; bur 21 July 1753 St Joseph de Chambly. Anonymous, born, bapt at home by "bonne femme" Bessette; died & bur 6 March 1726 Chambly. Charles-Antoine, born & bapt 2 June 1727 Chambly; marr Ist 31 Aug 1751 La Conception de la Pointe Olivier FRANCOISE BESSET; marr 2nd on 3 Nov 1756 Chambly Suzanne VALLIERE; Veronique. born & bapt 4 July 1729 Chambly; Some of the above children likely died in Chambly at a young age. Only 27 burials were listed in Chambly from 1701 to 1730."

I believe that most of the above came from "Baker, C. Alice True Stories of New England Captives 1897". I do not know if there are any other existing photos of Thankful Stebbins/Therese LaGrain, but in the 1880's, the author, Ms Baker, traveled to a burial ground at Fort Pontchartrain in Chambly and one of the few grave markers, slabs of oak, was for Therese.  


Bored yet? Hey, I find this stuff fascinating! One of Thankful's daughters, my 6th Great-Grandmother, married a man with the Pepin dit LaForce surname. He was only the second generation to use this name (my maiden name is LaForce) as his father was the one who adopted it. It's a French Canadian habit. Weird, I know. Anyway, before that, the family name was Pepin. I'd had some difficulty tracing this line of the family until I learned the secret of the 'dit's. 

Have I been up to anything else? Well yes, of course. I'm nearly finished writing a novel. I'm about 47 chapters in and it's looking pretty solid. I have other books outlined to follow it. To be honest, I really have no idea how to be an author, but I've been working on this concept and this world (it is fantasy/scifi) for years now. I've written short stories about it and have tried outlining a book about it before, but I never found the right story to tell with it. Just having this wonderful concept of a world, and a fairly well developed idea about characters, was not enough. I needed a story idea, one story idea(!), and I had to choose what perspective to tell it from. I think that I've finally figured that out. So far so good at any rate. Anyway, do I know what I'm doing? Will it be good enough to publish? Will I be able to figure all of that out in order to even try to get it published? I have no idea. I like it, what I have so far. It's working. I'm having fun with it. For now, that's plenty good enough for me. 

What else? It's summer break. The kids are out of school and we're staying busy. Brian has signed up for an art class through the county summer school program in order to fulfill a graduation requirement (one credit of fine arts). Taking the class in the summer will free up an hour during his schedule next year so that he can fit in another math or technology credit. Honor signed up for a volleyball class.  I don't have any pictures of Honor at volleyball. She's only had one meet so far. Brian seems to be enjoying his art class though. 





We had a friend of Honor's come down from Canada to visit for about ten days, and then Brad's brother Matt and his family came out and had a mini-vacation in the DC area. We did a bit of sightseeing with them, including a short tour of Gettysburg. 













The take-away from Gettysburg was, from Brian, that we needed to go back and do more as there was a lot to see and we'd barely scratched the surface. Honor was reminded of the open fields of green grass and stones from photos she's seen of Scotland. Now, she wants to go to Scotland.

Has this blog post been random enough for you yet? I hope so. I'm trying. And I will continue to try and write more often. No rules or promises! I'll wrap up by saying that my stupid back is less stupid today than yesterday, it's not as hot out today, and our yard is free of dead animals. Hopefully I will be able to go out and do some easy work this weekend. One day at a time. For the rest of today, I plan on taking it easy. Some indoor chores and laundry will be plenty, and maybe some more writing this evening. We've got a storm building up outside now, and I'm looking forward to the rain.

Love and hugs! - Connie

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 !!BONUS!!
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As I've been such a wayward and undependable blogger and have not posted in a very long time, I'll try to do a bit of random flashbacking on a regular basis to atone for my misdeeds (missed deeds?). 
Today is 14 July, 2017, so I'm bouncing back to share some of July 2004 when Brian was about 3yo and Honor was about 1.5yo.

Beanbags ... one of the best toys ever invented! You can sit in them too, or so I've heard. 

Brian taught his baby sister to take flying leaps off of a chair, landing in the beanbags. It was hilarious. A little nerve-wracking, but we survived. 
 

Fourth of July!

 Amazingly enough, I still have this laundry basket. Despite years of play and abuse and work, it's still alive. 


Brian went to a Montessori school and Honor loved to visit!


Playing in the wading pool, or, you know, not playing in the pool and choosing to sit on mom and dad and get us all wet too. 



Brian's first room. He helped choose the decoration. 


Honor with one of her favorite toys. 


 Brian in his favorite tree at our old Columbia house. 


Honor, NOT allowed in Brian's favorite tree... 


Remember the 2004 cicada invasion? We do!


Looking for cicadas. 





Monday, May 11, 2015

Archery Event

This weekend we attended a well-run and thoroughly FUN archery event hosted by our local SCA barony. By the way, I’m not giving actual event names, places, or other specific details as it’s not mine to give… it’s not secret, as these things are posted on SCA Kingdom and Barony pages for those who are interested in finding out more and possibly participating… but I am keeping my sharing specific to our family activities. Anyway, this weekend’s event was a full day of archery goodness! The amount of prep work to set  this thing up and host it must have been truly substantial! I was able to assist one afternoon, to help prep some targets, but that was such a tiny amount of help compared to those who ran around planning and setting things up, prepped the lunch and feast, etc., especially the autocrat and marshal-in-charge. Their hard work paid off and we really had a great time.

In the beginning, groups of brave adventurers headed out into the deep dark woods to rout out ravaging bands of monsters and fiends… they were accompanied by a young lady bard who, when not gathering treasures, like shells, shiny rocks, coconut shells and golf balls that she found along the path, recorded their deeds for history.

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The deep dark woods were quite lovely.

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Brian is confronted by an evil spider queen.

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Dad’s got his back.

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And it was mom who took out one of the vile little spider eggs.

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And then, there were dragons!

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Crafty beasts would hide behind trees and such, and we were required to shoot from set locations. (one foot had to be in contact with the marker stake at each target site).

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Ah, a rare glimpse of our Miss Honor, as seen from the other side of the camera.

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And Brian, without a bow attached to his face.

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Honor took a lot of photos of trees and nature as she walked with us.

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Some of the targets were quite challenging, hidden behind trees and branches. Sneaky beasts!

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Leaning around…

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That branch will not save you!

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Ok, maybe some branches might save you… many arrows were ricocheted, trapped, and snapped.

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I totally got the sorceress in the head… okay, maybe just the left ear, but it was enough to slow her up so my team-mates could take her down.

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In the meantime, nature was enjoyed and dandelions were puffed into the wind.

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After lunch was the clout shoot, which is an old term that apparently means launching arrows at a target WAY, WAY, THE HECK OUT THERE. I am not sure how far away this one was, but we shot at this target from on top of the hill. Do you see it? Center of the photo? White rectangle peeking through the branches? Not the little t-shaped pole-thing up close, but look beyond that, over the land, over the first bit of water there, to the small outcrop of land in the distance. There it is. For scale… look for the people walking, lower left corner the water.

I didn’t hit the target (ha!) but I was quite pleased to have made the distance with 2 of the 3 arrows I shot. One landed to the left, one landed to the right. The first one went swimming, way short!

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This is the actual target.

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And this was another one of the more challenging targets. There were two hanging targets on a spinning base – and did they ever spin, and rock, and twirl! Each target had two sides… one bee, one mosquito. Hit the mosquito for two points, hit a bee and lose a point! (Protect the pollinators!) Brian and I got one mosquito each. This was hard! There was a potential for 12 points here. Brian and I managed 2 points each here, but as this was even difficult for the experienced archers, I was not ashamed of this score!

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Brian spies an evil purple dinosaur lurking in the woods!

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And then we had to climb a giant mountain (or maybe it was just a somewhat steep ridge) to fight the monsters on the hill top. Shooting at a slant was tricky.

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It was also hard to shoot pictures without leaning!

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Taking a breather before the downhill bit of the shoot. A rock monster had to be dispatched before we could descend again. At least there was a lovely breeze on top of the ridge!

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Again… it was tricky getting good footing to shoot. And by the way, the backing of this target and a number of others on the course? Were our recycled UAB boxes from when we left Kuwait. Probably the most creative use we’ve ever had for them, but the double-walled cardboard was excellent for this! 

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Brian shows us how it’s done.

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Downhill again… and what is this? Could it be? (ominous theme music builds in intensity)…

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It’s a shark!

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No worries. We fight those too.

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At the end of the day, all the points were tallied and winners decided. Each target had a set number of points that could be achieved with a total possible of about 150. Brad, Brian and I all scored in the 40’s, but considering how tough some of these targets were, and how amazing some of the experienced archers were, I wasn’t surprised or disappointed. Honestly, I thought we did a darn good job! And we had fun - *grin*! 

And where was Honor during most of this? Petting all the pups, of course. And swinging, and watching the birds, and boats, and hawks, and chatting, and looking for turtles, etc.

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And helping to retrieve found things.

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After dinner, the French and English navies had a fierce naval battle. The English won, but it was a battle of mutual destruction.

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Honor explored more and took some photos of the darkening sky.

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And the day was wrapped up with a fierce atlatl battle, to the last man standing (we used boxes as stand-ins, we didn’t actually throw spears at each other), and a friend of ours also walked us out to the woods again, by flashlight as we’d completely used up the day by this point, to show us some local plants, jack-in-the-pulpits, that we were completely unfamiliar with (being non-native Marylanders!) but by this time, the camera battery had died. Ah well.. next time!