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Family genealogy, for me, is like a mystery puzzle in the past. I enjoy trying to solve the puzzle with the bits and pieces of information. It also tends to make history more personal. I could care less if a so many great grand pappy was a saint or a sinner, famous or not, wealthy or poor. I like trying to figure out where he lived, what was going on around him.
In New London, Connecticut in 1653, a couple was telling the Inn Keeper how they had escape from the papists, the Catholics, who were chasing them all across Ireland. As the inn keeper told his story of fighting the Pequots Indians and the difficulty in the first years in Connecticut. I can imagine the glow of the candles causing shadows of the gesturing Puritans dance across the room. There was no way either the inn keeper or the refugees would know a descendant of both would know which of the two was not being honest until 2015.

In Ballingary Parish in 1650, the Butler family owned well over half the land (11,712 acres) and the Fanning family owned at significant chunk but much less amount at 4,454 acres. Both the Butler and Fanning families were well known Irish Papists.
In fact, Dominick Fanning was the mayor of Limerick, Ireland. He fought Cromwell’s army and lost. His reward was to have his head hanging for several years over the gate of St. Johns that lead to the garden and church. This is the gate which is part of the wall of the hospital in Limerick today.

Gate of St. John's Limerick Ireland
After Dominick’s head was severed, Cromwell troops were given land as a reward. Both the Butlers and the Fanning families lost their land in 1652.

New London, Connecticut’s constable and tax collector was Andrew Lester. He was also allowed to own a “house of entertainment”. This was his tavern and Inn and in this inn, Edmund Fanning and his wife, the former Ellen Butler, were lying in telling the constable and inn keeper, Andrew Lester how they just barely escaped the angry Irish Papists. My father is a descendant of Andrew. My mother is descendant of Edmund and Ellen Fanning. Andrew Lester is my 8th great grandfather. Edmund and Ellen are my 10th great grandparents.

In the History of Stonington, Conn it tells the two stories of Edmund Fanning.   The oral history was…
“It has been transmitted from one generation to another in the Fanning family, that their ancestor “Edmund Fanning”, escaped from Dublin in 1641, in the time of the great rebellion, in which one hundred thousand Protestants fell victims to the fury of the Roman Catholics, and after eleven years of wandering and uncertainty, he found a resting place in that part of New London now called Groton, in the year 1652. “ However, history in Ireland mentions them as Irish Papists and they didn’t arrive in New London until 1653. This is a year after they lost their property.

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In the early 1950’s a woman loaded her sample case of Stanley products in her car one morning. At the end of the day, she came home with a new son. This is a true story. Yet, it is not my story to tell. I think it is an exciting mystery that is slowly being solved by the son’s daughter. In God’s given time, it is her story to tell.
His adopted parents took extremely good care of him and his sisters. He had a wonderful life. It was only after he sadly died in his thirties, that his adopted mother finally told the story. And then, only after she was caught in several discrepancies about her son.
Apparently, it began one morning as she drove into a nearby desert town. At one of her morning door to door stops, she discovered a young, underage woman had just given birth. The new mother was being yelled at and threatened by a very drunk, angry, and disappointed father. Trying to be a mediator and settle the new born child’s grandfather down, the Stanley saleswoman failed. His last slurred words as he stormed from the home were if the baby was there when he returned, he was going to kill him.
For this reason, the saleswoman and new mother agreed that the baby needed a better home. Whatever agreement they made, it lasted a life time. When her daughters returned home from school, they were introduced to their new brother. They were told neither to mention their brother at school nor to discuss it outside of home. Her husband came home from work and readily agreed with the woman. The son was their son. He was their son for life.

Several years later the family was transferred again to a new state. At this time a family doctor helped. The family had a false birth certificate that was never questioned. The baby grew up, married and had his family, and sadly died at an early age.
In my opinion, the story is very likely true with one exception. I think everyone beforehand that when the baby came, it would be given to the Stanley saleswoman and her husband.
Fast forward to the present, the son has an adult daughter who longs to discover her missing family. With DNA, she discovered her real biological grandfather. He is a sweet and gentle man with a terrific and embracing family. The search continues to locate her real grandmother who sacrificed so much so her son would have a better life.

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My Core Beliefs


1.         I believe God is everywhere.  I wasn’t at Calvary.  But my God lives in every person.  It is up to me to treat each person with respect and dignity accordingly.  My place of worship exists from horizon to horizon in 360  degrees from where I am.

2.         There is one human race and no others.  The genes have been blended for hundreds of generations.  Your past relatives were frisky and at sometime in history, jumped the fence.  Get over it.

3.         The size of a person’s purse or their religious beliefs are no indication of the size of a person’s heart and the quality of that person’s moral values.  In other words, poor, unholy people can be kind and generous.  Rich, unholy people can be kind and generous.  Poor, holy people can be lazy and cruel.  Rich, holy people can be lazy and cruel.

4.         Politicians drive me crazy.   I believe in saving money but also in investing in the people who are citizens of this country.  The first place for lawmakers to start  saving money is in their own office, with their own  staff, and their own benefits.  Once they do that, then we will know who is serious.

5.         People should have the right, opportunity, and the dignity to decide their own fate.

6.         Being poor is humiliating.  You can really only understand if you have been refused help or degraded during your darkest hour.

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