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2017 Dec 01

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Grandpa Don

 I fancy myself as being Grandseigneur Grandpa Don.  An elegant, urbane gentleman. with noble ancestry and great wealth of friends and family.

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Mathew 5:24
Leave your gifts there at the altar, go first to be reconciled to your brother, and then come back and offer your gift.


Prayer to St. Isidore of Seville

Almighty and eternal God, who has created us in Thy image and bade us to seek after all that is good, true and beautiful, especially in the divine person of Thy only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee that, through the example of Saint Isidore, bishop and doctor, during our journeys through the Internet we will direct our hands and eyes only to that which is pleasing to Thee and treat with charity and patience all those souls whom we encounter.

Through Christ our Lord,


Be kind to one another
with brotherly love and honor"

Rom. 12:10

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The plan is to update this page every Friday.
Life doesn't always go as planned.

Happenings and thoughts of the past week
in the World of Grandpa Don ...

Last Friday, Dan took my car for new tires. Before he got back, Anne Marie and Dom came by with a new Christmas tree for me. They took it out of the box, spread the branches, many of them tipped with LED fiber filament lights and plugged it in. They then brought out and set up all my Christmas decorations. My house is transformed! We went from Thanksgiving to Christmas in an hour, Thank you guys.

My research into Erik's ancestry continues and I continue to find interesting people. Regarding his 19th great grandfather, Nicholas de Harrington, we find:

Nicholas Harington (or Haverington), Knt., Knight of the Shire for Lancashire, Sheriff of Lancashire, master forester of Quernmore, co. Lancaster, third son, born about 1346 (proved his age was 16 in 1362). He was heir in 1361 to his older brother, Thomas Haverington, by which he inherited the manors of Farleton (in Melling), Bolton-le-Moors, Heath Charnock, Aighton, etc., co. Lancaster and Farleton in Kendale, co. Westmorland. He married (lst) before September 1369, Isabel English, daughter and heiress of William English, Knt., of Appleby, Little Strickland, and Hasket, Westmorland, Knight of the Shire for Westmoreland, by Margaret, daughter of Richard le Brun. She was born about 1345. They had three sons, William, Knt., James, Knt., and Nicholas, and five daughters, Isabel (first), Margaret (wife of Richard Huddleston, Knt.), Agnes (wife of Richard Sherburne), Mary (wife of John Redman), and Isabel (second). Isabel was co-heiress c. 1369 to her uncle, Robert le Brun, by which she inherited the manor of Drumburgh (in Bowness), Bowness, Cardurnock, etc., and a one-third share in the manors of Bothel (in Torpenhow), Beaumont, and Brunskaith, co. Cumberland. In 1369 he went to Ireland in the retinue of William de Windsor, Knt., where he fought for the next two years. In 1373 he and William Curwen, knt. (husband of his wife's aunt, Ellen le Brun) caused major devastation on the estates at Beaumont, co. Cumberland of Ralph de Dacre, Lord Dacre. In 1375 he was implicated in the murder of Lord Dacre, for which action he was excommunicated by the Archbishop of York. He married (2nd) before August 1397 (date of fine) Joan (or Jennet) Venables, widow successively of Thomas de Lathom, Knt. (died 1382), of Lathom, Knowsley, and Huyton, co. Lancaster, and Roger Fazakerley, and daughter of Hugh Venables, of Kinderton, Cheshire. They had no issue. Sir Nicholas Harington died shortly before 8 February 1404." (Ref: 21 July 2010 posting of Douglas Richardson on soc.genealogy.medieval)

Of Sir Nicholas' father, we find:

He was knighted in 22 May 1306 and was summoned to military service in October 1309 when he accompanied Edward, Prince of Wales on a trip to Scotland. Upon leaving the military in March 1335, he became involved with his local council and later became a member of English Parliament in 1326 until his death in 1347. He held the manors of Aldingham, Thurnham, and Ulverston in Lancashire and Witherslack and Hutton Roof in Westmorland, with further estates in Austwick and Harington in Cumberland.

And then we have:

Ranulf de Briquessart (or Ranulf the Viscount) was an 11th-century Norman magnate and viscount. Ranulf's family were connected to the House of Normandy by marriage, and, besides Odo, bishop of Bayeux, was the most powerful magnate in the Bessin region. He married Margaret, daughter of Richard Goz, viscount of the Avranchin, whose son and successor Hugh d'Avranches became Earl of Chester in England c. 1070.

Ranulf is probably the "Ranulf the viscount" who witnessed a charter of William, Duke of Normandy, at Caen on 17 June 1066. Ranulf helped preside over a judgement in the curia of King William (as duke) in 1076 in which a disputed mill was awarded to the Abbey of Mont St. Michael. On 14 July 1080 he witnessed a charter to the Abbey of Lessay (in the diocese of Coutances), another in the same year addressed to Remigius de Fécamp bishop of Lincoln in favour of the Abbey of Préaux. and one more in the same period, 1079 x 1082, to the Abbey of St Stephen of Caen. His name is attached to a memorandum in 1085, and on 24 April 1089 he witnessed a confirmation of Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy and Count of Maine to St Mary of Bayeaux, where he appears below his son in the witness list.

His son Ranulf le Meschin became ruler of Cumberland and later Earl of Chester. The Durham Liber Vitae, c. 1098 x 1120, shows that his eldest son was one Richard, who died in youth, and that he had another son named William.[10] He also had a daughter called Agnes, who later married Robert (III) de Grandmesnil (died 1136)

Hanulf was the 31st great grandfather of Erik.


As i walked down the avenue,
the late afternoon sun was turning the lovely and dying sycamore leaves
into fragments of brilliant stained glass, and i said to myself,
"This alone is worth the price of admission
to our broken and glorious world."

Linda Larsson


There is evidence of God's Glory all around us.

Mu painters arrived at about 9:45 on Sunday. By 12:30 they were leaving. They had repaired the water damage to the kitchen and downstairs bathroom ceilings and repainted them. I special primer was used on the repaired locations which permitted the quick paint job. I had lived with the damaged ceiling for years and I don't know why.


The sad news this week is that Penny Nagy who has been battling a variety of illnesses for some time went to her reward in Heaven. It is sad because she will be missed dearly by those who love her and our condolences go to her husband, Zolton and her children and grandchildren. But she is now relieved of her pain and suffering and that is good. Please join me in a prayer for her soul that she may be united with her parents and other loved ones who have preceded her in death.


The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness
of the interdependence of all these living beings,
which are all part of one another,
and all involved in one another.

Thomas Merton

Our continued research into Erik's ancestors unearthed this about his 20th great grandfather, Burckhardt Seiler, born about 1320 at Nuremberg, Bayern, Germany:

Burckhardt Sailer (his spelling) of Nuremberg, Bevaria was very wealthy; each year at the Great Mass at church he gave a certain sum of money to forty Householders, not beggars. For those needing assistance he provided assistance; for this he was granted an Coat of Arms. The coat went under improvement. It has the Helm on top: a black Eagle with outstretched wings, and upon its breast a lamp, the whole arrayed in the form of a shield. The first, or old, arms had nothing but the three silver lamps as charges signifying the first bearer, Burckhardt Sayler held some prominent office and rendered faithful service as well as his kindness. The black eagle has always stood at the head of all heraldic symbols in the western Roman Empire and symbolizes a man of action more occupied in high and mighty affairs, of lofty spirit, ingenuous, speedy in apprehension and judicious in the matters of ambiguity. Wings denotes protection.
By Cecil W. Wade, London, England
Arms granted 1368 to Burckhardt Sayler, Died 1390.
History of the Sayler Family

All right ... Hang on to your hats! This will blow your mind! My granddaughter, Kelsey Plefka, engaged to Erik Gutekunst, is his cousin, albeit her "Half 32nd cousin 3X removed"! I invite you to trace the relationship at Kelsey/ErikRelationship.

With this discovery I find that Erik Gutekunst is related to me, of course, as well as a long line of my ancestors who include, Henry I & II of England, Charles the Bald & Louis the Pious of France, The great Charlemagne, Our Family Saint ... St. Bega, and others reaching back to Childeric I, born in 440 AD. You can see all this at Erik/Childeric relationship.



Occasionally we will be overwhelmed,
but mostly we will be enchanted.

Jean Houston


 Sunday was not a good day for me. I was extremely tired and just could not get my act together. My daughter, compassionately, invested most of her day here, doing laundry and delving into other tasks. She even resurrected  one of my old electric picture frames which, thanks to her intervention, displays pictures of Anne & I, as well as my Cleveland siblings and my parents, birth & adopted. Thank you, daughter dear. I have two new picture frames which have never been loaded with photos and she took them to her house to activate them for me.

Monday I was up early and had a better day than the previous. I enjoy the Christmas decorations and my new tree.

Image may contain: meme and text



ThanksGiving is good but ThanksLiving is better.

Matthew Henry

I developed a cold with a hacking cough during the week. It has been years since I have had a cold and I attribute it to my weakened immune system. I have no doubt that it will continue to be a nuisance and I will survive. Dan cam by with some milk and OJ along with some Nyquil and cough drops. The Niquil served me well during the Thursday-Friday night allowing me to sleep undisturbed the entire night.

I am still working on Lauren’s ancestors but I have just made an interesting discovery. Lauren is a shirt tail relative of Robert I Rollo "The Viking" "Rolf The Ganger" Prince of Norway; "Count of Rouen" Ragnvaldsson. He is also an ancestor of mine and therefore Joe’s. (Very very distant) Here is what is known about him:

    ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA       Alternative Titles: Hrolf, Hrólfr, Rolf, Rollon, Rou   Rollo, also called Rolf or Rou, French Rollon, Old Norse Hrólfr (born c. 860—died c. 932), Scandinavian rover who founded the duchy of Normandy.  

According to later Scandinavian sagas, Rollo, making himself independent of King Harald I of Norway, sailed off to raid Scotland, England, Flanders, and France on pirating expeditions.    Early in the 10th century, Rollo’s Danish army attacked France, and he established himself in an area along the Seine River.  Charles III the Simple of France held off his siege of Paris, defeated him near Chartres, and negotiated the treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte, giving him the part of Neustria that came to be called Normandy; Rollo in return agreed to end his brigandage.    He gave his son, William I Longsword, governance of the dukedom (927) before his death.  

 Rollo was baptized in 912 but is said to have died a pagan. "Duke of Normandie" Rollo was first Duke of Normandy about 911, and abdicated in 927.

He was baptised in 912 in the Cathedral of Rouen. A correspondent on Prodigy states he was born about 870 in Maer, Norway, died 927-32. "Ancestral Roots..." (Balt., 1992) 121E-18: "Ganger Rolf, 'the Viking' (or Rollo), banished from Norway to the Hebrides ca. 876, 890 participated in Viking attack on Bayeux, where Count Berenger of Bayeux was killed, and his daughter, Poppa captured and taken, 886, by Rollo (now called Count of Rouen) as his 'Danish' wife. Under Treaty of St. Claire, 911, rec'd the Duchy of Normandy from Charles III, 'the Simple'; d. ca. 927 (Isenburg says 931), bur. Notre Dame, Rouen."   "Rollo of Normandy" Historical evidence started in the late 9th century, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is the earliest record of Rollo. However, it does not mention his origins.    

A.D. 876. This year Rolla penetrated Normandy with his army; and he reigned fifty winters. Rollo was a powerful Viking leader of contested origin. Dudo of Saint-Quentin, in his De moribus et actis primorum Normannorum ducum, tells of a powerful Danish nobleman at loggerheads with the king of Denmark, who had two sons, Gurim and Rollo; upon his death, Rollo was expelled and Gurim killed. Dudo's chronicle, commissioned for Richard I, was finished, sometime after 1015, for Richard II, whose sister, Emma, married the Danish King Cnut, in 1017.

William of Jumièges also mentions Rollo's prehistory in his continuation of Dudo's work, Gesta Normannorum Ducum, but states that he came from the Danish town of Fakse.   Norwegian and Icelandic historians, basing their research on medieval Norwegian and Icelandic sagas, identified Rollo instead with Ganger Hrolf (Hrolf, the Walker), a son of Rognvald Eysteinsson (fl. 865), Earl of Møre in Western Norway. The Latin Historia Norvegiae, written in Norway at the end of the 12th century, offers the oldest source of this version. This Hrolf fell foul of the Norwegian king Harald Fairhair (c. 850 – c. 932, reigned c. 872 – 930), and became a Jarl in Normandy. The nickname "the Walker", "Ganger" in Norse, came from being so big that no horse could carry him.  

Geoffrey of Malaterra, in his The Deeds of Count Roger of Calabria & Sicily & of Duke Robert Guiscard his brother claims Rollo "sailed boldly from Norway".   The question of Rollo's origins became a matter of heated dispute between Norwegian and Danish historians of the 19th and early 20th centuries, particularly in the run-up to Normandy's millennium anniversary in 1911. Today, the debate continues.  

 Needless to say the Cain Ancestry line is a long one and it does not surprise me that our lines cross in antiquity. I will have details for you … eventually. In short, from originating as Vikings they become Normans (Normandy, France) who came to England with William the Conquer and established a family there until the migration to Virginia, then to Kentucky before getting to Chicago. It was a long trip.



Even Socrates, who lived a very frugal and simple life,
loved to go to the market.
 When his students asked about this, he replied,
"I love to go and see all the things I am happy without."

Jack Kornfield


Friday my cold is still here but not as severe as on Thursday. The good night's sleep probably had a healing effect.  As you can see I have been absorbed heavily in the study of the ancestry of the partners of grandchildren. This is important to me because these are the ancestors of my great grandchildren (if any) They will become part of family history.

It would have been nice if someone had done this in the past before some of it was lost. I have started to look at the family of Alex Rosenbloom, Ana's partner, but they know almost nothing of their ancestry and I am finding very little in census reports. 

All this, of course is a record of those who influenced who we are today. Even though we are influenced by our predecessors, especially our most immediate ones, it is entirely up to us to make our own life decisions and to mold our own unique character. This is obvious when we encounter both good and bad siblings in a family. (But not in ours)

The goal, of course is to try and eliminate the evil and promote the good. We can influence others but we can't control them so the only way to improve the human race is to improve ourselves. Be a better person today than your were yesterday and let others see and emulate, if they will, what is happening.

The only thing that I can promise ... and I do so promise ... is that no matter what the outcome, you will be rewarded by God in Eternity.



I do not at all understand the mystery of grace
--only that it meets us where we are
but doesn't leave us where it found us.

Anne Lamott


Absolutely true! All we need to do is accept it in order for it to effect us. I

Please pray for all those who are struggling with health issues of any kind. Please say a prayer for those who are in need of God's Grace for any reason.

I emphatically and repeatedly proclaim ...

I Am Blessed
 I Am  Anointed 
I Am Overjoyed


Holy God, 
help me to conduct myself today so that the world may catch a glimmer of your presence

Grandpa Don Plefka

Grandpa Don

Be Nice
Anne wanted everyone to
 "Be Nice".

Anne ... my buddy
Anne Marie Lawler Plefka

The Lady of My Life

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