Sunday, May 29, 2011

On Memorial Day I'd like to remember my great uncle, George Fairchild. He was the first soldier

from Danbury to die in World War I.

George Alonzo Fairchild was born circa 1895, the son of Alonzo Merritt Fairchild and Elizabeth R Meeker.

He appeared on the census of 1910 in the household of Alonzo

Merritt Fairchild and Carrie Jane Durgy, Alonzo's second wife at New Fairfield,

Fairfield, Connecticut, United States of America. George Fairchild, son

of Alonzo Fairchild, has entered the United States navy and later enlisted in the United States Army.

His military record follows:

Fairchild, George A.

Ind NA Danbury, Conn. Sept 7/17. Br Bridgeport, Conn. 23 2/12 yrs. Co M 304

Inf to Sept 19/17; Co E 102 Inf to death. Pvt Sept 7/17; Pvt lcl Feb 1/18.

Chanegnow; Seicheprey. AEF Sept 22/17 to death. KIA Ar 20/18. Notified Mrs.

Alpheus B. Durgy, Aunt, RFD 6, Danbury, Conn on 20 Apr 1918. He was buried

at Cypress Hills National Cemetery, 625 Jamaica Avenue, Brooklyn, Kings,

New York, United States of America.

From the Danbury NewsTimes

Geo. Fairchild First to Die

New Fairfield Man loses life in Battle on French Front

May 2, 1918 - George C. Fairchild of New Fairfield, one of the first

selective service men from this district to enter the army, was killed in

action on the western front of France, on April 20, 1918. A telegram from

the war department at Washington, received by his relatives in this city

last evening, brought first news of the young soldier's death.

Mr. Fairchild, who was a private in the 102d infantry, was the first man

from this exemption district to lose his life in battle. While not actually

a Danburian, a portion of his boyhood was spent in this city, and he had

many friends and acquaintances here.

George C. Fairchild was twenty four years old and was born in Bridgeport.

He came to Danbury with his parents when about ten years old and attended

New Street School. After the death of his mother his father re-married and

the family moved to New Fairfield. When he was seventeen years old he

joined the navy, serving an enlistment of four years, and receiving

honorable discharge. He is highly spoken of by his friends and


The message from the war department was addressed to Mrs. Alpheus Durgy a

sister of the young man's step-mother whom he had looked up as his guilding

hand. It was signed by M. C. Cain adjutant general and read as follows:

"Deeply regret to inform you that Private George Fairchild, infantry, is

officially reported as killed in action, April 20."

While there is no present means of obtaining further information in regard

to the death of Private George Fairchild, it is assumed that he was killed

in the vicinity of Seichepry, where the 102d is understood to have taken

part in a furious battle that Captain Locke of Hartford, commander of

Company M. of the same regiment whose death was reported on Wednesday, was


The 102d infantry is the former First Connecticut infantry, in which there

are several Danbury men and scores who have relatives or acquaintances


Private Fairchild went from this city to Camp Devens, at Ayer Mass. After

he was selected for service and with Cornelius J. Culhane and Arthur Crest

of this city, was transferred to New Haven with a detachment of men to

become members of the 102d. They started for Europe last fall but a mishap

to the boat on which they sailed made it necessary for them to return to

the port at which they embarked. They were sent to Fort Totten where they

remained two weeks, sailed for France at the expiration of that time.

During the time of his stay at Fort Totten Private Fairchild was given a

nine day leave of absence, which he spent at the home of his sister, Mrs.

R.F.Baker, of 37 Stevens St. of the city.

A brother of Private Fairchild, Eli K. Fairchild, has served eight years in

the navy and is now an instructor in the nautical school in Brooklyn. Mr.

Fairchild is also survived by two sisters, Mrs. Baker of this city and Mrs.

Benjamin Segur of Kent and a half brother, John Fairchild of New Fairfield.

Mrs. Joseph Hamilton of George St. and Mrs. John Sherman of 74 Balmforth

Ave. are the aunts of the young man. John Fairchild of Branchville and

William Fairchild of New Fairfield are uncles.

An interesting letter written by Private Fairchild to his sister, Mrs.

Baker, under the date of April 18 was received by the News yesterday before

news of the young man's death arrived and was prepared for publication

today. This letter which now has unusual interest was written only two days

before Private Fairchild's death.

Dated "Somewhere in France," the letter reads as follows:

"I am writing to let you know that I feel o.k. as well as the rest of the

boys who left Camp Ayers with me. That is, the Danbury boys, Connie Culhane

and Artur Cresci. We have been here almost six months and during that time

have seen some lively times.

"I have heard that in an article in the Danbury News they stated that the

Danbury boys were in a very heated argument with Fritz, mentioning the

names of Connie Culhane and others, but not Cresci and myself. Now I want

to say that we three have been together since leaving Ayer. Cresci and I

are in the same company, "Galloping" Company E. and Culhane is in Company

F. You can just bet that this war is not all gravy for the allies. But

before it is over, Heinie will have to turn over the whole of Germany to

the allies in payment for the damages he has done.

"But he still insists upon keeping us just so uneasy. We are in back of the

firing line, on reserve, after having done our third bit in the front

lines. Only last night just as we had nicely settled, Heinie had to start

in shelling us to disturb our slumber and believe me he came very near

doing so. But the old reliable American artillery just opened upon on him

and he shut up like a clam.

"I have not seen a Danbury newspaper since I have been here, so I do not

know very much about what is going on in the old Hat Town. When a fellow is

in the front line trench and he is expecting something to happen every

minute, no, every second, for it takes the short end of a second for the

fireworks to commence, he doesn't fee any too good.

"I am writing this in the Y.M.C.A. which is our only place of amusement. A

great deal of praise is due them for their good work but tobacco is our

greatest need at this stage of the game. Well, anyhow, I expect to see all

the folks once more very soon, perhaps a year and a half.

"Culhane, Cresci and myself would be tickled to death to receive the

Danbury News, even if you can only send the weekly. It can be sent to any

one of us and we can pass it around. You know on the 15th of March it will

be six months that we are in the world's war and we want to know something

about our home town.

"Will close now with love to all and my regards to good old Danbury. Also,

tell the Danbury people that her boys over here are among the best and I

will tell the kaiser that he had better watch out as there are more Danbury

boys coming.

"P.S. Watech the papers for news about the New England troops and you can

tell when we are in the fight" on 2 May 1918 at Danbury, Fairfield,

Connecticut, United States of America.

The family received the following letter:

In Memory Of

Private 1st Class George A. Fairchild Co E 102nd Infantry who was killed in

battle April 20th 1918. He bravely laid down his life for the cause of his

country. His name wll ever remain fresh in the hearts of his friends and

comrades. The record of his honorable service will be preserved in the

archives of the American Expeditionary Forces.

John J Pershing

Commander-in-chief on 20 Apr 1918.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

For years I've been stuck on Allan's great-great grandfather, Charles Moors, who married Jerusha Neal and lived in Washington county, Maine and I couldn't go further back. Thanks to Allan's 3rd or 4th cousin, Monica Pollard, who is descended from Benjamin Franklin Moors, the brother of Allan Forrest Moors (Allan's gr-grandfather), I can now go back 3 more generations. The Moors were apparently Scottish Covenanters who removed to Ulster, Ireland to escape persecution. Hugh Moor is the first of the line now identified who came to Boston in America with others of the Scotch-Irish about 1718. They then established the town of Londonderry, New Hampshire. Hugh married Jannett Morrison and they had 10 children. Hugh died about 1758 and Jannett, along with six or more of her children and their families, decided to move to Truro, Nova Scotia, where the British were offering land, following the expulsion of the Arcadians (see Evangeline).

Hugh and Jannett's son, William, married Susannah Long in Truro. He was a wheelwright by trade and was known as "Clean Billey" (use your imagination, I guess). He removed to Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia where he spent the remainder of his life and died.

Their son, another William, married Rebecca Nelson and moved to New Brunswick. It's possible that William married Katherine Card, who might have been the mother of Charles Moors, but I'm still researching his mother.

Charles Moors married Jerusha Neal and were the parents of Allan Forrest Moors. He married Grace Goodwin and they were the parents of Millard Moors, Allan's grandfather. The map shows property that belongs to Moors and Moors Inn in Shubenacadie.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sir Walter Blount and Sancha de Ayala

Having just returned from Spain, I can only remember one ancestor of Spanish descent. Both my husband and I derive almost exclusively from the British Isles; there’s just a little Dutch from New Amsterdam, a couple of Palantine Germans, and a few sprinklings of Italian blood , until you get to the Norman French and the Vikings who married into the native British. But Allan’s mother, Connie, is descended, thru her father’s Howe line, from Sir Walter Blount. He was called "the Heroic" and was celebrated for his martial prowess in the war-like times of Edward III, Richard II, and Henry IV and he was immortalized by Shakespeare for his devotion even unto death to King Henry IV. Sir Walter Blount fell at the battle of Shrewsbury on the 22nd day of June, 1403, wherein being standard bearer, he was arrayed in the same armour as his royal master, and was slain, according to the poet, by the Earl of Douglass, who had supposed he was contending with the King himself.
except from Shakespeare:
Blunt: What is the name, that in the battle thus thou crossest me? What
honour does thy seek upon my head?
Douglass: Know then my name is Douglass; and I do haunt thee in battle
thus, because some tell me thou art king.
Blunt: They tell thee true.
Douglass: The Lord Stafford, dear today hath bought thy likeness; for
instead of thee, King Harry. The sword hath ended him; so shall it thee,
unless thou yieldest thee as my prisoner.
(They fight and Blunt is slain) Enter Lord Percy, called Hotspur.
Hotspur: O Douglass, hadst thou fought at Holderness thus I never had
triumphed on Scot.
Douglass: All's don. All's won. Here breathless lies the King.
Hotspur: Where?
Douglass: Here.
Hotspur: This Douglass? No, I know full well: A gallant knight was he, his
name was Blunt. Semblably furnished like the King himself.

Hotspur was also killed at Shrewsbury. John of Gaunt, at his decease, appointed Sir Walter Blount one of his executors and bequeathed him a legacy of 100 marks (abt 66-6s-8d). He was buried at St Mary Magdalene Church, Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, England. He was born circa 1350. Sir Walter Blount accompanied the Black Prince and John of Gaunt upon the expedition into Spain to aid Pedro the Cruel, King of Castile in 1367. He He assisted in the battle of Najara, which restored Pedro the Cruel to his throne on 3 Apr 1367. He married Sancha de Ayala, daughter of Diego Gomez Toledo and Inez Alfon Ayala, in 1372. Sir Walter's half brother, Sir John Blount of Sodington, conveyed to him numerous manors which he had inherited from his mother, Isolde, heiress of the Mountjoy family, in counties Derby, Stafford, Leicester and Hertford in 1374. He obtained a charter for a fair and free warren in his demesne lands at Barton, and other manors in Derbyshire in 1385. John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, granted one hundred markes a year to Sir Walter for the good services which had been rendered to him by the knight and his wife, the Lady Sancia in 1398. He was ranger of Needwood forest, and knight of the shire for the county of Derby in 1399. He left a will in 1401.
In the year 1371 Doña Constanza, daughter of the deceased (and dethroned) King of Castile, Don Pedro I (The Cruel) went to England to become the bride of King Edward III's son, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. Among the young Castilian ladies of aristocratic birth who accompanied her was Doña Sancha de Ayala, daughter of Don Diego (or Día-) Gómez de Guzmán (or de Toledo) and his wife, Doña Inés de Ayala. She met and married Sir Walter Blount during this period. Records reveal payments to Sancha at various times; once (2 January 1380) her name was associated with that of "Phelippe Chaucy", i.e., Philippa Chaucer, wife of the author of the Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer. On this occasion she was described by the Duke of Lancaster as "our very dear attendant" (nostre treschere compaigne) "dame Senche Blount".
Three years after her husband's death, Dame Sancha founded a chantry in the Hospital of St. Leonard, Alkmonton, county Derbyshire. Her son-in-law, John Sutton, (husband of Constance Bount) died on August 29, 1406. On November 23 following, Dame Sancha was granted commission of the keeping of all the lands late of John Sutton, tenant in chief, during the minority of his six- year-old son and heir, John Sutton; her duties included "finding a competent maintenace for the heir, maintaining the houses and buildings and supporting the charges." In the same month the escheator in Worcestershire was ordered "to take of Constance who was the wife of John Sutton an oath etc. and in the presence of Sancha who was the wife of Walter Blount knight, to whom the king has committed the ward thereof, or of her attorneys, to assign the said Constance dower of the said John's lands."
Dame Sancha Blount made her will (still in existence) in 1415, and died in 1418. Sancha de Ayala, Lady Bount, the ancestress of several English settlers in America, was descended from some of the most illustrious Castilian families. Through her father she belonged to the House of Guzmán (also called Toledo) which produced many noble families in Spain and a series of wives and mistresses for Spanish and Portuguese kings. Her mother, Inés de Ayala (by whose surname Sancha was known), was sprung from the great House of Ayala of Toledo, which traced its pedigree in the male line to the House of Haro, Lords of Biscay. The proof of Sancha's parentage is contained in a family genealogy begun about 1385 by her materal uncle, Pedro López de Ayala, Grand Chancellor of Castile. He stated that Doña Sancha "married a Knight of England, who was called Sir Walter Blount." She was buried beside her husband at St Mary Magdalene Church, Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, England.