1710 Society News

Yes, the blue button above (1710 Society News) IS a button; click on it, Alice! This is Wonderland! But, you do have another chance at the bottom of the page.

From the Bernese Alps of Switzerland to the Wheat Fields of the Kansas Plains – via the North Carolina Coast, Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri, USA

Welcome! This site is under constant construction; check back for additional text and pictures – I'm obsessive! References appear on the Kentucky page, along with "Onkel Tom's Library." Click on the state's name, at left, to view its page. The message you are reading is also linked to Kentucky. The blue 1710 Society News "button" above will take you to that page – click on the words that appear on the buttons. –MsDeG


A Bit of 20th C. Background about 1710 Society©


TO: Descendants of Baron Christopher de Graffenried
FROM: Judy DeGraffenreid, Oklahoma City, OK
SUBJECT: Let's Plant a Family Tree and Make it Bloom!

I would like to announce the coming of 1710 SOCIETY© –
the first edition will be released January 15, 1995. If enough DeGraffenreids are interested, the newsletter could be done quarterly. Features might include family stories, history notes, family group sheets, and just plain "getting to know each other." If the newsletter is not enough on its own, it might act as a clearinghouse for all DeGraffenreid information. This is an attempt to connect persons that are working on the same

branches. I urge you to send your DeGraffenreid information even if you don't want to subscribe.

In her November 11, 1994, letter to many [U.S.] DeGraffen- reids, Jo Anne DeGraffenreid [Mrs. Prof. John C. Davis, Baldwin City, Kansas] wrote "I think I can speak for all of us when I say we're eager to reestablish an active society of American de Graffenrieds and carry on the national Reunion on an annual basis ... Judy [Judith L. (Fox) DeGraffenreid – Mrs. Paul E. DeGraffenreid, formerly of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma] is establishing a DeGraffenreid newsletter and I will help her."
[My "help" amounted to conceiving a name for the newsletter, i.e., 1710 Society© (a name that was sometimes applied also to the "society of newsletter subscribers" and attendees of reunions organized by Ramona [deGraffenried] Gasper and Judy DeGraffenreid). I designed the masthead, provided copy, and later wrote the column, "My 2¢-Worth (Before Inflation) – by MsDeG©." That was great fun! Judy did all of the real work, corresponding with contributors; recording subscriptions; printing, addressing, and handling the mailing. And Paul had to subsidize the initial efforts!]

Judy's memo continues, "...Send us the addresses of your family members, particularly those whose surname doesn't readily identify a DeGraffenreid family connection. Our aspiration is to develop a viable periodical dealing with current family activities and affairs as well as items of historical interest. It will be published quarterly (unless the interest of the readership recommends more frequent issues, and others offer to assist). The newsletter will acquaint American DeGraffenreids with one another, provide genealogical information to aid in resolving questions about family connections, and serve as a forum for discussing topics such as publication of an expanded American DeGraffenreid history, organization of regional gatherings, and planning the annual Reunion."

[The huge effort of organizing reunions was undertaken and carried out with enormous success by Ramona Kenneday deGraffenried Gasper – Mrs. Ray Gasper – of Potomac, Maryland. Reunions of the "1710 Society" group of American descendants of Baron Christopher were held in New Bern, North Carolina, 1995 through 1998. The most recent reunion – "DeGraffenreid's Move Westward!" – was held at the Waterford Marriott Hotel in Oklahoma City in 1999 with Judy and Paul DeGraffenreid as hosts.]

Did you read the news from then and now and in between? Click here, or on the blue "1710 Society News" button at the top of the page! (I guess you've noticed that underlined text is linked to something!?) But don't despair, you can still click on the link at the bottom of this page.

Seal of Peter de Gravenriet, 1385. Reproduced in 'The de Graffenried Family Scrap Book'
Seal of Niklaus von Grafenriet, 1496. Same Source (Thomas P. de Graffenried, Univ. Virginia Press, 1958.)
Above: Grabplatte, Anton v. Graffenried [1639–1730] Lord of Worb. Below: Wappen (Coat- of-Arms), Lord Abraham von Graffenried, Governor of Chillon [1741–1746].
Christoph von Graffenried "Landgrave Christopher de Graffenried" [1661–1743] – Worb, bei Bern, Switzerland

Swiss Family Motto: Fac Recte Neminem Time.
Family Motto in USA: Never Spell It the Same Way Twice?!
Emblem of the City of New Bern, North Carolina, USA

In the United States the Swiss surname GRAFFENRIED has lent itself to a phenomenal number of phonetic spellings and regional variations. Are you a ...-ried or a ...-reid? With or without a final "t," e.g., are you a "riedt"? Perhaps you're a ...-reed or a -read? The 1747 petition* of German colonists to King George II of England, less than 40 years after the settlement of New Bern, North Carolina, seeks redress for deprivations suffered by this group of New World settlers and refers to Baron Christopher de Graffenried variously as [von] "Gravenreid," "Grovenreid," "de Graffenrid," and "DeGraffenried."
New Bern, NC, Skyline – ca. 1992
New Bern, North Carolina, USA, was founded in 1710 by Landgrave Christoph von Graffenried [1661–1743]. "Landgrave" is a New World title describing a class of nobles outlined in the "Fundamental Constitutions" of the Proprietary of Carolina, drawn up by philosopher John Locke and issued in 1665 after Charles II of England created a group of powerful Lords Proprietor and granted to them the territory that now includes North and South Carolina (which became distinct entities in 1712) and Georgia. Christoph, whose English patent and titles were bestowed by Queen Anne of England, is more commonly referred to as "Baron Christopher."
Because the language of aristocratic Swiss families during this period of history was French, Baron Christopher's family name was prefixed with the French equivalent of "von," that is: "de."

Despite his high hopes, determination, and sense of responsibility for his little colony of Palatines and Swiss countrymen, Christoph experienced devastation and despair in the New World. In 1713 he returned from America to Switzerland, having failed again to seize the opportunities that always alluded his grasp. Under such circumstances, he doubtless felt that his homecoming in Bern was nearly as grim as his Carolina experiences – perhaps with the exception of being held captive by Chief Cor Tom and his band of Tuscarora Indians in early September 1711, during which ordeal an associate, Carolina Surveyor John Lawson, was gruesomely executed.

Baron Christopher lived out his days at Worb, near Bern, his ancestral home. His son Christopher [1691–1742] remained in the New World, where he married and produced a son — his only child — the common ancestor of the American de Graffenried family. That man was Anton Tscharner "Tscharner" de Graffenried [1722–1794].

Today in America, the majority of Tscharner's descendants style their name as either "de Graffenried" or "de Graffenreid." The honorific "de" may be capitalized, and it may or may not be separated from the surname by a space. In some instances the prefix is combined with the surname and only the initial "d" is capitalized: "Degraffenried," or more often, "Degraffenreid."

An additional variant, deriving from early post-Civil War days in the Lone Star State, is "DeGraftenried" or "DeGraftenreid." Families who spell their name in this manner range diagonally from Texas to New Mexico to Arizona and thence to Alaska. An explanation† for this permutation was offered by Katherine Reynolds (1962, v. 1, p. 332) in her research on Tscharner's son, Baker.

The senior family genealogist of the European Graffenrieds, Helmuth de Graffenried of Muri bei Bern, Switzerland, is revered by three generations of his "American cousins." In 1990 Helmuth cited the research of University of Wisconsin historian Prof. Dr. Maurice Perret in a brief article§ entitled "Wandlung und Variationen des Familiennamens de Graffenried." Helmuth reports that Professor Perret – from various U.S. sources, including telephone directories – managed to identify 64 spellings of the name "de Graffenried" in the United States.

I can supply an amusing "unofficial" Midwestern variant of our name known in my own family (that is to say, none of us have adopted it). Because he could be depended upon to provide a coin for penny-candy, my grandfather, Tess DeGraffenreid [1883–1962], had a devoted admirer awaiting him at the Quincy, Kansas, general store on Saturday mornings in the 1930s. Granddad's friends called him "T.C.," but this young lad always referred to him respectfully as Mr. "Grass'n'weeds."

"T.C." stands for Tess Charner. My grandfather and his several like-named kinsmen are also namesakes of Anton Tscharner, our first American ancestor. The name "Tscharner," by which Anton Tscharner was known, metamorphosed into two names (originally this may have more nearly approximated the German pronunciation). I think pronunciation may also account for the final "t" in the "...riedt" spelling. [However, Baron Christopher's hand-drawn map tipped in before the title page of Todd's 1920 '...Account of the Founding of New Bern' reads: "Plan der Switzerischen Coloney jen Carolina angefangen im October 1710 durch Christofel von Graffenriedt...."]

Anton Tscharner de Graffenried was named for his grandmother, Baron Christopher's wife, Regina de Tscharner, and for Baron Christopher's father, Lord Anton de Graffenried [1639–1730]. Baker de Graffenried was Tscharner's first (surviving) son, by his first wife, Mary Baker. Baker de Graffenried was born 6 August 1744 in Lunenburg County, Virginia. I am proud to be a descendant of this first son of the first American de Graffenried.
* As quoted in Allen, Oliver H., 1905, The German Palatines in North Carolina, Raleigh, N.C.: The North Carolina Booklet, Vol. IV, no. 12, p. 9-27.

† Reynolds, Katherine, 1962, "Descendants of Baker and Sarah Vass De Graffenried," Houston, Texas: Samuel Sorrell Chapter, NSDAR, Vol. I, p. 331-333.

§ Familienkiste v. Graffenried, 1990, 18. Familienbrief, Bern, Switzerland: Oct., pp. 2, 4.

Kansas Stories – Farmers, Troopers, . . .
Ever see a 24-lb cocklebur?

My dad, Tess Eric DeGraffenreid, like his father before him (Tess Charner – "T.C." DeGraffenreid) was always ready with a family story. One of them I recall was about "Uncle Basil" (actually Basil was the son of Dad's great uncle, Tscharner C. DeGraffenried, called "Tess," who was named for his grandfather). Basil stayed with my granddad Tess in Kansas once around 1929–30 and worked on the farm for a while.
One day he came in from the field at noon and told Granddad, very pleased with himself, that he'd found a whole bunch of little-bitty volunteer watermelons and had hilled 'em all up nice. Granddad said that was fine, that he could just go back out after dinner* (the noon meal) and chop 'em all down. Uncle Basil had never seen cockleburs; they don't grow in Missouri, Dad said, or didn't at that time. Immature cocklebur plants look just like watermelon seedlings. –MsDeG
*The Kansas farm folk of my experience ate breakfast, dinner, and supper – "lunch" being a term applied to "pail," a little bucket with a handle carried along to the work site filled with nonperishable foodstuff when one wasn't fortunate enough to be able to sit at table and eat fried chicken or pork chops, biscuits and gravy, fresh or home-canned vegetables, and top things off with a big slice of fruit pie – rhubarb, cherry, apple, or (blackberry being harder to come by) one of Dad's favorites, fresh peach! I grew the "cocklebur" above, by the way, in 2001, from a volunteer watermelon sprout beside the patio. The vine covered an enormous area and produced one melon.

Top: Li'l Jo Anne b. March 1942, First Grandchild on Both Sides. Bottom: Demon Triker – Early Indication of Personality Type
Four Generations – Lucinda (Jeffries) DeGraffenried with Son, T.C.; Grandson, Eric and Wife; and Great-Grand- daughters, Jo Anne and, Babe-in-Arms, Donna Lou
Top: Portrait for a Soldier – Ferne, Jo Anne, and Baby Donna, b. October 1945. Bottom: Eric's Angels? Baby Mary Kathleen (Kathy), b. Sept. 1952, Completes Family of Eric & Ferne DeGraffenreid.
Fast Forward 20-some Years: From Demon Triker to Demon Biker
Somewhere off the Beaten Track in South Dakota ca. 1969
KHP Trooper K83 ca. 1977. Pencil sketch by Lieutenant R. Dunbar, Wichita (Division V)
Service - Courtesy - Protection. Visit http://www.kansashighwaypatrol.org/index.htm


.... Like all men, DeGraffenreid has stories – of his early days as a trooper and the old blue and silver Dodges that took miles to get up to any kind of speed; the sections of U.S. 169, Kansas 68 and Kansas 150 that were still gravel; the hills that helped in transmitting and receiving radio messages; and the patrol's insistence on two-man cars. "They always said it was for safety," said DeGraffenreid. "We said it was because they didn't have the money for more cars...there were only 60 to 70 men on the patrol then. For the whole state." [Today there are 100 officers, 350 troopers, special police and guards, technicians and support staff – a total of over 800 individuals. MsDeG]
Trooper Eric DeGraffenreid and Nephew Tony Cooper in His "Uniform" (What won't Auntie do for her big brother's firstborn!?)
"The patrol started in 1933," DeGraffenreid said. "Mainly for bank robberies, which were big then. And for bootleggers."

No, not whiskey runners. Gasoline bootleggers. DeGraffenreid said one impetus for the Highway Patrol's formation, now largely forgotten, was to foil entrepreneurs who'd haul untaxed Oklahoma gasoline into Kansas and set it six to eight cents a gallon cheaper. Which, back then, counted.

DeGraffenreid's best stories, though, aren't about himself. He's really a collector of other stories – a guy who listened to others in coffee shops and gas stations, sheriff's offices and at roadblocks.

There's the one about a massive eastern Kansas lawman, peeved at an armed felon pointing a pistol at him, who struck the man once. Which knocked him from the middle of a dirt road and over a roadside ditch, and entwined him in a barbed wire fence. Now that, said DeGraffenreid, was some punch.

Or there was the Kansas sheriff who, fearful of losing his Model T patrol car to thieves, chained it down. Getting an emergency call, he jumped in the vehicle, threw it in reverse, and left his front axle assembly behind.

Of course, such stories never end up in history books. But they do indicate that in those days before everybody became a victim, there was a certain rough justice out there. And that lawmen have human frailties, too.
*Fisher's article appeared in The Kansas City Star, Sunday, March 17, 1996. The entire article was reproduced, with permission, in 1710 Society©, v. 2, no. 3, August 1996. The best tale, how the elderly White Cloud, Kan., bank president outsmarted Jesse James in the early 1880s, is not included here. It has to do with the sentiment on the bumper sticker that graced all the Ford Crown Vics that Dad fancied in later years: "Old Age and Treachery Will Overcome Youth and Skill!"
Springtime in Kansas. Lawn (here the "Back Yard," as we call it) of Mixed Weeds, ca. 2001.

My 2¢-Worth (Before Inflation) — by MsDeG©
Excerpted from 1710 Society© Newsletter, v. 3, no. 2, May 1997.
has finally come to Kansas. Mother's Day was duly marked by a lawn party scared onto the verandah (or as we Kansans say, "the back porch") by a few late afternoon sprinkles. In our part of Kansas, southern Douglas County, everything is green and lovely – at least to the eyes of a native Kansan. We've set out our chrysanthemums, a few petunias and marigolds, and some herbs including basil, the essential hard-to-find ingredient besides fresh mozzarella for our favorite summer salad. Our traditional red-and-white variegated geraniums are blooming gaily.
Did I sound a little defensive when I said "at least to...a native Kansan"? I hope not. But remarks of this nature probably led Jeff Ruby, a Wichita (KS) graduate student writing in the "University Daily Kansan" several weeks ago, to openly declare that there's nothing shameful about being a Kansas native. According to Jeff, "Kansans who travel abroad find the worldly people they meet to be incredulous that a Kansas native would even have the drive to venture further east than Ohio. And foreign students who study here are asked repeatedly by their friends back home, 'Why Kansas?' or 'Where's Kansas?'"
Jeff suggests we Kansans have an identity crisis – "too proud to agree with Kansas-bashers but not proud enough to stand up for our state." He's never met me. I've extolled the virtues of the Sunflower State in two different languages in three different countries and intend to keep on doing so [despite being sorely disillusioned in late years].

Jeff no longer flinches when someone makes with Dorothy ['Wizard of Oz'] jokes – e.g. "There's no place like home." Well, I never did flinch and I heartily concur with the sentiment. There's no place like Kansas. There're some great places like Kansas though, and some are quite a bit farther away than Ohio.

Jeff cites people from the East and West Coasts of the U.S. who ask, "'What the hell's in Kansas?'" I don't have room here to describe its delights. Suffice it to say, it's green and lovely, or gold and lovely, or brown and lovely, or white and lovely, depending upon the season.

Jeff concludes his article by noting that "Americans' geographical bigotries are set in stone." Is that so? How do you feel about Kansas? How do I feel about Missouri? Let's do a little armchair exploration of the U.S. and challenge the "close-minded attitudes" Jeff decries. Send a description of your particular part of the world to our 1710 Society© Newsletter editor. Since I haven't really done Kansas justice, we've got all 50 states to work on.
From 1710 Society© Newsletter, v. 4, no. 2, June 1998
How's this for a chilling proposition? You are what you read. I've always been taken by the slogan of the New York Times, "All the news that's fit to print." Wasn't there a time when this plainly put yet lofty sentiment expressed the ideals of the majority of U.S. publishers and editors? Now the concept is practically obsolete. The current standard for most newspapers is "All the muck that's sure to sell."

When John and I returned to the States at the end of May, I suddenly realized how much I had not missed reading U.S. newspapers and news magazines. Let me just take this opportunity to rant a bit and offer a few suggestions for compiling news that's fit to read.

The ongoing debasement of the Office of the President of the United States is a grave insult to the American people. Thank God most Europeans seem to regard the current penchant for airing Presidential laundry as an adolescent fascination with smut. Little newsprint is wasted reiterating such inanity abroad. But damage is being done, and it results not from any alleged or corroborated act of a U.S. President, living or dead, but from the relentless publication of reams of speculation, distasteful innuendoes that far exceed the bounds of taste and propriety, and downright misinformation—gleaned always from anonymous "sources close to the Oval Office" and "highly placed government officials" and "top aides at the Pentagon." For starters, to stop this poisonous red tide of media excess, I think it should be required by law that the sources of all published remarks, assertions, disclosures, allegations, declarations or statements be fully disclosed, with names named—particularly in the political arena. Republican or Democrat, the mudslinging, self-serving posturing of some hypocritical, parasitic legislators is nauseating—and if they can't live through the winter without voting themselves another pay raise, I say let 'em eat boiled potatoes!

Publishers of newspapers and news magazines should be forced to read their own drivel, since the editors have evidently lost control. Each item of any length should be summarized in a little box at the beginning of the article as a form of news industry self-regulation. Here's some reader response in advance to help guide content.

I, for one, don't care to read about frustrated governmental appointees and their mean-spirited, antisocial tendencies, be they wired by the CIA or by too many expense-account trips to Starbucks. I don't want to read about the detailed sexual mores of American citizens, public or private. Factual reports about legal shenanigans in the past may be newsworthy, but I do not care to read theories about the repressed early lives of our special prosecutors or be subjected to remarks about the sartorial splendor of high-profile Washington lawyers, with little gibes about their contingency-client backgrounds and mousy wives thrown in.

I don't care to read articles about the latest advances in the battle between pro-choice forces favoring late-term abortions and right-to-lifers bent upon eliminating social programs such as family planning, aid to dependent children and school-lunch programs sandwiched in between reports on the latest clinic bombings.

I don't want to hear any more statistics on safe levels of deadly toxins in ground water, soil, suburban basements, hospital delivery rooms, and the food we eat. I don't want to know any more about eggs or margarine vs. butter—I'd rather let my good cholesterol duke it out with the bad stuff than read another contradictory news release. And furthermore, I don't care if the genes of every rat in every lab are spliced, diced, soaked in aspartame-laced irradiated olestra, and fed to Dolly.

I don't want to know the work-release schedule for whatever self-destructive star of the silver screen is currently doing time for drug abuse while he simultaneously films an Academy Awards contender. I'm sick to death of continuing rumors about Diana and Dodi. Stop all vapid reports about what Hollywood starlet is having whose illegitimate baby, what beloved, obscenely overpaid sports figure is snorting coke while he beats his wife, which T.V. evangelists are into S/M, and whether or not there's life after Seinfeld.

And, by the way, spare me your baleful analyses and soul-searching speculation about the breakdown of the American moral fiber. If you don't recognize that the crass and lucrative role the news media eagerly plays in American society is part of the problem, you sure ain't likely to be part of the solution.

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