Monday, January 21, 2013

The Catholic Defender: Stories of My Great GrandFather

It is always interesting to learn about your family heritage and it can also be a lot of fun.

My Brother, Randy and his wife have done a lot of family research for me and we have some possible notable historical figures.

On my Mother's Grandfather's side of the house, Daniel Boone might be a distant cousin and on my Mother's Grandmother's side of the house, we might be related to an Indian Warrior remembered as Black Hawk of the Sauk and Fox Tribe.

Of all the family history that I can know for sure, nobody tops my Great, Great Grand Father, Donald Hartley of Kentucky.

He was a traveler along side Daniel Boone and some might say a bit more rugged. He participated in many adventures opening up the wild west.

From his fighting of Indians, he developed a great respect for the various tribes as he learned to survive in the Wilderness.

At that time there were many dangers that lurked about.

Indian wars were a raging and men like my Great Grandfather paved the way for many to follow.

The story of the early trailblazing opened up the way for the covered wagons and for civilization to spread west towards the great Mississippi.

Sometimes all he would have is his coonskin cap and the clothes on his back. The story is told of one occasion when he outran two Indians 25 miles with the furs on his back. He had later stated that he simply needed the money.

Then about 1801, while out patrolling for the Army, he ran into a Catholic Priest and from that time on, he was never the same.

He began to reach out to the Indians telling them of the love of Jesus and His holy Catholic Church.

So successful was my Grandfather that it is said that whole tribes began to follow the way of Christ.

Ultimately, reaching Sitting Bull. Many do not realize that Sitting Bull was himself a convert to the Catholic Faith and history may not say it, but it was through my Grandfather!

Sitting Bull would eventually lead Buffalo Bill to the Catholic faith, he was just baptized two days before his death.

History may never speak about the exploits of my Grandfather as he helped shape the American West, but he will never be forgotten by the many Indians who still remember him today as the "Catholic Defender", whom from where I get my title.

So when people think of the Catholic Defender today, always remember that I dedicate everything I do for my Mother's honor in the memory of my Great Grandfather.

Recently, an old historical video was discovered that shows my Grandfather leading a band of pioneers into hostile Indian territory.

What a prize this is. I do not know how or who placed the sound with the video.

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