The following generously shared small book was submitted by Dr. H.
Thomas Chandler for all to share. Please note that there is no 
copyright known to exist on this material, otherwise we would not 
print it here.

A STORY OF THE GAY FAMILY BY WM. H. GAY, 1920

 

 
On the cover, a note: Presented to the Library of Memorial Continental 
Hall by Old Belfrey Chapter, February 1924.
Title: A STORY OF THE GAY FAMILY by William H Gay, Rockpoert, 
Illinois, 1920

 

Page 2-an emblem of encircled wheat around a name Villa Grove News

Print.

 

Page 3-Preface

The great historian, Macauley, uses his expression in writing his

History of England.."A people which takes no pride in the noble

achievements of their remote ancestors, will never achieve anything

worthy of being remembered withpride by their remote descendants".

 

I believe the expression will apply as well to families as it does

to nations, and to further preface, I will relate a story of Marshal

Ney.

 

He was Napoleon's greatest general and commanded the rear guard of

the Grand army during the dissastrous retreat from Moscow, the winter

of 1812 and 1813. Napoleon called him the "Bravest of the Brave".

 

After the escape from the snows of Russia, they were compelled to

fight the great battle of Leipsig, which until the recent World War,

was deservedly called the battle of Nations, because so many nations

were there leagued against Napoleon. The victorious Allies exiled

Napoleon to the little island of Elba, in the Mediterranean Sea,

where he was permitted to keep a guard of honor and live like a king,

while Ney and the greater part of the French army were permitted to

take service with the Bourbon King whom the Allies placed on the

throne of France. But Napoleon, who could not be satisfied with the

conquest of half the world, would not be satisfied at Elba.

 

He plotted with his friends to recover the throne of France. They

used the violet for a pass-word. If one asked, "Are you fond of

violets", the answer was, "I adore them". And the reponse "He will

come in the Spring."

 

And in the Spring of 1815, Napoleon escaped from Elba and came with

the violets to southern France. He issued a stirring address, and

with only a few followers, started to Paris.

 

Ney was ready. He issued a proclamation, announcing that the Bourbon

cause was forever lost and called on the friends of Napoleon to join

him. Regiment after regiment forgetting their allegiance to the Bourbon

King, joined Ney and they marched to Paris. The King fled and Napoleon

was again at the head of France and with him was his favorite general,

Ney. But their triump, though complete, was short lived, for they were

defeated again at Waterloo, where the French squadrons broke themselves

in vain against the English Squares.

 

And Napoleon was again exiled, this time to St. Helena, where he died a

prisoner; but Ney was tried by court-martial and sentnced to be shot for

treason. History says he was so executed. But a few weeks after the

supposed execution, a man who called himself P. S. Ney, landed in South

Carolina and engaged in school teaching. He was a fine horseman, an

expert swordsman, and soon became popular as a teacher. My father and

one of his brothers attended his school, taught near their place in

North Carolina. They have told me that on a certain occassion, their

teached became intoxicated and boasted that he was Marshal Ney of

France. He said that a friend in high authority had by a ruse saved

him from death at the time of the supposed execution and sent him

to America. Later, the teacher was taken sick and died. While on his

death- bed, knowing the end was near, he repeated the statement he

had made when intoxicated. The people of the community believed the

teacher's story and erected a small monument over his grave.

 

The Great Southern Railway has been built near this place. They have

this story in their guide books and travelers sometimes stop there to

view the grave of the old teacher who claimed to be marshal Ney of

France.

 

Because my father and his brother attended this old man's school and

believed his story, I have incorporated it in this, my story of the

Gay family.

 

STORY OF THE GAY FAMILY-CHAPTER-1

 
In olden times in Devonshire
A family lived named Gay
A home and lands they did acquire
Also a crest they say
 
Goldsworthy was their Manors name
And in that early day
It gave them quie a little fame
As did the crest of Gay
 
Now this device or coat of arms
They say it was unique
It sometimes told of war's alarms
Before the war would break
 
That is, it seemed to brighter grow
It was a flame of fire
And flames must rise, at least must try
For flames must do or die.
 
There was a motto for the crest, (Do or Die.)
It caused the Gays to try
It put a feeling in their breast
That they should do or die.
 
In times of peace it seemd subdued
The color seemd to pale
But war or peace, that signet crude
Did dominate the vale.
 
But after while, religion brought
Two factions into life
One creed was new the other not
But all engaged in strife.
 
They fought about their God, their King
And Christ their Savior too
Both sides besought their God to bring
The others to their view.
 
Now Margaret was a lovely maid
from Susquehannas vale
Her voice was low and sort tis said
Her turth did never fail.
 
To Corolina's sunny clime, (1770-71)
They went and all seemed right
But soon the crest begain to shine
In fact it grew quite bright.
 
The revolutions war was on (1776)
And James said "I will go"
In seven years the war was done (1783)
The crest then ceased to glow.
 
For British hatred then was rife
And English emblems were 
Such recent cause of deadly strife
They made our people swear.
 
And family crests were laid away
But since the Civil war
The proudest emblems worn they say
Are D. and G. A. R.

 

CHAPTER-II

 

When James came home, so much was done (1783)

To show him honor due;

His children all had larger grown

His wife grown dearer too.

 

In happiness they lived a while

Until one sad, sad day

Poor Margaret sickened, but with smile

Said Good-Bye husband Gay (1796-April 17)

(Buried in Third Creek Cemetery).

 

So in the church yard she was laid

Not far from Mr. Ney

They placed a stone above his head

But none oer Margaret Gay.

 

For P. S. Ney had taught their schools

And taught them how to fence

And other military rules

Tho he made no pretence.

 

That he had higher station borne

Until one day by chance

Imbiding freely, he had sworn

"I'm Marshal Ney of France".

 

How, on tha texecution morn

Friends rescued him from death

And how he was to freedom borne

He told with dying breath

 

Great Welllington had been his friend

When he was doomed to die

The bullets were withdrawn, and then

The squad had aimed too high.

 

But Ney had falled like one dead

His own friends were deceived

And while he was to freedom sped

A corpse the grace received.

 

For none could then view the remains

Nor could respect be shown

To one opposed to Bourbon aims

Ney had to freedom flown.

 

Poor James lived on for many years

In sorrow and despair,

For Margaret he shed bitter tears

Poor Margaret good and fair.

 

Now side by side their bodies lie

Their graves unmarked, unshown,

Save by that strangers grave near by

Where visitors are shown.

 

The resting place of P. S. Ney

Now do not look askance!

For many people there still say

"Tis Marshal Ney of France.

 

Still other Gays left Devonshire

One went to Edwards Isle

For their descendants I inquire

I'd greet them with a smile.

 

For all the Gays do seem of kin

Except the colored race

They took their names from owners when

The colored folks were slaves.

 

Another Gay left Devonshire, (John Gay 1688-1732)

He went to London town

He did not like to work for hire

But he wond great renown (Poet and Author)

 

He did it with his pen 'tis said

He mixed his ink with brains

He sleeps with England's greatest dead

In best of Englands Fanes.

 

Westminster is his resting place

His fame is quite secure

And with the noblest of our race

We know it will endure.

 

And now kind friends this chapters done

Heed what Macauley said

Our ancestors have always won

Respect with fame or bread.

 

 

CHAPTER-III

The New England Branch of the Gay Family

 

This branch of teh gay family was founded in 1630, when John Gay of

Devonshire came to America with a colony of about one thousand

Puritans. They were called the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

 

Our American historian, Gordy, says of this colony, "The settled

at Boston, Charlestown, Roxbury and Watertown. Unlike the Pilgrims

who came ten years earlier, they were men of wealth and culture.

Some of them were relatives of the greatest men of the day in England.

They were not Separatists in England as the Pilgrims had been, yet

they established the Independent Congregational church in America".

 

A geneological dictionary of New England sayf o teh Gay family. "The

greatest ornament of the Gay family of New England was REv. Ebenezer

Gay, son of Nathanial Gay, third minister of Hingham ordained June

11, 1718, died March 18, 1787. He was the honor patriarch of the

New England pulpit of that day. Eleven of the Gay family had been

graduated from Harvard in 1826, five of whome were ministeres, while

others of the family had been graduated from other New England

colleges at that time." From this date I have written:

 

 
When young John Gay the Puritan
To Massachusetts came
He went to work right there and then
To make himself a name.
 
There were one thousand Puritand
Some of them men of fame
They brought their flocks and herds with them
And stores of every name.
 
They settled at old Watertown
Boston and Charlestown too
Unlike their friends of near renown, (The pilgrims)
They came prepared to do.
 
They marked their impress on the state
They would a nation try
To build a nation was their fate
For they would do or die.
 
John Gay, a worker in that band
We know that he made good
And his descendants in the land
Are better understood.
 
For scholars, statesman, ministers
And business men galore
Who claim him and his anscestors
Are found from shore to shore.
 
One grand old soldier from that band
Did long in Quincy dwell (2018 Maine St)
No doubt there's many in the land
Our records do not tell.
 
But tis a fact with justice done
It often has been said
That all the Gays have always won
Respect with fame or bread.
 

 

CHAPTER-IV

 

The Gay family are well represented in all the great encyclopedias

of the world.

 

John Gay, the British poet was at one time offered a lucrative

position in the Queens household which he declined.

 

Sidney Hammond Gay was born at Boston, educated at Harvard, traveled,

lectured for abolitionist societies, wrote history, as managing editor

of New York Tribune, studied law, but was precluded from practice

because being an abolitionist, he would not take an oath to support

the Constitution of the United Staes, (because it at that time

supported slavery).

 

Gay Luccasse of France was considered the greatest scientest and

chemist of the century in which he lived. For his wonderful scientific

discoveries was made first a Representative and later became a peer of

France. He was a Gay, his father (Joe Gay) having assumed the name of

Luccasse when he inherited a certain property.

 

Miss Delphina Gay, also of France is mentioned as a great writer of

French fiction and Edward Gay of Ireland as a wonderful painter. Many

others are mentions. From this data I have written:

 

 
We cannot prove all Gays are kin
For records fail to show
But family ways are much the same
We find, where'er we go.

 

John Gay, the poet's pride we hear

Was hurt by England's Queen

When she proposed her daughter's care

In part to him be given.

 

While Sidney Hammond studied laws

But wouldn't practice when

Our Constitution's Slavery clause

Was put square up to him.

 

I mention these two instances

To show a family trait

For sometimes stubborn insistence

Does make or mar our fate.

 

Gay Luccasse, who in science stood

So far in the advance

He was a Gay and he made good

Became a peer of France.

 

And many others that we know

Have wond an honored name

In fact the Gays where'er we go

Are very much the same.

 

In art and sciences, literature

In history and romance

In patriot band and travel lore

They've made the world advance.

 

Macauley's teachings were quite right

In ancestry we've fame

Let us keep our esrutcheons bright

Perpetuate our name.

 

That is the object of my book

Perpetuate our name

And should remote descendants look

They must respect my aim.

 

CHAPTER V

Lines written at father's death.

 

 
Tis of James Gay of Summer Hill
Born of a hardy rugged race
Insured to povety and toil
By industry won honored place
His lines of life I try to trace.

 

For father lived a life of toil

He plowed his ground, he chopped his wood

He was a true son of the soil

And grew his crops as farmers should

And took delight in doing good.

 

An infant he in cradle lay

While cannons roared at Waterloo

At school his teacher Marshal Ney

The bravest of the brave and true

For Ney was to Napoleon true

 

Instilled sound maxims in his mind

Be just and true, do not turn back

Nor every yield the right, but find

Some wayh of helping those who lack,

Be just and true and brave and kind.

 

These maxims learned, he lived them too

And practiced them as years rolled on

WOuld ever find some good to do

And never quit till taks was done

At ninety-three his work was done.

 

 

"HIS LINEAGE"

 

Tis sometimes said that blood will tell

Tho generations run

James Gays descendants prove his well

As ancesters begun.

 

An ancestor for Ornage fought (1690)

It was a noble cause

It, libeties to England brought

As well as freedoms laws.

 

His grandsire in a Patriot band, (1776)

Along with Marion's men

Upheld our cause in souther land

For seven years again.

 

In eighteen twelve his father served

To keep our seamen free

Till Britian from her course was swerved

And let our sailors be.

 

James Gay did never serve in war

But worked with might and main

And grew the crops that have thus far

Been thought the best for gain.

 

He bore hardships that we feel

We hardly need to know

Like building fires with flint and steel

Or with a string and bow.

 

His two sons served in Civil War (1861)

One rode far oer'r the plain (1865)

And taught the Red Man to beware

Of making war again.

 

And eight good grandsons in the war, (1917)

That was with Germans fought

They all bore rank; are all thus far

Alive and well 'tis thought.

 

Thank God who shielded them so well

On earth and air and sea

And brought them safely home to tell

Of war with Germany.

 

Our country will revere each name

For ages yet to come

Remote descendants speak their fame

And say of all__"Well done".

 

WE do believe that blood did tell

While generations run

God in his goodness willed us well

He has since we begun.

 

 

THE CAMPFIRE

 

Comrades__we meet again tonight

To join in song and story,

Of how you battled for the right

And to uphold "Old Glory."

 

Now, take your Comrades by the hand

And pray to God to bles them,

And tell of pranks in Dixie land,

But nothing to distress them.

 

In memory go back again

And watch old camp fires glowing,

It may be fair, perhaps "twill rain,

Or possibly be snowing.

 

But pound your coffee in tin cups,

On ramrods toast your bacon;

And if you hear the pickets shots,

Fall in before you waken.

 

FOr life is not one happy dream

Of beauty or of roses;

And all things are not what they seem,

A later day discloses.

 

>From sixty-one till sixty-five

The gage of battle given'

You took it up--you're here alive--

Some comrades are in heaven.

 

Those brave young boys, so long since dead,

Bright flowers bloom above them;

Their glad young lives too soon were sped,

GOd knows how well you loved them.

 

In all our fairest burial graounds

Their noble bodies moulder,

"Old Glory" marks with annual rounds

The places where they slumber.

 

Dead comrades rest--your work is done,

Your names are joined with glory;

While Shiloh and Fort Donnelson

Help make our Nations story.

 

On Chicamauga's fatal field,

On Lookout's heights immortal,

Our comrades fought, but would not yhield;

They passed through Heaven's portal.

 

And Chattanooga proudly known,

And Missionary's story;

The grandest of the battle zone,

Helps wresth your names with glory.

 

But greater than all fields of fame

Or glory or dominion;

Yes, nobler than all else we claim,

They died to save the Union.

 

 

A LEGEND OF THE MISSISSIPPI

 

To Mississippi's noble stream

A way worn band had come

DeSoto walked like one in dream

His haughty manner gone.

 

He spoke thus to his men of rank

My comrades brave and true

Be seated on this flowery bank

I've much to say to you.

 

Behold the sun is setting

Behind those western hills

The toils of day forgetting

We rest beside the rills.

 

THe morn of life for laughter

The moon is brighter still

But eve that follows after

Brings night so dark and chill.

 

Just so myh life has been

>From childhoods early day

The love of gold and sin

Has les me far astray.

 

I crossed the deep blue ocean

I wandered many a day

O'er hill and lofty mountain

That marked my lonely way.

 

I sought the glitering treasure

In many a shallow stream

It fille dmy lifes last measure

Has been my only dream.

 

But now my hour has come

I lay me down to die

But Gods will must be done

I'll go to younder sky.

 

Where mother awent before me

Where angels make their home

She welcomes me to glory

I never more will roam

 

Farewell my brave adventurers

Farewell ye hardy few

Farewell my trusty followers

I bid you all adieu.

 

DeSoto turned and bowed his head

His comrades nearer drew

A moment more his spirit fled

It was his last adieu.

 

Great chieftain though you never found

The gold for which you died

The mighty Misssissippi bound

Your name with fame beside.

 

And see what blessings God hath brought

>From what you thought had failed,

That noble river's stream has wrought

Such wealth that gold has paled.

 

 

GOLD WORTHY FARM

 

A beautiful valley I love

With cattle so fat and sleek

Neath the sycamores shade above

The banks of a dear old creek.

 

With the old swimming hole near by

Where many long hours we played

In the sand in the sun to lie

Or rest neath the maple shade.

 

The house stands far back from the road

The pastures are green and fair

On the hill a very dense wood

And excellent springs are there.

 

The land is quite fertile and good

Well drained to the creek below

Well protected by that great wood.

From the cold north winds that blow.

 

The shelters fro stock are well planned

And placed where they ought to be

There's plenty of lime stone at hand

To keep up fertility.

 

A farm well adapted to sheep

Whose hoof turns the land into gold

Whose fleece each year pays its keep

All else is profit when sold.

 

And swine will do well on the farm

Though they requir emore care

But keep them quite clean, well and warm

And have some money to spare.

 

But horses some fols say are done

True they have had a long day

And autos and tractors have won

But the very best colts still pay.

 

And we will still shield them from harm

That they may a long time stay

On this, our good Gold Worthy farm

While it is held by the Gay

Wm. H. Gay

 

 

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A personal note of thanks to our retired Major General H. Thomas

Chandler (US ARMY) for sharing this wonderful piece of literature

with us..the Gay descendants who are eternally searching for our

past loved ones. It is an honor to have you as a part of our list.

God Bless you and your family. Sunny Russo...And thank you Sunny

for sharing this wonderful story with the GAY mailing list.

 

 

Copyrighted 1999-2005, Nancy Gay Crawford
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