Clan Stirling Online News

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Mike & Rick

Scanned Copy of Wm Penn Sterling's Obituary

William Penn Sterling b. 21 Jun 1827 - d. 30 Jul 1906

1906 Tripoli Leader - August 9


W.P.Sterling was born in Brooklyn, Susquehanna county, Penn., on January 21st, 1827; and died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. W.D. Tippin, near Mankato, Kan. on July 30th 1906, aged 79 years, six months and nine days.

Funeral services were held at the place of his death and also at Grove Hill where he was brought home for burial beside his wife, Caroline Sterling, who died in 1899, and a son, James, who died in infancy.

Mr. Sterling received a common school education in his home town in Pennsylvania when a boy, and lived there until he was 23 years old, when he was married to Miss Caroline Robinson. In 1852 they went west, settling in Crete, Illinois, where they lived for three years. From there they moved to Iowa, settling in Oran Twp, Fayette county, and while living there he was appointed post master, the office being called Penn in honor of his name, Wm Penn.

In 1863 they moved to Buck Creek, where they lived for about 30 years, or until they moved to Sumner in 1892. At the latter place he lived until four years ago, when he sold his Sumner home, and after staying one year with his son J.G., at Tripoli, he went to Kansas and made his home with his daughter Mrs. Tippin, until the time of his death.

Mr. Sterling being one of the early settlers of the county, was well known, and counted his friends by the number of his acquaintances. He was justice of the peace for several years in Dayton Twp, a member of the school board a number of years, and always prominent in local political affairs, as well as a prominent member of the Methodist church.

He was always of a happy disposition and looked on the bright side of life. He was free hearted and generous to a fault, and no one was sent away empty handed.

He leaves three children two daughters and one son to mourn his death. Mrs. Tippin of Kansas, Miss Kittie Sterling, who is here with her brother at present, and John G. Sterling, of Tripoli, Iowa, besides many friends.

William Penn Sterling Headstone

William Penn Sterling headstone at Grove Hill Cemetery Bremer County, Iowa
Anyone with information on who purchased this headstone please contact
  Michael L Jex or Rick Stirling)

Many thanks to Elvira Hebell, Correspondence Secretary of the  Bremer County IA
Genealogical Society for providing us with a scan of the obit.

Transcription from the facsimile by Rick Stirling

William Penn Sterling is the great-great-grandfather of Michael L Jex, founder of Clan Stirling Online! and the 3rd great-uncle of Rick Stirling, CSO Web Master. Wm Penn was the son of James William Sterling and Elizabeth "Betsy" Tewksbury, the grandson of Thomas Sterling and Mehitable Norton, and the great-grandson of James Sterling and Hannah May of Cornwall, CT.

Thor Longus Medieval Seal
This vesica-shaped seal of Thor Longus is among the oldest extant of a Scottish layman;
neither the shape nor the design, of a seated man with his sword, follows the pattern common in twelfth-century England.

Restoration efforts are underway at Stirling Castle.  Plans call for the famous carved "Stirling Heads", along with surviving sketches for two others to be displayed in the restored section of the castle. Originally the heads were located inside the palace, in the King's presence chamber. There were 56 oak-carved heads, representing many of his courtiers, along with gods and heroes from Classical antiquity.

Known as "The Stirling Heads", and carved in the 1540s, they are perhaps the supreme example of renaissance iconography in Scotland. The courtiers are depicted in the style of classical gods at some sort of celestial court, and this reflects the Renaissance hankering for the cultural glories of classical Rome and Greece. Thirty three of them survive, and there are sketches for two others that were lost. 38 of the original 56 heads survive today, and they would have fitted into an oak framework on the ceiling of the king's chamber - a fairly common feature in many palaces on the continent at the time. Historic Scotland is planning to put them on public display as part of the restoration of the castle's royal palace. The aim of the project is to return the castle to how it looked in the 1540s.

Dr Sally Rush, lecturer from Glasgow University's history of art department, believes the heads may include portraits of James I and James V, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, the English King Henry VIII and his sister Margaret Tudor. "Had you walked into the king's presence chamber when the ceiling was complete, I think you would have seen a whole sequence of Stewart kings: all the James from I to V. It was a statement by James V to say that his dynasty went back a long way in an unbroken line and had the inalienable right to rule over Scotland." said Rush. "The presence of Henry VIII and Margaret Tudor, mother of James V, is a reminder of his claim to the English throne."

"Had you walked into the king's presence chamber when the ceiling was complete, I think you would have seen a whole sequence of Stewart kings: all the James from I to V. "It was a statement by James V to say that his dynasty went back a long way in an unbroken line and had the inalienable right to rule over Scotland." said Rush. "The presence of Henry VIII and Margaret Tudor, mother of James V, is a reminder of his claim to the English throne."

The palace was built by James V around 1538 as a home for his French bride Mary de Guise

Stirling HeadStirling HeadStirling HeadStirling Head
Stirling Head Example Stirling HeadStirling Head

The only surviving document issued by William Wallace is not in Scotland, but is located in Germany. The letter known as "The Lubeck Letter by William WallaceLubeck Letter" was sent by Wallace and Andrew Murray in 1297 to the mayors of Lubeck and Hamburg.

It was written following victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge and informed German merchants that Scots ports were no longer under English control. Recently a motion has been made in parliament asking that the letter be released from Lubeck's National Archives and returned to Scotland.

"I would welcome the day when Scots are able to see the Lubeck Letter and the emblem of William Wallace in their country", said Murdo Fraser, the Mid Scotland and Fife MSP.  "The letter is a link to a pivotal point in Scotland's history and gives an insight into William Wallace as the statesman and politician.

"William Wallace is rightly remembered as a hero to Scots for his great victories on the battlefield but this letter reveals another side to him which is not always mentioned in the history books."

The letter is thought to carry the only known impression of Wallace's own seal.

Nollaig Chridheil Huibh
Happy Holidays From Clan Stirling Online - 2009

A very Merry Holiday Season from all of us at Clan Stirling Online. "Nollaig Chridheil Huibh" means Merry Christmas in Scots Gaelic, do not forget the biggest holiday of the year in Scotland, New Year, or Hogmanay "Bliadhna Mhath Ur"


I'm gaun to hing a stockin up,
I'll borrow my big brither's,
It's bigger nor my sister's ane
And strang-er nor my mither's.

I'll be in bed on Yule E'en
When Faither Christmas comes.
I ken he'll wale oor chimley oot
Amang the ither lums.

On Yule richt early I'll be up
Afore the screich o day
To see what ferlies Santa Claus
Has brocht me for my play.

I hope he'll mind a cuddly bear,
And cups for dolly's tea
Wi lots o ither bonnie toys
For a guid wee lass like me.

by J K Annand

Delaney Gustafson is the 6th Great-Granddaughter of James Stirling of Cornwall Connecticut. She has kindly given us permission to share this wonderful poem titled "When Freedom Rang." Thank you Delaney for your support of Clan Stirling Online. Gangforward!

When Freedom Rang

I followed the chimes of independence
With great hopes and much suffering.
I witnessed the rebellion,
With true resolve for liberty
I fought
I was a Jacobite
For Bonny Prince Charlie.
I was an exemplar of society,
Before the dignity in my name
Was kicked and spurned.
Oh, that the clans had been saved!
Our name would resound
In those grand, majestic highlands
In which we left
Only a heroic legacy.
Transient repose was in the Indigo Blue,
But I desired freedom
And found no rest in its scarcity.
America came to me in a dream
Bidding my heart to hope
And to yearn for that independence.
Connecticut made its call,
As if summoning me home
To a haven only imaginable
By divine intuition.
I am a Sterling.

I sought peace in my soul.
My cup was full
But of it I could not drink,
For I was in the midst
Of the oppressor’s sovereignty.
He thieved from me
My right to praise my Creator
To my hearts content.
My purity was assured of me
And I followed the turbulent billows of the sea
To whence the land of holy opportunity
Bid me come.
I remember the sails of the Mayflower
And a deep breath of hope consumed me
When shelter was manifested
In the thirteen brightest stars.

My posterity I carried upon my shoulders
Like a yoke upon a mule.
I crossed oceans, plains and mountains,
To gather at a righteous place
In a land full of promise.
I wanted generations to know
And to worship God freely
Without second glance or perturbation.
I was plunged into the murky waters
Of persecution in my nation,
But faith helped me across the sea,
And a beacon of light
Brought us to freedom
Forged in the fiery Western lands
Where there were others who knew of God
And all of his tender mercies.
He sent wind to our sails.

Copyright ©2008 Delaney Gustafson. All Rights Reserved. Must have written permission to copy.

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best regards,

Michael L Jex & W R Stirling

Just in time for Christmas, Clan Stirling Online has received new books about the Stirling family.

The Stirlings of Keir

First, the book "The Stirlings of Keir" by William Fraser is available for purchase. This book is quite rare, just 150 copies were privately published in 1858, most are in private collections in Scotland.  Our thanks to the Scottish Genealogical & Historical Research Trust, for digitally scanning and mastering the book for publication.

The book is being published on archival quality paper, with the most exacting standards. The company printing the book is the largest printer of rare family histories in the world.  The cost of the book is U.S. $99.50 plus shipping and handling. Please visit the Store for more information on how to get your copy.  For the Stirling researcher, this really is a "must-have" edition.

 2nd, the book "The Stirlings of Craigbernard & Glorat" by Joseph Bain is back in Stock.  Privately published in 1883, less than 200 copies of the original book are known to be in print. There are just a couple of copies left, so don't delay.  Thank you for all your support of Clan Stirling Online, and Happy Holidays!


Note: If you have a newsworthy item for publication about Clan Stirling,
 please send an email message to mike @ jexperformance dot com