In 1514 in Nordlengen, Donauworth, Germany, a baby named Leonard Köbel was born. In 1538 he married Anna Reyschlag and 2 years later they gave birth to a son named Klaus. Klaus married Magdalena ? in 1560 and they had a son named Nicholas and the Köbel family continued to reproduce. By 1729 the Köbels had moved to Switzerland and there a baby named Abraham was born. He turned out to be quite an adventurous young man.
By the age of 24 Abraham had moved to Somerset, Pennsylvania, in the New World and there married Mary Magdalene Bardy. He fought in the Revolution with George Washington where he advanced to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and fathered 16 children. He was an ambitious man.
Eventually the Köbels dropped the umlaut and changed the spelling of the name to Koble and then to Cable. Five generations later John B. Cable and his wife Ida Caroline Gnagey gave birth to six children including a little girl named Minnie in 1883. That's her in the photo above. She married William Valentine of St. Marys, Pennsylvania, bore eight children including my father.
Naturally, I can only imagine what the lives of these people were like (other than Grandma Valentine—I actually knew her) but, being a writer, it's not hard to imagine possibilities. As I was working on the title story for The Bucktail Cap in the Trunk: More Secrets of Marienstadt, which tells the story of 4 brothers who came to Pennsylvania from Germany as children, joined the prestigious 42nd Pennsylvania Regiment, known as The Bucktails, and fought in the Civil War, I needed a character to fill the role of their foster-father's ancestor. I decided to use my own Great-great-great (keep going) Grandfather Köbel to fill the role.
I have to say, though it is a small part of the story, it is one of my favorite parts of the book. It's a little daring to put my own ancestor in as a character but, why not? He sounds like the kind of guy who would relish the part.
The book has gone off to press and a paperback should be available soon. The Kindle version is already live. I hope people will read the book and I hope they like Abraham—he's in it briefly but he makes me smile every time I read his name.
Thanks for reading.