8 July 2017
Stanzel, Joseph and Family [1st entry] Settled Goulbourn Twp. Con.9, East 3, May 1819.
Other surname spellings are Stansal, Stanzell and possibly others
Following is an edited version of a 'Family Tree History' originally written by
Orin Chester Stansal on 4 Nov. 1978 in Kelowna B.C.
He is of the same generation as my father, James Harold Stanzell.
" I can only give what I was told by my father regarding the early history of
the Stanzel family. First settler to Canada was Joseph Stanzel who was born
in the Black Forest area of Germany c 1784, exact location unknown. Being the eldest
son of the family he would traditionally be named Joseph. He was born and raised in a
Roman Catholic home. When a young man he was conscripted into Napoleon's Army, c 1802.
Alsace-Lorraine was under French rule at that time. It was a rich in forestry and mines.
The method of conscription in those days was a bit crude, carried out by the recruiting officer
who came to your home. If there were sons 18 years and older, they reached into a leather pouch.
which contained white and black balls. If you drew a black ball, you were in the army. If the army needed of more recruits, some of the white balls were removed. There was no medical check-up
in those days.
This young man was trained in the infantry and later was sent on a march into Russia in 1812.
Napoleon's objective was to capture Moscow before winter set in. Heavy skirmishes were met
along the way, delaying the army's advance. Rain, snow and freezing temperatures set in
causing further delays. In the meantime, seeing that Napoleon was determined to capture Moscow,
the Russians adopted a scorched earth policy and also set Moscow on fire. By now it was late fall,
and winter set in with heavy snows and sub zero temperatures, which was a heavy blow to
Napoleon's Army, who were now on severe rations. They started to return home and floundered through deep snow and bitter temperatures and forced to eat anything to stay alive."
To be continued shortly. Jim St .