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This is a letter that Pop wrote in 1989 telling of their trip to England,
The 1989 Runyard Reunion in Wareham, & of early
Runyard History.
(  Good Stuff ! )

DECEMBER., 1989                              Page I

Dear Runyards:

Seems that Christmas is almost upon us: so enclosed You will find a copy of our annual Christmas letter. I thought it might also be time to give you a report on the RUNYARD REUNION IN ENGLAND this past spring.

There were a total of 275 Runyards from 5 different countries. They came from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, Italy, the U.S., and of course England, I'm sorry to say that there were only 6 from the U.S.: Godfrey Runyard and his son's Mike and Ken (all from California), Wilson Runyard from Wisconsin, and Gwen and myself. The vast majority were from England of course, but for all it was a memorable outing.

The reunion for Gwen and I actually started the last part of April when we flew to London and then drove on down to Len Runyards, house in Hordle, Hampshire. We had never met Len, but had been corresponding with him since 1987. Len is, of course, the one who has done so much research on the Runyard genealogy, the one who has shown us how we are related, and the one primarily responsible for organizing the reunion.

We stayed six nights with Len, and his sisters Joan and Sue. Sue very kindly gave up her room in order that Gwen and I could stay there, Len took us to places that we had never heard of. Such as: Puddletown, and Piddlehinton. Never heard of them? Most maps don't show them, but they are located N.N.E of Weymouth, and Weymouth is West of Bournemouth.

Our ancestors knew of Puddletown and Piddlehinton because they lived there shortly after coming to England from France in the mid to late 1500's. Probably just before or after the Massacre of St. Bartholomew's day (August 24, 1577).
The Runnier family were Huguenots (French Protestants); while the majority of the French, including their King, Charles IX and his mother, Catherine de Medici, were Catholic. There had been conflict between the Catholics and Protestants for years prior to this, but if they had not fled before the Massacre of St. Bartholomews, they would have left shortly thereafter. The Massacre was ordered by the French King, Charles IX, probably at the behest of his mother, Catherine de Medici. Thousands were killed as many as 100,000 in Paris alone. The Catholics hunted down the Huguenots and killed all the men, women and children that they could find, would make anyone decide to leave.
Len's research indicates the probability that the Runnier family (the name was not changed to Runyard till the late 1600's) originally lived in South West France. He further believes that they escaped first to the Channel Islands and then to England and the county of Dorset, settling first in the Puddletown, Piddlehinton area. And later moving to Wool and East Lulworth and other small villages in that vicinity.




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