Saturday, February 18, 2017

In Memory of Golden Keyes Parsons

July 19,1941 - February 16,2017

It's with great sadness that we say good-bye to our friend, fellow writer, and fellow blogger, Golden Keyes Parsons. Golden has been a part of Heroes, Heroines, and History since its debut in 2013. She wrote her last post for the blog in December of 2016. Through the years she has entertained and enlightened us with a variety of posts from the Civil War, to holiday's meals, to Texas history. For so many Golden has been an inspiration as well as an encourager with her words and her writing. Her kindness has reached across states to touch so many lives. HHH bloggers and readers will miss Golden and her contributions.

In memory of Golden Keyes Parsons we are reposting one of her first blog contributions with our group.

                                        The Moravian Church and Moravian Sugar Cake

By Golden Keyes Parsons

When my French Huguenot ancestors came to this country in 1737 after fleeing religious persecution in France, the freedom to practice their religion was of the highest priority. Louisa Clavell landed in

Philadelphia, a widow with two sons, after her husband was washed overboard on the ocean voyage from Amsterdam, Holland. He had all of their money in his possession when he was lost at sea. 

After acquiring a planter and a button maker to take her sons as apprentices, Madame Clavell followed her fellow passengers into the Schuylkill Valley of Pennsylvania and eventually remarried. Her sons joined her after serving their appointed times and acquired land in that beautiful valley.

First Church Building in 1762
Some 17 years later, in 1754, after initially coming to this country, a number of settlers in the area where they settled, Bushkill County, sent a petition to Synod of the Brethren, or Moravians, asking that organization to send a minister to them who could preach the "Gospel of Jesus Christ to them pure and unadulterated like the Apostles of old." Several men, including my direct ancestors, Franz Clewell and George Clewell signed the petition. The Moravians did so, and the gospel was well received in the area, culminating in the building of a church building in 1762.

Moravian Church today in Scheoneck

It is not surprising that the Clavells were attracted to the Moravian Church as their basic tenets were similar to the French Huguenot beliefs for which their fellow believers had lost their lives in France - justification by grace alone through faith.

On a research trip to Pennsylvania for the last book in my series about my ancestors, we were able to go to a reunion of the Clavell family, The traditions of the family are cherished and carefully preserved. That I have a copy of the genealogy of the family is a miracle in itself as I was not even aware of this rich heritage until I started researching for the series. 

I could go on and on about the history of the Clavells and the Moravian Church in this area of Pennsylvania. Our trip was absolutely glorious and I read every tidbit I could find and took hundreds of pictures. My husband was very patient! But one thing I brought back and have enjoyed so much was a recipe for Moravian Sugar Cake. At the reunion the buffet was full of several different varieties of the signature dish. I could have eaten my weight in it. It is a cross between yeast bread and cake. Here is the recipe I've enjoyed. And I hope you will too. 


1 large or 2 small potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed. Or you can use instant potatoes or leftover mashed potatoes.
1/2 cup solid shortening
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
2 packages dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water, reserved from cooking potatoes (or just warm water if using instant potatoes)
4 scant cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick melted REAL butter
About 1/2 cup light brown sugar (I usually end up using much more.)
Ground cinnamon - to taste

1. Grease one 11x7x2 pan, plus one 8" square pan, or three 8" square pans
2. Place 1/2 cup hot mashed potatoes in a large bowl. Add shortening and sugar and combine. Add beaten eggs and combine. Set aside.
3. In a separate medium bowl. dissolve yeast in lukewarm potato water. Add sifted flour and salt and combine. Mix yeast mixture into potato mixture. It will resemble bread dough. Place batter in large bowl, cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 20-30 minutes.
4. Pat dough out in prepared pans to 1/2" thick. Cover with damp cloth and let rise again in a warm place for one hour.
5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
6. Make indentations in dough with a wooden spoon handle or your finger about every inch and a half or so. (I use my fingers :) and fill the holes with the melted butter. Crumble a generous amount of brown sugar over the top and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Great as a dessert or with coffee in the morning. Enjoy!


  1. Sorry to hear of her passing. I enjoyed her posts. Prayers for her family and friends.

  2. I am saddened by this news and will miss Golden's contributions. Her family and friends are in my thoughts and prayers.

    1. Thank you for your kind words and prayers, Britney.

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  4. I am also saddened to hear of Golden's passing and I send my prayers and condolences to her family. I have followed HHH for just over a year so I missed this post by Golden and I am so glad that you have share it again.

    1. Thank you, Connie. We appreciate you and your comments.

    2. Connie, Thanks for following us for a year! You can go to our archives and search on one of our bloggers' names or on a topic to read our older posts.

  5. I knew Golden as a reader and always a little in awe when I would see her name,so unusual. I felt she was someone special with a name like that. I have seen her many times on FB -in blogs -on this site and elsewhere and was saddened to hear she had died in the accident. we never know when our time will be up and there have been several authors that we have lost recently and the fiction world will miss them. God Bless the family and thanks for your post today.

    Paula O

  6. Thanks for posting this tribute to Golden. I was so sorry to hear of her passing. She was always so professional in our occasional dealings or correspondence with one another. She will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.

  7. It was such a tragedy losing such a matriarch as Golden but as I said on of her posts on her page; Golden's death will have a lasting legacy, it will have a ripple effect! She was such a dear lady. We talked a lot on messenger but then life got busy for us. She will be missed by so many, especially her family. They're in my thoughts and prayers!

  8. So sorry to hear the news. Thank you for sharing a past post of Golden's. Heaven's gain and earth's loss. Sending prayers for the family of peace and comfort from Jesus as promised in John 14.

  9. God's grace and strength to Golden's heartbroken family.

  10. Golden will be sorely missed, but we draw comfort knowing that she dances with Jesus.

  11. Saddened to hear she is no longer with us. Praying for her family.

  12. I never met Golden in person, but I did interview her for another blog. She seemed like a lovely Christian
    lady. I have sent prayers up for the comfort of her family.