La Grand'Goule est sûrement l'animal mythique le plus célèbre de la région de Poitiers. It was a kind of dragon or snake on wings with pestilential breath, the body covered with scales (sometimes described as metallic), a tail clipped from a scorpion. Patronese Sainte Radegonde reportedly struck down the animal from the Clain River (late 6th century) -- en lui lançant un pain béni ! Her biography in French is HERE

One can find the statue shown here at L'église Notre-Dame-la-Grande à Poitiers (in the ancient suburb of Vienne). More about dragons and other topics by using the picture link (en français). She has an église named after her in Poitiers, too.


Poitiers lies on the Clain River in west central France, the capital (préfecture) of the Vienne département and of the Poitou-Charentes région. The Pictone tribe founded Limonum (Roman name Pictavium). Today its name reflects its Celtic origin. Christianity arrived during the 3rd century -- Saint Hilarius (350 to 367) became its first Bishop. The Baptistère Saint-Jean (Baptistery of St. John) is a religious edifice in Poitiers, France. Said to be the oldest extant Christian building in France it remains a famous example of Merovingian-era architecture, just 100 meters from the river Clain. Like most structures of the time, it was built on Roman ruins, suffered under pagan invasions, was abandoned, renewed, desecrated again, used as a warehouse, and resurected. The baptistery currently holds a small museum which includes many stone sarcophagi dating from the fifth to seventh centuries, many of which are vividly decorated with carved designs. It also includes remnants such as pieces of Roman columns, baptismal fonts, and other stone relics. Arian Visigoths conquered the town during their 5th century invasion. Alaric II, was defeated by Christian King Clovis I at Vouillé, not far from Poitiers, in 507, and the town came under Frankish dominion.

Sainte Radegonde (known as Radegunda or Radegund in English) was born a princess, the daughter of the king of Thuringia. In about 531, she was captured by the ruthless Merovingian King Chlotar I (son of Clovis) during an expedition against the Thuringians. Radegunda was educated at the court of Chlotar and eventually married the king. However, she is said to have hoped for martyrdom from an early age and the king complained of having a nun rather than a wife for his queen. Eventually, Radegunda secured her release from Chlotar and, indeed, became a nun with the permission of Médard, bishop of Noyon. She later founded the nunnery of the (Sainte Croix) Holy Cross at Poitiers. She is buried in the church that bears her name. http://www.sacred-destinations.com/

The first decisive Christian victory (by Charles Martel) over Muslim invaders, called the Battle of Tours, took place in the proximity of Poitiers (October 10, 732 an account HERE). The well-known historian Edward Gibbon wrote of the event:

By the year 732 A.D. the moslem armies had extended a victorious line of march for over one thousand miles from the Rock of Gibraltar to the banks of the Loire. A repetition of a similar distance would have taken them to the confines of Poland or the Highlands of Scotland. The Rhine [River in Germany] is not less impassable than the Nile or Euphrates, and an Arab fleet could have sailed into the estuary of the Thames without a naval conflict [i.e. no resistance]. Even now a translation of the Koran could be taught in the shools of Oxford and its pupils could demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelations of the Prophet.

The Battle of Tours in 732 A.D. stopped that possibility for over 1200 years. Charles Martell's grandson, also named Charles, is known Charles the Great, Charlemagne or Karl der Große.

During the time of the Hundred Years War the town had several noteworthy events, including another battle (September 19, 1356) and the declaration by Joan of Arc that Charles VII was King of all France (1432) and not the English who claimed rights thru Aquitaine. Eleanor, (daughter and sole heir to Wiliam X, Duke of Aquitaine), also Countess of Poitiers and Duchess of Gascony, had married the kings of France and England (Henry II) in succession. The University of Poitiers (the second oldest university in France) is from that time, too (1431). nearby

Cathédrale Saint-Pierre: All traces of the primitive cathedral have disappeared. It may have been expanded or rebuilt several times in the first millennium until fire (1018) finally consumed what remained. The Count of Poitou and Duke of Aquitaine, Guillaume le Grand, next rebuilt something in a basilica-style. An important church council was held there in 1100, so one may think it was already of grande proportions or of great beauty. The current Plantagenêt-style structure was begun in 1162 by Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine on the ruins of that Roman basilica. The carvings date from an era 100 years later, but remain the oldest in France. Not until 1379 (October 17th) did the consecration occur. Today it is state-owned. http://www.uquebec.ca/~uss1010/orgues/france/poitierscsp.html -- Link to view a picture of the façade ouest.

Poitiers is on the TGV run between Paris and Bordeaux (Gare Montparnasse is only an hour and a half away). TGV services also include Angoulême, Limoges and La Rochelle. Gastronomy and country cooking (Produits régionaux): farci poitevin, agneau, fromages de chèvre, macarons, tourteaux fromagers, broyés du Poitou, vins du Haut-Poitou.


Leonard Powder, Senior immigrated to Maryland from Europe. His wife Margaret Bohun became the first Margaret Pouder in the USA. Her namesake died in Nashville on November 6, 2008. The sister of Margaret Bohun, Elizabeth, married Peter Mueller, Senior, whose family eventually lived at Miller's Switch near Johnson City, TN. Her father was Michael Diehl Bohun an immigrant from Germany, possibly related to Daniel, but probably not -- Daniel's Boone's are said to be of English stock, not German.

Leonard Powder owned the Spinning Wheel in Westminster Maryland. His father was Jonathan Jacob Powder, who arrived in US about 1730. Leonard's mother (Mary) died on the Voyage, so he had to be an immigrant, too. Family tradition states they were from France. The family may have lived in the Palatinate region for some time. During the wars of religion, many Huguenots moved to the Palatine to escape French Catholic rule. Many with French heritage, as well as German Protestants, left the Palantine during Louis XIV's oppression in that part of Germany, when he invaded beginning in 1688. These refugees are also referred to as Deutsch. So perhaps the Powders came from the same region as the Bohuns and Millers (who were indeed Deutsch).

Mrs. Nellie Whedon in her The German Bohne-Bohn-Boon-Boone Family book [available at the Historical Society in Carroll County, MD] says that, “The seat of the German Boone Family is said to have been in the Palatinate, Province of Pfalz (Old German Empire) near the village of Obermoschel, 20 or 25 miles southwest of the town Mainz, and on the banks of a small stream which empties into the Rhine due North.” She has proven conclusively, I think, by photostatic copy of the ships passengers: by a photostatic copy of the oath of allegiance of the Marlborough's Passengers, 1741-9-23. The original document is found on file with the Pennsylvania Historical Society at Harrisburg. That the following is correct is further evidenced by tax lists, deeds and wills of records in Frederick and Carrol Counties in Maryland and in Bedford, Franklin and Montgomery Counties in Virginia. see http://djsmith.us/boone.rtf

In any event, they eventually lived near each other in Maryland, and later many migrated to upper east Tennessee. Grandfather John Powder and Grandmother Rose (Jacob's parents) stayed in Europe. We think the name comes from Poitiers, France and earlier Pitou, Piton or Poiton (all derivations of the Roman name for the original celic natives), the pwah of Poitiers being transposed into the pahw of Powder or Pouder. Never-the less, it is equally likely that the name refers to an occupation or trade and not a location.

Jacob's brother (Leonard's uncle) was named John. He moved to Ohio, taking the Bible with family information back to 1598; however, it remains something of which I have had no access. Being a Methodist family once in Tennessee, one might believe that the members may have spent some time in England. Family legend (via Ohio sources) says that the family started from Liège (Belgium), which is north of the Palatinate region, and would also have had a German, as well as Dutch influence (the Pilgrims spent some time in that region, some marrying Protestants of Dutch heritage, too), in addition to the French. It was an area aligned with the Protestant portion of the Netherlands. “Grandmother Rose's” sister or daughter, supposedly, is Elizabeth {Powder} Bunyon, second wife (m. 1659) of John Bunyan (1628-1688) who wrote A Pilgrim's Progress from this World to that which is to Come, Delivered Under the Similitude of a Dream (circa 1675).

A Jacob Leonard Pouder died at Spinning Wheel, Maryland in 1776 of battle wounds. Records show him as an ensign in the Pennsylvania Militia. It looks to me that this was Leonard Pouder (senior's) son or perhaps nephew (therefore a brother or cousin to Abraham not his father). An age of 46 would be too old for a soldier with such a low officer rank, but not an unusual position for someone about 18 years old.

Pau -- Bayonne -- Orléans -- Bordeaux -- Nantes -- Angers -- Châtellerault & Châteauroux -- Troyes -- Île de Ré, La Roche-sur-Yon, LaRochelle, Rochefort, Saintes & Royan -- Tours -- Caen, Rouen & Rennes -- Amboise, Loches, Chinon et Louden

Colmar -- Current Newsletter

New: 03/09/08 and revised many times