Monday, June 16, 2014

Article #296 Becoming an American

Did you become an American because of an ancestor’s decisions to come to this land? Carolyn Doughty of St. George relates the story of her family’s early immigration to America. My paternal grandfather left the family a hand written book of his genealogy. My father continued his father’s love of genealogy by continuing the search for our family’s roots. I was fortunate enough to have inherited both my father and grandfather’s notebooks. One of our ancestors Robert Cushman was the first of his family to immigrate to American in the early 17th century. He, along with others, came from England to Holland in search of religious freedom, and joined those brave souls on the Mayflower who made their way to a new land.

These early ancestors of mine were determined to have the right to worship as they wished, free from the control of King George. With the aid of Deacon John Carver, they raised money for the ships to take these Separatists as they called themselves to America. With great difficulty, they finally obtained a charter from the Virginia Company. They were blown off course and landed at Cape Cod now know as Provincetown. Where were they? What part of North America was this stretch of land? The Mayflower captain told them it was a great arm off the coast known as Cape Cod. The territory granted to them by the Virginia Company did not extent this far north. The Mayflower passengers were people who believed in the personal guidance of God, and so began the Plymouth Colony and helped settle this great land of America. Carolyn continues with her thoughts…I feel a great debt to my ancestors who were part of opening this land to all who wished to find freedom from oppression. I pray that it will always remain a country that was envisioned by those who went before us.

            Do you know the stories of how your ancestors came to live in the United States of America? Would love to have you share your ancestral backgrounds. Maybe you don’t know what motivated your family to come here? Perhaps it’s time you asked some of the older members of your family about it. If you are one of the older ones and don’t know of your family’s heritage, get busy. You could be the missing link in telling your descendents about their beginnings. NEXT TIME: Value of Citizenship 

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