Happy Thanksgiving (Thursday) to all my U.S. blogger friends and to those around the world!
We in the U.S. are indeed made up all of “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” and many have done very well for themselves (not quite so for my own family). While you who are outside of America may be able to point with pride to your five times removed grandfathers, we’ve been on a long quest to discover just who we are and where we came from. For many of us–that’s a mystery!
I started that search as a girl after my grandfather (Patrick J Rose aka Stanley McShane) passed away, for whom I’ve since published his manuscripts. It was after he was gone that I realized I knew nothing about his history, nor did my mother really, and the only hints to his origins were buried in his books. Unfortunately, they contain so many contradictions, it’s impossible to nail down exactly where he did originate and how he came to be in the United States. (However, I do remember his rich Irish brogue and the beautiful way he pronounced my name.) But I hit one wall after the other and gave up.
Now my son has taken up the torch and has found some amazing connections! First, I can say one of us may have come over on the original three ships–if not the Nina, Pinta, or Santa Maria, one very soon after and was then in both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War (some interesting history there as well). The grandmother I remember on my dad’s side was born on the Chippewa Reservation of the Cherokee Reservation of OK (Oklahoma) in Indian Territory. It was her husband, William (left), that is our link to early America.
The grandmother on my mother’s side was 100% Swedish (standing on the left), first generation to be born in America. Anders’ sons have been traced back to Sweden, the family living approximately six miles from the North Sea. She had beautiful red hair and along with my husband’s father’s red hair contributed to my grandson’s red hair.
Tangled with what we believe may originally have been German (and Swedish) are French, Irish and English.
We are a melting pot of many tribes, perhaps made stronger for it, but the wonder of it all is that we are here and celebrating our thanks today. Not just for our current blessings, but for all those brave souls who crossed the pond in unkindly conditions seeking a better life. We are truly blessed. Have you been on an ancestor quest? What delightful mysteries have you discovered?
©2018 V Williams