Digging for Roots? I am the sum of all my ancestors, just as you are. We cannot escape what created us. Each choice they made created me. However as the old line goes: “You are what your parents [ancestors] made you, if you stay that way, it’s your own damn fault.”.
My earliest European ancestor to arrive in America showed up in 1670s/80s. The last to arrive showed up in 1772. On both sides of my family tree. Anyone coming after 1776 is a Johnny Come Lately and best be careful how they tread on immigration status. They are one. One fool said, Think what this country has done for you. My reply, “Fool, if it wasn’t for us, YOU would not be here.” Damn Ellis Island wannabe. We were here for 200 years before his ancestor came trucking over. If you want to argue about immigration? Everyone after 1780 should get the hades out. How does it feel when the shoe is put firmly back on your foot? Best remember to someone with 336 years of American blood, sweat and tears in their history, YOU are in the immigrant who needs to be kept out by a nice wall and you need to look more kindly on your other immigrant brothers.
The Earliest American Ancestor, I have, came over on some sort of land bridge. Or at least that’s what they claim. They were here a bit before the Europeans including the Vikings showed up to ruin the neighborhood. Their names are lost to time after 1740s. I have their “Christian” names but not their real ones.
You see Winn was a trapper. He came to my area before the first squatters ignored William Penn and came to “Indian land”. By the time they arrived, he had married a Native American and was living on a natural pathway through the mountains to my home valley. The gap the squatters crossed was named Winn’s Gap. When the Great Runaway occurred, he didn’t take his wife and children and go to Carlisle for safety, they faded back into her tribe who would protect them.
Most fled Europe for Religious reasons. I’m heavy on the Quaker on my Father’s side of the family. My Grandmother was a direct descendant of Saint Thomas More.
One came to American with his mother, Anne Stone Worley. She arrived with Caleb Pusey, her second husband in 1682. My ancestor, her first husband Henry Worley, died in Bedlam for refusing to attend the Church of England. You can find the house he built still standing in Philadelphia. William Penn, his friend, sent him as one of the 3 to prepare Pennsylvania for the Quakers to arrive. Henry Worley was a descendant of William De Warley
Yet another moved his family from the Alsace–Lorraine further into German and then to Switzerland in an attempt to avoid the 100-Year-War finally having his descendants flee to America to avoid religious persecution with the early waves of the Pennsylvania Dutch when Penn invited them over.
Should I go on? There are more. The traders who moved from Holland to German to become Canon Lawyers and Doctors and then had a descendant move to America as a Doctor and to found a town called Palmyra in Pennsylvania. So many more. None letting grass grow on their feet.
They fought in the Revolution. They fought in the War of 1812. They fought in the Civil War. They were America. Think what America has done for me? Fools but for my ancestors and their blood, none of you would be here. My ancestors WERE AMERICA.
I know who I am. I know what gifts they gave. I know why they died. In this I know who I am. I am America. And who are you?