Ancestral energy lives in the stars above us, the stones beneath us. Their memory gathers in oceans, rivers and seas. It hums its silent wisdom within the body of every tree.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

They Came Across the Ocean

The winter is coming,
The dark and snow, the grey and cold are coming.
We stand at a threshold with the last of autumn harvests.
We prepare a meal with our Plenty,
A feast of light and joy to feed our fires,
Warm our bellies and bolster us.

Look at all we have to sustain us
While the earth sleeps and rests.

After the flood this year, many families in our city had to struggle with not having enough, with not having shelter or heat, facing the reality of tainted water. We learned just how far the love of others can stretch and soothe emotional wounds. Giving thanks feels much more relevant this year and my house is getting ready to celebrate the bounty of our harvest, to have gratitude for our abundance. We have. We are blessed in many ways. We have more than enough to eat. We have a home with heat and water. We have our health and the love of family and friends. For all of that I have gratitude that overwhelms my heart with happiness. For all of that I am thankful.

I am thankful for my breath.
I am thankful for this body, for a body.
I am thankful for the blood in this body and those who gave life to give mine.

Even if that was all I had, it would be something. What about those who gave this blood to me? What about those who travelled to an unknown world with little more than their bones and breath? They travelled across the ocean to an unknown world. They came with no guarantee of homes waiting for them. They came with what they could carry. They came across the ocean with hope and promise as their wealthiest possessions. I know from my research that they came as hired men, soldiers and freemen. They came as young girls, wives and mothers. They were all farmers and healers and teachers. They had to be. They came across the ocean for freedom, for a chance.

I am,
that they were,
that they are,
that they will be.

They came from England, on my mother’s side…in 1629.
Robert Moulton and his wife Deborah of St. Olaf immigrated to Salem, MA in 1629 on the George Bonaventure, hired by the English Company to build ships in New England. Ann Wilson and Michael Sallows, as well as Abigail Downing and John Goode of Ipswitch, came to Salem early in the new world. Henry Birdsall of Norwich immigrated to Salem after the death of his wife Judith in 1632. Peter Wolfe emigrated from England to Beverly, MA. Jeremiah Gillett came from Chaffcombe to Dorchester, MA sometime soon after his older brothers came on the Mary & John in 1630.
Richard Walker emigrated from Marlborough, England to Lynn, Massachusetts as a soldier in 1633. Thomas Wheeler travelled from Bourne End in 1637. He arrived with 4 of his brothers and 2 of his sisters. Henry Cooke immigrated to America in 1638 and was married in Salem in 1639 at 23. John Smith was born in Hertfordshire and immigrated to Connecticut in 1639. Abigail Goode was born in London but married in 1640 in Salem. Richard Holbrook, born in Glastonbury, immigrated to MA where he married in 1648 at the age of 29. Deacon Henry Baldwin was married in Woburn, MA in 1649, having emigrated from Devonshire. Nathaniel Briscoe, Jr. was born in Cambridge and immigrated to Connecticut by 1649.
Nicholas La Groves landed at Salem, MA from the Isle of Jersey in England around 1668, when he was 22 years old, as a Huguenot refugee. Joseph Boots was born in England, and died in Royalton, NY. Ruth Ireland and Charles Evan Ruston, born in Doddington and Chatteris, respectively, immigrated to America in 1881. She was 19 and he was 33 and they were the last of my ancestors who immigrated to America.

They came from England, on my father’s side…in 1630.
Joanna Ford emigrated from Dorchester, England to Dorchester, MA, on board the Mary & John in 1630, along with Captain Roger Clapp, whom she married in 1633. He was born in Salcombe Regis and arrived on the ship with Joanna and her family. George Dyer of Dorchester was on board, as were Elizabeth Cooke and her husband Thomas Ford, of Bridgeport.
Mary and Robert Pond came to Dorchester from Suffolk. John Gay left Plymouth, England in 1630 for Watertown, MA at the age of 14. His wife immigrated to Watertown from Headcom, England in 1635 at the age of 22. Abigail Gilson of Faversham married John Eaton of Dover in 1630. She was 29 and widowed with children. He was 18. They immigrated to Massachusetts together in 1635.
Frances Dighton of Glouchester and Richard Williams of Glamorganshire, Wales, were married in 1634. Their first child, John, is listed as dying “at sea” in 1636, perhaps as they were crossing. Anne and Thomas Bird emigrated from England to Dorchester. Mary Dyer was in Dorchester by 1641, when she married Sergeant William Pond.

They came from the Netherlands…after 1640, by 1660.
My father’s maternal and paternal lines are thick with Dutch blood. Wilhelm Willemsson Janseen Dutcher emigrated from Einigen to New York after the birth of his son Jan in 1640. Jan Wilhelm De Duitscher emigrated from Enigen, Netherlands and was married in NY at the age of 19, in 1660. Joost Huybertszen Van der Linde, born in Wageningen, was in New York by 1661 for the birth of his daughter. Hendrickle Stephense Van Voorhees, one of my female ancestors, had immigrated from Hees to Hackensack, NJ by her fifteenth year, 1675, when she married Albert Terhune.

They came from France… to Canada and America…by 1647.
Francoise Fafard, born in Argences, Caen, Bayeux married Joseph Mathurin Lemonier, born in Clermont, Lemans, Maine, had both immigrated to Montreal, Canada by their marriage in 1647. She was 22 and he was 27, ancestors of my maternal grandfather. Francois Le Sueur came to America from Dieppe with his sister Jeanne in 1657. He was a Huguenot and a civil engineer who helped build New Haarlem. Isaac-Etienne Paquet dit Lavallee came to Canada from St. Jean de Montaigue as a soldier in LaMotte’s regiment in 1665.

They came from Poland… I mean Prussia… I mean Silesia… in 1662.
Albrecht Zabriski, my father’s maternal ancestor, immigrated from Austrian Silesia in 1662 to New Jersey when he was 24 years old.

They came from Scotland…in 1728.
David Calhoun, a maternal ancestor shows in America by the age of 27 in 1728 when he married in Connecticut.

They came from Ireland…in 1758.
All of the Irish immigrants belong to my mother’s maternal and paternal lines. Thomas Ridel, aka Riddle, was the first immigrant from Ireland, arriving in Monson, MA in 1758. Nancy Machet and John Berry were married in Ireland in 1795, travelling to the new world after. A later relative, Thomas Berry, was in America by the early 1800s. Mary Dowd and David Conners arrived together mid-century.

They came from Germany…in 1848.
Katherine Maria Schmeelk immigrated to America with her family in 1848 at the age of 13 from Hesse Darmstadt, Germany. Her future husband, Adam Art, also emigrated from the same city in Germany. In 1855, at the age of 17, John F. Pils also left Germany for the new world. All three German immigrants represent my mother’s maternal line.

They came from Canada…in 1850.
My mother’s paternal family is heavy with French and French-Canadian heritage. Albert Durant was 8 when he immigrated to America from Quebec in 1850. Rosella LaValley and her family, shepherded by her father Francois Xavier Lavalle, came down from Providence, Canada. She was 18 when she married Albert, 20, in Mooers, NY.

Peace to you and yours.
May you never be hungry.
May you know love.
May you know gratitude.

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