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, December 28, 2011


The counties my ancestors lived in NY.
I can look at my family tree over and over and every time, I see something different. The more variant ways I take in the data- the list of names and dates and geographical locations- the more three-dimensional the tree in my brain becomes. I can see the migration trail that my ancestors took as if they are rippling across the top of a map, travelling from right to left, seldom back again. I can see them moving further to the ocean and then across and down. Until the last two generations, we hadn’t moved further west than Michigan. We are a season-loving people.
Maybe it’s the constant of the seasons changing that reminds me most of the fluidity of life. Everything always changes. The future is always in motion, always moving. I am not sure where life will take me. None of us are. Sometimes, the uncertainty of not knowing where I’m going is eased by the ability to reflect back on where I’ve been, and the reminder that, whatever the circumstance, I navigated through it to get to where I am.
I know where I come from. The people and places I come from. As I write this, I am sitting in my childhood home, celebrating the holidays with family I don’t get to see often enough. I watch my nieces and nephew and think about how much their lives have changed as they’ve grown. I remember what kinds of things played through my head at their ages. I remember at what skin my worldview was. I remember the events that shaped my perception and my life… and me. I take in their stories and how much their lives have shaped them into who they are, who they are becoming.
Where will they go? Where will their lives take them?
The earth is sleeping in this part of the world. And in her slumber I can feel the thick roots vibrating where the feet of my ancestors have travelled, toiled and trod. In the wintering of the world I open myself to the unknown path that lies ahead of me and reach out to touch those tendrils of ancestral memory.

In America…

The cities in Connecticut we lived.

CONNECTICUT… Fairfield Co: Stratford. Hartford Co: Hartford, Simsbury, Windsor. Litchfield Co: Bethlehem, Kent, Washington, Woodbury. Middlesex Co: Clinton. New Haven Co: Milford. Tolland Co: Tolland. Windham Co: Ashford, Windham, Woodstock.

FLORIDA… Pinellas Co: St. Petersburg. 

MASSACHUSETTS… Barnstable Co: Sandwich. Bristol Co: Taunton. Essex Co: Andover, Beverly, Lynn, Methuen, Salem, Salisbury. Franklin Co: Whately. Hampden Co: Brimfield, Monson. Hampshire Co: Northampton. Middlesex Co: Concord, Marlboro, Reading, Watertown, Woburn. Norfolk Co: Boston, Charleston, Dedham, Dorchester, Medfield, Sharon, Stoughton, Walpole. Suffolk Co: Roxbury.
The cities in Massachusetts my ancestors lived.

MICHIGAN… St Clair Co: Memphis, Port Huron, Riley.

NEW HAMPSHIRE… Grafton Co: Orford.

NEW JERSEY… Bergen Co: Hackensack, Paramus, Pemmerbogh.

NEW YORK… Cayuga Co: Auburn. Clinton Co: Clinton, Dannemora, Mooers. Columbia Co: Kinderhook. Dutchess Co: Dover, Nine Partners. Erie Co: Tonawanda. Fulton Co: Gloversville, Johnstown, Mayfield. Genessee Co: Alexander, Batavia. Greene Co: Cairo. Monroe Co: Clifton. Niagara Co: Barker, Beach Ridge, Cambria, Hartland, Lockport, Middleport, Newfane, Olcott, Pendleton, Royalton, Somerset, Wilson. Oneida Co: Vernon. Orleans Co: Eagle Harbor, Gaines. Oswego Co: Redfield. Steuben Co: Cohocton. Ulster Co: Hurley, Kingston. Old New York: Flatbush, New Amsterdam, New Utrecht.

VERMONT… Caledonia Co: Danville. Chittendon Co: Barre, Burlington, Charlotte.

And in other countries…

CANADA… Quebec: Chambly, Contrecouer, La Durantaye, Lacadie/ St Jean, LaPraire, Montreal, Providence, Quebec City, Saint-Laurent/ I’le D’orleans, Varennes. Nova Scotia: Louisburg, Cape Brenton.

Counties in England inhabited by ancestors. 

ENGLAND… County non-specific: Armounderness, Cambridge, Chester, Cranefield, Devonshire, Doncaster, Gloucester, Hertfordshire, Hunterdon, Lazenby, Lea Hall, Preston, Lidel, London, Northumberland, Sussex, Totteridge. Berkshire: Bray, Eaton Hastings, Sulham. Buckinghamshire: Bourne End, Little Missendon. Cambridgeshire: Chatteris, Needingworth, Wimpole. Cheshire: Barrow, Clifton, Doddington. Cumbria: Kendal, St Olaf. Derbyshire: Sawley. Devon: Plymouth, Salcombe Regis, Sidbury, Sidmouth, Stapleton. Dorset: Bridgeport, Cadle Hadden, Dorchester, Piddlehinton. Glouchestershire: Witcombe Magna. Hampshire: Winchester. Hertfordshire: Minsden. Ipswitch: St Mary’s Tower, St Nicholas. Kent: Dover, Faversham, Headcom, Northclay, Turnbridge. Lancashire: French Lea. Lincolnshire: Crowland. Lincolnshire North: Barton. Norfolk: Hemsby, Norwich, Ormesby, Scratsby. Northamptonshire: Cottingham, Daventry, Long Buckby. Nottinghamshire: Worksop. Oxfordshire: Buford, Mollington. Shropshire: Eyton, Eyton on the Waldmores, Little Withiford, Leighton, Moreton Corbet, Oswestry Castle, Upton Cresset. Somerset: Chaffcombe, Glastonbury. Staffordshire: Cresswell Manor, Ford Green. Suffolk: Beccles, Groton, Moulton. Waltshire: Wighill. Warwickshire: Warwick. Wiltshire: Marlborough, Salesbury. Yorkshire: Bedale, Bracewell, Brideshall, Carleton, East Riding, North Riding, Norton, Norton Conyers, Skelton, Skipwith, Wighill. Yorkshire North: Knaresborough Castle, Tadcaster. Yorkshire West: East Haddlesey, Kirkburton.
Isle of Jersey. Isle of Man.

FRANCE… Abbey of St Grestain, Aix La Chapelle, Argences (Caen, Bayeux), Beaumont, Bretagne, Castle of Ambrieres, Challe Mesnil, Clermont (Lemans, Maine), Cleuville, Estouteville, Falaise, Fecamp, La Carite-Sur-Loir (Nievre), Lens (Artois), Liseux, Notre-Dame (Rouen), Saye, St-Jean-de-Montaigue, St Jean Baptiste (Caen), Toulouse/Haute-Garonne, Valognes, Y/Somme/Picardie.

GERMANY… Hesse Darmstadt.

IRELAND… Bannockburn, Tyrone County.

NETHERLANDS… Amsterdam, Enigen, Hees, Wageningen.

NORWAY… Maer, Nord-Trondelag.

PALESTINE… Damietta.

SCOTLAND… Orkney Islands.

TURKEY… Nicea.

WALES… Aberffraw, Dendaethwy and Malltraeth in Anglesey, Glamorganshire, Powys.

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