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, June 21, 2017

Summer Solstice, 581 Days After Near-Death By Fire, and Elsie's Birthday

Blessed Solstice everyone! My house smells like freshly made honey-butter bread and freshly cut strawberries. As the sun sets on the longest day we will eave a fairie offering outside to appease the fae folk. It's one of our traditions.

It is the first day of summer and the longest stretch of daylight we'll see for the year; roughly fifteen hours and fifteen minutes of light for New York. Even as we move into our warmest days the light is waning towards the longest night.

It's a hot one today, too, driving me mostly inside after a morning trip to the laundromat. It's been five hundred and eighty-one days since my accident and after too long in this heat, my insides feel poached. I am also extremely photo-sensitive.

So I am struggling to connect to this glorious holiday that I used to revel in. Today is the Summer Solstice. It is also the day my Great-Grandma Elsie was born. Happy birthday, Grandma-from-Florida! She was born in 1904. She was born one hundred and thirteen years ago. She died in 1994, when I was 17. She loved the summer. I think of her and I smile. It never fails. She is still with me.

Me and Elsie the first time we met.

Elsie and me the last time we saw each other.

Today on her birthday, I got a twinge to check again and there was a hint on her name! I have never been so excited to see a leaf pop up! It brought up a new document that was scanned in- her marriage record to my Great-Grandpa Harold!

They were married August 16, 1924. I knew that already. It happens to be my birthday. I was born on their anniversary, the first one without my Great-Grandpa. He died the year before I was born.

It lists her place of birth as Potsdam NY, which we didn't know. The witnesses were Edwin Kinyon (likely Kenyon) and Pearl Riddle. It also lists her mother- the one whose parents I have been searching for- as Louise Burnett. We previously had Emma Louise Burnah (we know she went by Louise day-to-day). It feels like a present! I now have another lead in the search for more information on Elsie's parentage.

Listen to your gut! Allow your searches to be as intuitive as it is document-driven.

Tonight my house will rejoice in the healthy growth of our garden thanks to the mix of hot and stormy days leading into the beginning of summer. That will be my balm. I will toast to Elsie and thank her for all the love she gave me during the living days she was with me, as well as the days she has been part of my life since her death.

Blessed Solstice!
A screen-capture of the marriage record.

Harold and Elsie the day of their wedding, August 16, 1924.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

How I Keep the Dead Alive

Snuggling with Luna the day before she passed.
I used to go to the local zoo when they housed Bison. I have a special affinity for the buffalo and would sit with them, sharing the day. I spent time telling them stories about their ancestors. I told them about the giant aurochs and the time of the mammoths.

"Your ancestors were giants," I whispered.

When it is quiet at night and my tiny tuxedo cat Mara is curled in my lap, I tell her stories of the furry sisters she never knew. I tell her about Luna's moth hunting skills and how she once drained milk out of a cup without knocking it over or off the side table. I tell her about how Bella had vision problems and lived under the bed for eight years. I tell her about how Bella concussed herself twice slamming head-first into furniture. I tell her how Zami was kinder before her two younger sisters died. I tell Mara that Zami, known at 22 as Crazy Grams, would miss her if she died first.

And then we talk about how she's going to live a very long life.

But no one lives forever. I have a list of loved loves lost to time, some recently inked in. And we miss them forever. We ever get over the loss. We're not meant to. We miss them forever. It just hurts less as time passes. We add more to our life stories and some experiences begin to fill in the cracks.

We become repaired, healing things, more beautiful for the new joys.

When I am feeling insecure I talk out loud to my Great-Grandma Elsie. She used to make sure I knew that I was fine just the way I was. In fact she loved me for it. She would try to explain why people treated me the way they did. She gave me their perspective while affirming that I had a right to be hurt. So I talk to her and I smell her in the room and I feel her sitting beside me.

When I am lost I talk to my Grandpa Dick. He was beloved, the only Grandpa present in my life. He had a way of telling me how reality was while not making me feel wrong. He could help me break down a situation and logically show me where I misunderstood. And I would know I had to apologize, and he would squeeze my hand with pride. And then he would tell me he was sorry I had felt hurt. And he would set his mouth and look at me and I always felt like he really understood.

I was in the room when he died. I felt him leave. But I talk to him still. I ask him for guidance, for help in knowing what the right direction is... and I smell the inside of his Cadillac and I feel like no matter what choice I make, he's along for the ride with me. I'm not alone.

I share the stories of my beloveds. It's how I keep the dead alive.
Grandpa Dick and me during  family generational photo, around '87.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Every morning the news brings me another story of some woman being harassed for wearing a hijab. It sickens me and saddens my heart. And now those stories are getting brasher. They are being discriminated against. People are refusing to service them. People are snatching their hijabs off their heads. That is akin to stripping them naked.

I don't understand.

At it's core, the hijab is a head scarf. It  covers the hair. It is a symbol of modesty. That is all.

Rather than preach religious tolerance, I thought I'd post photos of the other head scarves and wraps that religions and cultures have worn and still wear. They each have their own stories of discrimination.

Can't we just skip that step this time?

Remember that if you wish your beliefs and practices to be tolerated, you must extend the same courtesy to others. I'm talking about beliefs that do not interfere with someone else's right to life. Beliefs do not harm. Actions harm.

Be kind. Be open. Be tolerant.

[All photos used for illumination's sake are stock photos for public use.]

They're not wearing head scarves, but they are wearing wigs over their hair as a covering.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Have Gratitude for the Day

I stood in the warm spring sunshine of the morning, cleaning out the garbage pail. The most current tenants across the way played something they probably called music on their phone at a volume that rivaled any boom box of my youth. Another neighbor walks her dogs, spilling gossip and unrealized hate from behind a white face mask. The kitty-corner renters, an elderly mother and daughter argue over whose turn it is to run to the gas station for cigarettes. And yet another neighbor smiles and me and waves good morning.

Her smile is enough to make me blind to the garbage littering the street. This is where I live. This is my life.

And it is good. It is heartfelt. It is honest. And that is enough to make me smile.

My thoughts turn to spring planting and the coming summer months and scheduling and before I know it, I am already mapping out October again. And I have to stop myself. And turn my face to the sun. It’s a balm, even though my eyes are hidden behind wrap-around glasses.

I let myself think of summer. I have to prepare myself for the coming days of compression garments and heat. I am still recovering and the road I am on is long. But there is sweetness in the distant promise of fresh strawberries. The bright red berry pops into my head and I think of my Great-Grandma Elsie, and the summers she spent with us.

Strawberries were a delight for her.

And in that moment, she is standing with me, face to the sun, in the small patch of yard in front of the apartment we rent. I was taller than her when she died. A lot of people were taller than her. But I see her ghostlight shimmering below my chin and I can feel Elsie take my hand. Even in death hers is always cool to the touch. She squeezes gently with all of the wisdom of her old age.

This time is a gift. Enjoy each moment. Have gratitude for the day. For right now. For what you have. For where you are. Count your blessings.

You were always one of mine.  

I totally cried in my front yard, unabashedly. She died when I was seventeen and my heart still yearns for her. Elsie loved summer. And I loved Elsie.

I turn my face to the sun, grateful for its heat and the warming winds. I know in my bones that those who came before me had the same moment of gratitude, over and over each spring. They were all New Englanders. We are connected in this gratitude. It transcends time within me.

And surely every creature who has survived a darkness, has that moment of knowing the worst of it has passed and a reprieve has come. And they turn themselves to the light.

Have gratitude for the day. For right now. For what you have. For where you are. Count your blessings.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Spring Equinox Cleaning

Equinox is the mid-point between the longest night of the year and the longest day. We already feel the effects of the lengthening days but we can finally bask in the warmth of the light. We’re itching to throw the doors and windows open and air out our living spaces. We’re ready to shake out the cobwebs and clear out the dust.
In our lives we are constantly shedding skins and starting over. Shedding skins and reinventing ourselves. Shedding skins and letting go of what is no longer needed. I’ve been living that through my recovery.
I’ve found it extremely helpful to take stock of the layers of things I surround myself with, to see what I no longer need. Every spring equinox I tackle a room or two, going through my possessions and furnishings, culling what has gone unused or forgotten. It invariably parallels as a spring cleaning of my emotional house as I evaluate my attachments to the items I consider letting go of.
Two years ago, it was my office, my nest. Included in that room was the dreaded storage closet of doom. It was full of boxes that hadn’t seen the light of day in over a decade. I re-organized. I put hands on everything. I stopped to read through old letters and cards from specific places of my life, which revived memories I had previously left to whisper and rest.
I am at a crossroad, roughly halfway through the years I expect to live. Sorting through that closet, my life unfolded behind me, mementos of everywhere I have been and everyone I have loved. And I felt the firmament of those choices beneath me.
I smiled joyfully through most of it, as the memories rippled through me. What a treasure it was to remember, in my body, the friendship and love of such innocent times. It helped buoy the box of painful things that had been tucked away. But those memories didn’t sting so badly this time. Even that box held lessons for wiser eyes, ways to not repeat those mistakes. I read and I culled, and as I culled, I re-organized.
I found the hole the mice were using to get in and sealed it. I found the alien spider’s secret corner of egg sacks. I found a box of crafts and stories I thought had been lost. And I found the last card my Grandpa gave me before he died. Which made me pause again… He’s been gone 13 years and I find it hard to believe so much of my life has been lived without him, when he is such a firm part of my identity as a grown-up.
I still have so much life left to come. I will never stop missing him. It wasn’t just spring cleaning and de-cluttering. It was time travelling. I walked through who I was and the choices I have made, making more decisions about what to hold onto and what to let go.
This year I have been sorting through my clothes. I have a drawer full of fun and kooky socks I can’t wear because the elastic cuts into my scar tissue pretty bad still. I’m packing up my favorites for a couple of years, in case I can wear them again. I’m going through and taking out the clothes made of synthetic fibers that irritate my new skin. I’m getting rid of the shorts I am unlikely to wear for at least five years. I am accepting the limitations of this new body. I am grateful for this new body.
Shedding skins is a journey of healing.

I don’t regret the path I took to get here. I like who I am. I don’t regret the obstacles I have pushed through, climbed over, or swam under to get to today. I like where I am.

[Updated from “Spring Equinox Cleaning” originally published March 19, 2014.]

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Mothers That Bore Me

Whitcher sisters Ellen, Harriet, Emma*, & Frances.
Across the country today, women are standing up and stepping forward and being seen. In my heart I am thinking of the women who paved the way for me to be here, walking this earth and living in this beautiful world, fighting to be seen as a person wearing female skin. My thoughts are with the generations that came before me. My heart lives in the daughters and son of my sister and brother, who will inherit this world after me.

The First Generation above me is my mother, still living. She sacrificed a lot to give us a childhood free of worry, no matter what circumstances we found ourselves in. She’s the reason I believe in Santa Claus still. She always encouraged me to dream big. She is a deep well of conversations and dreaming, and she inspires me constantly in the ways she manifests her own dreams into action and gives them life. She instilled in me that the worst thing that can happen is you fail and have to try again, but if you never try, you’ll never win. She’s one of my closest friends and our summer time visits sustain me.

My mother’s mother is still living and my father’s stepmother is still living. Both women have had long, often difficult lives, and have courageously battled cancer. I have seen such bravery and quiet strength in the women I have known, especially my Great-Grandma Elsie. She was a guiding force for me as a child and she continues to be one for me through my dreams. I have to believe that spirit is embodied in some way in the women I never met. This is how I honor them.

Those Who Have Gone Before Me

Second Generation
maternal father’s line
Donna MacDonald (1938-2001) age 62
paternal mother’s line
Ruth Emma Ruston (1916-1959) age 42

Third Generation
maternal mother’s line
Margaret Loretta Burke (1899-1938) age 35
maternal father’s line
Elsie Elizabeth Durant (1904-1994) age 89
paternal mother’s line
Minnie Estelle Wicker (1890-1964) age 73
paternal father’s line
Hattie Eva Smith (1882-1969) age 86

Fourth Generation
maternal mother’s line
Eliza Conners (b.1866)
Katherine S. Pils (1871-1946) age 74
maternal father’s line
Emma Louise Burnah (1869-1939) age 69
Frances Gillette (1877-1963) age 85
paternal mother’s line
Emma Angeline Whitcher (1845-1929) age 83 [*photo above]
Ruth Ireland (1861-1940) age 78
paternal father’s line
Hattie Eva Dutcher (1857-1882) age 24 in childbirth
Theresa Cordelia Tenney (1850-1930) age 79

Fifth Generation
maternal mother’s line
Ellen unknown (b.1836)
Mary Dowd (b.1834)
Mary Burzee
Katherine Maria Schmeelk (d.1901) –or- Ana Catherine Blume (1833-1901) age 68
maternal father’s line
Jane Berry (1841-1901) age 59
Rosella LaValley (1843-1921) age 77
Sarah Clickner (1830-1876) age 45
paternal mother’s line
Ordelia De Lozier (1810-1888) age 77
Cynthia Lusk (1819-1888) age 68
Phoebe Lenton (1826-1887) age 60
Anna Richardson (b.1822)
paternal father’s line
Eliza Marsh Bird (1837-1926) age 88
Sophia Sears (1829-1909) age 79
Malvina H. Targee (1829-1852) age 23
Hannah Ann Treadwell (1817-1884) age 66

Sixth Generation
maternal mother’s line
Wilhemenia Wernersbach (b.1798 GER-US)
Ann unknown
Betsey unknown
maternal father’s line
Esther LaLonde (1811 PQ-1894 US) age 83
Rosella LaRoche (1805-1871) age 65
Elizabeth Ann Hill (1825-1899) age 73
Mary Ann Boots (1825-1899) age 73
Mary Ann Hayner (b.1793)
Abigail Chaffee (d.1829)
paternal mother’s line
Lucy Raymond (1789-1874) age 84 [**photo below]
Dorcas Kittredge (1774-1828) age 53
Rebecca unknown
Chloe Morgan (1792-1850) age 58
Mary Wilson (b.1785)
Jane Brooks (b.1794)
paternal father’s line
Irene Pond Marsh (b.1803)
Cynthia Ann Feagles (1814-1890) age 75
Clarissa DeBois (1806-1873) age 67
Betsey unknown
Ellen S. unknown
Esther unknown
Fermicy ‘Fanny’ Peters (1798-1875) age 77
Lucy Gould (1777-1840) age 62

Seventh Generation
maternal father’s line
Marie Amable Langevin (1795-1840) age 44
Gertrude Dixon (1783-1855) age 71
Harriet Gower (1806-1886) age 80
Abigail Hannah (b.1780)
Elizabeth Weager (d.1844)
Engle ‘Angelica’ Coonradt (1746-1833) age 87
Deborah unknown
Mary/Polly Thomas (b.1760)
paternal mother’s line
Lucy Richmond (1755-1841) age 86
Eleanor Erkells (1767-1789) age 22
Mary ‘Molly’ Bailey (1730-1815) age 85
Elizabeth Dow (1735-1776) age 41
Mary A. ‘Polly’ unknown (1795-1895) age 100
Susannah Parker (1750-1825) age 75
Elizabeth Wright (b.1748)
paternal father’s line
Mary ‘Polly’ Coleman
Jane “Jennie” Palmer (1762-1815) age 52
Abigail Andrews (b.1776)
Abigail Darby (1765-1837) age 72
Delilah unknown
Anne Arnold (1752-1833) age 81
Hepsibah Skiff (1733-1800) age 66

Eighth Generation
maternal father’s line
Amable DuClos (1766-1795) age 29
Marie Agathe Charland (1751-1800) age 48
Nancy Machet (1767-1844) age 76
Margaret Anthony (1773-1819) age 46
Mary Glyde (1760-1812) age 52
Mary Calhoun (1732-1798) age 65
Julianna Merchant
Rhoda Cady (1739-1799) age 60
Rebekah Moulton (b.1742)
paternal mother’s line
Hannah Caswell (1729-1756) age 27
Elizabeth Blackmer (1716-1765) age 49
Fytje Sophia Zabriski (b.1707)
Sarah Fowle (1696-1739) age 43
Martha Hanniford (b.1721)
Jemima Davis (1706-1753) age 47
Jane Pearson (1724-1811) age 87
Abiah Washburn (1726-1812) age 86
Elizabeth unknown
Elizabeth Porter (b.1715)
paternal father’s line
Silence/Celenia Lyon (1755-1821) age 65
Jemima VanDeusen (1744-1831) age 87
Helena “Lina” Eleanor Van Deusen (1713-1769) age 55
Susannah Townsend (1740-1782) age 42
Lucretia Cleveland (1736-1824) age 88
Mary Bingham (1734-1821) age 87
Tabitha Luther (d.1746)
Elizabeth Brooks (1731-1815) age 84
Elizabeth Hatch (1697-1743) age 46
Elizabeth Parker (1700-1739) age 38

Ninth Generation
maternal father’s line
Marie Agathe Bourgault (b.1745)
Marie Madeleine Coulon (1732-1799) age 66
Katherine Coe (1700-1732) age 31
Margaret unknown
Mercy Smith (1720-1793) age 72
Abigail Lee (1703-1782) age 79
Jemima Chadwick (1686-1759) age 73
Rebekah Walker (1717-1802) age 84
paternal mother’s line
Elizabeth Barney (1691-1757) age 66
Mehitable Deane (1697-1745) age 48
Mary Mercy Brickett (1698-1725) age 27
Deborah Balch (1693-1717) age 24
Antje Terhune (1681-1758) age 77
Tryntie Catherine Slote (1671-1708) age 36
Susanna Blaney (1673-1711) age 38
Hannah French (1664-1755) age 91
Jemima Eastman (1677-1760) age 83
Mary Hoyt (1664-1723) age 59
Jane P. Noyes (1704-1773) age 69
Sarah Lillie (1702-1775) age 73
Hannah Johnson (1694-1780) age 86
Rebekah unknown
Sarah unknown
paternal father’s line
Lydia Perry (1729-1763) age 33
Lena Vosburgh (b.1714)
Rachel Fowler (1702-1780) age 78
Jacomyntje VanSchoonhoven (1678-1777) age 79
Jannetje Hendrickse Bondt (1677-1721) age 44
Huldah Hopkins (d.1731)
Desire Tobey (1707-1781) age 74
Dorothy/Deborah Hyde (1702-1769) age 67
Elizabeth Spaulding (1698-1770) age 72
Ruth Post (1711-1796) age 85
Abigail Wood (1700-1776) age 76
Ann Coggeshall (1699-1726) age 25
Mary Bateman (1696-1726) age 22
Priscilla Bateman (1687-1730) age 43
Amy Allen (1663-1709) age 46
Hepsibah Codman (1658-1696) age 38
Thankful Hemingway (1668-1736) age 68
Lydia Gay (1679-1748) age 68

I am that they were.
**Lucy Richmond, married DeLozier, my 4x great-grandma and one of the oldest generational photos we have.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Remembering Luna

This is a post I first published March 2, 2011, about the grief I felt over the loss of our middle cat Luna. Her death was the impetus for me to star my ancestor blog. She was my spiritual companion on the physical world and she guides me in the spirit one still.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how I almost died last year and what that means to me. I’ve been thinking about it while I’ve been working on my book over the experience of it. I found my thoughts drifting to grief, and as Luna’s anniversary is near, she came into my heart. I wanted to update my thoughts on the grief of her loss. Here’s the quick of it.
I didn’t realize it had been seven years. In two years, we will have lived without her as long as we lived with her. And that hurt. It stung me. It was a dagger in my chest. It hasn’t been that long. It’s impossible. But it’s true.
Our fourth cat Mara never knew her. Bella, the baby, was still our under-the-bed monster. Bella didn’t bloom and come into herself until after Luna died. And now Bella is gone. So it must be that long.

It still hurts.

What I said in 2011:
A Year Ago
Two days from now will mark a year to the day that we took our nine year-old cat to the emergency vet. She was listless, having difficulty breathing and hadn’t been eating or drinking. In three days she had lost enough weight to appear suddenly skeletal. At the vet she perched like a rabbit on the floor between us while we waited for test results, so normal that we thought we worried for nothing. Two hours and a drive across town later, she came back from an x-ray in serious distress. I stared at the abstract art they were calling the x-ray film, her body obscured by a black mass where intestine and stomach should have been. I marveled at the sheer size of the darkness that swam towards the boundaries of her tiny body.
I wish, in retrospect, that I could have carved time out of bedrock and stilled her pain for a few moments more so we could have said a proper goodbye. She was audibly gasping and her tongue was lolling out. The earth mother in me who is wiser than my heart knew what we had to do and my partner and I were in agreement. It took a moment. I held her head and her gaze in between my hands. I told her she was the best girl ever and that we loved her so very much with as much stability as I could muster. My partner cradled her body. In less than three seconds she was gone. It was the hardest moment of my life. But it was the most decisive. It wasn’t about me. It wasn’t about us.
We gifted Luna death. The separation of the spirit from the body is one of the hardest Mysteries for humans to work through and the way our society distances us from death leaves us little tools to help with the working of it.
Luna was the first Household Loss I have ever experienced- the kind of loss that affected and threw hiccups into my day-to-day routine. I didn’t realize until after she passed how much she spent my whole day moving through the house with me, talking to me, sleeping on me, so much so that my skin holds memories of her the way my heart does. There were hundreds of new firsts I was unprepared for, like the first time we didn’t fill her food bowl, the first time Luna didn’t come running for treats, the first holiday without her, the first of every night she has not slept curled against or on me… The first time we called her name out because we forgot she was dead.
We allowed ourselves to grieve when we were sad and to cry when we felt like we would break from the loss of her. By giving into those moments and not trying to repress them because maybe it wasn’t a good moment or might make someone else uncomfortable, they passed quickly and offered us moments of reprieve. We took turns helping the other two cats through their own grieving, walking with the baby while she wandered the house checking all of the places where Luna used to sleep. My animal grief spoke the same language as their animal grief and we were bonded in the loss, stronger than before.
I’ve had dreams of holding her and feeling her weight against me and being able to recall perfectly the sound of her purr and the way she used to wrap her paw around my index finger like a baby- and not let go of it. And then I wake to morning, reaching for her, and then I remember all over again.
I have seen her running in the house when the other cats were sleeping beside me. I have felt her crawl into my lap and settle down only there is no cat there. I cannot say if it is her spirit or if it is the energy current and echo of a pattern she had established within our home, or both. Spirit visitations can be cruel when they remind you that you can never touch them again. Not the way you used to, skin against skin. And yet, the gifts she gave us in her life have not been diminished in the grieving.
We are all animals. She was our family. Luna was my first experience in the joy, love and fear of being responsible for a defenseless living being. I discovered much of myself in raising her and accepting the bits of behavior that were her way of exploring the world, and not mine to control.

Missing Luna
We go on the best we can. We move forward and keep our hearts open. I will set her ashes out and light the ancestor shrine on her death day. I will set her food bowl out on the altar with her favorite treats and toys inside it. I will write down all the stories I remember about her in the journal I have been keeping throughout the year. I will take a moment to reflect on the changes in our lives since she died, without judgment or preference, and I will acknowledge the gratitude(s) this year has brought me. I will cry if I feel like crying and I will laugh because she gave me such great joy.

She worked us from the start, this shy, scared, trembling kitten who popped out of the cardboard carrier like a demon seed. As a kitten, she was a bloody hellion who dug up the chicks and hens from Sicily every day. She chewed on all the electrical cords and liked to hold her catnip mice under in the water bowl. 
I found her curled up sleeping in my closet one day, totally cute, just before realizing she had chewed all of the buttons she could reach off of all of my shirts. One time, she somehow drained a tall skinny glass of milk dry without knocking it over, disturbing the table around it or spilling a drop. And yet, she always ran through a doorway at the same moment I was and I stepped on her tail a bajillion times. Her totem animal was a Jackalope.
She was the first of the cats to catch a mouse and she could leap off the back of the chair and catch moths in mid-air. Apparently, moth-wing dust was a special delicacy. She liked to bathe in the winter mornings in the fishbowl of warm water we kept on the grate for moisture. She slept curled in a ball behind my knees under the covers. If I said no to something she wanted she would sass at me with this staccato back-talk and I loved her for it. Her favorite two toys were this little gingham fabric mouse and a pink bouncy ball with a rainbow around the middle.
She ate through my plastic bag of valerian before I understood it was like heroin to some cats. I found her rolling in it in my office, her eyes glazed over. Luna always helped me sew by holding down the pattern pieces for me. She hated the wood floors and dreamt of a house lined with wall-to-wall sleeping bags. She always knew when I needed a break from work and would come tell me so. She sat with me through all my meditations and often appeared walking beside me in them. She was afraid of ants and plastic bags. In the winter time, she liked to sleep behind the bathroom door, where the v-shape trapped the heat in. When she was really mad at me she’d cuff me along the jaw with her cupped paw, no claws, and then run away out of reach- boy did she have a mean hook.
We have little prisms hanging in the windows and Luna used to run back and forth over the bed chasing the little rainbows. When I think of her now, even though there is still sadness at the loss of her physical presence, I see her chasing flashing prisms across the quilt and I know she loved us as much as we loved her and that she was happy, and the pain of loss is well worth the price of the time we shared together.

Back to the present:

It hurts to read that again. We have lost two fur babies, two members of our familial pack. But they live on in the memories of this house. I wonder if we will carry them with us when we eventually move. Will it be hard to leave those memories behind? Will I find the strength to let them go? Will I always feel them with me?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

They Came Across the Ocean, My Immigrant Ancestors

I am an English mutt. But don’t let the fact that they kept diligent records fool you. For as many names as you see here, there were so many more lines I could not trace out of America- I don’t have the international access to records on Ancestry. I am an equal opportunity mutt, mostly English and French and Dutch and Irish and German and Scottish.
Who are the people that gave this blood to me? The ones 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 were what 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.

I did a meditation this week where I copied all of their names and life information down into a notebook, and then typed it into the computer. It was an accidental meditation. It started as a necessity. But those names are etched into my skin memory.
I offer you the 261 names of my known immigrant ancestors. When I think about all of these names and how they belonged to people who lived and worked and loved and died, it is overwhelming. With the loss of just one of them, I would not be here. I call on them for strength in hard times.
I am Sarah Lyn,
Daughter of Margaret,
Daughter of Patricia,
Daughter of Margaret Loretta,
Daughter of Eliza,
Daughter of Mary, an immigrant from Ireland.

These are the names of those who immigrated before me, all crossing the Atlantic Ocean by boat:

My paternal grandfather’s line…
  • [8x] James Skiffe (1610 Chelsea, London ENG – 1687 Sandwich, Barnstable MA) & Mary Margaret Reeves (1616 Chelsea, London ENG – 1673 Sandwich, Barnstable MA)
  • [8x] Jonathan Hatch (1625 Sandwich, Kent ENG – 1710 Falmouth, Barnstable MA)
  • [8x] Jan Willemszen de Duitscher (~1642 Einigen, Brabant NETH – 1689 Marbletown, Ulster NY)
  • [8x] Guert Hendrickse VanSchoonhoven (~1634 Schoonhoven NETH – 1702 Halve Mann, Ulster NY)
  • [9x] John Eaton (1611 Dover, Kent ENG - 1658 Dedham, Norfolk MA) & Abigail Gilson (1600 Faversham, Kent ENG – 1658 Dedham, Norfolk MA); they came to America in 1635.
  • [9x] John Gay (born before 1612 Ashford, Kent ENG – 1687 Dedham, Norfolk MA) & Joanna Borden (born before 1612 Ashford, Kent ENG – 1691 Dedham, Norfolk MA); John crossed from Plymouth, England to Watertown, Massachusetts in 1630 at the age of 14. Joanna arrived at Watertown, Massachusetts in 1635.
  • [9x] John B. Starr (1626 Ashford, Kent ENG – 1711 Boston, Suffolk MA) & Martha Bunker (1627 Odell, Bedfordshire ENG – 1703 Boston, Suffolk MA); she immigrated in 1634 with her parents.
  • [9x] Robert Parker (1602 St. Edmunds, Suffolk ENG – 1685 Cambridge, Middlesex MA) & Judith Bugbee (1602 ENG – 1682 Cambridge, Middlesex MA)
  • [9x] Thomas Hatch (~1598 ENG – before 1661 Yarmouth, Barnstable MA) & Grace <unknown> (~1608 WALES – ~1668 Eastham, Barnstable MA)
  • [9x] Henry Rowley (1598 Parham, London ENG – 1673 Falmouth, Barnstable MA) & Sarah Palmer (1609 Parham, London ENG – before 1633 Falmouth, Barnstable MA); he immigrated in 1632.
  • [9x] Samuel Allen (1596 Braintree, Essex ENG – 1669 Braintree, Norfolk MA)
  • [9x] Sarah Tracy (1624 Holland, NETH – 1708 Duxbury, Plymouth MA)
  • [9x] Edward Hazen (1614 Cadney, Lincolnshire ENG – 1683 Rowley, Essex MA) & Hannah Grant (1631 Cottingham, Yorkshire ENG – 1715 Haverhill, Essex MA); he immigrated in 1647.
  • [9x] Thomas Crosby (1635 Spaulding Moor, Yorkshire ENG – 1702 Boston, Suffolk MA) & Sarah Ffytche / Fitch (1631 Bocking, Essex ENG – 1719 Fairfield, Fairfield CT)
  • [9x] Wilhelm Jansen de Duitscher (1615 Einigen, Brabant NETH – 1673 Kingston, Ulster NY)
  • [9x] Cornelis Leenderts (1615 Einigen, Brabant NETH – 1666 Long Island, Queens NY)
  • [9x] Abraham Pietersen VanDeursen (1607 Holland, Noord-Brabant NETH – 1678 Albany NY) & Tryntje Melchoirs (1611 Groningen, Groningen NETH – 1678 NY, NY)
  • [10x] William Gilson (1572 Freeing, Kent ENG – 1639 Scituate, Plymouth MA) & Hanah Tower (1577 Faversham, Kent ENG – 1649 Scituate, Plymouth MA)
  • [10x] Comfort Starr (1589 Cranbrook, Kent ENG – 1659 Boston, Suffolk MA) & Elizabeth Mitchell (1590 ENG – 1658 Boston, Suffolk MA)
  • [10x] George Bunker (1600 Bengeo, Hertfordshire ENG – 1664 Malden, Middlesex MA) & Judith Major (1604 Odell, Bedfordshire ENG – 1646 Charlestown, Suffolk MA); they immigrated in 1634 with their daughter Martha.
  • [10x] William Palmer (1587 Parham, London ENG – 1637 Duxbury, Plymouth MA) & Frances Blossom (1591 Parham, London ENG – 1635 Duxbury, Plymouth MA)
  • [10x] Benedict Arnold, Sr. (1615 Ilchester, Somerset ENG – 1678 RI) & Damaris Westcott (1621 ENG – after 1678 RI); he immigrated in 1635 at age 19 to Hingham MA. At the time of his death he was the Governor of Rhode Island. His son is the more famously known as a traitor of the Revolutionary War. So much so that his name became a synonym for it- my 9x great-uncle.
  • [10x] Thomas Lawton (1614 Bedfordshire ENG – 1681 Portsmouth, Newport RI) & Elizabeth Salisbury (ENG – 1654 RI)
  • [10x] Thomas Tenney (1615 Great Limber, Lincolnshire ENG – 1700 Rowley, Essex MA) & Ann Mighill (~1618 Rowley, Yorkshire ENG – 1657 Rowley, Essex MA); he immigrated in 1638.
  • [10x] John Boynton (1614 Knapton, Wintringham, Yorkshire ENG – 1669 Rowley, Essex MA)
  • [10x] Jonathan Hyde (1626 London ENG – 1711 Newton, Middlesex MA) & Mary French (1632 ENG – 1672 Newton, Middlesex MA)
  • [10x] James Kidder (1626 East Grinstead, Sussex ENG – 1676 Billerica, Middlesex MA)
  • [10x] Richard Sears (1590 Amsterdam NETH – 1696 Yarmouth, Barnstable MA) & Dorothy Jones (1603 Dinder, Somerset ENG – 1677 Yarmouth, Barnstable MA)
  • [10x] Thomas Bird (1613 ENG – 1667 Dorchester, Boston MA) & Anne <unknown> (1617 ENG – 1673 Dorchester, Boston MA)
  • [10x] Richard Williams (1606 Magna Witcombe ENG – 1662 Taunton, Bristol MA) & Frances Dighton (1611 Gloucester, Gloucestershire ENG – 1703 Taunton, Bristol MA); they immigrated in 1636, and lost their first son at sea.
  • [10x] Capt. Roger Clapp (1609 Salcombe Regis, Devon ENG – 1691 Boston, Suffolk MA) & Joanna/Joan Ford (1617 Dorchester, Dorset ENG – 1695 Boston, Suffolk MA); they immigrated in 1630 on the Mary & John.
  • [10x] Mary Dyer (1620 ENG – 1710 Dorchester, Boston MA); she immigrated in 1630 on the Mary & John.
  • [10x] Simon Crosby (1608 Holme-on-Spaulding-Moor, Yorkshire ENG – 1639 Cambridge, Middlesex MA) & Ann Brigham (1607 Holme-Upon-Spalding-Moor, Yorkshire ENG – 1672 Quincy, Norfolk MA)
  • [11x] Thomas Mighill (1575 York, Yorkshire ENG – 1654 Rowley, Essex MA) & Ellen <unknown> (1578 York, Yorkshire ENG – 1640 Rowley, Essex MA)
  • [11x] Elizabeth Jackson-Boynton (1581 Wintringham, Yorkshire ENG – 1651 Salisbury, Essex MA)
  • [11x] Elizabeth Jackson (1581 Wintringham, Yorkshire ENG – 1651 Salisbury, Essex MA)
  • [11x] Joseph Bell/Pell (1599 ENG – 1650 Boston, Suffolk MA) & Elizabeth James Wright (1606 Hareby, Lincolnshire ENG – 1643 Boston, Suffolk MA)
  • [11x] Francis Moore (1592 Maldon, Essex ENG – 1671 Newbury, Essex MA)
  • [11x] Thomas Ford (1589 Bridport, Dorset ENG – 1676 Northampton, Hampshire MA) & Elizabeth Chard Cooke (1589 Bridport, Dorset ENG – 1643 Windsor, Hartford CT); they immigrated in 1630 on the Mary & John.
  • [11x] Robert Pond (1597 Groton, Suffolk ENG – 1637 Dorchester, Boston MA) & Mary <unknown> (1596 Suffolk ENG – 1637 Dorchester, Boston MA)
  • [11x] George Dyer (1579 Dorcester, Dorset ENG – 1672 Dorchester, Boston MA) & Elizabeth Capen (1580 Dorcester, Dorset ENG – before 1636 MA); he and his wife immigrated in 1630 on the Mary & John. George was employed as a weaver.
  • [11x] Edward Wood (1598 Norwich, Norfolk ENG – 1642 Charlestown, Suffolk MA) & Ruth Lee (1602 Norwich, Norfolk ENG – 1642 Charlestown, Suffolk MA); he was a baker.
  • [11x] William Hunt (1604 Halifax, Yorkshire ENG – 1667 Marlborough, Middlesex MA) & Elizabeth Best (1607 Halifax, Yorkshire ENG – 1661 Concord, Middlesex MA)
  • [11x] Francis Moore (1592 Maldon, Essex ENG – 1671 Newberry, Essex MA)
  • [11x] Thomas Crosby (1575 Holme-on-Spaulding-Moor, Yorkshire ENG – 1661 Rowley, Essex MA) & Jane Southron (1581 Holme-on-Spaulding-Moor, Yorkshire ENG – 1662 Rowley, Essex MA)
  • [12x] William Jackson (1585 Hunsley, Yorkshire ENG – 1688 Rowley, Essex MA) & Joan <unknown> (1617 Rowley, Essex ENG – 1680 Rowley, Essex MA)

My paternal grandmother’s line…
  • [2x] Charles Evan Ruston (1847 Chatteris, Cambridgeshire ENG – 1933 Niagara County NY) & Ruth Ireland (1861 Doddington, Cambridgeshire ENG – 1940 Niagara County NY); Charles was from a wealthy family and Ruth was a maid in another home. They married for love in 1881 and he was disowned, and they immediately left for America. 
  • [7x] William Wicker (1690 Seaton, Devon ENG – 1769 Leicester, Worcester MA)
  • [8x] Thomas Whittier (1620 Millchill, Wiltshire ENG – 1696 Haverhill, Essex MA) & Ruth Rolfe Green (1626 White Parish, Wiltshire ENG – 1710 Haverhill, Essex MA); he immigrated April 1638.
  • [8x] Capt. John Kittredge (1630 Oulton, Lowestoft, Suffolk ENG – 1676 Billerica, Middlesex MA) ; John was a ship captain known for his ability to set bones and he practiced his art without a medical license, which was illegal, so he was forced to flee to America to avoid prosecution.
  • [8x] John French (1635 Halstead, Essex ENG – 1712 Billerica, Middlesex MA)
  • [8x] Francois LeSueur (1625 Challe-Mesnil, Dieppe, Normandy, FR – 1671 Harlem, NY) & Jannatje Pietersen Hildbrand (1639 Reusel de Mierden, Amsterdam NETH – 1678 Kingston, Ulster NY); he immigrated in 1657 with his sister Jeanne. He was a Huguenot refugee and a civil engineer who helped design New Haarlem.
  • [8x] Albrecht Zabriskie (1637 PRUSSIA/POLAND – 1711 Hackensack, Bergen NJ); he immigrated in 1662 on the Fox, fleeing from involuntary military service. Papers state he was from Eastern Silesia.
  • [8x] Hendrickje Stephense Van Voorhees (1659 Hees NETH – 1692 Hackensack NJ); female.
  • [9x] John Winslow (1597 Kempsey, Wocestershire ENG – 1674 Boston, Suffolk MA) & Mary Chilton (1607 Sandwich, Kent ENG – 1679 Boston, Suffolk MA); he arrived on the Fortune in 1621. She arrived on the Mayflower in 1620 as the youngest passenger. Both her parents died the first winter and lore says she was the first passenger to step on land. He was brother to the famous Mayflower Separatist, Edward Winslow.
  • [9x] Sgt. Humphrey Johnson (1620 London, Middlesex ENG – 1693 Hingham, Suffolk MA)
  • [9x] John Leavitt (1608 Beverly, Yorkshire ENG – 1691 Hingham, Suffolk MA) & Sarah Gilman (1622 Hingham, Norfolk ENG – 1700 Hingham, Suffolk MA)
  • [9x] Hannah Smith (1638 ENG - 1666 Reading, Middlesex MA)
  • [9x] Deacon John Pearson Sr. (1609 York, Yorkshire ENG – 1693 Rowley, Essex MA) & Dorcas Pickard (1621 Holme-on-Spaulding-Moor, Yorkshire ENG – 1702 Rowley, Essex MA)
  • [9x] Daniel Thurston (1631 Cransbrook, Kent ENG – 1693 Newbury, Essex MA)
  • [9x] Thomas Thurlo (1632 Holme-on-Spaulding-Moor, Yorkshire ENG – 1713 Newbury, Essex MA)
  • [9x] John Rolfe (1589 White Parish, Wiltshire ENG – 1664 Newbury, Essex MA) & Joane Coles (1591 White Parish, Wiltshire ENG – 1638 Newbury, Essex MA)
  • [9x] Francis Littlefield (1619 ENG – 1712 Wells, York ME) & Jane Hill (1619 ENG – 1646 Woburn, Middlesex MA)
  • [9x] William French (1603 Halstead, Essex ENG – 1681 Billerica, Middlesex MA) & Elizabeth Godfrey (1605 ENG – 1668 MA)
  • [9x] George Fowle (1610 Sandhurst, Kent ENG – 1682 Charlestown, Suffolk MA) & Mary Tufts (1613 Concord, Middlesex ENG – 1676 Charlestown, Suffolk MA)
  • [9x] Capt. John Carter (1616 ENG – 1692 Woburn, Middlesex MA) & Elizabeth Kendall (1613 Hereford, Herefordshire ENG – 1691 Woburn, Middlesex MA)
  • [9x] Hilldebrand Pietersen (1613 Amsterdam, Noord-Holland NETH – 1639 New Amsterdam NY) & Femmetje Albertse (1615 Noord-Holland NETH – 1667 Kingston, Ulster NY)
  • [9x] Joost Huybertszen Vander Linde (1635 Wageningen NETH – New Amsterdam NY) & Fytje Roelofse Van Gelder (NETH – New Amsterdam NY); he was in America by 1661.
  • [9x] John Washburn (1621 Worchestershire ENG – 1686 Plymouth MA)
  • [9x] Robert Latham (~1623 ENG – before 1689 Plymouth MA); he showed himself to be a bad man. There will be a separate post about him later.
  • [9x] Humphrey Johnson (1622 ENG – 1693 Plymouth MA) & Ellen/Eleanor Cheney/Chaney (1620 ENG – 1678 Plymouth MA)
  • [9x] William Raymond (1637 St. Johns, Somerset ENG – 1709 Beverly, Essex MA); immigrated in 1651.
  • [9x] John Kettle (1621 ENG – 1685 Salem, Essex MA)
  • [9x] John Balch (1604 Kilmington, Somerset ENG – 1648 Salem, Essex MA) & Margery Lovett (1603 Wells, Somerset ENG – 1682 Beverly, Essex MA)
  • [9x] William Blackmore (1640 Northam, Devon ENG – 1676 Scituate, Plymouth MA); he was slain by Indians in a raid.
  • [9x] John Richmond (1627 Amesbury, Wiltshire ENG – 1715 Taunton, Bristol MA)
  • [9x] Walter Deane (1612 Chard, Somerset ENG – 1693 Taunton, Bristol MA) & Eleanor Strong (1613 Chard, Somerset ENG – 1693 Taunton, Bristol MA); he worked as a tanner.
  • [9x] Thomas Casswell (Somersetshire ENG – 1697 Taunton, Bristol MA); he was in America by 1643.
  • [9x] William Throop (1636 Nottingham, Nottinghamshire ENG – 1704 Bristol RI)
  • [10x] Francis Cooke (1583 Kent ENG – 1663 Plymouth MA) & Hester Le Mathieu (1582 Caterbury ENG – 1666 Plymouth MA); he immigrated on the Mayflower with his oldest son in 1620. She arrived in 1623 on the Anne. She was a French-speaking Walloon. Her family was originally from Belgium.
  • [10x] John Johnson (1595 River Lee ENG – 1659 Roxbury, Boston MA) & Margery Scudder (Darenthe ENG – 1655 Roxbury, Boston MA)
  • [10x] Edward Lillie (ENG – America) immigrated in 1635 on the George.
  • [10x] James Chilton (1560 Canterbury, Kent ENG – 1620 Cape Cod MA) & Mrs. Chilton (1564 Canterbury, Kent ENG – 1621 Plymouth Bay MA); they arrived on the Mayflower in 1620 with their 12 year-old daughter. He was the oldest passenger and one of the first to die during winter aboard the ship. She also died the first winter aboard the ship.
  • [10x] William Cheney (1603 Lambourn, Berkshire ENG – 1667 Roxbury, Suffolk MA)
  • [10x] Percival Levitt II (1580 Beverly, Yorkshire ENG – 1691 Hingham, Suffolk MA) & Margaret Linkley (1589 Beverly, Yorkshire ENG – 1691 Hingham, Suffolk MA)
  • [10x] Edward Gilman (1587 Hingham, Norfolkshire ENG – 1655 Exeter, Rockingham NH) & Mary Clark (1590 Hingham, Norfolkshire ENG – 1681 Hingham, Suffolk MA); they immigrated in 1638.
  • [10x] Deacon Thomas Parker (1609 Browsholme, Wiltshire ENG – 1683 Reading, Middlesex MA)
  • [10x] Deacon Thomas Kendall (1614 ENG – 1681 Reading, Middlesex MA) & Rebecca Paine (1618 ENG – 1703 Reading, Middlesex MA)
  • [10x] Edward Littlefield (ENG – MA) & Annis Austin (1596 Exeter, Devon ENG – 1678 Wells, York ME)
  • [10x] Peter Tufts (1589 Wilby, Norfolk ENG – 1700 Charlestown, Suffolk MA)
  • [10x] Thomas Carter (ENG – 1652 Charlestown, Suffolk MA) & Mary Parkhurst Dalton (1582 ENG – 1665 Charlestown, Suffolk MA)
  • [10x] Edward Bishop (1620 ENG – 1646 Salem, Essex MA); immigrated in 1639.
  • [10x] William Allen (1602 Allen Hall, Stratford WALES – 1679 Manchester, Essex MA); immigrated 1639.
  • [10x] Richard Banks (1607 Dover, Kent ENG – 1692 York, York ME)
  • [10x] Daniel Hovey (1618 Waltham Abbey, Essex ENG – 1692 Ipswich, Essex MA); immigrated 1635.
  • [10x] John Richmond (1594 Crichlade, Wiltshire ENG – 1663 Taunton, Bristol MA) & Elizabeth Nicholas (1596 Camden, Berkshire ENG – 1642 Taunton, Bristol MA); immigrated 1637.
  • [10x] John Rogers (1606 Watford, Hertfordshire ENG – 1692 Duxbury, Plymouth MA) & Anna Churchman (1618 Huntington, Hertfordshire ENG – 1673 Plymouth MA)
  • [10x] Jacob Barney (1601 Bradenham, Breham ENG – 1673 Salem, Essex MA) & Elizabeth Catesby (1605 Buckingham ENG – 1673 Salem, Essex MA)
  • [10x] John Witt (1612 ENG – 1675 Lynn, Essex MA) & Sarah <unknown> (1616 ENG – 1680 Lynn, Essex MA)
  • [10x] Ralph Chapman (1615 Southwark, Surrey ENG – 1672 Marshfield, Plymouth MA) & Lydia Willis (1618 ENG – 1671 Marshfield, Plymouth MA)
  • [11x] Lawrence John Cheney (1566 Lambourn, Berkshire ENG – 1643 Roxbury, Suffolk MA)
  • [11x] Sir Edward Bishop (1601 Sussex, Suffolk ENG – 1695 Beverly, Essex MA) & Sarah Wildes (1601 ENG – 1673 Beverly, Essex MA); they immigrated in 1639.
  • [11x] John Moore (1614 ENG – 1677 Windsor, Hartford CT) & Abigail Pinney (1618 ENG – 1677 Windsor, Hartford CT)
  • [11x] John Bradley (1578 Gloucester, Essex ENG – 1642 Dorchester, Suffolk MA) & Katherine Bexwicke (1596 Gloucester, Essex ENG – 1633 Dorchester, Suffolk MA)
  • [11x] Robert Andrews (1560 Hastings ENG – 1643 Ipswitch, Essex MA) & Elizabeth Franklin (1572 Suffolk ENG – 1671 Ipswitch, Essex MA); he immigrated in 1635.
  • [11x] Robert Andrews (1593 Hastings, Sussex ENG – 1643 Ipswich, Essex MA) & Elizabeth Franklin (1595 Of, Suffolk ENG – 1671 Ipswich, Essex MA)
  • [11x] Thomas Rogers (1572 Watford, Hertfordshire ENG – 1621 Plymouth MA); Thomas arrived on the Mayflower in 1620. He died in January aboard the boat. His wife remained in the Netherlands.
  • [11x] Hugh Churchman (1592 Broomehall, Sussex ENG – 1644 Lynn, Essex MA) & Anne Mary Whistance (1596 Huntington ENG – Lynn, Essex MA)
  • [11x] Isaac Willis/Welles (1595 Welches Dam, Cambridgeshire ENG – 1671 Barnstable MA) & Margaret Luce (1599 ENG – 1675 Barnstable MA); he immigrated in 1638.
  • [11x] Thomas Moore (1584 ENG – 1645 Windsor, Hartford CT) & Elizabeth Young (1588 Southwold, Suffolk ENG – 1639 Windsor, Hartford CT)
  • [12x] Thomas Moore (ENG – 1645 Windsor, Hartford CT) & Elizabeth Young (1588 Southwold, Suffolk ENG – 1639 Windsor, Hartford CT)
  • [12x] Humphrey Pinney (1588 ENG – 1683 Windsor, Hartford CT) & Mary/Marie Hull (1596 ENG – 1684 Windsor, Hartford CT); she immigrated in 1630.
  • [13x] Sir George Hull (~1580 Crewkerne, Somerset ENG – 1659 Windsor, Hartford CT) & Thomasina/Thamzin Mitchell (~1580 Stockland, Bristol ENG – 1655 Fairfield CT)
  • [14x] Richard Elwin/Elvin (1555 Southwold, Suffolk ENG – 1647 Boston, Suffolk MA)

My maternal grandfather’s line…
  • [3x] Albert Durant (1841 Quebec PQ – 1920 Chittendon VT) & Rosella LaValley (1843 Providence PQ – 1921 Burlington, Chittendon VT); he immigrated in 1850.
  • [4x] Francois Xavier Lavalle (1818 LaPrairie PQ – 1889 Dannemora, Clinton NY) & Rosella LaRoche (1805 Lacolle PQ – 1871 Burlington, Chittendon VT)
  • [5x] Josiah Boots (1796 Ewhurst, Sussex ENG – 1873 Royalton NY) & Harriet Gower (1806 Sussex ENG – 1886 Royalton NY); her parents were Welsh.
  • [5x] Thomas Berry (1782 IRELAND – 1818 Mayfield, Fulton NY)
  • [5x] Alexis Lavallee (1793 Chambly PQ – 1868 Rouses Point, Clinton NY)
  • [6x] Thomas Riddle/Ridel (1739 Tyrone Co IRE – 1809 Monson, Hampden MA); he immigrated in 1758.
  • [6x] John Berry (1762 IRELAND – 1820 Mayfield, Fulton NY) & Nancy Machet (1767 IRE – 1844 Mayfield, Fulton NY)    
  • [7x] Baltus Goedemoet (1722 NETH – died in America)
  • [7x] David Calhoun (1690 Donegal IRE or SCOTLAND – 1769 Washington, Litchfield CT)
  • [8x] William Calhoun (1664 Crosh House, Donegal IRE – 1752 CT) & Alice Cunningham (1670 Donegal IRE – 1712 CT)
  • [9x] Nicholas La Groves (1645 Isle of Jersey – 1701 Beverly, Essex MA); he was a Huguenot refugee.
  • [9x] Thomas Chaffee (1610 Stepney, Middlesex ENG – 1683 Swansea, Bristol MA) & Dorothy Thomas (1620 ENG – 1683 Swansea, Bristol MA); immigrated 1635.
  • [9x] Richard Martin (1609 Ottery, Devonshire ENG – 1694 Rehoboth, Bristol MA) & Elizabeth Salter (1616 Bicton, Devon ENG – 1649 Rehoboth, Bristol MA); immigrated 1659.
  • [9x] Isaac Etienne Paquet dit Lavallee (1636 Clermont FR – 1702 Montmorency PQ); he crossed in 1665 as a soldier in LaMotte’s regiment. He helped clear roads, protect the civilians, and build multiple forts in what would become Quebec.
  • [10x] Robert Moulton (1616 ENG – 1665 Salem, Essex MA) & Abigail Goode (1620 St. Helen, London ENG – 1666 Salem, Essex MA)
  • [10x] Henry Francis Cooke, Sr. (1615 Doncaster, Yorkshire ENG – 1661 Salem, Essex MA) & Judith Anne Birdsall (1616 Yorkshire ENG – 1689 Salem, Essex MA); he immigrated in 1638 at the age of 22. She immigrated in 1635.
  • [10x] Deacon Henry Baldwin (1623 Aston Clinton, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire ENG – 1698 Woburn, Middlesex MA)
  • [10x] Obadiah Ward (1632 Clerkenwell, London ENG – 1718 Marlborough, Middlesex MA)
  • [10x] Jeremiah Gillett (1608 Chaffcombe, Somerset ENG – after 1650 CT); he immigrated in 1630.
  • [10x/11x] Thomas Wheeler (1620 Bourne End, Wooburn, Buckinghamshire ENG – 1676 Concord, Middlesex MA); he immigrated in 1637.
  • [10x] Richard Holbrook (1618 Glastonbury,Somerset ENG – 1670 Milford, New Haven CT)
  • [10x] John Smith (~1600 Hertfordshire ENG – 1684 Milford, New Haven CT) 
  • [10x] Edward Lee (1610 Stoke Canon, Devon ENG – Windsor, Hartford CT) & Elizabeth Kelland (1610 ENG - Windsor, Hartford CT)
  • [10x] Stephen Hart (1614 Ipswich, Suffolk ENG – 1683 Farmington, Hartford CT) & Elizabeth Symons (1617 Barnstable, Devon ENG – 1678 Farmington, Hartford CT)
  • [10x] John Warner, Sr. (1615 Chelmsford, Essex ENG – 1679 Farmington, Hartford CT) & Margaret Earley (1614 Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire ENG – 1679 Farmington, Hartford CT)
  • [10x] Thomas Canfield (1623 Hitchin, Hertfordshire ENG – 1689 Milford, New Haven CT) & Phebe Crane (1626 ENG – 1690 Milford, New Haven CT)
  • [10x] Nathaniel Briscoe (~1624 Little Missendon, Buckinghamshire ENG – 1683 Milford, New Haven CT)
  • [10x] Mathurin Paquet (1610 Clermont FR – 1678 Chauteau-Richer PQ) & Marie Freemillion (1619 Poiton FR – ~1670 St. Jean de Montaigne PQ)
  • [10x] ‘Joseph’ Mathurin Meunier/Lemonier (1619 Clermont FR – 1676 Chauteau-Richer PQ) & Francoise Fafard (1624 Argences FR – 1701 Beaupre PQ)
  • [11x] Robert Moulton (1590 Southwark, Middlesex ENG – 1655 Salem, Essex MA) & Deborah Edwards (1599 Eastern ENG – 1656 Charlestown, Essex MA); Robert was hired by the English Company to build ships in New England. He and his wife crossed aboard the George Bonaventure in 1629.
  • [11x] John Goode (1587 Ipswich, Suffolk ENG – 1609 Salem, Essex MA) & Abigail Downing (1590 Ipswich, Suffolk ENG – 1665 Salem, Essex MA)
  • [11x] Edmund Cooke (1568 Northclay, Canterbury, Kent ENG – 1619 Salem, Essex MA) & Elizabeth Nicholls (1573 Northclay, Canterbury, Kent ENG – 1632 Salem, Essex MA)
  • [11x] Henry Birdsall (1578 Birdsall, Yorkshire ENG – 1651 Salem, Essex MA) & Judith Agnes Kempe (1589 Walbrook, London ENG – 1632 Salem, Essex MA)
  • [11x] Michael Sallows (1596 Shadingfield, Suffolk ENG – 1646 Salem, Essex MA) & Ann Wilson (1598 Bletchley, Buckinghamshire ENG – 1646 Salem, Essex MA)
  • [11x] Peter Wolfe (1606 ENG – 1675 Beverly, Essex MA) & Mary <unknown> (1610 ENG – 1657 MA)
  • [11x] Capt. Richard Walker (1592 Marlborough, Wiltshire ENG – 1687 Lynn, Essex MA) & Jane Talmage (ENG – Lynn, Essex MA); she and her husband immigrated in 1630. He was a soldier.
  • [11x] Ezekial Richardson (1606 Hertfordshire ENG – 1647 Woburn, Middlesex MA)
  • [11x] William Ward (1603 Warrington, Cheshire ENG – 1687 Marlboro, Middlesex MA) & Elizabeth Phillipus (1613 ENG – 1700 Marlboro, Middlesex MA); she and her husband immigrated in 1638.
  • [11x] Andrew Warner (1595 Great Waltham, Essex ENG – 1692 Hatfield, Hampshire MA) & Mary Humphrey (1601 Great Waltham, Essex ENG – 1672 Hadley, Hampshire MA)
  • [11x] Jeremiah Gillette (~1610 Chaffcombe ENG – Dorchester MA); he came to America on the Mary & John in 1630.
  • [11x] Thomas Canfield (1596 Hitchin, Hertfordshire ENG – 1679 Milford, New Haven CT)
  • [11x] Jasper Crane (1599 London, Middlesex ENG – 1680 Newark, Essex NJ) & Agnes Leave (1608 Bath, Somerset ENG – 1675 Newark, Essex NJ)

My maternal grandmother’s line…
  • [3x] Adam Art/Arth (1828 Hesse-Darmstadt GERMANY – 1896 Pendleton NY); immigrated with his mother and brothers on the Columbia in 1853. His wife is either Ana Catherine Blume or Katherine Maria Schmeelk, both of whom immigrated from GER in 1848.
  • [3x] John F. Pils (1827 GER – 1911 Lockport NY); he immigrated in 1855 at the age of 17.
  • [3x] David Conners (1838 IRE – after 1903 Lockport NY) & Mary Dowd (1837 IRE – after 1903 Lockport NY); they possibly immigrated in 1850.
  • [4x] Wilhemenia Wernersbach-Arth (1798 GER – Pendleton NY); she travelled to America as a widow with her three sons on the Columbia in 1853.
  • [4x] Barney Dowd (~1800 IRE – NY)

I am Sarah Lyn,
Daughter of Margaret,
Daughter of Patricia,
Daughter of Margaret Loretta,
Daughter of Eliza,

Daughter of Mary, an immigrant from Ireland.
This is the Britannia, a replica of the Columbia, the ship my German Arth ancestors took to America.
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