Before there was a USA
Drums along the Mohawk was on TV the other night and I got to explain to my 7 year old son that the hope chest behind the couch we were sitting on was the actual (or at least that is how the family story goes.) hope chest that was used to amputate General Herkimer’s legs after the battle of Saratoga. The female branch of the family goes back to the mayflower, but back then all of the settlers in new england would fit in a good sized college gymnasium. I am lucky that while my uncle was ill he took the opportunity to document our family history, and now I have our ‘Roots’ as far back as the UK in the time of Shakespeare, with love letters from the 1700s and documents from the Revolutionary war. In troubled times, it brings solace to think of all that those ancestors went through to make it possible for me to be here. In fact, if my grandfather, after loosing the farm in the depression, hadn’t had enough faith that things would get better, and had a child – I wouldn’t be here. He roamed the country working odd jobs, living in YMCA’s and sending back the money to my grandmother, who kept the family taken care of and apparently, kept a kettle out back for the hobos.
It is an amazing world with so many stories.