Friday, June 2, 2017

A bit of family background

On this blog I'll be talking a bunch about my ancestors and their descendants. So who are these people?

When asked where my family comes from, I often reply that "I'm a typical American mutt." My ancestors come from a variety of places, arriving in the new world over a span of 270 years. To illustrate, here is an abbreviated pedigree showing the surnames of a few generations of my family.

I have a number of lines that go back to colonial New England (and to Old England before that), including a few Mayflower ancestors on my Cushman and Bundy lines. I also have ancestors who came over from Germany during the Revolution, Irish ancestors who arrived around the time of the Potato Famine, Jewish ancestors from Krakow, which was in Austria when they left, but is now part of Poland, and French ancestors who immigrated in the late 1800s from Quebec. Of course, this is just a small (and entirely European) slice of the broader American experience, but it provides enough variety to keep me hunting for new relatives and for more information about their lives. And there is even more to explore on my wife's side.

In future weeks and months (and years?),  I plan to discuss many of these ancestors.  I'll also talk about a number of their descendants (i.e., my distant aunts, uncles, and cousins).  I enjoy descendancy research. When I discover a sibling or child of an ancestor, my curiosity inevitable leads me down their branch of tree to see what I find. My files include information about dozens of Smith, Elters, Rippe, and Bundy cousins and hundreds of cousins from my Arnold line. Many of those people will make appearances here.

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