I am the Sum of all my Ancestors

Digging for Roots?  I am the sum of all my ancestors, just as you are.  We cannot escape what created us.  Each choice they made created me.  However as the old line goes:  “You are what your parents [ancestors] made you, if you stay that way, it’s your own damn fault.”.

My earliest European ancestor to arrive in America showed up in 1670s/80s.   The last to arrive showed up in 1772.    On both sides of my family tree.  Anyone coming after 1776 is a Johnny Come Lately and best be careful how they tread on immigration status.  They are one.   One fool said, Think what this country has done for you.  My reply, “Fool, if it wasn’t for us, YOU would not be here.”   Damn Ellis Island wannabe.   We were here for 200 years before his ancestor came trucking over.  If you want to argue about immigration?  Everyone after 1780 should get the hades out.   How does it feel when the shoe is put firmly back on your foot?  Best remember to someone with 336 years of American blood, sweat and tears in their history, YOU are in the immigrant who needs to be kept out by a nice wall and you need to look more kindly on your other immigrant brothers.

The Earliest American Ancestor, I have, came over on some sort of land bridge.  Or at least that’s what they claim.  They were here a bit before the Europeans including the Vikings showed up to ruin the neighborhood.  Their names are lost to time after 1740s.  I have their “Christian” names but not their real ones.

You see Winn was a trapper.  He came to my area before the first squatters ignored William Penn and came to “Indian land”.  By the time they arrived, he had married a Native American and was living on a natural pathway through the mountains to my home valley.   The gap the squatters crossed was named Winn’s Gap.    When the Great Runaway occurred, he didn’t take his wife and children and go to Carlisle for safety,  they faded back into her tribe who would protect them.

Most fled Europe for Religious reasons.  I’m heavy on the Quaker on my Father’s side of the family.   My Grandmother was a direct descendant of Saint Thomas More.

Sir Thomas More

One came to American with his mother, Anne Stone Worley.  She arrived with Caleb Pusey, her second husband in 1682.  My ancestor, her first husband Henry Worley, died in Bedlam for refusing to attend the Church of England.    You can find the house he built still standing in Philadelphia.   William Penn, his friend, sent him as one of the 3 to prepare Pennsylvania for the Quakers to arrive.  Henry Worley was a descendant of William De Warley

Yet another moved his family from the AlsaceLorraine further into German and then to Switzerland in an attempt to avoid the 100-Year-War finally having his descendants flee to America to avoid religious persecution with the early waves of the Pennsylvania Dutch when Penn invited them over.

Should I go on?  There are more.  The traders who moved from Holland to German to become Canon Lawyers and Doctors and then had a descendant move to America as a Doctor and to found a town called Palmyra in Pennsylvania.  So many more.  None letting grass grow on their feet.

They fought in the Revolution.  They fought in the War of 1812.  They fought in the Civil War.   They were America.   Think what America has done for me?  Fools but for my ancestors and their blood, none of you would be here.  My ancestors WERE AMERICA.

I know who I am.  I know what gifts they gave.   I know why they died.  In this I know who I am.  I am America.  And who are you?

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8 thoughts on “I am the Sum of all my Ancestors

  1. Wow. You have an amazing American history. To go back that far to our country’s beginnings, and know such detail and names no doubt fills untold volumes for your family and the history buffs. 🙂

    1. Every one tells me I have lots of book fodder in my ancestors.

      I always joke, we stayed in one place. We got here and nobody moved. The my ancestors can be traced from South Central Pennsylvania to Philadelphia either via Penn, the Scottish, the Irish or the Germans. Heavy on the Germans and they kept excellent records. One came from Virginia and we know its old just not when. He showed up here around the time of the Revolution. The ones from New York and New England are easy to trace also because of church records. There were just a couple. The couple I can’t trace back have well known local names but I can’t find the exact branch so I can’t say definitively that is where they come from but there is strong evidence that is where they come from. It’s easy to trace when you know the local customs and history. When I get to Germany, England, France, Switzerland and Austria, it gets a lot more complicated.

      I joke after researching Ancient Mesopotamian History, family history is a snap. Everything is right in front of you if you know how to look.

      1. And I thought I had so much history of my own paternal grandfather, but yours beats mine in length, details, etc. Good hunting if you do any more. I still do mine. Always more to discover and learn.

  2. They all have their stories to tell. My Great Great Grandparents fought in the Civil War together. Their son and daughter married to produce my maternal Grandmother. I have one of those Great Grandparent’s genetic heritage because I suffer from his genetic disease. When I hurt, I wonder how bad he hurt before modern medicine and know how lucky I am. Each one helped make me who I am today. I honor them by finding them and not forgetting them. Those I can’t place sadden me. I want to know them.

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