David Hackett Fischer, in his marvelous book Albion's Seed, estimates that there are 16 million Americans who can
trace their ancestry to one or more of the 20-25,000 Puritans who came to this country
during the Great Migration. In my studies over the last two years I've discovered,
by rough count, about 30 ancestors who were Puritan emigrants, and many of them
involved in the fascinating beginnings of this country in New England.
One of the reasons I invested in a computer was to use it to organize
the papers and findings of my Great Aunt 'Bessie', a woman I was always scared of
as a youth, but who did a lot of study on the origins of her Mott name and left
me a starting point for further research.
Putting these ancestors into the historical context of their time is
the most interest I get out of these studies, and so I have sought to document as
much as possible, and to read and search the local histories of the places they
came to and lived in. Besides Puritans I've discovered German Palatine emigrants
to the Hudson River Valley who almost starved to death their first winter here in
1710, four of my ancestors who fought in the American Revolution, one who set up
the first 'fulling-mill' in America in 1643 before the British made it illegal to
'do' textiles in the colonies, and two who were in the Civil war, one a surgeon.
Perhaps there were more, for the search goes on, and there are many limbs of my
family tree that I just haven't seen yet. I hope you enjoy these pages.