I’ve been intrigued for awhile with regards to my American ancestors.
I know what you are thinking, a couple weeks ago I wrote about how Canadian I am and now I’m saying how I’m an American. What is wrong with me?
Well truth be told, I feel Canadian to my very soul. My heart sings when the national anthem is playing. I can sing it in both official languages and I can wear it on my backpack proudly no matter where I go. I truly feel red and white in my veins.
However, like nearly everyone living in this country, my family had to come from somewhere. I’ve mentioned the English connection in several posts, and my Irish connection in another. I’ve hinted at my Scottish ancestry but I haven’t talked too much about my American history.
Part of that is there are some questions. Big ones.
On my mother’s side of the family, there was some sort of mass migration to Canada around the time or before America became the United States of America. Several branches of the tree ended up here in Canada, most in Ontario and there is some question in my mind as to why.
Ancestry can point me to census records which indicate when we migrated, where we lived. Birth records and such from different states show that parts of my family were in New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts not too many years after the Mayflower landed. I know that many who traveled to the continent in the first few years were escaping religious persecution. Is this the same as my family?
Members of my family were even living around Salem during the time of the witch trials. Is it possible that someone in my family might have been involved in them?
If my family had lived in the US for 100-200 years, why would they want to leave?
In doing some research, I learned quite a few things and it opened more burning questions.
- Were we complete Loyalists to the cause of the King and made our way back to Canada to avoid being under this new uprising?
- Did we suffer by all the new taxation laws being passed, where it obliged people to pay a tax to the king and then another tax to the state?
- Were we Quakers and therefore tried avoiding violence?
Ancestry announced the release of thousands of Quaker records. Books, meeting minutes, and many other items this week. It looks like I can finally get the answers to some of these questions about why my family came to Canada when they did and perhaps get a better glimpse inside their lives. If you need me, I’m most likely going to be lost on Ancestry.ca for awhile.