Climbing My Family Tree, Part 26

Immigrant Thomas Burgess I & Dorothy

The Burgess family line was one of the most challenging for me to investigate to date. There is a great deal of confusing and conflicting information regarding the origin of the family name. After careful research, the following captures my best understanding of this branch of my family tree.

Thomas Burgess I (my ten times great-grandfather), was born in West Tanfield, Yorkshire, England in 1603. He arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1637. He briefly lived in Salem, Lynn, and Duxbury, before settling in Sandwich. He became a well-respected townsman and acquired a great deal of land.

Thomas Burgess, Jr. left the Plymouth Colony and moved to Newport, Rhode Island in 1661, where the family remained for two more generations until Benjamin Burgess (my six times great-grandfather) moved to from Newport, Rhode Island to Newport, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Benjamin Burgess

Benjamin Burgess, Wayne, Maine, aged 101 years, 9 months

 

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Coming to America

When I look in the mirror, I see an American immigrant. And yet, how can that be?

I am a white male, I hold an advanced college degree, I speak fluent English, I am 55 years old.

Aren’t immigrants people of color? Don’t they only speak foreign languages? Aren’t they younger and less educated? Those are the stereotypes.

Statue of Liberty

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Climbing My Family Tree, Part 19

Immigrants Samuel Bagnall, Elizabeth Whitehouse, James Cantelo, Mary Salmon, Elizabeth Ann Dix Cantelo

Samuel Bagnall and Elizabeth Whitehouse (my five times great-grandparents) were born in Derbyshire, England. They sailed for Philadelphia in the mid-1700’s, residing there for a time before moving on to Tryon County, New York.

Samuel, a cabinet maker, prospered so well in the New World it was said he was able to provide his oldest daughter with a dowry equal to her weight in gold coins.

But then came the American Revolution.  Continue reading

Climbing My Family Tree, Part 15

Immigrants Austin Kilham, Alice Gorball, and John Kilham

Austin “Augustine” Kilham (my nine times great-grandfather) sailed from England with his wife, Alice Gorball, and their three children on the Mary Anne in 1637. His son, John (my eight times great-grandfather), was nine years old at the time.  Continue reading

Climbing My Family Tree, Part 13

Immigrants William Kinge and Dorothy Hayne 

When I think of the King family line, I normally think of my mother’s side of the family—her maiden name is King. But there are Kings on my father’s side of the family as well.

Originally spelled Kinge, William Kinge (my nine times great-grandfather) was a religious rebel of his day. He was banished from the First Church at Salem (Massachusetts) and was forced to surrender his gun.  Continue reading

Climbing My Family Tree, Part Nine

Immigrant John Fillmore

This week we turn to tales of high sea adventure, complete with swarthy pirates, and we even come across an American president. Continue reading

Climbing My Family Tree, Part Seven

Immigrants William Simpson & Janet Winchester Simpson, and William Clark & Helen Simpson Clark

This week I fudge just a little bit. My five times great-grandparents, William Simpson and Janet Winchester Simpson, didn’t immigrate to the United States, but rather to Prince Edward Island, Canada. William Clark, my four times great-grandfather, found himself in Boston, but only briefly.

What intrigues me most about the Simpsons and the Clarks is that their family lines originated in Scotland. Their stories include an escaped kidnapping and a shipwreck—complete with eight young children on board!  Continue reading