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 24

Immigrants Francis Cooke, Hester le Mahieu Cooke, Jane Cooke, and Experience Mitchell

Francis Cooke (my ten times great-grandfather) was a Mayflower passenger. I stumbled across his lineage while investigating the Packards in Part 22. Francis was born in England in 1583. Curiously, we find him living in Leiden, Holland, about eight years before John Robinson and the rest of the Pilgrims arrived. This period was before the time of Protestant persecution in England under King James, so the original motivation to move to Holland is unknown. His occupation was that of wool comber. Continue reading

Climbing My Family Tree, Part 23

Immigrants Thomas Grant, Jane Haburne, Ann Grant, Robert Emerson 

Thomas Grant (my nine times great-grandfather) was born in Hessle, England in 1600. He, his wife, Jane Haburne, and their four children, sailed to America on the ship John of London in 1638. Their youngest child, Ann (my eight times great-grandmother), who was but an infant at the time of their immigration, in fact, they departed shortly after Ann’s baptism.   Continue reading

Climbing My Family Tree, Part 22

Immigrants Samuel and Elizabeth Packard

On August 10, 1888, a large family gathering of Packard descendants met in Brockton, Massachusetts to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Samuel Packard’s (my eight times great-grandfather) arrival in Boston Harbor.

Now, 129 years after that reunion, and a total of 379 years since Samuel’s landing in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, I learned I, too, am a descendant of Samuel Parker.

Packard Reunion

Grand Gathering of the Descendants of Samuel Packard, held in Brockton, Mass., Friday, August 10, 1888

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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 18

Immigrants Henry Baldwin, Sr, Ezekiel & Susanna Richardson

Last week we learned about immigrant John Taylor and his wife, Julia A. Dyer (my three times great-grandparents). Julia was born and grew up in New Sharon, Maine in the 1800s, but several of her ancestors sailed here from England in the 1600s. Continue reading