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 21

Immigrant Stephen Larrabee

Stephen Larrabee (my nine times great-grandfather), most likely was born in France—the first ancestor I have discovered from that nation. The Larrabee name was originally spelled L’Arabie. Stephen was born around the year 1630.

Stephen was a Huguenot (a French protestant). He immigrated to America as a result of religious persecution by Roman Catholics after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes (a 1598 law granting religious liberty to French citizens). Continue reading