Celebrating Hometown Heroes

{Due to work obligations, I need to take a hiatus from my weekly Blog. I am retiring from my position of Elementary Principal, and I need the month of June to focus on ensuring my school is ready for my successor and the new school year.}

In the meantime, I would like to dedicate this space to three local heroes:

Rick Best

Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche

Micah David-Cole Fletcher

At 4:30 p.m. on Friday, May 26, 2017, these three men were riding a light-rail train in Portland, Oregon.  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

Climbing My Family Tree, Part 16

Immigrants José Marquez Remigio, Elvira Batista Pires, Marne Caetano de Jesus, & Carmen Lucia Pires Marquez

This week our chronicle shifts to my wife, who lives out her own immigration story every day. Born in Santos, Brazil, she came to the United States by plane in 1988, and became a naturalized American citizen in 1995.

Unlike the majority of my ancestors, who immigrated to North America hundreds of years ago, Carmen is a contemporary immigrant, who tells her story in first person, from her heart.  Continue reading

Climbing My Family Tree, Part 12

Immigrants Robert Lee, Mary Atwood Lee, and Samuel Sturtevant Sr.

Thank you so much for your loyalty! Because of your support, my Blog is now read in 17 countries around the world!

My grandmother’s maiden name was Sturtevant, which can be traced back to Plymouth in the years following the Mayflower landing, and back to England before that.

Samuel Sturtevant Sr. (my eight times great-grandfather) was born in England around the year 1624. He was in Plymouth by 1640, which would put him in his teens at the time he immigrated. The name of his ship and his exact date of arrival are unknown. Continue reading

Climbing My Family Tree, Part Six

Immigrants Matthäus Hoffsäß & Margaretha Wüst Hoffsäß

I have long known the oral tradition of my great-grandfather’s coming to America from somewhere in Germany in the 1800s, but I was some surprised to discover I have German roots on my mother’s side of the family as well.

This is the first time I highlight a family ancestor, who I am certain is my direct relative, but I am uncertain as to the path to get from me to him. More on that later…

Matthäus Hoffsäß (my five times great-grandfather) was born in Göbrichen, Baden, Germany, on the northern slopes of the Black Forest, on September 14, 1724. Continue reading

Climbing My Family Tree, Part Five

Immigrants Palmer Tingley, Anna Fosdick Tingley, & Stephen Fosdick

Palmer Tingley, my nine times great-grandfather, was born in Kingston-on-Thames, England in 1614. Palmer was a miller by trade, and at the age of 21 he boarded a ship departing London, headed for New England. The Planter set sail in mid-April, 1635, safely arriving in Boston harbor several weeks later.

Palmer was a “good churchman” and carried a certificate to prove so on his journey to America.

Two years later, Palmer fought in the Pequot War of 1637. Continue reading

We Are a Nation of Immigrants

America is home to the largest immigrant population in the world.

We truly are a nation of immigrants. We have come here from every corner of earth, beginning with our indigenous populations, who originally crossed the great land bridge in Beringia in ancient times.

It is a practice that repeats itself each and every day with the arrival of new people seeking freedom and opportunity, seeking to escape poverty and oppression, and seeking to give their children a better chance in life.

We share a common purpose, a common goal, and yet we, ourselves a nation of immigrants, fear—and all too often loathe—our fellow immigrants. Continue reading