Friday, July 4, 2008
Today is July 4th. This date has very special meaning to me. Two years ago I decided to research my family tree. This was quite an undertaking since my parents were divorced when I was an infant and I knew nothing about my father or his family. What I learned came as an enormous surprise and changed the way I view the history of this country.
I discovered that my Great, great, great,great, great, great,great,great, great Grandfather William Wadsworth came here in 1632 on a ship called The Lyon, replica below
About the same time another Ninth Great Grandfather John Wilcox also arrived. Together with several other men they founded the City of Hartford, Connecticut. Now I look at the arrival of the early ships differently. I think of those families boarding the small ships and sailing into the unknown. On arrival there were no cities, just a few small settlements. There were no roads, just worn paths. I think of the hardships they faced.
This is a statue dedicated to the Founders of Hartford.
One of the old cemeteries in Hartford.
If I skip ahead a few years, I made a wonderful discovery. One of my favorite Patriots, Samuel Adams, turned out to be my Third Cousin. He was instrumental in organizing The Boston Tea Party and it's believed that he took part in the festivities, dressed as an Indian.
I learned that at least two of my ancestors, Thomas Wadsworth on my father's side and Hezekiah Wilcox on my mother's side fought as Revolutionary soldiers.
Once the fighting was over and the new Country was set up, my ancestors again were involved.
John Adams was the first Vice President and the second President. He was my third Cousin. His son John Quincy Adams became the sixth President.
I was delighted to learn about my family and their involvement in the birth of this country. I have always been fascinated with history and now it's become very personal. When I celebrate the 4th of July, I celebrate the lives of my ancestors.