My hour on Ancestry didn't produce any more relatives who were accused of treason or suspected of poisoning people they didn't care for....but there was one man who was an early emigrant to America who had been apprenticed to a Tailor in England....I expect he was in demand among the new settlers. The more I investigate how the lives of the new arrivals panned out, the less understanding I have of how the majority simply rode rough shod over the Native Americans.....not content with taking away their lands, they forced their religion upon them....took children away from their tribes and families and placed them in newly built orphanages....dressed them in western style clothing and took away their tribal names.....all for their own good of course. Those early settlers may well have suffered from disease and often from lack of food....but goodness, they made up for a shaky start and by the time they'd been settled for a few years they were building great houses....fencing off vast tracts of tribal lands....building churches and imposing their own versions of English laws. There was a time when I thought of the Mayflower and her accompanying fleet and the people they carried as being brave and strong and people to be proud of....since finding some of my ancestors were early settlers and reading their stories....I've rather changed my mind. I'd be quite proud of the Vikings, there was no hidden agenda with them....and I do like those ethereal Icelandic Princesses....I don't much mind knowing Black Agnes was an ancestor...at least she was straightforward and didn't enslave anyone....I find myself feeling awful sad for the woman who lost five of her sons at the Battle of Hastings and all those vague Earls and Lords never appeared to cause anyone real harm....many of them were kindness itself to their tenants and minions. So many left monies for the poor and small gifts to the cook and a suit of clothes to all who served under them........................but when I read about those first settlers then I feel uncomfortable and a bit guilty by default. We, my Irish cousins and I, used to laugh a little at the horrible thought our Great Grandfather may have been a slave trader....he sailed back and forth from Dublin to the West coast of Africa after all, at the time the slave trade was at its height....but after further investigation we decided that could not be so....there are no records of slaves ever being brought to Ireland to be transferred to America....though we may well find we were wrong of course. I've often come across people who say their ancestors came on the Mayflower or one of her fleet.....it is something I'd rather not admit to...not now, knowing how those people behaved once they landed. Thanksgiving Day with the great bloated turkey on the table and all the trimmings, makes me feel slightly queasy ...it doesn't seem a day for celebration...more a day for regret that the peoples of America suffered so intensely for the intruders into their sacred lands.......................so, I'm quite proud of those fearsome warlike Vikings who sailed the oceans and were known by strange names....Long-Neck and Bluetooth.....I like those remote and distant Earls who served their King and built beautiful stately homes and invariably died in a little known battle....don't much mind the war-like Scots hell bent on keeping the English out...I have sympathy for those sad and lonely women living out their lives in remote Irish castles....and many is the silent prayer I've offered for those who ended their days in a Victorian Workhouse....................but I find it difficult to work up any enthusiasm for an early American settler....I find myself adding them to the tree without much bothering about the finer details. I don't honestly care if they died from Smallpox or if they applied to become Sons of the Revolution....always at the forefront of my mind is the number of Indians they drove way from tribal lands held sacred for thousands of years....the underhand ways they introduced them to badly brewed Whisky....the paltry gifts of brightly coloured beads....the scorn of the Natives knowledge...until it suited them of course....later on it was considered a decent way to earn a living...collecting Indian scalps...hanging them from your saddlebags and collecting the bounty. And after the Indians it was African slaves....I'm not proud about that side of my ancestry....not at all.
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