–includes bias, and age, and geographical perspective.
My ancestors came from England, Scotland, and Wales–mostly Wales. They arrived here in America after the French and Indian Wars, after the American Revolution, after the War of 1812, after the Florida War, and after the Canadian War.
They entered the U.S. through New York and took the overland train west to Missouri. Or, they came up the Mississippi River to St. Louis where one grandfather stopped for a time to earn enough money to continue his trek west.
Their ultimate destination was the Mormon Church–the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints– and its people who were preparing to leave for the Rocky Mountains.
All sets of my great grandparents came from the British Isles as members of this relatively new American religion–All of them. My American ancestry really begins after 1849.
Most new immigrants carry the perspective of their former lives and their expectations of the new life before them–they had just crossed an ocean, in ships subject to the whims of the wind and elements of Nature. And they prepared to cross the American continent in wagons drawn by oxen; the last ones to arrive took the train.
These Mormons had another filter through which they viewed their experience–they were leaving behind Babylon and going to Zion to dwell. They expected life to be joyous, they sang and danced as they traveled. Even the hardships of the frontier were regarded as stepping stones from what they left behind to what lay ahead of them. In short, they expected a new life. And many of them found it.
They wrote about their experiences or shared how they felt about their trek with later generations. Not with complaints, they shared what they did as examples of faith.
As you view what happened in the past, be careful that you do not interpret the past as if it were the present–you must allow your ancestors to stay within their own world. Thomas Jeremy traveled as he was assigned to do. His regret was leaving his sister behind, not making the trip. Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle http://arleneeakle.com
PS Stay tuned! I’m going to cover making fake family history and fake ancestors. Today you may worry about fake news, as you actually create fake ancestry.
PPS Having discovered how to add illustrations to my blog, you can expect actual examples in the future. Hang tight!