Monday, September 6, 2010

They Risked All, and Left Everything They Knew

This weekend has added to my “pile” of records to sort, compare, and corroborate.  In other words, a fabulous weekend of record finding has added to the work needing to be done.  That’s quite alright though, for I would rather have a stack of records to filter through, than no results what so ever.  I look forward to getting the time to sit down and enter what information I have, and add to the stock of data I have collected on my ancestors. 

One of the interesting things I found this weekend was, a few more trees of siblings of my ancestors on RootsWeb, a free collection of genealogical search tools and data.  It is interesting to find these, and see the decadency, not necessarily directly related to me.   I’m trying to decide whether to add this information to the tree I have, it keeps getting bigger by the day, and the additional families add to the bigger picture.  I suppose in the long run, I will go ahead and add the data after reviewing the source information for accuracy.  I also located many of their names and families in the passenger lists.  Knowing that information has helped me to paint a clearer picture of the era of immigration for my own ancestors. 

As I dig through the histories, regional and otherwise, I hope to find enough information to compile a fairly accurate picture of the reasons my ancestors immigrated.   It amazes me to think, they left everything they knew, and many of their family and loved one.  Taking a chance on the vague promise of prosperity and freedom in a new country filled with a conglomeration of people from all over the world.  They didn’t have the benefit of our information system, only stories passed along by word of mouth, or advertising by shipping companies.  I wonder at their thoughts, what worries and concerns they must have had.  What hopes and dreams they had for themselves and their children.  The total uncertainty of it!

I wonder if, after the fact, they believed their gamble had paid profitable dividends?  I bet they did!

Quote of the Day:
At the working man's house hunger looks in but dares not enter.
--Benjamin Franklin


Alan Burnett said...

I too am always amazed by the bravery of people who traveled across the world in search of a better life - especially in the days before air travel, telephones and skype.

Eric S. said...

Thanks for visiting Alan. I think often about it, and just the thought of all those "unknowns" they faced with stout fortitude and perseverance, simple astonishes me. I wonder if I were in their shoes, would I have had the courage to do as they did?

kkipp said...

Whether they came for the adventure or from need, it is amazing, isn't it!

Eric S. said...

It is indeed. I get the feeling I'm just scratching the surface on what they thought or experienced.

kkipp said...

I wish we had more of the broader family's letters/memoirs. As it is we can only guess at motivations based on the local environments and times.