Thursday, November 23, 2006

Giving Thanks

Today reminds me that the first of my ancestors whose surname I carry arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1633. All that is known of him is that he had a son and disappeared forever while on a hunting trip in the wild. That son, good colonist that he was, later moved with his family to help build Lancaster, Massachusetts, where they were neighbors of Mary Rowlandson at the outbreak of King Philip's War.

No fool he, when the Indians attacked, he fled with his family to the safety of Dorchester, arriving just in time for a smallpox outbreak which felled him, his wife, and three daughters. The three surviving boys were old enough to become apprentices.

My lucky ancestor among his three sons was shipped off to the quiet town of Salem, ultimately raising a family with children just the right age to take center stage in the highly popular witch trials of the era. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending entirely on your point of view with regard to lasting fame or infamy), they did not. Once property values recovered, they all abandoned Massachusetts for Connecticut.

Thus, the motto of subsequent generations: "Keep your eye on the exits and your name out of the paper." As our average lifespan over 12 generations is 78, it just might be sound advice after all.

But, most of all, I am glad that my own father is out of the hospital this morning. And for that, I give thanks.

5 comments:

SippicanCottage said...

"Keep your eye on the exits and your name out of the paper."

Our version of this is: "Never get your picture taken holding a number."

Internet Ronin said...

ROFL! Wise advice, indeed! (And thanks for looking in.)

reader_iam said...

Sorry I had signed off yesterday before seeing your Thanksgiving post, or I would have included you, too, in my little roundup of holiday posts from people I "know" (like Sip) who went the substantive or historical route in their approach to the holiday.

Especially because I love this line:

Once property values recovered, they all abandoned Massachusetts for Connecticut.

Heh.

reader_iam said...

Good news about your father. I hope his recovery goes well.

Internet Ronin said...

Thanks for dropping by, reader_iam! As you noticed, I'm a tad irreverant about the family history - far more interesting that way, I think ;-)

(And thanks for the kind thought, as well.)