Crazy Family, Crazy Country

My extended family is nutso.  The evidence that I’ve seen is that goes back all the way to when we left Beeford in York in the mid 1630’s and got on a tiny boat to a new land.  The evidence is pretty clear.  After all what kind of person puts his barn’s construction date on the roof, in slate, in 1897, before the Wright Bros. even thought of airplanes. My family, of course.

Here’s the country that we came too.

Fortunately by the  time my family came over in 1636, the communist mess had died off literally.

Still coming over meant coming over in what was the size of a large yacht with hundreds of people aboard.  It was not an easy trip.

We are nutso.  All of us.  It must be genetic, because most of my family still believes in the basics.  We still want freedom to live our lives, the ability to own ourselves and our property and the pursuit of happiness. That’s something I am truly thankful for.

I think we all have to be thankful for those early settlers that came to this harsh New England land and made great things out of rock and poor land. The harsh first  winter of the Pilgrims was hardly the last.  Yet more people came, from places like Beeford and Cornwall, bringing axes and tools, to build towns and villages.  There was no gold in New England, or some readably saleable crop like tobacco to sell.  The only thing my ancestors had was their ability to work and create.  And the freedom to work and create as they wanted.

Of course that liberty, and the willingness to fight for it is what made my ancestors different.  From the beginning they were radicals who didn’t have much tolerance for the divine rights of kings. Or the restrictive and petty rules that kings inflict on all of us. Not allowed to make our own iron?  Well they did it anyway.

I suspect that reason that new Englanders were successful was that they had to keep moving rocks to get ahead.  So overcoming obstacles was burned into  the culture.  Overcoming obstacles is what they did and as such well overcoming the king became another obstacle.  Which the New Englanders undertook with their Get ‘er done attitude.

We longer have a king, or queen  across the pond, so I suppose they got it done.  The next thing was to find stuff that New England could sell.  There isn’t much that comes out of the ground in New England except rocks.  So the people had to make stuff. Starting with boats, because most of the markets and the stuff that people needed to make stuff were someplace else. So the New Englanders took all those trees and built boats, very good boats.

Because the New Englanders couldn’t palm off wooden nutmegs forever, they switched to wooden clocks and guns for Southerners and Europeans to shoot each other with. Which required good tools. So they made good tools.

Having gotten rid of the king and gained a huge new chunk of virgin property, the country looked West.  As did my family in the early 1820’s, moving from rocky Connecticut to fertile Ohio.  By and large they disappeared into the general populace of Ohio farmers, farming the land  and  getting milk from their cows.  Still The story of my family was one of movement slowly into the wilderness for 200 years.

So I’m thankful that Edward Carlton, back in Yorkshire, in the 1630’s decided to make the big leap for whatever the reason was.  The US is built by generations of people who made similar leap for a myriad of reasons that may not have been all sane.  The one thing that joined all those people together is the desire to make new lives.  It takes a certain kind of madness to leave all the comforts that made up their lives to go to a place that, as far as they knew  was a howling wilderness full of savages.  These people and the country that they built is something that we all who are their descendants should remember and be truly thankful that they made the sacrifices that created the most innovative, progressive and wealthy crazy nation ever.






One comment

  1. penneyvanderbilt · November 24, 2016

    Reblogged this on PenneyVanderbilt.


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