I am not renewing my ancestry.com account when my current subscription ends next month. So over the past week or so, I’ve been printing out all the documents I’ve saved to the 3,000+ people in my family trees. With the nearly 1,000 pages laying on the desk, I realized that this is my Book of Life. I always told my wife that one day I would write about our life together, but looking at the cumulative printout of our combined trees, maybe that story has already been written. In these pages, we have the story lines of all great epics and all great romances. In these pages, we have laborers, fisherman, housewives, and shoe makers striving for the ever elusive American Dream.
My wife’s paternal family traveled from Wales, Sweden, and Ireland and ended up in Tuscarawas County, Ohio working in the Ohio River Valley mills. Her maternal family is from Nova Scotia, Sicily and the Azores and ended up fishermen in Gloucester, MA.
My paternal family came from Southeastern Italy and Sicily and ended up in Boston’s North End before moving to the immediate suburbs of Revere and Saugus. My maternal family came from Ireland, Quebec, and Illinois via Pennsylvania to become small business owners in Nashua and Boston.
Growing up, when I used to ask my mother what our lineage was, she would say we were “mutts”. But we are much more than that. We are America.
In this stack of pages, there are ship manifests from the 1880s; land deeds from Pennsylvania in the 1750s and records from the first US Census in 1790. There are birth records, death records, military enlistments, WWI enlistment cards, and numerous Naturalization records.
Our families tell a history of stories about people that actively sought a means of making their lives better. In these pages are stories of men who fought in the French and Indian War and the War for American Independence. In these pages are stories of men who fought in WWI, WWII, the Korean War, Vietnam, and the Civil War.
Each of these records tell a history unto themselves, but are also part of a much greater history, a history that is still being written today.
|Stefano Belmonte 1919 Naturalization record (my 2x great grandfather)|
|Edmund Huff (sometimes called Edward) Revolutionary War Service Revord (my 5x great grandfather)|