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Historical background of our family's ancestors

Most of our family's lines track out of New England and most of our ancestors were among what I call the "Early Comers." To a large extent their motivation to come to the New World stemmed from what we call today the Protestant Reformation. Plus, with their early arrival, their descendants were around during the American Revolution and the formation of the young Republic.

To that end, I encourage you to explore The American Colonist's Library . . . a collection of major works that influenced the thinking of those early immigrants and their descendants. Many of the titles included there are titles I have seen mentioned in other writings explaining that period of history. At that site you may read copies of those original documents for yourself. It is, I think, one of the most exhaustive and fascinating collections of historical documents online.

The American Colonist's Library

Of course, passengers aboard The Mayflower were among the "Early Comers." There is a great deal of information about them at the linked site below.

Caleb Johnson's Mayflower History

If you have ancestors who track back to this nation's early days, there's a good chance they came over with Winthrop's Fleet. At the site below, you can find those early family members listed with details on which ship they came on, the family members with them and where they settled.

The Winthrop Society

But if religion spurred the migrations of these "early comers," its dictates also ruled their lives once they landed here. Rules and regulations were many for these people who had risked so much to declare their right to worship as their consciences demanded.

A bit of history offered at USgennet by Kathy Leigh

Finally, A good number of our family's early ancestors did not come here for religious reasons. They lived where the Protestant Reformation took root early and enjoyed official government sanction. So these people did not flee religious persecution. These folks came to do business.

New Netherland