Thursday, August 6, 2009

Time travels

I've been researching my genealogy, preparing for our trip east the end of September, traveling in time to Salem, Hingham, Wenhem, Roxbury, Andover and Marblehead in what was once the Massachusetts Bay Colony, where my paternal and maternal ancestors gathered in the 1600 and 1700s.
I always get a little nervous before I fly so researching the lives of my ancestors gives me a little perspective.
John and Mary Porter arrived in 1635 in Hingham Bay, MA, on the boat the Susan and Ellen, immigrating from England to a far-off shore on a tiny ship to start a new life. Once in Hingham, they settled for awhile, but eventually migrated north to the Salem area, making a life I can barely imagine.
Their grandson, John Porter II, lived a robust life to 95 and had 11 children, whose average age at death was 87. A couple of his children lived to 100. The lineage of his wife, Lydia Herrick, can be traced back to the 1400s in England, unusual for the women in the genealogies.
John and Lydia's son, Nehemiah, moved to Nova Scotia and was 92 when he died. His grandson Hezediah was 96 when he died, leaving 9 children, 61 grandchildren, 108 grandchildren and 1 great great grandchild.
George and Elisabeth Goudey landed in Marblehead, MA in 1735. His son, James, was the first Goudey to head to Yarmouth. His descendants, including my grandparents, were born mostly in Port Maitland, a tiny coastal village near Yarmouth, where my grandfather caught lobster by simply overturning rocks. Not these days.
The Porters met up with the Goudeys and all the other relatives (remember the women were all descended from someone, too.) all of whom had gone seeking a new life in Nova Scotia.
Meanwhile, the Tylers, my maternal ancesters, were making a life in Andover, Woburn, or Roxbury, all in the vicinity of the Porters and the Goudey's before heading to Michigan.
I'd love to know Elizabeth Goudey and Mary Porter, who arrived on these shores in small ships, leaving a life they had known for the unknown in every sense of the word.
Surely, I can invoke their spirit to make a trip east in an airplane without being nervous.

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