One of the first things I discovered when I started my ancestry research is that I have a LOT to learn about history. I was never a big fan of history in school, but when it’s tied in to your own personal history, it somehow becomes much more interesting! Not only that, it’s necessary. If you don’t have a decent understanding of the historical happenings for the era you’re researching it makes the work just that much harder. I’ve learned quite a bit about many historical aspects and I really enjoy it.
I traced several branches of my family tree back to 1600’s Germany, and in some cases earlier. I saw their petition to leave Germany, and their arrival in America. Their sea journey was in 1714. That’s a long time ago, and it really got me to wondering where they got the courage and commitment to do such a thing. Their home in Germany is still standing today, the patriarch had skills as a toolmaker and a good job. Why did they come here? The best answer is most likely religious.
I read online somewhere that the journey from London to Philadelphia could take nine weeks during that era. I really wondered about the ship navigation. The seafarers of that time most likely used a compass and a cross-staff or back-staff. The cross-staff is little more than a yardstick in my opinion. So it boggles my mind that these people left behind everything they knew, got on a ship that will be at sea for nine weeks, is using a yardstick for navigation, and is taking them to an unknown land. They amaze me. Would I have the courage to do such a thing? I doubt it. They have my greatest respect and admiration for their courage, stamina, and persistence. I’m glad they came.