Over 70 years ago, my father wrote information about his family in my baby book. My Mom did the same. Her sentence was quite simple…”All four of Dianne’s great grandparents on her mom’s side immigrated from the Netherlands.”
Dad laid out a tree of his side of the family with an arrow from his grandfather Herbert Nichols to ‘great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather Nicholas Nichols, from Maine, who fought in the American Revolution.” Its taken me a few years, but yesterday, I think I found Nicholas Nichols in the records from the National Archives.
I feel such a sense of accomplishment. I have worked my way through so many dead ends, so many misleading clues, and the wishful wanderings of so many confused relatives trying to reconstruct the past. There are many descendants, and many have the same idea.
You would expect nothing but confusion with generation after generation of males with multiple wives and children…all with the same last name. Once upon a time, they all knew each other. The Nichols boys migrated from Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands, however, most of their wives are descended from grandparents who left England during the Great Puritan Migration that took place during the seventeenth century. Many of my ancestors were part of the Plymouth Colony.
The Puritan migration to New England was marked in its effects in the two decades from 1620 to 1640. The term Great Migration usually refers to the [sic] period of English settlers, primarily Puritans to Massachusetts and the warm islands of the West Indies, especially Barbados. They came in family groups, rather than as isolated individuals, and were motivated chiefly by a quest for freedom to practice their Puritan (Calvinist) religion.
Next my ancestors turn up is as jurors on witch trials or accused of witchcraft themselves.
[sic] The Puritans created a deeply religious, socially tight-knit, and politically innovative culture that is still present within the modern United States (think Tea Party and Christian Evangelists).
They hoped this new land would serve as a “redeemer nation.” They fled England, and in America attempted to create a “nation of saints”: an intensely religious, thoroughly righteous, community designed to be an example for all of Europe.