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The Family Refugee

Sunday, November 22, 2015

My ancestor left his home country while being persecuted for his faith. He didn’t have the money to pay for passage to the US, and became an indentured servant for 7 years in order to leave a country that did not want him.
I have not thought much about the pilgrim journey with so much emotion as I have this year. The Mayflower was not luxury accommodations, but it was much better than the life rafts that Syrian refugees are using. What a tough life for my ancestor Jonathan Seule and the 85 other voyagers.

The event that Americans commonly call the "First Thanksgiving" was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621.[3] This feast lasted three days, and it was attended by 90 Native Americans (as accounted by attendee Edward Winslow)[4] and 53 Pilgrims.[5] The New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating "thanksgivings"—days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought.[6]
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    We also have ancestors who were among that group: John Howland and Elizabeth Tilly, who later married. John went overboard at sea and was nearly lost; Elizabeth lost her family during that first hard winter. You are right about the difficulties for boat people. One of our sons and his wife (in Sweden) have taken in two refugees from Afghanistan.
    1420 days ago
    My father's parents emigrated to this country from Poland. My father was first generation, and I am second generation American. My mother's parents emigrated from Poland and Russia. They were all fleeing persecution of one kind or another, and they came here looking for a better life. Unless your heritage is Native American, your people came here from somewhere else. Our country is not so overcrowded that we can't welcome some new people looking for a better life.
    1421 days ago
  • no profile photo JSEATTLE
    How neat that your family goes back to the Pilgrims. Let's face it, the lives of refugees anywhere in any time just isn't/wasn't that great. Being thankful daily is a given.
    1421 days ago
  • VEG954
    1421 days ago
    I love your blog! Thanks for sharing! Happy Sunday! Wishing you a Nice and Relaxing Day!
    Hugs and love, xoxo
    1421 days ago
    Thanks for the reminder that nearly all of us have ancestors who were "refugees" of one sort or another.
    1421 days ago
    Thank you for sharing with us.

    1421 days ago
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    1421 days ago
  • GABY1948
    My John also had someone back on the founding ship. And he is related to one President and another President's wife. These facts are pretty exciting to me and must be to you also!

    1421 days ago
    Nicely said!!
    1421 days ago
  • LIS193
    As a naturalized citizen I know the immigration process is long and tedious (it took 7 years to get a green card!) but the system is in place for a reason - to vet who is coming into the country..

    1421 days ago
  • 68ANNE
    History is and does repeat itself
    1421 days ago
    My ancestors came from what is now Czechoslovakia (was Polish, Russian, Bohemian and German @ various times). Where would ANY of us be if this country didn't have immigrants!


    1421 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/22/2015 10:22:57 AM
  • CHERYLA2012
    Thank you for the gentle reminder.

    1421 days ago
    My paternal grandmother was Native American, traced back to the Sugeree now part of the Sioux Nation. My granddad, her husband, was a first generation American and his father came from Scotland and his mother from Norway. So in my dad's family there was a mix of kids with red hair and black hair and one blonde. On my mother's side my brothers and I are the first generation Americans. My mother and her parents were born in England and my granddad came here for work, met my grandmother here and they went back to England for a while and then came back here with my mother and her brothers when my mother, the youngest was 3 years old. Funny story about my maternal grandparents. they were both from the same small village in northern England near Manchester; however my great granddad was in the Foreign Service so my grandmother moved when she was 3 years old and lived all over the world and the family settled in Philadelphia where she met my granddad.

    My brother is tracing my paternal grandmother's family that originated in North Carolina and moved to South Carolina where she was born and grew up. He has been to South Carolina many times to supposedly trace the family tree there but I think it is just an excuse to get to Myrtle Beach to golf!!! emoticon

    1421 days ago
    I think we are distantly related. Seriously. Many of my ancestors were on the Mayflower and the sister ship, the Speedwell.
    1421 days ago
    so lucky that way that my ancestors have lived in this part of the world always part of my mother's family came to this area for trade but it was the same country feel sorry for the Syrians wish this whole situation had not been created by some greedy obnoxious politicians
    1421 days ago
    My great grandparents came here to make a better life for their family. It is amazing the stories that we all have.
    1421 days ago
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    1421 days ago
    Great historical memories!
    1421 days ago
    My ancestor did the same in 1631. There was no free ride, he spent the 7 years as an indentured servant as well. When that time was he was homeless. He worked 7 more years for a place to call home. But he found the freedom from persecution.
    1421 days ago
    Yes, I really can't imagine fleeing my homeland on a raft. The circumstances of their departure are more profound then we know.

    1421 days ago
    My parents both left their countries to settle here too!
    1421 days ago
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