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My Ancestors in America

My Ancestors in America

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Excerpt from My Ancestors in America: Compiled, Printed and Published for Gratuitous Distribution Among Near Relatives

I have little to say by way of preface. My humble volume is not intended for general inspection, but for gratuitous distribution among near relatives and friends who have a personal interest in the facts narrated, and who will understand and appreciate my motives in collecting and printing them. I have attempted nothing but a brief and simple narrative of well authenticated facts concerning immediate ancestry in a direct line from the time they first landed in America. I have felt no disposition to extend my researches back among our progenitors in England. The Puritan dates his nobility from the time his fathers sacrificed all, and braved all, for the maintenance of civil and religious liberty and he cares not how noble or ignoble his descent may have been previous to the period of the mighty exodus.

"It was no earth born-story,
That made the adventurers stray,
This world and all its glory,
To them had passed away."

While, therefore, the minions of British aristocracy seldom attempt to extend their investigations, among a people they have always despised, beyond the time that their robber ancestors under the great King Richard, first landed and fastened upon their shores, neither will the Puritan pursue his inquiries among institutions he condemns, to trace out the beginnings of those wrongs and outrages which finally drove his fathers into the wilderness.

It is not idle curiosity which has prompted this undertaking. Having come into possession of the valued records of my honored father, I have felt under a sacred obligation to preserve them in such form as will be likely to be most useful and permanent, and finding that the direct line of all my ancestors in America has been preserved, an unbroken chain without a missing link, I have felt called upon to collect and print such well authenticated facts as may be interesting and useful to present and future generations. In doing this, I have not in all cases given my authorities. In general terms I may, however, say that where I have not credited an important fact, I find it narrated by different parties. The facts concerning my Pierce ancestry are gathered chiefly from my fathers records. Those concerning the Blakes, I have obtained from the same reliable source, and also from the excellent publication of Samuel Blake, Esq., which he styles "Blake Family," but which I have referred to as "Blake's Memoirs." For the history of the Tappans I am largely indebted to my uncle, Lewis Tappan, and to my sister, E. P., whose indefatigable efforts have put me in possession of many valuable facts. I am equally indebted to her for many interesting particulars concerning the Homes family.

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