Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. It is a time of bringing family together and giving thanks for the bounty we have. Even in lean years, knowing you have family at your side makes life a bit easier.
Our celebration of thanksgiving goes back to harvest festivals and dinners held in Europe. When the earliest settlers came to New England, they brought those traditions with them. In the lean years after the Mayflower arrived, those harvest celebrations included new friends among the Native Americans.
This year, I am thankful for those who came before me. Those who made the trip across the Atlantic to settle into this land we now call the United States.
I am thankful for Richard Warren and his family. He was a passenger on the Mayflower. He survived the first lean years until his wife and daughters came a couple of years later. I am descended from his youngest daughter, Abigail.
I am thank for Owen and Ann Hughes. Both were refugees fleeing Ireland during the Great Famine. Owen came first and earned money to send for his wife and daughter. My great-grandfather, John, was born within a year or so of Ann’s arrival.
I am grateful for every immigrant ancestor I have who braved the journey in hopes of a better life in the New World. Without them, I would not be here.