June 28, 2017: O America, My America

~by Susi Pittman


Those of us living in this day and time are fortunate to have access through internet avenues to trace our American heritage back to its roots. It may require some time and money, but the exciting and surprising facts and lives of our family ancestors is its own reward.

In our family, my Uncle Charlie was the family historian. He had taken the time back in the 1960’s to contact historical societies, libraries, government public records, and individuals regarding the family tree. Prior to my father’s death, these records were handed down to me.

It is always around the 4th of July that I like to take the records out and share with the family. Our roots, originally traced to the Baronet of King’s Lynn county, Norfolk, England, find our American roots established by a passenger on the Mayflower. We are descendants of William Bradford (1590 – 1657). William was an English Separatist leader who was a signatory to the Mayflower Compact while onboard the Mayflower in 1620. Between 1621 and 1656, William served as Governor of the Plymouth Colony five times. He is most well-known for his work titled, Of Plymouth Plantation. His work is regarded as the most authoritative account of the Pilgrims and the early years of their colony. Writing runs in the family.

Our relatives fought not only in the French and Indian War, but also the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. One such was Captain Joseph Kinney (1680-1745) who in 1718 and 1722, represented Preston, Connecticut, in the General Assembly. He was a Captain of Colonial Troops, with the 2nd Company of Trainsband of Preston in 1729. He was in the early French and Indian wars. And Captain Jonathan Kinney who served in the Massachusetts Militia of the Revolutionary War.

The 4th of July is a time for all Americans to reflect on the historical moment when on July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence announced that the thirteen American colonies, then at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain, regarded themselves as thirteen newly independent sovereign states, and no longer under British rule. It was the forming of a new nation—the United States of America.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

To know that one’s family members were part of the history and process of forming the government and culture that would become the United State of America gives me pause each year for the great blessing God has given me in my heritage.

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Susi Pittman is founder of CatholicStewardsofCreation.com and Owner-President of Twin Oaks Publishing; she is author of Animals in Heaven? Catholics Want to Know!; a member of the St. John’ s Catholic Writers Guild;
a member of the Florida Publishers Association, Independent Book Publishers Association, the National Association of Professional Women, the ASPCA, the National Wildlife Federation, the Humane Society of the United States and the National Audubon society.

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