As an amateur genealogist I am sure that Peter Andrews is right in saying, “We want to go home, ” but there is more to it than that. Anyone who gets beyond strict dates and places finds information about ancestors that brings American history alive in much the same way that A MERICAN H ERITAGE does.
I have discovered many fascinating things about my forebears and can now help my children place themselves within the context of American history, American hopes, and American dreams. I can tell them that, while they have ancestors who came over on the Mayflower , their parents also are fifth cousins once removed; one of their relatives invented Cream of Wheat; another was last seen in a saloon in St. Joseph, Missouri; another was jailed as a Tory during the American Revolution; another bought a substitute during the Civil War; and yet another lost his family farm during the Depression.
Judson Hale’s article reminds me that I have extensive New England roots too. I have always maintained, however, that my ancestors, by getting out of New England before the area started to deteriorate at the time of the American Revolution, are the really significant New England contribution to presentday American society.