Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Roots

For the last year I have been on a quest to find my ancestry, but not to find the normal stuff. That sounds weird… let me explain.
I have always wanted to be an archaeologist… ever since I was a little kid.
Have you ever sat with an object in your hand… an old object, like a piece of Native-American pottery, or with something that belonged to your great, great grandfather, and imagined them using it, or making it. I do all the time, I always have.
I have my great grandfather’s hymn book, and quite often I’ll just find myself sitting, holding it… imagining him using it… wondering who embossed his name on it for him. Was it a gift? Did he buy it himself? These are answers I’m always looking for.
So anyway, a couple of years ago, I set out on a quest to find the Father of my Great Great Grandfather. You see, his mom (my G.G.G. grandmother, Emma Porter) was a single mother, who later married a man named Bennett. So I set out to find his bio-dad. Along this journey I found many things, one of those is a 6th cousin, Louise, who lives in England. We never realized that there would be a whole branch of the family who would have stayed over there. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know her through email. I also found, my G.G. Grandfather’s emigration paperwork in the Utah State Historical Society’s archives, which gave me the idea to find the ship that brought the Porter’s to America.
Well… I found it.
In the Family History Library in Salt Lake.
I found the passenger list.
They got here on the Steam Ship Nevada out of Liverpool, England docking in New York on June 1st, 1886. I found out from that passenger list that my Great Grandfather’s parents called him “Willie” and that he was 4 years old when they moved from Manchester to settle in Ogden, in the Utah Territory. They traveled in steerage, and carried 3 pieces of luggage.
The library is a very quiet place, with lots of people peacefully studying records, but when I found them, I so wanted to whoop and holler… fortunately, I didn’t.

I still have some mysteries to solve, but I’m looking forward to solving them.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

That is very cool, Mike. Good luck in your future quests!

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