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Finding the family is an adventure which triggered by an 1858 letter to Sarah Derickson Harvey proving a family myth that our family had been involved in the Underground Railroad in Wilmington, Delaware.

During the search for ancestors, I've uncovered two grandmothers who were hung - Mary Barrett Dyer (1660) and Martha Allen Carrier (1692), and another massacred by Indians - Anne Marbury Hutchinson (1643). As almost anyone with early New England ancestors, there are relations to presidents and royalty, but most exciting was finding a distant cousinhood with Julia Child. In addition to many English ancestors who settled in both New England and Virginia, there were Swedes, Palatine Germans, Welsh, Scots, and at least one French Huguenot. With only a few exceptions (the Dryhursts and the Shutes), almost all of our ancestors came in the 1600's or well before the Revolutionary War. We have relatives who fought on the revolutionary side or were Loyalists and others on the Union or Rebel side. Many of the family became Quakers in the mid 1600's and early 1700's. There were also Anglicans, Bretheran, Methodists, and Mormons (William Wines Phelps).

My research is just beginning. Some of the folks here will be lopped off the family tree as new evidence comes to light, and others will be added. My goal is not just to find their names, date of birth, marriage and death, but to gain more insight into their lives and the context in which they lived - real family history.

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