In addition to this being a “fresh start” to the annual challenge from Amy Johnson Crow at Generations Cafe, this week’s prompt leads me to consider the reasons my European ancestors immigrated to North America for a fresh start.
Why They Immigrated
Virginia: improved economic or social standing, mostly English, some Scots.
Massachusetts: religious freedom, mainly Puritans from England.
New Netherland: also religious freedom, mostly Dutch and they identified as Quakers or Huguenots.
Pennsylvania: economic opportunity, mostly German.
These are not hard and fast rules. Certainly, I have found merchants among the Massachusetts and New Netherland immigrants, and English immigrating to New Netherland. And, there were additional considerations, in some cases, for immigration beyond religious or economic. A few were war refugees who found themselves on the losing side or they chose to flee the chaos of the aftermath.
How They Immigrated
Some of my ancestors paid their way to the colonies, others arrived as laborers whose passages were paid through the head-right system, and then others accepted an indenture contract in exchange for passage.
Who They Were
Primarily it was only men who were accounted for in arrival documents. Occasionally a wife and children were mentioned as being in the party, but not by name. The exception to this rule, that I have noticed, is among the more affluent immigrants. Particularly if the wife was from a well known family.
My closest (genetically) immigrant ancestors are my paternal 4th great-grandparents David and Margaret McCash from Perth, Scotland. They arrived in 1787 at Philadelphia, went over land to Fort Pitt and boarded a flatboat to go down river to the fort at Limestone (now Maysville), KY. They soon relocated to Fort Washington on the north side of the Ohio River, that place would become Cincinnati. 
My most distant immigrant ancestors (that I am certain of) are maternal 12th great-grandparents, Captain Edmund and Mary Scarborough from Norfolk in England. They arrived in Virginia in 1620 and settled in Accomack County, where Edmund was a planter and served in the House of Burgesses (the legislature.) 
12. Edmund Scarborough (1584 – 1636)
11. Edmund Scarborough Jr (1617 – 1671)
10. Edmund Scarborough III (1647 – 1712)
9. Hannah Scarborough (1672 – 1716)
8. Elizabeth Bayly (1686 – 1735)
7. John Crippen (1712 – 1758)
6. John Crippen Jr (1740 – 1801)
5. Elizabeth Crippen (1774 – 1857)
4. William Major (1799 – 1882)
3. Calvin Major (1819 – 1898)
2. Mary A E Major (1842 – 1907)
1. Pauline Elizabeth Koontz (1874 – 1952)
I have not yet identified ALL my immigrant ancestors. I have identified 146 and most are in the range of 8th to 10th great grandparents. We all have 1,024 8th great-grandparents, less any consanguineous marriages. That’s a lot of ancestors to trace, it will take time. But, I look forward to discovering additional immigrants on my family tree and their varied reasons to take a chance on making a “fresh start.”
1. Ancestry.com. Sketches and statistics of Cincinnati in 1859 [database on-line]. Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005. Original data: Cist, Charles; Sketches and statistics of Cincinnati in 1859, Section: I. Early annals, page: 129; Pub: Cincinnati, OH, USA, 1860?
2. Ancestry.com, Virginia, Biographical Encyclopedia [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2000. Original data: Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography. Pub: Richmond, VA, USA, 1915.
3. ‘Osborn‘ family tree, Ancestry.com; https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/tree/13493206/family
Born Takeo Furukawa on 15 March 1883 in Tottori-Ken, Tokyo, Japan, little is documented of his early childhood. Family oral history stories say that the young Takeo experienced hunger, poverty and the loss of his family. Additionally, the stories tell of friendship, spiritual learning and scholarship.
My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne, lived at over 20 addresses around Indianapolis between 1876 and 1942. I thought it would be interesting to see all the old buildings and homes where he lived in my hometown of Indianapolis.
My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne (1848-1942), was a widower with two young sons in 1886 when he married Jennie Warbington (1857-1918) in Minneapolis on the 27th of May. I decided it was time to put sources to the story.
While working on a family photo project I decided it would be fun to compare side-by-side my father and his parents, at similar ages, to try and discover a family resemblance.
Jesse King was born in Ohio (probably in the vicinity of Chillicothe) in 1805, he was a son of Philip King and Mary Leah Wright, both of Pennsylvania. Philip King was a farmer, he married Leah Wright in 1801 in Somerset, PA, they had six children, of whom Jesse was the third.
A handwritten letter from Sarah Tucker Lafary to the then president of the United States, Grover Cleveland. It was her last appeal for a War of 1812 pension, sadly the pension was denied. The letter gives a glimpse of a woman who had no formal education, a poor farmers wife, then widow, mother of nine, she probably just wanted some independence through an income of her own.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 2: Challenge
So much about genealogy research is a challenge, perhaps the most common challenge is the ‘brick wall,’ meet Sarah Smith. 18?? – 1846
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 3: Unusual Name
The surnames in my tree are typical of common western European names. However, the name that is unusual among these names is MY surname: LaFara.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 6: Surprise!
Just when you think you know everything about an ancestor, surprise! I thought I knew most everything about my paternal great grandfather David L. Osborne, 1848-1942.
For all of us who are procrastinating about labeling photos I have one thing to say, “Be considerate of the genealogist of the future!” My maternal grandmother was very good about labeling old family photos, and there is one, in particular, I found very informative.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 10: Bachelor Uncle
My uncles are the marrying kind, sometimes more than once!
I had to go back four generations for a bachelor uncle, my great-great-great uncle Conrad Rumple, 1833-1911.
Conrad was an older brother to my great-great grandfather on my matrilineal line, William Rumple, 1839-1912.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 11: Large Family
My great-great grandparents, George Lafary and Catherine Landon, had a relatively small family, three of their six children survived to adulthood. However, they both came from large families of nine siblings and nearly all survived to marry and have children.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 13: In The Paper
It’s fun to find articles in the paper mentioning one of my relatives. Mostly they are birth, marriage, divorce and death events. But, it’s the oddball articles in the papers I like the most.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 14: Brick Wall
We all have a brick wall, that one ancestor who defies all research. I decided I would work at my brick walls by generation, I broke through the last of my 3rd great grandparent brick walls, now I am working on 4th great grandparents.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 16: Out of Place
I realized I did not have a date of death for my great, great grandmother, Catherine Landon Lafary. A fresh search uncovered the date and much more. Out of place, but once discovered, everything fell into place.
I have many favorite photos among my collection of family artifacts. Currently, my favorite photo is of two little children from 1916 who were a complete mystery to me until last spring.