Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...
My mother and her recent ancestors are all from French Algeria, but my father's lineage is much more heterogeneous. Two of his great-grandparents were from Newfoundland Colony, two were from Germany, and two were from Sweden.
His remaining two great-grandparents were from Maine, and they descend from the settlers of Massachusetts Bay Colony, founded in 1628. These were the pioneers who also came here to start a new, more hopeful life.
As a gift to my future offspring, I created a visualization of our American pedigree using d3. Since my mom is from France, my dad is the root of the tree, and his name is in the middle. To interact with the diagram, first scroll down so that it is visible in its entirety, then:
- Select any ancestor to see circular thumbnails for their associated documents.
- Touch a circular thumbnail to open the corresponding document in a new tab.
- Go back to the main diagram by touching the central circle.
Please note that all names are maiden names, and that any of a given ancestor's associated documents need only mention the ancestor somewhere in the document. See also my final remarks.
At first glance, it appears that Carrie Harmon descends from Thomas Riggs, a scrivener from Lancashire, UK who crossed the ocean around 1656. His squared-log house is somehow still standing in Gloucester, MA.
I am not happy with many things about America, but I do feel a sense of pride when I see the Statue of Liberty. She's a strong French woman (like my mom) who welcomed poor immigrants (like my great-great-grandparents) into a hopeful new life.