Monday, June 17, 2013
Our Family History Road Trip: Day One
My sister, my two-year-old niece and I are now on our long anticipated "Family History Road Trip" to upstate New York and New England, including Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. We set out on Father's Day in the pouring rain in search of our father's American roots. I choose to believe that rain at the outset of an undertaking is auspicious.
Before leaving Ontario, we were able to stop by Prescott to visit the Battle of the Windmill historical site, where our first cousin four times removed, Stephen "Sylvanus" Wright, fought in the "Patriot War" in 1838. As readers of this blog will recall, Stephen was captured by the British and sentenced to transportation to Van Dieman's Land, otherwise known as Tasmania. He eventually made it home to Denmark, Lewis County, New York, three years later, where he was greeted with a parade.
Later in the day, we were fortunate enough to find the town of Denmark down a country road--where we discovered Freedom Wright's Inn! This was thrilling for me, not only because Freedom and his brother Charles, my three times great grandfather, have been favourites of mine in my family history research, but also because this was the first place we found on our trip which was specific to our family. Freedom's Inn was the first inn the area, and the site of the meeting in 1804 where it was decided to create the counties of Lewis and Jefferson. As you will recall, Uncle Freedom and Grampa Charles had been in the first battle of the Revolutionary War, Lexington. Strangely, the rain stopped during our visit to Denmark.