Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sherman, set the Wayback Machine for 1619...

My ancestor,  William Tracy, came from England to America in 1619 to serve as Governor of the Berkeley Colony in Virginia. The company's charter gave them instructions to kneel and give thanks when they arrived; and every year thereafter. America's first Thanksgiving was held in Virginia one year before the Pilgrims arrived in Massachusetts in 1620.

 Last month on my birthday we traveled to Andrew and Annie's house in Virginia, where they live just a few minutes away from the "plantation",  home of the Tracys 394 years ago.
William died in 1620, his wife, daughter and her husband were killed by Native Americans in the Indian Massacre of 1622. His one surviving son was sent back to England to learn a trade.

 

Andrew, Tim and I stand outside the gates of the Berkeley Plantation, near where our first
 "American " immigrant ancestors landed almost 400 years earlier.
Andrew, an American soldier, discovered that "Taps" was composed at the Berkeley Colony in 1862.
Next stop, Colonial Williamsburg....

This was the capitol of Virginia until Thomas Jefferson moved it to Richmond.

 
Are you going to forget my birthday card next year? I think not....


 This King James Bible was a gift from the King of England to the Episcopal Church in America. Teddy Roosevelt commissioned this ornate stand to support and display the Bible. Lady Liberty stands with one foot on North America and one foot on Europe. Photo courtesy of Newell McMurtry



The newer areas of Colonial Willaimsburg are delightfully decorated for Christmas - this store reminded us of grandaughter Brynn ("Binns"). The boys and I stopped at Williams Sonoma for a sample of hot cocoa and English toffee while Newell inspected tartan plaids at a Scottish import shop.


This old house was only about eight feet deep!


These trees appeared to have been transplanted from a hobbit yard in the Shire.



Tim is standing near the Capitol in Washington DC where we stopped on New Year's Eve hoping to see the American Constitution. We arrived too late to view the document, but were able to see the Senate in session. There were a handful of Senators on the floor, presumably more arrived later to work on the "fiscal cliff" problem. The fleet of black SUVs parked around the building looked like they were out of a spy movie.

 P.S. Did I mention I saw Dorothy's ruby slippers at the Smithsonian?