“Speak for yourself, John.” ~ Priscilla Mullins ~ A love triangle in colonial times, John Alden professes the feelings of his friend Miles Standish as they vie for the affections of the beautiful Priscilla Mullins. The independent-minded woman utters one of the most famous retorts ever: “Why don’t you speak for yourself, John?” The rest, as they say, is history.
My mother, Helen Brackett, is the historian of our family. For decades she made it her hobby to research our family tree. She wrote many letters to distant family members to gather birth certificates, death certificates, photographs, and family stories. It’s amazing what she pieced together to fill in our family tree with no help from the internet.
The tree started with my children’s generation as generation 1 and goes back to 12 generations on one branch (Anthony Brackett, the immigrant), 15 on another branch (Governor William Bradford), and 16 on another branch (William Mullins).
History can be more interesting if you discover your link to it.
My father was so excited when the link from Standish to Bradford was confirmed.
A friend of mine, Pat, moved from Sarasota to North Carolina a half a dozen years ago and somehow found out that her mother could trace her family back to a Brackett in Maine. Pat remembered that my family had come from Maine to Florida. I traced the tree back that my parents had put together and found that our link started back with two brothers. Anthony and Thomas Brackett were our great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandfathers. That made us 9th cousins! Too bad Pat had moved away, but with the internet, we can still stay in touch!
My children aren’t very interested in the family tree at this point, but thankfully someone in the family cared enough to put it all together for our next interested generation before all the information is lost with those that have passed on before us.