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Seeking English
4/23/2013
Even if your ancestors didn't come over on the Mayflower, it's likely that somewhere in your heritage there's a bit of merry old England.

Even if your ancestors didn't come over on the Mayflower, it's likely that somewhere in your heritage there's a bit of merry old England. Just as the United States can trace its origins back to English colonial days, millions of Americans have English roots. No matter who you are and no matter where you live, you can find your English ancestors. Unlike many ethnic heritages, you don't have to struggle with records in foreign languages. You don't have to struggle with records in foreign languages. You don't have to travel to England. In fact, it's ofter easier to trace your English ancestors from outside of England than it is to trace them in England. Some people begin their genealogy looking for famous ancestors or, especially in the case of English roots, hoping to find royal lines. A few people are even disappointed when they find that an immigrant ancestor was just an "average guy." Be assured that you immigrant ancestors were not "average." Your ancestors did something extraordinary: They left their homes, possessions, families, friends and homeland forever to try to find a better life.

Most immigrants left England for economic reasons. A few immigrants left for religious reasons, such as the Pilgrims in 1620 and the Puritans who came to New England from 1629-1640. Some did not come by choice; for example, English prisons were cleared and convicts shipped to the American colonies. Some women and children were even kidnapped from the countryside or from the streets of cities such as London to provide labor in the colonies.

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