Readers, Welcome to my blog (formerly Birds, Blooms, Books, etc). I'm entering a new decade taking on the challenge of moving from Maryland after living there 46 years and learning about my new home here in New England in the Live Free or Die state - New Hampshire. Join me as a write this new chapter of my life.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

We Are All Immigrants

Here in North America no one can say they are not an immigrant or descended from immigrants. Every human on this continent is descended from ancestors who came from other shores, even Native Americans whose ancestors came tens of thousands of years ago, looking for a better life.

Here is my immigrant ancestor's story:

In the first decade of the 18th century Benedict Brechbuohl was the leading teacher and preacher of the Swiss Mennonites. Because of his influence with the sect, the Swiss government more than doubled the reward for his capture.  He was imprisoned in 1709 after being expelled twice from Berne and was one of 58 Mennonites who were deported in 1710, to be taken by force to North Carolina.  With the others he escaped to Holland and returned to Manheim, Germany where he had been elder and preacher before his capture in Switzerland.  While in Mannheim, he acted as agent to whom the Dutch Mennonites sent financial aid for not only distressed in Germany but also in Switzerland.  He also went to Prussia to visit land on which King Frederick wished to found a Mennonite Colony.  In 1717 he with Burcholder, presided at a conference of Mennonite leaders which resulted in the decision to migrate to America.

He sold his house and farm situated near Weiler in Sape, on the river Werre in Germany for 700 Rix dollars ($570.15).  He sailed for America with his wife and three children and landed in Philadelphia August 24th, 1717 having been on passage for 12 weeks.  Their expenses were $30.44 a piece.  He (purchased) 530 acres of land for $186.66.  This land was between Strasburg, PA and Bunker Hill and was purchased from Hans Funk.

Rev. Benedict Brechbuohl was born in Transelwald, Berne, Switzerland in 1666, died near Strasburg in 1720 three years after his arrival.

My uncle did the genealogy research for this many years ago and wrote this history.  I am the ninth generation descended from this immigrant who was fleeing religious persecution in his home country.

I don't know if I would have had the courage to uproot myself and travel to an unknown land despite stories of how much better life would be.  Who are we to deny immigrants fleeing violence, hatred, war, prejudice ...?

What is your immigrant story?