Grandpa Has a Book

I’ve found probably a dozen or so books, perhaps more, that each deal with a certain branch of my family tree.  These books are usually helpful, usually incomplete, and usually written in the late 1800’s by someone related to the family who was also a genealogist.  They are dry, and written in a very matter-of-fact style, but I love them.  They have their own unique charm.

For example, here is one on the Pond family written in 1873 by Edward Doubleday Harris entitled “A Genealogical History of Daniel Pond and His Descendants”  which chronicles the history of the family of my 3x great-grandmother Louisa Pond.

Last night, however, a helpful person on Ancestry pointed me to a book on my 12x great-grandfather Stephen Hopkins [ancestor of my great-great-grandmother Helen Maria Nason].  He, along with members of his family [including his daughter Constance Hopkins, my 11x great-grandmother], came to America in 1620 aboard the Mayflower and was one of the principle founders of the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts.  Stephen worked with Myles Standish and Squanto to keep the colony alive.  But before that he was shipwrecked in Bermuda, visited the fledgling Virginia Colony [which predated the Pilgrims by a generation], and generally had a pretty incredible life.

Fortunately, a talented writer named Caleb Johnson has put his story into book form using a narrative style backed up by an  impressive amount of both genealogical and general historical research.  The book is called “Here Shall I Die Ashore”, and I’ve already ordered two copies after reading the first couple of chapters online.  You can check out a nice sampling of the book here:

“Here Shall I Die Ashore” by Caleb Johnson on GoogleBooks

It’s really impressive.  I aspire to his level of writing when it comes to making family history engaging and interesting to read.


About cthomas1967

Seeking to bring my ancestors out of the shadows of history and into the light. I have always been interested in history, and at a few different times I tried to do a family tree, but wasn't able to do it with the technology that was available then. On a business trip I visited the World War I Museum in Kansas City, MO and it was a very impressive establishment. While I was there I remember thinking, "Didn't my great-grandfather father fight in World War I? And wasn't his brother killed alongside him in some famous battle? I wonder if I can find out where he died." That's what started it all. View all posts by cthomas1967

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