One of the reasons that I've been able to find out so much about my family is the fact that many were Church Ministers, like my grandfather Hope Atherton. Yes, his first name was Hope - it apparently it was a man's name back then. Of course, he was was my great-great (I haven't actually counted how many) grandfather, and I like to say that he graduated from Harvard in the class of '65.
No, not 1865, no 1765, but 1665. And no, he wasn't in the first graduating class, far from it. By the time he graduated from Harvard, it had been there for over twenty years. Yep, go and Google how long Harvard has been there. I'll wait.
For most people, American history starts with 1776. But by then, my family had been in America for generations. And yes, they called it America. It didn't become the United States until 1776. In fact, there were 14 presidents before George Washington. They called them "Continental".
The Atherton branch of my family moved on to Deerfield, where the Deerfield Massacre happened in 1704. Yes, they did survive - or I wouldn't be here!
I started doing the research of my family in the late 1990s, based on an old family tree that I had set out to disprove that had been handled down to me from my great-uncle. I did most of my research at the LDS Family History Library. I found just about everyone on the chart, and learned a lot in the process. And I plan to go on learning!
Go Harvard! Class of '65!