Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of giving an Extraordinary Places presentation to the Kum Dubl group, a fascinating and interesting study group. Many shared the stories of their lives, some remembering the dust bowl and how the sky "...turned black as though it were night...so dark was the afternoon..." said one woman. Most remembered stories their grandmothers and grandfathers had told them when they arrived from England and mainland Europe. Knowing the background and interest of my audience, I decided to title the program Connections and began researching just how many men from my own county of Essex left for the New World.
During the mid 1600s, Essex, was a great recruiting ground for America. As word spread, men from influential families left in droves seeking a new life, some twenty from the Sherman family alone. Others such as John Washington who swore that if his father Lawrence Washington (great-great grandfather to George Washington) was ousted from the church because of his royalist leanings, that he too would leave for the New World -- of course, the rest is American history. The Bush family came from Messing, Essex, William Penn from Billericay, Essex and and Thomas Hook from Chelmsford left much later in 1681 but who became the co-founder of Connecticut - Essex men all!
More information on some of the individuals mentioned above as well as other short, armchair travel stories about kings and queen, witches and Vikings, the Witchfinder General, Ley Lines, ghosts and much more can be found within the pages of Extraordinary Places...Close to London. Published by Hastings House, the ISBN is: 0-8038-2031-3.